Downtown Brooklyn is situated in the northwestern section of Brooklyn and across the East River from Midtown Manhattan. Two bridges link Midtown Manhattan with Downtown Brooklyn – the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge. For the interested, you can enjoy a walk across the East River on the pedestrian lane of the Brooklyn Bridge. Take the opportunity to walk along the waterfront namely Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Fulton Ferry Landing, offering scenic views of Manhattan’s skyline, especially at night.
Hub of Brooklyn
Downtown Brooklyn is the hub of the borough. It is home to Brooklyn’s local government and was once the capital of the borough until annexed by New York City in 1898. Downtown Brooklyn is also another commercial and business district in New York City, taking third place only after Midtown and Lower Manhattan. Thus, the landscape is mainly occupied by office blocks and commercial buildings but not as tall compared to the commercial and business districts in Manhattan. Downtown Brooklyn is also Brooklyn’s transport hub with several subway lines passing through the Court Street-Borough Hall Station.
Things to See & Do in Downtown Brooklyn
If you’re looking for a vibrant, energetic place to explore, then downtown Brooklyn is where you need to be. From world-class art galleries to stunning parks and delicious cuisine, there are plenty of things to see and do in this part of the city. Here’s our pick of the best attractions:
Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower
A prominent landmark in this part of Brooklyn is the 37-floor Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower at 1 Hanson Place. Built in 1927, the building is the tallest in Brooklyn and a grand example of Art Deco architecture.
Another prominent landmark is Borough Hall, located nearby Cadman Plaza Park. Constructed in 1848, Borough Hall was once Brooklyn’s city hall when it was a city until annexed by New York. The 19th-century Federal Building and Post Office are also nearby Cadman Plaza Park. The building is a splendid example of Romanesque Revival architecture and today houses a district courthouse.
New York Transit Museum
Within Brooklyn Heights but nearby Downtown Brooklyn is the New York Transit Museum, situated in the unused Court Street subway station. The museum has a collection of historical exhibits from New York City’s public transport system including vintage subway trains, ticket choppers, and collection devices.
Cadman Plaza Park
Cadman Plaza Park is a small park occupying just 10 acres, but nevertheless, a scenic park covered in trees and green lawns. A popular destination for entertainment is the Brooklyn Academy of Music, a major venue for film screenings, plays, musicals, and concerts.
Cadman Plaza Park is a true gem in Brooklyn. It’s an oasis of beauty, offering serenity and relaxation amidst the hustle and bustle of city life. From its immaculate gardens to the mesmerizing fountain, the park allows visitors to marvel at nature while still being close to the convenience of downtown.
Are you a foodie? Then you won’t want to miss out on the culinary delights that Downtown Brooklyn has to offer. Choose from family-run Italian restaurants serving regional specialties, or sample cuisines from around the world at one of the area’s many ethnic eateries. Whether you’re searching for fine dining or quick bites, you’ll find something to suit your taste in downtown Brooklyn.
Downtown Brooklyn Shopping
Downtown Brooklyn is also great for shopping. Shop for vintage clothing at the Brooklyn Flea Market, browse designer boutiques and independent stores on Atlantic Avenue or hit up one of the many malls for a bit of retail therapy. There’s plenty to keep you busy here!
A major and popular shopping district here is the Fulton Street Mall but unlike Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, shopping here caters to customers searching for bargains rather than brands. More than 230 stores including major retail chains such as Macy’s, Payless, and Foot Locker occupy the Fulton Street Mall. The Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket is an open-air farmers’ market located on a plaza in front of Borough Hall. Held 2-3 times a week, this is a lively market offering fresh produce from local farmers in the region.