One thing that you can always count on in New York City is finding a beautiful sunset to take in. Whether it be the NYC skyline, numerous bridges, or the Statue of Liberty, the landscape opportunities are endless.
While there are many spots all around Manhattan to enjoy a sunset, taking in a view of a Brooklyn Bridge sunset is on the top of my list.
This guide will go through some of my top choices on where to experience a sunset of the Brooklyn Bridge, along with some helpful tips and tricks along the way.
1) Brooklyn Bridge Sunset Locations
In my experience, there are three main areas to enjoy a Brooklyn Bridge sunset from. These would include:
1) Brooklyn Bridge Park
2) The Manhattan Bridge
3) The Brooklyn Bridge
Note that the first two locations are best if you want to photograph the Brooklyn Bridge from afar, while going on the Brooklyn Bridge itself would give you a different type of experience. I will dive into each one of these locations throughout the remainder of this guide.
Below is a map that shows the three spots pinpointed so you have an idea of where they are in relation to one another.
2) Manhattan Sunset Time
Before you actually head out for sunset, you must first understand the timing of when the sun will actually be setting. The sun is continuously setting at different times and locations throughout the year, so you will need to plan accordingly for your visit.
Below are average times of sunset in Manhattan by month:
January: 4:40PM – 5:15PM
February: 5:15PM – 5:45PM
March: 5:45PM – 7:20PM (note daylight savings switch)
April: 7:20PM – 7:50PM
May: 7:50PM – 8:20PM
June: 8:20PM – 8:30PM
July: 8:30PM – 8:10PM
August: 8:10PM – 7:30PM
September: 7:30PM – 6:40PM
October: 6:40PM – 5:50PM
November: 5:50PM – 4:30PM (note daylight savings switch)
Another thing to note is that sun does set in different locations through the year. To best understand the exact locations of sunset given your positioning, you can take a look at apps like suncalc that help determine those types of things. In general though, you should have good enough sunset angles from all three locations throughout the year.
3) Enjoying a Brooklyn Bridge Sunset
Now that you have a bit more background on locations and times, let’s talk about the three Brooklyn Bridge sunset spots I mentioned earlier on.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
One question that comes up a bunch is can you see the sunset from Brooklyn Bridge Park. The answer is yes you can, but remember that the sun setting location will vary by time of year.
In the fall/winter time you can see the sunset happening in the vicinity of the Statue of Liberty, whereas in the spring/summer time the sun sets further to west behind the downtown Manhattan skyline.
As for a Brooklyn Bridge sunset view though, you should always get a great shot from Brooklyn Bridge Park as the sun is always setting in that general direction.
Now, Brooklyn Bridge Park is not a small park. It actually makes up nearly 1.5 mile of shoreline on the East River. When it comes to viewpoints of the Brooklyn Bridge + sunset, you will want to situate yourself to the north of the Brooklyn Bridge.
By doing so you will get to take in views of the Brooklyn Bridge with the downtown Manhattan skyline out in the background, and (hopefully) a nice colorful sky to complete the view.
There are a few spots to choose from that are north of the Brooklyn Bridge within the park. One of my favorite locations is called Pebble Beach (what I pinpointed on the map above).
From the beach you will get that perfect Brooklyn Bridge view with downtown Manhattan in the background and with Jane’s Carousel in the foreground. There is also a very large multi leveled seating area here making it a perfect spot to sit down and enjoy the view.
Other potential spots include: Empire Fulton Ferry (closer to the bridge itself), the rooftop of Empire Stores (check it out either way for the view), or John Street Park (although it is further away, you will get both the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge in view).
Scroll to the end of the article for PLENTY more sunset pictures to enjoy.
Now this is a bit of a lesser known location to take in that Brooklyn Bridge sunset. By actually walking across the Manhattan Bridge, you will get a considerable elevated view of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge Park, downtown Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and of course the Brooklyn Bridge itself.
The downside of this location is that there is no seating area, it can get cold up there, loud subway cars are consistently running through, and you have a fence blocking the view.
Now, if you can get through the first three cons listed (standing, cold, and loud), I would highly recommend heading up there yourself.
While there is a fence blocking the view for photographs, you will find many holes cut out in the fence, where you can snap some photos with your camera or phone. You have to work for it a bit more but it is certainly worth it in my opinion.
I would recommend heading closer to the Brooklyn side of the bridge so you can get the best angle of the Brooklyn Bridge with the sunset and downtown NYC skyline behind it.
Helpful Sunset Tip: Do not just show up at the exact sunset time and leave right after. The best sunset colors can happen before and after sunset itself. I would recommend waiting up to 30 minutes after sunset to fully appreciate the sky’s changing colors.
The final place that I would recommend visiting for a Brooklyn Bridge sunset would be the Brooklyn Bridge itself.
This would be a very different experience and viewpoint all things considered. While the first two locations were more so about the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from afar, being on the bridge itself is another type of endeavor to take part of.
While on the bridge you can get different types of photos of the bridge itself with its massive pylons and suspension cables up above. The views of NYC will also be some of the best you can ask for as you walk down the wooden plank walkway.
One thing to take into consideration here is the sheer amount of people who walk across the bridge as an activity in its own right. Since the Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York’s most popular attractions, it can get very busy.
From an experience standpoint some may even call it unenjoyable during those peak weekend hours, when hundreds will congregate along the walkway.
So, while you will get some great views, it may also come with the crowds too. My recommendation here is to actually visit the Brooklyn Bridge during sunrise. Although the sun rises in the opposite direction, the colors of the sky can still change color depending on weather conditions (see picture below).
Not only do you still get some nice colors going, but this also solves the worry of being surrounded by the crowds. Very few tourists are waking up early for sunrise, so you may very well have the entire place to yourself.
» Learn more about the bridge in general by reading this Brooklyn Bridge helpful guide up on the site
4) Brooklyn Bridge Sunrise or Sunset
Now, comes the question of a what is better – a Brooklyn Bridge sunset or sunrise. And my answer would be, well it depends.
If you are trying to take photos of the Brooklyn Bridge from afar (from Brooklyn Bridge Park or the Manhattan Bridge as examples), then I would recommend heading there for sunset.
You will get some of the best pictures of the Brooklyn Bridge during sunset with the sun going down behind the bridge and lower Manhattan. You will also not need to deal with the crowds in this situation.
Now, if you are trying to actually be on the Brooklyn Bridge and walk across it, then I would recommend going for sunrise. The main reason here is simply to enjoy a crowd free walkway. You still may get some colorful skies and the bridge will be at its emptiest.
Either way though you really cannot go wrong depending on what type of experience you are trying to have.
5) Where to Stay in NYC
There are so many different neighborhoods to choose from when visiting NYC. Below are some of my top choices for a few of my recommended locations in the city:
Chelsea: If you are looking to be well situated between uptown, midtown, and downtown, then Chelsea can be a great option for you. You have highlights such as the Highline, Chelsea Market, the Vessel, and the Hudson River right nearby.
And if you are looking to head to Central Park uptown or the World Trade Center area further downtown, then you are just a quick subway ride away. Recommended Chelsea hotels:
Midtown: Right in the middle of the action is the midtown area, where you have the one and only Times Square, and all Broadway shows right at your doorstep.
You are also within walking distance to the southern end of Central Park. Almost all subway lines connect at Times Square so getting around should not be an issue. Recommended Midtown hotels:
Tribeca: If you are trying to stay in downtown Manhattan, then I would recommend looking into the Tribeca area. Staying here and you will be just a stone’s throw away from the World Trade Center area, 9/11 Memorial Pools & Museum, and the hop on point for the Statue of Liberty.
You will also be pretty close by the Manhattan side entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. Recommended Tribeca Hotels:
If you would rather stay in Brooklyn (and right within Brooklyn Bridge Park), then the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge would be a pretty amazing place to stay.
Getting to wake up with the Manhattan skyline out in front of you is quite the experience. Couple that with the fact that you will get prime NYC sunsets from the bar and pool area, it is hard to go wrong here.
6) Brooklyn Bridge Sunset Photos
While I included some photos above, I did want to just insert several more Brooklyn Bridge sunset photos for you to enjoy.
That about does it for a guide to a Brooklyn Bridge sunset. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to add them in below. Also be sure to check out the other New York guides up on the site.
Have fun out there and safe travels!