When it comes to cool, Brooklyn sets the bar pretty high. This New York City neighborhood is packed with hip eateries, chic shops, trendy bars, and Instagram worthy backdrops that attract artists, creatives, culture vultures and hipsters from around the world.

But, Brooklyn is a massive area and each of its neighborhoods offers something different to travellers. That’s why we wrote this comprehensive guide for where to stay in Brooklyn.

In this Brooklyn neighborhood guide, we break down the five best neighborhoods into easy to digest bites. We outline the best things to see, do and eat, so you’ll know exactly where to stay based on what you want to do.

So whether you’re into art, food, nightlife or family-friendly fun, this guide is packed with all the information you need to book your vacation with confidence and ease.

Here are our recommendations for the best places to stay in Brooklyn, New York City, New York.

Where to Stay in Brooklyn

Brooklyn is one of New York’s best areas to stay in. These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Brooklyn.

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Cute room with garden | Best Airbnb in Brooklyn

This Airbnb, with its super central location, quite affordable nightly price (for the area) and a cute little garden, will be the perfect choice for your first stay in Brooklyn. You’ll have a private room which is basically like a mini studio since it’s equipped with a bathroom, kitchen and access to the garden. Both hosts are very kind and happy to help with anything – you’ll be in good hands.

NY Moore Hostel | Best Hostel in Brooklyn

This is our favourite hostel in Brooklyn because it has a great location in trendy Williamsburg. This loft-style hostel offers spacious dorms and private rooms with modern amenities and excellent linens. This property also has free wifi, a stocked kitchen and a comfy coffee lounge.

Need to spend some quality time with fellow backpackers? Get your fix by staying at one of these amazing hostels in New York!

Henry Norman Hotel | Best Hotel in Brooklyn

Henry Norman is our pick for the best hotel in Brooklyn. It is ideally located in Greenpoint, the best neighborhood to stay in Brooklyn for hipsters and trendsetters. This four-star hotel offers modern rooms with art-deco décor, A/C, and coffee/tea facilities. Guests can also relax on the outdoor terrace.

Brooklyn Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Brooklyn

FIRST TIME IN BROOKLYN
Downtown, Brooklyn
FIRST TIME IN BROOKLYN

Downtown

If you’re visiting Brooklyn for the first time, there’s no better place to stay than Downtown. This large and central neighbourhood has an excellent location. It is situated across the East River from Manhattan and boasts impressive and unforgettable views of the city that never sleeps.

ON A BUDGET
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
ON A BUDGET

Williamsburg

Williamsburg is a hip and trendy neighbourhood located north of central Brooklyn. It is one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world thanks to its lively nightlife, vintage shops, craft markets and hip hangouts, as well as cinemas, theatres, and museum venues.

NIGHTLIFE
Bushwick, Brooklyn
NIGHTLIFE

Bushwick

Bushwick is a vibrant and eclectic neighbourhood located in northeast Brooklyn that is best-known for its colourful street art, charming cafes and trendy restaurants and shops.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Greenpoint, Brooklyn
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Greenpoint

There’s no doubt about it, Brooklyn is one of the coolest places in the world. While it could be easy to call world-wide hipster favourites like Williamsburg and Bushwick the best areas to stay in Brooklyn, we’ve decided to highlight up-and-coming Greenpoint as one of the coolest places to stay in Brooklyn.

FOR FAMILIES
Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
FOR FAMILIES

Bedford-Stuyvesant

The Bedford-Stuyvesant (Bed-Stuy) neighbourhood is our best recommendation for where to stay in Brooklyn with kids. It is centrally located near Downtown and offers easy access to other areas like Bushwick, Williamsburg, Park Slope and Flatbush.

Brooklyn is, without a doubt, one of the coolest places in the United States.

It is the largest and most populous of New York’s five Boroughs and is situated on the westernmost point of Long Island, across the East River from Manhattan.

The Borough covers a land area of 180 square kilometres and is home to a population of more than 2.65 million people. It is divided a number of distinct neighborhoods, each offering something diverse to visitors.

In this guide, we’ll look at the five best places in Brooklyn to stay based on your budget and your interests.

Downtown is a lively neighborhood in central Brooklyn. It is home to a slew of historical landmarks as well as great restaurants, shops, bars, and more. Because there’s so much to see and do, Downtown is the best area in Brooklyn to stay in for first-time visitors.

Williamsburg is one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world. It is known for its hip hangouts and ultra-cool activities and is our best recommendation for budget Brooklyn accommodation.

Continue travelling north to Greenpoint. One of the coolest places to stay in Brooklyn, Greenpoint is bursting with industrial charm and boasts a great selection of restaurants, cafes and bars.

Bushwick is a large neighborhood in eastern Brooklyn. It’s our top pick for where to stay in Brooklyn for nightlife because it is where you’ll find some of the hottest clubs and bars in the city.

And finally, Bedford-Stuyvesant is a large neighborhood in the centre of Brooklyn. It is famous for its historic buildings and heritage architecture, and for its peaceful atmosphere. It has plenty of green space, which is why it’s our number one choice for where to stay in Brooklyn for families.

Brooklyn’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Now, let’s take a look, in more detail, at Brooklyn’s best neighborhoods. Each is a little different from the last, so be sure to read each section carefully and pick the best neighborhood to stay in Brooklyn based on what you want to do.

#1 Downtown – Where to Stay in Brooklyn for Your First Time

If you’re visiting Brooklyn for the first time, there’s no better place to stay than Downtown.

This large and central neighborhood has an excellent location. It is situated across the East River from Manhattan and boasts impressive and unforgettable views of the city that never sleeps.

Downtown Brooklyn is also incredibly well-connected via public transit, so whether you want to pop into the Big Apple, or explore more of Brooklyn, you’ll be able to do so with relative ease.

This neighborhood is also a shoppers paradise thanks to the many discount shops and department stores that fill Downtown Brooklyn’s bustling streets.

Downtown, Brooklyn

Things to See and Do in Downtown

  1. Drink cocktails and take in the view from the Kimito Rooftop Lounge.
  2. Eat flavourful food at Junior’s Restaurant.
  3. Explore the trendy streets of Dumbo and snap that oh-so-iconic pick from Washington Street.
  4. Feast on American fare at the Vinegar Hill House.
  5. Go for a stroll at Pebble Beach.
  6. Indulge in delicious food at Superfine.
  7. Shop until you drop at the Fulton Street Mall.
  8. Sip a freshly brewed coffee at the Brooklyn Roasting Company.
  9. Snack and sample your way through colourful and buzzing Dekalb Market Hall.
  10. Visit the comprehensive New York Transit Museum.
  11. Walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

Cute room with garden | Best Airbnb in Downtown

This Airbnb, with its super central location, quite affordable nightly price (for the area) and a cute little garden, will be the perfect choice for your first stay in Brooklyn. You’ll have a private room which is basically like a mini studio since it’s equipped with a bathroom, kitchen and access to the garden. Both hosts are very kind and happy to help with anything – you’ll be in good hands.

The Tillary Hotel Brooklyn | Best Hotel in Downtown

This hotel is conveniently located in Downtown, the best neighborhood in Brooklyn to stay in for first-time visitors. It has a rooftop terrace and 174 trendy and spacious rooms. This modern hotel also boasts a gym, laundry services, and breakfast is available.

Hampton Inn Brooklyn Downtown | Best Hotel in Downtown

A great location, contemporary furnishing and a myriad of chic features – it’s no wonder this is one of the best places to stay in Brooklyn! This three-star hotel is an excellent base for your Brooklyn adventures because it’s in close proximity to bars, restaurants, shops and museums.

Hotel Indigo Brooklyn | Best Hotel in Downtown

The Hotel Indigo is your best bet for budget accommodations in Downtown Brooklyn. Set at the centre of the neighborhood, this four-star hotel is a short walk from bars, shops and restaurants. It offers air-conditioned rooms with cosy beds and modern amenities. This is one of the best places in Brooklyn to stay.

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#2 Williamsburg – Where to Stay in Brooklyn on a Budget

Williamsburg is probably the “hippest” place in Brooklyn at the moment. It coolness is partly due to the sheer amount of activities found here: there’s a lively nightlife, vintage shops, craft markets, and hip hangouts, as well as cinemas, theatres, and museum venues.

Although it’s one of the most expensive places to live in NYC, Williamsburg is actually one of the best places in Brooklyn to stay if you’re on a budget. Here you’ll find a handful of stylish hostels as well as relatively affordable hotels (at least by New York standards).

There is quite a bit to do in Williamsburg and you’ll be spoilt for choice for things to see, do and eat. Because it is so convenient here, we’d also recommend it for those staying in Brooklyn for only one night.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Things to See and Do in Williamsburg

  1. Choose from a great range of beers at the Brooklyn Brewery.
  2. Eat, drink and aim for a strike at Brooklyn Bowl.
  3. Enjoy a sweet treat (or two) at Mast Brothers Chocolate.
  4. Excite your senses with a snack from Crif Dogs.
  5. Go for a stroll on the Williamsburg Bridge.
  6. Grab a pint in the rooftop beer garden at Berry Park.
  7. Hunt for new-to-you treasures at Beacon’s Closet.
  8. Indulge in a mouthwatering slice of pizza from Shelter
  9. Snack and sample your way through more than 100 vendors at the weekly Smorgasburg food festival.
  10. Support local creatives at the Artists & Fleas market.

NY Moore Hostel | Best Hostel in Williamsburg

This is our favourite hostel in Brooklyn because it has a great location in trendy Williamsburg. This loft-style hostel offers spacious dorms and private rooms with modern amenities and excellent linens. This property also has free wifi, a stocked kitchen and a comfy coffee lounge.

Pod Brooklyn | Best Hotel in Williamsburg

Pod Brooklyn is a unique option for Brooklyn accommodation. This modern three-star hotel offers guests clean, comfortable and minimalist accommodations with excellent amenities and a delicious on-site restaurant. It is conveniently set in hip Williamsburg, one of Brooklyn’s best neighborhoods and is a short walk from bistros, bars and boutiques.

Pointe Plaza Hotel | Best Hotel in Williamsburg

This three-star Williamsburg hotel provides comfortable and clean accommodation at the heart of the neighborhood. It is within walking distance of great bars, shops and restaurants and offers amazing views of Manhattan. Guests of this hotel can also enjoy free wifi, an in-house restaurant, and a free shuttle service.

Cosy, affordable private room | Best Airbnb in Williamsburg

Travelling on a budget? No problem, we’ve found the right Airbnb for you. This incredibly charming and stylish private room is very affordable for the area. You won’t find anything cheaper with this much quality and comfort. The room is completely yours while the rest of the apartment is shared with the chill and open-minded hosts. If you come in the warmer months, you can also enjoy your outdoor area.

#3 Bushwick – Where to Stay in Brooklyn for Nightlife

Bushwick is a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood located in northeast Brooklyn that is best-known for its colourful street art, charming cafes and trendy restaurants and shops.

This historically Hispanic neighborhood has been attracting students, artists and creatives for years, and has steadily risen the ranks as one of the best areas to stay in Brooklyn thanks to its urban art, cultural diversity and exciting culinary scene.

Bushwick is also our number one pick for where to stay in Brooklyn for nightlife because it has so many fun, bustling and buzzing places to visit. From vivacious bars to wild clubs, Bushwick is bursting with nightlife options for visitors of all ages, tastes, styles and budgets.

Bushwick, Brooklyn

Things to See and Do in Bushwick

  1. Dance the night away at the Bossa Nova Civic Club.
  2. Dine on pub food with a twist at The Rookery.
  3. Drink cocktails at Mood Ring, an astrology-themed bar.
  4. Eat, drink and enjoy a great night at the House of Yes.
  5. Enjoy a great selection of cool drinks, beers and cocktails at The Sampler.
  6. Excite your sense at Duckduck.
  7. Grab a slice at Roberta’s Pizza.
  8. Rock out to avant music at Trans-Pecos.
  9. Sample signature cocktails at Featherweight, a hip hideaway.
  10. See the awesome street art at The Bushwick Collective.
  11. Sip drinks at Nowadays.

Neptune Hotel New York City | Best Hotel in Bushwick

This charming two-star hotel is your best option for budget accommodations in Bushwick. It is situated near the area’s most popular bars and clubs and offers easy access throughout the neighborhood. This hotel has clean rooms, comfortable beds and free wifi.

Bogart Hotel | Best Hotel in Bushwick

The Bogart Hotel is ideally located in Bushwick, the best neighborhood to stay in Brooklyn for nightlife. It is within walking distance of trendy bars, hip clubs, chic shops and delicious restaurants. This three-star hotel has 56 comfortable rooms with modern amenities and free wifi access. There’s also on-site luggage storage.

Bklyn House Hotel New York | Best Hotel in Bushwick

This hip and trendy hotel is located close in Bushwick, the best neighborhood to stay in Brooklyn for bars, clubs and restaurants. It offers three-star accommodations with air-conditioned rooms, comfortable beds and a range of great facilities, including free wifi, luggage storage, a garden and a tour desk.

Cute and bright studio | Best Airbnb in Bushwick

If you enjoy privacy on your travels, this cosy studio is the right for you. A comfy bed, a fridge, a modern and clean bathroom – you’ll have everything you need. The only thing that’s missing is a kitchen, but there are so many great dining options around you that you won’t miss it at all. The nightlife options are endless as well. You’ll definitely have a great experience here!

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#4 Greenpoint – Coolest Place to Stay in Brooklyn

There’s no doubt about it, Brooklyn is one of the coolest places in the world. While it could be easy to call world-wide hipster favourites like Williamsburg and Bushwick the best areas to stay in Brooklyn, we’ve decided to highlight up-and-coming Greenpoint as one of the coolest places to stay in Brooklyn.

Greenpoint is situated at the heart of Brooklyn. It’s famous for its industrial architecture and minimalist style as well as its slow and modest pace and overall charm and atmosphere.

This neighborhood is home to some of the best food in Brooklyn. It’s where you can indulge and feast on everything from sugar snacks and savoury eats to delicious drinks and succulent treats.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Things to See and Do in Greenpoint

  1. Enjoy a pleasant meal at cute and cosy Milk and Roses.
  2. Excite your sense at the Glasserie.
  3. Feast on incredible Polish fare at Karczma.
  4. Find your next read at WORD.
  5. Indulge in fresh and delicious seafood at the Lobster Joint.
  6. Satisfy your sweet tooth at the Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop.
  7. Shop for new and unique pieces at Pas Mal.
  8. Sink your teeth into a great burger from Five Leaves.
  9. Sip drinks and enjoy the view from the Brooklyn Barge.
  10. Take a stroll through McCarren Park.
  11. Try a wide range of beers at the Spritzenhaus.

Henry Norman Hotel | Best Hotel in Greenpoint

Henry Norman is our pick for the best hotel in Brooklyn. This four-star hotel is ideally located in Greenpoint, the best neighborhood to stay in Brooklyn for hipsters and trendsetters. It offers modern rooms with art-deco décor, A/C, and coffee/tea facilities. Guests can also relax on the outdoor terrace.

The Box House Hotel | Best Hotel in Greenpoint

The Box House Hotel is a stylish and modern four-star hotel in Greenpoint, the best neighborhood in Brooklyn to stay in for culture vulture and creatives. It provides comfortable, clean and spacious accommodations just steps from the neighborhoods best bars, restaurants, shops and galleries.

Bright room in shared apartment | Best Airbnb in Greenpoint

Very bright, clean, affordable and in the best location – this and so much more is what’s going to expect you when you book this Airbnb. The private room in a big apartment is super comfy. Common areas like living room, kitchen and bathroom are shared with the hosts and other Airbnb people. If you don’t know what to do in the city, the hosts are happy to help out.

Greenpoint YMCA Brooklyn | Best Hostel in Greenpoint

This hostel is ideally located in Greenpoint and is a great base for exploring Brooklyn. It has 65 recently refurbished rooms with comfy beds and contemporary amenities. Guests can enjoy a variety of wellness facilities, including a swimming pool, fitness centre and a relaxing sauna.

#5 Bedford-Stuyvesant – Where to Stay in Brooklyn for Families

The Bedford-Stuyvesant (Bed-Stuy) neighborhood is our best recommendation for where to stay in Brooklyn with kids. It is centrally located near Downtown and offers easy access to other areas like Bushwick, Williamsburg, Park Slope and Flatbush.

This area is famous for its historic buildings and heritage architecture. Simply take a stroll around the neighborhood and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in town.

Bedford-Stuyvesant is also a great place to get out and mingle with locals. The neighborhood frequently hosts community events, like outdoor movies in the park and lively block parties where you can eat, drink, shop and dance the day or night away.

Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

Things to See and Do in Bedford-Stuyvesant

  1. Dine on tasty vegan dishes at Toad Style.
  2. Eat an incredible slice of pizza from Saraghina.
  3. Feast on traditional American dishes at Peaches Hot House.
  4. Go for a stroll through lush Herbert Von King Park.
  5. Grab a drink and snack at Fancy Nancy.
  6. Indulge with southern-style cakes from Doc’s Cake Shop.
  7. Pack a picnic and enjoy a restful afternoon in Prospect Park.
  8. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Dough.
  9. Shop for toys, books, treats and more at the Pipsqueak Shoppe.
  10. Treat yourself at Clementine Bakery, which offers 100% vegan and gluten-free baked goods.

The Brooklyn Riviera | Best Hostel in Bedford-Stuyvesant

The Brooklyn Riviera is our best recommendation for where to stay in Bed-Stuy if you’re on a budget. It offers a safe and clean environment that is centrally located and well-connected. Guests can also enjoy a tasty continental breakfast each morning.

Pointe Plaza Hotel | Best Hotel in Bedford-Stuyvesant

Wondering where to stay in Brooklyn with kids? Well, look no further. This excellent three-star hotel is ideally located in Bed-Stuy and is close to popular attractions, landmarks, restaurants and shops. Rooms are air-conditioned and each comes complete with modern amenities, comfortable beds, premium features and free wifi.

The Brooklyn | Best Hotel in Bedford-Stuyvesant

This chic and stylish three-star hotel is one of our favourite properties in Bed-Stuy. It is ideally located and offers easy access throughout the Borough and over to Manhattan as well. Comprised of 34 rooms, this property has a range of comfortable amenities and excellent features.

Family top floor apartment | Best Airbnb in Bedford-Stuyvesant

Located on the third floor, this apartment sleeps up to 6 people and is therefore perfect for family holidays. But this isn’t the only reason this Airbnb is great for you and your folks. The neighborhood couldn’t be better. Subway, shops, cafes and restaurants are nearby and all in walking distance. The area is peaceful, with beautiful tree-lined streets and many things to see.

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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Brooklyn

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Brooklyn and where to stay.

What To Pack For Brooklyn

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

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Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

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Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Brooklyn

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Brooklyn

There’s no doubt about it, Brooklyn is one of the coolest places in the world. It’s home to a diverse array of hip ‘hood and trendy areas and is packed with great bars, lively clubs, vibrant restaurants and world-class museums and art galleries. So whether you’re a culture vulture, happening hipster, a fearless foodie or a fabulous fashionista, Brooklyn is a place that will enthral and excite you and leave you completely and totally enamoured.

In this guide, we’ve looked at the best places to stay in Brooklyn. If you’re still not sure which is right for you, here’s a quick recap:

The NY Moore Hostel in Williamsburg is our favourite hostel because it has spacious rooms, modern amenities and an unbeatable central location.

Another great option is the Henry Norman Hotel because it has chic and stylish rooms with an array of features and facilities.

Looking for more info on travelling to Brooklyn and USA?