I spent a week in Brooklyn for a copywriting conference a couple of years ago – and it’s seriously the coolest city. Street art, vintage shops, taco trucks, cocktail bars, coffee, 99 cent pizza slices, and an incredible view across the water to Manhattan! If you’re visiting, these are some famous landmarks in Brooklyn to check out.
Brooklyn is one of the five boroughs of New York City. It connects to Queens via three bridges and the East River separates it from Manhattan. Although it’s just one portion of NYC, the borough is home to nearly three million people.
In a city with a rich historical background, you can find plenty to see and do. Whether you’re just visiting or have lived here for years, you can always find something new to explore. Check out some famous landmarks in Brooklyn, New York!
10 Famous Landmarks in Brooklyn, New York
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences
- Brooklyn Tabernacle
- Green-Wood Cemetery
- Barclay’s Center
- Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
- Brooklyn Heights Promenade
- Grand Army Plaza
- The Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk
- Fort Hamilton
1. Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Brooklyn. The cable-stayed/suspension bridge connects Brooklyn and Manhattan over the East River and has been operating since the late 1800s.
It was the first bridge over this river and was once the longest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge not only allows for six lanes of traffic but also leaves room for pedestrians and cyclists.
Driving or strolling over the bridge gives you an excellent view of the river and both Brooklyn and Manhattan. Be sure to bring your camera!
2. Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences
The Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, also known as the Brooklyn Museum, opened in 1897. It has always been a pioneer in public education in art, community, and service.
The museum, which sits on the ancestral homeland of the Lenape people, works to inspire individuals through art and conversation.
The institute is home to several collections, programs, exhibits, and experiences, including both temporary and permanent displays. It’s also home to the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.
3. Brooklyn Tabernacle
If religion interests you, you may be curious about the Brooklyn Tabernacle. The multicultural, non-denominational megachurch sits in the heart of downtown Brooklyn and is open to the public.
The church is best known for its impressive choir, which is made up of 280 people. The choir has recorded multiple DVDs, videos, and albums and has even won several Grammy Awards.
Along with their regular church services, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir also performs in Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and the Madison Square Garden Theater.
4. Green-Wood Cemetery
A cemetery may not be number one on your list of fun attractions to visit, but you haven’t yet seen the historic Green-Wood Cemetery.
Green-Wood is a public cemetery that’s open every single day of the year. Not only does it memorialize the dead, but it serves as a place of art, beauty, and peace for the living.
The cemetery, which has functioned since 1838, is one of the nation’s most-visited attractions. It’s full of stunning architecture, statues, sculptures, and gardens. It spans almost 500 acres and includes pathways, ponds, gardens, and historic sites.
You’ll also see some of the most beautiful and unique headstones ever.
5. Barclays Center
Any basketball fan in New York knows about the Barclays Center. The famous arena is home to the Brooklyn Nets professional basketball team as well as the Brooklyn Liberty of the WNBA. But the center does so much more than just host basketball.
On top of hosting thousands of sports fans, the Barclays Center caters to several other events like national drafts, concerts, shows, and fights. The versatile center offers excellent seating for all kinds of stages.
Plus, it has many restaurants and bars to complete your night, including the Corona Beach House, Jack Daniel’s Bar, and the 40/40 Club.
6. Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
Like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is another impressive structure that connects Brooklyn with one of the other boroughs, Staten Island. The suspension bridge crosses the Narrows, which is a body of water that sits between the Upper and Lower New York bays.
What’s unique about this landmark is that it has two decks. The bridge transports 13 lanes of traffic, dividing them into the upper deck and lower deck traffic. The stunning architecture is incredible, and the bridge spans 4,260 feet.
7. Brooklyn Heights Promenade
The Brooklyn Heights Promenade is the perfect landmark for anyone who enjoys good views, a nice walk, and the great outdoors. The little strip of concrete can give you a little bit of an escape from the bustling city around it.
The promenade is a long, concrete platform that goes over the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. It runs alongside the New York Harbor, giving you the perfect view of Lower Manhattan. The pathway is lined with trees and sprinkled with benches, making it a popular place for a morning run or an afternoon stroll.
The promenade is especially magical at night when the Manhattan skyline lights up over the water.
8. Grand Army Plaza
People in Brooklynn also refer to Grand Army Plaza as the Prospect Park Plaza. The historical square sits at the entrance of Prospect Park and many people consider it the heart of Brooklyn.
Technically, the landmark serves a very practical purpose, it redirects and routes city traffic at a central point. But more importantly, it serves as the grand entrance to Prospect Park. The plaza is the meeting place for eight streets and boasts beautiful architecture.
It features the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch, which displays statues of Roman-style stone design.
9. The Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk
Coney Island is a sight to see all on its own, but you would need a day or two to explore all that the seaside dream has to offer, including rides, food, music, and fun.
The Amphitheater at Coney Island, known as the Ford Amphitheater, is a covered, outdoor venue that hosts a multitude of events and shows. It holds 5,000 seats and has hosted family shows, sports, comedy shows, concerts, and more.
Not only does it have the events you’re looking for, but it also features food and drinks at the Bacardi Seaside Bar, the Terrace Grill, and other locations. It’s always a bonus that it’s located on the boardwalk, mere feet from the beach.
10. Fort Hamilton
Fort Hamilton is the sole active-duty military post in the city of New York. Established in 1825, the post was named after Alexander Hamilton and is the fourth-oldest Army installation in the US. It serves as a base for active duty, reserve, and National Guard soldiers and families.
The post features a small museum that displays the fascinating history surrounding the military base. However, visitors can only get onto the installation with a military ID. Alternatively, if you are with someone who holds a military ID, you can also visit.
From the outside, you can see the old fort overlooking the Narrows, which offers some excellent views. And if you’re in the area for a patriotic holiday, you may catch a parade going through the nearby streets.
Final Thoughts – Landmarks In Brooklyn
Whether you are photographing the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge or strolling down the Brooklyn Height Promenade, there’s plenty to see and do in the borough of Brooklyn. Because New York City is such a massive place, it’s sometimes helpful to explore it by borough.
Brooklyn is full of history, art, nature, and architecture. It’s easy to get caught up in the bustle of city life, but don’t let these famous landmarks pass you by along the way. Check them out next time you get the chance!