Where to Stay in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2023

Welcome to Williamsburg, a neighborhood that encapsulates the dynamic spirit of Brooklyn, New York. Nestled along the East River, Williamsburg is a captivating blend of artistry, culture, and creativity. With a rich history dating back centuries, it has evolved into a vibrant and trendy destination that draws visitors from around the world.

Williamsburg from the East River - Kent Ave apartment building and Domino Sugar in view

Known for its iconic streets like Bedford Avenue and its diverse communities, Williamsburg offers a unique experience to every traveler. Whether you’re a foodie, an art enthusiast, a music lover, or simply seeking a taste of authentic Brooklyn life, this hipster neighborhood has something for you.

Williamsburg’s streets are lined with an eclectic mix of boutiques, vintage shops, and artisanal markets, making it a shopping haven for the fashion-forward. Its burgeoning art scene is evident in the numerous galleries, street murals, and creative spaces that dot the landscape.

Foodies can indulge in a culinary journey through Williamsburg’s diverse dining scene, from mouthwatering international cuisine to innovative farm-to-table eateries. And when the sun sets, the neighborhood comes alive with its thriving nightlife, offering live music venues, rooftop bars, and underground clubs.

Whether you’re strolling along the bustling Bedford Avenue or relaxing by the tranquil Williamsburg Waterfront, this guide will help you navigate the neighborhood’s distinct neighborhoods, activities, and accommodations, ensuring that your visit to Williamsburg is an unforgettable experience.

Below is a guide to where to stay in Williamsburg, focusing on my favorite neighborhoods and areas of Brooklyn’s coolest neighborhood.

hipster williamsburg

5 Best Places to Stay in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

1. Bedford Avenue

Bedford Avenue is the bustling heart of Williamsburg, known for its trendy shops, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife. Staying here puts you right in the midst of the action.

Bedford Avenue, the bustling artery of Williamsburg, is a microcosm of Brooklyn’s vibrant spirit and a must-visit destination for locals and tourists alike. Stretching from Greenpoint to South Williamsburg, this iconic street is the epicenter of Williamsburg’s creative and cultural scene.

Lined with a kaleidoscope of shops, boutiques, and eateries, Bedford Avenue is a shopper’s paradise. You can explore quirky thrift stores, uncover vintage treasures, and discover cutting-edge fashion boutiques. The street is also a haven for food enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of culinary delights, from artisanal coffee shops and farm-to-table restaurants to street food vendors serving up delectable international flavors.

Beyond shopping and dining, Bedford Avenue is a hub for art and culture. Galleries showcasing contemporary works, street art murals that adorn building facades, and live performances at venues like the Music Hall of Williamsburg contribute to the neighborhood’s artistic energy.

As day turns to night, the avenue transforms into a buzzing nightlife hotspot. Dive bars, rooftop lounges, and live music venues offer entertainment options for every taste. Bedford Avenue truly encapsulates the essence of Williamsburg, where creativity, diversity, and community come together in a dynamic and ever-evolving urban landscape.

Bedford Avenue - bar

What to See and Do on Bedford Avenue

  • Explore boutique shops and vintage stores along Bedford Ave.
  • Get pizza at Joe’s Pizza — the Greenwich Village institution’s Williamsburg outpost that’s open late.
  • Experience the neighborhood’s thriving art scene at nearby galleries.
  • Go bowling at dive venues Brooklyn Bowl or, my favorite: The Gutter
McCarren Park in Williamsburg

2. North Williamsburg (near Greenpoint)

North Williamsburg offers a quieter and more residential atmosphere compared to Bedford Avenue. It’s closer to the East River and provides serene surroundings, and edges up against Greenpoint.

North Williamsburg, particularly the area alongside McCarren Park, offers a charming blend of green spaces, creative energy, and urban vitality. McCarren Park, a central focal point, provides a lush expanse of greenery where residents and visitors can unwind. The park hosts various events, from outdoor concerts to weekend markets, fostering a sense of community and recreation.

The streets surrounding McCarren Park feature a mix of historic brownstones, modern apartments, and artistic hubs. Bedford Avenue extends northward, offering a quieter, more residential feel compared to its bustling southern counterpart.

Greenpoint, neighboring North Williamsburg, adds to the neighborhood’s allure. Known for its waterfront views and a rich Polish heritage, Greenpoint offers a delightful contrast. The East River waterfront here boasts serene vistas, a pier for relaxing, and access to the popular East River Ferry, connecting you to Manhattan and beyond.

Polish bakeries, authentic restaurants, and quaint shops reflect Greenpoint’s unique cultural character, making it a captivating extension of North Williamsburg’s eclectic charm. Together, they form a delightful tapestry of Brooklyn life, where creativity meets tradition along the serene East River shoreline.

Lobster roll in Smorgasburg

What to See and Do in North Williamsburg & Greenpoint

  • Take leisurely walks along the East River waterfront for scenic views.
  • Visit the East River State Park and Smorgasburg Williamsburg for a weekly food truck festival.
  • Go for a summertime swim at the McCaren Park Pool – a NYC public swimming pool open during the summer.
  • Have a picnic in
  • Explore Greenpoint along Manhattan Avenue — great shopping, Polish restaurants and bakeries, and other international Brooklyn restaurants.

3. South Williamsburg

South Williamsburg boasts a rich cultural blend, with strong Hispanic and Hasidic Jewish communities. It offers a unique cultural experience and a glimpse into the neighborhood’s history.

South Williamsburg, a neighborhood steeped in history and rich cultural diversity, offers a captivating glimpse into Brooklyn’s past and present. Located on the southern fringes of Williamsburg, this area boasts a unique blend of communities, each contributing to its distinctive character.

The heart of South Williamsburg is teeming with the rich heritage of the Hasidic Jewish community. Visitors can explore the charming streets lined with synagogues, kosher eateries, and shops that sell traditional Jewish goods. It’s an opportunity to immerse oneself in a world that feels far removed from the bustling city beyond.

Adjacent to this cultural enclave lies a burgeoning Latin American community, infusing South Williamsburg with a vibrant and flavorful atmosphere. Here, you can savor authentic tacos, dance to the rhythms of salsa and merengue, and experience the lively spirit of Latino culture.

South Williamsburg’s historical significance extends to its waterfront, where you can enjoy serene walks along the East River, offering glimpses of Manhattan’s skyline. The neighborhood’s unique blend of cultures, combined with its deep-rooted traditions, makes it a fascinating and harmonious pocket within Williamsburg, where the past and present coexist in captivating harmony.

pizza in Williamsburg on a walking food tour

What to See and Do in South Williamsburg

  • Take a Brooklyn walking tour to explore and learn more about the rich history of Williamsburg and the rest of Brooklyn.
  • Explore the Hasidic Jewish community and visit the Williamsburg Shomrim Safety Patrol building.
  • Enjoy authentic Latin American cuisine at local eateries. My favorite: the breakfast burritos at Fiction Bar/Cafe which sometimes hosts jazz nights and other special events
  • Attend cultural events and festivals that celebrate the neighborhood’s diversity.

4. Williamsburg Waterfront

The Williamsburg Waterfront provides stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. This area offers a tranquil escape from the city while still being close to the action.

The Williamsburg Waterfront along Kent Street and the East River is a captivating stretch of urban paradise, offering an exquisite blend of natural beauty and cityscape views. Nestled along the serene waters of the East River, it’s a cherished oasis where residents and visitors alike escape the urban hustle and bustle.

Strolling along Kent Street, you’ll encounter lush parks and green spaces, like the picturesque East River State Park. Here, you can bask in the sun, have a picnic, or simply revel in the stunning views of the Manhattan skyline across the river. The park is also home to outdoor events and concerts, adding a lively dimension to the waterfront experience.

One of the standout features of the Williamsburg Waterfront is Domino Park, a beautifully designed public space that pays homage to the neighborhood’s industrial past. It features a playful playground, fountains, and an elevated walkway that provides unparalleled vistas of the cityscape.

Seawolf restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Yes, that’s a lobster-stuffed corndog at Sea Wolf in Williamsburg

The waterfront is also dotted with stylish waterfront dining establishments where you can savor culinary delights while gazing at the shimmering waters and iconic bridges.

As day turns to night, the Williamsburg Waterfront transforms into a romantic haven great for a Brooklyn date night, with the city’s skyline illuminated by a sea of lights. It’s a serene escape that encapsulates the essence of Brooklyn living – a harmonious blend of nature and urbanity.

gay selfie at Domino Park on Williamsburg waterfront

What to See and Do along the Williamsburg Waterfront

  • Take a scenic walk or bike ride along the East River with breathtaking views of Manhattan.
  • Visit Domino Park for a relaxing day by the water, featuring playgrounds and a beach.
  • Enjoy waterfront dining with panoramic views of the city.
  • Take a NYC ferry ride for just $4.

5. East Williamsburg

East Williamsburg, near Bushwick, is an up-and-coming area known for its industrial charm and street art scene. It offers a unique blend of creativity and urban exploration.

East Williamsburg, an emerging and vibrant neighborhood adjacent to the creative enclave of Bushwick, offers a unique and ever-evolving urban experience. This dynamic district is a canvas of urban artistry, boasting a thriving street art scene that adorns its walls with colorful murals and graffiti, making it a captivating outdoor art gallery.

Creativity thrives in East Williamsburg, with converted industrial warehouses now serving as eclectic art studios, galleries, and communal workspaces. The neighborhood’s artistic spirit is palpable, attracting artists and enthusiasts from all corners of the city and beyond.

When it comes to entertainment, East Williamsburg delivers. Its eclectic nightlife includes a mix of underground clubs, live music venues, and intimate bars, providing an eclectic array of choices for those seeking a night out.

The culinary landscape is equally diverse, with a plethora of dining options offering everything from gourmet farm-to-table cuisine to international street food. East Williamsburg’s food scene is a testament to the neighborhood’s diversity, with flavors from around the world waiting to be savored.

In this ever-changing neighborhood, you’ll discover a vibrant blend of art, culture, and innovation. Whether you’re an artist, a foodie, a music lover, or simply an urban explorer, East Williamsburg offers a dynamic and immersive experience that reflects the creative spirit of Brooklyn.

What to See and Do in East Williamsburg

  • Attend live music concerts and events at venues like Brooklyn Steel or, further out into Bushwick, at the gay club 3 Dollar Bill or mega-venue, the Brooklyn Mirage.
  • Explore the vibrant street art and murals that adorn the neighborhood’s walls.
  • Sample diverse international cuisine at the neighborhood’s restaurants, especially Italian eateries.
  • Grab a drink at one of the Williamsburg local breweries. My favorite is Grimm’s which also has a rooftop bar and restaurant serving New Haven style pizza.

William Vale hotel in Williamsburg

5 Hotels in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Williamsburg may be one of the most hip parts of Brooklyn, but there are surprisingly few hotels in the area. And even fewer Airbnbs. However, the hotels in Williamsburg are some of the best in all of New York City, actually. These are my personal favorites:

The Williamsburg Hotel

  1. A chic and stylish boutique hotel located on Wythe Avenue, offering modern amenities and stunning Manhattan skyline views from its rooftop pool and bar.
  2. Features spacious rooms with trendy design, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a distinct Brooklyn vibe.
  3. Amenities include a rooftop bar, a restaurant, fitness center, and complimentary bike rentals.

The Hoxton, Williamsburg

  1. A stylish and design-forward hotel located on Wythe Avenue, boasting a trendy ambiance and artistic flair.
  2. Features well-appointed rooms with mid-century modern decor and thoughtful amenities.
  3. Offers dining options like Klein’s, a restaurant with a focus on seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients.

Pod Brooklyn

  1. A budget-friendly option with a modern and minimalist design, ideal for solo travelers or those looking for an affordable stay.
  2. Known for its compact and functional “Pod” rooms, which maximize space and comfort.
  3. Provides a communal lounge, rooftop bar, and an on-site restaurant.
William Vale Hotel Suite
The view from a corner suite at The William Vale

The William Vale

  1. A luxury hotel with a modern and artistic vibe, offering spacious rooms and balconies with panoramic views.
  2. Home to Westlight, a rooftop bar and restaurant known for its cocktails and skyline views.
  3. Provides a pool deck, fitness center, and a vibrant courtyard.

Hotel Indigo Williamsburg

  1. Nestled in the heart of Williamsburg on Metropolitan Avenue, this hotel combines modern design with the neighborhood’s artistic spirit.
  2. The rooms are thoughtfully designed with a blend of industrial and artistic elements, offering a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
  3. Hotel Indigo is conveniently located near subway stations, making it easy to explore other parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Each neighborhood that makes up a part of the sprawling Williamsburg has its own distinct charm and appeal, catering to various interests and preferences. Whether you seek the bustling energy of Bedford Avenue, the peaceful waterfront ambiance, or the artistic flair of East Williamsburg, you’re sure to find an area that suits your style and interests.

Where to Stay in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2023 – Guide to Williamsburg’s Best Neighborhoods

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