Completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Spanning nearly 1600 feet across the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge until 1903.
This enduring, historic monument is the southernmost of New York's East River bridge crossings. With its Neo-Gothic towers, you can't miss it—and neither have many artists over the years who have been inspired by its majesty, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Georgia O'Keefe and Walt Whitman.
Walking Across the Brooklyn Bridge
We won't try to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge—but we will try to sell you on the idea of taking a walk across it. It is one of New York City's great free sights and attractions and well worth the effort to cross.
Carefully cross the traffic pattern at either end of the bridge and make it to the pedestrian walkway, which is a boardwalk like no other. The planks that pattern the path lead you over the river on a memorable journey. Bring your camera because the views are stunning.
You can choose to either walk from the Brooklyn side of the bridge to the Manhattan side or vice versa. You can even walk both directions if you like. My personal preference is to take the subway to Brooklyn (A/C to High Street or the 2/3 to Clark Street) and walk toward Manhattan. We think it's particularly amazing to see the Manhattan skyline build as you ascend the bridge. It's spectacular around sunset, so it can be a great idea to spend the day exploring Brooklyn (there are many different things to do there!) and plan your walk back into the City to sync up with sunset. You're then perfectly located to have a great dinner in Manhattan's Chinatown or hop on the subway to do whatever you'd like for the evening.
If you are walking stay walk on the footpath, as many people bike across the bridge and you don't want to get hit by a bicycle when you stop to admire the view or take a photo!
Brooklyn Bridge Location
- The Brooklyn Bridge connects lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
- You can access the pedestrian walkway from Brooklyn at Tillary/Adams Streets or a staircase on Prospect St between Cadman Plaza East and West.
- You can access the Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan side near City Hall Park at Park Row and Centre Street.
To walk across the bridge from Manhattan, take the 4/5/6 to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall, N/R to City Hall or the 2/3 to Park Place. To walk across the bridge from Brooklyn, take the A/C to High Street or the 2/3 to Clark Street.
Hours & Admission
The Brooklyn Bridge is open 24 hours. There is no charge for walking across and no toll if driving.
Official Website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/infrastructure/brooklyn-bridge.shtml
Brooklyn Bridge Facts
- Construction of the bridge began in 1870 and took over 13 years to build, and was, at the time, the longest suspension bridge in the world.
- The bridge itself is 6,775 feet long -- just over 1.25 miles.
- The bridge was designed by architect John Roebling, though his wife actually oversaw much of its construction because he fell ill during the building of the bridge.
- More than 4,000 pedestrians cross the bridge daily.
- More than 3,100 bicyclists cross the bridge daily.
- The Bridge has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service.
- The Bridge has also been designated a New York City Landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Looking for more free things to see and do in NYC? Walking Across the Brooklyn Bridge is at the top of our list, but we've got nine other great things you can do that won't cost a thing!