Moving to Brooklyn: 7 Ways to Get Around the City

May 22, 2024

Whether you’re considering a move to Brooklyn or even just a visit to NYC, getting around such a massive city might seem intimidating.

But don’t worry, we’re here to help make your move—or visit—a little easier by sharing seven types of transportation options to help you find your way through Brooklyn and into the other New York boroughs.

1. Bicycle Bliss

Here in Brooklyn and across NYC, many of us embrace the two-wheeled lifestyle with gusto. Whether you opt for a CitiBike rental or rent a bike from a local shop, or hop on your trusty personal cruiser and coast through Prospect Park, biking offers a liberating and eco-friendly way to explore the unique flavors of each neighborhood.

2. Bus Adventures

Blue bus rolling through Times Square

Photo by Sal Media

The bus can be a fabulous mode of transportation, especially on those humid, rainy or freezing-cold days. From the traditional MTA NYC buses to the novelty of a double-decker sightseeing tour, hopping on board is a convenient way to traverse NYC’s bustling thoroughfares while soaking in the sights.

Looking to escape the city? You’re in luck because in NYC you can take the Jitney to the Hamptons, NJ Transit buses to New Jersey, Megabus rides to multiple destinations in the northeast or Greyhound buses across the country.

3. Rail Journey

No exploration of Brooklyn’s transportation options would be complete without mentioning the iconic MTA subway system. From express trains to local routes, the subway offers a fast and efficient way to navigate Brooklyn and the rest of NYC.

From Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station in Manhattan, you can find routes on the Long Island Railroad, Metro-North, New Jersey Transit and Amtrak trains that take you to Long Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and even destinations across the United States.

4. Tram Trek

Venture beyond Brooklyn’s borders with a scenic tram ride to Roosevelt Island from 2nd Ave between 59th and 60th Streets on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Unless you commute from Roosevelt Island to Manhattan, or vice versa, a tram probably isn’t going to be your everyday choice for getting around New York, but it’s a fun way to get a bird’s eye view of the skyline.

5. Seafaring Voyage

NY Water Taxi with skyscrapers in background

Photo by Jason Pischke

Embrace the maritime spirit with a jet ski, kayak or sailboat rental, a Circle Line sightseeing cruise or a ride on one of Brooklyn’s ferries. Whether you’re commuting to work or embarking on a leisurely weekend excursion, the tranquil waterfront views and refreshing sea breeze are often a welcome break from the bustling city streets.

6. Car Culture

Green NYC Taxi

Photo by Alon Belker

When you think of car culture a city like Los Angeles may come to mind, rightfully so. But while walking, taking the subway or riding around on two wheels is more common here in NYC—and especially convenient given traffic jams on the crowded city streets—cars do have their place.

They can be helpful when you want to treat yourself on those days when it’s too hot, cold or rainy, and when a train is down or you’re going somewhere far beyond the transit map. You can call a rideshare service (like Uber or Lyft) or hail a cab if you’d like an authentic New York experience. Hail a classic yellow taxi anywhere in NYC, or a green one in Northern Manhattan or in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens or Staten Island. Just remember that if the medallion numbers on top of the taxi are dark, that means the car is already occupied. Instead, you will want to look for those whose medallion numbers are lit up.

If you plan on having your own car, keep in mind that parking is often a challenge and a garage might be expensive.

If you’re looking to get out of the city and a train or bus doesn’t seem suitable, you can always rent a car from one of many rental companies throughout the city or by using a membership-based company like Zipcar.

7. Wondrous Wandering

If you can comfortably explore on foot, walking can be an efficient way to get around and to explore uncharted territory. With about 300 square miles of land to explore throughout over 300 neighborhoods, NYC is buzzing with excitement, art, culture, entertainment, street festivals, delicious restaurants and bars, interesting shops and diverse landscapes.

Mix it up with a subway, bus ride or ferry—or even a skateboard, scooter or roller skates—and you can get pretty far around the city without ever having to get into a car.

As you settle into life in Brooklyn, remember that the journey is just as important as the destination. Whether you’re pedaling through Park Slope, cruising on the subway, or soaring above the skyline, embrace the myriad ways to get around this dynamic borough. With a spirit of adventure and a willingness to explore, you’ll soon find that the possibilities are endless in the heart of Brooklyn and throughout this magical city.

And if in addition to transportation tips you need help buying, selling or renting in Brooklyn, contact our knowledgeable team of Park Slope-based real estate agents today.

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