Away from the rush of Manhattan, Brooklyn is a much calmer place with much more relaxed vibes. From museums to street art and drool-worthy food, once you cross the bridge, there is no shortage of things to do and entertainment. 

Brooklyn is a historical neighborhood with significant architecture and offers a wider variety of bars, restaurants, and spots to see the skyline. Whether you are visiting Coney Island or finding peace at the Botanic Garden, there is just so much to do here. Here is a list of the best things to do in Brooklyn.

1. Spend A Day At Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a must see during May. (Photo By: Michael Stewart)
Source : instagram

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is divided into several themed areas, such as the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the Cranford Rose Garden, and the Shakespeare Garden. It also includes a conservatory that houses tropical plants, a bonsai museum, and a children's garden.

Located in the heart of Brooklyn, this 52-acre flora heaven is filled with over 18000 gorgeous plants such as Forsythia, Japanese flowering cherries, and magnolia. They also offer various kinds of tours and exhibits such as Trees of Little Caribbean and Weekends in Bloom.

2. Walk Along the Brooklyn Bridge

Visit the Brooklyn Bridge early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid crowds. (Photo By: Yakov loeffler)
Source : instagram

The Brooklyn Bridge is a historic suspension bridge symbol of New York City. The Empire State Building, the Manhattan Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, The Williamsburg Bridge, and Lower Manhattan are iconic structures one can see from the bridge.

It is a bucket list item for many who visit New York City. If you want to avoid the crowds of commuters and cyclists, walk either early in the dawn or later in the dusk. A guided 2-hour walking tour is also available.

3. Watch The Skyline From Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park
Source : instagram

Brooklyn Bridge Park is a waterfront park located along the East River. It spans 85 acres and offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. There are several landscaped gardens and green spaces throughout the park along with opportunities for fishing and boating.

One of the main attractions in Brooklyn Bridge Park is the Pier 1 Playground. It has a large sandbox, water play area, swings, and climbing structures. The nearby Pier 2 offers sports fields, basketball courts, and a roller rink for those looking to engage in more active pursuits.

4. Eat At DeKalb Market Hall

DeKalb Market Hall's new addition Essex Squeeze has all the healthy options.
Source : instagram

There are plenty of places to eat in the city. However, there is no place like the DeKalb Market Hall. It serves a variety of international cuisines, and it is vegetarian-friendly with gluten-free and vegan options.

The market hall features over 40 vendors, including popular eateries such as Katz's Delicatessen, Ample Hills Creamery, and Foragers Market. The space is a vibrant gathering place for the community, with communal seating areas and a lively atmosphere.

5. Take A Slice Of Brooklyn Pizza And Bagel

Brooklyn Pizza
Source : instagram

Brooklyn is heaven for people who love carbs. With a wide variety of NYC pizzas and bagels, the city also offers some fusions. If there is one thing New Yorkers take seriously, it is their carbs, as pizzas and bagels are the holy grail of NYC cuisine.

Bagel Pub and La Bagel Delight are beloved places to go for bagels. Go to Grimaldi's, which is under the Brooklyn Bridge, and L&B Spumoni Gardens for pizzas and Sicilian-style pies. If you want something more modern, Artichoke Bassille's Pizza is the go-to.

6. Shop At Brooklyn Flea

Shop for the best vintage and handmade stuff at Brooklyn Flea.
Source : instagram

What to see in Brooklyn when you have visited all the iconic and touristy places? Brooklyn Flea might not be your first or even second choice to go to. However, it is one of the best places to shop at. It has everything you think you want and more.

Brooklyn Flea has all types of sellers with amusing wares, and you will be shocked at how fantastic the selection here is. Everyone knows that NYC has some of the best thrift shops, so do not miss out on the hidden gems such as antique furniture, artwork, and jewelry you can get at a bargain.

7. Spend An Evening At Williamsburg

Williamsburg during the spring season is a very positive energy.
Source : instagram

Williamsburg has a young vibe and is perfect for an evening out. This neighborhood is a good place to visit at any time of the day. However, the bars and clubs come alive with college graduates, hipsters, and local artists at night.

This place also has some amazing thrift places for that retail therapy. Try some New York coffee at the cute cafes. Also, go to the Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower, an admirable skyscraper from the 1920s.

8. Take A Tour Of Dumbo

Dumbo never fails in terms of restaurants and entertainment.
Source : instagram

DUMBO is filled with cute restaurants, flea markets, boutiques, and loads of bars. A totally different vibe; this is Brooklyn's most Instagrammable area. Make sure to take a shot of the iconic Manhattan Bridge from here, as it has the best view of the bridge.

Go to Jane's Carousel for a ride and have some fun with your family. If you are looking for some scrumptious dinner, Atrium Dumbo is the place to go. Juliana's is known for their iconic pizzas, and Westville is the one to go for a fantastic lunch.

9. Admire Art At Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum
Source : unsplash

Brooklyn Museum is home to a delightfully diverse array and many traveling exhibitions. It will keep you entertained for an afternoon with its ancient Asian, Egyptian, and Islamic collections of artwork and sculptures.

The museum is a dedicated art space that showcases a unique degree of ancient and contemporary art. It is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Do visit the gift shop for some prints, home decor, and literature.

10. Explore Prospect Park

 Prospect Park
Source : instagram

Prospect Park, a 526-acre green space, is perfect for hangouts, walks, bike rides, and picnics. The lake here is a great place to rent a kayak, paddleboard, or go for a boat ride.

It also contains a zoo, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Audubon Center. A hub for families and nature lovers, bird-watching and nature walks are some popular activities here.

11. Visit The Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn Brewery
Source : instagram

Brooklyn Brewery is a craft brewery founded in 1988, and it has since become one of the most popular breweries in the country. They are known for their high-quality beers, such as Brooklyn Lager, Brooklyn Brown Ale, and Brooklyn IPA.

The brewery offers tours and tastings, so one can learn about the brewing process and sample some of their delicious beers. The tours are led by experienced brewers who will teach visitors about the different ingredients that go into making beer, the brewing process, and the history of Brooklyn Brewery.

12. Get On Rides At Luna Park In Coney Island

 Luna Park In Coney Island
Source : unsplash

Luna Park is an amusement park located in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City. The park features carnival games, arcade games, and food stands offering a wide range of snacks and treats. Visitors can enjoy classic amusement park fare such as cotton candy, hot dogs, and funnel cakes.

One of the most famous attractions is the Cyclone roller coaster, which was built in 1927 and is considered one of the best wooden roller coasters in the world. Other exciting rides include the Thunderbolt, a steel roller coaster, and the Soarin' Eagle, a suspended thrill ride.

13. See A Show At The Brooklyn Academy Of Music

Brooklyn Academy Of Music
Source : instagram

The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is a performing arts venue that presents a wide variety of performances, including theater, dance, music, opera, and film. It is committed to showcasing innovative and cutting-edge work from both established and emerging artists.

The academy is comprised of multiple performance spaces, including the BAM Harvey Theater, the BAM Fisher, and the Howard Gilman Opera House, which is the largest in the complex. Catch one of the live comedy, music, or spoken word performances here.

14. Visit The New York Transit Museum

New York Transit Museum
Source : instagram

The New York Transit Museum is a museum dedicated to the history of public transportation in New York City. It is located in the former Court Street subway station in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn.

Visitors to the museum can explore vintage subway cars, buses, and trolleys and learn about the evolution of public transportation in the city. The museum also offers educational programs, workshops, and special events for visitors of all ages.

15. Learn About History At Brooklyn Historical Society

Brooklyn Historical Society
Source : tripadvisor

The Brooklyn Historical Society is a historical organization and museum that was founded in 1863. The society houses a vast collection of historical artifacts, photographs, documents, and artwork that showcase the rich history of Brooklyn.

It also offers educational programs and exhibitions that explore various aspects of the city's history. These programs include lectures, workshops, walking tours, and family-friendly activities.

16. See The Marine Animals At New York Aquarium

 New York Aquarium
Source : instagram

The New York Aquarium is home to a wide variety of marine animals, including sea lions, penguins, sharks, jellyfish, and countless species of fish. Visitors can explore different exhibits that showcase these animals and their habitats, as well as learn about the importance of marine conservation.

One of the highlights of the New York Aquarium is the Ocean Wonders: Sharks! exhibit, which features a massive 500,000-gallon tank filled with various species of sharks and other marine life.

17. Tour The Vibrant Red Hook

Red Hook
Source : instagram

Red Hook is a neighborhood in the western part of Brooklyn known for its vibrant arts scene, trendy restaurants, and unique shops. This charming and eclectic neighborhood offers a mix of historical charm and modern amenities.

It is home to several popular attractions, including the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and the Red Hook Recreation Area, which offers beautiful views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. 

18. Dine At Smorgasburg

Source : instagram

Smorgasburg is a weekly outdoor market that brings together a curated selection of local food vendors and artisans. Visitors can find a wide variety of food options, ranging from international cuisines to innovative and unique creations.

The market showcases the diverse culinary scene of the city, offering everything from gourmet burgers and tacos to vegan and gluten-free options. Some vendors even create special dishes exclusively for Smorgasburg. It also features local artisans selling handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, and more.

19. Explore The Bushwick Street Art

Bushwick Street Art
Source : instagram

Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, is known for its vibrant street art scene. The area is home to numerous murals and graffiti art, with new pieces popping up regularly. The street art reflects a wide range of styles and themes, from colorful and abstract designs to politically charged statements.

One iconic street art location in Bushwick is the Bushwick Collective, a collective of artists who have transformed a cluster of buildings into a vibrant outdoor gallery. Another popular spot for street art is the Morgan Avenue L train station.

20. Walk At The Green-Wood Cemetery

Green-Wood Cemetery
Source : instagram

Green-Wood Cemetery is a historic cemetery that spans over 478 acres. It is known for its beautiful landscape, architecture, and historical significance. This place is the final resting place of many notable individuals, including famous figures from the arts, politics, and business. 

The cemetery also has numerous monuments and memorials, including the Civil War Soldiers' Monument, which commemorates the soldiers who fought in the American Civil War. In addition to being a cemetery, Green-Wood also serves as a cultural institution.