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The Top Things To Do in Brooklyn

Dumbo in Brooklyn is home to a number of shops and cafés
Dumbo in Brooklyn is home to a number of shops and cafés | © Helena GH / Shutterstock
Brooklyn is the largest borough in New York City by population, so it makes sense that the area would be filled with plenty of things to do. All tastes are accommodated here, with museums, shops, nightclubs and parks abound.

Take photos of New York’s skyline from the Brooklyn Bridge

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The Brooklyn Bridge connects Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn Heights
The Brooklyn Bridge connects Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn Heights | © TTstudio / Shutterstock
Make your way to New York City’s most populous borough by walking the Brooklyn Bridge, which connects Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn Heights. Give yourself a full hour so that you have plenty of time to enjoy the skylines of both Manhattan and Brooklyn.
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Get inspired by world-class art at the Brooklyn Museum

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‘Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power’ (2019) was an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum
‘Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power’ (2019) was an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum | © Jonathan Dorado / Brooklyn Museum
Sitting at the edge of Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum is focused on helping visitors expand their understanding of the world. The museum is always hosting exciting new works of art, but it really shines in its permanent collection, which features pieces such as The Dinner Party(1979) by Judy Chicago.
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Take a tour around Green-Wood Cemetery

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A number of famous people are buried at Green-Wood Cemetery
A number of famous people are buried at Green-Wood Cemetery | © Carrie Thompson / Alamy Stock Photo
While hanging out at a cemetery might seem dark, Green-Wood is full of activities for guests, including ghostly storytellings and tours of famous graves, like those of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and politician Boss Tweed. In a city where green space is scarce, Green-Wood Cemetery has become a quiet sanctuary.
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Catch a show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music

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The Brooklyn Academy of Music is a multi-arts center
The Brooklyn Academy of Music is a multi-arts center | © Dorling Kindersley ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
This theater’s name denotes a focus on music, but it is so much more than that. The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) also hosts film, opera and even performance art. BAM offers multiple shows a day, so you are sure to find something to fit your interests.
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Wander around an exhibit at the Brooklyn Historical Society

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The Brooklyn Historical Society hosts a range of exhibits
The Brooklyn Historical Society hosts a range of exhibits | © Ivan C / Shutterstock
If you are looking for a great primer for the history of the borough, start at the Brooklyn Historical Society. The exhibits are informative and entertaining, with some focusing on more unusual themes. Past exhibits have included Shifting Perspectives: Photographs of Brooklyn’s Waterfront(2017), Brooklyn Americans: Hockey’s Forgotten Promise(2015-2016) and Gaining Access: The New York City Disability Rights Movement(2015).
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Enjoy all the fun the Coney Island Boardwalk has to offer

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Coney Island in Brooklyn is lined with amusement park rides
Coney Island in Brooklyn is lined with amusement park rides | © Peter Horree / Alamy Stock Photo
A popular summer destination, Coney Island offers thrilling rollercoasters, sandy beaches and fun places to grab a snack, such as hotdog eatery Nathan’s Famous and Mexican restaurant Doña Zita. There are even fireworks every Friday night throughout the summer.
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Scour Brooklyn Flea’s stalls for a bargain

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Vendors at Brooklyn Flea Market sell furniture, vintage clothing, collectables and antiques, jewelry, art, crafts and fresh food
Vendors at Brooklyn Flea Market sell furniture, vintage clothing, collectables and antiques, jewelry, art, crafts and fresh food | © JJ Farq / Shutterstock

From March to November, check out Brooklyn Flea for vintage finds and crafts from local artisans. Window-shop through stalls of furniture, collectables, jewelry and crafts. You can even pick up some tasty bites from the food vendors as you walk around.

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Relax amid the greenery of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

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The Cranford Rose Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has over 5,000 bushes
The Cranford Rose Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has over 5,000 bushes | © Ellen McKnight / Alamy Stock Photo
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is the perfect way to get lost amid nature while never leaving the city. The gardens are open year round, as their greenhouses allow them to keep lush tropical vegetation and arid desert cacti alive in the New York climate.
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Hop aboard the New York Transit Museum’s vintage train

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The New York Transit Museum has its own vintage train
The New York Transit Museum has its own vintage train | © Felix Lipov / Alamy Stock Photo
The New York Transit Museum has preserved and shared stories of public transport in the city since 1976. It houses everything from vintage train cars to reconstructed subway platforms, and is meticulous in its attention to detail. If you are visiting during the festive season, look out for the Holiday Nostalgia Rides, which bring old subway cars back into use.
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Parrish Turner contributed additional reporting to this article.