When it comes to evening activities, a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at night should be on your NYC to do list.
As the sun sets, the Brooklyn Bridge lights up along with the rest of the New York City skyline. Getting the chance to experience the city at night, will be a whole other way to go about your time at the bridge.
This guide will go through some helpful information (along with plenty of photography), for a nighttime experience at the Brooklyn Bridge.
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1) Brooklyn Bridge at Night Overview
For most visitors, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is done during the daytime hours. However, for those that want to see and walk the Brooklyn Bridge at night, an after dark experience is truly a unique activity to take part of.
Instead of having hundreds of tourists crowding the walkways, an evening walk will have far less people. This will give you the chance to better enjoy your time on the bridge without feeling stuffed or overcrowded.
In addition, seeing the NYC skyline light up among the dark sky as you are walking across will be a sight to see.
Out in front of you will be downtown Manhattan with One World Trade Center standing tall. Off to the north, you are sure to get some beautiful views of midtown Manhattan with the Empire State Building, One Vanderbilt, the Chrysler Building, among others.
A visit to Brooklyn Bridge Park before or after your walk will give you the chance to see the Brooklyn Bridge from afar. Getting that panoramic shot of the bridge, the skyline, and the East River is one of my favorite in the city.
Now, the remainder of this guide will just go over the Brooklyn Bridge at night. However, to learn much more about the bridge, I would first start reading through some of these helpful guides linked below:
Brooklyn Bridge Walk: learn more about the walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and all the highlights you will get to see along the way.
Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Entrances: there are 4 main entrances to the Brooklyn Bridge walkway (2 on the Brooklyn side and 2 on the Manhattan side). Learn more about where to find each of these entrances for a visit.
How to Get to the Brooklyn Bridge: there are many ways to get yourself to the entranceways. This guide will go over the best transportation options to get you to the bridge itself.
Brooklyn Bridge Facts: the bridge has a long enthralling history. Learn more about some fascinating facts about the bridge and how it came to be.
If you are interested in enjoying the bridge during sunrise or sunset, feel free to take a look at the Brooklyn Bridge sunrise and Brooklyn Bridge sunset guides. Visiting in winter? Check out how to experience the Brooklyn Bridge in snow.
2) Tips & Recommendations
While the Brooklyn Bridge at night will be less crowded than during the day, it will take some time for the crowds to disperse. If heading there during/after sunset, I would imagine you will still have a ton of people around the bridge.
My recommendation would be to enjoy a Brooklyn Bridge sunset first from Brooklyn Bridge Park (sitting along Pebble Beach can be a great option – one of my favorite views of the Brooklyn Bridge).
After enjoying a sunset, head off to dinner in the nearby Dumbo neighborhood to take in a nice meal. By now, it should be nice and dark out, and the NYC skyline should be as lit up as can be.
You can first walk the northern section of Brooklyn Bridge Park, as you take in views of the bridge from afar. After that, head on over to the Prospect Street & Washington Street underpass entrance, and onto the Brooklyn Bridge walkway.
It is then time to walk the Brooklyn Bridge at night from Brooklyn into Manhattan.
If you are looking for other evening activities, check out some of the top things to do in NYC at night.
3) Things to Know
→ No matter what time of year you walk the bridge, it is bound to be colder in the nighttime vs the daytime. Be sure to layer up accordingly to stay as warm as necessary.
→ Not only will it be colder, but it also can get quite windy on the bridge. Since you will be higher up in elevation over the river, expect a brisker time on the bridge vs. on the riverside.
→ While in the daytime you will find food/drinks & souvenirs being sold across the bridge and at the entrances, that is not the case at night. But by eating dinner prior to the bridge walk, that should hopefully take care of anything.
→ Recently a separate bicycle lane was added onto the street level to make the walkway just for pedestrians. I found that during the evening time, many bicyclists more or less ignore the bicycle lane and head onto the pedestrian pathway. Be cautious here just in case.
→ Photography Tip: while the walkway is separated from the cars, the bridge certainly trembles slightly. In addition, other people/bicyclists can make the walkway shake a bit. Due to this, it is difficult to get longer shutter speed photos on the bridge.
If photography is your goal here, I would advise going after midnight when little to no people will be going across.
→ Visit the Brooklyn Bridge at night as part of a New York City 4 Day Itinerary
4) Brooklyn Bridge at Night FAQs
There are many questions asked about a Brooklyn Bridge at night experience. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions along with some helpful answers:
Brooklyn Bridge at Night or Day
If you are interested in heading to the bridge at night, you may be wondering whether you are missing out on it during the day.
While a daytime experience is fantastic as you get a better overall view & understanding of your surroundings in general, it can get quite crowded during those times. Now, if walking the bridge in the early morning (even for sunrise), you will find a much more relaxed atmosphere.
So, for me, it is all about being able to enjoy the bridge without the hordes of other people around. I found that to be best in the early mornings or at night.
Brooklyn Bridge at Night Safe
This was just my own experience, but I found the Brooklyn Bridge at night to be very safe. There were some other tourists around, but no more than a couple every few minutes.
The later it gets, the fewer people there will be. This may feel uncomfortable for some, but in general as long as if you are aware of your surroundings (and with others), it is no more dangerous than anywhere else in NYC.
The one dangerous part I will mention is that the bicyclists that make their way onto the bridge at night. It can be startling to have bicyclists whizzing by in the dark (when they aren’t even supposed to be there in general).
Is the Brooklyn Bridge Pretty at Night
This is an easy one – yes, the Brooklyn Bridge is very pretty at night. That is the case both on the bridge itself and from Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Having the bridge lit up among the dark sky and the skyline out back, is one of my favorite views in the city.
What Time Does the Brooklyn Bridge Close
Luckily, the Brooklyn Bridge never closes. So, no matter what time you want to experience the Brooklyn Bridge at night, you should be good to go.
5) Brooklyn Bridge at Night Photography
Now it is time for a whole array of photos of the Brooklyn Bridge at night. These photos will be from the walkway itself. The next section will have photos from Brooklyn Bridge Park.
6) Brooklyn Bridge Park Night Photos
Prior to heading onto the bridge, I first walked along the waterfront from John Street Park (northern end) to Emily Roebling Plaza (below the bridge itself).
I then headed the walkway entrance on Washington Street and Prospect Street to take part of the walk across.
That about does it for a Brooklyn Bridge at night experience. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to add them in below.
Also, don’t forget to check out the other New York itineraries and guides up on the site.
Have fun out there and safe travels!
Sunday 13th of November 2022
There is now a separate bike lane below the pedestrian walkway. So apart from rogue cyclists it should make walking and shooting easier. Nice shots.
Monday 14th of November 2022
Hey Conor - yep there is. I just found when heading across the bridge later at night, some bicyclists opt to just head on the walking path and dont abide by the bike lane. Definitely makes walking/photography easier without the bikes though!