I desperately wanted to stay in a luxury hotel for this exciting trip, but an unexpected move and a 44% increase in our living expenses required that I find somewhere else to stay. After doing some research, I set my sights on Brooklyn. While there are a few luxury hotels in Brooklyn that are a little more budget friendly than the ones in Manhattan, I decided to find a standard hotel room from a brand I felt comfortable with that was close to public transportation. We learned a lot about staying in Brooklyn and wanted to share some tips with you.
Hotel Indigo Brooklyn was the home base of choice for this trip.
Hotel Indigo Brooklyn is within walking distance to three Metro stations and only a few blocks from the Brooklyn Bridge. It is also near the original Junior’s location which means the best cheesecake evah, right down the street.
The entire three night stay cost us $614. The rooms are small, even by New York standards, but we didn’t spend much time there. It really was just a roof over our heads, but it had everything we needed.
We took advantage of all three Metro stations and found a few fun bars in the downtown Brooklyn area.
Benefits of staying in Brooklyn:
- Fewer people
- More local feel
- Less expensive
- Closer to JFK & LGA
- Off the beaten path (if you’re looking for that)
Cons to staying in Brooklyn:
- It’s more difficult to get back to your hotel if you want a nap or a wardrobe change
- You’ll spend more time on public transportation (Metro or Uber)
- Further away from iconic NYC things and shows
- Downtown Brooklyn doesn’t feel as friendly as Manhattan (Williamsburg is cool, super hipster)
How to Get Around
Our favorite way to get around is always the subway, but Uber and Lyft cars are readily available in Brooklyn as well. A trip to the Lower East Side of Manhattan from Downtown Brooklyn will run you $15-$20, while a trip on the train would cost you $2.75, and potentially take less time. Taking the train does mean you’ll have to do some walking, but we rarely had to walk more than 8 minutes to get to our destination once we got off the train in Manhattan.
There are a lot of train connections in Brooklyn that head to Manhattan, no matter which part of town you decide to stay in. We found that while staying in downtown Brooklyn, you had to take the N or Q train to 14th St. / Union Station then transfer to the L train to get to Williamsburg.
If you have plenty of time, you could just walk or bike the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan and back.
Where to Stay in Brooklyn
Staying in Downtown Brooklyn offers close access to the orange, yellow, green, red, and blue lines to get to various parts of Manhattan. It is also close to Prospect Park, The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, Barclay Center, and is a quick train ride to Coney Island. It is also within walking distance of the Brooklyn Bridge, which is a great way to enjoy the Manhattan skyline. We found it to be less friendly than staying in Manhattan, but it has a very local vibe and the locals aren’t there to entertain tourists.
I stayed in Williamsburg a couple years ago at the William Vale. It is a stunning hotel in a super hipster area of Brooklyn. We ventured up there this time and the vibe is young and hip. The locals are more friendly here, but the L train is the only route to Manhattan. The easiest way to get around is to take the L into Manhattan and transfer to another line in order to get anywhere in Manhattan or other parts of Brooklyn. The walk to the L can be further away from stations than in Downtown Brooklyn depending on where in Williamsburg you stay.
Both locations have good food and bar options, though we figured out that Brooklyn as a whole closes down a lot earlier than Manhattan does.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m in NYC I like to milk every second of time the city that never sleeps throws at me.