Things To Do In Brooklyn for Tourists

By Go City Expert

Brooklyn has so much to offer tourists, from hip eateries to trendy galleries, world-class art museums to relaxing gardens. This NYC borough is known for its diverse neighborhoods and cutting-edge culture. Here, you'll truly find something for every traveler. In fact, there's so much to do, see, taste and experience in Brooklyn, that tourists may want to start with our list of top local activities and attractions, including...

  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • Brooklyn Museum of Art
  • Weeksville Heritage Center
  • Jewish Children's Museum
  • New York Transit Museum
  • And more!

Free Entry with The New York Pass®

Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden makes it easy to get back to nature, even in the heart of the city! For over 100 years, this historic garden has delighted, inspired, and educated visitors with 52 acres of lush plant collections. Relax in the calm of the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, travel back in time in the Shakespeare Garden, or learn about New York's wildflowers and woodlands in the Native Flora Garden. Even winter visitors can enjoy green foliage and colorful blossoms in the climate-controlled plant pavilions and greenhouses; there's even a plant-themed gallery for the art enthusiast. Admission: Brooklyn Botanic Garden tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Brooklyn Museum of Art

Calling all art lovers: you'll want to take your time exploring the Brooklyn Museum of Art. With five floors and more than 1.5 million pieces, this institution is the U.S.'s second-largest art museum. Displays cover thousands of years of human artistic endeavors, ranging from ancient Egyptian works to contemporary masterpieces. You'll find world-famous pieces by Rothko, O'Keefe, Rockwell, and more as well as special exhibits and displays. Admission: Brooklyn Museum of Art tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Weeksville Heritage Center

Travel back in time to the 19th century at the Weeksville Heritage Center. This interactive museum is located in one of the first free African-American communities in the country. Here, you'll find carefully preserved local history and learn about life in the 19th and 20th centuries. Explore this historic site, enjoy lunch at the cafe, attend a performance and experience day-to-day life from another era.

Jewish Children's Museum

If you're visiting Brooklyn with little ones, don't miss the Jewish Children's Museum. Interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and special programming make learning about Jewish culture and history fun. You can join a craft workshop, climb on the 50,000-square-foot wire structure, and play in the museum's two state-of-the-art computer labs. Young tourists will love the mini-golf course on the museum's roof, as well as the game show studio and game gallery.

Brooklyn Historical Society

Delve into the borough's rich history at the Brooklyn Historical Society. This combination museum, library and educational center has been documenting the borough's history since it opened its doors in 1863; today, the Brooklyn Historical Society serves as community and civic center in the heart of Brooklyn Heights. Located in a stunning landmark building, the Society offers exhibits, maps, manuscripts and photos, all related to 400 years of local history.

New York Transit Museum

New York City is home to the largest public transportation system in the U.S.; visitors to the New York Transit Museum can learn all about this amazing network. Housed in a decommissioned 1936 subway station, the museum provides visitors with an immersive, interactive experience. Learn about the long history of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as you explore how engineering, technology, and hard work transformed New York's transit system. The museum features a working platform level, vintage cars, city buses and exhibits that explore the past — and future — of transportation. Admission: New York Transit Museum tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Liberty Helicopters

See Brooklyn — and a lot more — from the air as you soar over the city with Liberty Helicopters. New York City's largest and most experienced helicopter fleet gives you a bird's-eye view as you soar above the city. With safety and security as the top priority, you can choose from two helicopter tour options. Get your camera ready, because these views are unparalleled! Tip: New York Pass holders can receive a 15% discount on their Big Apple or NY, NY Tours from Liberty Helicopters.

Graffiti and Street Art Walking Tour of Brooklyn

Brooklyn is known for its urban art, and graffiti/street art is a prime example of this creative, cultural phenomenon. On the Graffiti and Street Art Walking Tour of Brooklyn, you'll take to the streets of Bushwick to uncover works by some of the city's prominent local artists. Your experienced guide will provide both historical and sociological context for the many works you'll encounter on the tour. Expect a glimpse into the colorful, vibrant and creative world of street art. Admission: Graffiti and Street Art Walking Tour of Brooklyn tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour in Williamsburg

No exploration of Brooklyn would be complete without exploring one of the borough's most famous neighborhoods, Williamsburg. As you stroll the streets of this artsy district, you'll find boutiques, galleries, eateries and lofts galore, a.k.a. the quintessential Brooklyn experience. Keep your eyes peeled for historical buildings and street art as your tour guide illuminates Williamsburg's development over the years, including the influx of "hipsters" and the effects of gentrification. Admission: Best of Brooklyn Walking Tour in Williamsburg tickets are included with the New York Pass.

Remember to Save on Admission

As you can see, there's plenty of great attractions to visit in Brooklyn. Make the most of your trip by visiting more attractions and saving more money with the New York Pass. If you're a New York Pass holder, you can easily show your pass for free entry at over 90 attractions in New York City as opposed to paying admission at each venue. For more information on the New York Pass, click here.

Continue reading

Blog

NYC Observation Decks: One World Observatory vs. Empire State Building vs. Top of the Rock

Visiting one of New York City's iconic observation decks is a must-do lifetime adventure. There’s an endless amount of fun things to do and historical landmarks to see, but a visit to an observation deck (or two, or three...) is one of the most memorable things you can do on your trip to NYC. Plus, it's a great way to 'see' everything there is to see in NYC. New York City is home to 3 of the best observation decks in the world: the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock and One World Observatory. We've put together a comparison of New York's most popular observation decks so you can get an idea for what the difference is between the Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock vs One World Observatory so you can decide which one suits what you want to do and see best. Free Entry with The New York Pass® Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions. 1. The One World Observatory The One World Observatory is an icon of the city skyline with its amazing spire. Travelers can take one of its 70 elevators up to three observation decks in under 50 seconds; it's an elevator ride that feels like a launch. The views: One World Trade Center is located on the south-western side of the Manhattan peninsula (close to the tip of the peninsula), so you'll get close views of the Hudson River, New Jersey, and Manhattan. You can see Ground Zero, the 9/11 Memorial Museum, and the Financial District. You'll be able to see the Empire State Building (though your view will be farther than from Top of the Rock) and Top of the Rock (though you might need to reference a skyline map to pick it out from its surrounding buildings!). All around, it has views that stretch from Westchester and Rockland counties to New Jersey, Brooklyn, and Long Island in addition to the mighty metropolis of NYC. Then, step into the Main Observatory and view high-definition footage of Manhattan’s streets. Enjoy some artisanal cocktails the bar One Mix and indulge in some culinary delights at One Dine. The structure and its observatory decks are a rebirth of downtown Manhattan after the tragedy of 9/11. Experience the city's rebirth. Admission: One World Observatory tickets are sold separately from The New York Pass. 2. The Empire State Building The Empire State Building (ESB) shows 360-degree views of the city. At night, this international icon displays dazzling light shows to celebrate various occasions, which are often synchronized to music. In addition to its 86th-floor observatory, there's the Top Deck. You can see up to 80 miles away and get a full picture of the city. The views: the Empire State Building is located right in the middle of Manhattan, so from its top Observation Deck, you’ll get one-of-a-kind vistas of the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and the brilliant city streets below. You'll also be able to see New York City's other popular observation decks; the view from ESB of One World Observatory is much closer than the view you get of it from Top of the Rock, and similarly, the view from ESB of Rockefeller Center is much closer than the view you get of it from One World Observatory. Be sure to check out the Dare to Dream exhibit, which pays tribute to the builders and architects who helped create this historic landmark. There are period photographs, mementos, architectural sketches, and more. If you plan your visit to the Empire State Building around meal time, consider dining at its STATE Grill and Bar for breakfast, lunch or dinner. In exceptional Art Deco design, it showcases New York State’s winemakers, brewers, and farmers. Admission: Empire State Building tickets are included with the New York Pass. 3. Top of the Rock The Top of the Rock is a must-do on any tourist's bucket list. The Top of the Rock Observation deck is nestled in the heart of Rockefeller Center. Ascend 70 floors up and take in a sweeping view from three indoor and outdoor viewing decks.There are indoor viewing areas on the 69th and 67th floors Rockefeller Center is chockful of beautiful architecture, culture, and rich history. Take it in with a guided tour through its gardens and significant buildings. The views: the Top of the Rock is located just south of Central Park, right in Times Square, so you'll get the best views of Central Park when compared to other observation decks. In the other direction, you'll be able to see the Empire State Building framed by the sprawling city, the Bank of America Building, Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, and more. From Top of the Rock, the view of the Empire State Building is closer than the view of the Empire State Building from One World Observatory. After you pass the Swarovski chandelier in the lobby, there are artifacts and photos outlining the history of Rockefeller Center and an open-air deck on the 70th floor. Compared to the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock is less claustrophobic. Admission: Top of the Rock tickets are included with The New York Pass. The Biggest Differences Between the Top New York City Observation Decks Each observation deck experience provides an educational and informative experience on your way up to the observation deck complete with exhibitions and displays. The locations: where each building is situated will impact your views from each of the observation decks. See the image above for a better idea of where each observation deck is relative to the others. The exhibits: One World Observatory, being the most recently built, features a more modern design and feel and its exhibits explore the development of downtown Manhattan and the impact of 9/11 and how the One World Observatory building came to be. Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building both offer a classic and nostalgic New York City experience that highlight the history of the city with a particular emphasis on the American dream and the eventual prosperity post-Great Depression era. The views: the biggest difference between One World Observatory vs Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock is the view you'll get at the top. Of course, whichever observatory deck you choose to visit, you won't see that building in the skyline. One World Observatory (southern-most building): views of the Hudson River and the city skyline looking north from the southern tip of Manhattan Empire State Building (middle building): views from the middle of Manhattan with One World Observatory visible to the south and Rockefeller Center visible to the north Top of the Rock (northern-most building): views of Central Park to the north and views of the Empire State Building and One World Observatory to the south Popular Things to Do Nearby In addition to these 3 observation decks (One World Observatory, the Empire State Building, and Top of the Rock) there are other great sites and activities worth checking out while in NYC. Central Park This world-famous park is 36 acres of beautiful streams, waterfalls, rocks and winding trails. It’s ideal for strolling and a wonderful sight from each of the observation decks.Take a romantic paddle around the lake or even a Venetian Gondola ride at Loeb Boathouse. Savor some great fare like crab cakes at the Central Park Boathouse Restaurant. Monkey around at the Central Park Zoo. There’s even pot-bellied pigs, penguins and sea lions. You never have to wait for the carnival to come to town in NYC.In the summer, head to Victorian Gardens for an all-American day of juggler performances, cart rides, and funnel cake. In the winter, hit the ice for some ice-skating. The Statue of Liberty You can take a ferry over to the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island. Visit the crown and see panoramic views of Brooklyn. This colossal copper statue was designed by artist Frederic Bartholdi. It’s the symbol of freedom.The Liberty Island Museum is located in the lobby of its pedestal and chronicles the history of freedom. At the pedestal, you can great views of New Jersey, New York, and the New York Harbor.Getting in: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum tickets are included with The New York Pass. The Brooklyn Bridge The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the city’s noblest landmarks. It stretches over Brooklyn, Manhattan and the East River and delivers amazing views. Take a walk across its promenade above the roadway and feel the city’s vibe. It only takes about 40 minutes.Getting in: the Brooklyn Bridge is free and open to the public. Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour tickets and Bike Rentals you can use to bike across the Brooklyn Bridge are included with The New York Pass. Grand Central Terminal The Grand Central Terminal is the world’s largest railway station and a magnificent public space. It’s modeled after an ancient Roman bath and features glimmering chandeliers, an amazing concourse, and a robin’s egg-blue ceiling displaying the constellations.Getting in: Grand Central Terminal is free and open to the public. The American Museum of Natural History The American Museum of Natural History is the largest natural history museum on the globe and without a doubt impressive. It stretches four city blocks and showcases 45 exhibition halls with over 30 million artifacts from outer space, the sea, and the land. Don’t miss it. Getting in: American Museum of Natural History tickets are included with The New York Pass. Metropolitan Museum of Art Roam the labyrinthine corridors of the colossal Metropolitan Museum of Art where you view more than 2 million works of art showcasing 5,000 years of history.Its Egyptian collection features stone sarcophagi inscribed with hieroglyphics and pages from the Egyptian Book of the Dead.Other highlights include the American Wing with collections of American Arts. There are also stunning Islamic galleries with metalwork and ceramics. Its roof garden serves up fabulous views of Central Park and the city skyline.Getting in: The Metropolitan Museum of Art tickets can be purchased online. The High Line Just years ago, the High Line was a railroad track carrying freight trains. Today, it's a railway-turned-beautiful city retreat situated high above the busy city streets.Take a stroll along the path and check out the park's many features, including picnic tables, seating, curving walkways, and well-manicured gardens while you take in the unique views of the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline. Getting in: admission to the High Line is free and open to the public. Remember to Save on Observation Decks and New York Attraction Admissions New York City's top 3 observatory decks are at the top of many tourists itineraries. They're all popular attractions, but how can you manage to afford the admission price at each? New York Pass grants you free admission to two of these Observation decks, with Empire State Building tickets and Top of the Rock tickets, plus, admission to over 90 additional attractions in NYC. Get a New York Pass and start saving on admission to top attractions during your trip. For more information get the New York Pass here.
Casey Makovich
Blog

Things To Do In NYC With Teenagers On Vacation

Top 10 Things to Do in NYC With Teenagers on Vacation When you are traveling with teenagers on a vacation to NYC, you'll probably have to make some concessions to a typical itinerary; teens are natural thrill seekers with age-related interests that are beyond understanding to most adults. That being said, there are plenty of things to do with teens in New York City without hearing, “I’m bored” a thousand times a day. To help you out, we have created a top 10 list of the most amazing, teen-friendly things to do when vacationing in the Big Red Apple (that you'll enjoy doing, too). Free Entry with The New York Pass® Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions. On Location Tours If your teen goes crazy for celebrities the On Location Tour should be at the top of your list. New York City is the filming location for hundreds of movies and television shows. As a result, there are ample opportunities to run into celebs for photo ops. Better yet, take the On Location Tour to hit up the most sought-after filming sites. There is a stop for Gossip Girls, Amazing Spider-Man, Glee, and Friends, plus dozens more. Admission: On Location Tours: Central Park TV & Movie Sites Walking Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass. Madame Tussauds Wax museums have this way of bringing out the inner child in everyone. Give your teen a ticket to Madame Tussauds New York and watch them go gaga after the faux celebs. The museum is constantly updating exhibits, so there will certainly be recognizable and relevant figures. Plus, Madame Tussauds is keeping things lively. For example, at the Project Runway Fashion Experience teens can create their own fashion line and walk the runway. Admission: Madame Tussauds tickets are included with the New York Pass. Luna Park in Coney Island Coney Island is one of the coolest places to hang out in New York City. Teens will love the endless thrills and things to do at Coney Island. Tack on the thrills of Luna Park for an all-around great way to entertain even the moodiest teen for a day. Located in the Brooklyn borough, Luna Park is home to rides like the Sling Shot and Steeplechase. The park also plays host to live entertainment throughout the year, so check it out before you visit to see what’s happening when you are in town. Admission: Luna Park at Coney Island tickets are included with the New York Pass. Times Square Any teen who travels to NYC will want to say they’ve been to Times Square. This is, after all, the most iconic spot on the NYC map. Bring your teen to the crossroads of the bright lights of this big city before you end your trip. While in Times Square, take a ride on the subway, catch a hip Broadway show, or shop until your teen is ready to drop. Times Square is also one of the best places to grab a bite to eat, whether your teen is a McDonald’s fanatic or into something more sophisticated like sushi. One World Observatory Take your teenager to the top of the world at the One World Observatory. This is one place where most teens haven’t been, giving your teen some serious travel cred. There’s a glass elevator that takes you to the top of the 1,776-foot tall skyscraper. From there you can see every bit of New York City for some sweet selfie moments. While the Foundations room is neat, the real treat for teenagers is the Skyportal that dangles you over the ground on a disc made of glass. Admission: One World Observatory tickets are not included with the New York Pass. Pump Track Teens who are into rollerblading, skateboarding, or trick bike riding are in luck. At the Velosolutions Asphalt Pump Track, teens can test their skills on this blacktop playground. If your teen is interested in actually getting out there make sure they pack their wheels. While you sit and gawk awestruck at the serious tricks taking place, you can also enjoy the scenic Manhattan views. Empire State Building As one of the most well-known landmarks of New York City teenagers on vacation needs to pencil the Empire State Building into their schedule. However, you want to make it exciting so they are interested in seeing this historic building. Consider going at midnight, as the building is open until 2 am so that you can see NYC in all of its illuminated glory. You can also get the teen to download the trendy, and free, Empire State Building Experience app on their smartphone for a more relevant encounter with this wondrous site. Admission: Empire State Building tickets are included with the New York Pass. Museum of Modern Art Andy Warhol, Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso...if your teen is into art, then, by all means, make a beeline to the Museum of Modern Art. At MoMA, the most famous and highly prized modern sculpture, photography, and paintings are on display. If you need a break from all the activity, rest your laurels in the luxurious Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden in the museum. Before you leave the museum, treat your teenager to a fine dining experience in the mod landscape. The Modern is a two Michelin star restaurant that offers a modern take on some of the best food in the city. Admission: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) tickets are included with the New York Pass. Bronx Zoo Zip Line Yes, that’s correct, there is a zip line in NYC and it takes you over the top of Bronx Zoo. For teenagers who need an adrenaline rush, this is the perfect place to combine a love for animals with high-line speed. They will be thrilled at the prospect of telling friends they went zip lining over a zoo while traveling to NYC. Fly over the Bronx River for 400 feet at a staggering 50 feet off the ground. If your teen backs out at the last minute, no worries. They can save face by enjoying the aerial adventure course at the zoo. Plus, it’s a zoo, after all, where any teen can visit the World of Reptiles, the Congo Gorilla Forest, and Sea Lion Pool. Tip: The Bronx Zoo is free to the public on Wednesdays. Remember To Save On Admission Attractions New York is the perfect city for teenagers to get out and have fun while trying new things. There are tons of activities across the 5 boroughs including museums, guided tours, zoos, and sightseeing. With so much to do during your trip to NYC, you can easily find yourself paying a lot of money on general admission at attractions. However, if you use the New York Pass you'll gain free access to over 90 attractions in New York City. That way, you'll be able to see more attractions and experience more things to do with teens in NYC on vacation--all, while saving more money. For more information on the New York Pass, click here.
Go City Expert

Have a 5% discount, on us!

More savings? You're welcome. Sign up to our newsletter and receive exclusive discounts, vacation inspiration and much more.

  • Thick check Icon