New York State travel information

New York State travel information

Travel to New York

You can fly into a number of airports in New York City, although in order to explore other regions within New York State, you might like to consider the option of flying into somewhere like Buffalo Niagara International or Albany International and exploring the state from there, working your way back down to New York City for the finale.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) , Queens, New York City. About twenty miles east of Manhattan, it is also only 23 miles to Jones Beach State Park in Long Island, so if you want swim off your jetlag, use JFK. This is also the easiest airport if you staying in uptown Manhattan. For onward travel into Manhattan and beyond:
  • AirTrain JFK: $7.50 (children under 5 are free) AirTrain links the airport to the subway and Long Island Rail Road which leads you into Penn Station in Manhattan. And if you fancy going straight to Long Island, you can just change in Jamaica, and head to one of the shoreline stations such as Bay Shore from there.
  • Subway: Get the A subway stop at the Howard Beach/JFK Airport station or the E, J or Z subway stop at the Sutphin Blvd./Archer Ave./JFK Airport station. For more information on which subway stop you need, see the MTA subway map (Metropolitan Transportation Authority)
  • Bus: NYC Airporter is a great option if you are too tired to get your head around planes and trains, and also if you want to get a train straight out of the city again, as it stops at Grand Central Station and Penn Station railway stations, as well as Port Authority Bus Station. They run from 5am - 11.30pm every 20-30 mins, and cost from $16 one way.
  • Taxi: Approximately $50.00, plus bridge and tunnel tolls and tip. Give it about 30-60mins to get into the city centre.
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) New Jersey, on the other side of the Hudson River, west of Manhattan. This is perfect if you are staying in downtown Manhattan. For onward travel into Manhattan and beyond:
  • AirTrain Newark and Amtrak: Costs vary by destination. AirTrain links the airport to NJ Transit, the rail company which takes you into New York Penn Station (note: not to be confused with New Jersey Penn Station which it passes through en route to NYC).You can also travel into New York's Penn Station, and beyond, with Amtrak, so this airport is a good option if you want to get straight out of town using Amtrak trains. 45 to 90 minutes to Midtown Manhattan.
  • Shuttle bus: NYC Airporter is, as per the JFK option above, a great way into the city if you can't face the train straight away. From $24 one way into Manhattan, with stops at Grand Central and Penn stations as well as Port Authority bus station.
  • Taxi: Approximately $60 to $75 into Manhattan, plus bridge and tunnel tolls and tip; 45 to 60 minutes to midtown Manhattan.
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is also in Queens, New York City and mostly serves other domestic airports. For onward travel into Manhattan and beyond:
  • Bus: As per the other airports above, NYC Airporter is a good option.
  • Taxi: Approximately $29-$37 plus bridge and tunnel tolls and tip; 20 to 25 minutes to Midtown Manhattan.
Albany International Airport (ALB) is in Albany, the capital city of New York State. Well located for travelling south along the Hudson Valley as well as north into the Adirondacks and beyond. There is a shuttle bus from the airport into Albany city centre where you can pick up an Amtrak train which links all over the state, or you can hire a car here to get around and return it to another airport, or just return it here and explore further south using train or bus. An excellent long distance bus service, The Adirondack Trailways, also serves the airport taking you to towns and cities such as Buffalo, Glen Falls, Lake Placid, New Paltz. Lake George, Utica and Syracuse.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) is in Buffalo and a perfect stop if you want to explore New York State starting at its tip and working down to its toe. This is also the best airport for visiting Niagara Falls. Use the Metro Bus Service to head into downtown Buffalo, only $2.50 each way. There is also a brilliant, and cheap, public transport system in Buffalo of trams, trains and buses.

Citibikes in Manahttan and train running through the Hudson Valley Region, New York State. Photos by Catherine Mack

Travel within New York

  • In New York City, walking or using the new Citibike scheme are both great options, however in terms of public transport, the subway is very easy to use. Buy a Metrocard on arrival and top it up as you go along. If you are staying for a week, the seven day card is a cheaper option. You can also use it on buses . Click here for a bus map of Manhattan. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's website is easy to navigate and has all other information on travel within The Bronx, Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn as well as Manhattan.
  • For travel to Long Island, the Long Island Railroad out of Penn Station, New York, is the best option, covering the north and south shores, and going all the way down to the tips. Regular and good value service.
  • For the Hudson Valley, take the Metro-North Railroad going out of Grand Central Station. The Hudson Line is a beautiful journey clinging to the East side of the Hudson River as it travels north, as far as Poughkeepsie. A commuter service, this is also good value. The Harlem Line travels north through Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties , and is particularly popular with hikers starting the Appalachian Trail, as there is a stop just for that purpose.
  • Amtrak is the national railway which offers an excellent inter-city service. However, the routes are fairly limited, heading north to the Canadian Border as far as Montreal, or heading to the North West to Buffalo. You can buy an Amtrak Rail Pass if you are planning more than eight long distance journeys during your stay, but otherwise a regular ticket is best, and it is worth keeping an eye out for their Smart Fares or special offers. Amtrak also has an app with stations, routes and booking facility.
  • Greyhound Bus travels throughout New York State, their Neon Service going north from New York City up as far as Toronto in Canada. Travel from New York City to Buffalo in eight hours, at a price of about $50, for example.
  • Trailways buses are tourist friendly, servicing primarily the Adirondacks, but now they have expanded to a lot of other New York destinations. A return trip from Albany to Lake Placid, for example, costs approximately $70 and takes four hours.
Find more need to know facts about New York State
Responsible Travel would like to thank the New York State Tourist Board for their sponsorship of this guide
Written by Catherine Mack
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