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Brooklyn Bridge: Tours and Guided Visits
Brooklyn Bridge connects the two faces of New York — the shiny façade of Manhattan to the one side and the eclectic streets of Brooklyn to the other. It was once the longest suspension bridge in the world, but it is still one of the most famous. Its metal cables connect the two boroughs like a spider web, suspended high above the water by two dramatic limestone towers.
The area around Brooklyn Bridge is also a hotbed of activity, with many of the most famous sights and sounds of the Big Apple within walking distance of either end. Here is a look at the best tours of Brooklyn Bridge to take you across this iconic structure and into the most prolific neighborhoods of New York.
The Brooklyn bridge spans the East River between the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan. It leads to New York City Hall and City Hall Park on the Manhattan side, and on the opposite side, you can follow Brooklyn Bridge Boulevard to Brooklyn Borough Hall.
If you visit the bridge on foot, you can access the pedestrian walkway from the Tillary Street and Boerum Place intersection. You need to find the staircase from the Brooklyn side at the underpass on Washington Street/Cadman Plaza East and Prospect Street.
The bridge is well connected with public transport, and you can take the train 4, 5, or 6 to the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall Stop.
What are the best things to do at the Brooklyn Bridge?
Walk or cycle across the Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge spans almost 2 kilometers and takes quite a while to cross. There is now also a designated bicycle lane, isolating pedestrians and cyclists, and allowing both to have a worry-free commute.
As you cross the bridge, you will admire the iconic New York Skyline in both directions, with Lady Liberty waving from a distance. New York Harbor is also in full view, and the Manhattan Bridge will run almost parallel to you. You’ll also get to stop at NYC highlights like Jane’s Carousel, Brooklyn Heights, Chinatown, Little Italy and more. Stop and admire these iconic views, and see why so many have been waxing lyrical about the bridge’s beauty.
Don’t expect a big-eared elephant to wait for you once you cross the Brooklyn Bridge. Dumbo stands for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass,” a super trendy neighborhood on the Brooklyn side of the bridge. It used to be an industrial wasteland, but today, it has been transformed into a hip and happening district.
Appreciate the remnants of a bygone era in cobbled streets and dramatic architecture, and see how it now accommodates art galleries, startups, boutiques, restaurants and bookshops. The waterfront view of the Manhattan skyline is a sight you won’t soon grow tired of.
Visit Brooklyn Heights
Today Brooklyn Heights is a charming, tree-lined residential area, but it has seen centuries of history pass through its welcoming streets. George Washington stationed a base here during the Battle of Long Island in the Revolutionary War, and it was also a key location during the abolitionist movements.
It is regarded as America’s first suburb, and today, it is one of the most affluent areas in the city. The Brooklyn Heights promenade is a must-see, a tranquil setting on the East-river waterside.
What are the best tours to visit Brooklyn Bridge?
Brooklyn Bridge cycling tour
Hop on a bicycle tour and explore the Brooklyn Bridge and surrounding area on two wheels. Pedal across the bridge and stop at the towers for breathtaking views of Manhattan, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. You will also see part of the New Jersey shoreline and South Sea Seaport, and later make your way through the historic lanes of Brooklyn heights.
Brooklyn Bridge & Dumbo walking tour
Take the slow road across the bridge and enjoy an informative walking tour of Brooklyn Bridge and the eclectic Dumbo borough. Your knowledgeable guide will share stories of the trials and tribulations facing the bridge’s construction, and give insight into the lives of the immigrants that helped build the monumental structure.
You will learn how Brooklyn became the most populous and diverse area in the city, and pass through the oldest suburban area in the US.
After crossing the bridge, you will enter the Dumbo neighborhood, where restaurants, boutiques and galleries line the cobbled streets. Follow the vintage trolley tracks through the charming borough and end the tour with unbeatable views from Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Photography tour of Brooklyn Bridge
Join a professional photographer on a walking tour across the bridge and learn to see this marvelous structure from all angles. The bridge’s bold design and jaw-dropping location are everything you need for a thrilling photography experience.
Snap pictures of the Manhattan skyline, learn how to set your camera for the different environments around the bridge and spend the afternoon collaborating with fellow photography enthusiasts. The iconic nature of the Brooklyn Bridge begs for photos, and your images from this tour will be the envy of all.
Brooklyn Bridge & Statue of Liberty boat tour
Take a thrilling speedboat tour of the New York Harbor to the Brooklyn Bridge in a whole new light. Hop on board and pass by the most prominent monuments along the New York waterway.
Stop at the foot of the Statue of Liberty and pose for unique photos. Pass by Ellis Island to see where millions of immigrants entered the US during the 20th century and zip under the Brooklyn Bridge to see its dramatic scale up close. You can also take a slower cruise for a more relaxing experience. Cruises at sunset are especially spectacular as the New York skyline lights up.
What are the prices of Brooklyn Bridge tours?
Cycle tours across Brooklyn Bridge are around US$40 per person, including s bike rental and safety equipment. A private cycle tour is around US$330 per group of four people.
A walking tour of Brooklyn Bridge costs around US$30 per person for a 2-hour guided experience. A 2.5-hour walking tour is slightly more expensive, around US$45 per person, but a walking tour for a private group is around US$450 for up to 15 people.
Photo safari tours of Brooklyn Bridge are US$100 per person and include the help of an expert photographer and guide who knows all the best spots for photos.
A 30-minute speed boat tour of the New York Harbor is US$50 per person, while a slower 1-hour cruise is between US$35 and US$45 per person, and includes live music on board.
Where do Brooklyn Bridge tours start?
Most cycle tours and photography tours of Brooklyn Bridge start at City Hall Park on Park Row. It is close to the Manhattan side entrance of the bridge giving you an easy access point for the start of your tour. A select few tours start at different locations like the World Trade Center and Columbus Circle.
Speed boat tours depart from North Cove Marina close to Rockefeller Park on the Hudson River, while the slow cruises leave from Pier 36 on the East River.
When is the best time to visit Brooklyn Bridge?
The best time to visit Brooklyn Bridge is on weekend mornings or evenings usually after 9 PM if you want to avoid crowds. The bridge has almost 26,000 daily pedestrians and can be chaotic at times. There are tours at all times of the day, each attracting a different crowd.
The after-hours cruises are later in the afternoon to give you the perfect “golden-hour” skyline views.
Wear comfortable shoes because you will be walking far across the bridge and into the neighborhoods.
Be careful of clothing that can get caught in your bicycle chain if you are doing a cycling tour.
Make sure to have your camera on hand because there are plenty of sights around that you will want to capture.
Bring your own water and refreshments along for the tour.