Best Way to Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

A view of the brooklyn bridge from the shore with a view of the Manhattan skyline

Stella Levantesi / TripSavvy

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most popular things to do when visiting New York City and it's free. Many people ask which is the best way to walk the Brooklyn Bridge. If you start from Manhattan, you've got a view of Brooklyn en route. If you start from Brooklyn, you've got an eyeful of Manhattan. So, if you're planning to make a memorable walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, there are things you should consider.

About the Brooklyn Bridge

The iconic Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Spanning nearly 1600 feet across the East River, connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge until 1903.

The construction of the bridge started in 1870 and took 13 years to complete. It was designed by architect John Roebling who became ill during the construction. It is said that his wife actually oversaw the bridge to completion.

The bridge is built for car, pedestrian and bike travel. Over 4,000 people walk across the bridge daily and more than 3,100 cyclists cross each day.

The Brooklyn Bridge is designated as a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service and is a New York City Landmark designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The bridge is currently undergoing a rehabilitation process. The process allows "for the repair and re-striping of the ramps and approaches to the bridge, to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion along both the Brooklyn-side and Manhattan-side approaches. In addition, the entire bridge will be repainted to prevent steel corrosion." So you may want to check on any construction work that will hinder your crossing during this time via the Department of Transportation's Facebook page. This page also lists weather conditions that may affect the bridge.

Walking Directions

For the most scenic route, start in Brooklyn and walk to Manhattan. That way, you'll be headed directly toward the famous Manhattan skyline the entire way.

To get there, take the subway. The nearest subway station to the Manhattan terminus of the bridge is Brooklyn Bridge City Hall Station. The nearest subway station to the Brooklyn terminus of the bridge is High Street - Brooklyn Bridge Station. Several other stations are walkable to and from the bridge if they are more convenient for you.

Once you are there, carefully cross through traffic at either end of the bridge and make it to the pedestrian walkway, which is a boardwalk. The planks will lead you over the river.

It's fine to walk the other way, too, from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Just remember to take the time to look back, which is easy to do from the Neo-Gothic bridge towers. Either way, you can enjoy fabulous views of the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor, the East River, and other New York City bridges.

And don't be discouraged if you've driven across the Brooklyn Bridge in either direction and been unimpressed with the view, which has been obscured by construction curtains. The pedestrian walkway is on the road, so walkers have a better view.

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