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12 Things to Do in Williamsburg

The only reason I knew about Williamsburg was thanks to The HBO show Girls. If you haven’t seen it, the whole three series are based on Hannah and her friends’ lives in the Brooklyn suburb. It’s like the modern Sex and the City. I love it.

I actually did a Google-search guided tour around Williamsburg, taking a ‘casual’ photo in every spot. Not a geek.

Anyway, I booked three nights in Manhattan for our week in New York and three nights in Williamsburg so we could get a good look around. Turns out I’d made an excellent choice.

Guide to Williamsburg

If you’re familiar with London, Williamsburg is kind of like Shoreditch, but so much better. For starts, it’s actually cool, not just pretentious people trying to be. It’s also a lot quieter and more relaxed, and you didn’t have to queue for hours to get in anywhere.

Most of the action centres around Metropolitan Avenue and Bedford Avenue.

Williamsburg coffee shops

After three crazy days and nights in Manhattan, which had followed a week of partying in San Francisco and Coachella, we were definitely ready to chill out in the Williamsburg coffee shops.

I have never drank so much coffee in my life as I did in Williamsburg.

There were so many to choose from. Can’t find any exact stats but I’d say there were at least two on every street. This was my favourite…

Guide to Williamsburg

In the coffee bars everyone is either on their laptops or passionately discussing their latest greatest creative project. They were brilliant places for eavesdropping, using the Wi-Fi and people watching. Definitely the perfect places to write my forthcoming novel, when I start.

Shopping in Williamsburg

Shopping in Wiliamsburg was great fun. Urban Outfitters have recently moved in, next to American Apparel (I will never understand that shop) but when we went in for a wander there was no one in those shops. Too commercial. Williamsburg is all about goodwill shops – hipsters love a rummage. We already thought Williamsburg was awesome and then when we found the shops of Union Street on our last day we actually had to get more money out to keep up with how much cool stuff there was.

Guide to Williamsburg

Down by the river is a cool market filled with local handcrafted goods. I bought myself a ring here, which I have now lost. I am a liability.

There’s also a big market by the sports centre on the weekend that’s kind of a big deal, unfortunately we just missed it.

The new and huge Rough Trade shop in Williamsburg looks awesome. I spent some time in there listening to the records, and could see from the advertising they did live gigs in there. Upcoming when I went in April were Tori Amos and Little Dragon. Amazing.

Guide to Williamsburg

If you tire of the trendy shops around Bedford Avenue, make your way to Green Point where you’ll find discount stores a plenty.

Eating in Williamsburg

We met up with W.’s friend Greg, a local who took us to the Wythe Hotel where we were sat next to Dan Humphries from Gossip Girl, exciting. I’d definitely recommend it here and apparently they have a roof terrace that we didn’t manage to climb unfortunately. I had the chicken sandwich here, and although the fries were delicious I wouldn’t recommend the chicken. W. would strongly disagree. Go for the sausage dish instead.

Guide to Williamsburg

Rosamunde, now they know how to serve a sausage. We visited for the late night happy hour at midnight ish and got a hot dog and chilli fries to share. I’ve never seen such a comprehensive sausage menu, I was pleased. There’s a dirty bar vibe in there thanks to the cool clientele, and the bar staff with happily rustle up a beer for $2.

Rosamunde in Williamsburg.jpg

We also ate at The Bagelsmith on Bedford Avenue for breakfast. I made a bad choice with a salted bagel, totally forgetting everything was bigger in the USA and nearly vommed at the huge flakes of salt I ingested. Avoid.

Guide to Williamsburg

Finally, my favourite food in Williamsburg came from Lodge on Grand Street. I had this… and only managed half of it. Delicious though!

Oh and check out the Roebling Tea Room too. It’s not actually a tea room, but a super cool bar serving big, fat, top quality, juicy burgers. This was our final meal in the USA and a great way to bow out.

Outdoors in Williamsburg

If you’re looking for a bit of adventure to burn off the caffeine and pancakes take a stroll across the Williamsburg Bridge. It’s only a mile or so and you’ll get incredible views over Brooklyn and Manhattan. There’s a specific lane for walkers so it’s safe too.

Walk down to the waterfront to get your photo taken against the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. You could picnic down here or take a book to read. I even saw a few people with their laptops too.

Guide to Williamsburg

In McCarren Park we saw some serious baseball games going on in the enclosure, and a few less serious ones in the main park.

Just walk around – Williamsburg and its people are fascinating.

Accommodation

We stayed in Rio’s apartment by Marcy Avenue subway station. We had a roof terrace, lounge area, comfy bed and bathroom to call home for the three nights. There were some weird clunking sounds in the apartment in the mornings, which were really annoying, but the awesomeness of the apartment definitely made up for it.

Guide to Williamsburg
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VickyFlipFlopTravels » UK Travel Blogger Who Loves Festivals and TravelNext Up: A Trip With VIBE Israel to... Israel! - VickyFlipFlopTravels

Thursday 7th of May 2015

[…] this article the other day that said Tel Aviv is the second most hipster place in the world, after Williamsburg in NYC (been there!) and ahead of Shoreditch in London (and there!). I’m very excited to see this, […]

Mandy

Monday 6th of April 2015

Ahh I wish I read this before I went... I ended up in a run down area of Williamsburg with nothing but a pizza stall :(

New York City Secrets

Monday 2nd of June 2014

[…] has written lots of great tips about Williamsburg in Brooklyn on her blog. You can follow her latest travel adventures on her twitter and Facebook, she is pretty […]

Naomi

Monday 19th of May 2014

Anywhere with good coffee culture and I am there! Big fan of Girls too, so I would love to go to Williamsburg.

Vicky

Thursday 29th of May 2014

I literally can not wait for the next season!

Emma Copland

Sunday 18th of May 2014

Im back off to New York in September and will definitely be checking out some of these places.

Vicky

Thursday 29th of May 2014

Ah great news! Williamsburg is so easy to get to, it makes sense to drop in!