If you’re searching for the best way to get to New York City from the airport (or vise versa) then you’ve come to the right place.
There’s nothing worse than getting ripped off on taxi/uber fare when public transportation is an option. The biggest challenge with public transportation is having the time, but if you’re adequately prepared then you can save a lot of $$ by opting for that option.
Read on to learn about the various ways you can get to NYC from the airport.
Getting to New York City from the Airport
Getting to NYC from the airport (3 options)
There are three airports that service New York City and sadly, none are conveniently located.
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in Queens
- LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in Queens
- Newark International Airport (EWR) in New Jersey
But have no fear, there are three fairly quick options to get to New York City from the airport: taxi, Uber/Lyft and public transportation. Other options are available, but I haven’t personally used them so I’m sticking with the basics.
Classic NYC Taxi
What better way to make an entrance to the Big Apple than arriving via yellow taxi? The price for taxis varies between airports and we’ll cover average costs from each airport. However, it’s worth noting that prices range throughout the day, based on demand and traffic.
Let’s keep things real, arriving via taxi is the easiest way to get to NYC from the airport — but it’s also the most expensive. Prior to moving to New York City, I only took taxis during work trips or if I was traveling in a group of four and could split the cost of the fare.
Uber & Lyft
- Uber and Lyft are great options and sometimes cheaper than taxis, depending on time of day. I usually take Uber when traveling for business.
- Public transportation tends to be my preferred method because it is the cheapest. What’s more, NYC has a great public transportation system (admittedly it’s hard to find anyone that praises their city’s public transportation, but there’s no denying NYC has the best in the country).
Manhattan to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
Taxis start with a flat rate of $60 before fees start adding up (toll, tip and possible $5 rush-hour fee). The ride takes averages 45 minutes, depending on traffic and drop off point.
Uber/Lyft ranges between $40 – $60, depending on time of day and takes approximately an hour.
Public Transportation (1.5 hours): $5 per person.
- Airport to NYC: From JFK airport, take the AirTrain to Jamaica Station, and then connect with subway trains. This is my preferred method because it is the cheapest.
Tip: You will not pay your fare for the AirTrain at the airport terminals, you will pay when you get off at Jamaica Station. This is confusing because normally you pay before boarding, but that’s not the case here.
Manhattan to La Guardia Airport (LGA)
Taxis from La Guardia don’t have a flat fee (like JFK) and will range between $35-$50 depending on the time of day. The ride can be as quick as 30 minute or upward of an hour, depending on traffic.
Uber/Lyft will run $35 – $60, depending on time of day and destination. The ride can be as quick as 30 minute or upward of an hour, depending on traffic.
Public Transportation (1.5 hours): Even though La Guardia is technically the closest airport to Manhattan, there is no direct rail linking La Guardia to NYC.
- Airport to NYC: Upon leaving the terminal, take the Q70 bus to the subway station at Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave. At the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave Subway Station, take the E, M, F, R and 7 trains to reach your destination in Manhattan.
Manhattan to Newark International Airport (EWR)
Taxis from Newark Airport to Manhattan will run $70, plus tolls and tip. The ride takes about an hour, depending on traffic.
Uber/Lyft will run $50- $60, depending on time of day and destination. The ride takes about an hour, depending on traffic.
Public Transportation: $12.50 per person. Newark Airport is the furthest away from Manhattan. However, traveling to Manhattan is easy with the Airtrain.
- Airport to NYC: Upon exiting the terminal, take the Airtrain to Airtrain Station, where you will connect to the New Jersey Transit train to New York’s Penn Station. From Penn Station, take the subway to reach your destination.
Take note: If you are catching a red eye, the NJ Transit train does not run between 2am and 5am, nightly.
Best NYC airport to fly into
Honestly, it doesn’t matter which NYC airport you fly into because all three are 1-1.5 hours from Manhattan. I suggest finding the cheapest flight and booking that way. With that said, my favorite airport in JFK, it feels like the most efficient airport in New York City to fly into.
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Until next time,