Here’s a guide with cool tips and a suggested walking route to explore Dumbo in Brooklyn! It’s a beautiful area worth visiting while you’re in NYC! Find out where exactly to go in Dumbo, what to visit, where to eat & more!
Top Places to Visit in Dumbo Brooklyn
The most popular spots are:
- Washington Street.
- Empire Stores / Time Out Market NY.
- Water Street.
- Jane’s Carousel area.
- Brooklyn Bridge Park / Pier 1.
- Old Fulton Street (between Front St. & Water St.).
Actually, Pier 1 & Old Fulton St. are part of Brooklyn Heights but many tourists think it’s DUMBO because it’s part of what they visit when they go there and well, the ferry station located there is called DUMBO too 😉
POPULAR CORNER IN DUMBO, BROOKLYN
Famous corner in Dumbo to take pictures! You’ll get a nice view of the Manhattan Bridge featuring the Empire State Building in the background.
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS | Other Places to Visit when going to Dumbo
- Cadman Plaza E / Brooklyn Borough Hall (when you walk off the Brooklyn Bridge).
- Nice streets of Brooklyn Heights to explore: Pierrepont St / Henry St. / Montague St / Columbia Heights / Willow Sts.
- Brooklyn Heights Promenade: walk along the coast.
What you can leave out…
Feel free to skip Cadman Plaza E / Brooklyn Borough Hall. It’s not that nice. But if you wanna explore the area, go on a weekday because it feels empty on weekends.
Exploring Streets of Brooklyn Heights
It’s nice to explore some of the streets of Brooklyn Heights because they’re beautiful and you’ll get a different vibe compared to Manhattan and other parts of the city 😉 If you’re on a tight schedule or just want to do the most popular & iconic stuff do the Top places mentioned above and you can also add visiting a few streets in Brooklyn Heights because I think it’s worth it so you get to see a bit more than just the River coast!
Optimizing your NYC Itinerary
To optimize time, you can start from Dumbo (where Main Street Park is) ending at Old Fulton St (view suggested walking route below!). Then, you can explore some streets of Brooklyn Heights when you go to the subway station of the 2/3 train to go back to Manhattan.
Map: click on the square (top right) for a bigger view.
How to get to Dumbo Brooklyn
It’s really close to Manhattan! Just a stop away!
By Bike or Walking crossing the Brooklyn Bridge
Ride a bike (or walk) from Manhattan along the Brooklyn Bridge!
I recommend this option so you do the Brooklyn Bridge & DUMBO all in the same day to optimize your NYC itinerary! DUMBO is right there when you walk off the bridge!
- Take the F to York Street Station.
- A/C trains to High Street/Brooklyn Bridge Station.
- 2/3 to Clark Street station.
From the F train you’re a bit closer to the places you’ll visit and it can be easier to find the spots.
From the 2/3 you have to walk a few more blocks. Make sure to have a map with you on your phone so you know where to go. Make sure to take the subway that says “TO MANHATTAN” if you go back by subway!
You can take the EAST RIVER FERRY from Manhattan to DUMBO.
Cost is the same as a single subway trip. Check ferry schedule here.
Where to take the ferry from Manhattan:
Suggested Walking Route in DUMBO
Once you get to DUMBO: You can start from Washington St. / Main Street Park, walking towards Old Fulton St. (towards the Brooklyn Bridge.
I prefer to start from Washington St. so you end the “tour” at the ferry station if you go back to Manhattan by ferry. It’s also nicer because you’ll be walking facing the Brooklyn Bridge 😉 If you do this, it’s better to get to DUMBO from Manhattan with the “F” subway (because it’s easier to start from there) or by walking through the Brooklyn Bridge & then heading first to Washington St.
GOOD TO KNOW: you’ll see 2 bridges. The “blue-ish” one (and the one you see from Washington & Front Sts) is the MANHATTAN BRIDGE and the “brown-ish” one is the BROOKLYN BRIDGE.
Once you’re in DUMBO (either by subway or through the Brooklyn Bridge) check the options below.
Suggested walking route if you start from WASHINGTON ST. / MAIN STREET PARK:
Walk down to the River and walk along the coast of Main Street Park. There’s a beautiful walking path with wonderful views of the Brooklyn & Manhattan bridges and the Manhattan skyline. Beautiful to go close to Sunset!
Keep walking towards the Brooklyn Bridge. You’ll see the EMPIRE STORES / TIME OUT MARKET NY. Nice place to visit and awesome spot to eat something delicious! You can head to the 5th floor where there’s a rooftop with great views of the river and the bridges.
Then walk on Water Street to Old Fulton St. You’ll be walking below the Brooklyn Bridge to the other side of the bridge. You’ll see a park towards the East River with great views of Brooklyn Bridge and the Financial District / Lower Manhattan. It’s also beautiful to go at night and see all the wonderful NYC lights & the bridge also lighten up! Breathtaking!
You can then explore some streets of Brooklyn Heights from here before going back to Manhattan. If you go back to Manhattan with the 2/3 train you can explore them when heading to the subway station.
Optional: you can get to DUMBO by subway and go back to Manhattan crossing the Brooklyn Bridge in the evening so you get to see the lights from the bridge as well! The only thing about ending the “DUMBO tour” walking through the bridge is that you might feel tired. The good thing of walking through the bridge first (on the way to Brooklyn) is that you can rest in DUMBO when you eat something or at a bench along the river coast. You can also walk the bridge on the way to DUMBO and ride a bike to go back 😉
ANOTHER OPTION: you can start from Brooklyn Heights (or Cadman Plaza E / Brooklyn Borough Hall) exploring first:
Explore Brooklyn Heights streets heading to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.
Walk along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade to Old Fulton St. & from here walk on West Street towards the Manhattan Bridge.
Walk next to the East River coast where Jane’s Carousel is. You’ll see the EMPIRE STORES / TIME OUT MARKET NY.
Keep walking a bit more next to the river and you’ll find the walking path in Main Street Park.
Then head to Washington St. & Front St. for a popular photo-op (you can also go here after visiting the Empire Stores & then go to Main Street Park).
Where to Eat in Dumbo, Brooklyn
The Top Places to eat in Dumbo.
I definitely recommend going to Time Out Market NY! You have plenty of really good options!
Time Out Market New York
A food market inside The Empire Stores right next to the East River REALLY GOOD! Many great food options to choose from with plenty of seating indoors & outdoors and a rooftop as well to enjoy views from the top!
WHERE: Entrance through Water St. or East River Coast between Dock St. & Main St.
Everything’s great here! A few spots inside Time Out Market I recommend:
Breads Bagelry | Bagels
DELICIOUS bagels! One of the best ones of NY! The Eggs & Cheese and the Salmon ones are SO GOOD!
They’re a bit pricey but definitely worth it! They’re pretty big so you can share one.
Each of these bagels cost $18.
Ice & Vice | Ice Cream
You’ll also find the Ice & Vice kiosk inside Time Out Market that has really good homemade Ice Cream with unique & creative flavors.
Time Out Market Rooftop:
They have a rooftop in the 4th floor. FREE to Go Up and experience nice NYC Views! There are a few more foodie shops up there as well.
Great Ice Cream sandwiches!
Nice “fancy” restaurant right next to Time Out Market with tables outside with nice views to Brooklyn Bridge & the river.
Popular Restaurants at Old Fulton Street
Over Old Fulton St. there are a few restaurants all in just one block.
WHERE EXACTLY: Old Fulton St. between Water St. (the river) & Front St.
The most popular ones:
SHAKE SHACK | Burgers
Popular burger spot! It’s better to try the burgers at this Shake Shack than in Manhattan because it’s less crowded, cleaner & more spacious at this location.
GRIMALDI’S | Pizza
A very popular pizza place. There’s usually a line of people waiting to buy pizza here! You must buy the whole pizza because they don’t sell per slice. CASH ONLY!
It was temporarily closed for renovations.
JULIANA’S | Pizza
Another popular pizza spot next to Grimaldi’s. Both are popular but Grimaldi’s a bit more popular. It gets too crowded. Usually people wait in line outside to get in & place an order.
A casual Italian restaurant located on Water St. & Old Fulton St.
A popular spot to get tasty lobster rolls if you’re up for this kind of food!
It’s a small spot and a bit pricey but people love it here.
THE RIVER CAFÉ | Upscale Restaurant
If you wanna go fancy, go to this place.
It’s PRICEY and people go to celebrate special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, romantic date, etc. It’s a beautiful fine restaurant that’s literally on a boat with stunning views of Manhattan & Brooklyn Bridge with a very romantic setting.
Dress code for this place: suit jackets required for men after 5pm. Appropriate footwear at all times. Lunch/Brunch can be slightly casual but too casual is never allowed.
Make a reservation here.
How Long it Takes to Explore DUMBO Brooklyn
You can do it in half a day! It’s nicer in the afternoon/evening!
DUMBO or Williamsburg?
If you’re on a Tight Schedule and Have to Choose:
If you can’t do both I’d recommend doing DUMBO. Both are nice but different. I recommend you DUMBO because it’s right there when you walk off the Brooklyn Bridge and it has wonderful views of the bridges & the city walking along the coast.
IF YOU ARE COMING TO NYC WITH KIDS: DUMBO is a better option because you have Jane’s Carousel & there’s a great playground for kids nearby at Main Street Park called Main St. Playground. There’s another playground when you go to Old Fulton St. / Brooklyn Bridge Park called Pier 1 Playground. Both playgrounds are very convenient & without having to go far! They’re right there 🙂
Enjoy your time at DUMBO!
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