A Guide To Walking The Brooklyn Bridge Like A Local

Brooklyn Bridge is a top tourist attraction in New York City. Besides the views it offers of the city, this bridge also has some interesting history attached to it. Visitors all over the world come to explore this bridge and see the impressive views but not all get to enjoy the experience to the fullest. There may be many places to start the walk from but this guide will have visitors walking the bridge like a local.


About The Brooklyn Bridge

  • Length: 1.1 miles (6,016 feet)
  • Height: 272 Feet (82.9 m)

Brooklyn Bridge has a long history. It all began in the 1800s when the need to link the city of New York and Brooklyn arose. John Roebling – an American civil engineer came up with a design to build the suspension bridge. His plan was eventually approved and he was named the chief engineer of the project which began in early January 1870 and took approximately 13 years to complete. Over 20 workers died during the construction of the bridge including the chief engineer – John Roebling who died before the beginning of the construction. The project saw a lot of challenges and criticism but was eventually completed in 1883 and opened to the public that same year. Today the bridge accommodates more than 116,000 vehicles, 3,000 cyclists, and 30,000 pedestrians daily, offering them impressive views of the surrounding cities.


Walking The Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is divided into different sections for vehicles and pedestrians. The pedestrian section of the bridge was constructed for the pleasure of light commuters which include those walking and biking. At the opening of the bridge, over 150,000 people walked this section, and today it remains the best place one can be on the bridge.

Before September 2021, there were issues between pedestrians and bikers as some naive visitors frequently stepped into the bike lane thereby leaving themselves vulnerable to speeding bikes. To solve this problem, a new bike lane was constructed on the lower part of the bridge beside the vehicle lane, leaving the pedestrian section completely free for pedestrians. This new two-way bike lane doubled the number of bikers visiting the bridge after it was built. With this new development, pedestrians on the upper part of the bridge now have the entire section to themselves.


Entrance And Walking Time

Several entrances lead to the Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan and the Brooklyn side. One can walk the bridge from any direction but walking from the Brooklyn side to the Manhattan side offers the best views of the New York City Skyline and Manhattan.

The main access to the bridge from the Brooklyn side is from Tillary Street. From the Manhattan side, visitors can access the bridge from Center street near City Hall Park. While accessing the bridge pedestrian walkway from both sides, visitors should be wary of many of the vendors at the entrances. While some are there to sell useful things, others are there to scam unsuspecting tourists. Of course, one can purchase some food if one is hungry but other items that are usually offered by the vendors may lead to a scam.


It takes between 30 minutes and an hour to completely walk the bridge. This is dependent on the pace and activity one engages in. Obviously, one might have to stop occasionally to take pictures. This coupled with the crowd can make the walk a little slower.

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Best Time To Visit Brooklyn Bridge For The Views

On weekends, the Brooklyn Bridge is usually more crowded which makes weekdays better to escape the crowd. The busiest times of the day at Brooklyn Bridge are from noon to sunset. During summer, the crowd can skyrocket, making the bridge overcrowded, especially at bright hours of the day. After sunset, the bridge is less crowded and the views at this time are beautiful but unnatural as it is reliant on the lighting on the bridge and around the surrounding borough. At sunrise, the bridge is usually less crowded and naturally brighter which makes it the best time to visit for those after the views. Speeding bikers, honking vehicles, and heavy traffic are usually minimal at this time.


Related: Doodletown: Exploring New York’s Abandoned Mining Town

More Tips For Walking The Brooklyn Bridge

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge is free and easy, but it can become difficult for those lacking the right information. One important thing to always keep in mind is that the bridge can get uncomfortably cold as it crosses the East River. Hence, visitors should always come dressed in proper clothing. It can also get quite sunny at the bridge which makes umbrellas and hats necessary to protect one from the sun. Comfortable shoes are also needed as one is expected to walk for almost an hour. There are no rails along the pedestrian walkway to protect one from falling, therefore those walking should avoid moving too close, sitting, or standing on the ledges.

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