Brooklyn Bridge, New York City

4.5 out of 5 stars 190 Reviews

Spanning the East River. (212) NEW-YORK
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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Brooklyn Bridge

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Oct 27, 2015

    Almost as icon as Time square and the Empire State Building, The Brooklyn Bridge spans the east river connecting midtown to Brooklyn. Built in 1883, it was the first steel suspension bridge built. 130 years later it is still a main transport artery.

    Directions: Seaport Village offers a great view of this landmark

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  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    Brooklyn Bridge

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Oct 5, 2015

    The Brooklyn Bridge connects the island of Manhattan with the Brooklyn suburb over the East River, with a length of ca. 487 m. 6 lines of road, and on another level, cycle tracks and pedestrian walkways, are usable for a transfer in either direction. The bridge was built between 1869 and 1883 according to plans of the engineers John Augustus and Washington Roebling, the latter directing construction from his room due to health reasons, with his wife as a go-between to the engineers who worked on-site. They decided to make the cables used for the suspension six times stronger than thought necessary, which is why the bridge has endured to this day. The cabling also gives the bridge its unique impression which made it into one of the iconic landmarks of New York. It has been used as a movie location many times. If you want to cross the bridge, I suggest starting from the Brooklyn side and going towards the Manhattan Skyline, which gives you the best views.

    Address: Spanning the East River.

    Directions: Between Manhattan & Brooklyn

    Phone: (212) NEW-YORK

    Website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/infrastructure/brooklyn-bridge.shtml

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  • apbeaches's Profile Photo

    Brooklyn Bridge

    by apbeaches Updated Aug 19, 2015

    We enjoy walking across the bridge, from Brooklyn to lower Manhattan with beautiful views of the City ...

    "The Brooklyn Bridge looms majestically over New York City’s East River, linking the two boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Since 1883, its granite towers and steel cables have offered a safe and scenic passage to millions of commuters and tourists, trains and bicycles, pushcarts and cars. The bridge’s construction took 14 years, involved 600 workers and cost $15 million (more than $320 million in today’s dollars). At least two dozen people died in the process, including its original designer. Now more than 125 years old, this iconic feature of the New York City skyline still carries roughly 150,000 vehicles and pedestrians every day.

    John Augustus Roebling, the Brooklyn Bridge’s creator, was a great pioneer in the design of steel suspension bridges. Born in Germany in 1806, he studied industrial engineering in Berlin and at the age of 25 immigrated to western Pennsylvania, where he attempted, unsuccessfully, to make his living as a farmer. He later moved to the state capital in Harrisburg, where he found work as a civil engineer. He promoted the use of wire cable and established a successful wire-cable factory.

    Meanwhile, he earned a reputation as a designer of suspension bridges, which at the time were widely used but known to fail under strong winds or heavy loads. Roebling is credited with a major breakthrough in suspension-bridge technology: a web truss added to either side of the bridge roadway that greatly stabilized the structure. Using this model, Roebling successfully bridged the Niagara Gorge at Niagara Falls, New York, and the Ohio River in Cincinnati, Ohio. On May 17, 1884, P. T. Barnum led 21 elephants over the Brooklyn Bridge to prove that it was stable.

    In 1867, on the basis of these achievements, New York legislators approved Roebling’s plan for a suspension bridge over the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn. It would be the very first steel suspension bridge, boasting the longest span in the world: 1,600 feet from tower to tower.

    Just before construction began in 1869, Roebling was fatally injured while taking a few final compass readings across the East River. A boat smashed the toes on one of his feet, and three weeks later he died of tetanus. His 32-year-old son, Washington A. Roebling, took over as chief engineer. Roebling had worked with his father on several bridges and had helped design the Brooklyn Bridge.

    To achieve a solid foundation for the bridge, workers excavated the riverbed in massive wooden boxes called caissons. These airtight chambers were pinned to the river’s floor by enormous granite blocks; pressurized air was pumped in to keep water and debris out.

    Workers known as “sandhogs”—many of them immigrants earning about $2 a day—used shovels and dynamite to clear away the mud and boulders at the bottom of the river. Each week, the caissons inched closer to the bedrock. When they reached a sufficient depth—44 feet on the Brooklyn side and 78 feet on the Manhattan side—they began laying granite, working their way back up to the surface.

    Underwater, the workers in the caisson were uncomfortable—the hot, dense air gave them blinding headaches, itchy skin, bloody noses and slowed heartbeats—but relatively safe. The journey to and from the depths of the East River, however, could be deadly. To get down into the caissons, the sandhogs rode in small iron containers called airlocks. As the airlock descended into the river, it filled with compressed air. This air made it possible to breathe in the caisson and kept the water from seeping in, but it also dissolved a dangerous amount of gas into the workers’ bloodstreams. When the workers resurfaced, the dissolved gases in their blood were quickly released.

    This often caused a constellation of painful symptoms known as “caisson disease” or “the bends”: excruciating joint pain, paralysis, convulsions, numbness, speech impediments and, in some cases, death. More than 100 workers suffered from the disease, including Washington Roebling himself, who remained partially paralyzed for the rest of his life. He was forced to watch with a telescope while his wife Emily took charge of the bridge’s construction. Over the years, the bends claimed the lives of several sandhogs, while others died as a result of more conventional construction accidents, such as collapses, fires and explosions.

    By the early 20th century, scientists had figured out that if the airlocks traveled to the river’s surface more gradually, slowing the workers’ decompression, the bends could be prevented altogether. In 1909, New York’s legislature passed the nation’s first caisson-safety laws to protect sandhogs digging railway tunnels under the Hudson and East rivers.

    On May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge over the East River opened, connecting the great cities of New York and Brooklyn for the first time in history. Thousands of residents of Brooklyn and Manhattan Island turned out to witness the dedication ceremony, which was presided over by President Chester A. Arthur and New York Governor Grover Cleveland. Emily Roebling was given the first ride over the completed bridge, with a rooster, a symbol of victory, in her lap. Within 24 hours, an estimated 250,000 people walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, using a broad promenade above the roadway that John Roebling designed solely for the enjoyment of pedestrians.

    With its unprecedented length and two stately towers, the Brooklyn Bridge was dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world.” For several years after its construction, it remained the tallest structure in the Western hemisphere. The connection it provided between the massive population centers of Brooklyn and Manhattan changed the course of New York City forever. In 1898, the city of Brooklyn formally merged with New York City, Staten Island and a few farm towns, forming Greater New York."

    From: http://www.history.com/topics/brooklyn-bridge

    Directions: Take the subway A, C High St. - Brooklyn Bridge or 4,5,6 Brooklyn Bridge.

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  • Aliceaaron's Profile Photo

    “Must walk over it”

    by Aliceaaron Written Jun 16, 2015

    Its really amazing! Walking over this bridge is a must! I went there at 12am. There were a few bicycles, but most people were walking. It was in early Spring but the day was quite warm and it was a leisurely walk. I didn't get to walk over the Golden Gate Bridge but I think this one would be easier than that as less wind, and it's shorter. You also get to see both sides of Brooklyn and a a great view of Downtown NY including the Freedom Tower/World Trade Centre.

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  • solopes's Profile Photo

    You have to read

    by solopes Updated Mar 6, 2015

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    http://macautower.com.mo/adventureIn the splendour of New York's architecture, this old bridge, may pass unnoticed, unless you are adverted or have the chance to read about it.

    Now a common and discreet bridge, it was, at the time of its construction an astonishing challenge.

    But don't ask me to write what other have done better; just follow the link.

    Directions: Take the subway A, C High St. - Brooklyn Bridge or 4,5,6 Brooklyn Bridge.

    Website: http://www.newyorkarchitecture.info/Building/435/Brooklyn_Bridge.php

    New York - USA New York - USA
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  • apbeaches's Profile Photo

    Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge

    by apbeaches Written Sep 16, 2014

    The Brooklyn Bridge was built between 1869 and 1883 and connects Manhattan with Brooklyn. The bridge is one of the most famous and magnificent landmarks in New York City.

    The world's larges suspension bridge crosses the East river between Brooklyn and Manhattan and stretches for 5989 ft, about 1.8 km. The span between the large towers measures 1595.5 ft (486 meters). The most noticeable feature of the Brooklyn Bridge are the two masonry towers to which the many cables are attached. The towers with large Gothic arches reach a height of 276 ft (84 meters), at the time making them some of the tallest landmarks in New York.& became a national monument in 1964.

    The elevated pedestrian path allows us to cross the river without being bothered by the traffic that rushes past a level below, but it also offers a great view of the bridge's towers as well as downtown Manhattan's skyline. The views alone attract millions of visitors to this bridge each year. Bikers, skaters and runners have their own lane on the path. Cameras are visible and police officers are patrolling the bridge 24/7 as well.

    Directions: Take the subway A, C High St. - Brooklyn Bridge or 4,5,6 Brooklyn Bridge.

    Related to:
    • Cycling
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    • Hiking and Walking

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  • nyperose's Profile Photo

    Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge

    by nyperose Written Jul 10, 2014

    The Brooklyn Bridge which links Manhattan to Brooklyn, is around 1.8 km (1.1 miles) long and walking across it is a very nice New-York experience.
    There is a pedestrian walkway so it is perfectly safe. It takes around 30 minutes if you walk at a normal pace, but it is a good idea to walk it slowly in order to be able to enjoy the great views.

    A great experience and it does not cost anything!

    Directions: Take the subway A, C High St. - Brooklyn Bridge or 4,5,6 Brooklyn Bridge.

    Walking the Brooklyn Bridge Walking the Brooklyn Bridge Walking the Brooklyn Bridge Walking the Brooklyn Bridge Walking the Brooklyn Bridge
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  • Toughluck's Profile Photo

    Take a walk across the East River

    by Toughluck Written May 12, 2014

    It's nearly a mile across but it's worth the trip. The traffic buzzing past below and the harbor and city laid out all around you. It's a piece of history and a view of modern life.

    The Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883. At the time, it was the longest suspension bridge. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service, and a New York City Landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. It's currently being repaired (2013-14) so the walk may need to wait until it's fully open again.

    Pedestrian and Bicycling Promenade

    The promenade will remain open throughout all phases of construction. However, in order to fully enclose railings and other components, the paint removal containment units will reduce the width of the path by 1.5 feet on each side. The narrowed area will be from 600 to 1000 feet long. For the safety of all bridge users, cyclists must yield to pedestrians in this restricted work zone. Cyclists may also use the nearby Manhattan Bridge bike path, which is separated from the pedestrian path and often less congested. As work progresses the units will move across the bridge until the project is complete.

    Directions: Take the subway A, C High St. - Brooklyn Bridge or 4,5,6 Brooklyn Bridge.

    Phone: 347-647-0876

    Website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/infrastructure/brooklyn-bridge.shtml

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  • antistar's Profile Photo

    Brooklyn Bridge

    by antistar Written Jun 6, 2013

    They call it the Bends. It's not as if Brooklyn Bridge invented the condition - they'd known about it for centuries, but it was here that decompression sickness entered the public imagination. The construction of what was then the longest suspension bridge in the world was a mammoth undertaking and extremely dangerous. It cost the life of its designer and disabled his son who took over with a case of the bends in one of the many caissons that were used to construct the bridge.

    A caisson is a pressurised structure that pushes out water and allows workers to operate below the surface of the river - vital in the deep and powerful East River. What they didn't know at the time is that the body needs time to adjust - the gasses in the body depressurize too quickly and cause great pain and physical damage. Along with Washington Roebling's paralyzing injury, 110 cases of what they then called the "caisson sickness" was diagnosed out of the 600 or so compression workers.

    When it was built it became the only land crossing between Manhattan and Long Island. It was an immediate success with 1800 vehicles and over 150,000 people crossing it on its opening day in 1883. But it was such a marvel that people still didn't quite trust it, and when a rumour spread one day that it was about to collapse there was a stampede that resulted in a dozen people crushed to death. A year later P. T. Barnum led 21 of his elephants across the bridge to show just how safe it was. It has been a New York icon ever since.

    Today at 130 years of age it carries well over a hundred thousand vehicles every day across its half a kilometer span. It's possible to walk or cycle across it along the central walkway, and the views are magnificent.

    Directions: Take the subway A, C High St. - Brooklyn Bridge or 4,5,6 Brooklyn Bridge.

    Brooklyn Bridge, New York View from Brooklyn Bridge, New York Brooklyn Bridge, New York Brooklyn Bridge, New York Brooklyn Bridge, New York
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  • Gembly's Profile Photo

    Bridge walk and dinner in China Town :)

    by Gembly Written Mar 1, 2013

    The just-over-a-mile walk across the Brooklyn Bridge is something you MUST do while in New York City.
    The views of downtown Manhattan are amazing - some of the best in the city, I think! - plus the bridge itself is awesome; the steel cables overhead, the majestic arches and the traffic roaring by underneath you.

    After the walk over the bridge, why not walk a bit further (afterall, Manhattan was built for walkers!!) and pop over to China Town for some food?
    We ended up at Big Wong (had uptown along Centre St for 3 blocks then make a right onto Walker St. Go 3 more blocks and make another right onto Mott St and it's about half way down. You can't miss it - it's got a huge yellow sign out front!)

    Not being hugely adventurous, both of us had a sweet-and-sour dish and egg fried rice. It was seriously delicious! And afterwards, we headed along Mulberry St for 7 blocks until we got to Bleeker St subway station.
    Mulberry Street (the heart of Little Italy) is a delight! Tons of bars and italian restaurants, lots of touristy knick-knack shops and even some drag queens! (definitely worth a walk, if you can move after your HUGE Chinese or Italian meal!!)

    Address: ChinaTown and Little Italy

    Directions: Take the subway A, C High St. - Brooklyn Bridge or 4,5,6 Brooklyn Bridge.

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  • Tijavi's Profile Photo

    New York's most popular (and most tragic?)

    by Tijavi Updated Sep 29, 2012

    Not only is the Brooklyn Bridge NYC's most famous and photographed (it really is architecturally pleasing to the eyes), but perhaps its most storied - mostly tragic, sadly. During its 16-year construction, it claimed 20 lives, mostly from caisson disease. But nothing could be more tragic than the death of John Roebling, the engineer who designed and conceptualized the bridge, not from any disease but from an accident. Weeks before construction, Roebling's foot was crushed between an incoming ferry and the ferry slip. Three weeks later, Roebling died and his son Washington took over. Washington himself suffered from caisson disease and his wife completed the bridge under his direction.

    Directions: Take the subway A, C High St. - Brooklyn Bridge or 4,5,6 Brooklyn Bridge.

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  • etfromnc's Profile Photo

    Visit the Brooklyn Bridge but don't dare buy it.

    by etfromnc Updated Jun 12, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On May 24, 1883, after 14 years and 27 construction-related deaths, the Brooklyn Bridge opened, connecting the cities of New York and Brooklyn (Yes, in 1883, they were separate, independent cities.)over the East River for the first time in history. Thousands of Brooklyn and Manhattan Island residents witnessed the dedication ceremony, presided over by President Chester A. Arthur and New York Gov. Grover Cleveland. Designed by the late John A. Roebling, the Brooklyn Bridge was the largest suspension bridge ever built at that time, and was dubbed the 8th wonder of the world.
    On May 25, 1983, I was there, only a day late but unfortunately several dollars short, for the centennial celebration of its opening. Although I missed most of the fanfare, I may have had a better visit. I got an individually personalized tour of the bridge, including actually going down into one of the caissons. (I had always assumed that they were solid since they have such a daunting task to perform.) From there I walked to the Brooklyn Borough Branch of the New York Public Library where I saw another display on the construction of the bridge and an art exhibit which had absolutely nothing to do with Robert Mapplethorpe.
    Late that afternoon, I had one of the best seafood dinners that I have ever had, followed by an extremely long walk back up town which would have been long enough even if I had not gotten lost and ended up deep in the Bowery. I had absolutely no trouble sleeping that night.
    Being a day late for the celebration was not by design but I am rather pleased that it worked out that way.

    Directions: Take the subway A, C High St. - Brooklyn Bridge or 4,5,6 Brooklyn Bridge.
    Or, if you are as ambitious (or as stupid) as I was, you could just walk.

    These are not the caissons into which I ventured.
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  • PinkFloydActuary's Profile Photo

    Brooklyn Bridge

    by PinkFloydActuary Updated Dec 31, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While walking around on the south end of Manhattan, I passed a sign pointing to the Brooklyn Bridge, and with a little time to kill, I headed over. I started to walk across just to get a look at some of the architecture, and before you know it, you're close to the center of the bridge. There is a lot of pedestrian traffic here, and many cyclists as well. About 15 minutes across, there is a fairly wide area where many people huddle to take pictures as a break point across the East river.

    The bridge itself is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the country. The pedestrian/cycle access is above the vehicle access on the bridge. What was appealing to me was the construction - this is a very neat bridge to look at, deserving of its landmark status.

    Directions: Take the subway A, C High St. - Brooklyn Bridge or 4,5,6 Brooklyn Bridge.

    Starting across Brooklyn Bridge Getting closer Looking into Brooklyn Time to turn around

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Brooklyn Bridge-Work of Art by John Roebling!

    by machomikemd Updated Apr 4, 2011

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In 1855, John Roebling, famous bridge designer at that time, proposed a suspension bridge over the East River Work began on the Brooklyn Bridge in 1869. His son Washington, also an accomplished engineer, took over direction of the construction after his father’s death. In 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge, then known as the "Great East River Bridge," opened to the public. Twenty-seven men overall died during construction. The Brooklyn Bridge, now a National Historic Landmark, is Brooklyn's most beloved tourist attraction as well as the connection between Brooklyn and Manhattan for close to 140,000 vehicles daily but is not the only bridge that coonects brooklyn to manhattan. The Brooklyn Bridge's main span over the East River is 1,595 feet (486 meters) and takes you from Manhattan's civic center into tree-lined Brooklyn Heights.

    Address: 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10128-0173

    Directions: Take the subway A, C High St. - Brooklyn Bridge or 4,5,6 Brooklyn Bridge.

    Phone: (212-639-9675); 311

    view from broolyn side Approaching Brooklyn Bridge Whatta View! to the bridge ok
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  • mariahc1's Profile Photo

    Brooklyn Bridge never loses its magic

    by mariahc1 Written Mar 26, 2011

    It is one of the most famous bridges in the world. You don't have to know much about it to love it. It is very beautiful. We did a bicycle tour the last time we were there from Times Square to Brooklyn Bridge. It was a lovely way to see it. Of course the view from the bridge is spectacular so those of you who are fond of taking pictures, this is your chance!

    Address: It crosses the East River

    Directions: Take the subway A, C High St. - Brooklyn Bridge or 4,5,6 Brooklyn Bridge.

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