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Brooklyn, New York City Travel Guide

Brooklyn Summary


  • Calmer, quieter, and (sometimes) prettier streets than in most New York neighborhoods
  • Easier parking than in most neighborhoods in Manhattan (free spaces can be found on the street in most neighborhoods)
  • Free summer concerts and outdoor movie screenings -- the most popular free venues are Prospect Park and the Siren Music Festival in Coney Island for music; McCarren Park Pool in Williamsburg and the Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO for movies
  • Typically, a better quality hotel room for the price than in Manhattan
  • Grimaldi's pizza by the Brooklyn Bridge, repeatedly voted best slices in New York
  • Coney Island, a historic amusement park on Brooklyn's southernmost tip with a broad beach, boardwalk, famous Nathan's hot dogs, and nearly hundred-year-old rides like the Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone rollercoaster (a New York City landmark)
  • Safe, simple access into Manhattan by $2 subway ride; about five to 15 minutes, depending on which neighborhood you stay in


  • Many Manhattan Yellow Cab drivers are unfamiliar with Brooklyn neighborhoods, so you may need to give them directions to your hotel.
  • Hard to hail a yellow cab in some areas -- local cabs are mostly un-metered (which means they can up-charge) and must be called in advance

What It's Like

Like Manhattan, Brooklyn is made up of various and diverse neighborhoods, each with its own defining characteristics; from the Polish heritage of Greenpoint, to the family-friendly treelined streets of Park Slope, to the up-and-coming galleries and boutiques of Williamsburg, to the historic brownstones and churches of Brooklyn Heights. While there is a higher rate of crime in select neighborhoods (as is the case in any borough of New York City, including Manhattan), the areas of Brooklyn that attract most visitors are just as safe as the most popular parts of Manhattan. Given its multiple unique attractions -- the Coney Island boardwalk, world-class music, dance, and theater performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the beautiful Botanic Gardens in Prospect Park (Brooklyn's version of Manhattan's Central Park), the Brooklyn Museum, and the New York Transit Museum, among others -- Brooklyn is an appealing alternative to lodging in Manhattan, especially since you can often find a nicer, larger hotel room for comparable or lower prices than in other New York neighborhoods.