8 Things To Do In Brooklyn When You’re Visiting NYC & Want To Explore

Manhattan is undoubtedly a beautiful borough of New York City and home to the billboards in Times Square, towering skyscrapers like the Empire State Building, and well-known museums near Central Park. But the next time you visit the city, this list of cool things to do in Brooklyn should be one of the first things on your bucket list.

This borough has its own trendy restaurants, gorgeous #views, quaint coffee shops, and attractions to offer. It might take some extra time to get to on the subway — not to mention, a little extra planning to fit its sights into your weekend trip. But it’s so worth it — especially when you take a bite of a local eatery’s legendary pizza or stroll through the buds in a colorful botanical garden. The cozy atmosphere of this group of neighborhoods in the city that’s known for its electric neon signs will make you feel like you’re right at home.

It’s what I like to call The Brooklyn Effect: this borough’s uncanny ability to make a large place like New York City feel like a chill suburb, and add the sweetest adventures to your bucket list. These eight things to do, in particular, in Brooklyn you won’t want to miss out on.

1. Take Chic Instagram Pictures In Dumbo

If you’ve ever searched "Brooklyn, New York" on Instagram, then you’ve likely seen a few pictures from the neighborhood of Dumbo. Located right near the water, this is where a lot of travelers and content creators pose for cool pictures with the Brooklyn Bridge. (Having the best editing apps on your phone will be a must for this one.)

2. Tour The Street Art In Williamsburg

New York City is loaded with street art, especially in the cozy neighborhood of Williamsburg. During your weekend trip, you won’t want to miss the work of Banksy that’s splattered over warehouse walls — according to TimeOut.com — or the art that continuously pops up in this sweet part of the Big Apple.

3. Spend A Night At The Funky Loft In Bushwick

You can’t do Brooklyn in a day, let alone the entire city of NYC. So it’s quite possible you’ll want to check into an artsy bed and breakfast like The Funky Loft in Bushwick for a night. This space — which has rooms to rent and backdrops to take the Instagram pictures of your dreams — is made for the travelers who love vintage things and bringing their DSLR with them everywhere they go. If you stay here, you’ll be treated to a 1950’s Coca Cola refrigerator and exposed brick walls.

4. Eat Lunch At Time Out Market New York

At some point during your visit to NYC, you may want to head to Time Out Market New York in Brooklyn. This cool venue is a place where you can try all kinds of foods from different restaurants. It’s also the spot for pop-up performances, so you can dine and see the sights of the city without having to search for them too hard.

5. Grab A Slice At L&B Spumoni Gardens In Besonhurst

If you were friends with Joey Tribbiani from Friends in real life, then you’d probably go to L&B Spumoni Gardens in Besonhurst on the reg. This spot is known for its delicious pizza, which, according to Eater NY, puts the cheese under the sauce. Grab a slice there before heading off on your other adventures around the city and Brooklyn.

6. Check Out The New York Aquarium

No matter what season you’re visiting Brooklyn, you should check out the New York Aquarium. Located on the Riegelmann Boardwalk in Coney Island, it’s the prime spot to see sea otters, penguins, and all the cute critters that live in the ocean. While you’re there, catch a show in the Aquatheater or quote the classic animated movie, Finding Nemo, when you see a sea turtle or clown fish.

7. Ride The Coasters In Coney Island

If you want to get a taste of the West Coast in NYC, then head to Coney Island. This part of Brooklyn is filled with beach vibes and rollercoasters that’ll treat you to non-stop fun. Be sure to give yourself extra time here so you can ride every ride, eat at every restaurant, and catch some sun beams on the beach. During the summer, expect to face some crowds, since it is a pretty popular spot for travelers.

8. Watch A Sunset In Brooklyn Bridge Park

Before your trip comes to a close, you should definitely watch a sunset in Brooklyn Bridge Park. This patch of greenery is a perfect spot to take in the skyline and see the iconic bridge from a better — and less crowded — angle. If you feel inclined, pack a few snacks for the occasion and a picnic blanket, too. It’ll make your time in the city so memorable.

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