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New York, New York, United States

Brooklyn Bridge Walk

Manhattan to Brooklyn in search of ice cream, pizza, views and people watching

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 (87 votes, 36 reviews)
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 4.0 miles / 6.4 km
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly
Overview: This is a fun and scenic walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn. If you have children with you, just say these magic words: "Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory" and you will likely have no trouble getting them excited for the walk across one of the country's most famous bridges.

This can be a crowded or mellow stroll across the East River. Drink vendors line the bridge, which can be helpful in warm, humid weather. To your right, you can spy the Statue of Liberty in the distance, along with dozens of boats and helicopters. To your left is the Manhattan Bridge.

Completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was originally designed by German civil engineer John Augustus Roebling. The bridge's construction became a family affair, when Roebling fell ill and enlisted his adult son, Washington, to lead the project. Not long after Washington assumed the charge of the bridge did he also need to pass the baton after he suffered permanent physical damage while working in the sealed underwater foundations for the two towers (an ailment known as caisson disease, decompression sickness or more commonly "the bends"). Washington put his wife Emily in charge, and for more than a decade she managed the day-to-day operations of the bridge construction, bringing instructions from her bed-ridden husband to the job site and updates back to him. She became highly knowledgable about the engineering intricacies of the bridge, impressing politicians and other engineers with her capabilities and leadership. In the official opening ceremony, on May 24, 1883, Emily was the first person to cross the bridge.

Tips: Bring water, especially on a hot day.

Finding the entrance and exit to the bridge is not obvious. These POIs and map should help.

Points of Interest


Start of Walk

On the Manhattan side, begin the walk across the bridge in the small park next to the Manhattan Municipal Building, an impressive 40-story Beaux-Arts building with a subway station in its basement. The Manhattan Municipal Building is across Center Street from City Hall Park. You can take the subway or a taxi to get here. The subway actually drops you much closer to the start than the taxi can (too many busy streets and freeway on ramps for a taxi to slow down nearby, so they have to drop you a ways away from the start). Start looking for where the pedestrians and cyclists are headed, along with any food and drink cart vendors who are at the ready for would-be bridge crossers.
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Start of Walk


Halfway across the bridge is a great spot to take pictures, observe all of the activity on and over the river (boats, helicopters, cars zooming below you) and people watching. We saw everything from tours to photo shoots to small film crews.
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Exiting the Bridge in Brooklyn

Look for the sign "Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO: Washington St. and Cadman Plaza" with an image of a pedestrian descending some stairs. (Note: DUMBO stands for "down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass" and refers to the neighborhood there.)

Once you are at street level, look for maps and read the keys to find the stops and sites you're after. For example, the River Cafe and Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory are next to each other on the waterfront and No. 2 and No. 3 respectively on the sign. Grimaldi's Pizzeria is No. 8.

Being under the crisscross of the bridge's on and off ramps make navigation difficult. We used our iPhone's GPS, and we hope this map and guide will help you. Of note, you will be crossing UNDER the bridge and feeder expressways a few times. While the track looks like you will cross over the expressway or bridge, you are going underneath, safe and sound.
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Exiting in Brooklyn

Middagh Street to Columbia Heights

There are likely several, more direct ways to get to the waterfront and Ice Cream Factory, but we liked this route for a few reasons:

1. It took us through the peaceful Cadman Plaza Park, which was welcome after the urban, hot and busy walk across the bridge.
2. Middagh Street is small, tree lined and filled with great architecture, including pretty brownstone homes, a fire station, a school and small shops.
3. Keep walking and you will be able to cut through to Columbia Heights (a right turn), which takes you downhill past tiny Hillside Park, which has views of on and off ramps to the bridge.
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The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

At Old Fulton Street, turn left and you will see the cute-as-can-be ice cream factory near the water in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge. There is a large pier and tiny restaurant right there. There is also the River Cafe just beyond the Ice Cream Factory and a water taxi boarding area in between.

Address: The Corner of Old Fulton and Water Street
Phone: (718) 246-3963
Hours: Sunday - Thursday 12 noon - 10pm; Friday & Saturday 12 noon - 11pm
Other Resources
Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
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Ice Cream Factory

Grimaldi's Pizzeria

We read about the famous line out the door and down the block, but didn't believe it until we saw it. It looked like a lot of young people waiting in the heat (not families or older couples). The pizza must be amazing, but we were surprised to see that the shop didn't sell pizza by the slice. There was an ice cream truck just to the right of Grimaldi's, which perhaps saved some patient patrons from the heat.

Of note, there are several restaurants on the same block as Grimaldi's, one of which even "dares" to serve pizza. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to brave the line at Grimaldi's (and we were disappointed to miss out on trying NYC's beloved pizza), but instead we ate at 7 Old Fulton Restaurant (same name as address). This spot was a peaceful, cool (temperature), friendly, tasty place with a long, old-fashioned bar and elegant Rococo-inspired design. It was quite good--reasonably priced steak sandwiches, salads, pasta and great, attentive service.

Address: 19 Old Fulton Street
Phone: 718-858-4300
Hours: Monday through Thursday 11:30am - 10:45pm; Friday 11:30am - 11:45pm; Saturday 12pm - 11:45pm; Sunday 12pm - 10:45pm

7 Old Fulton Restaurant
Address: 7 Old Fulton Street
Phone: 718-797-0007
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The Walk Back

After Grimaldi's, continue on Old Fulton Street to Prospect Street, which will take you on some busy streets and underneath a few expressway and bridge access ramps. Where Prospect crosses Washington, look for the staircase that leads back up to the bridge pedestrian walkway.

The walk back is nice, punctuated with great views of Manhattan. If you didn't notice the Statue of Liberty before, you can see her to your left. The Manhattan Bridge on your right is also scenic.

Stay to your left, as the right lane is for fast-moving bicycles.

Once you're back on the island, a rest stop in City Hall Park (across Center Street/Park Row) is a cool and welcome spot to plan your next adventure, even if that is just where to have dinner.
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Walk back
Pictures in this guide taken by: ponownie, krbose, Fidel111, Bora254, veltmana, dpark1, hanniestap, Page
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Visited on Jun 07, 2016

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Visited on Feb 01, 2016

by bioxfourkoleis on Mar 16, 2016
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Visited on Feb 03, 2016

by Travel_Movies on Feb 09, 2016
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Visited on Aug 15, 2015

by luxurylizard on Aug 14, 2015
I really enjoyed it. The view of river was very lovely.

Visited on Aug 04, 2015

by Angelnxami on Aug 04, 2015
pefect amazing places!
Visited on Mar 02, 2000

by Olafios on Jul 30, 2015
I like the trip.It wz amazing.....
Visited on Jul 06, 2015

by Angelnxami on Jul 16, 2015
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Visited on Jul 06, 2015

by Angelnxami on Jul 16, 2015
amazing place strongly recommended this
Visited on Apr 07, 1998

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Visited on Dec 05, 2014

by erkn on Dec 05, 2014
Love it very much. Looks great at the night.
Visited on Feb 02, 2014

by maciekpolski on Dec 02, 2014
Great, relaxing time I really had a great time, except perhaps the fact that somehow there kicked off mine favorite iphone cables !! ;p
Visited on Jan 05, 2009

by JanettHill on Sep 10, 2014
Thank You.. i will try it now

by inqueba on Jul 17, 2014
we enjoyed a lot... very relaxing n wonderful time spent
Visited on Jun 11, 2006

by hairtransplant on Jul 17, 2014
% stars because I loved it :)
Visited on Apr 05, 2014

by centrums on May 13, 2014
I enjoy this walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan, so you can see the Manhattan skyline as it begins to light up. This can be accomplished with a late morning visit to Battery Park and a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Once done, come back to Battery Park, catch the R line to Brooklyn Heights. This is a wonderful neighborhood to walk through as you head toward the Brooklyn Bridge Park Greenway, where the East River joins the Hudson. This is a beautiful walk with views of Liberty Island, Battery Park and lower Manhattan. Follow up the greenway toward the Brooklyn Bridge. You must stop at Grimaldi's pizza at the base of the bridge. Delicious coal brick-oven pizza that you will make a regular stop on your trips to the city. After enjoying Grimaldi's, hop up on the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoy the sights of Manhattan slightly before dusk starts to set in. As you walk, the lights of Manhattan begin to transform the skyline. Get to Manhattan and continue your walk to Little Italy for a gelato, Chinatown for a fun tour of the markets, or catch the subway back to midtown/uptown areas. This is a fun and spectacular day of walking, sightseeing, classic NYC pizza and gelato! Have fun!
Visited on Aug 01, 2013

by FiftyHikes on Feb 13, 2014
Well it was awesome.. I love it so much! <3
Visited on Apr 07, 2013

by fixasso on Feb 07, 2014
very beautiful and pleasant bridge...visit our website

Visited on Jan 31, 2014

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Visited on Nov 13, 2013

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Visited on Feb 18, 1992

by pacobaningurip77 on Nov 12, 2013
amazing place, great view.
Visited on Apr 09, 2009

by zledob on Nov 08, 2013
We started on the Brooklyn side - but ran - through Chinatown and back! Loved every step of it!
Visited on Nov 11, 2012

by momtozmc on Jul 07, 2013
To learn an about the history of the bridge while walking across, get the Roebling's Brooklyn Bridge Tour App for your smartphone. It also has related points of interest on a map and a photo gallery with extra info. Great story told by Kristian Roebling, descendent of the builders. Watch out for bikes if you have on headphones.

Grimaldi's line is not worth it. Ignazios on the corner is just as good and the line will be shorter. Or walk down Front Street to Front Street Pizza for much faster service and delicious pizza.

Visited on May 25, 2013

by mpullis on May 28, 2013
My husband and I walked on Brooklyn Bridge. The experience made us fume. I think this bridge and this city should make headline "We love bicyclists. We do not love pedestrians and visitors. Go home! We do not need your tourist money here, suckers!"

It was obscene that this bridge is divided half-half for pedestrians and bicyclists. Once every few seconds, we saw bicyclists breezed past. We, the pedestrians walking shoulder-to-shoulder, back-to-back on one side. New York city even have the wit to post a police there to ensure that the crowded pedestrians stayed within their boundary. Else, you hear whistle, and rude comments and fingers traded between the 2 groups.

When, I talked w/ my nephew (who lives in NY, and is very intellectual and always right) about this, he said that motorists can be so rude, that they intentionally open the door on the bicyclists' side just to hurt them bad. Oh, ya? There is motorcars and such danger on the pedestrian/bicyclist path! I see!

I wish this bridge collapse -- so that we no longer have to quarrel. It really sucks! Do not visit Brooklyn. The greenies have gotten their god damn self-righteousness that is not to be messed with. Amen.

Visited on Oct 12, 2011

by foxyG on Nov 28, 2012
The Brooklyn Bridge was initially designed by German immigrant John Augustus Roebling, who had previously designed and constructed shorter suspension bridges, such as Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania, Waco Suspension Bridge in Waco, Texas, and the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Visited on Aug 06, 2012

by Machu_Picchu on Sep 19, 2012
I love the Guide PIC.
Would love to download the image and check it out more carefully.
Can you include a Pic link someplace. Only pic that will not download.
Welcome to log in

Visited on Feb 01, 2012

by cheapmonsterbeats on Mar 21, 2012
I walked the Brooklyn Bridge during a business trip on an early morning in September 2010. It offers one of the rare opportunities in New York, Central Par being another one, to escape the urban jungle and catch some fresh air. The views on Manhattan are incredible. Highly recommended for anyone who happens to be in New York, including families. This is also a great running route.

Be careful of bicycles, as the pedestrian portion of the bridge is shared.

Visited on Sep 20, 2010

by joost on Mar 08, 2011
I think im going to consider moving to NY ..

by Marselakuci on Jan 08, 2011
THANKS! Ya that was quick.

by Steve44MCaUSA on Jul 26, 2010
I love the Guide PIC.
Would love to download the image and check it out more carefully.
Can you include a Pic link someplace. Only pic that will not download.

by Steve44MCaUSA on Jul 25, 2010
i love ny

by ViRis on Jun 26, 2010
Hi Steve, thank you very much! You can now interact (click on) the main Guide pic. Many thanks to our dev team for the quick turn-around on this.

by krbose on May 27, 2010

Brooklyn Bridge Walk Map

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