How to walk the Brooklyn Bridge: best advices & tips
Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the absolute must-do things when visiting New York! First, you get an amazing view of the whole Manhattan skyline, and second, it’s a chance to discover Brooklyn, which has loads of cool stuff to see and do!
But to really make the most of this awesome spot, let me share some tips that will make your Brooklyn Bridge crossing totally unforgettable. Which way should you go? When’s the best time to walk for the best view? How long will it take? I’ve got all the answers for you!
The Brooklyn Bridge: an iconic landmark in New York City
The Brooklyn Bridge is a historic suspension bridge that spans the East River in New York City, connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. It was completed in 1883 after 14 years of construction and was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time.
The bridge was designed by John Augustus Roebling, a German immigrant who had a vision of creating a bridge that would unite the two rapidly growing cities (NYC & Brooklyn). Sadly, Roebling died of an injury he sustained during the construction of the bridge and his son, Washington Roebling, took over as chief engineer. The Brooklyn Bridge has since become an iconic symbol of New York City and a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
How long is the Brooklyn bridge?
The Brooklyn Bridge is officially 1,12 mile long (1,8 kilometer). But when you walk through it on foot, the distance is a little longer from the pedestrian entry points. We can consider that the complete walk is about 1,24 mile (2 kilometers) to cross and 2,5 miles (4 kilometers) if you make the round trip.
What is the best way to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge?
Definitely cross the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan. You’ll get the best views of the entire New York skyline and take some of the coolest photos of your trip!
The best plan is to discover the neighborhoods of Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights before ending your Brooklyn adventure with a stroll across the bridge, which will take you back to Manhattan.
You will find all the must-see activities and places in these neighborhoods in this article:
➜ Visiting Brooklyn: The Best of Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights
Of course, you can also make the round trip and go back to your starting point, either in Brooklyn or in Manhattan.
How long does it take to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge?
Walk time, fast option:
At least 30 minutes. It is important to know that the pedestrian and bicycle traffic on the bridge is quite busy during the day, which can slow down the walking pace. Therefore, it takes at least 30 minutes to walk in the fast version.
Walk time if you take your time:
It takes about an hour.
If you opt for a very early morning crossing (before 8am) or at night, when there are far fewer people on the bridge, you can expect to spend about half an hour / three quarters of an hour walking around (or more if you want to enjoy the bridge almost to yourself!).
⚠️ Something to keep in mind: Make sure you stay in the designated lanes for pedestrians and bikes, which are marked on the bridge’s surface. If it gets crowded and people aren’t following the rules, you might get called out by other users!
What is the best time to walk the Brooklyn Bridge?
Of course, you can walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at any time of day, but if you want your walk to be one of the most memorable moments of your trip, try to go during the sunrise or the sunset 🙂
Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise
As the sun rises from the Brooklyn side, it slowly illuminates all the buildings of Manhattan in a stunning mix of colors. What’s more, you’ll practically have the view all to yourself. And trust me, having that kind of solitude in New York is a real luxury!
Personally, I take advantage of jet lag and head to the Brooklyn Bridge very early in the morning, between 6am and 7:30am. It’s an absolutely amazing time with only a few other joggers around and some moms with strollers. Just make sure to wrap up warm in winter, as it can get windy on the bridge!
Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset
Another great time to enjoy the bridge, even though it’s much busier than in the morning, is during sunset. You can admire the sun setting behind the Manhattan buildings and take stunning photos by playing with the sun’s rays.
Just make sure to arrive well before sunset to fully enjoy the walk. Once the sun falls behind the building skyline, the whole skyline plunges into darkness.
➜ To make sure you don’t miss the show, you can check the sunset times directly here.
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge at night
If you get the chance, definitely take a night stroll across the bridge! Doing it during both the day and night is a must because the vibe and view are totally different.
As for observatories, I suggest going during the day and night if possible to experience all the different colors and sensations of these amazing panoramas. Plus, pedestrian traffic is light at night on the bridge, so it’s a great opportunity to have a (almost) one-to-one experience with New York City!
Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian entrance
The pedestrian entrance is at the Living Memorial Grove, just in front of City Hall Park.
From Brooklyn (Dumbo)
There are two possible pedestrian entrances on the Brooklyn side:
– A staircase located in the underpass on Washington Street/Cadman Plaza East and Prospect Street. This is where I enter every time.
– A pedestrian walkway which begins at the intersection of Tillary Street and Boerum Place. Personally, I don’t recommend this entrance because the pedestrian path is in the middle of the traffic lanes and there is nothing special to discover on this portion.
Subway stations to access the Brooklyn Bridge
The closest subway stations to the pedestrian entrance is Chambers Street (lines J & Z) and Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall (lines 4,5 & 6).
The closest subway station to the pedestrian entrance is High Street – Brooklyn Bridge (lines A & C).
That’s it! I hope you found in this article all the useful information for a great Brooklyn Bridge walk! If you still have questions about this activity, please ask them in the comments 🙂
You should also read:
☞ Visit the Empire State building: the guide for an amazing experience
☞ Times Square guide: best things to do, restaurants and places for shopping