Brooklyn is the perfect place to stay when visiting New York City. You can enjoy the Manhattan skyline without paying Big Apple prices, and scoot into the city for just a couple of bucks each day on the subway. Affordable hotels in Brooklyn are easy to find — just make sure you know which neighborhoods to choose. Here’s everything you need to know to book the perfect place in Brooklyn.
JFK is the most convenient airport for Brooklyn. LaGuardia isn’t horrible, but avoid flights into Newark if possible. The cheap way to get to Brooklyn from JFK is to hop on the local Q10 bus; you’ll need $2.50 in coins or a Metro card to ride. Ask the driver to let you off at Kew Garden. From there, you can take the subway for another $2.25. You could also take the AirTran for $5, and transfer to the E train on the subway, where you’ll pay another $2.25. If you have a lot of luggage and want a taxi, expect to pay around $30.
Brooklyn is huge, so pay attention to which neighborhood your hotel is located in. If your goal is to use the borough as a base to explore Manhattan, choose a neighborhood near the bridge. Downtown Brooklyn is perfect. The artsy Williamsburg sector, Brooklyn’s hipster hive, is also a good choice. The area known as DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) is a sweet spot, with cobblestone streets and perfect views of the Manhattan skyline.
Avoid the Gowanus and Red Hook areas. They look appealing on the map, but these areas are not visitor-friendly. The same goes for East Brooklyn. It’s close to the airport, but sections of it are pretty rough.
Where to Stay
Brooklyn has loads of hotels, B&Bs, hostels, and apartment rentals. The best way to sort through them all is with a tool like Hipmunk that brings all the lodging options together into one search engine. Here are some of the best hotel finds out there:
Hotel Le Jolie, in the trendy Williamsburg neighborhood, is close to the subway and surrounded by shops and street life. Hotel Le Bleu, just three miles from the Statue of Liberty, will soothe you with a cool blue color scheme, a cocktail in the lounge, or a relaxing evening on the rooftop terrace. If you would prefer something ultra-modern and surprisingly affordable, try Hotel BPM. The music-themed hotel keeps you comfortable with pillow-top mattresses and rainfall shower heads.
The One Thing Not to Miss
The single coolest thing to do while you’re in the area is to walk the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s two miles across, with jaw-dropping views of the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline. Bring your camera and a little cash for the drinks or ice cream along the way. You can walk back, or take a quick water taxi.
Brooklyn offers the perfect base for exploring NYC. Some of Brooklyn’s streets are so charming that you may decide to skip the trip to Manhattan and spend a day exploring the Brooklyn neighborhoods.
Everything Lauren Haas owns fits in a backpack, and she lives all over the world. Lauren writes lifestyle content for CBS, Time Warner, and AXS.com and keeps a blog at www.TheSoulOfAJourney.com. Currently she is working on Hipmunk’s City Love Project.