One of the most understated icons in New York City, the Brooklyn Bridge is also considered the eighth wonder of the world. It’s beloved by both New Yorkers and tourists alike and offers stunning views of the New York City harbor, the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, and the Statue of Liberty. Find out why Brooklyn Bridge walk should be at the top of your must-see list.
Why You Should Visit the Brooklyn Bridge
Iconic: Considered one of the modern wonders of the world, the Brooklyn Bridge is the most recognizable bridge in New York City.
Architectural: The Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge of its day. It was the first suspension bridge to utilize steel cabling and electricity.
Kid Friendly: Kids adore walking over the bridge and checking out the awesome views of the nearby Statue of Liberty, World Trade Center, and Empire State Building.
Historic: Built by John, Washington, and Emily Roebling between 1869 to 1883, the bridge has a long and dramatic history (and herstory!).
Outdoorsy: You can’t help but appreciate the Great Outdoors from the bridge. The one-mile Brooklyn Bridge walk allows you to appreciate the city from 135 feet above the East River.
Cinematic: The Brooklyn Bride has been featured in movies and TV shows like Gangs of New York, Friends with Benefits, and Sex and the City. Check out a full list for more!
Like a Local: One of the few “tourist attractions” that New Yorkers actually frequent, the bridge is beloved by locals as much as it appeals to tourists.
Brooklyn Bridge Cost/Money Savers: Free!
How much Time to Spend at the Brooklyn Bridge
30 minutes to walk to the center point and back or 60 to walk the entire bridge–and take photos along the way.
Hot Tip: take a subway to the Brooklyn side of the bridge, walk to the center, and double back. You’ll get a great view of Manhattan, and there are fewer crowds on the Brooklyn-side of the bridge.
DBT (Don’t Be a Tourist):
- The bike lane occupies the left-hand lane of the bridge (if you’re facing Brooklyn). Don’t wander into it if you value your life.
- Please remember that the bridge is, well–a bridge. It’s a walkway. It’s a roadway. Please don’t stop in the middle without peeking behind you to ensure you’re not blocking someone who might just being using the bridge for its original intention–to get to Brooklyn.
- OMG, is Brooklyn safe? Yes. Especially the neighborhood on the Brooklyn side of the bridge, DUMBO.
Why You Should Skip
I don’t recommend skipping a Brooklyn Bridge walk. In fact, if you do choose to skip this attraction on your trip to NYC, lie to me later and tell me that you didn’t.
Crowd Levels: High
When to Go to the Brooklyn Bridge
- A Brooklyn Bridge walk is best early in the morning or after dark
- Visit the vantage points at any time
- Head here in inclement or overcast weather; you’ll have the bridge practically to yourself
When NOT to Go to the Brooklyn Bridge
- Don’t even try to cross the bridge on the weekends. You’ll hate yourself if you do
- Try to avoid between 11 AM and 7 PM in June, July, August, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day
How to Get to the Brooklyn Bridge
Subway: From Manhattan: take the 4, 5, 6, or J trains to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall or the R or W trains to City Hall; or, take the A or C train to Fulton Street. From Brooklyn: take the A or C trains to High Street, the 2 or 3 trains to Clark Street, or the F train to York Street.
Taxi/Car: Traffic can be horrendous in Manhattan first thing in the morning, so it’s best to take the subway. If you’re headed back to your hotel late at night, you can easily grab a cab on Broadway on the Manhattan side or on Fulton Street on the Brooklyn side.
Bus: Ugh, do I need to warn you away from the buses again?! Seriously, give up the fight people. But if you MUST take the bus, take the B25 to Front Street in Brooklyn or the M105 to City Hall in Manhattan.
Go Here Instead
Want to avoid other tourists and see the Brooklyn Bridge in a more authentic way? Check out some of these other attractions.
East River Ferry: One of my favorite ways to see the bridge is from the East River Ferry. It leaves from Brooklyn Bride Park and costs only $2.75.
Brooklyn Bridge Park: Brooklyn Bridge Park offers the most dramatic vantage point of the bridge from 1 Water Street. This place is ca-razy on the weekends, so try an alternate option if you want to see the bridge Saturday or Sunday.
Manhattan Bridge: Take the Q or N trains over the Manhattan Bridge (or walk or bike across it) for one of the best views of the Brooklyn Bridge. This is one of the best tips I can offer. It’s like visiting Top of the Rock instead of Empire State Building; you get a view of the Brooklyn Bridge (which you wouldn’t get from the Brooklyn Bridge itself) without the intense crowds.
Pier 11: You can get almost an equally impressive view from Pier 11 (near Wall Street) in Manhattan.
Need more inspiration on how to focus only on what you love and how to avoid the crowds in NYC? Check out a full list of attractions.
Don’t forget to read a few articles on how to hack New York City, so you can see more, do more, and stress less!