History meets industry in the heart of Brooklyn, where some of the borough’s oldest buildings sit alongside glittering office towers. In addition to the gorgeous Greek Revival–styled Brooklyn Borough Hall, this hip neighborhood is home to several renowned museums and performing-arts venues. The area is also well stocked with trendy shops and dining options ranging from department stores to boutiques and Michelin starred restaurants to classic diners.

Downtown Brooklyn is easily accessible from Manhattan via the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

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The Brooklyn Bridge, which became the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge when it was completed in 1883, is a beloved symbol of New York City. Crossing the bridge on foot—it’s just over a mile long (about 1.825 kilometers)—is an easy, pleasurable way to travel between Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.

At the foot of the bridge is 85-acre (343,983 square meters) Brooklyn Bridge Park, which affords visitors gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline and is a popular spot for runners and picnickers. Travelers with children won’t want to miss Jane’s Carousel, a carefully restored merry-go-round with 48 carved wooden horses located at the north end of the park facing the water.

The Brooklyn Historical Society, a National Historic Landmark, is housed in a stately Romanesque Revival building on Pierrepont Steet that dates back to 1881. (There’s also a new branch in Brooklyn’s hip Dumbo neighborhood.) The museum, library and education center is dedicated to preserving the historical and cultural fabric of Brooklyn. Exhibitions celebrate the lives of notable Brooklynites and highlight historical artifacts and documents from the borough’s more than three-hundred-year history, and the Brooklyn Historical Society hosts education programs and public events year-round.

Afterward sample Brooklyn-style pizza at beloved institutions like Grimaldi’s in Dumbo or Roberta’s in Bushwick. Also join A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours, a four-and-a-half-hour-long journey through the borough with stops at a couple of pizzerias and even a few locations from famous films. (Tours leave from Union Square in Manhattan.)

Brooklyn Bridge

Barclays Center, Brooklyn

Major-league sports at the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues have been a long time coming—since the 1950s, in fact—but the 18,200-seat Barclays Center is now a reality. Home to the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Islanders, the arena also features the more intimate 7,700-seat Tidal theater, the Shops at Barclays Center (including the Nets Lifestyle Shop by Adidas), and more than 50 local food vendors. In addition to the Nets and Islanders, the Barclays Center hosts college and prep basketball, boxing, circuses, family shows, and concerts ranging from Arcade Fire to Jay Z to Yanni.

Brooklyn Academy of Music

BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) is a not-for-profit performing- and cinema-arts center founded in 1861. BAM’s distinctive, dynamic venues make a great setting for any production or event. From the elegant BAM Howard Gilman Opera House to the Lepercq Space to the Fishman Space at the BAM Fisher, these versatile spaces can accommodate specific production requirements for performances, lend a special ambience to parties and celebrations, and can serve as a resource for local arts organizations. BAM offers discounts on rentals to nonprofit organizations.

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