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Whether you live across the Hudson or across the Atlantic, getting to NYC is easy. If you’re coming from outside the United States, check this page for visa information.
See below for the best ways to reach the five boroughs from anywhere in the world.
By plane If you’re coming from far away, you’ll probably want to fly into one of the New York City area’s major airports. There are a number of hotels conveniently located near the City’s airports.
Below, you'll find a list of NYC-area airports, along with the best ways to get from those airports to Manhattan. There are more than a hundred air carriers traveling to NYC from all over the country and the world, including American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue and United.
Air travelers to New York City may arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) or LaGuardia Airport (LGA), both in Queens, or Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in neighboring New Jersey. LaGuardia primarily serves domestic destinations, and also offers flights to select Canadian and Caribbean destinations. Kennedy and Newark both serve domestic and international destinations. Visitors can reach Manhattan from all three airports by using taxis, buses, subways and/or commuter trains. Other metropolitan-area airports include Stewart International Airport (SWF), Westchester County Airport (HPN) and MacArthur Airport (ISP). For those interested, there are a number of hotels conveniently located near the City's airports.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
Jamaica, Queens, NY 11430
New York's largest airport serves more than 80 airlines, most of which are international. It is approximately 15 miles from Midtown Manhattan. Here's how to get to Midtown Manhattan from JFK:
- Taxi: $52.50 flat fare (non-metered), plus bridge and tunnel tolls and gratuity; 30 to 60 minutes to Midtown Manhattan, depending on traffic and road conditions. For more information, call 212-NYC-TAXI or visit the Taxi and Limousine Commission website.
- AirTrain JFK: $5 (children under 5 are free); AirTrain links the airport to the subway and Long Island Rail Road. AirTrain also offers free service between points in the airport.
- Subway: one ride (in addition to AirTrain fare) from the A subway stop at the Howard Beach/JFK Airport station or the E, J or Z subway stop at the Sutphin Blvd./Archer Ave./JFK Airport station; 60 to 75 minutes to Midtown Manhattan.
- Long Island Rail Road (LIRR): $7.25–$10 (children under 5 are free), depending on time of day (in addition to AirTrain fare) for the trip between LIRR's Jamaica Station and Penn Station; on Saturday and Sunday, the fare is $4.25. The trip is 20 minutes to Midtown Manhattan (not including AirTrain ride).
- City bus: For details, visit tripplanner.mta.info.
- Shuttle bus: NYC Airporter, Go Airlink NYC and SuperShuttle.
- Private car service: See this list of providers.
- Car rental: Companies at JFK include Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and National.
LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
Jackson Heights, Queens, NY 11371
This is New York's second-largest airport, with nearly 20 airlines serving mostly domestic destinations, as well as Canada and the Caribbean, from four passenger terminals. LaGuardia is on the northern shore of Queens, directly across the East River (about 8 miles from Midtown Manhattan). Here's how to get to Midtown Manhattan from LaGuardia:
- Taxi: Approximately $29–$37 metered fare, plus bridge and tunnel tolls and gratuity; 20 to 25 minutes to Midtown Manhattan. For more information, call 212-NYC-TAXI or visit the Taxi and Limousine Commission website.
- City bus: Two express buses serve LaGuardia; the M60 and Q70. The Q70 goes nonstop to Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Avenue, a major subway hub in Queens with five lines. The M60 runs to Harlem and connects to all the major subway lines in Manhattan. For details, visit tripplanner.mta.info.
- Shuttle bus: NYC Airporter, Go Airlink NYC and SuperShuttle.
- Private car service: Dial 7, Carmel and Uber.
- Car rental: Companies at LGA include Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and National.
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
Newark, NJ 07114
Newark Airport, with more than 30 airlines (many of which are international), is across the Hudson River from New York City—16 miles from Midtown Manhattan. Here's how to get to Midtown Manhattan from Newark Liberty:
- Taxi: Traveling to Manhattan, metered fare; approximately $50 to $75, plus bridge and tunnel tolls and gratuity; 45 to 60 minutes to Midtown Manhattan. During weekday rush hours (6–9am and 4–7pm) and on weekends (Saturday–Sunday, noon–8pm), there is a $5 surcharge for travel to anywhere in New York State except Staten Island. When traveling to the airport from Midtown Manhattan, service is via New York City’s regulated yellow taxis. Metered fares range $69–$75, plus a $17.50 surcharge in addition to tolls and gratuity.
- AirTrain Newark: Costs vary by destination. AirTrain links to the airport via NJ Transit and Amtrak's Newark (or EWR) train station; 45 to 90 minutes to Midtown Manhattan, requiring a transfer from the AirTrain line to the NJ Transit line (be sure to keep your ticket after using it to exit the AirTrain station, as it is also used for the NJ Transit fare) or Amtrak. AirTrain also offers free service between points in within the airport complex, including hotels and parking. Look for signs marked “Monorail/AirTrain Link” (do not follow signs for Ground Transportation).
- Shuttle bus: NYC Airporter, Go Airlink NYC, Olympia Airport Express and SuperShuttle.
- Private car and limousine service: Dial 7, Carmel and Uber.
- Car rental: Companies at Newark include Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and National.
Stewart International Airport (SWF)
New Windsor, NY 12553
Stewart International Airport is 60 miles north of New York City. Here's how to get to Midtown Manhattan from Stewart:
- Bus/train: Leprechaun Lines runs a $1 shuttle bus on their Newburgh-Beacon-Stewart commuter line, which connects to the Beacon train station. There, use Metro-North Railroad for direct service to Grand Central Terminal ($16 off-peak, $21.25 peak); 70 to 90 minutes to Midtown Manhattan.
New York City has two main rail stations in Midtown: Grand Central Terminal (on the east side) and Penn Station (on the west side). Each is also served by numerous bus and subway lines. Grand Central is served by Metro-North Railroad, which goes to NYC suburbs in New York and Connecticut. Penn Station is served by the following: Long Island Rail Road, a commuter railroad serving Long Island; Amtrak, the US national passenger railroad, serving many points throughout the country; and NJ Transit, a commuter line serving points in New Jersey.
- Rail Terminals
- Grand Central Terminal
Park Avenue and East 42nd Street (between Lexington and Vanderbilt Avenues)
Grand Central is the main terminal for Metro-North Railroad services. Subway lines here include the 4, 5, 6, 7 and S (shuttle between Grand Central and Times Square). For MTA bus details, visit tripplanner.mta.info.
Aside from being a transit hub, Grand Central is also a landmark and an attraction unto itself. The Main Concourse boasts an immense 88,000 square feet of space, and on sunny days is bathed in light from its giant arching windows. Grand Central's 12-story ceiling is painted with stars and gilded zodiac constellations. Not only might Grand Central be the globe's most beautiful train station, the 49-acre terminal is also one of the world's largest. There are numerous shops of all varieties here, including an Apple Store, MAC Cosmetics and Tumi. The dining concourse on the lower level features a wide selection of eateries, and in Grand Central Market, fresh and prepared foods—ranging from baked goods to gourmet teas—are available.
- Penn Station
Seventh to Eighth Avenues, between West 31st and West 33rd Streets
Penn Station is the main terminal for Long Island Rail Road, and a terminal for Amtrak and NJ Transit. Subway lines here include the 1, 2, 3, A, C and E. For MTA bus details, visit tripplanner.mta.info.
Penn Station's main concourse features information booths, restaurants, waiting rooms and public restrooms to accommodate the thousands of passengers who pass through the terminal each day. In 2016, the new West End Concourse will open providing additional access to the station from 8th avenue. Car rental offices are nearby.
- Grand Central Terminal
- Rail Services
Amtrak is the national passenger railroad of the United States. New York City's Penn Station is their busiest station in the nation, serving hundreds of thousands of passengers each year. The company offers numerous packages and deals, including special passes allowing international visitors to make multiple stops throughout the country.
- Long Island Rail Road (LIRR)
This commuter railroad operates out of Penn Station and serves 124 stations in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan, transporting some 81 million customers each year. Destinations include the Belmont Park racetrack, Citi Field, Jones Beach, the Hamptons and Montauk.
- Metro-North Railroad
The second-largest commuter train line in the United States, Metro-North operates out of Grand Central Terminal. The historic roots of the operation go back to 1832, when the enterprise was known as the New York & Harlem Railroad, a horsecar line in Lower Manhattan. Today, with 775 miles of track, Metro-North goes to 121 stations (in seven New York State counties—Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Bronx and New York (Manhattan)—and Connecticut's New Haven and Fairfield counties).
- NJ Transit
973-275-5555, TTY 800-772-2287
This rail system features 12 lines in three divisions (Hoboken, Newark and the Atlantic City Rail Line) with frequent service throughout New Jersey (Atlantic City and the Jersey Shore are popular stops) and New York (Rockland and Orange counties)—and, of course, into and out of New York City via Penn Station. For schedules and fares, visit the NJ Transit website.
- PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson)
The PATH provides rapid transit between several stops in New York City, along with locations in Newark, Harrison, Jersey City and Hoboken in New Jersey. Air travelers can connect to the PATH from Newark Liberty International Airport. The service operates from the Penn Station in Newark (not the same as Manhattan's Penn Station) to Lower and Midtown Manhattan. The PATH's 33rd Street station (on Sixth Avenue, in Herald Square) in Manhattan is one avenue from Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road and NJ Transit trains at Penn Station.
RSG and DREAM General Questions
Bel Hanson, Conference Manager
Source: NYC The Official Guide
If you can't walk to your destination, mass transit is the next-best way to get around. The City's rail and bus system is run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and known as MTA New York City Transit. It's inexpensive, environmentally friendly and a great way to see sights throughout the five boroughs—and it operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Purchasing a MetroCard is your first step to getting around on subways and buses; you must put a minimum value of $5.50 on the card when initially buying it. You can do so at subway stations, from either automated machines (which accept cash, ATM bank cards and regular credit cards) or booth attendants (cash only). When you use a pay-per-ride MetroCard, a single subway or bus ride costs $2.75. An Express Bus ride costs $6.50. Riders can buy a pay-per-ride card, an unlimited MetroCard or a SingleRide card—the last of these costs $3, is sold at vending machines only, doesn't allow transfers and must be used within two hours of purchase. An unlimited MetroCard allows users to ride as often as they like within a fixed time period: options include unlimited cards that last for seven days ($31) or 30 days ($116.50). There's also a $1 surcharge on the purchase of a new MetroCard. To avoid the charge, customers can refill an existing card. The MTA offers discounts for seniors (over age 65) and disabled riders, as well as a "bonus" credit of 11% for purchases of $5.50 or more on pay-per-ride cards. Also, up to three children with a maximum height of 44 inches each can get on subways and buses for free when they are traveling with a fare-paying adult. For the most up-to-date information on MetroCard prices, visit mta.info.
The easiest and quickest way to travel around NYC is by public subway train. Riding the subway is also a fantastic way to feel like a local during your stay in New York.
- Subway trains operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- For $2.75 (the cost of a single ride when using a pay-per-ride MetroCard), you can use the system citywide and transfer to other subway lines as many times as you need, as long as you don't exit the system through a turnstile.
- You can transfer from bus to subway or vice versa within two hours of using your MetroCard. (The free transfer does not apply if you leave a subway station through a turnstile and want to get on another subway line.)
- Subway stations on the same line are generally about 8 to 10 blocks apart.
- The subway does not travel to Staten Island. To get there, board the free Staten Island Ferry or take a bus.
You can get a free subway map from booth attendants or at any Official NYC Information Center, or download one from our Maps & Guides section. You can also visit the MTA's Trip Planner for a customized route (but it's still a good idea to carry a subway map when you're out and about). The Trip Planner offers routes for MTA bus lines as well. Subway lines sometimes change routes or temporarily stop running—especially on weekends and late nights during weekdays—so be sure to check for up-to-date MTA service information at mta.info or by calling 718-330-1234.
Public buses are a scenic way to see the City and reach destinations not convenient to a subway stop. It's also worth noting that mass transit is central to New York City's efforts to become more environmentally friendly, and a growing number of NYC's buses are hybrid-electric models.
- All City buses accept the MetroCard and exact coin change (no pennies or paper money).
- Check the route sign on the front of the bus before boarding to ensure it's the bus you want, and make sure you know if it's making all stops or only "limited" stops (the limited buses don't make all stops along the route).
- Enter and pay at the front of the bus. The exception to this is on SBS (Select Bus Service) routes, where payment kiosks are on the sidewalk next to the bus stop.
- A single fare will take you any distance until the end of the route.
- Many buses are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but be sure to check whether your route offers overnight service. A schedule and route map posted at the bus stop indicate when the bus should arrive and where it will go.
- Buses run about every 5 to 15 minutes, or at longer intervals, depending on the time of day.
- If you have a smartphone, you can scan the QR code at the bus stop to receive information about when the next bus is expected to arrive.
- Buses generally stop every other block on avenue routes and every block on cross-street routes. Late at night, from 11pm to 5am, bus drivers will stop wherever you ask them to—as long as they feel it's safe.
- MTA service information is available at mta.info or by calling 718-330-1234.
The MTA website tripplanner.mta.info is the most reliable source for up-to-date information about routes and fares.
With the swipe of a MetroCard, the Roosevelt Island Tram gives you an aerial view of Midtown East along its path from 59th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan to Roosevelt Island, located in the East River between Manhattan and Queens. The tram got its start in the early 1900s, taking passengers halfway across the Queensboro Bridge, where an elevator would then transport them down to the island. Today, it provides direct service for more than 2 million riders seven days a week (Sunday–Thursday, 6am–2am; Friday–Saturday, 6am–3:30am), with transfers available to MTA subways and buses. For more information, visit rioc.ny.gov.
The City's fleet of yellow taxicabs and green Boro Taxis is regulated by the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Grabbing a cab can be ideal when tired feet, heavy luggage or shopping bags weigh you down.
- Taxis are available 24 hours a day.
- Hail taxis whose numbers are illuminated on top—they're on duty.
- Board and exit the cab curbside.
- Hotel doormen can hail a cab for you; a $1 tip is customary for this service.
- Minimum metered fare is $2.50, which increases 50 cents every fifth of a mile or every minute, depending on how fast you're traveling; there is also a New York State tax surcharge of 50 cents per ride.
- An additional $1 surcharge is added to the meter Monday–Friday, 4–8pm, and a 50-cent surcharge is added at night, 8pm–6am.
- All taxis accept cash and most accept credit cards.
- Tip 15–20% at the end of a trip; tolls are extra and added to the metered fare.
- Dial 311 in NYC to inquire about lost items or other concerns; visit the Taxi and Limousine Commission website for more info and the organization's fare information page for additional fare details as well as specifics regarding different destinations.
If you're planning to drive around the City, use Google Maps to help you navigate New York City roads. Also, make sure you know where to park. You may want to use a site like bestparking.com to compare parking rates and locations from a number of companies or an app like SpotHero where you can book a parking spot in advance. Be aware, though, that the site's listings are not complete. If you need to rent a car, it may be worth considering Zipcar and Enterprise which offer car-share programs that allow members to book vehicles for as little as an hour and as long as a week, 24 hours a day.
Biking the City is good for the environment and your body, and can often be faster and cheaper than fuel-powered transportation. Cycling hotspots like Central, Riverside and Prospect Parks are great options for hitting the City on two wheels, as are bike paths along the Hudson and East Rivers and on many bridges—but all of NYC is bikeable. Check out Ride the City to find the safest route from point A to point B and Transportation Alternatives for NYC biking resources. In addition, the NYC Department of Transportation publishes a downloadable bike map and a guide to biking in the City.
Citi Bike is New York City's bike-sharing system, and it has gained a quick adoption since its inception in May 2013. There are thousands of bikes at hundreds of stations, available 24/7 every day of the year. Unlock a bike at any station, ride wherever you want and check in the bike at any other station. Daily, weekly and annual passes are available.
Plenty of operations rent bikes by the half day and full day, with many such places located near the major biking destinations mentioned above. Some, like Bike and Roll New York and Blazing Saddles, also offer guided tours or suggested itineraries for independent exploration.
If you want someone else to do the pedaling for you, hop in a pedicab (sometimes called a "bike taxi" or "bicycle rickshaw"). You won't have to look too hard in the busier parts of Manhattan—the drivers aren't shy about offering their services.
As a waterfront city, New York is home to an extensive ferry system that can get you uptown, downtown and across the rivers to Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and New Jersey.
- The Staten Island Ferry is a staple of many morning commutes—and taking a ride on it is a must-do on any sightseeing itinerary. In use since 1905, the route between Staten Island and Manhattan's Whitehall Ferry Terminal is a glorious 5-mile, 25-minute mini-cruise with great views of the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor and Lower Manhattan—and it's free.
- New York Water Taxi is another popular aquatic shuttle. Hop-on and hop-off stops include Pier 84 (at West 44th Street), Christopher Street, the World Financial Center and Pier 1 in DUMBO. Check nywatertaxi.com for information on schedules and package deals.
- NY Waterway operates commuter ferries between points in Manhattan and New Jersey, and harbor and sightseeing cruises. The East River Ferry also provides a refreshing alternative to more traditional public transportation in the City (and breathtaking skyline views), with regular service to seven locations across three boroughs. A 74-foot ferry departs every 20 to 30 minutes from approximately 7am to 8:30pm on weekdays and every 45 minutes from approximately 9:30am to 9pm on weekends. Check the official schedule to confirm, as departure times vary in different seasons.
Seeing New York by air is an unforgettable experience, and the City offers helicopter tours for the adventurous and just plain curious. Here are some choices:
Liberty Helicopters (800-542-9933) runs several tours of the City; Helicopter Flight Services, Inc. (212-355-0801), will personalize sightseeing tours and charters; and New York Helicopter Charter, Inc. (212-361-6060), allows you to choose from three options: the Liberty Tour, the Central Park Tour and the Grand Tour, which combines the first two tours and also flies over many other essential NYC attractions.
New York City is one of America's top cruise ports. Passengers from New York City can cruise to the Caribbean year-round and may also cruise to the Northeast, Canada, Bermuda, England and many other destinations around the world.
Recent infrastructure improvements ensure smooth sailing for the cruise passengers who pass through New York City. In Manhattan, the renovated Manhattan Cruise Terminal welcomes some of the world's most prestigious ships, while the state-of-the-art Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook is the port for Cunard and Princess Cruise ships, including the luxurious Queen Mary 2 and the Royal Princess. Below is a listing of information for each terminal.
- New York Cruise Terminal
Piers 88, 90 and 92
711 Twelfth Ave. (at W. 55th St.)
- Brooklyn Cruise Terminal
Pier 12 at Clinton Wharf
72 Bowne St. (bet. Van Brunt and Imlay Sts.)
If you're bringing a dog or cat along on your NYC adventure, you'll have no trouble getting around—but it's important to know the rules.
Only small-size pets in carriers are allowed on MTA buses, subways and trains, as well as in taxis. Properly harnessed service animals are also permitted on mass transit. Taxi drivers may, at their discretion, pick up dogs without carry cases. The City is also home to several pet-taxi companies that can help transport pets that are not allowed on ordinary public transit.
- Pet Chauffeur: 212-696-9744
- K9 Cars: 718-683-2152
RSG and DREAM General Questions
Bel Hanson, Conference Manager
Source: NYC The Official Guide