Walking Across the Brooklyn Bridge

The aim of this post is to help you plan for walking across the Brooklyn Bridge – how to get to it, where to start, when to go, what else there is to do around the bridge Be sure to read of our self-guided tour of the Brooklyn Bridge.  We also list several guided walking tours over the bridge (including our pay-what-you-like tours).  

Where is the Brooklyn Bridge
Best Time to Walk Across
How Long to Walk Across
Guided Tours
Audio + Self-Guided Tours
Other Things to Do in NYC

 

 


TIP: 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 halfway across the bridge and then come back. Either way, 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.


Staring from Manhattan Side

  • Arriving on Foot
    If you are arriving by foot, you can use the map further in this post. Use this Google map for directions to the pedestrian walkway from your starting destination. The picture and map below will help you find the pedestrian walkway. 
  • Arriving by subway
    • Take the 4, 5, or 6  trains to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall Stop or the J or Z trains to Chambers St. Stop.
    • The bridge will be right across the street from the subway station. The picture and map below will help you find the pedestrian walkway. 
    • 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 (circled in black on the map.)
    • Use this Google map for directions to the pedestrian walkway from your starting destination.
    • The red arrow points to where you will be entering the pedestrian walkway.

 

Map of the Entrance on the Manhattan Side 

Brooklyn Bridge Manhattan Entrance

 View of the Manhattan Entrance to Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge Entrance Manhattan 2

 

TIP: Depending on where you are coming from, you may have to cross a street or two to get to the entrance of the walkway.  Simply follow the crowds onto the Bridge. 

 


Walking from the Brooklyn Side 

You will likely be using the subway if you decide to start at the Brooklyn side. Even if you are in Brooklyn and want to find your way to the Brooklyn Bridge, use this Google map for directions to the start of the walkway from your starting destination.

The Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walkway and Bicycle Lane begin at Tillary Street and Adams Street. 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.Depending on where you are coming from, there is a shorter alternative route, though there is a shortcut (see below).

  • Arriving by subway
    • You can get take these subways whose stops will be within walking distance of the entrance to the walkway leading onto the bridge.
    • A, C or F to  Jay Street/MetroTech Station
    • N, R to Court Street Station
    • 2/3 or 4/5 to Borough Hall Station
       
  • Use this Google map for directions to the pedestrian walkway from your starting destination.
  • Use the photo below to familiarize yourself with what the entryway looks like.
  • The red arrow points to where you will be entering the pedestrian walkway. The subway stations are circles in black.

Map of Brooklyn Entrance to Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Subway to Brooklyn Bridge entrance

 

 

 View of the Brooklyn Entrance to Brooklyn Bridge (walkway is in the middle of the car lanes)

Brooklyn Bridge Entrance Brooklyn Side Image

 


Short-Cut from the A or C High Street station

Rather than begin your walk at the above entrance (which is a longer walk before you actually get onto the bridge), we recommend this short-cut to get onto the bridge faster.

  • Take the A or C Train to the High Street Station Brooklyn Bridge ShortCut From High Street
  • Exit the station at the High Street exit. There are other exits that will leave you in the wrong place.
  • When you exit, there will be a large park across the street. Safely cross the street, enter the park and there is a paved, curved walkway that you will see people coming and going in both directions.
  • Take this pathway through the park (it is safe except in the middle of the night.
  • The walkway will turn into Washington Street and you will walk one block until you reach an underpass. On the left of the street, there is a set of stairs built in the bridge. You may not see them at first, but they are there! Also, there are a few city maps of the area and other helpful information.
  • Use this Google link for directions to the staircase entrance on Washington Street from your starting destination.


IMPORTANT NOTE: 
When you reach the top of the stairs, veer to the left into the pedestrian lane. Watch for bikes as you cross. They go fast and don’t like pedestrians! 

 


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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.  This goes for sunrise as well.

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 until about 11 pm (23:00) at night.

 


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HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO WALK OVER THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE?

New York commuters hurrying to work spend 25 minutes crossing the 1.3 miles (2.09 km) long bridge.But they aren’t taking pictures or admiring the panoramic view. So how much time should you give yourself as a newcomer to the Brooklyn Bridge? There are few factors that will affect how long your walk will be. First, the bridge is a very popular tourist attraction. In the summer months, especially midday through sunset, the bridge can be packed with tourists. Add to that the many locals who walk to and from work over the bridge and it can a bit claustrophobic. In 2016, an average of 26,800 people crossed the bridge on any given weekend day. 

Second, the pedestrian walkway is somewhat narrow and you can only walk as fast as the flow of the crowd. If you want to walk faster, it is possible to pass people, but be careful. To pass people you may have to walk in the bike lane for a moment. Always remember to look both ways when walking into the bike lane. Bicyclists will not hesitate to run you down!

Below are estimated times based on the average walking pace of about 3.1 miles per hour (5 km/h) on an off-season day. In the summer months, especially in the afternoons or sunset, add 10 minutes or more.  

30 minutes   – Walking at a steady pace, stopping for just a few pictures.35-45 minutes   – Strolling casually, taking some pictures and admiring the view.

45-60 minutes   – Your walk can take this long under the following circumstances:

  • You choose to spend this time for a very slow walk, enjoy the views, take lots of photos and savor the moment.
  • If you or someone in your group is a slow walker, is in a wheelchair or has other mobility challenges.
  • You are with young children. Not only do they tend to dawdle, they can get tired or even bored.  

TIPS WHEN TRAVELING WITH KIDS: 

To keep your child engaged and energized, we recommend that at the Manhattan-side tower you stop for a few minutes. Around this tower where the walkway widens, there are a series of engraved plaques that detail the construction of the bridge step-by-step. Some kids (and adults!) find these instructive plaques interesting. This is also a good time to take a break from walking and take pictures. At the Brooklyn-side tower, there are more plaques that identify the sights you can see along the Manhattan skyline.

 


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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 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor.  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 tours 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 FTBF)
  • 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 FTBF)
  • 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 tour of the Brooklyn Bridge. Read our post to determine if a discount tourist pass is for you.

 


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NEARBY ATTRACTIONS ON BOTH SIDES 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 our calendar for dates/times of the tours. There is also an East River Ferry to get back to Manhattan that is the same price as a subway and much more pleasant! See our detailed post on the East River Ferry.

Be sure to read our definitive guide “Things to Do in NYC“!

 


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Some FAQs and Fun Facts about the Brooklyn Bridge

Q: How Long Is The Brooklyn Bridge?

A: The Brooklyn Bridge is 5,989 ft. long (or 1825 meters) from one end to the other, but the river span is 1,595 feet (486 meters).  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
  • Carries Motor vehicles (cars only) (Pedestrians and bicycles- pedestrian walkways were 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

  • See our list of 25 Best Cheap Hotels in New York City which includes some affordable and nice hotels in downtown Brooklyn within walking distance to 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.
  • TripAdvisor Hotels Near the Brooklyn Bridge – another option is to see TA’s list of hotels within 1 mile of the Brooklyn Bridge.   You could filter this list by pricing or rating.

 


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