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Brooklyn Neighborhood Tour with Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO

Explore the the hidden histories of Brooklyn with an expert guide
From US$335 privately
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Tour Details
Duration
3 hours
Product Type
Tour
Venues
  • City Hall
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • DUMBO
Photos & Highlights
  • Embark on an in-depth exploration and history of Brooklyn's major neighborhoods and their transformation over the years
  • Led by an urban historian
Select a date
Tour Description
At once intensely historical and painfully cutting-edge, Brooklyn is a world apart: home to some of the city's oldest brownstone buildings, and birthplace of the hipster. Of all the ways to explore Brooklyn, venturing out on foot is among the best option for locals and visitors alike. In this Brooklyn tour, we'll move beyond Manhattan, walking the Brooklyn Bridge to paint a portrait of the social and economic history, the architecture, and the dynamic cultural makeup of New York’s most fascinating borough.

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

Beginning on Manhattan, and walking across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, we’ll approach New York’s largest borough by looking at its development during the 19th century, when it exploded both commercially and culturally. Our historian-led walk focuses strongly on the neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights—the historic area directly across from lower Manhattan—and the surrounding neighborhoods, shifting gears from architectural and social history to contemporary politics, art, culture, food, and ethnic identity.

(For more on Brooklyn's evolving cultural identity, check out our primer on sustainable shopping in Brooklyn.)

Brooklyn Tour

As this Brooklyn tour continues, we'll consider the development of Brooklyn Heights in the 19th century as a refuge for genteel families from the squalor of Manhattan Island. Looking closely at the Federal-style brownstones, clapboard houses, and mews along lush, tree-lined streets, we'll trace the development of a distinct Brooklyn character over the centuries and consider such figures as Carson McCullers, one of the Heights' many resident authors who wrote how, "it is strange in New York to find yourself living in a neighborhood."

City Within A City

Our Brooklyn tour will also include a stroll through DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), a former warehouse district that has become a trendy gallery zone. Here we'll walk some of the docks and waterfront to trace the origins of Brooklyn as a maritime port and discuss the importance of trade and commerce to the city until the 1970s when larger, deep water ports in New Jersey surpassed the shallower ones in the East River. Our stroll might also take us along the Promenade, to visit Henry Ward Beecher's Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, a famous stop on the Underground Railroad.

For more of New York City's contemporary culture, check out our Chelsea walking tour of contemporary art galleries and our  Williamsburg tour.

FAQ

Where do we meet? Where does it end?
Generally speaking, the walk begins on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. We begin the tour by walking over the bridge into Brooklyn together. Your confirmation email will have the exact meeting point details along with a map. The walk typically ends in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, often near Montague Street.

What if it’s raining?
Tours operate rain or shine, but in the case of inclement weather, your expert will modify the tour so more time is spent indoors. It never hurts to have an umbrella on hand.

Is this tour good for kids?
Yes! We have some excellent family friendly experts who can appeal to the learning styles of children. Please book privately if you have children under 13. Feel free to provide us with information about your children such as favorite school subjects, and hobbies. This way we can match you with the best possible expert.

Is this a walking intensive tour?
This walk covers about 2 miles overall. There are occasional opportunities to sit, use the bathroom, and get something to drink if needed.
Where You'll Start
98 Reviews (4.8)

Reviews can only be left by Context customers after they have completed a tour. For more information about our reviews, please see our FAQ.

Our wonderful guide Mandy made it a very special tour! She is very knowledgeable and a great storyteller. Knows a lot about the history of the bridge and has many historic photos to show. We asked for some history about the bridge, the area and its people, along with some hidden gems and she delivered in spades. Would recommend to everybody!
This was one of the best tours I did while in New York . Becky was delightful , and had an incredible knowledge of New York history and culture . Her telling of the story of Brooklyn Bridge building and walk over the bridge was an absolute highlight , as was the history and walk through Brooklyn Heights . I would highly recommend this tour . Becky you are fabulous at your job !
We walked approximately 6 miles over 3 hours with our guide but honestly got very little information about the area other than facts we already knew (about the design and building of the Brooklyn Bridge) and things that were obvious (the warehouse area used to be warehouses, the brownstone buildings are constructed of brown stone). We were hungry for knowledge, insider tips, movie location sightings—anything more than long, long walking where we felt compelled to question our guide as much as possible to try to get information. She was so nice, but simply was not the fountain of knowledge we were expecting to get on an expensive private walking tour. Eventually we gave up trying to get information from her and just did a lot of long, fast walking around. We did cover a lot of ground!