Brooklyn in New York City is now a destination in its own right, across the East River from its famous sister Manhattan. This younger, eclectic NYC neighbourhood is party central, with rooftop soirées and warehouse raves regularly taking place. If you'd rather wander around brownstone-lined streets soaking up the US city's celebrated food scene, there are decades-old delis, cool brunch spots and long-established Italian takeaways serving pizza by the slice too.
You can stay in hostels in Brooklyn with airy renovated loft-style layouts, cosy backyards with regular barbecues and 19th-century red-brick apartment buildings. If you want to go upmarket, there's a spot with rooms featuring sleek walnut furniture and deep soaking tubs. A Brooklyn hostel with a 24-hour reception means you can get late-night tips on the best bars in the city that never sleeps. Places with free Wi-Fi and electronic copies of the New York Times help you stay in the loop.
Riverside spot Williamsburg is one of Brooklyn's most cutting-edge neighbourhoods, packed with creative spaces, cool bars and trending restaurants. The Dumbo neighbourhood has epic views over to Manhattan and a lush park set under the Brooklyn Bridge. Films are shown on the banks of the Hudson here in summertime. On the way up to Prospect Park, the Park Slope area also comes alive in the sunshine with events like flea and farmers' markets on its 5th and 7th avenues. Head to Cobble Hill to explore Brooklyn's past; it was officially designated a historic neighbourhood in the 1960s.
Brooklyn Bridge is iconic, so taking a leisurely walk over it is a must for the views (and the photo opportunities). The independent boutiques on Williamsburg's Bedford Avenue are where it's at for shopping. If it's culture you're looking for, head to the Brooklyn Museum. It's one of New York's biggest, with around 1.5 million pieces of art in its collection. At the very southern tip of Brooklyn, the amusements and rides of quirky Coney Island give travellers a taste of old-school American seaside fun.
You can get around on the subway pretty easily, but try the NYC Ferry Service for a scenic option: it makes multiple stops in Brooklyn. If you're arriving from abroad, you can take a half-hourly shuttle bus from JFK International Airport to Port Authority Bus Terminal, Grand Central Station or Penn Station in Manhattan before switching to the subway for Brooklyn. From Newark Liberty International Airport, take the AirTrain to Penn Station then hop on the subway.