DUMBO Neighborhood Guide
Brooklyn has been on the radar as a popular destination for a few years now. There are many fascinating neighborhoods with a rich history, full of cultural institutions, historical sights and national landmarks. One of the most picturesque Brooklyn neighborhoods is Dumbo.
Dumbo stands for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass, clearly indicating the neighborhood’s location. Dumbo is nestled between the two bridges, Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge, and offers amazing views of both.
Dumbo is easily accessible by subway, but perhaps the best way to get there is to walk or bike across the Brooklyn Bridge, or the slightly less scenic Manhattan Bridge. If you plan to take public transportation, take the F train to York Street. For walking, the best option is the Brooklyn Bridge from Chinatown, offering amazing views and a truly unforgettable experience. For biking, the Manhattan Bridge is optimal, because of its spacious bike lane and no crowds.
Dumbo is known for its cobble-stoned streets, industrial, brick buildings, factories and warehouses, and outrageously expensive apartments. Nestled between the rich brick-red buildings, you can find many artisanal coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques and art galleries.
Two of the most famous pizza shops in Brooklyn are located in Dumbo, very close to one another. One of them is Juliana’s (pictured), a classic New York Style pizza joint, attracting customers from all over the world. The pizza is so good, usually there’s a line outside. The second one is Grimaldi’s, now a chain operating in multiple locations in the city, serving delicious brick-oven pizza right under the Brooklyn Bridge. To satisfy your sweet tooth, stop by Jacques Torres Chocolate, a sought-after artisanal chocolate and truffle shop.
Dumbo is home to one of the most vibrant art scenes in New York City. The neighborhood’s spacious, lofty buildings make for perfect gallery space and the local crowd of hip, wealthy millennials creates the ideal clientele for new, provocative art. Art in Dumbo has put together the whole portfolio of local art galleries in an easy-to-navigate website. Head to Minus Space to admire minimalist contemporary art in a spacious gallery, or the Klompching Gallery for contemporary photography.
Sites and Photo Ops
Perhaps the biggest reason for tourists to flock over to Dumbo are the other-worldly views from its waterfront. Nestled between the two bridges, Dumbo offers incredible photo-ops and views of these engineering marvels, as well as the lower Manhattan skyline. Perhaps the most classic view is that of the Empire State Building peeking from under the Manhattan Bridge, from Washington Street and Water Street. If you prefer the Brooklyn Bridge, the opportunities for amazing shots are plentiful in this area, as soon as you descend the bridge, or are done with your pizza at Juliana’s.
A trip to Dumbo would not be complete without riding the famous Jane’s Carousel. Built in 1922 and originally located in Ohio, this carousel brings to life the classic feel of vintage amusement parks, right on the Brooklyn waterfront. Extending past the boundary of Dumbo is Brooklyn Bridge Park, a public park built right on the Brooklyn Piers, offering many opportunities for leisure, with the most magnificent views of Brooklyn Bridge and Downtown Manhattan. Walking through Brooklyn Bridge Park is an experience treasured by locals and visitors alike, with plenty of activities for both adults and children.
If you wish to explore Dumbo with the help of knowledgeable tour guides, you can take the Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo walking tour (free with the New York Pass), or take Circle Line Cruises‘ Hello Brooklyn Tour, which focuses on Dumbo and the Brooklyn waterfront. Alternatively, you can rent bikes or take a bike tour with one of our bike partners and explore the area on two wheels.
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