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Walking the Brooklyn Bridge: A Guide to a Scenic and Historic Walk

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic New York City experience. Whether you’re a tourist or a local looking to explore more of the Big Apple, the Brooklyn bridge walk offers breathtaking views of the city skyline and a chance to immerse yourself in the bridge’s rich history. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to enjoy this scenic and historic walk. 

Where to Start Your Brooklyn Bridge Walk

There are two starting points on the Manhattan side and two on the Brooklyn side. You can either take the subway or walk to any of the bridge’s four entrances. The most common Brooklyn Bridge walk starting point in Manhattan is the City Hall Park entrance on Park Row and Centre Street. Or you can use the Park Row Underpass Entrance (note: you must walk down stairs; there is no elevator). 

The best starting point in Brooklyn is known as Brooklyn Bridge Boulevard, located at the intersection of Tillary Street and Adams Street. Or you can use the Washington Street and Prospect Street Underpass Entrance.

How Long Does It Take to Walk the Brooklyn Bridge?

The walk across the Brooklyn Bridge is approximately 1.1 miles long and takes around 30-40 minutes to complete. Here are a few things to consider during your trek:

  • There are benches along the way where you can sit and rest your feet or people-watch before continuing your journey across. Check the seat for dirt or mud before you sit, as many people use the benches as step stools to get better pictures. 
  • There are no restroom facilities along the way, so take care of that before you begin your Brooklyn Bridge walk. 
  • You may come across food, drink, or souvenir stalls along the bridge or at either entrance to grab a snack or pick up some NYC memorabilia. 
  • You may be tempted to put a “Love Lock” along the bridge, but doing so is against the law and punishable by a $100 fine.
  • There is a separate lane for bicyclists and skateboarders, so you don’t have to worry about dodging traffic. 
  • There isn’t much shade along the Brooklyn Bridge walk, so be sure to apply sunscreen before you go!

What to See Along the Brooklyn Bridge Walk

Spanning over the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge is a breathtaking sight admired by locals and tourists alike. We recommend choosing the Brooklyn Bridge walk starting point on the Brooklyn side. That way, you get a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline, as well as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to marvel at the bridge’s stunning architecture, rich history, and engineering marvels along the way. With its signature Gothic arch stone towers and remarkable 486-meter-long suspension cables, it was the world’s first all-steel suspended span and a feat of engineering that set a precedent for future bridge constructions all over the globe. These marvels have united to establish the Brooklyn Bridge’s enduring legacy as one of New York City’s most iconic monuments.

Safety Tips for Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

As you walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, it’s essential to keep safety in mind to ensure you and other travelers have a safe, enjoyable experience. Here are eight safety tips for walking the Brooklyn Bridge:

  1. Keep to the right side of the pedestrian path.
  2. Watch out for bicyclists and skateboarders–although they have a separate lane on the roadway, you might still encounter those using the pedestrian path.
  3. Utilize the rails along both sides of the bridge to help keep you stable and secure, and rest on a bench when needed.
  4. Keep an eye out for people in front of you stopping to take photos. 
  5. Step to the side if you’re stopping to take photos, rather than stopping in the middle of the path and holding up other walkers. 
  6. Be mindful of your possessions; thefts can happen in crowded areas.
  7. Carry snacks, water, and sunblock with you. 
  8. Cross earlier rather than later in the day to avoid large crowds. 

What to Do After Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

What to do after walking across the bridge depends on where you start your walk. If you’re ending on the Brooklyn side, you can explore the vibrant neighborhoods of Brooklyn, such as DUMBO, which is known for its art galleries and shops. Or, grab a bite to eat at one of the area’s famous pizza places. If you’re ending on the Manhattan side, you can take in the sights of New York’s City Hall and City Hall Park. 

Quick Brooklyn Bridge Walk FAQs

How long does it take to walk the Brooklyn Bridge? Depending on how fast you walk, you can make it across the Brooklyn Bridge in about 30-40 minutes. However, plan for the walk to take up to an hour to allow for heavy foot traffic and time to stop and marvel at the sights.

When is the Brooklyn Bridge walk open? All day, every day. You can walk the Brooklyn Bridge 24/7.

Can you walk the Brooklyn Bridge for free? Yes! The Brooklyn Bridge walk is free. 

What time of day is best for walking the Brooklyn Bridge? Early morning, late afternoon, or evening are the best times to walk the bridge because it’s the least busy. If you want the best chance of getting stunning photos with fewer obstructions, avoid walking the Brooklyn Bridge between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM.  

Which way is better to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge? Both directions offer stunning views, but using the Brooklyn Bridge walk starting point on the Brooklyn side will give you the best view of the New York skyline. 

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