It’s an oft-repeated fact that if the New York City borough of Brooklyn stood alone as its own independent city, it would be the third-largest city in the United States by population, behind only Los Angeles and Chicago. Brooklyn is the most-populated of the city’s five boroughs, and much of New York’s hard-earned reputation for cutting-edge culinary activity, innovative artistry, and overall “hipness” can be traced back to trends originating in Brooklyn. Here you’ll find electric nightlife, fashionable shops, beautiful public parks, scenic views, and some of New York’s proverbial can’t-miss attractions. There’s nothing stopping you from exploring this remarkable destination on your own time and terms, but if you’d like a little help, there are numerous guided tours of Brooklyn out there on the market today to choose from.
Given its sizable population, it should come as no surprise that depending on whose account you buy, Brooklyn is comprised of anywhere between 60 and 80 distinct neighborhoods (and yes, New Yorkers really do love to argue over where one neighborhood truly ends and the next begins, as well as what counts as a “neighborhood” compared to a “district,” so on and so forth). These diverse neighborhoods range from the compact residential areas clustered together along the East River in the north and west portions of the borough, to the south where historic Brighton Beach and Coney Island are located, on to Cypress Hills and East New York at the eastern edges of Brooklyn. Numbered among Brooklyn’s most prominent neighborhoods you’ll most frequently find such popular hotspots as Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg, and DUMBO, just to name a few.
Brooklyn’s top neighborhoods are home to an eclectic mixture of some of New York City’s most popular attractions. No matter what borough you claim as your favorite, New York City attractions don’t come much bigger than the Brooklyn Bridge, a perennial hit with pedestrians, bicyclists, and seekers of fabulous photo opportunities. A stroll, ride, or tour across the Brooklyn Bridge will land you in the midst of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO, two Brooklyn neighborhoods with ready access to lovely waterfront trails, breathtaking views of New York City’s skyline, and a plethora of art galleries. Speaking of art, if you’re looking to spend the afternoon at a wonderful museum, head straight to the Brooklyn Museum. Once you’ve perused your heart out there, you’re just a few short steps from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Prospect Park Zoo, and the grand green expanses of Brooklyn’s beloved Prospect Park.
Though sometimes overshadowed by Manhattan’s glamorous, big-name shopping destinations, Brooklyn’s rich and varied shopping scene takes a back seat to no one. Whether you’re tastes tend toward secondhand vintage, fashionable streetwear, or high-end boutique—or you don’t care at all about the day’s planned shopping excursion, but rather just want to be notified when it’s time to eat at one of the borough’s acclaimed restaurants—Brooklyn has you covered.
Keep reading for a brief summary about each one of Brooklyn’s most popular neighborhoods. Click on the links below for even more information about Brooklyn’s many attractions.