For twenty years, this was the longest suspension bridge in the world. That might not seem so amazing now, but the Brooklyn Bridge was finished in 1883, and it was a phenomenal piece of engineering. The first land connection between Manhattan and Brooklyn, it’s a tremendously Gothic structure, and an instantly recognisable icon.
Approaching the bridge on foot leads through a charming part of Manhattan, sneaking along the border between Chinatown and the Financial District, where you can find remnants of the old city’s cobbled streets and hodgepodge layout.
This is also home to the famous Bridge Café, Manhattan’s oldest tavern – and, in fact, the city’s oldest continuous business altogether. Once a brothel, it now serves up soft shell crabs, steaks, and drinks.
Pass the Bridge Cafe and you will reach a small boardwalk beneath the bridge which offers remarkably peaceful views both of the bridge and the Brooklyn shore across the East River. The boardwalk is part of the East River Bikeway, a route for cyclists to avoid using FDR Drive.
Visiting Brooklyn Bridge:
The nearest Subway on the Manhattan side is City Hall. Click here to see the route in Google Maps.
Admission: Free. There is a new pedestrian route which enables visitors to walk across the bridge.