Walking the Brooklyn Bridge | A Visitor Guide

The aim of this post is to help you plan for walking the Brooklyn Bridge – how to get to it, where to start, when to go, what else there is to do around the bridge as well as some fun facts about the bridge.   To learn more about the bridge itself and to see some of the things you will see as you walk across the bridge, be sure to take a read of our self-guided tour of the Brooklyn Bridge.  We also list several guided walking tours over the bridge (including ours).  A walk across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the best things to do in New York City and it’s FREE.  (en español)

TIP: We run daily pay-what-you-wish guided tours of the Brooklyn Bridge as well as night tour of the Brooklyn Bridge and 911 Memorial.

Or why take an audio tour of the bridge narrated by Ken Burns (Click here for the audio tour)?


When is the Best Time to Go

Other Things to Do

Hotels Near the Bridge

Where is the Brooklyn Bridge

Tours of the Brooklyn Bridge

Trivia and Fun Facts


 

 

Learn about other free attractions in NYC and save money on ticketed attractions with a tourist discount pass.

 

HOW DO I GET TO THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE?

That depends on whether you want to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan into Brooklyn or from Brooklyn to Manhattan.  Both are lovely, but you do have a pretty spectacular skyline view if you choose to walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan.  You could also walk from the Manhattan side half way across the bridge and then come back. Either way you decide to go, you can best get to the bridge via subway.

However, if you are considering a hop-on, hop-off bus service, all major companies have stops near both entrances.

 

Map of the Manhattan Entrance

Brooklyn Bridge Manhattan Entrance

 

To start in Manhattan: Take the 4, 5, 6  trains to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall Stop or the J or Z trains to Chambers St. Stop.  These are the two closest subway stations.    The bridge will be right across the street from the subway station. However, you could also take the 2 or 3 train to Park Place, the N or R train to City Hall, or the A or C train to Fulton Street (see the black ovals). Use this Google map for directions to the pedestrian walkway.  The red arrow points to where you will be entering the pedestrian walkway.

 

View of the Manhattan Entrance to Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge Entrance Manhattan 2

 

Depending on where you are coming from, you may have to cross a street or two to get to the entrance of the walkway.  More likely than not, you will follow the crowds walking to the bridge.

 

Map of Brooklyn Entrance to Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge Entrance Brooklyn Side

 

To start in Brooklyn: The Brooklyn Bridge Promonade begins on the Brooklyn side at the intersection of Tillary St. and Adams Street, though there is a short-cut (see below). Use this Google map for directions to the start of the walkway.  Like on the Manhattan side, there are several subway stations and train lines that will get you close to the entrance.  If you are coming on the A or C train, then the best way to reach the Brooklyn Bridge from the Brooklyn side is exit the subway at the High Street Station.  The entrance to the pedestrian path entrance is about a quarter of a mile (400 meters) north from this subway station, but there are helpful signs to point you in the right direction.  Also, the bridge will be visible from this station, so you’ll know you’re headed the right way!  Use this Google map for directions to the pedestrian walkway. Use the street view to familiarize yourself with what the entryway looks like.

 

 View of the Brooklyn Entrance to Brooklyn BridgeBrooklyn Bridge Entrance Brooklyn Side Image

Finding the entrance to the pedestrian walkway is easy, but the intersection is very busy and there is almost constant road construction in the area, so be ready for that.

SHORT-CUT

There is a quicker way, particularly if you are arriving by subway at the High Street Station in Brooklyn Heights.  It’s just a 4 minute walk to another entrance to the walkway, much closer to the bridge’s span.  Use this Google map for directions to this short-cut.

Brooklyn Bridge Walkway Entrance High Street

 


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THE BEST TIME TO CROSS THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE

Access to the Brooklyn Bridge is 24 hours per day and it is beautiful at any time of day, but sunset is particularly nice!  This way, you can take in the views of both Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty while there is still light out and then watch as all the sights come to life with electric wonder.  Be warned for whatever time of day you go, it can get chilly up there on the bridge.  Plan ahead and bring a jacket or sweater (in fall, winter or spring) so that you can enjoy your walk!  Be sure to check out our guide on New York City weather to help plan which pieces of clothing to bring.  It is also very safe to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at night, as there are many tourists and commuters using the bridge till about 11 pm (23:00) at night.

 


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TOURS OF THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE

There are many ways to tour the Brooklyn Bridge: particularly with us. However, you won’t be able to ride over the bridge on a bus tour, as all buses and coaches are banned. In other words, you have two options: walking and bike tours.  There are more options than what you’ll find listed below, but this list will serve you well.  If you are considering the purchase of a New York Pass or the Explorer Pass, then you will be entitled to a free walking tour of the bridge.  Read our post to determine if a discount tourist pass is for you.

 

 

Guided Walking Tours:

Free Tours by Foot – We offer two guided Brooklyn Bridge tours along with one self-guided option. Our standard tour of the bridge is offered daily, while the other includes a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and has limited availability. Each trek will take between 2-3 hours to complete, giving you plenty of time to cross over and learn all about this important landmark. Our walking tours are pay-what-you-wish, meaning that you get to decide what your experience was worth. This is a great way to save money while discovering New York City on vacation.

Our amazing guests have seen fit to give us an overall rating of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. Although our Brooklyn Bridge tours have received a few negative comments, an overwhelming majority of visitors have been impressed with our service. Several reviewers have mentioned their tour guides by name, thanking them for being friendly and providing a lot of information about NYC. These treks are most popular among couples, friends and those who went solo.

 

 

OTHER TOUR COMPANIES

Brooklyn Bridge Sightseeing 

This company offers a variety of tours across the Brooklyn Bridge. Although you won’t be able to name your own price, you can save 20% on
tickets by using the promo code FTBF. Their walking tour runs for approximately 2 hours and covers a variety of subjects related to the history of New York. While on this trip, you’ll learn about sites such as Battery Park, the World Trade Center, Chinatown and Little Italy. 

  • Ticket Prices: $19 for Adults | $15 for Children (with the promo code)
  • Daily @9 am and @4 pm.
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Save 20% with promo code FTBF
  • Tour for free with New York Pass/Explorer Pass.

With an overall rating of 4 ½ out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor, it’s clear that most reviewers are very happy with this service. There are a few negative reviews, but they don’t indicate any serious problems with Brooklyn Bridge Sightseeing. Some guests have suggested that discovering NYC from this bridge is an entirely unique journey that every visitor should experience. Other customers were happy with the amount of exercise they got while on this tour. This trip was especially popular among families and friends.

 


Inside Out Tours 

This company offers a Brooklyn Bridge tour that is very similar to our own, but without a stop in Brooklyn Heights and 1 hour shorter in duration. If you can’t manage to reserve a spot on our trip across the bridge, this is an excellent alternative. Over the course of 2 hours, you’ll enjoy incredible views of Manhattan while learning all about the history of this amazing landmark. At the end of this journey, you’ll have the opportunity to explore Dumbo, one of the most interesting neighborhoods in Brooklyn. This trek is provided in both English and Spanish.

Metro North Railroad Card is required

Reviews on both TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide are very impressive, with most customers giving Inside Out Tours either a 4 star or 5 star rating (read some of the reviews). Many reviewers indicated that their tour guides were both helpful and informative. One visitor even noted that their guide included a stop for hot chocolate during a particularly cold day. Several guests were impressed with the amount of information they learned about the Brooklyn Bridge. This trip was particularly well received by couples, families and friends.

 


New York Local Tours 

This company may be somewhat new, but they’re also offering some of the highest rated Brooklyn Bridge tours in New York! Ticket prices are also very reasonable, coming in at about the same cost as their competitors. Their guided trip across the bridge covers a variety of topics including the lifestyle of 19th century immigrants in New York City. This excursion lasts for approximately 2 hours and is provided in the afternoon, making it easier to fit into your schedule.

  • Ticket Prices: $25 for Adults | $15 for Children
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • @ 2 pm on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
  • More information or to book.

Despite the fact that New York Local Tours is a newer company, they currently enjoy an impressive 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. While some reviewers were very impressed with their tour guides, others were simply taken aback by both the views and the amount of history they learned about. One guest even suggested that this was the best experience they had while visiting New York City. Couples and customers who went with a friend were most likely to leave a positive review of this walking tour.

 


Guided Bike Tours:

If walking across the Brooklyn Bridge doesn’t appeal to you, we recommend taking a bike tour instead. You’ll still get plenty of exercise, and you’ll make pretty good time as well. This is a great way to see one of the most significant landmarks in the city while learning all about its history. Ticket prices are a bit more expensive, but a bike rental is included with each trip. Believe it or not, these tours typically last for up to 2 hours, giving you plenty of time to see not only the bridge but several additional sites in and around Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Bridge Sightseeing 

In addition to their walking tours, this company also provides bike tours across the Brooklyn Bridge. While riding on a Cannondale bicycle, you’ll enjoy wonderful views of the entire New York Harbor. Stops will be made to give you a chance to take some breathtaking photos. Travel from Manhattan’s southern tip to Brooklyn Heights and back while learning all about the history of this modern marvel. This trip will take approximately 2 hours to complete.

  • Ticket Prices: $36 for Adults | $32 for Children (with the promo code)
  • Daily @11 am, 1 pm and 4 pm
  • 2 hours
  • More information or to book.
  • Save 20% with the promo code FTBF

New York Pass/Explorer Pass holders can also save money on these tours

Brooklyn Bridge Sightseeing currently enjoys a 4 ½ star rating on TripAdvisor. Reviews for their bike tour are especially positive, with most guests showing a lot of admiration for their incredible tour guides. Several customers appreciated the opportunity to see more than just the bridge, as they made note of other notable locations visited on their trip. Even those without a lot of experience on bikes were very pleased with the ride. Couples and families were the most likely to leave a positive review.

New York Tourist Passes 

Purchasers of the New York Pass and Explorer or Go Passes are also entitled to a free bike tours of the Brooklyn Bridge.  Read our post to determine if a discount tourist is for you.

You should also check out Groupon and Living Social for deals on guided tours of the Brooklyn Bridge.

 


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WHAT IS THERE TO DO ON EITHER SIDE OF THE BRIDGE?

On the Manhattan side: you have Lower Manhattan, with a wealth of history to be explored.  St, Paul’s Chapel, City Hall, Wall Street and much more are within walking distance of the Brooklyn Bridge.  Try one of our free Lower Manhattan walking tours!  You can follow up your tour with a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

 

 

On the Brooklyn side: you can explore the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park, eat some delicious pizza at Grimaldi’s or walk the Promenade.  If you want to combine your walk across the bridge with a Brooklyn Tour, check out our Brooklyn Heights Tour or our 3 hour Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO Tour !  See calendar for dates/times of the tours.  There is also an East River Ferry terminal, where you can take a free New York boat tour.


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Some FAQs and Fun Facts about the Brooklyn Bridge

How Long Is The Brooklyn Bridge?
The Brooklyn Bridge is 5,989 ft. long.  The pedestrian walkway across the bridge is slightly over 1.1 miles, or 1.6 kilometers long.

  • Built from 1869-1883
  • Towers: Made of Maine Granite, 276 feet (84 meters) above the water. Style: Neo-Gothic-open truss design.
  • Cables: Made of steel wire. 4 gigantic cables, with over 5,000 steel wires within the massive cables.
  • 600 workers, over 30 deaths, including the chief engineer, John Roebling
  • $15 million
  • River span: 1,595 feet (486 meters)
  • Carries Motor vehicles (cars only) (Pedestrians and bicycles- pedestrian walkway was intentionally built above the roadway.
  • Over 150,000 people crossed on opening day in 1883.
  • Elevated trains (until 1944).
  • Streetcars (until 1950).

A Few More Things!!

  • Look for the large collection of “love locks” near the Manhattan Tower of the bridge.  Couples leave padlocks on the bridge and throw the keys into the river as a show of everlasting love.  Bring a lock and someone you love to the Brooklyn Bridge!  Be warned though, the Department of Transportation has been known to cut the locks off from time to time.
  • On the Brooklyn Tower there is a plaque dedicated to Emily Roebling.  When all of the men in her family fell victim to the bridge, she stepped up and got the job done!
  • One of the bridge’s anchorages on the Manhattan side is on the site of the former Osgood House.  The house, which was located at 1 Cherry Street, served as the first Presidential Mansion of the United States.  George Washington lived there in 1789 and 1790.

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Hotels Near the Brooklyn Bridge

  • Marriott at Brooklyn Bridge – this hotel is located just a block from the Brooklyn entrance to the Bridge as well as several subway lines for easy access to Manhattan.  This hotel has an above average rating on TripAdvisor.

Now get out there and walk this amazing bridge!!

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