By Expedia Team, on February 26, 2020

Walk the Brooklyn Bridge: Your Guide to an Essential New York Experience

“One of the most iconic landmarks in the world, the Brooklyn Bridge is a symbol of New York City and an unmissable photo opportunity for most visitors. If you want to get a bit closer, though, it’s possible to walk all the way across the East River using a dedicated pedestrian path on the bridge. Here’s our definitive guide to walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.


Why Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge?

The views you’ll get walking across the Brooklyn Bridge are second-to-none, particularly as you get farther across towards the Brooklyn side. From here, there are wide panoramas of Manhattan’s vast skyline reflecting in the waters of the East River.

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge also allows you to experience a massive piece of New York history up close. Bridges have historically been an important part of New York City life – and they continue to be an integral part of the New York experience, connecting the boroughs, where a lot of people live, to the epicentre of financial and working life in Manhattan.

The Brooklyn Bridge itself is a marvel. Designed by German-American engineer, John Augustus Roebling, it was the first fixed crossing over the East River, which was previously only connected by ferry. When it opened in May 1883, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world at 486.3m (1,595.5 ft).

How to Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge

The first question most people have when deciding to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge is which direction to go. It’s best to start in Manhattan and walk to Brooklyn, and not the other way around. This is mainly because the Brooklyn side has a lot more to see and do than the areas around the bridge on the Manhattan side.

Going this way means you land in Brooklyn’s trendy Dumbo district, where there are lots of nice restaurants and cafes to relax and replenish in after the walk. The Dumbo side of the Brooklyn Bridge is also home to Brooklyn Bridge Park, which nudges right up to the East River. This is arguably the best place to grab a photo of the bridge, silhouetted by the towering Manhattan skyline.

You can walk across the bridge at any time of day, but you’ll want to avoid the morning and evening rush hours, when busy commuters are often crammed in and walking in a hurry.


### Accessing the Bridge

There’s a dedicated Brooklyn Bridge walking path above the six lanes of vehicle traffic. It’s just over a mile (1.6km) long and you’ll want to plan an hour to make it across, allowing for time to linger and enjoy the views. The bridge is accessible on the Manhattan side near City Hall Park at Park Row and Centre St. On your way back, catch the subway from Brooklyn (the A/C to High St or the 2/3 to Clark St).

A Brooklyn Bridge Walking Itinerary

Plan to head out after the morning commute has ended. Have a leisurely breakfast or brunch at a cafe on the Manhattan side, and aim to reach the bridge by around 11am.

The walk across takes around an hour. Though many people are tempted to launch straight into the Brooklyn Bridge Park afterwards, if you wait until late afternoon to visit the park, you’ll get amazing views of the sunset over Manhattan.

When you reach the Brooklyn side, have lunch near the bridge. For something low-key, head to Luke’s Lobster and grab a lobster or crab roll to eat on the grass in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge. If you want to splash out a little, try the River CafĂ© (reservations recommended) right under the bridge, which has some of the best views of Manhattan and the East River.

In the afternoon, explore the art galleries on Water St and Front St east of the bridge. If it’s a Sunday, you can also go digging for treasure and antiques at Brooklyn Flea, located in the Manhattan Bridge Arch and along Pearl St. Stop in for refreshments at Randolph Beer on Prospect St, the only microbrewery in Dumbo.

In the late afternoon, head back to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Stop along the way for an artisan ice cream at Ample Hills Creamery and then wander through the park. Make sure to stop at the Brooklyn Bridge lookout at the head of Pier 1, as well as the panoramic viewpoints of the Manhattan skyline further down – the perfect place to watch the sunset over New York.

Find somewhere to stay by checking out our hotels in New York.”