While the majority of tourists in New York City flock to Manhattan, it is actually Brooklyn that offers the most surprising and authentic experience in NYC. This borough of neighborhoods is by far the largest—it’s truly enormous, three times as big as Manhattan—and home to some of the most upscale and hippest districts in the city. I always recommend people to spend at least one day or 24 hours in Brooklyn. More would be better, though!
Continue reading to find out how to spend your 24 hours in Brooklyn.
24 Hours in Brooklyn, New York
Morning: the Brooklyn Bridge
One of the absolute star attractions in New York City is the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. This massive bridge is the first steel-wire suspension bridge ever built, one of the world’s largest bridges at its opening in 1883. Spanning the East River for 1,595 feet, the Brooklyn Bridge connects the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Now an icon of New York City, the bridge has been designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark and a National Historic Landmark.
The walk across, from Manhattan towards Brooklyn, takes about one hour. This includes plenty of time for breaks and to enjoy the superb views of the skyline of Manhattan.
Early Afternoon: Brooklyn Bridge Park & Brooklyn Heights
Brooklyn Bridge Park lies directly underneath the Brooklyn Bridge and provides you with some of the greatest views of Lower Manhattan in the City. Occupying a section of the banks of the East River, this green space is home to water taxis, playgrounds, lawns and food stalls. I suggest that you spend some time wandering through this riverfront park and enjoying some more skyline views.
Continue your day in Brooklyn with a walk on the iconic Brooklyn Heights Promenade for more jaw-dropping views. Also, note the impressive brownstone houses lining the Promenade. Turn left and head into the center of Brooklyn Heights, the most high-end neighborhood in Brooklyn. Characterized by countless iconic brownstone houses with their classic front-door stairways, Brooklyn Heights deserves at least an hour.
Late Afternoon: Brooklyn Brewery
After a subway ride to Williamsburg, probably Brooklyn’s hippest neighborhood (this is actually hipster territory), it’s time to quench your thirst with a few craft beers. The Brooklyn Brewery is a major highlight in this corner of Brooklyn, a large craft brewery serving a large selection of delicious brews. The brewery’s tasting room is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, though. On weekdays, you can take guided tours of the facilities.
Evening: Sunset in East River State Park & Rooftop Bar
Make sure to leave the Brooklyn Brewery well before sunset and head over to East River State Park, a quick stroll away. This park’s grassy lawn is a popular hangout and is yet another vantage point for Manhattan skyline views. It is particularly impressive around sunset.
After admiring the sunset over Manhattan, head over to one of the numerous rooftop bars in Williamsburg. There is one particularly great one, although it’s a bit expensive, just across the street from the Brooklyn Brewery. Continue to enjoy the amazing views of Manhattan—this time all lit up—with a cold drink in your hand, the perfect ending to a fun-filled 24 hours in Brooklyn.