Traveling by air to New York City is pretty easy, thanks to three international airports within a short geographic distance: JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty. No matter which airport you travel to, you’ll find it’s pretty easy to get to wherever you’re staying in the city, since there are plenty of public, private and rentable transportation options available. Here are some basic facts about getting into NYC from each of its airports, as well as some basic tips about NYC travel.
Getting to NYC from Newark Liberty Airport
Newark Liberty Airport (EWR) is actually located across the Hudson River from NYC in Newark, NJ. But, it’s a convenient choice when flying into the city, and there are plenty of simple ways to get to where you’re staying once your plane arrives.
Once you pick up your baggage at baggage claim, you can take the Air Train, which connects you to New Jersey Transit trains, which ultimately bring you into Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan. Get on the AirTrain at the Newark Airport Station, then transfer to the NJ Transit Train to Penn Station.
Regular taxis take passengers back and forth from Newark to New York. Find a yellow cab, and you can get a ride — with a metered fare — to wherever you’re going. Fares from Newark tend to cost around $70, depending on traffic and where you’re going, and you can pay with cash or a credit card.
There are many shuttles that provide service between the airport and New York City. One of the most popular is the Newark Airport Express, which runs between the airport and popular destinations in town like Grand Central Station or Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Most people who travel to NYC opt not to rent a car, because traffic can be heavy and stressful. Also, parking is hard to find and expensive. However, you can rent a car and drive into Manhattan from Newark. Follow the signs to rental cars, and then go to the company you’ve reserved with.
Getting to NYC from LaGuardia Airport
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is the smaller of NYC’s two airports, and it’s located in Queens. Thanks to LaGuardia’s proximity to Manhattan and its relative size, you’ll find it simple to get to your destination in the city. Here are the best ways to do so:
Of all the airports in the NYC area, public transportation is the trickiest from LaGuardia. You can take the M60 bus from the airport, which will take you to the 125th street station in Manhattan. From there, you can access many subway lines.
Yellow taxis also wait in line at LaGuardia to take passengers to where they are going. Hop in the taxi line, then tell your driver your destination. You’ll take a metered ride into the city and pay whatever the meter says at the end (you can use cash or a credit card).
From LaGuardia, you can use on of the many popular ridesharing apps to book a ride into the city. Order a ride from the app, then read the directions about where you should go for pickup. Ridesharing can be a cheaper alternative to a regular taxi.
Private shuttle services run from LaGuardia and can pick you up and drop you off at your hotel. These are usually shared shuttles, and it can take a while to get to your destination, since the shuttle will have to drop other riders off.
Again, renting a car can be a headache if you’re spending time in the city, but rental cars are available at LaGuardia. Head to the counter and grab your car, then expect about a 30-45 minute drive into Manhattan.
John F. Kennedy Airport
John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) is New York’s largest international airport. The airport is also located in Queens, but it’s pretty far from Manhattan. Here’s how to get into the heart of the city if you fly into JFK.
Public Transportation is pretty easy from JFK. Get on the AirTrain, which will take you to the subway. Then, choose the subway line that will take you closest to your destination in Manhattan. You can take the E, J, Z or A trains.
Take a regular yellow cab into the city from JFK. There is a flat $52 from the airport — plus tolls. Wait in line to grab a cab, and then the cab can drop you off at your specific destination in the city.
Many shuttles run from JFK to Manhattan. One of the most popular is the NYC Airporter, which takes people from hotels between 23rd and 63rd streets to the airport for free. You can also take this shuttle for a fee to popular destinations like Grand Central or Penn Station.
Again, rental cars are discouraged on any trip to NYC. But, if you’re planning to drive or leave the city for an excursion, you can rent one at JFK. It can take an hour to get into downtown from JFK, so be prepare for a long drive and potential heavy traffic, depending on when you arrive.