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How to Walk the Brooklyn Bridge—Manhattan to Brooklyn, Brooklyn to Manhattan

Nearest Subways, Pedestrian Access, and Walking Directions

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A general view of the walk during the 'Elvis Trumps Cancer Walk' for St. Jude Hospital over the Brooklyn Bridge on November 23, 2013 in Brooklyn, New York.
Desiree Navarro/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
How to Walk the Brooklyn Bridge—Manhattan to Brooklyn, Brooklyn to Manhattan

Brooklyn Bridge

Photo © Ellen Freudenheim
How to Walk the Brooklyn Bridge—Manhattan to Brooklyn, Brooklyn to Manhattan

Bridge Tower, by Glenn O. Coleman, 1929

Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Bridge connects two great New York City boroughs: Manhattan and Brooklyn. You can walk it, drive it, bike it, or just admire it. One way or the other, the Brooklyn Bridge soaring over the East River is one of New York City’s most famous routes, both for tourists and born-and-bred New Yorkers.

There's a dedicated pedestrian walkway on the Brooklyn Bridge, above the roaring car traffic, so it's a wonderful stroll. First, decide which side you will start from: Brooklyn or Manhattan?

Some useful tips, depending on your interests:

And, for general information:

 

I. Brooklyn-to-Manhattan: How to Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge Starting in Brooklyn

Starting in Brooklyn: The Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walk can be accessed on the Brooklyn side from two entrance ways.

 

  • The Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walkway begins at the intersection of Tillary Street and Boerum Place. This entrance is what one sees from a car when crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • The second way to get onto the Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walkway is to access it via an underpass on Washington Street. The underpass is about two blocks from Front Street in DUMBO. This underpass leads up a stairway to a ramp up that brings you onto the Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walkway.

Which subway gets you closest to the Brooklyn Bridge on the Brooklyn side?

Many subways run close to the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge. But all involve a walk of a third to two thirds of a mile before arriving at the bridge. (This is useful to know if one has young children in tow, or is wearing impossible shoes.) Also, to avoid frustrating route changes, always check subway schedules on Hopstop or the New York City MTA Trip Planner website for possible route changes, especially on weekends.

1. The absolutely closest, but least pretty route, is to take the A or C subway to the High Street-Brooklyn Bridge stop. Go right on Pearl Street, then left on Prospect Street to Washington Street. Look on the left for the entrance to the underpass on Washington Street. The underpass leads up a stairway to a ramp up, and voila! You will have arrived on the Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Path. Beware zooming cyclists.
(Distance: quarter of a mile to the Brooklyn Bridge walkway)

2. For a more charming adventure, exit the 2 and 3 subways at Clark Street Station, ride the elevator to street level, and walk to your left onto historic little Henry Street. Head downhill towards the un-miss-able Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Cross Henry Street at Cranberry Street and take the pathway through the Co-op houses. Walk across the street known as Cadman Plaza West. Then follow the path through tiny Cadman Plaza Park to Washington Street (which is also known as Cadman Plaza East). On Washington Street, take the underpass on the left, up a stairway to the Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Path.
(Distance: a third of a mile to the Brooklyn Bridge walkway)

3. If you're prone to getting lost, take the longer, but straighter route: Take the 2,3, 4,5, N or R subways to Borough Hall. Walk along Boerum Place (incorrectly labeled as Adams Street on some online maps) for about twelve minutes, passing the Brooklyn Marriott on the right. Cross onto the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian path at Tillary Street.
(Distance: two thirds of a mile to the Brooklyn Bridge walkway)

3. The coolest and fastest way to return is by New York Water Taxi: This is a seasonal, paid service, and schedules vary. Call (212) 742.1969, or see the WaterTaxi website.

Getting Back to Brooklyn

You can walk back, of course. Or, take the J, Z,4 or 5 from City Hall, or the 2, 3 from Chambers Street back to Brooklyn.

II. Manhattan-to-Brooklyn: How to Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge Starting in Manhattan

Ah! This is much easier, but the views are not as good as going in the other direction. The Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walk can be accessed from City Hall on the Manhattan side of the East River.

Which subway gets you closest to the Brooklyn Bridge on the Manhattan side?

5. The closest trains are the 4,5,6, J or Z to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall.

6. If you are traveling from Manhattan's west side, and don't mind walking an extra three blocks, take the 1, 2 or 3 train to Chambers Street, and walk east. From City Hall, cross Park Row to begin the walk across the Bridge.

Getting Back to Manhattan

It's easy as pie to return from whence you came. If you want to return to Manhattan, either just walk back over the Brooklyn Bridge, or hop on the subway. You can get the 2,3,4,5, N or R trains at Borough Hall, the A or C at High Street Brooklyn, or the 2,3 at Clark Street.

Cabs can be found at a cab station at the Brooklyn Marriott, and often just cruising in DUMBO. Or, visitors can call a local car service.

There is no bus service over the Brooklyn Bridge. But in warm weather you can catch an enjoyable ride on the New York Water Taxi , (212) 742-1969.

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