Connecting the two great cities of Manhattan and Brooklyn is the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, a majestic structure that locals and tourists traverse by car, bike, and even on foot. People go there to see the bridge itself and it has become a must-visit for tourists over the years. More than just a tourist spot, however, this bridge is one that’s frequented by locals as well. In fact, the bridge has a dedicated walkway for pedestrians just above the bustling traffic which makes for a wonderful stroll.
Whether you’re starting off from Brooklyn or Manhattan, walking the Brooklyn Bridge is always an experience worth having.
Starting from Brooklyn
From this side, you can get the pedestrian walk via two entrances.
The walkway from the side of Brooklyn starts right where Tillary Street and Boerum Place intersect. You’ll know you’re at the right place when you see what you would normally see if you were crossing the Brooklyn Bridge by car.
Alternatively, you can take the underpass at Washington Street. It’s just two blocks away from Front Street. The underpass will lead you to a stairway which leads to a ramp that goes up to the walkway.
Taking the Right Subway
There are a lot of subways that will take you somewhere close to the Brooklyn Bridge Brooklyn side. All these will eventually require you to walk for about two-thirds of a mile before finally getting to the bridge. (Note: You’ll want to take this into consideration, especially when you’re carrying heavy stuff, wearing impractical shoes, or have children with you, since this could be a hassle)
You’re also going to want to regularly check the New York City MTA Trips Planner website so ensure that your ride is on schedule. Sometimes the routes and schedules can change, especially during the weekend, so you’ll want to be steps ahead in case they do happen.
There are two subway routes worth noting. One that’s close but not so pretty and another that’s a bit farther but more scenic:
- The closest albeit less scenic route is the A or C subway. You can take either one to the High Street Brooklyn Bridge stop. You’re going to want to take a right on Pearl Street followed by a left on Prospect Street, entering Washington Street. On your left will be the entrance to Washington Street’s underpass which in turn leads to the stairs and ramp that go up to the pedestrian path. Watch out for speeding cyclists as you get there. Note: It’s about a quarter of a mile to the walkway.
- If you want to savor the journey a bit more with sights and adventure, you’ll want to take the exit on the 2 and 3 subways at the Clark Street Station and take the elevator up to the streets. On your left is the historic Henry Street, which is worth a look. When you’re done, go downhill until you reach the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges - you can’t miss it. If you walk across the street, you’ll see a path that will lead you to the Cadman Plaza West. There, yet another path will take you to the Washington Street or the Cadman Plaza East. When you’re done sightseeing, you can go to the underpass and make your way to the Brooklyn Pedestrian Path. Note: The entire journey would be a third of a mile.
- There is yet a longer route, but offers a more straightforward path. You can take subways N, R, 2, 3,4, or 5 leading to Borough Hall. From there, follow the path along Boerum Place. You’ll pass by Brooklyn Marriot on your right. Since it’s a straightforward path, this is better for those who tend to get lost. The Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian is just across Tillary Street.
Going Back to Brooklyn
If you’re going for the sights, then you’ll want to take the NYC Ferry back to Brooklyn. It’s at the Fulton Ferry Landing Stop just by the Brooklyn Bridge Park. You can also catch the Ferry at Pier 6 on Atlantic Avenue, which will give you the chance to stroll along Brooklyn Heights where there are trees lined up along the streets as well as a promenade that overlooks lower Manhattan. This place is famous for its photo-worthy backdrop!
Alternatively, you can take subways 2 or 3 from Chambers street or go to the City Hall and take subways J, Z, 4, or 5.
Or, if you feel like it, you can simply walk back.
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan
This one is a lot easier compared to the Brooklyn route, but it’s not as exciting.
From Manhattan, you can go to City Hall and find the pedestrian walk there. To make your way to City Hall, take the trains at J, Z, 4, 5, or 6. If you’re at the west side of Manhattan, take 1, 2, or 3 to Chambers Street and walk three blocks east. The pedestrian is just across Park Row.
Going Back to Manhattan
Again, you can just walk back. Alternatively, you can take the subway, specifically the N, R, 2, 3, 4, or 5 from Borough Hall. There’s also the A and C from High Street Brooklyn and the 2 and 3 at Clark Street.
In case you get lost, you can take a cab at the station by Brooklyn Marriott or use UberX to take a green taxi. If you feel like it, you can also contact a local car service to pick you up. Unfortunately, there are no buses at the Brooklyn Bridge.
In case you’re wondering, it takes about 25 to 30 minutes to cross the bridge itself. Lots of people pass by this bridge to work and back. There are no tolls on the bridge.
Remember; try to enjoy your way to Brooklyn Bridge since the journey can be quite the adventure itself. And in case you get lost, don’t hesitate to ask around - you’ll eventually get there and the whole thing will be worth it.