Walking the Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic New York experience that should not be missed on your visit! Connecting Lower Manhattan and Dumbo Brooklyn, the bridge stretches across the scenic East River. Besides the amazing views, one thing that makes the Brooklyn Bridge unique is the long pedestrian-only walkway. Come check out our quick tips and things to know before taking your own walk across the famous Brooklyn Bridge!
6 Tips For Walking the Brooklyn Bridge
1. Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge Early
As one of the most popular things to do in New York, the Brooklyn Bridge Walk draws massive crowds of both tourists and locals daily. This is one of the reasons you should plan on walking the Brooklyn bridge as early as possible!
While it is open 24 hours a day we recommend going first thing in the morning. We’ve done the walk across the Brooklyn Bridge several times and all hours of the day. However, the best experience was around early morning on a weekday during the summer.
2. Plan Extra Time on the Brooklyn Bridge
So how long is the Brooklyn Bridge walk? Believe it or not, the structure is 1.1 miles long and can be done as quickly or slowly as you like. We would say to plan for at least an hour to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. That includes finding the entrance, taking plenty of photos, and stopping along the way to admire the views.
When actually starting the Brooklyn Bridge walk it’s important to know that you don’t enter the walkway at the river. The bridge stretches back from the water and there are certain entry points that start in Manhattan and Brooklyn where you can get on.
3. Use the Bike Path for Cycling
Riding bicycles is one of the best ways to see New York City! We have spent hours on the city bike rentals peddling around and it’s always such a fun time. If you are cycling and want to cross the bridge quickly than you’ll have to use the bike lane. This separate path is directly under the Brooklyn Bridge Walkway and has its own section away from the cars.
Just to be clear, you are not permitted to ride your bicycle across the top of the pedestrian zone. The bike path is fast and efficient to get across for cyclists. Yet, know that it does not share the same beautiful views as if you were to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
4. The Manhattan Side is Busier
When walking the Brooklyn Bridge it is common for the Manhattan side to be much busier than across the river. That’s because many tourists who are staying in Manhattan will actually just walk to the middle of the bridge, take in the skyline views, and return back where they came.
As you get closer to the Manhattan side expect to see food carts, clothing vendors, and even photographers selling their services. If you do have time make sure to check out the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn! This trendy area has so many fun things to do after you’ve completed the amazing Brooklyn Bridge walk.
5. Take a Guided Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour
If you are interested in discovering more about this incredible feat of architecture, consider taking the Brooklyn Bridge & Dumbo 2.5-Hour Walking Tour. This is the best way to learn about the interesting history as you walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
First opening in 1883, it was the first fixed crossing of its kind over the massive East River. It connected Manhattan and Brooklyn for the very first time in a spectacular way. So as you can imagine, the history of the Brooklyn Bridge and what into building it in the 19th century is worth learning more about.
6. Jump on the Ferry Back
Want to get another magnificent view after walking the Brooklyn Bridge? Well, we have one last tip for you! The NYC Ferry connects several different points between the two burrows. So after you take a stroll on the Brooklyn Bridge walk you can hop on the boat to get different angles from the water.
Whatever way you walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, know that you can take the ferry back the other way. When you get on just make sure to head to the top deck for the best view!
Have any questions about the Brooklyn Bridge walkway or want to share your own tips? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
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Where to Stay in New York City
NoMad – Hotel Giraffe by Library Hotel Collection – Boutique hotel with a rooftop garden and quick walk to Union Square Park and Chelsea. The hotel is decorated with classic photos from the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Tribeca – Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown – Historic high-end hotel in the heart of New York. Close to the Brooklyn Bridge and Seaport District.
Little Italy – NobleDEN Hotel – Great location in the Italian district and steps from Ferrara Bakery and Chinatown. Some of the rooms have a terrace or balcony which is not common in the city!
Times Square – LUMA Hotel – Modern design with bright bold patterns which reflect the energy of the area. Great place to stay near all the action of Times Square.
Chelsea – The Hotel Chelsea – Built in in the 1800’s with history reflected in its unique style. Known as one of the best historic hotels in the city.
East Village – The Bowery Hotel – Beautiful boutique hotel with floor to ceiling windows and an industrial loft design. Ideal location in one of the most popular neighborhoods in NYC.
Hudson Yards – Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards New York City – Plush accommodation with a sleek design. Rooms range from deluxe to scenic skyline suites.
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New York Travel Planning
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars whenever traveling in New York. Consider renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another for an epic road trip!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years and they are there when we need them.
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