Brooklyn has a hub of trendy neighborhoods to explore. Dumbo is known for its impressive architecture, Bushwick has a thriving arts and music scene, and Greenpoint has some of the best restaurants. New Yorkers could get lost for hours in Brooklyn, weaving between cafes, museums, and eateries, while admiring the murals and street art.

Williamsburg is a popular neighborhood in Brooklyn known for its thriving arts and culture scene. It hugs the East River, offering incredible views of Manhattan’s skyline. The Brooklyn Bridge dazzles with its heights and breathtaking views. Strolling around the neighborhood, you’ll notice eclectic local art and hipster coffee shops adorn the streets. Whether you're traveling from another NYC borough or if you're visiting from further away, Williamsburg has plenty of unique places to occupy your time. From trendy eateries to live music concerts to art museums, Williamsburg’s varied offerings make it hard to believe that so many opportunities exist within a 10-mile area. Our guide curates some of the best things to do in Williamsburg.

Quick Answer Guide: 14 Best Things to Do in Williamsburg

‌Top Things to Do in Williamsburg‌

Best ‌Things‌ to Do During the Day in Williamsburg

‌Best Things to Do Outdoors in Williamsburg‌

‌Best Things to Do at Night in Williamsburg‌

Free ‌Things‌ to Do in Williamsburg

Top Things to Do in Williamsburg

Williamsburg’s art, music, culture, and hipster scene attracts visitors from all over. It’s a short train ride from the crowds of NYC, where visitors can enjoy the suburban stretch. Williamsburg is at the heart of Brooklyn's eclectic shopping scene, from flea markets to vintage shops. Some trendy local taverns offer food, beverages, and rousing entertainment. For those looking to unwind, Williamsburg has some hidden gems that are ideal spots for romance and relaxation. These are some of the best things to do in Williamsburg.

1. Artists & Fleas

  • Perfect For:‌ Artisanal fare and unique shopping
  • Website:
  • If You Go:‌ Chat with the merchants — they have marvelous stories.

While Williamsburg is known for its boutiques and vintage shops, it also has a weekend flea market. Artists & Fleas hosts over 50 vendors each Saturday and Sunday. Visitors can peruse stands and learn abut upcoming trends in design, fashion, art, and other commerce. If you're a vintage clothing enthusiast, the vendors have a wealth of knowledge.

Hipsters and trendsetters alike flock to Artists & Fleas for bespoke products made with artisan craftsmanship. The best part of the flea market is chatting with vendors. Their stories are entertaining and they’re happy to engage with visitors. I recommend attending on a Saturday, so you can visit the nearby Smorgasburg on the way.

2. Pete’s Candy Store

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  • Perfect For:‌ Trivia and live performances
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  • If You Go:‌ Get there early, because space fills up fast.

Pete’s Candy Store is a local bar with a casual, laid-back vibe. It has been a staple in Williamsburg for the past 24 years. Aside from serving food and drinks, Pete’s Candy Store is a hotspot for free social activities. The bar’s trivia nights are a must do in Williamsburg. The bar offers prizes to first, second, and third place winners.

Besides games, Pete’s Candy Store also hosts Open Mic Nights, musical performances, poetry readings, and comedy shows. The staff is friendly and adept at helping visitors navigate the popular social scene. Pete’s Candy Store keeps an updated calendar on its website of social events, so you can plan your outing in advance.

3. The William Vale Hotel

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  • Perfect For:‌ Quality couple time
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  • If You Go:‌ Stop by the Westlight for drinks at the rooftop bar.

Williamsburg is home to several high-end hotels. These boutique hotels have prime access to views along the Williamsburg waterfront. The Williamsburg Hotel and The Wythe Hotel are popular destinations for tourists and locals.

The William Vale Hotel offers an elevated, luxurious experience. It’s home to Westlight, a rooftop bar that has breathtaking views of the cityscape and craft cocktails. This romantic spot is the perfect place to cozy up, connect with your partner, and soak in the views. Visitors can purchase day passes to splash in the hotel’s luxury pool. If you enjoy golfing, VALE(mini)Golf is on the hotel’s premises, but open for the public to enjoy.

Best Things to Do During the Day in Williamsburg

If you don’t know what to do in Williamsburg, start here! The best activities are only an L train ride away for New Yorkers. This Brooklyn neighborhood is home to hidden gems that will elevate your day trip. From breweries and wineries to vintage shops, there are plenty of places to while away the day. Williamsburg has many museums, so you can appreciate the neighborhood’s robust history and culture. If you’re looking to disconnect from crowds, this neighborhood has some of the best spa offerings in the Brooklyn area.

4. Brooklyn Brewery

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  • Perfect For:‌ Craft beer
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  • If You Go:‌ Book a free tour, if you’re visiting on a weekend.

If you’re a craft beer enthusiast, Brooklyn Brewery is a must do in Williamsburg. You can go behind the scenes and see how your favorite brews are made with an exclusive tour. Afterward, you can take part in a tasting, as you chat with staff and other craft enthusiasts. The staff knows all their brews inside out, from lagers to ales.

The brewery is also a private event space, hosting parties and fundraisers. Check out Brooklyn Brewery’s schedule, so you can join events like Drag Bingo and Trivia. This location offers options for free tours on the weekends, so I recommend taking advantage of those.

5. Awoke Vintage

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  • Perfect For:‌ Vintage shopping
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  • If You Go:‌ If you can’t make it in person, the shop sells item through its Instagram page.

Exploring Williamsburg’s unique shops and markets is like going on an adventure. If you know where to look, you can find a wealth of treasure. Just like NYC, Brooklyn has an array of vintage shopping locations. Awoke Vintage has vintage clothing spanning throughout the ages at a variety of price points. The store’s owners have a particular mastery in sourcing vintage denim.

Awoke Vintage’s high-quality fashion has attracted celebrities like Robert Pattinson and Olivia Rodrigo. I recommend bringing several shopping bags, as the unique treasures are difficult to pass up. Shoppers can also curate a walking tour in Brooklyn by visiting vintage shops like Chickee’s Vintage and Beacon’s Closet. Bedford Avenue has some of the best vintage shops in the area.

6. The City Reliquary

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  • Perfect For:‌ Podcast listeners and history buffs
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  • If You Go:‌ Visit on the weekends, as the museum is only open on Saturday or Sunday.

Williamsburg has a thriving historical scene. Its history has become so popular that one museum, The City Reliquary, has started a podcast called “Undiscarded: Stories of New York” to share information with fans. The City Reliquary displays New York artifacts and memorabilia to share with the community.

This non-profit museum has both permanent and revolving collections. Besides its historical offerings, the organization also hosts events throughout the year. If you’re not able to make to the museum in person, you can still enjoy learning about its artifacts through the podcast.

7. Bathhouse

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  • Perfect For:‌ Spa treatments and relaxation
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  • If You Go:‌ Make reservations beforehand and bring a bathing suit.

Bathhouse is a luxury spa experience you won’t soon forget. It's housed inside a vintage factory building, which belies the opulent presentation inside. Once inside, the multisensory experience of gentle lighting, soft music, and essential oils eases your tension. Slip on a soft robe and luxuriate in Bathhouse’s amenities. Sweat it out in the sauna or take a dip in the thermal pool. The spa has an extensive menu of treatments, from massages to scrubs.

If you’re hungry, grab a bite to eat at the on-site restaurant. No need to change – the dining staff has a dining robe ready for your meal. I recommend buying a day pass and booking treatments in advance, so you can make the most of your day. Bring a bathing suit if you're planning to use the thermal pool. This exclusive spa experience will leave you feeling rejuvenated.

Best Things to Do Outdoors in Williamsburg

With proximity to the East River, Williamsburg has ample spaces for outdoor recreation. The area has beautiful parks with wide open spaces. Walk along the Williamsburg waterfront for a peaceful respite from the bustling activities. The bridges have picturesque views that photographers are eager to capture. Williamsburg offers a range of walking tours to share its culture and history with visitors. The neighborhood is also known for its time-honored outdoor food market, which attracts hungry foodies in droves. If you’re not sure what the best activities in Williamsburg are, check out these attractions.

8. Smorgasburg

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  • Perfect For:‌ Foodies
  • Website:
  • If You Go:‌ Print a copy of the map, so you can find your way around the food stands easily.

In the summer months, Smorgasburg is a must do in Williamsburg. Its name is a clever mashup of Williamsburg’s name and the word “smorgasbord,” which is a wide range of delectable eats. Located in Marsha P. Johnson State Park, this open-air food market showcases local vendors and beckons thousands of visitors each year. Smorgasburg delivers a high-quality range of food with a roster of over 80 vendors. This exclusive food market features cuisines from around the world.

It’s the ideal spot to walk around, enjoy the views of the East River, and try as many delicious offerings as you can. The magic of Smorgasburg means you can enjoy wings, a lobster roll, dumplings, jambalaya, and ice cream all in the same afternoon. I highly recommend stopping by Bang Cookies’ stand and grabbing one of their sea-salt chocolate chip cookies before they sell out.

9. The Williamsburg Bridge

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The Williamsburg Bridge is suspended between Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and the Lower East Side in NYC. This steel bridge has been a staple in NYC since 1903 and continues to attract thousands of visitors daily. With breathtaking sights of the Manhattan skyline and the East River, this is one of the best places to visit in Williamsburg.

A walkway and bike lane separate pedestrians from the traffic. The bridge is a little under 1.5 miles, so it would take about an hour to walk from end to end. If cycling across the bridge, I recommend using the CitiBike app to find a location near the bridge. The bike path has street art, which attracts photographers and art admirers alike. I recommend taking an evening walk, so you can bask in the sunset views.

10. Williamsburg Food Tasting & Walking Tour

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Brooklyn is home to world-class cafes and eateries. Williamsburg Food Tasting and Walking Tour allows you to move and chew your way through Brooklyn’s dining scene. Guides offers historical and architectural tidbits as you pass iconic locations. Enjoy the street art as you stroll between eateries. The food tour's popular refreshments include NYC bagels, Italian cuisine, dumplings, and doughnuts for a satisfying sampling of Brooklyn’s finest. While there are a multitude of food tours in New York City, this tour gives visitors a specific look at Williamsburg’s contributions to the culinary scene.

Best Things to Do at Night in Williamsburg

Williamsburg has a bustling nightlife with vibrant activities that will suit every itinerary. Aside from dive bars and top restaurants, the neighborhood hosts engaging nighttime events both locals and visitors clamor for. Music venues, bowling alleys, and indie cinemas line the streets, beckoning visitors looking for cultural and recreational immersion. These are some of the best places to visit in Williamsburg after dark.

11. Brooklyn Bowl

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Brooklyn Bowl is at the pinnacle of nightlife in Williamsburg. It resides in a dazzling space ensconced in neon lights. Its saloon aesthetic offers a backdrop for Instagram-worthy pictures. Like most bowling alleys, Brooklyn Bowl has lanes, shoe rentals, and bowling balls to set the scene for a fun night out with friends. Food and beverage offerings are available to help your team refuel before the next round of competition.

However, unlike most other bowling alleys, Brooklyn Bowl doubles as a concert venue. This music venue hosts indie concerts that draw fans from all over NYC. It's a standing-room-only venue, so I recommend arriving early and planning your footwear accordingly.

12. Nighthawk Cinema

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  • Perfect For:‌ Movie buffs looking for quality cuisine
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  • If You Go:‌ Purchase tickets in advance, so you can focus on the menu.

Nighthawk Cinema isn’t your average indie movie theater experience. It has movies, popcorn, and candy, but it also has unique ways of leveling up the audience's expectations. This independent cinema is a movie theater and eatery hybrid, thoughtfully curating a delicious dine-in menu. It caters themed-menus to correspond with movie showings. If you’re not a fan of advertisements before movies, Nighthawk Cinema has the solution for you. The independent movie house shows a collage of clips that correspond to the movie instead of repetitive advertisements.

Free Things to Do in Williamsburg

New Yorkers can find plenty of places to occupy their time in Brooklyn. Williamsburg has some of the best restaurants, brunch spots, cafes, music venues, and vintage shops in New York. Sometimes you may want to find free activities and events, so you can budget for other travel destinations. These free activities in Williamsburg will expand your horizons and whet your appetite for adventure.

13. McCarren Park

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McCarren Park feels like a suburban oasis within Williamsburg and Greenpoint. With over 35 acres of grassland and a long list of outdoor recreation options, you’ll forget that you’re mere miles from Manhattan. In the summer months, the park offers free movie nights. Spread out your picnic blanket and indulge in a classic film. Families can take advantage of the pool and play center, where busy activities will leave kids sleepy and happy. McCarren Park also has a running track, soccer field, kickball diamond, skate park, and courts for bocce ball, tennis, and basketball.

This is a community-minded setting, where locals and visitors can mingle. The park is also a meetup for walking tours and fitness groups. Join a pickup game on the courts, take a walk, or just sit and soak in the city’s slice of nature. If you’re planning to stay for a few hours, I recommend bringing a blanket along, so you’ll have somewhere to sit and bask in the green space. Since McCarren Park is home to many free events, I recommend perusing its website in advance, so you can take advantage of limited-time offerings.

14. Domino Park

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Domino Park is a public park on five acres in Williamsburg. Its moniker hails from the former Domino Sugar Refinery where the park now rests. This is a sweet spot in Williamsburg where photographers can snap stunning pictures of Manhattan’s skyline and the Williamsburg Bridge. The park includes play areas for children and a small water park.

Domino Park has recreational courts to play volleyball and bocce ball. Bring your pups to socialize in the dog run. Fans of Mexican food can find tacos on the premises at Tacocina, although the tacos are not free. The park’s stretches of grassland are perfect for a fair-weather picnic or an afternoon of reading in the sunshine. I recommend walking along the elevated walkways at sunset. The walkways give you a front-row seat to the majestic beauty of New York.

Williamsburg is an eclectic Brooklyn neighborhood with a roster of events and activities to explore. Although it’s under 10 square miles, there are a multitude of places to visit. Whether you’re a New Yorker or visiting from further away, this dynamic neighborhood has something to accommodate every taste. Its vast selection of daytime activities, outdoor recreation, nightlife, and free events make this a top destination in New York. Choose some of the best things to do in Williamsburg and make your itinerary. Pack your camera so you can capture the stunning views and memories along the way.