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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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 (59 votes, 62 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

Landmark
map

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.
Audio
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Start of Walk
Viewpoint
map

Midway

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.
Audio
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Midway
Junction
map

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.
Audio
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Exiting in Brooklyn
map

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.
Audio
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Middagh
Food/Dining
map

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.

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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
Audio
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Ice Cream Factory
Food/Dining
map

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.

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Grimaldi's
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

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7 Old Fulton Restaurant
Address: 7 Old Fulton Street
Phone: 718-797-0007
Audio
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Grimaldis
map

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.
Audio
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Walk back
Pictures in this guide taken by: ponownie, krbose, Fidel111, Bora254, veltmana, dpark1, hanniestap, Page
Reviews
hunbum

by hunbum on Apr 10, 2014
ttelefonik7

by ttelefonik7 on Mar 20, 2014
sokah59

by sokah59 on Mar 20, 2014
inka31

by inka31 on Mar 20, 2014
MahukWR

by MahukWR on Mar 19, 2014
archwb6

by archwb6 on Mar 15, 2014
lea444111

by lea444111 on Mar 14, 2014
ostrolekabhp

by ostrolekabhp on Mar 14, 2014
arabeska01

by arabeska01 on Mar 12, 2014
FiftyHikes
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
fixasso
Well it was awesome.. I love it so much! <3
Visited on Apr 07, 2013

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

Visited on Jan 31, 2014

by rishubathla on Jan 31, 2014
hovervan

by hovervan on Jan 27, 2014
Fabio-przer

by Fabio-przer on Jan 17, 2014
promostar-group

by promostar-group on Jan 17, 2014
halarewicz_k

by halarewicz_k on Jan 16, 2014
rufuswestbury04

by rufuswestbury04 on Jan 16, 2014
finestglasses
It that is helpful makes a situation more pleasant or more easy


by finestglasses on Jan 16, 2014
robertparapet44

by robertparapet44 on Jan 14, 2014
itelefon4

by itelefon4 on Jan 13, 2014
pysia63

by pysia63 on Jan 11, 2014
machowacho

by machowacho on Jan 08, 2014
gabiii33

by gabiii33 on Jan 07, 2014
amojtel3

by amojtel3 on Jan 06, 2014
matmyt

by matmyt on Jan 02, 2014
rurka91

by rurka91 on Jan 01, 2014
sosnarobert

by sosnarobert on Dec 05, 2013
meentosek

by meentosek on Dec 02, 2013
username1
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Lancashire Kitchen Showrooms



Visited on Nov 13, 2013

by username1 on Nov 13, 2013
pacobaningurip77
Flat Pack Kitchens London. Thirty Ex Display Kitchens To Clear. www e x d i s p l a y k i t c h e n s1 co uk £ 595 Each with appliances.

Visited on Feb 18, 1992

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

by zledob on Nov 08, 2013
zledob

by zledob on Nov 08, 2013
adacashjez

by adacashjez on Oct 31, 2013
SASWalks

by SASWalks on Sep 11, 2013
CarterBoyer

by CarterBoyer on Aug 14, 2013
momtozmc
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
glust

by glust on Jun 15, 2013
mpullis
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. http://brooklynbridgetour.com. 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
foxyG
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
foxyG

by foxyG on Nov 28, 2012
Machu_Picchu
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.

http://www.traveltomachupicchu.org

Visited on Aug 06, 2012

by Machu_Picchu on Sep 19, 2012
cheapmonsterbeats
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 http://www.monsterbeatsbydrdre2012.com/
And http://www.cheapmonsterbeatsstore.net/

Visited on Feb 01, 2012

by cheapmonsterbeats on Mar 21, 2012
sergey84718

by sergey84718 on Feb 29, 2012
chryscina

by chryscina on Feb 22, 2012
gardenpark

by gardenpark on Nov 30, 2011
inhebay

by inhebay on Sep 16, 2011
itfaster

by itfaster on Jul 13, 2011
holicyj

by holicyj on Jul 13, 2011
joost
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
Marselakuci
I think im going to consider moving to NY ..

by Marselakuci on Jan 08, 2011
MBalazs

by MBalazs on Dec 26, 2010
chris

by chris on Nov 11, 2010
Opspin

by Opspin on Sep 23, 2010
glbuys

by glbuys on Sep 03, 2010
thierry_us

by thierry_us on Aug 21, 2010
Steve44MCaUSA
THANKS! Ya that was quick.

by Steve44MCaUSA on Jul 26, 2010
Steve44MCaUSA
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
batrailguy

by batrailguy on Jun 30, 2010
gotomoro

by gotomoro on Jun 29, 2010
ViRis
i love ny

by ViRis on Jun 26, 2010
joost

by joost on Jun 04, 2010
krbose
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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About the Author

krbose
krbose
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We like to travel and get outside. With two young children, it's always an adventure! Our oldest loves...

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