Today we dedicate ourselves to one of those attractions that have now fully entered the iconographic imagination of New York together with the Statue of Liberty, Times Square or the Empire State Building ... we are talking about the brooklyn bridge, of which we will try to give you all the information you need to visit it: from how to organize yourself to cross it on foot to all the organized tours available. Let's go discover the Brooklyn Bridge!
We travelers are driven by the thirst for knowledge and curiosity, so we catapult ourselves towards destinations that make us “feel something inside”. But there is a way and way to visit an attraction or a point of interest. So, if possible, let's try not to be hasty and to fully enjoy what we have done many hours of flight or hundreds of kilometers by car for.
We are in New York City, in the eclectic Manhattan island, which we are quite familiar with but which we cannot claim to know thoroughly because, for many reasons, the face of the metropolis is constantly changing and we are unable to keep up with the changes: neighborhoods that come into vogue then decay and maybe resurrect, fashions and trends that go crazy and then go out, buildings and clubs that change their intended use, new events, museums and hotels, everything and more! This time, however, it is decided: we want to live and get to know the brooklyn bridge, one of the most representative monuments of New York, which connects the island of Manhattan to the homonymous neighborhood.
- Information on length, width and where it is located
- How to visit the Brooklyn Bridge?
- How to reach the bridge
- Useful Tips
- Visiting the Brooklyn Bridge on foot: our experience
- Organized tours to the Brooklyn Bridge
Information on length, width and where it is located
We know of the famous bridge that it was inaugurated in 1883 above the East River, that is almost 2 kilometers long, which is part of the Register of Historic Places, which was the first bridge built of steel and which for many years was the widest and highest suspension bridge (84 meters). For more info on its history and features take a look at the video below. But now we want to enhance it without limiting ourselves to just a few customary photographs.
How to visit the Brooklyn Bridge?
How to do? No problem; there are a lot of options to get to know it and to discover it from many angles: from above, from below, from the right, from the left, day and night. Then we will create a nice memory, a book of images that portray this very photogenic bridge, now an expert "model" always posing who seems to invite us to click on it at every corner. Among the many bridges of New York, each with its own characteristic of color, shape or size, the Brooklyn one seems a favorite, an established icon of the city.
First access road to the Brooklyn neighborhood when it was still a separate town from New York, it is now a certain age, 134 years old, but we must say that it carries them more than dignified. Its gothic towers and brick pillars, together with the steel cables, withstand the strain that the bridge is subjected to on a daily basis.
How to reach the bridge
But how is access to the bridge reached? We give some information for both access from Manhattan and access from the Brooklyn neighborhood.
For access to the bridge from Manhattan: Take the metro, trains 4-5-6 towards Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall or the J or Z trains to the stop Chambers Street. These are the two closest metro stations. From the metro station the bridge is across the street. However, you can also take trains 2 or 3 to Park Place, N or R trains to City Hall or A or C trains to Fulton Street (see directions in the photo). The arrow indicates where you enter the pedestrian walkway. Depending on where you are coming from, it may be necessary to cross a road or two to enter the walkway. In any case, it is useful to follow the crowd that is entering the bridge.
For access to the bridge from the borough of Brooklyn: The bridge walkway begins at the intersection of Tillary and Andreson Street. There are several subway stations leading close to the entrance. If you are coming from the A or C train the best way to get to the bridge from the Brooklyn side is to exit the subway at the station High Street. The entrance to the pedestrian walkway is about 400 meters north of that station but there are useful signs pointing in the right direction. Also, the bridge is visible from the metro station. Finding access is easy but the intersection is almost always the subject of road works.
- Given the length of the bridge it is good to consider approximately an hour in each direction to walk it (including time for photos and to look around) and 15 minutes by bike. It is also possible to cover only a segment of it.
- The best views are enjoyed from Brooklyn to Manhattan.
- When walking from Manhattan to Brooklyn consider making time to visit the “trendy” Dumbo area with shops, restaurants, cafes and a gorgeous waterfront overlooking the City skyline just a few blocks away.
- Along the way there are no supplies of food and water, much less bathrooms, except for the sporadic presence of some unauthorized vendors of drinks
- Although the bridge is guarded by police, it is wise to avoid venturing into the middle of the night or on the rare occasions when it is not very busy.
- The upper part of the bridge (above the vehicular section) is divided into two distinct lanes which are not very wide, one for pedestrians and the other for cyclists.
- Be careful to hold children by the hand and not to be tempted by the idea of crossing into the lane of cyclists who could whiz by and hit pedestrians. Likewise, beware of cyclists who get too close or invade the pedestrian lane.
- It is advisable to wear a jacket early in the morning and in the evening.
- Do not wear shoes with heels that are incompatible with the wooden boards of the walkway.
- Do not attempt to climb the bridge or cross it in inclement weather as it is extremely windy and uncomfortable.
- There are many accommodation options close to both access routes. More information below:
How to find accommodation near the 2 entrances:
- Accommodations near access from Manhattan
- Accommodations near the Brooklyn Bridge access
Visiting the Brooklyn Bridge on foot: our experience
Of course you can make an individual visit on foot, on your own at no cost and that's what we are about to do this time too, even if we will not limit ourselves only to this. On Chambers Street, in Lower Manhattan (south of Greenwich Village and East Village), cross the road, then take a long pedo-cycle "corridor" that leads to the beginning of the actual bridge. Here we are!
Now the lanes for pedestrians and cyclists become a little wider and the presence, or rather the grandeur of the skyscrapers with the Statue of Liberty in the distance and the vision of the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges on the other side enchant us like the first time. . It is an emotion that is renewed, of joy but also of veiled sadness if we think that last time there were the twin towers while now there is the Freedom Tower.
We pause in front of the huge steel pipes, the long tie rods and the imposing spiers while the vehicles noisily pass beneath us, almost 145.000 a day. The minutes pass and, between a glance here and there, we slowly approach the end of the bridge in the Brooklyn neighborhood from where the skyline on the metropolis is superb. We have organized the crossing of the bridge with a very specific purpose: to arrive at the "terminus" in this neighborhood when the sunset is about to begin, to enjoy the crescendo of luci su Manhattan, take a walk on the waterfront and then in Main Street Park where we repeatedly immortalize the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges; we couldn't have made a better choice.
We have dinner from Westville (81 Washington St.), an excellent restaurant that we can define healthy with vegetarian and non-vegetarian proposals, in the emerging area of the Brooklyn neighborhood called D.U.M.B.O. (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass - Under the Manhattan Bridge). From there a taxi takes us back to the Big Apple with the view of the bridge from the perspective of the vehicle lane, in the open. Attracted by the illuminated supports of the Bridge, by the lights of the street lamps that followed one another in single file and by the glitter of approaching Manhattan, we enjoy the crossing that seems too short.
Here is a video that will give you a foretaste of what it means to walk along the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.
Organized tours to the Brooklyn Bridge
Our in-depth study of the Brooklyn Bridge it is not finished yet! After having discovered the independent pedestrian option and the night transit along the vehicle lane, we are only halfway through our "work" and to complete it we decide to examine the following organized tours and to choose the ones that meet our needs. The Circle Line Cruise for viewing from below and the Photography Tour for a technical experience, like a true photographic studio, are for us.
However, below we review the available tours, one by one.
- Tour del Brooklyn Bridge. This is a daytime tour with historical narration about the arrival of the first immigrants that guarantees spectacular views of the bridge and the bridge itself, for example the Statue of Liberty, the Sphere (sphere of the fountain of the former World Trade Center) and the New York Exchange (the bag).
- Complete Manhattan Island Cruise. It is a 2 and a half hour tour narrated in various languages (via app) around the island of Manhattan that starts from Pier 83 (on the Hudson river in Mid Manhattan) and winds along 3 rivers, 7 bridges, 5 neighborhoods with lots of views of New York, Brooklyn Bridge and a magnificent close encounter with the colossal Statue of Liberty less than 30 meters away. The price is then very affordable!
- New York City Sunset Dinner Cruise. It is a beautiful cruise accompanied by live jazz music, which offers a splendid view of the City and its surroundings in the atmosphere of the sunset along the Hudson and East rivers admiring, among other things, the World One (former World Trade Center), the financial district, Ellis Island (historic "gateway" for immigrants), Liberty Island with the Statue of Liberty, and of course the Brooklyn Bridge. There is the possibility of various upgrades including a VIP dinner with champagne.
- Brooklyn Bridge Bike Tour. The tour departs from Battery Park from where you have the opportunity to observe Ellis Island and Liberty Island with the Statue of Liberty. After visiting the park, continue to Wall Street, South Street Seaport, Brooklyn Bridge and the up-and-coming area of Dumbo in the Brooklyn neighborhood from which you can enjoy the Manhattan skyline.
- Brooklyn Bridge Running Tour. The tour departs from the Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway in Manhattan. A pleasant six-and-a-half kilometer ride, suitable for everyone and accompanied by historical narration, covers several symbols of the city as it crosses the Brooklyn Bridge (returning from the Manhattan bridge). Before finishing in front of the town hall, the race crosses the streets of Chinatown and not far away is the Five Point Area (bordered by Center St., Bowery St., Canal St. and Park Row), once a decay and gang area then a theater of films on the underworld and now historical area).
- Brooklyn Bridge Photo Tour. The tour begins in Lower Manhattan and takes place in small groups accompanied by professional photographers. It lasts an hour and a half during which some techniques are explained to make the most of the potential of the camera and then photos are taken from the best angles and lights, for example from the Brooklyn neighborhood where the tour ends at the spectacular Bridge Park.
- Helicopter tour in New York. Since 11 September 2001, it is no longer possible to fly over Manhattan but the helicopter tours continue flying around it, practically circumnavigating it from above. This way you can have a good view of the points of interest, including the Brooklyn Bridge. Of course, the costs depend on the length of the tour. Let's say you can currently spend around $ 170 for a 15 minute tour up to $ 300 for a 25 minute tour. The most popular companies are Liberty Helicopters, Manhattan Helicopters and Zip Aviations.
- Brooklyn Bridge + 9/11 Memorial night tour. Splendid 2-hour night tour starting near Ground Zero with a visit to the 11/XNUMX memorial and the Freedom Tower; then you reach the town hall and other buildings in Lower Manhattan and finally you visit the illuminated Brooklyn Bridge with spectacular views of the Empire State Building, South Street Seaport and the Statue of Liberty especially from the top of the arch.
Many of these tours (and others not mentioned) are included in the various passes available to visit New York. For more information, check out our guide on the best passes for New York.
Which New York pass is really worth it?
And now that the Brooklyn Bridge has no more secrets, all that remains is to wish HAPPY WALK!