The Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York City‘s most historic landmarks. Ever since its grand opening in 1883, it has served as an easy avenue for New Yorkers to travel between two great boroughs of the city: Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The Bridge stretches 1,834 meters across the east river and is 127 feet high above the water.
Before the bridge was built, the only means of travel along the East River were by ferry boats. With the number of workers that needed to travel between the two parts of the cities daily, the ferries could make about a thousand different trips to and from the river every day.
The ferries however were not a reliable means of travel for the workers due to weather conditions and other hindering factors. Thus the need for the bridge arose.
John A Roebling, one of the most outstanding civil engineers of his time, designed the Brooklyn bridge and construction started in 1869. Unfortunately, John Roeling did not witness the completion of the bridge, in fact, he died before construction even began.
His son, Washington Roebling, and his wife Emily Roebling made sure this historic bridge saw completion.
Today the Brooklyn bridge is one of the most famous bridges in NYC crossed by nearly 10,000 pedestrians per day and over 100,000 cars.
This bridge does not just stand as a means of transportation between two parts of the city but it is also a hotspot location among tourists and even locals for a lovely walk.
If you’re thinking of visiting New York City then walking the Brooklyn Bridge needs to be on your itinerary.
Crossing the bridge is about a 30 – 50 minute walk and a delightful trip. If you’re thinking about walking the bridge on your next visit to New York City then I’m here to tell you all you need to know about it.
Exciting facts about the Brooklyn Bridge
Before we discuss walking the bridge, let’s talk about some fun facts about the Brooklyn Bridge.
- At the time of its completion, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. In fact, it was so large that it was one of the tallest structures in the entire New York City at the time.
- The bridge took fourteen years to reach completion and the journey was not a smooth and steady one, but great American engineers worked tirelessly to see its completion.
- Emily Roebling was the first person to cross the Brooklyn Bridge, she did so with a live roster on her lap as a sign of victory.
- The bridge cost an estimated 15 million dollars to build, which at the time was a crazy amount of money.
- There are a series of eight large rooms under the anchorage on the Brooklyn and Manhattan side of the bridge. These spaces were originally designed to be shopping arenas to help the project raise funding but it was never seen through. However, these rooms have been used as wine cellars, and even as a cold war bunker.
- Today the bridge is over 150 years old and is still standing strong because of the efforts of the great Roebling family and the workers that contributed to its completion.
How to get to the Brooklyn Bridge
Getting to the bridge isn’t much of a hassle. Depending on whether you want to walk from the Manhattan side to Brooklyn or from the Brooklyn side to Manhattan, there are several ways to get to the bridge.
If you’re in Manhattan you can stop at areas fairly close to the pedestrian walkway through the subway or buses. The pedestrian entrance from the Manhattan side is situated across the City Hall park, along Central Street. You can easily walk to this area from Chinatown or the Financial District.
If you’re taking the subway, the best option is to take the 4,5, or 6 Train to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall or the N, R, or W Train to City Hall, then you can simply walk across from these stops to the walkway. Alternative subway routines from Manhattan include
- J/Z Trains to Chambers Street, which is a short walk from city hall
- 2/3 Trains to Park Place
- A or C train to Fulton Street
If you want to begin your walk from Brooklyn, there are also several convenient subway routines you can use. The pedestrian entrance on the Brooklyn side can be found at the southern edge of Cadman Plaza, along Tillary street and adjacent to Adam street.
You will find a few signs pointing towards the direction of the entrances in the area. If you’re coming from Brooklyn the subway is your best option, you can also take a paid taxi directly to these areas. Suitable subway routines include
- A, C, or F to Jay Street/MetroTech Station
- N, R to Court Street Station
- 4/5 to Borough Hall Station.
- 2/3 Trains to Clark Street
- A/C Trains to High Street-Brooklyn Bridge
- F Train to York Street
These routines stop at a short distance from the pedestrian entrances on the Brooklyn side You can find direction on google map here.
Walking the Brooklyn Bridge
The best time for a nice walk across the bridge is a little earlier or later in the day. This is because the bridge gets pretty hot and sunny midday during summer so it’s better to begin when the sun isn’t as high.
However, access to the bridge is available twenty-four hours so you can visit whenever you like.
The walk across the bridge is a mile long. The pedestrian walkway and the cyclist lane are only separated by a white line on the ground so you need to be alert and ensure you’re walking on the pedestrian side so you don’t get hit by a bicycle.
A few things that may come in handy on your walk include a bottle of water, a camera, and a little bag with a snack and other personal items. The walk can take about thirty minutes to one hour depending on how many stops you make for pictures and just to enjoy the outstanding architecture of the bridge.
If you are walking from the Brooklyn side of the bridge to Manhattan, you would have a fantastic view of lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn as you approach the middle. Some of the awesome places you would see include;
- The Statue of Liberty
- One World Trade Building
- The Brooklyn Harbor
- Empire State Building
- Hudson Yard
You can also see a clear view of the Manhattan Bridge just a bit of a distance from the Brooklyn Bridge and the Williamsburg Bridge further down.
There are several benches placed at different points on the bridge for you to relax and catch your breath on your way. The walk is a fun, exciting experience to really take in the beautiful New York City
How much weight can the bridge carry
A Lot of 19th-century New Yorkers asked the same questions. Citizens were skeptical about crossing the bridge as suspension bridges had a known history of collapsing. In 1883 impresario P.T. Barnum proved the strength of the bridge by having 21 elephants, 10 camels, and 7 dromedaries march across it. The Bridge has a load capacity of about 18,700 tons.
What can I do after I cross the bridge?
When you cross over to Manhattan, you can walk around the city hall park and enjoy the amazing sites. From there, you can either head north to Chinatown and enjoy a wonderful presentation of Asian culture or south to visit the one World Trade Center and the Financial Distinct
Can I have a photoshoot on the bridge?
Yes, you totally can. If you browse through the internet you would see hundreds of lovely photos of all kinds of people on the bridge. You can hire a local photographer from Bumbo or around the bridge or book with a private photographer to meet you at the bridge.