Brooklyn, New York, is one of five boroughs in New York City. Some neighborhoods in Brooklyn attract artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and a generally younger crowd when compared to parts of south Brooklyn. Places like Williamsburg, Bushwick and Bed-Stuy are popular locales for people in their mid-to-late-20s looking for a place to settle and grow their network. A wealthy neighborhood like Park Slope offers a safe environment for young families, and if you go further south to somewhere like Midwood, you'll find yourself in the suburbs.
Must see in Brooklyn
Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) is definitely a must-see when traversing Brooklyn. The park sits between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge providing excellent views of the lower Manhattan skyline, especially at sunset. A walk through Williamsburg, Brooklyn's most bustling neighborhood, is a must for shopping, specialty coffee and eating out. A trip to Coney Island is worth the time spent on the F train: the beach is soft and expansive, and the amusement park is perfect for families.
Where to stay in Brooklyn
Williamsburg is ideal for nightlife, with close proximity to Bushwick, which boasts underground culture. There is also East River State Park in Williamsburg, which has events like Smorgasburg in the summer and it provides a view of Manhattan's skyline. Park Slope is best for families because it's naturally a family-friendly neighborhood with a lot of restaurants, shops and subway stops within walking distance. More obscure neighborhoods like Greenpoint or Crown Heights offer cheap deals at a hotel or hostel.
Best and worst time to go to Brooklyn
The best time to visit Brooklyn is from May-June, when most of the spring flowers have bloomed and the weather is warm in the day and cool at night. Summer events begin around this time as well. The worst time to go is December-February (in the dead of winter) when flights are frequently cancelled and the weather is unpredictable. The days tend to be short and there is not much happening around Brooklyn.
Where to get lost in Brooklyn
Get lost in the DUMBO area. There is great coffee at Brooklyn Roasting Company; the Promenade is just south of Brooklyn Bridge Park; and there's excellent architecture to take in on many of the side streets. If you keep walking south, you'll find yourself in Brooklyn Heights, an affluent neighborhood with scenic streets lined with brownstones.
The best deal in Brooklyn
Second Sundays in Red Hook, Brooklyn is an excellent off-the-beaten-path adventure. Pioneer Works Center for Arts and Innovation hosts a free art and music event on the second Sunday of every month featuring live bands, open studios and creative activities. Admission is free and there are vendors who sell food and drink.
Transportation in Brooklyn
Car rentals are not necessary in Brooklyn. They can be helpful, but generally there is not much parking available, especially near popular landmarks like the Barclays Center. Subway stations are everywhere, and depending on where you stay, you can take whichever line to reach your destination.
Getting in from JFK
JFK has the AirTrain, which connects you to the A, E, J and Z trains. All of those lines run through different parts of Brooklyn, so it's best to do a bit of prior research to understand where you need to go.
Local tip for visitors to Brooklyn
Citi Bike offers 24-hour or 7-day passes for a small fee. It's a great option for travelers who'd like to get around Brooklyn faster and see more sights in various neighborhoods. There are stations all over the borough and you can pick up and park a bike in any one you choose. Bike lanes in Brooklyn are also more consistent and generally safer than in Manhattan.
Author's bio: Emilia Navarro is a freelance travel writer based in Brooklyn, NY. Follow her travel blog on www.emiliawrites.com.