Dumbo is a popular neighborhood in Brooklyn New York that every traveler will love! Filled with fun cafes, restaurants, and outdoor activities, there is endless exciting things to do in Dumbo NY. Join us as we explore the streets of Dumbo Brooklyn and show why it’s such a must-visit area of the city.
About Dumbo in Brooklyn New York
Dumbo is a large neighborhood in Northeast Brooklyn between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. In fact, Dumbo actually stands for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.” Over the years, it has become a trendy area for young adults, families, and entrepreneurs. Its location makes it super simple to get around to all the areas of NYC, and we spent plenty of time there on our recent visit.
One of our favorite ways to get to Dumbo in Brooklyn is by jumping on the ferry from Manhattan. You can also take the incredibly scenic walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and transport yourself instantly to all the best things to do in Dumbo Brooklyn!
10 Fun Things to do in Dumbo NY
1. Stroll Along the Dumbo Waterfront
The first highlight we NEED to share of Dumbo is Waterfront Park. The outdoor area stretches beautifully along the East River and is a great place to take a walk. You’ll also find several playgrounds for kids, benches and grassy spots to lay out. All of which have amazing views of the NYC skyline, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridge.
2. Walk or Bike the Brooklyn Bridge
Speaking of the Brooklyn Bridge… Dumbo in Brooklyn is the perfect starting point for your adventure across! We walked over this bridge several times during our stay and the views never ceased to amaze us.
First opening in 1883, this historic bridge spans almost 1,600 feet over the East River. This is one of the best things to do in Dumbo NY and is a fun way to walk to Manhattan instead of taking the subway or ferry. You can even ride your bike across it underneath the pedestrian- only zone!
3. Eat Pizza at Grimaldi’s
If you’re heading to Dumbo Brooklyn (and NYC in general), know that there are so many delicious pizza places to enjoy. Yet, for us, one stands above the rest!
Grimaldi’s makes its legendary pizza using coal-fired brick ovens with the same recipe it started with over 100 years ago. This makes its location on Front Street in Dumbo a must-visit for pizza lovers and foodies alike!
4. Explore the Time Out Market
When it comes to food and drinks you’ll have no shortage of great options in Dumbo Brooklyn. One of our favorite things to do for lunch or dinner is visit the Time Out Market!
Showcasing over 21 unique restaurants and dining experiences, this upscale market is great to grab a snack, drink, or full meal. The food options range from international specialties to New York classics and much more.
5. Get the Iconic Manhattan Bridge Photo
One of the most famous photos in all of NYC is taken right here in Dumbo Brooklyn! Take a stroll down Washington Street to capture the image with the Manhattan Bridge behind you.
For the best daylight and minimal traffic we recommend getting their first thing in the morning. Even if you aren’t looking for the perfect shot, taking in these scenic views is one of the best things to do in Dumbo NY.
6. Visit the Brooklyn Flea Weekend Market
Heading to Dumbo in Brooklyn on the weekend? The flea market could be calling your name! Every Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm on Pearl Street you can visit this sprawling collection of clothing, art, and jewelry.
Hundreds of vendors gather to sell their goods under the colorful tents in Dumbo. The market runs from 10am to 5pm and goes from April to December.
7. Water Ferry to Williamsburg or Manhattan
While many travelers to Dumbo in Brooklyn New York may take the subway, there is another fun way to get around the city! Specifically in the warmer months, the water ferry can be a great experience.
Not only does it give you a one of a kind vantage point of NYC, but it takes you directly to Williamsburg or Manhattan from Dumbo. The ferry boats even have a bar for snacks and drinks which makes it the perfect mode of transportation in the summertime.
8. See Jane’s Carousel
While strolling through Waterfront Park don’t miss out on the historic Jane’s Carousel! Built in 1922, the stunning ride has been bringing smiles to the faces of children for 100 years now.
The amusement park ride is open year round and is located right o the East River. Even if you’re not planning to ride, it’s still worth seeing this small piece of history while visiting Dumbo in Brooklyn New York.
9. Taste the Local Craft Beer
Many of the best craft beers are made in Brooklyn, and Dumbo plays a big part in that. Our favorite place to grab a drink is Evil Twin Brewing on Main Street. Here you can try over 20 rotating taps which include new age seltzers and ciders. You can even grab a 4 pack to go and take it with you on your way out!
10. Take a Tour of Dumbo in Brooklyn New York
One of the best things to do in Dumbo NY is to take a tour of the actual neighborhood. Our personal favorite is the 2.5 hour walking tour that brings you over the Brooklyn Bridge right into the streets of Dumbo.
This is a fun way to experience the area and get a feel for the neighbored before exploring on your own! We also loved learning about the interesting history of this special part of New York City.
Have any questions about this article or want to share more of the best things to do in Dumbo NY? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where to Stay in New York City
NoMad – Hotel Giraffe by Library Hotel Collection – Boutique hotel with a rooftop garden and quick walk to Union Square Park and Chelsea. The hotel is decorated with classic photos from the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Tribeca – Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown – Historic high-end hotel in the heart of New York. Close to the Brooklyn Bridge and Seaport District.
Little Italy – NobleDEN Hotel – Great location in the Italian district and steps from Ferrara Bakery and Chinatown. Some of the rooms have a terrace or balcony which is not common in the city!
Times Square – LUMA Hotel – Modern design with bright bold patterns which reflect the energy of the area. Great place to stay near all the action of Times Square.
Chelsea – The Hotel Chelsea – Built in in the 1800’s with history reflected in its unique style. Known as one of the best historic hotels in the city.
East Village – The Bowery Hotel – Beautiful boutique hotel with floor to ceiling windows and an industrial loft design. Ideal location in one of the most popular neighborhoods in NYC.
Hudson Yards – Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards New York City – Plush accommodation with a sleek design. Rooms range from deluxe to scenic skyline suites.
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New York Travel Planning
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars whenever traveling in New York. Consider renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another for an epic road trip!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years and they are there when we need them.
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