NYC has over 2,000 bridges but if you aren’t a commuter, then you’ve most likely only heard of one NYC bridge: the Brooklyn Bridge. To be fair, the Brooklyn Bridge is iconic; it was, arguably, the greatest feat of engineering of the nineteenth century. But if you only visit the Brooklyn Bridge during your trip to New York, you’re missing out. One other bridge definitely worth riding over is the Manhattan Bridge. Like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge spans over the East River to connect the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan, but that is where the similarities end. Read on to discover what makes the Manhattan Bridge a unique ride.
What to expect on your ride:
Compared to the Brooklyn Bridge, your ride on the Manhattan Bridge will be a breeze. Since the bridge isn’t a go-to tourist attraction, you won’t be competing for space with a crushing crowd of people. In fact, bikes have their own designated lane on the bridge barrier from the pedestrians. A couple of quirks of the Manhattan Bridge might make your ride less-than-idyllic, however: the B/D/N/Q subway lines use the bridge to cross between Brooklyn and Manhattan, so be prepared for some rumblings from the trains every few minutes. Also, although the Manhattan Bridge gives you stellar views of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, that view is somewhat obscured by the bridge’s chicken wire fencing.
A little known fact, a ride over the bridge provides a great photo-op of the NYC skyline, as well as the Brooklyn Bridge.
To get this must-have shot, ride over to Washington Street between Water Street and Front Street. If you angle your camera just right, you’ll get the Empire State Building in the background, too!
Things to Do:
While you’re in the area, don’t forget to explore the neighborhoods of DUMBO, which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. You can take a boxing lesson at Gleason’s Gym, shop at Empire Stores, or spend some time at Jacques Torres’ chocolate paradise. In Brooklyn Heights, you’ll find even more cute boutiques, as well as kayaking and more outdoor fun at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
On the Manhattan side of the bridge, you’ll find the ever-bustling neighborhood of Chinatown, where there’s great shopping and great food. Be sure to stop at the Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for unique flavors you won’t find anywhere else; walk along Canal Street and browse the never-ending supply of gods; and visit the Museum of Chinese in America where you’ll get context on the neighborhood as well a s the diverse stories of Chinese immigrant communities across the US.
Ready to take a ride over the Manhattan Bridge? Visit any of our Unlimited Biking locations and we’ll get you set up with the perfect set of wheels for your day of exploration. And if you want to know even more about the Manhattan Bridge and the NYC’s many other bridges, book our Bridge Delight bike tour, where you’ll get to know the city through four of its bridges.