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  • Friendly Muslim Traveler

The Perfect Muslim Friendly Guide to Brooklyn, NYC

Updated: Sep 17, 2023

I've often found that muslim visitors to NYC (especially those from other parts of the US) are never too fond of NYC. You'll hear them complain that it's too 'dirty', 'smelly' and 'crowded'. Although that's true, the real reason is because of their Manhattan centric itinerary, consisting of overrated tourist traps which completely miss the essence of the city.

To experience some hidden gems away from the crowds of Manhattan, here is the perfect guide to enjoying some time in Brooklyn like a local.

A day in Dumbo

If you're short on time, the one place you've got to make room for is historic Dumbo. It's an action packed spot for tourists and locals alike with weddings, quinceanera's, and picnics all happening at once. You'll see many muslim families picnicking thanks to its close proximity to Atlantic Avenue - home to an old Yemeni community.

Scroll to the bottom for an interactive link to this map!

1. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

This is an extremely touristy thing to do but unlike Times Square is actually worth it. You'll get up close with the awesome architecture of the bridge as well as get some awesome city skyline views along the East River.

It would take about 30 mins if you were to walk it direct, but you can expect for it to take an hour when you factor in crowds, pictures and little ones if you have them - So plan accordingly and pack some snacks and water, especially if you're there on a hot sunny day because there aren't many places to take shade.

2. Visit the DUMBO Flea Market

If you started at the Manhattan end, you'll be a 10 minute walk away from the DUMBO sign under the Manhattan Bridge (DUMBO literally stands for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass). On a weekend this spot is bustling with local businesses selling all sorts of stuff. I captured this picture on a weekday when the market was off. It was quiet and still pretty nice in its own way.

3. Take the Iconic Manhattan Bridge Photo - Washington Street

This doesn't need any explanation - just a pretty street with awesome views.

4. Have Lunch in Brooklyn Bridge Park

Washington Street naturally ends up in Brooklyn Bridge Park with more places to capture some skyline views and city parks atmosphere. Here you're likely to see weddings, proposals, picnics etc...

Old Fulton Street around the corner has some great food spots. To keep this simple I'm just going to list some here...

  • Juliana's Pizza and Grimaldi's Pizza

    • 2 extremely famous spots, expect to wait in line to get a spot inside. Grimaldi's lets you order online and pickup if you'd rather just chill and eat in the park

  • Arabica

    • They do a super nice Iced Spanish Latte

  • Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

    • Famous ice cream spot - I don't think it's revolutionary but it hits the spot on a hot summers day

Hidden Gems

Time Out Market Rooftop

Time Out Market has many street food vendors and even a halal one - Chote Miya:

Even if you don't get anything, the rooftop is free and has some awesome views.

Me and the Mrs enjoying some samosas on the rooftop

The Max Family Garden

Shade and Quiet

5. Walk the Rest of Brooklyn Bridge Park to Pier 6

If you still have the strength to walk

6. Catch the Sunset on the South Brooklyn Ferry

In my opinion the free Staten Island ferry that's usually recommended is crazy overrated. Yeah sure it's free, but it's super crowded in holiday season so you'll be competing for the windows. And when you get to Staten Island, you'll be racing the same 100s of people around the terminal to get back on the Ferry to Manhattan. It's not pleasant - and if you have kids, it's even less so.

The South Brooklyn Ferry to Bay Ridge is way better. It's only $4, much less crowded, gets even better views and ends up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. A diverse, chill neighbourhood with loads of halal spots to have a nice dinner.

To save time download the NYC Ferry App and catch the SB ferry from Dumbo if you want to get up close to views of Manhattan or Pier 6 Atlantic Avenue if you want fewer crowds, both towards Bay Ridge.

This ferry is my route home from work so I've got an abundance of these type of pics

Planning Your Trip

All the things mentioned here and more have been pieced together on this map to make planning your trip easier than ever.

Getting Around

The itinerary shown here is very walk oriented as everything around Dumbo is bunched close together. The Subway will usually be the best way to get around any longer distances in all of NYC.

If you're a confident cyclist there's also Citibikes which can be rented for $9 a day. I'd only recommend these if you just want to cycle around the parks and protected bike lanes and not to get around unless you're used to riding in heavy traffic. NYC drivers tend to be aggressive, especially to cyclist who look timid on busy streets.

There's also Revel Mopeds which are $40 to get a day pass. These can be a really fun and quick option if you're a couple and one of you has some 2 wheel experience on busy streets. But again, I wouldn't recommend it to someone inexperienced as riding in heavy impatient traffic can be daunting.

Driving is pointless - You'll spend your whole day circling one way streets and looking for parking


1 Comment

Jul 08, 2023

Amazing Blog. This is so useful for my trip to Brooklyn !!

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