An idea for an afternoon activity in NYC: walking the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn by foot, grab a coffee in DUMBO, enjoy the Manhattan skyline, watch the sunsets from the pier. But, let’s get into details.
Before getting into the guide, let me tell you a few fun facts and history about the bridge.
The Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan with Brooklyn and goes over New York City’s East River, the length of the bridge it’s 1.8 km from end to end.
An interesting story my friend who is a civil engineer told me about the bridge. The bridge was designed by John Augustus Roebling. Roebling died in an accident while surveying land for the bridge. His son Washington then took over, but in 1872, he suffered from crippling decompression sickness and was confined to his apartment. After the accident, Washington’s wife Emily, who did not have any formal education, hence women were not allowed to attend university. Emily supervised the work and played in integral part in the bridge’s construction. At the opening ceremony, Roebling was honored in a speech by Abraham Stevens Hewitt, who said that the bridge was: “…an everlasting monument of the sacrificing devotion of a woman and her capacity for that higher education from which she has been to long disbarred.”.
Today Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most iconic NYC landmarks.
Getting to Brooklyn Bridge
Closest stations to the Brooklyn Bridge in Manhattan is Brooklyn Bridge City Hall and Chamber Street, from there you walk for a few minutes and you are on the bridge. There is a line for pedestrians and line for cyclist, so be careful where you walk. The distance is 1.8km one way, and it takes approximately 60 minutes to pass it, including stopping for photos.
From Brooklyn bridge, you will be able to see lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, Manhattan Bridge, Midtown, Statue of Liberty, Staten Island and Jersey City.
Brooklyn Bridge is a perfect photo spot, there are so many location on the bridge to take photos at. My tip is take photos with the Manhattan skyline in the background, looks way better. Also, you can sit on the rails (just be careful) and take some nice pictures too. On weekends the bridge is usually crowded especially if the weather is nice, we were there on labour day, so it was crowded, but not too much. If you would like to have the bridge to yourself then go at sunrise.
After getting to Brooklyn, we decided to stay in DUMBO and have a little coffee break. We stopped by at Arabica Roastery Dumbo, a very cute coffee shop, with a lovely outdoor sitting area right next to the Brooklyn Bridge. I had an iced matcha latte and it was delicious.
After our mini coffee/matcha break we walked down to Brooklyn Bridge Park, where you have a great view of the Brooklyn Bridge on the right side and the skyline of Manhattan. Since the park was crowded, we walked further down to Pier 2.
Just a bit in front of Pier 2 we sat on the rocks right next to the river and enjoyed the sunset and watched the Manhattan skyline, before heading back home for dinner.