Brooklyn Heights & Brooklyn Bridge tour
Disclaimer: the Brooklyn Bridge can be very crowded, especially in the busy season. It may not be "worth it" to have a tour guide with you, especially if you're a large group.
Enjoy stunning views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skyline; discover the adjacent waterfront neighborhoods in Brooklyn.
Most tours of the Brooklyn Bridge start in Manhattan and end in Brooklyn. I can and do lead such tours, starting near City Hall Park, then proceeding to DUMBO, Fulton Ferry, and Brooklyn Heights.
However, as a Brooklyn-centric tour guide, I also recommend doing the opposite: start on the Brooklyn side. We'd start with a good walk through downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights, the city’s first landmarked neighborhood.
(Alternative: we can start instead in DUMBO.)
Stops include the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and Brooklyn's most famous church, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and two private schools.
After a stop at Fulton Ferry and a part of DUMBO (good ice cream and chocolate options, plus more shopping and food) , we see the new Brooklyn Bridge Park, built on old Port Authority piers and not without controversy.
As we walk over the bridge, we get great views of the harbor and a chance to learn the bridge’s complicated, glorious history, the innovations behind it, and the family that oversaw it (and died/suffered during construction). Today, the Brooklyn Bridge remains a marvel and an icon, albeit one that requires ongoing repair.
We end at City Hall Park, where there are many subway options, or a chance to walk around Lower Manhattan, including to Ground Zero.
For those new to Brooklyn, please note this tour focuses only on a small piece of Brooklyn. For a more extensive introduction, I recommend the Brooklyn 101 tour, with the bridge as an add-on.
Distance from Midtown Manhattan: 20-25 minutes
Basic tour length: 2-2.5 hours (see fees)
Starting place: Varies, but typically Borough Hall, Brooklyn
Ending place: Varies, but typically City Hall, Manhattan
Highlights: History, architecture, waterfront views, parks
Before tour: Visit the Transit Museum in Brooklyn
After tour: You're in Manhattan, near the City Hall subway station.
Potential tour extensions with me: Brooklyn 101, Atlantic Avenue