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.  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.

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When is the best time to go?

Visit the Brooklyn BridgeAccess 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

Brooklyn Bridge Tours

There are many ways to tour the Brooklyn Bridge, however you won’t be able to ride over the bridge on a bus tour, as all buses and coaches are banned from the bridge.  So you have two options, walking and bike tours.  There are more options than what’s listed below, but this list will serve you well.

Guided Walking Tours:

 

 
  • New York Tourist Passes – If you are planning on purchasing the New York Pass or the Explorer Pass, you are entitled to a free walking tour of the bridge.  Read our post to determine if a discount tourist is for you.

Guided Bike Tours:

  • Free Tours by Foot – also offers a 2 hour pay-what-you-wish Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tour that includes rides over both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.
    • Our Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tour is currently not running.  Our guests are entitled to 20% off on all Brooklyn Bridge Sightseeing’s Brooklyn Bridge bike tour.  Just use promo code FTBF.
  • 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 by the Brooklyn 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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