Only have one day to explore Brooklyn, NY? OK – don’t panic, here’s what you gotta do!
If you’re visiting New York City, no doubt you’ll also want to dedicate some time to exploring the other borough, Brooklyn. Although there are tourist attractions abound in Manhattan, it’d be a shame to spend your entire trip in the city and miss out on what these Brooklyn neighborhoods have to offer.
I get it, though. Sometimes, you’re tight on time, and there’s so much to do in a city such as NYC!
For example, back in 2019, I took a trip to New York City. The vacation was incredibly short; I took a red-eye flight from Los Angeles to New York City over a long weekend, which meant I only had about 2 days to explore before my return flight.
Luckily, I was able to dedicate a whole day to exploring Brooklyn, and now I feel like I’m a pro at fitting in a lot of attractions in only one day. So without further ado, if you only have one day to spend in Brooklyn, read below for a one day itinerary you can follow with recommendations for food and activities.
Stop #1: Pies n Thighs in Williamsburg
Has the day even begun if you have an empty stomach? I think not.
Start your day by taking the subway across the Brooklyn Bridge (if you’re staying in Manhattan) to hit up Pies n Thighs. It’s a Williamsburg restaurant you can’t miss if chicken and waffles is all that’s on your mind.
We decided to eat here because I was spending some time with an Australian friend during her first-ever trip to the US. I wanted to treat her to one of the most American things I could possibly think of – and fried chicken and waffles definitely fits the bill.
Photo by nolagrrlnyc on Flickr
Stop #2: Walking around Williamsburg + The Williamsburg Flea Market
After your belly is full, you’ll probably want some time to walk off the pies and thighs you just consumed. Lucky you! Williamsburg is a fun and quirky neighborhood to walk around, filled with interesting shops, street murals, coffee stops, and opportunities for people watching.
Don’t forget to make a stop at the Williamsburg Flea Market while you’re in the area. You might find a souvenir you’d like to take home with you, or perhaps you’ll elect to have your future predicted by one of the fortune tellers who sets up shop.
Stop #3: Walk down to the Williamsburg Pier, and soak in the views while waiting for the ferry.
The Williamsburg Pier is a beautiful place to get views of the Manhattan skyline. You can gaze across the river for as long as you wish, before hopping a ferry that’ll take you to another neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Of course, there are quicker ways to get around. Namely, by subway or by taxi. However, the ferry is absolutely worth taking to get unbeatable views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the city’s skyscrapers and the river.
Stop #4: Take the ferry to DUMBO for amazing views of NYC skyline and the bridges.
Do you even need more convincing after viewing the photos above? Don’t miss it – seriously.
Stop #5: Walk around the DUMBO waterfront.
DUMBO is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, known for its beautiful waterfront area. After hopping off your ferry, take some time to stroll around the park, sit by the riverside and soak up the views. It’s a beautiful place to be during spring, summer or fall.
Stop #6: Pit stop at the Time Out market for drinks and a break from walking.
The Time Out Market in DUMBO is the perfect place for a pit stop. Take a load off, kick back, and relax with a cool beverage. (Bonus points: it’s a great stop to have a restroom break. By now, you’re probably in need of one!)
Stop #7: Pizza, pizza, pizza
After you’ve lounged about for a while, your stomach may start grumbling again. Or heck, maybe not – maybe you want to eat more of the mouth watering food that NYC has to offer despite still being full from brunch! Look, I don’t blame you.
“When in NYC, eat as much as possible,” – that’s my philosophy.
My recommendation is to check out one of the local pizza joints in DUMBO, such as Grimaldi’s, Juliana’s, or Front Street Pizza.
Your stomach will thank you.
Further reading: The Best Pizza in Dumbo
Stop #8: Walk back to Manhattan at Sunset across the Brooklyn Bridge.
It’s a New York City tourist rite of passage: walk the entire length of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Now that you have a belly full of pizza to fuel your trek across the bridge, it’s time to make the journey. Soak in the views at sunset of the city, the bridge’s beautiful architecture, and the many cars driving below you.
‘Congrats, you did it! By the time you stumble off the bridge and back into the city, you’re probably ready for a nap at the hotel. (I know I was!)
Looking for more travel tips, tricks and activities to experience? Why not try one of the articles below: