Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge is such an iconic New York City experience; a must-do when you’re visiting the city! The famous landmark connects Manhattan and Brooklyn, and you can walk it, bike it (on a Citi Bike), or drive it. The entire length of the bridge is just over a mile long and takes about 30 minutes to cross by foot (if you’re walking at a brisk pace) to an hour (if you’re strolling and stopping for pictures). Definitely plan to stop and take lots of pictures of the amazing skyline views! You can start your trek across from the Manhattan or Brooklyn side, but we usually start in Manhattan and walk across to one of our favorite NYC pizza places, Grimaldi’s. More on that in a minute!
It’s free to cross the Brooklyn Bridge, and there’s a wide pedestrian walkway elevated above the car lanes. The walkway is always busy! According to the New York City Department of Transportation, more than 10,000 pedestrians and 4,00 cyclists cross the bridge every day. A note from personal experience: pay attention and stay out of the bike lane, especially if you’re walking with kids. The bikers zoom by so fast, and if you aren’t alert it’s easy for a collision to happen. And you don’t have time for that on your big NYC adventure!
From Manhattan, the bridge entrance begins just across from City Hall Park along Centre Street. The closest subway stops are via the 4, 5, and 6 trains at Brooklyn Bridge–City Hall station, the J or Z train at the Chambers Street station, or the R train at City Hall. We recommend using this Google Maps to navigate the subway system and find your way to the bridge’s pedestrian walkway. After you make it to the walkway, just follow the crowd and start your journey across the bridge. The skyline views from the Brooklyn side are SO GOOD, so make sure you stop to take them in.
Once you arrive in Brooklyn, there are two exits, one that leads down into DUMBO, and the other into Downtown Brooklyn. DUMBO stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass and is such a cool area to explore, but we usually head downtown to Grimaldi’s. It’s our favorite pizza in Brooklyn. Okay, it’s actually our fav pizza place in the city. We’ve tried a bunch of them of the years and can’t find one that tops it. After we’ve eaten our fill in NYC style pizza, we like to head to the Brooklyn Bridge Park or the Brooklyn Heights Promenade to enjoy the spectacular views of lower Manhattan. It’s especially breathtaking at night!
Use Google Maps to figure out which train you want to take to get back over to Manhattan. It will depend on where you are in Brooklyn, but know that there’s always a train station nearby so you don’t have to walk back across the bridge unless you just didn’t get enough excitement the first time. 🙂