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
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.
When to take a taxi from the airport: Traveling with a lot of luggage, traveling in a group of 3+ people, flying in outside of rush hour traffic. Also, tipping the taxi driver is customary in the US, expect to tip 10-20%
Uber and Lyft are great options and sometimes cheaper than taxis, depending on time of day. I suggest checking the rates for Uber/Lyft while waiting on your luggage before deciding which mode of transportation to take from the airport to New York City.
Public transportation tends to be the preferred method to get in NYC from the airport. NYC has a great public transportation system and it doesn't hurt that it's the cheapest option!
John F. Kennedy International Airport is located in Queens, about 14 miles from the heart of Manhattan. On average, getting to Manhattan from JFK will take about 1 – 1.5 hours, depending on the time of day.
The great thing about taking a taxi from JFK to Manhattan is that there’s a flat rate system in place. In fact, JFK is the only airport that has flat taxi rates to get to Manhattan from the airport. You can expect to pay around $75-$80 from the airport to Manhattan. To see the breakdown of charges and fees, follow the link below.
Much like taxis, expect an Uber or Lyft from the airport to Manhattan to take 1-1.5 hours, depending on traffic. My rule of thumb is to check Uber/Lyft prices while I’m waiting on my luggage. If the prices are under $80, I’ll probably order the service, but if the cost is $80+ I’ll take a taxi to the city.
Taking the subway from JFK to Manhattan is a two-step process. -Step 1: Take the subway from Manhattan to Jamaica Station (where the AirTrain is located) – Step 2: Take the AirTrain directly to your terminal at JFK
Like JFK, LaGauardia Airport is also located in Queens, but is much closer, only 5 miles from Manhattan which (sometimes) makes it easier to get to.
Taxis from LaGuardia to Manhattan 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. Just like taxis, the ride can be as quick as 30 minute or upward of an hour, depending on traffic. The cost of getting to Manhattan from LaGaurdia is roughly about the same, regardless of if you use a taxi or Uber/Lyft.
Even though LaGuardia is technically the closest airport to Manhattan, there is no direct train between Manhattan and LaGuardia, as such you will need to use the bus and AirTrain
Unlike the other two New York City airports, Newark International Airport is located in New Jersey (the state next to New York). The airport is about 11 miles from the heart of Manhattan.
Taxis from Newark International Airport to Manhattan range $50-70 + tolls and tip. A rush hour surcharge of $5 is imposed weekdays between 6am to 9am and 4pm to 7pm, and weekends between 12pm to 8pm. The ride takes about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic.
To get into New York City from the airport (EWR) using Uber/ Lyft it'll run you $50- $60, depending on time of day and destination. The ride takes about an hour, depending on traffic.
The cheapest way to get to New York City from the airport is to take the AirTrain + New Jersey Transit. Your trip will begin by taking the AirTrain to AirTrain Station, where you will get off to hop on the New Jersey Transit train. If you want the full breakdown, follow the link below and read about your next step.
Honestly, it doesn’t matter which NYC airport you fly into because all three are located about 1-1.5 hours from Manhattan. JFK airport is preferred because it seems to be the most efficient (shorter lines, etc.). But rule of thumb is sticking to the cheapest flights!
Check out the complete guide which includes prices you can expect & helpful maps to make your arrival as stress-free as possible.