TravelArial View of New York's Bridges

As the Hudson, East, and Harlem Rivers carve their way through the urban jungle of New York City, the myriad bridges arching over these waterways are impossible to ignore. With over 700 bridges, New York City is a veritable atlas of architectural marvels, each with its own story and unique design. Embarking on a tour of the city’s iconic bridges offers a picturesque journey through New York’s rich history and stunning engineering feats. This guide highlights five must-see bridges that are quintessential to the New York experience.

You can see two of these icon New York Bridges from our most popular NYC city cruise!

George Washington Bridge, New York CIty

George Washington Bridge

Location: Connects Manhattan to Fort Lee, New Jersey across the Hudson River.

History: Opened in 1931, this double-decked suspension bridge was once the longest in the world. It’s famous for its massive steel towers and intricate suspension cables.

Best Viewing Spot: Fort Washington Park provides a stunning southern view.

Visibility on BCT Tour: Not visible.

Walkability: Yes, pedestrians can enjoy walking across the bridge’s upper level.

Fun Fact: The bridge lights up with over 150 lights, making it a breathtaking sight at night.

Brooklyn Bridge, an Iconic New York Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

Location: Connects Manhattan to Brooklyn across the East River.

History: Completed in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. It was a groundbreaking feat of engineering at its time and has become an iconic New York landmark..

Best Viewing Spot: Brooklyn Bridge Park offers the best views and photo opportunities.

Visibility on BCT Tour: Yes, it’s a prominent feature.

Walkability: Yes, it features a wide pedestrian walkway above the vehicle lanes.

Fun Fact: The bridge’s construction took 14 years and it was initially known as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge.

Manhattan Bridge, New York City

Manhattan Bridge

Location: Runs parallel to the Brooklyn Bridge, connecting Lower Manhattan with Downtown Brooklyn.

History: Opened in 1909, this suspension bridge was designed to alleviate the traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge, featuring four vehicle lanes, four subway tracks, a pedestrian walkway, and a bike path.

Best Viewing Spot: The best views are from the DUMBO neighborhood in Brooklyn.

Visibility on BCT Tour: Yes, where you get an exclusive view of crossing under this iconic structure.

Walkability: Yes, there is a separate pedestrian pathway and a bike lane.

Fun Fact: It’s the only bridge of the three major East River bridges that carries vehicles, subway cars, bikers, and pedestrians.

Verrazzano Narrows Bridge, New York

Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge

Location: Connects the boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island at the Narrows.

History: When it opened in 1964, it was the world’s longest suspension bridge. It’s named after the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano.

Best Viewing Spot: Shore Road Park in Brooklyn provides excellent views.

Visibility on BCT Tour: Not visible.

Walkability: No, it’s not open to pedestrians.

Fun Fact: The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is so large that its towers are 1 5/8 inches farther apart at their tops than at their bases, due to the curvature of the Earth.

Queensboro Bridge, New York

Queensboro Bridge

Location: Connects the Upper East Side of Manhattan to Long Island City in Queens.

History: Opened in 1909, this cantilever bridge is also known as the 59th Street Bridge.

Best Viewing Spot: The bridge provides stunning views from Roosevelt Island.

Visibility on BCT Tour: Not visible.

Walkability: Yes, it includes a separate pedestrian lane.

Fun Fact: The bridge is featured in the Simon and Garfunkel song, “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy).”

Lincoln Tunnel, New York

Bonus: New York Tunnels

Lincoln Tunnel

Location: Connects Midtown Manhattan to Weehawken, New Jersey.

Construction: Opened in 1937, built under the Hudson River to relieve traffic congestion on the bridges.

Details: It runs approximately 1.5 miles with a water depth overhead reaching about 97 feet.

Length: 8,216 feet.

Toll: Yes, tolls are collected entering New York.


Holland Tunnel

Location: Links Lower Manhattan to Jersey City, New Jersey.

Construction: Completed in 1927, it was the first mechanically ventilated underwater tunnel.

Details: The tunnel runs about 1.6 miles with the lowest point about 93 feet below sea level.

Length: 8,558 feet.

Toll: Yes, tolls are collected entering New York.


Hugh L. Carey Tunnel

Location: Connects Lower Manhattan to Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Construction: Opened in 1950, originally known as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel.

Details: It is North America’s longest continuous underwater vehicular tunnel.

Length: 9,117 feet.

Toll: Yes, tolls are collected entering Manhattan.

From the grandeur of the Brooklyn Bridge to the modern marvel of the Verrazzano-Narrows, these five bridges encapsulate the essence of New York’s architectural prowess. Whether traveling across them or viewing them from afar, these New York bridges are an inescapable part of visiting New York. For a comprehensive experience, the Freedom Liberty Cruise offers a unique vantage point to witness two of the city’s most iconic bridges along with other significant landmarks. Join us to explore the breathtaking vistas that define the cityscape of the Big Apple.