During a visit to NYC, a walk across the famous Brooklyn Bridge is a must do activity. You may be wondering though what are some of the other things to do near the Brooklyn Bridge before or after a visit.
This guide will go through some of the top activities, attractions, and food options on both the Manhattan & Brooklyn side of the bridge.
By the end of reading through, you should be well on your way to putting together a day’s long route.
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1) Walking the Brooklyn Bridge
First thing first, let’s talk about the Brooklyn Bridge walk on its own. Between downtown Manhattan and the Dumbo neighborhood in Brooklyn, you can enter onto the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian pathway.
This pathway makes its way along the center of the bridge, elevated from the car lanes down below. The walk across is a beautiful one to enjoy with the suspension cables and towers in view all the way through.
In addition, you will get some great views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines throughout the walk (depending on which way you are walking). Other highlights will include the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island, Empire State Building, and the Manhattan Bridge, to name a few.
You may also be asking yourself which way to walk the bridge (Manhattan to Brooklyn or Brooklyn to Manhattan). In my opinion, walking from Brooklyn into Manhattan is the better overall experience as you consistently will have the best views out in front of you.
Of course, you can still turn around if walking in the opposite direction, so you can’t go wrong here. Whatever is most convenient for you!
You can learn much more in the guide that specifically talks about the Brooklyn Bridge walk. If you are wondering about entrance points, feel free to take a take a look at the main Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian entrances.
2) What To Do After Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge
So, depending on your overall route, you can do things in Manhattan and Brooklyn before/after your walk over the Brooklyn Bridge.
Below is the list of places I would recommend adding to your itinerary during your time in the area. While you won’t be able to add them all to your day, you are sure to enjoy whatever you end up choosing.
• South Street Seaport
• Pier 17
• One World Observatory
• The Oculus
• Brookfield Place
• 9/11 Memorial & Museum
• Battery Park
• Hudson River Park
• Brooklyn Bridge Park
• Timeout Market Rooftop
• Brooklyn Heights Promenade
• Manhattan Bridge Photo Spot
• Walk Around Dumbo
• Manhattan Bridge Walk
→ Visit these spots near the Brooklyn Bridge as part of a 4 Day NYC Itinerary
3) Things To Do Near the Brooklyn Bridge (Manhattan Side)
If walking from Brooklyn into Manhattan, you can enjoy these activities after your Brooklyn Bridge walk. On the other hand, if walking from Manhattan into Brooklyn, you can visit them before your Brooklyn Bridge walk.
South Street Seaport
Just south of the Brooklyn Bridge walkway entrance you will find the South Street Seaport area. Throughout this small neighborhood you will find cobblestoned streets lined with boutique shops and restaurants to enjoy.
In addition, you will come across the South Street Seaport museum, Tin Building (many food options), and some waterfront piers.
Pier 15 offers a dual level area with beautiful views of the Brooklyn Bridge and East River. You will find a restaurant/bar on the first level and some seating/grass areas on the second level.
Just next door is Pier 16, where some historical ships are docked such as the Ambrose, Wavertree, W O Decker, and Lettie G Howard.
In addition to Piers 15 & 16, you will also find the larger Pier 17. Within the pier there are several restaurants and bar areas to have a meal such as The Fulton, Malibu Farm, and The Greens.
Whether or not you want to have food, the pier also has some great spots to enjoy the view. You can either head to the rooftop, where you will get an elevated view over the East River, or head to the outdoor deck on the main level.
One World Observatory
The highlight of the downtown Manhattan skyline is the Freedom Tower, also known as One World Trade. At the top of the building, you will find the One World Observatory.
This is the only observatory in downtown Manhattan and offers some sweeping 360-degree views of NYC and its boroughs. Over the course of 3 floors you will find views of every major site in New York City.
It is a great spot to see the city from above, and learn about the history of NYC over time.
Just below One World Trade, you will find the Oculus. This is a combination between a transit hall and a mall. You will find plenty of shops and some fast casual dining options here.
It also makes for an awesome photo spot with its uniquely designed architecture all throughout.
If you continue through the Oculus, you can head underground towards Brookfield Place. Here you will find more shops and restaurants to enjoy right along the waterfront. Hudson Eats is a popular eatery with several fast casual options to choose from.
You can spend some time walking along the river, taking in the views along the way. There are several smaller park and lawn areas to enjoy as you explore the area (and where you can find some NYC cherry blossoms!).
9/11 Memorial & Museum
Some of the most important attractions in NYC are the 9/11 Memorial Pools and Museum. The pools are free to walk around and are situated where the original twin towers used to stand.
All around the pools, you will find the names of the thousands of people who lost their life that day.
If you want to have a more in depth experience, then a visit to the museum will be well worth your time. There are many exhibits throughout the museum to learn more about the history of the area.
At the very tip of Manhattan, you will find the Battery Park area (also just known as The Battery). Battery Park offers some of the best views of the Statue of Liberty, and is also where the boats depart from if you want to visit the Statue and nearby Ellis Island.
Throughout the park area, there are also some restaurants (such as The View at The Battery), and other historical monuments lining the waterfront.
Hudson River Park
While the full Hudson River Park spans from Brookfield Place all the way up to 59th Street (near Central Park), there are many highlights to visit towards the southern end of the park.
These include Pier 26, Little Island, Pier 57, and Chelsea Piers. It is up to you to decide how far north you would like to go and how much time you would like to spend walking the waterfront.
4) Things To Do Near the Brooklyn Bridge (Brooklyn Side)
Similarly, as mentioned before – if walking from Manhattan into Brooklyn, you can enjoy these activities after your Brooklyn Bridge walk. On the other hand, if walking from Brooklyn into Manhattan, you can visit them before your Brooklyn Bridge walk.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
All along the Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights waterfront you will find the 1+ mile long Brooklyn Bridge Park. There is no shortage of things to do and place to visit within the park.
Some of the main highlights (going north to south) include:
• John Street Park: great views of the Manhattan & Brooklyn Bridges
• Main Street Park: large lawn area with views of the Brooklyn Bridge & skyline
• Pebble Beach: small beach with sitting area (best for sunset)
• Jane’s Carousel and Empire Fulton Ferry: carousel and lawn area
• Emily Warren Roebling Plaza: open plaza under the Brooklyn Bridge
• Pier 1: lawn area & beautiful views
• Pier 2: several sport fields & courts
• Pier 3: mostly a lawn area for relaxing
• Pier 4: small beach & kayaking launch point
• Pier 5: soccer fields
• Pier 6: lawn area & volleyball courts
Timeout Market Rooftop
Just across the street from the Pebble Beach area, you will find Timeout Market. The market itself is full of various food vendors, where you can grab a nice meal at one point or another.
Another highlight here though is the rooftop area, where you can enjoy an elevated view over the park, river, bridges, and skyline.
Brooklyn Heights Promenade
Just nearby Pier 1 of Brooklyn Bridge Park, you will find the famous Squibb Bridge that takes you up into the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood.
After enjoying a walk along the bridge, you can then continue to walk southbound until you reach the Brooklyn Heights promenade.
Unlike Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is right along the river, the promenade is set back inland and elevated. So, you will really get some fantastic views of the NYC skyline and Brooklyn Bridge from here.
Manhattan Bridge Photo Spot
Perhaps the most famous of photo spots in NYC is the Manhattan Bridge photo spot in Dumbo. Located on Washington Street, just across the way from Main Street Park, you will find this spot.
Along the cobble stone street, with the facades of the building on either side, you will see the Manhattan Bridge perfectly aligned out in front of you. In addition, the Empire State Building will be just underneath the bridge itself.
Walk Around Dumbo
After visiting the view spot, feel free to continue to stroll around and enjoy the Dumbo neighborhood (this stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). You will find restaurants, shops, markets, and more all around (such as the St Anns Warehouse).
Manhattan Bridge Walk
While this can be completed from either the Manhattan or Brooklyn side, a walk over the Manhattan Bridge is certainly another highlight bridge walk.
The view from the walkway will give you some of the best views of Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Bridge, and NYC skyline from above.
While it is not as famous as its nearby counterpart, I would say the views are well worth the effort to make your way across.
5) Places to Eat Near the Brooklyn Bridge
While I did mention some spots on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge (Pier 17, Tin Building, Oculus, Hudson Eats), below are some of the top choices on the Brooklyn side:
If you are looking for some of the best pizza options in Brooklyn, look no further than Julianas, Grimaldis, or Front Street. All of these offer some delicious NYC eats for those pizza lovers out there.
Located within Brooklyn Bridge Park near Pier 1, you will find Luke’s Lobster. It is a fan favorite establishment with all sorts of seafood. These include lobster rolls, crab rolls, and shrimp rolls.
Ample Hills Creamery
For those looking for some dessert, right nearby is Ample Hills Creamery (pictured below). What used to be a fireboat station has been converted into this creamery right on the waterfront.
The fanciest of dining options near the Brooklyn Bridge is the River Café. If you are looking for a fancy, exclusive, romantic dining experience, this is going to be for you.
Located just below the Brooklyn Bridge, you will get some stunning views of the downtown skyline while having your meal.
As mentioned earlier, the nearby Timeout Market will offer many different fast casual type of options. This is perfect for a group of people, who may all want different varieties of food.
Of course, there are many other options to consider beyond this list, but these are some of the best out there.
As you can see, there are so many things to do near the Brooklyn Bridge, both on the Manhattan side and Brooklyn side.
You are sure to find activities and attractions that work for you during your trip to the area. If you do have any questions though, feel free to add them in below.
Also, don’t forget to check out some of the other New York itineraries and guides up on the site (like the best things to do in New York City).
Have fun out there and safe travels!