Transfers & transports
How to move around town & airport transfer options
The three airports in New York are very busy, so I recommend to decide, and book if possible, the transfer that best suits your needs:
FROM JFK AIRPORT
The cheapest option: by AirTrain + Subway
The AirTrain works 24/7 and stops at every terminal of the airport. You'll need a MetroCard to pay. The AirTrain connects with the Jamaica Station Line where you can take the E, J and Z lines of the subway, and with the Howard Beach line, where you can take the A line. The AirTrain costs $5 and a single subway ride is $2.75.
The fastest option with public transport: AirTrain + LIRR
You should take the AirTrain to the Jamaica Station Line and from there take the LIRR train and go to Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan. The AirTrain costs $5, the LIRR costs $10 and you should add the cost of the subway/taxi/bus to where you'll be staying. This will take approximately 35 minutes.
The most comfortable option: Shared Van Service
There are different companies that offer a door-to-door shuttle service in shared vans, so it's as if it were a taxi but cheaper. The cost depends on where you're going, but calculate $20 per person, and the time depends on whether the van is full of passengers or not, and if you're the first ones to be dropped off or the last ones. One of the companies is GoAirLink
And the other company is called SuperShuttle.
FROM NEWARK AIRPORT
The cheapest option: AirTrain
This train connects with NJ Transit and Amtrak trains which will bring you into Manhattan. With just approximately $11.55 you can get from the airport to Penn Station. Service is available from 5:00 until 2:00.
The most comfortable option: Private Shuttles
Go Airlink NYC has shared service at $12 per person or private service between $64-133 per transfer. Available 24hrs.
SuperShuttle provides door to door service and the price range is $15 - $19, depending on the destination.
A bus option: Newark Liberty Airport Express
This bus will take you to some center stations, like Grand Central Terminal, Bryant Park and Port Authority Bus Terminal. The price is $16 for one-way and $28 for a round-trip, they leave every 15-30 minutes for midtown Manhattan and every 2 hours to downtown Manhattan, and it takes approximately 1 hour to get there.
FROM LA GUARDIA AIRPORT
The cheapest option: Q70 Limited Bus + Metro
Cheapest but definitely not the fastest one. It will cost you $2.75 per person after you pay $1.00 for a Metrocard and it can take up to 2 hours. Also, I wouldn't recommend it if you have lots of luggage because you'll have to carry them up and down stairs a couple of times.
The most comfortable: Airport Shuttles
There are different companies that offer a door-to-door shuttle service in shared vans, so it's as if it were a taxi but cheaper. The cost depends on where you're going, but calculate $20 per person, and the time depends on wether the van is full of passengers or not, and if you're the first ones to be dropped off or the last ones. One of the companies that offer this service is SuperShuttle:
And the other one is New York Airporter:
It’s pretty easy to move around New York, you just have to choose your way :)
Door to door options:
Taxis: they are everywhere in the city, but keep in mind that if you are in rush hour the traffic gets unbareable and it could take a lot of time to get somewhere close by.
Uber and Cabify: works like a taxi but you ask for it from the app. It's normally a little bit cheaper than taxis.
The fastest way: Subway
Subway: this is definitely the best way. At first it may seem difficult to use it, but once you figure it out you'll see it's not difficult. You just have to find out the Letter and Number of the line you have to catch and then figure out if you're Uptown or Downtown bound or Brooklyn or Harlem bound, depending in which direction you're going to.
To ride the metro there are 2 types of MTA MetroCard that can be bought in station machines:
- Pay-Per-Ride: you can buy an MTA Card, charge it with certain amount of money and you will be discounted every time you use the metro or bus. If the money runs out you can always charge some more.
- Unlimited Card: it has unlimited trips but it goes for days, for example 7 days.
The most comfy & Panoramic way: Hop On- Hop Off buses
Perfect option for those who don’t like crowded metros or buses. I recommend the Big Bus company, they offer tickets for 1 or 2 consecutive days and have different routes you can choose from.
There's also the City Sightseeing company for Hop-On, Hop-Off buses, and there are two options to get tickets for them:
Riding those buses are included in the Flex Pass and Multi-Day Pass, so you could buy them and have the transport included, or you could buy the ticket for the bus separately, which includes a ferry ride and entrance to the One World Observatory.
Have you just started to plan your trip? Too many things to decide? Too long do it all by yourself? Special needs or wishes? Then, you should plan your trip with a local to get tailored travel plans & advices.