Things to Do in Brooklyn — Coney Island to the Brooklyn Bridge

When most people think of New York City, images of the Manhattan skyline come to mind.


But there are so many things to do in Brooklyn that it’s worth a visit across the East River to spend some time there. From outdoor spaces and amusement parks to markets and museums, Brooklyn is a top-notch tourist destination.

things to do in Brooklyn
Image via Flickr by thomasbonte

Consider booking budget-friendly hotels in the trendy Columbia Street Waterfront District for your stay in Brooklyn. The up-and-coming neighborhood is known for its vintage shops, unique boutiques, live poultry markets, hip restaurants, and old industrial buildings that have been converted into residential living spaces. The location is ideal for getting around Brooklyn, and being near the waterfront and iconic Brooklyn Bridge makes it convenient for anyone wanting to spend some time in Manhattan, too.

Outdoor Spaces
things to do in Brooklyn
Image via Flickr by Teri Tynes

If you’re looking to spend time outdoors, Prospect Park is the place to be. Ideal for everything from bird-watching to skating and nature programs, the park is open from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. In addition, you can check out Prospect Park Zoo or catch the summer concert series at the Prospect Park Bandinelli. If you’re looking for great scoping gear for your bird watching, you can check out Ballachy to get the most powerful spotting scope on the market.

Another great place to take in Brooklyn’s natural beauty is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Founded more than 100 years ago, the public garden boasts a number of flower displays, as well as educational programs and research projects about regional plants.

Romance is on the menu at Brooklyn Heights Promenade, which has been featured in many major motion pictures, such as “Moonstruck” and “Annie Hall.” With unparalleled views of the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge, it’s the perfect place to pop the question. Also be sure to check out Brooklyn Bridge Park. This lush green space spans more across 85 acres and is known for its impressive views of the Manhattan skyline.

Arts and Culture
things to do in brooklyn
Image via Flickr by danimp

Just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, you’ll find the Brooklyn Museum. Home to more than 1 million pieces of art, it’s one of the most important cultural centers in the United States. Other popular Brooklyn-based museums include the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the Toy Museum of NY, and the Waterfront Museum.

At BLDG 92, Brooklyn Navy Yard Center, celebrate New York’s rich naval history. Once one of the most active military shipbuilding facilities in the nation, it’s a popular museum today. Visit the Brooklyn Historical Society for a look at the borough’s 400-year history. This urban history center is home to a museum, exhibitions, educational programs, and more.

Shakespeare buffs will want to visit Theatre for a New Audience. Over the past 30 years, the award-winning theater company has produced more than 60 classic and contemporary plays, including nearly 30 Shakespeare plays.

Food, Shopping, and Entertainment
things to do in brooklyn
Image via Flickr by Sarah_Ackerman

Since its launch in 2008, Brooklyn Flea has become a top area attraction. Each weekend, hundreds of vendors and local artisans gather to sell their wares. Touted as one of the best flea markets in the world, it’s also known for its impressive food scene. Each weekend, as many as 30,000 people flock to Smorgasburg, the largest weekly outdoor food market in the United States.

A trip to Brooklyn wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Coney Island. This community in the southwestern part of the borough is best known for its beach and the Luna Park amusement park, which includes more than 50 rides and attractions. Coney Island is also home to the New York Aquarium, where you can get up close with a variety of marine animals.

If you’re planning a trip to New York City, You’ll find plenty of things to do in Brooklyn. With its plentiful green spaces, numerous museums, unique shopping experiences, and exciting entertainment, Brooklyn is a great place for a city break.

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Things to do in Brooklyn

15 thoughts on “Things to Do in Brooklyn — Coney Island to the Brooklyn Bridge

  1. After reading this post you have enlightened me as to just how much there is to do in Brooklyn! I would defo want to check out the zoo as i am a huge animal fan! Checking out the arts and culture is also something I would do as experiencing new culture and the way people live will make you a better person!

    1. Thanks so much! I’m glad you like it and think it would be useful for visitors. Such a great place!

  2. I used to live in NYC and reading your post reminded me of all the time there. Prospect Park is one of my favourite places to spend the afternoon. And Coney Island is so fun to visit in the summer!

    1. I’m so glad it brought back good memories! NYC is such a great city and so much more than Manhattan (though I love it, too)!

  3. Love this. I actually have a flight to NYC this week but need to cancel it for some reason ;( so my boyfriend will just go there alone will save this for reference soon

    1. Aw, it’s too bad you won’t get a chance to explore it with him, but let me know if he gets to explore any of the places in this guide. I’d love to hear about it!

  4. People may think Manhattan is the one and only place to go, yes. Sure, you’ve got to see it once in a lifetime. But for me Coney Island (as well as the ferry to Staten Island) showed me more about the Big Apple than I ever expected. Brooklyn for the win!

  5. I would love to attend the Brooklyn flea sometime. I stayed in the neighborhood last time and I still have very fond memories of the street art all around and the whole artistic character of that place.

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