Brooklyn Bridge Walk – Self Guided Walking Tour

Visit the Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge Facts, Best Time to visit and how to get there

Brooklyn Bridge is easily accessible from Chinatown; you can walk from Chinatown to Lower Manhattan towards Foley Square and City Hall. There are street signs pointing to the Brooklyn Bridge, follow those or follow the path in google maps. The Brooklyn Walk – Self Guided Walking Tour will take you to the to the pedestrian walkway on Brooklyn Bridge. The entrance to the pedestrian walkway on the Manhattan side is on Center Street across from the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall Metro Station for line 4, 5 and 6. Subway information is at the bottom of of the page, CLICK HERE

The map below explores the neighborhood of DUMBO, Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”. Visit this area once you cross the Brooklyn Bridge. It is located between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. You can access the INTERACTIVE map or the PDF to visit the sites. To explore the area on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge, click HERE for a tour of Chinatown, New York. Chinatown is about a 15 min walk on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge and worth a visit

Download the interactive map HERE to explore the Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO

brooklyn bridge attractions map

Click HERE to Download the PDF Map of the Brooklyn Bridge Walk

Video of the Brooklyn Bridge, explore the DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights neighborhoods on Brooklyn side of the bridge

Visit Brooklyn – Walking Map

The Brooklyn Bridge connects New York’s Manhattan island to Brooklyn over the East River. The Brooklyn Bridge, also known as the East River Bridge, proposal was suggested in the 1800’s to connect two different cities, Brooklyn and New York. The bridge was completed in 1883 after 14 years of construction. It involved 600 workers and cost 5.5 million dollars, an astronomical sum for 1883. Within 24 hours of opening, an estimated 250,00 had crossed the bridge by either walking or driving across. It is the oldest suspension bridges in the United States carrying 150,000 vehicles and pedestrian traffic a day

Use the map to visit:

  • DUMBO – Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass
  • Archway under the Manhattan Bridge
  • Brooklyn Flea Market
  • Brooklyn Historical Society – documenting 400 years of Brooklyn history
  • Jane’s Carousel
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park – an 85 acre park under the Brooklyn Bridge
  • The Granite Prospect
  • Truman Capote’s House
  • Brooklyn Heights Promenade
  • Use Brooklyn Bridge Walking map to explore the area under the bridge from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Manhattan Bridge. This area is known as DUMBO
  • Use the Brooklyn Bridge Walking map to explore the area under the Brooklyn Bridge including Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Bridge Promenade and Brooklyn Heights neighborhood

Brooklyn Bridge: Facts

  • One year after its opening, P.T. Barnum, the predecessor to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus, crossed the bridge with 21 elephants to prove how sturdy the bridge was
  • Is known by several names throughout its history including Great East River Bridge, Great East River Suspension Bridge, New York and Brooklyn Bridge and officially named the “Brooklyn Bridge” in 1915
  • Compartments were built into the bridge, that were used as storage granite walled spaces. Many companies paid rental feels to rent out the compartments to store products such as wine. The coolness of the compartments stored the wine at a perfect temperature
  • It was a cold war shelter at one time. During the cold war, food supplies, medicine and water were stored in the storage compartments
  • About 20 people died during the construction phase including the engineer who designed the bridge. The engineer, John A. Roebling, died in 1869 on the job before it was completed
  • After the Engineers death, his son took over. He was bedridden with an illness attributed to the bridge. His mother and wife of the original engineer, Emily Roebling took over the project and completed the bridge. She was also the first person to cross the bridge
  • It was the worlds first steel and wire bridge and was the longest in the world. It held that title for 20 years
  • On the sixth day after opening, a woman tripped and the resulting stampede of 20,000 people rushing to leave the bridge caused the death of 12 people. It was thought that the woman tripped because the bridge was about to collapse
  • After opening, there was a toll to cross the bridge. It costs a penny by foot, a horse and rides costs 5 cents and a carriage was 10 cents. Even animals had to pay, 2 cents for a sheep or hog and 5 cents for a cow. After much protest, the pedestrian toll was abandoned in 1891 and road toll was abandoned in 1911
  • Peregrine falcons call the bridge their home. They nest at the top of the two towers and if you look up you may see them coming and going
  • About 125,000 vehicles, 2,600 cyclists and 4,000 pedestrians cross the bridge everyday. If you are walking across, stay on the right as the cyclists zoom on the bicycle lane on the walkway

Best time to Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

The bridge is open 24 hours a day, however sunrise and sunset are great times to visit the bridge when it is not crowded and the views are spectacular at that time. It can get a little cold on the bridge and you may want to bring a light sweater or jacket. It will take about 30 minutes to cross the 1.6 km bridge (1.3 miles). The bridge is very busy with locals crossing to go to and from work and tourists visiting this popular attraction. The path is too narrow for the number of people on the walkway. You can also rent a bike and use the bike path to cross the bridge

Helpful Tips

  • The walkway is shared by cyclists, stay in your pedestrian walking lane as the cyclists whiz by at great speeds in the bike lane
  • Wear walking shoes as it is about 1.6 km one way. It gets very busy and sometimes the walk depends on the pace of the other pedestrians
  • Avoid the walk during inclement weather. There is very little shelter on the bridge and it is an unpleasant walk during bad weather
  • Do NOT attempt to climb on the bridge for the perfect picture as this is really dangerous
  • Spend at least one hour each way giving you plenty of time to enjoy the view and take pictures
  • If you want to buy some souvenirs, bring cash as there are vendors on the bridge. You will find souvenirs, water bottles and snacks for purchase
  • Walk to the Brooklyn side and catch the NYC ferry back to the Manhattan side for a nice change of pace. The ferry can be taken from pier 1 (DUMBO) on the Brooklyn side to drop off points on the Manhattan side at East 34th Street or the financial district at Wall St (Pier 11)
  • When you get to the Brooklyn side, walk to the neighborhood of DUMBO for great places to eat. DUMBO stands for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”. It is definitely worth a visit

The Brooklyn Bridge and East River

The Brooklyn Bridge is used to cross the East River. The East River with a dept of 9 M (30 feet) is a tidal strait linking Harlem River, Long Island Sound and the New York Harbour. With the advent of industrialization the river became polluted and it is NOT advisable to swim in it

When you cross the River, you will also notice Governors Island which is accessible by ferry. You can catch the ferry from Battery Maritime Building/Ferry Terminal. The subway line 1 (train to South Ferry), subway line R (To Whitehall Street) and Lines 4 and 5 (to Bowling Green) will take you to the ferry terminal. Purchase a round trip ferry ticket to visit Governors island. There are food vendors and restrooms on the island. It is easy to spend a full day there enjoying the spectacular views of Manhattan, renting a bike, walking, having a picnic, Ziplining or visiting one of the many kids playgrounds

Getting to the Brooklyn Bridge

Video on entrances and subway to access the Brooklyn Bridge Promenade

Using the Subway

Purchase a MetroCard, then fill or refill the card. They can be purchased, filled and refilled at subway station booths, MetroCard Vending machine or local kiosks. They cost $1 to purchase, you can then add monies to the card and use it when you use public transportation. Unlimited rides one-week or one-month MetroCards can also be purchased. If you are going to be visiting for several days you may want to look into this option

Use Google Maps or the MTA trip planner site or download the Trip Planner app to get the best routes using the subway

At the Brooklyn Bridge – Manhattan side

Entrances to the Brooklyn Bridge walkway or promenade from the Manhattan side:

  • The entrance is across the street from City Hall along Center Street, refer to map above
  • From the Manhattan side:
    • subway lines 4,5 or 6 Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall Stop or
    • subway lines J or Z Chambers Street Stop
    • subway lines 2, 3 Park Lane Stop or
    • subway lines A, C, or F Chambers Street Stop
    • The subway lines above and their associated stops will take you across the street from the entrance to the Brooklyn Promenade/Walkway
  • On the Manhattan Tower, you will find padlocks, these love locks are placed their by couples processing their undying love to each other. You may want to put one there your self but keep in mind that sometimes the Department of transportation will cut off the locks
  • Just below the bridge at 1 Cherry Street is Osgoode House, the former resident of the United States President, George Washington. It was the Presidential Residence from 1789 to 1790

At the Brooklyn Bridge – Brooklyn side

  • There are two entrances from the Brooklyn side to the walkway
    • at the intersection of Tillary Street and Adams Street. A word of caution, its a busy intersection that you will need to cross to get to the Brooklyn bridge Promenade / Walkway
    • using the underpass on Washington Street. This will lead to a stairway that takes you up onto the Pedestrian walkway. The stairway makes it difficult for those who have mobility issues
  • From the Brooklyn side:
    • subway lines 2, 3, 4, 5 and exit at the Borough Hall station
    • subway lines A, C, or F and exit at the Jay Street Station
    • subway lines N/R and exit at the Court Street Station
  • The Brooklyn Tower has a a commemorative plaque dedicated to Emily Roebling who completed the bridge and was the first person to cross it
  • Visit the Brooklyn Bridge Park on the Brooklyn side. It is a popular place with free events including a ferry terminal, music festivals, movies, vendors (Brooklyn Ice Cream factory) and great views of Manhattan island. Take the ferry from here back to the financial district on Wall Street Pier 11 or East 34st

New York attractions

New York Chinatown Self guided Walking Tour – visit the popular attractions in Chinatown, including your own personal Chinatown food tour. Visit the popular local restaurants to sample the cuisine. Once you have completed the food tour and attractions tour in Chinatown. Use the guide to walk 15 min to the Brooklyn Bridge and complete the Brooklyn Bridge tour (below)

Brooklyn Bridge Self guided Walking Tour – Use the map and attractions guide to cross the Brooklyn Bridge and visit areas such as Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Flea market, and Brooklyn Promenade. When you are done, head over to the Manhattan Bridge to visit DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).  Once you have completed the walking tour you can either:

  • Cross the Brooklyn Bridge again to return to Manhattan Island
  • Take the Ferry from Pier 1 in Brooklyn Park to go back to Manhattan Island. The ferry will drop you at Pier 11 Wall Street (financial district) or East 34th Street
  • From DUMBO, head upstairs to the Manhattan Bridge and walk across the Manhattan Bridge back to Manhattan Island.  You will return to Chinatown on the Manhattan side