Navigating the US: Getting Around in Brooklyn, New York
In the early 1900s, Brooklyn was a mecca for immigrants arriving via Ellis Island, and over 100 years later, the community’s history and runs deep and is home to a dynamic community. The area is just as appealing as it ever was – with breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, affordable housing, and funky neighborhoods.
Without further ado, here are our tips for getting around in Brooklyn!
Recommended Modes of Transportation
New York City is known for their extensive underground and public transportation systems, and Brooklyn is no different. The subway is the best way to get around Brooklyn, with the exception of Red Hook and parts of the East Brooklyn neighborhoods, where you may want to consider bus transportation (these tend to be neighborhoods with pockets of crime, so if you can outright avoid these areas, its best to do so anyway).
Alternative Ways of Seeing the City
If you’re looking for a few creative ways to get around, try the “Brooklyn Pub Crawl”, a self-guided tour of all of the best bars in the neighborhood of Park Slope. For something more family-friendly, try the “Brooklyn Bridge Walk”, which is a self-guided scenic walk between Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Best Places to Park
To put it bluntly, parking in Brooklyn sucks. If you’re driving in, you may want to consider finding a parking garage and leave your car for the entirety of your visit. You won’t need it to get around, and it ends up being more of a burden than its worth.
You can find a list of parking garages and coupons here.
Airports and Car Rentals
Both the LaGuardia Airport and the JFK Airport are good choices for flying into New York City. LaGuardia is closer to the Northwest and JFK is closer to the East of Brooklyn, so the better choice depends on your destination within Brooklyn and which offers better fares from your departing airport.
Both airports offer several car rental agencies, however at JFK, we recommend skipping the rental and hopping right on the AirTrain, which is a convenient way to connect to MTA New York City Transit subways, buses and the Long Island Rail Road. The AirTrain will take you all the way from JFK to J or Z Subway at Jamaica Station in Northern Brooklyn. The cost is $7.50 and takes about 50 minutes.
LaGuardia also offers a number of public transportation services into the city, including the NYC Airporter, which stops at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Grand Central Station and Penn Station for $13
Hotels and Attractions
There is more than enough in Brooklyn to keep you and your family busy for a long weekend, and if you’re headed into Manhattan for any length of your stay, make it two weeks! We found one appealing guide for a weekend in Brooklyn here.
Other attractions include:
- Prospect Park (home to the Brooklyn Museum)
- Brooklyn Children’s Museum
- Jewish Children’s Museum (the largest of its kind in the country!)
- Marine Park
- Coney Island
- New York Aquarium