Why Walk Over Brooklyn Bridge?
The walk across Brooklyn Bridge rewards you with great views of the Manhattan skyline, downtown Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty. And it’s free to do! Going across the walkway is a great way to orient yourself in New York and is a unique experience.
The Best Time To Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge
We visited in the middle of the day, but Brooklyn Bridge is open 24 hours. The views are supposed to be even more spectacular at sunset, but with temperatures plummeting to below freezing when we were there, we were more than happy to cross midday.
Brooklyn Bridge Walking Path
There are two lanes in the Brooklyn Bridge Walking Path — one for bicycles and the other for pedestrians. The walkway is made of wooden plank and the trail is flat and good for all skill level walkers. Dogs are also able to use Brooklyn Bridge Walking Path but must be kept on leash.
How Long Does It Take To Walk Over The Brooklyn Bridge?
Allow yourself at least 30-40 minutes to walk across the 1.3-miles, take pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoy the views. At sunset and during the warmer months, there will be a lot more visitors so probably a good idea to factor in more time. Also, avoid standing in the bike line, New York cyclists will not be pleased and will be sure to let you know! I know from experience.
The East River
The Brooklyn Bridge Walkway passes over the East River. The river which is actually a tidal strait, links the New York Harbour, the Harlem River, and the Long Island Sound. It’s not safe for swimming due to 300 years of industry that has taken place here.
The Cables On Brooklyn Bridge
Apparently, Brooklyn Bridge was built with defective wire! The Bridge was originally intended to be six times stronger than necessary, but the wire used was poorer quality than planned. When they realised this, it was too late to change the wiring. However, don’t panic as the current cables are still four times stronger and the bridge is still doing well!
The four main cables that hold up the platforms on Brooklyn Bridge consist of 6,239 wires, each thinner than a human hair. If you were to lay out all these wires from end to end, it would measure more than 3,500 miles or 5,600 kilometres.
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Some Historical Facts About Brooklyn Bridge
- The bridge was built between 1869-1883.
- More than 150,000 people crossed Brooklyn Bridge on its opening day in 1883.
- The Bridge Towers are made from Maine Granite and stand 84 metres above the water.
- More than 30 people died during the construction of the bridge including John Roebling, the chief engineer.
- The bridge cost $15.5 million to build in 1883.
- Barnum walked across Brooklyn Bridge in 1884 with 21 elephants to promote his circus and squelch any doubts about the stability of the bridge.
- When the bridge opened in 1883, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world.
Nearby Attractions To Brooklyn Bridge
On the Manhattan side: So much history to explore in Lower Manhattan. City Hall, Wall Street and much more are all within close walking distance of the Brooklyn Bridge.
On the Brooklyn side of Brooklyn Bridge: Take a walk through Brooklyn Bridge Park. Explore the historic neighbourhoods of Dumbo and Williamsburg. Enjoy a fantastic pizza at Grimaldi’s or ice cream at Brooklyn Ice Cream or one of the many hip bars and restaurants in the vicinity. Some great street art on this side of the bridge too.
How To Get To The Brooklyn Bridge?
Well, that depends on whether you want to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan into Brooklyn or from Brooklyn to Manhattan. We started in Brooklyn as that’s where we were staying and from the bridge, you get the most amazing views of the Manhattan skyline.
Walking across Brooklyn Bridge from the Brooklyn Side:
The Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walkway and Bicycle Lane starts at Tillary Street and Adams Street. These subway stops are the nearest and within a short walking distance of the walkway.
- Take A, C or F to Jay Street/MetroTech Station
- N, R to Court Street Station
- 2/3 or 4/5 to Borough Hall Station
Walking across Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan Side:
- The bridge is just across the street from the subway station, you can’t miss it!
- Take 4, 5, or 6 trains to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall
- the J or Z trains to Chambers St. Stop.
Other things to do in New York
If you are looking for a more comprehensive list of things to do in New York, check out 30 Things to Do in New York City by our friend Claudia at My Adventures Across the World.