10 reasons why you need to visit Brooklyn if you're heading to New York this summer
Easily, the reason why I love New York so much.
Brooklyn is one of New York's five boroughs and in my opinion, simply the best.
As New York attracts millions of tourists every summer, the city has become seriously commercialised with souvenir shops located on every single block to restaurants in Times Square offering "super-sized foods" and attractions such as "M&M World" and "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" aimed predominately at tourists by dishing out tours and merchandise for high prices. Now, don't get me wrong, this is all well and good, and something you should certainly see but, New York is SO much more than just the flashy lights of 42nd Street and the even flashier couture of the Upper East Side.
New York has another side to it, the urban, artistic side. Full of music, a vibrant nightlife, flea markets, vintage stores and a large millennial neighbourhood in parts, I'm talking about the one and only, Brooklyn.
Brooklyn is the second largest district in New York, with a population of over two million people. Separated from Manhattan by the East River, Brooklyn is a short subway ride away if you're staying in the city centre and certainly worth a visit, even just for a day, to flee the hustle and bustle.
If you're visiting Brooklyn, there are two areas I would recommend checking out. These are Williamsburg and Dumbo. These areas will provide you with plenty to do with Williamsburg providing a hipster, young vibe, full of cute brunch spots and clothing stores. In the evenings in Williamsburg, it isn't uncommon to see people holding block parties and playing music on the street or dancing into the early hours at some of the trendiest clubs. For this reason, if you're in your 20s, Williamsburg is the place to live.
On the other hand, Dumbo, which lies on the waterfront has some of the best views in all of Brooklyn. People pay millions to live in Dumbo and the place is known for its upmarket neighbourhoods and as one of the best places in the city to "raise a family".
So, what are 10 things you should do on a visit to Brooklyn? After visiting this spot for two summers in a row, I've all you need to know.
If you love food, this is a MUST. As the largest weekly open-air food market in America, Smorgasburg runs every Saturday all summer long in Brooklyn, attracting 20,000 to 30,000 visitors and providing the BEST views of Manhattan to eat your food while gazing at.
I am such a foodie and I fell in love with this spot and their fried calamari, it's to DIE for.
Although this technically runs from Manhattan to Brooklyn, walking the Brooklyn Bridge is a must. Walk it at night for the ultimate views and plan on ending the walk with dinner at the otherside (be it in Manhattan or Brooklyn), this is a must for any visitor and something I do on every visit. It never gets old or less beautiful.
Dinner at Cecconi's
Located on Water St, Dumbo, this place holds the best views of the Brooklyn Bridge and also serves up divine Italian food. My sister got the pasta and I got the pizza and both were amazing! The best advice for this spot, book in advance, it gets so busy and people wait up to three hours for a seat, no problem (it's that good). ALSO, when you book, make sure you request a seat outside.
Brooklyn is full of flea markets, spend the evening looking around some of the ones located in Williamsburg, they are seriously impressive and you'll find one-of-a-kind pieces here by local designers. One of the biggest in Williamsburg is located two minutes from Smorgasburg, so this is worth checking out.
If you love a bargain find, Williamsburg will hold the key to your heart. This area has plenty of little vintage stores dotted around and I've picked up everything from leggings for $3 to dresses for $5 and all of them in serious nick. The dream.
THE Dumbo Instagram Spot
Of course, if you are visiting Dumbo, you have to visit the spot between Plymouth and Front Street, where bloggers, tourists and even celebs stop to get a picture. This centre point aligns perfectly with the centre of Manhattan Bridge and it attracts EVERYONE. Sometimes, you actually have to wait your turn to get a picture but hey, we do it for the 'gram.
Like gorge cocktails? Love tacos? Then you'll love Donna. Located on 27 Broadway, Brooklyn, this is a must.
There is PLENTY of places in NYC to catch a free outdoor movie and Brooklyn Bridge Park is one, showing movies all summer, you can check out the listing here.
Visit the Legendary Grimaldi's Pizzeria
Located in Dumbo, you'll often see queues around the corner for a slice of these pies. Known throughout the years for attracting famous faces, Frank Sinatra used to be a local to this resturant and now, the 81-year-old store is still attracting celebs and tourists alike.
Shop on Bedford Avenue
A mecca of highstreet and jewellary stores, Bedford Avenue is the place to be if you've cash to spend plus they have a seriously fab Apple store worth checking out too.
Overall, Brooklyn is centainly the (big) apple of my eye when it comes to visiting New York. This place gives you the oppertuinity to live like a New Yorker and experience the other side to the city. If it's an overall New York experience you are looking for, make sure you put this spot is on your radar.
As always, if you've any questions related to NYC be sure to pop me an email, I'll never turn down an oppertunity to talk about this dreamy place.