Getting around in New York, the best means of transport

New York is the leading tourist destination in the United States. Eccessive and cosmopolitan at the same time, the Big Apple is an inexhaustible source of energy where life and time never stop!

However, it is not always easy to choose the right means of transport to optimize your visits! Follow the guide to find out how to get around in New York and what are the best means of transport.

New York neighborhoods

New York is located in the northeastern United States, in New York State and on the Atlantic coast. The city has more than 8 million inhabitants.

The 5 districts that make it up are: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The bronx e Staten Island. Note that Harlem it is not a district, but it is part of Manhattan. The 5 districts have their own identity and all emanate a particular and different atmosphere.

The main airport serving New York is John F. Kennedy, located east of the city, approximately 20 miles from downtown New York. From there, there are several options for getting to one of the New York neighborhoods.
Find out how to get to the city from John F. Kennedy International Airport ...


Getting around in New York

Getting around by car in New York

The car is not really recommended for visiting the different districts of New York. The traffic in the metropolis is very chaotic, parking spaces are rare and very expensive, especially in the streets of Manhattan. Traffic jams are numerous in the city center, especially at the exit of the offices. It is better to favor other modes of travel, such as the city's excellent public transport network. You will need the car instead if you plan to visit other destinations besides New York.

If you only have a few days in New York you will not have time to leave the city. If, on the other hand, your trip lasts more than 5 days, don't hesitate to rent a car to visit other cities near New York. You could visit places like Washington DC, the Niagara Falls Philadelphia.

Niagara Falls are north of New York on the Canadian border, while Philadelphia and Washington are south of New York.

  • New York –  Philadelphia = 1 h 45 min
  • New York –  Washington = 3 h 45 min
  • New York –  Niagara Falls = 6 h 30 min
Getting around New York by car -

Getting around At New York by meter 

Called the Subway (and not Underground as in London), the New York subway is one of the largest and most developed in the world and also one of the oldest (the first line was built in 1904).

The metro represents the cheapest and fastest way to get around New York.
The network has 24 lines and nearly 500 stations, runs 24 hours a day and is coupled to the bus network. Fast and safe, the New York subway makes it easy for you to reach your destination by following these tips:

  • Easy to understand despite the large number of lines, you just have to be vigilant at first with the trains going to Uptown (northwards) and those who go to Downtown (to the south).
  • Free maps are available at the ticket offices.
  • Attention, some trains are "Express" and do not stop at all stations.
    Un EXPRESS train it only stops at certain stations, marked with a white dot on the map. A local train instead it stops at all stations. Therefore, at the stations indicated by a black dot, only a local train stops, while at those indicated with a white dot both LOCAL and EXPRESS trains stop.
  • A trip (subway or bus) costs $ 2,5. If you are staying a week, it is best to opt for one 7-Day Unlimited Pass, which entitles you to unlimited travel on the subway and bus, for 7 days, for approximately $ 30. New York Subway Official Site

Two main disadvantages of the subway are:

  1. It mainly serves the North-South axes. If you go from east to west, for example, you will have to walk a few blocks! Also, some areas are simply forgotten by the subway.
  2. The stations are very distant one from the other.
Metro Train New York –

Getting around in New York by bus

An extensive network of bus lines crosses the different boroughs of New York and is coordinated with the subway system. Official site of the New York bus network

The bus network, unlike the metro, is much more extensive. Traveling by bus in the Big Apple is fun because it allows you to admire the city along the way. The buses are all air conditioned. Plus you can use the same Metrocard used for the subway. Very practical.

The disadvantages of using buses in New York

  • You'll have to wait for the buses to arrive outside, and if it's cold, how all winters in New York, or if it's hot, like every summer in New York… you will soon regret this choice! So better check the time before choosing the bus as a means of transport.
  • Buses are generally slower than the Metro and infrequent. 

Discover the best tours of New York by bus ... 

Getting around New York by bus -

Getting around in New York by taxi

Even if you use the metro, for the reasons mentioned above, you have to live the experience of yellow taxi, at least once during your stay. Official New York Taxi Site

In Spain, getting around a city for several days using only a taxi is, for most of us, inconceivable. Well, change your habits, because in New York it is very common. And, contrary to what one might think, it's not that expensive. The taxi allows you to fully enjoy the city while being much less tired.

The taxi has several positive sides:

  • You're always on the surface unlike the subway and you will be able to enjoy your journey even more while admiring the city.
  • Travel in the legendary yellow taxis, like on TV :).
  • Taking the taxi, you will save a lot of time in your living room, because unlike the subway, you can go anywhere.
  • There are many taxis everywhere and all the time.
  • If the budget for two people is higher than for public transport, if you are in 4 people is really affordable since you can share the cost.


  • Taxis are so popular in New York that at rush hour it can be difficult to find a free one.

Getting around to New York with Uber, Lyft o VIA

There are many New Yorkers who use car sharing services to get around the city. The best known are:

  • UBER, is the best known and offers more competitive rates than yellow taxis (but generally higher than competing applications such as Lyft, for example). A driver is quickly found in the area as there are more than 18.000 UBER drivers in the city. To split the fare, if you are not in a hurry, you can use it Uber pool (the driver picks up several passengers on his way to his destination).
  • Lyft has a reputation for being less expensive than UBER, especially during peak hours. In addition, the drivers offer snacks and water. There are fewer drivers, however. Uber remains the leader at this level.
  • VIA is an application that provides a flat fee of $ 5 to travel only in the borough of Manhattan at specific times: 6am to midnight on weekdays, 00am to midnight on weekends. The negative point is that there are fewer UBER drivers.
Taxi a New York – Manhattan –

How to get around New York by bike

Cycling is another way to enjoy the city. With a bike in New York, you can see many things in a few hours, stop when you want to take pictures or visit a museum by leaving the bike in a restricted area. In spring and summer, the ride is beautiful.

Small problem: the pedestrian path is not necessarily available everywhere, which will require you to cycle on the road. If you are a family with children, in terms of safety, you rather prefer circuits with tracks. Find out more about how to rent a bike in New York ...

Tourist buses in New York

As in most major tourist cities, a hop-on hop-off bus system (2 decks) is available in New York.
For $ 60, you get an unlimited pass for 48 hours. There are several formulas to choose from (3 days…). You can book online i bus Hop-On Hop-Off a New York , which offers 2 tours, different packages and night tours.

How to get around New York by boat

Long shunned by New Yorkers and tourists, boats are once again the choice for city travel. Different companies share the different routes.

  • Don't hesitate to take the Staten Island ferry. It is the only free shipping route and offers one of the best views of Manhattan and the Skyline, especially in the late afternoon. Pass by the Statue of Liberty. Boarding takes place at Lower Manhattan in Whitehall Street.
  • The river shuttle of East River Ferry serves Brooklyn (through Manhattan) and Queens from Lower Manhattan to Wall St-Pier 11 and Midtown (E 34th St). A quite original trip for a modest price of $ 4 (about € 2,80).
  • Find the yellow color of the taxis on the small motor boats (the New York Water Taxi) that connect the Hudson and the East River. You'll have plenty of time to hop on and off with the Hop-On Hop-Off 1-day package for $ 28 (around $ 20).

Discover all the tours and ferries available ...

Getting around New York by ferry

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