For those traveling by air, the City is served by seven area airports. Of these, three are major hubs: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA) are both in Queens, while Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) is located in neighboring New Jersey. These three airports provide access to the City via taxis, buses, vans, subways, trains and private limo car services.
John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK)
JFK is 15 miles from Midtown Manhattan. It handles the most international traffic of any airport in the United States—more than 406,000 flights and 50.4 million–plus passengers annually. About 7,600 weekly domestic arrivals/departures connect to JFK, and 80 airlines serve its six passenger terminals.
Getting to Manhattan from JFK:
- Taxi: the flat-rate fare is $52.80 (excluding tolls and gratuity); 50–60 minutes to/from Midtown. 212-NYC-TAXI.
- Subway: $7.75 ($5 for AirTrain JFK and $2.75 for subway); 60–75 minutes to Midtown Manhattan on the A subway line at the Howard Beach–JFK Airport station, or the E, J, Z subway lines and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train at the Sutphin Blvd./Archer Ave. station.
- Train: $5 AirTrain JFK connects to LIRR Jamaica Station, $10 peak/$7.25 off-peak train to Penn Station (NOTE: $6 surcharge for tickets purchased on board train). On Saturday and Sunday, the fare to Penn Station is $4.25. The trip to Penn Station is 20 minutes (not including AirTrain ride).
- Public bus: $2.75 (with free transfer to subway line into Manhattan); 60–75 minutes to Midtown. The Q3 bus at JFK connects to the F subway line, the B5 connects to the 3 and 4 lines, and the Q10 bus connects to the E and F lines.
- Private bus & van companies: from $16–20.
- Higher prices for private limo car services.
LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
Jackson Heights, Queens | laguardiaairport.com | 718-533-3400
LaGuardia is on the northern shore of Queens and is the closest airport to Midtown Manhattan at about 8 miles away. It handles domestic US flights and shuttles, and Canadian and Caribbean air traffic, with 338,500-plus flights and 26.7 million passengers annually. Its four passenger terminals serve more than 6,955 weekly arrivals/departures.
Getting to Manhattan from LaGuardia:
- Taxi: Metered fare is approximately $30–50 (excluding tolls and gratuity); 30 minutes to/from Midtown. There is a $1 surcharge for trips taken 4–8pm on weekdays and a 50-cent surcharge charged for trips taken 8pm–6am daily. 212-NYC-TAXI.
- Public bus: fare is $2.75 for the Select Bus Service M60 between LaGuardia and Manhattan’s Upper West Side (106th Street and Broadway), with stops at all major Manhattan subway lines (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, A, B, C, D); 45–60 minutes. The express Q70 bus goes to the 82nd St./Jackson Heights subway station (for the 7 subway line) and the Jackson Heights/Roosevelt Ave. subway station (for 7, E, F, M or R lines); add 15–20 minutes for the subway ride.
- Private bus and van companies: $13–20.
- Higher prices for private limo car services.
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
Newark Liberty welcomes more than 414,700 flights and almost 35 million passengers annually. There are more than 29 international and domestic carriers, with more than 7,700 weekly domestic arrivals/departures. The airport is across the Hudson River from New York City, 16 miles and 45–60 minutes from Midtown Manhattan.
Getting to Manhattan from Newark Liberty:
- Taxi: Service to Midtown is permitted only via New Jersey–regulated taxis. Metered fares range $60–75 (excluding tolls and gratuity). During weekday rush hours (6–9am and 4–7pm) and on weekends noon–8pm, there is a $5 surcharge to anywhere in New York State, except Staten Island. Seniors (ages 62 and older) receive a 10% discount. New Jersey taxis add a $5.50 surcharge to all credit card transactions. Newark Taxi Commission, 973-733-8912; Elizabeth Taxi Commission, 908-820-4000, ext. 4178. NOTE: When traveling to Newark Liberty from Midtown, taxi service is via NYC’s regulated taxis. Metered fares range $69–75, plus a $5 surcharge (excluding tolls and gratuity). 212-NYC-TAXI.
- Train: AirTrain Newark is free between EWR terminals. Purchase a flat-rate $12.50 ticket for a connection on an NJ Transit or Amtrak train into New York’s Penn Station. Note: Retain your $12.50 receipt to show to conductors on each train connection.
- Private bus and van companies: $16–20.
- Higher prices for private limo car services.
Other Ways to Get Here
In addition to nearby airports, New York City is easily accessible via an extensive network of bridges, tunnels, ferries, trains, light rail, buses, heliports and even cruise ports. Driving to the City is an option, but you certainly won’t need a car to get around—the fastest, easiest way to reach virtually every NYC attraction is by foot and the City’s energy-efficient 24-hour public transit system.
Getting Around New York City
The best way to get around NYC is through a combination of walking and mass transit. NYC’s extensive system of subways and buses are operated by the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority). The system is inexpensive, operates 24/7 and provides a fun way to extend sightseeing, and it gets you where you need to go—fast. Other interborough connections include ferries and even an aerial tramway.
Getting an MTA MetroCard is your first step to navigating the City by subway or bus. A MetroCard is required to enter the subway system, while exact change or a MetroCard can be used on buses. You can purchase a MetroCard at any subway station from multilingual machines (which accept cash, and credit and debit cards) or booth attendants.
Riders have three options for fare payment; a single ride ticket, a pay-per-ride MetroCard or an unlimited-ride MetroCard. A single-ride ticket costs $3, is sold only at vending machines and must be used within two hours of purchase. For MetroCards, there is a $1 fee to purchase so be sure to retain it (and check the expiration date on the back of the card—the MTA will issue a new MetroCard for no charge if your card has expired or is damaged). With a pay-per-ride MetroCard, the base fare for a subway or bus ride is $2.75. If a value over $5.50 is added to the card, an additional 11 percent bonus is added as well. Below are some samples with the bonus:
Buy a $ 9.91 MetroCard ($11 value) 4 rides
Buy a $19.82 MetroCard ($22 value) 8 rides
Buy a $39.64 MetroCard ($44 value) 16 rides
An unlimited MetroCard enables users to ride all subways and buses as often as they like and costs $31 for seven days or $116.50 for 30 days. Additional discounts are available for seniors age 65 and older, and disabled riders. For a map of New York City’s subway and bus system, click here.
The City's fleet of taxicabs is regulated by the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC). Taxicabs operate 24 hours, provide door-to-door service and accept cash or credit cards. The City's famous yellow fleet is primarily seen throughout Midtown but can be hailed for trips to other boroughs and even to other states. NYC's new apple-green Boro Taxis can pick up hails in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens (excluding the airports) and Staten Island, plus northern Manhattan (north of West 110th Street and East 96th Street); they are not authorized to pick up any trips elsewhere in Manhattan.
To hail a taxi, stand at the curb and look for a yellow cab with an illuminated white number on top. Off-duty cabs display the illuminated words “Off Duty” on the same sign. Board and exit the cab curbside.
For yellow or green taxis, there is a minimum meter fare of $3, and prices increase based on the distance and duration of the trip (assume prices are higher during peak rush-hour traffic). Surcharges apply to the meter price nightly, 8pm–6am, and Monday–Friday, 4–8pm. Drivers appreciate a 15–20 percent gratuity at the end of a trip. Bridge and tunnel tolls are not included in the taxi's metered fare. For further details, visit nyc.gov/taxi or call 212-NEW-YORK from outside the City or 311 when in town.
Other Helpful Information
- Hotel doorman: $3 for hailing a cab
- Porters and bellhops: $1–$2 per bag
- Maids: $1–$2 per person, per day of your visit, or as much as $5 per day
- Waitstaff and bartenders: 15–20 percent of total bill
- Taxi drivers: 15–20 percent of total fare
- Tips for other service personnel, such as theater ushers, tour guides and coat-check staff, are always appreciated.
It’s worth noting that if you’re having drinks at a bar, bartenders typically expect a $1 tip for every drink they serve you. Later, when the bar gets crowded, you’ll be glad that the bartender remembers you!
New York City is in the Eastern Standard Time Zone (Greenwich Mean Time minus five hours during daylight saving time, from March through November, and minus six hours the rest of the year). Check here for the current date and time in NYC.
If you're visiting New York City from outside the United States, you may need a visa to enter the country. For details, visit the US State Department’s visa information website.
New York City weather can vary from day to day, and even morning to afternoon, but a guide to the seasons can help you plan your wardrobe. Spring (March–May) in New York City brings budding flowers, light winds and rain, with the season's temperatures ranging from cool to very warm. Summer (June–August) is characterized by bright, sunny, hot days and later sunsets, sometimes accompanied by cool breezes in areas near the water. The fall season (September–November) is cool and crisp, so it's wise to wear layers. The winter months (December–February) are cold and snowy with less daylight, though the sky is often sunny, blue and clear.
Special Service Needs
New York City is committed to ensuring accessibility for everyone with special needs, and has equipped all buses with lifts for those in wheelchairs and those who have difficulty climbing stairs. In addition, many subway stations include elevators, ramps, visual display signs, accessible public telephones, and tactile and audio features on vending machines. Subways also have automated voices indicating stops, and all buses and select subway stations are wheelchair accessible. Many street-hail taxicabs accommodate wheelchairs. To request a wheelchair-accessible taxi, call the accessible dispatch center at 646-599-9999; text a request to 646-400-0789; or download the free mobile app “WOW Taxi” at the Apple App Store. Passengers with disabilities are eligible for reduced fares on most mass-transit trips. For more information about NYC accessibility, call 212-NEW-YORK from outside the City or 311 while in town; contact the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (212-788 2830, TTY: 212-504-4115, nyc.gov/mopd); or visit NYC & Company’s accessibility section.
TV Show Tapings
Attending the tapings of popular television shows filmed in New York City is fun and free. It’s best to arrange obtaining tickets as far in advance as possible, depending on the individual show’s policies. Still, many shows have standby options if you’re willing to wait. Click here for the addresses and schedules of TV shows—and your chance to say hi to people back home on national television.
Additional Fun Activities
Whether you’re here for business or pleasure, New York City is an exciting destination for all. The City is home to diverse neighborhoods, historic landmarks, glamorous clubs and some of the best museums in the world.
New York City comprises several islands, and its waters are home to an extensive ferry system to take you uptown and downtown, as well as across the rivers between boroughs. Perhaps the best-known transport is the Staten Island Ferry. It’s primarily a commuter shuttle between Staten Island and Lower Manhattan, but it’s also a wonderful 5.2-mile, 20-minute mini-cruise with great views of the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor and Lower Manhattan—plus it’s free. Other shuttles include New York Water Taxi and NY Waterway and other services are available, too, such as harbor and sightseeing cruises like Statue Cruises, operating direct service from The Battery to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
If you love to shop, choices abound. Midtown offers top-name fashion spots like Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and other big-name department stores; SoHo, TriBeCa and NoLIta feature celebrity designer goods, handmade jewelry and artwork; and Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a fun place to find one-of-a-kind vintage apparel in charming boutiques. For culture and entertainment, consider NYC’s remarkable museums and the bright lights of Broadway at the Theatre District in Times Square.
Night owls can party at cocktail lounges in Chelsea and dancing dens in the Meatpacking District. There’s also cabaret and karaoke in Times Square, comedy clubs in Greenwich Village and Long Island City, and rock and roll venues on the Lower East Side.
Foodies who want to savor delicious, authentic cuisines from every region in the world should head to Astoria or Flushing in Queens, the East Village in Manhattan, and Cobble Hill in Brooklyn.
A visit to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, the Mets’ Citi Field in Queens or their minor-league teams—the Staten Island Yankees and Brooklyn Cyclones—is a must for all baseball lovers.
While you’re in NYC, follow NYCGO on Twitter and Facebook for daily events, tips and deals. Or head to nycgo.com for a list of mobile applications you can download on your smartphone to help you explore NYC with ease.