​A city with a pace fixed firmly at full throttle, brimming with stylish hotels, soaring architectural monuments and never-ending restaurants, New York offers the mini-break of your dreams. For those with the luxury of time (not to mention hard-earned cash), pounding the pavement and soaking up each individual highlight might not seem like a daunting feat. However, being a gateway destination, travellers stopping by on a whirlwind visit might easily feel overwhelmed by the array of hedonistic choices on offer. Which is why we've taken all the stress out of the planning stages for you, with our guide to the vibrant borough of Brooklyn.​

Once purely an industrial mecca, it's evolved into an affluent area that jostles with topiary-draped coffee shops, edgy music venues, emerging eateries and browse-worthy boutique shops. Undoubtedly one of New York's trendiest districts (though we admit there's quite a few to choose from), here's how to embrace the borough's unflappable cool in just 36 hours.​​


​​​​​​Start your day with waterside views of NYC's iconic skyline and head to the East River Ferry, one of the most affordable and enjoyable ways to see the city.

Take the ferry across to Greenpoint, Brooklyn's northernmost point. Formerly a peaceful maritime port, it's now a thriving hub of creative activity, thanks to the legion of young professionals who've settled here.

Jump on a Citi Bike (docking stations are scattered all over the city) and saunter past trendy independent shops like local highlights, WORD Brooklyn (a classic bookstore), Pas Mal (trendy womenswear) and Home of the Brave (for glistening designer homewares).

Refuel with a low-key lunch at neighbourhood pizzeria Paulie Gee's, heralded for its sublime stone-baked pizzas. Or, if draft beer is more your thing, head to popular local tavern Achilles Heel for their delicious selection of bar platters and an ice-cold brew or two.

Next, stroll across to Williamsburg or take the ferry for the scenic route. Another burgeoning hipster hideaway with a strong bearded collective, this neighbourhood was once occupied by a large Puerto Rican community but has been reborn today as an affluent creative district. Home to some of the city's trendiest hotels, shops, art spaces and restaurants, this area pulses with local life. Wander around Williamsburg itself, and get lost amongst the bustling boutique shops and hip eateries found at every twist and turn.

Visiting over a weekend? Head over to thriving artisanal food market, Smorgasburg (every Saturday 'til October). And after scouring the neighbourhood, put your feet up with a well-earned tipple at trendy rooftop bar, The Ides. Set on the sixth floor of hip hotel The Wythe (Williamsburg's answer to Soho House), you'll find savvy globetrotters soaking up skyline views over sunset cocktails.

For dinner, venture to local hotspot Lilia for authentic Italian, or Ten Chairs for an Israeli/ Middle Eastern feast; then end the evening on a high with a live performance at National Sawdust, famed for awesome emerging musical talent showcases, from classical to indie-rock. Finally, rest your head after a long day at stylish UK export, The Hoxton, where unpretentious hotel design and soaring panoramic views across Manhattan converge to form the perfect base for further Brooklyn explorations.​​


​After a leisurely morning spent sipping freshly ground coffee and raiding The Hoxton's pantry for baked goods, hop on the East River Ferry to neighbouring Dumbo or 'Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass', one stop over from Williamsburg.

Or, if the weather's on your side and you fancy stretching your legs, take a guided or self-guided stroll across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge for unbeatable panoramic views (around 30 minutes).

A bustling artsy neighbourhood with extensive views of the Lower Manhattan skyline, Dumbo's pretty cobblestone streets are a-buzz with an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and art galleries.

After building up your appetite, wander over to Vinegar Hill House for a classic American brunch, (their sourdough pancakes will set you up for the day and then some), then while away the afternoon wandering around Brooklyn Bridge Park. A sprawling 85-acre waterfront area, wrapping around the East River from Dumbo to Brooklyn Heights, it's one of the area's best loved attractions. Nestled within a woodland setting, there's an array of activities for all ages, including basketball courts, open-air film screenings, a roller-skating park and sandy beach area (Pier 4 Beach).​​

After soaking up Brooklyn's great outdoors, venture to Bushwick for its burgeoning art scene and industrial charm. An emerging district housing die-hard hipsters (most of whom relocated from Williamsburg as it slowly became gentrified), Bushwick retains the intangible cool that Williamsburg once had.

Head over to Troutman and St Nicholas Street to admire the technicolour street art murals of the Bushwick Collective, or stroll through the countless contemporary art galleries that line nearby Willoughby Street. Re-energise with an artisan coffee and freshly baked pastry at local favourite Sey Coffee, or take the Bushwick Brewing Tour to sample the best of local Bushwick brews.​

For a trendy (not to mention more affordable) alternative to Broadway, catch a pre-dinner show at cutting-edge theatre venue St Ann's Warehouse. Heralded for its spell-binding performances that have helped revitalise Dumbo's entire waterfront area, you'll find yourself right in the heart of Brooklyn's creative core.

Enjoy a captivating live performance, then indulge in Michelin-starred food and fine wine on-board The River Café; a floating wonder on Brooklyn's tranquil waterfront, unbeatable in terms of cuisine, elegant setting and decadent seafood and ceviche menu.​

​Rest your head for the final time before returning back to the airport at Williamsburg’s über-slick boutique hotel, The William Vale; and, if you're lucky enough to be a Soho House member, Dumbo House (the elite collective's latest members-only bolthole across the bridge) end your whirlwind tour in true hipster fashion, sipping skilfully muddled cocktails while reclining on its chic rooftop terrace.​


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