Moving to Brooklyn? The most populous borough in New York City is full of diverse cultures, breathtaking scenery, and mouthwatering food. With tons of great neighborhoods for singles, young professionals, and families, here are 12 things to know about living in Brooklyn!
A Culture That Embraces Diversity
One of the best things about living in Brooklyn is its people. Residents of this New York borough hail from every corner of the world. The area’s first settlers were a small group of Dutch farmers that traveled to the colonies in 1636. Since then, Brooklyn has grown to over 2.6 million residents of many backgrounds, countries, and cultures. Walk through Brooklyn’s neighborhoods, and you’ll hear more than 15 languages spoken, including Yiddish, Russian, Arabic, and French. It’s truly one of NYC’s most diverse areas!
Hub for Job Opportunities
Over the years, Brooklyn has become a magnet for the creative, the tech-savvy, and the pioneering. Major corporations and startups like Vice Media, Etsy, Livestream, and SportsRecruits are headquartered in the area, so if you’re looking for exciting job opportunities, you’ll definitely find them here. The borough is also home to the Brooklyn Tech Triangle—made up of Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO, and Brooklyn Navy Yard—creating New York City’s largest cluster of tech companies.
Affordable & Trendy Neighborhoods
Although Brooklyn’s median home price is $875,000 and the monthly median rent is $3,080, there are still affordable housing options in the “Borough of Homes” that can fit your budget and lifestyle. DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) is a popular area to live, thanks to its waterfront views, cool boutiques, and opportunities within the Tech Triangle. If you’re looking for one of the best neighborhoods in Brooklyn for young professionals, settle into Williamsburg, where you’ll find everything from quirky restaurants to craft cocktail bars. There’s also Park Slope, a neighborhood that’s loved by families for its high-rated schools, casual restaurants, and close proximity to parks. Or if you’re hoping to settle down for retirement, check out the quiet, cozy, and community-focused Bay Ridge!
It’s Easy to Get Around
When living in Brooklyn, you don’t need to own a car to get around town! There are plenty of options that allow you to not only get around different parts of Brooklyn at an affordable price but also New York City in general. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (also known as MTA) is the subway and bus system for all of NYC, and it operates 24 hours a day. Simply purchase a MetroCard, and scope out the service routes needed for your travels. If you’ve had a long day of shopping at Brooklyn Flea or you don’t want to wait for the subway, hailing a taxi is another way to get around Brooklyn any time. For the ultimate eco-friendly transportation option, simply walk or bike to your next stop!
Fun for the Whole Family
You don’t have to travel an hour into Manhattan to find family fun! There are tons of places to go and fun things to do with kids in Brooklyn that everyone will enjoy. Start a friendly competition to find out who’s the best bowler in your family at Brooklyn Bowl. Or let your little anthophile stop and smell the roses at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Experience pure chocolate bliss on the Chocolate Bus Tour of Brooklyn, where you and your family can sample delicious treats from four of the most exclusive chocolatiers in the area. Learn about the evolution of the subway or sit at the wheel of a vintage New York bus from the early 1900s at the New York Transit Museum, a must-see in Brooklyn!
Visit Coney Island
Looking for fun things to do in Brooklyn when the weather is prime? Leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city for Coney Island! This entertainment district is your one-stop-shop for Brooklyn attractions. Buy a pass for Luna Park to ride the infamous Coney Island Cyclone and Steeplechase for intense thrills, or play arcade games to win yourself a fun prize! Make your way to Deno’s Wonder Wheel before enjoying a renowned Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog, which has hosted the International Hot Dog Eating Contest for 46 years! If you need a break from the heat, the New York Aquarium is located right off Coney Island Beach.
Spend the Day at Prospect Park
Prospect Park is a 585-acre haven dedicated to recreation and relaxation, and it’s one of the best places to go in Brooklyn because there’s something to do no matter the season! Explore miles of beautiful trails when you jog around the park or go horseback riding. Wanting some more wildlife encounters? Don’t forget to visit Prospect Park Zoo! Watch the sea lions do a few tricks, or grab a handful of grain and feed the alpacas. Pick one of the many spots to enjoy a romantic picnic date or a fun family BBQ. Or jam out at Celebrate Brooklyn—New York’s longest-running, free summer music festival.
A Smorgasbord at Smorgasburg
Did you know this New York borough is home to the largest weekly food market in America? Each weekend, more than 10,000 people come to Smorgasburg to try heavenly dishes, drinks, and desserts from about 100 local vendors, making it one of the best things to do in Brooklyn! Try the Black Truffle Papitas at Bolivian Llama Party. Gorge yourself on the Lobster Nest from Lobsterdamus! Experience a delicious take on ice cream with delicious egg waffle cones topped with rainbow ice cream and sprinkles at Wowfulls. Taste why the banana pudding from Baonanas is a favorite among locals, visitors, and vendors! After you satisfy your hunger, be sure to wash it down with a fresh-pressed juice from John’s Juice.
Root for Your Home Team
If there’s one thing that New Yorkers love, it’s their sports. You’ll find a variety of amazing sports teams in each borough that residents are cheering on—including Brooklyn! The Brooklyn Cyclones (MiLB), Brooklyn Nets (NBA), Brooklyn Kings (USARL), and New York Islanders (NHL) all have their home turf in the area. You can find the Kings playing at Bushwick Inlet Park, while the Cyclones throw pitches at MCU Park near Coney Island. The Islanders hit the ice at Barclays Center, which they share with the Nets. And if you can’t get enough of the Brooklyn sports action, cross the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and see one of the many other New York sports teams!
Immerse Yourself in Brooklyn Art
Throughout the neighborhoods in Brooklyn, art is showcased, created, and appreciated. Visit the Brooklyn Museum to appreciate about 1.5 million works of art that range from African sculptures to American landscapes in pastels. Be sure to scope out DUMBO, which is home to several nonprofit galleries like A.I.R. Gallery and Cuban Art Space, which host rotating exhibits to showcase new artists. But art isn’t just confined within the walls of a gallery. The entire Brooklyn area is a public art installation! Wind your way through the streets of Brooklyn to see various murals and paintings adorning the sides of buildings. Find sculptures scattered throughout different parks in Brooklyn, as are other forms of art on sidewalks or outside restaurants. Exploring all of the unique exhibits, galleries, and art installations around this NYC borough is a must!
Sip on Some Libations
Looking for something to do in Brooklyn on a Friday night? Experience the nightlife, of course! You’ll find an unlimited amount of fun places in Brooklyn to grab a few drinks or tear it up on the dance floor. Want to let your hair down? Make your way to Our Wicked Lady for live music and fun-filled nights every weekend at this rooftop bar. Settle down at Luv Story Bar to enjoy an icy cocktail with good vibes and good people in a laid-back atmosphere. Join one of the three Wine Clubs, tour an urban winery, or enjoy a wine and cheese tasting with some friends at Brooklyn Winery. Have date night at The Four Horsemen, a restaurant and wine bar with a menu that changes day-to-day. Or sip on Latin-inspired cocktails like the Paloma, Muy Bueno, or Hibiscus Limeade and Pokito.
Experience Love at First Bite
Looking for an amazing place to eat in Brooklyn? Your Brooklyn restaurant options are never-ending! Try delicious Mediterranean eats like Yogurtlu Kebabs at Tava. Sample Shanghai-inspired soup dumplings and pork ribs at Yaso Tangbao. Find the famous Rainbow Bagel that broke the internet at The Bagel Store. Or grab a Sammie and a cup of fresh-brewed coffee for breakfast at Roots Cafe. If you’re looking for the best pizza in Brooklyn, check out the world-famous Original Brooklyn Pizza Tour. Go on a pizza exploration to find your absolute favorite slice at restaurants like Grimaldi’s and L & B Spumoni Gardens. No matter what type of cuisine you’re in the mood for, Brooklyn has the restaurant for you!
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