Take the Brooklyn Bridge to New York's coolest neighbourhood

Brooklyn is one of New York's five boroughs, along with Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. It is located on the right-hand side of the Manhattan peninsula, at the western end of Long Island. On their first trip to New York, most visitors don't dare stray far from the city centre, and their only contact with Brooklyn is to cross the famous Brooklyn Bridge. Yet this typical, trendy corner of New York has nothing to envy Manhattan: it's full of cool neighbourhoods, interesting monuments, unusual places and great walks to discover! The upmarket Dumbo district will delight lovers of good places to eat, while thrill-seekers will love the rollercoaster ride on Coney Island. Williamsburg is a hotbed of art and music, while Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope are more residential. So let's cross the East River and discover Brooklyn!

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Brooklyn Bridge

The history of the Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge rises majestically over the East River, linking the Manhattan peninsula with the famous district of Brooklyn. Like the Statue of Liberty and Central Park, the bridge has become a symbol of New York. It is even the star of a number of Hollywood films - often disaster movies - including Godzilla, Armageddon, I Am Legend and The Day After Tomorrow. The story of its pharaonic construction would also make a good disaster movie...

The Brooklyn Bridge offers a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline.

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Work began in 1870, following the plans of architect John Augustus Roebling, but he unfortunately died before seeing his work completed. His son, Washington Roebling, took over, but became permanently paralysed after a decompression accident during construction of the bridge. In all, at least 27 workers lost their lives during the 14 years of work.

A must-see bridge today

A couple on the Brooklyn Bridge.

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Today, the bridge is divided into two levels: a dual carriageway through which some 150,000 vehicles travel every day, and a promenade reserved for pedestrians and cyclists. Strolling or jogging across it remains a great pleasure for tourists and New Yorkers alike, as the panorama of the East River and the Manhattan skyline is simply incredible. When it first opened, you had to pay 3 cents to cross it, but these days you can walk freely.

What to see in Brooklyn?

After crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, you can take a short break in Brooklyn Bridge Park, which offers a breathtaking view of the New York skyline. You can then wander the cobbled streets of the Dumbo district, where disused warehouses have been converted into trendy cafés, gourmet restaurants and designer boutiques. In the neighbourhood, don't miss the spectacular view of theEmpire State Building that appears between the legs of the Manhattan Bridge from Washington Street.

The view of the Manhattan Bridge and Empire State Building from Washington Street in Brooklyn.

- © Armand Rochas / Shutterstock

The tour continues in Williamsburg, the meeting place of New York's hipster and alternative youth, where you can soak up the district'sbohemian atmosphere as you stroll through the vintage thrift shops and art galleries dotting the streets. You can then continue your stroll in the residential district of Brooklyn Heights, whose streets are lined with pretty houses withvery typical architecture. If you continue on to Park Slope or Bedford Stuyvesant, you can even discover the famous brownstones.

A tourist in Brooklyn.

- © GaudiLab / Shutterstock

Now it's time to take a break in Prospect Park, Brooklyn's largest park and a haven of peace in the hustle and bustle of New York. Right next door, the Brooklyn Museum will delight art and culture lovers. You'll also find art on the streets: the street art of the Bushwick district is famous the world over. A few years ago, it was the hottest corner of Brooklyn, but today it's the hottest new district in New York.

The streets of Brooklyn have a very special atmosphere.

- © solepsizm / Shutterstock

Finally, if you're in New York during the summer months, it would be a shame to miss out on Coney Island. Yes, when we think of New York we usually imagine skyscrapers, yellow taxis and the incessant hustle and bustle of the streets, but we often forget that the Big Apple also has its beach! The atmosphere at Coney Island is so different that it's almost as if you've moved from one city to another and arrived in a charming seaside resort in the United States. In this jovial, friendly atmosphere, you're more than welcome to take a dip. This is also where you'll find the Luna Park amusement park: roller coasters, Ferris wheels and other rides will delight thrill-seekers!

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Practical information for Brooklyn

Brooklyn is probably the trendiest borough in the Big Apple, and it would be a shame not to take a trip there on your trip to New York. You could easily spend a whole day wandering around Brooklyn, but a few hours will suffice if you just want a glimpse of Dumbo and Williamsburg.

🚌 How do I get to Brooklyn?

To get to Brooklyn, we can of course only recommendtaking the Brooklyn Bridge! However, the scenery is far more impressive in the other direction, from Brooklyn to Manhattan, with the New York skyline as a backdrop: at dusk, when the last rays of sunlight illuminate the arches of the bridge and the Manhattan buildings light up one by one, the spectacle is quite simply magical.

You can also reach Brooklyn by underground: lines F, B, D, N, Q, A, C, 2, 3, R, 4 and 5 take you there.

The Brooklyn Bridge with Manhattan in the background.

🍴 Where to eat in Brooklyn?

The United States is synonymous with fast food, and while McDonald's, Burger King and Five Guys are well known in France, there's one chain that hasn't yet penetrated the Hexagone: Shake Shack. The franchise's burgers, fries and milkshakes are delicious, so make the most of your visit to Brooklyn to sample them at Shake Shack Dumbo!

Practical info

Opening times: 11am to 10pm, every day except Friday

📍 Location: it's here on Google Maps

A few tips for your visit

  • If you're travelling to New York over the festive season, don't miss a trip to Brooklyn Heights. The residents go all out to decorate their homes in the most extravagant way possible.
by Alexiane Derail
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