New York City is large. It is divided up into different sections. Most people stay on the island of Manhattan. The City is served by many airports, the main three being JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark. LaGuardia is actually the nearest airport to Manhattan, but only serves internal domestic flights. No international flights land at LaGuardia
Getting to New York from JFK by Yellow Cab
JFK is a long way from Manhattan. Take a Yellow CAB. They are on a fixed price of about $50.00. If there are four of you this is very good value. DO NOT get a yellow cab back to the Airport. They are not on a fixed price journey and you are charged what is on the meter. As there are normally long traffic jams this can cost over $100.00. Ask your hotel to order you a limousine to take you back to the airport. They charge a fixed rate of about $50.00.
Taking a taxi from JFK airport to Manhattan may not be the cheapest way, but it is defiantly the easiest and most hassle free. The last thing you want after an eight hour flight is to endure an uncomfortable hot packed bus or subway trip into New York. You still have to walk to your hotel from the metro or bus station with a suitcase at the other end. Unless you are really on a budget take an air conditioned taxi.
As you walk out of the airport look for the signs for ground transportation and taxi. Go up to the uniformed taxi dispatcher who will ask you how many passengers are in your party, and where you want to go. Cabs cannot pick you up from anywhere apart from these designated areas. Do not go with anyone else who is offering a taxi to New York. They are not legal. A Taxi will take up to an hour from JFK to Manhattan. You could snooze in the back of the cab but I bet you don't as you will be too excited.
Getting to New York City from JFK International Airport by train
You would think that the subway would be cheaper and quicker but if you are travelling in a group you would be wrong. The John F. Kennedy International Airport called the AirTrain operates 24 hours a day 365 days a year. It provides connections to the MTA New York City Transit subways ,buses and the Long Island Rail Road. Be warned you CANNOT take any luggage on MTA Buses.
The travel card into Manhattan costs about $15.00 per person. For four people that is $60.00. For two people that is $30.00 although it is cheaper a Yellow cab will take you to the door of your hotel and it is air conditioned. The New York Subway is not suitcase friendly. You will find it very difficult to get through the barriers.
This is really stupid for a transport system that serves a major airport. There are lots of stairs and practically no escalators or lifts. The subway is like a sweatbox in the summer. When you get to your destination you will have to drag you bags up the stairs and then walk through the crowded New York streets to your hotel. My advice is take a yellow cab from the airport.
If you are on your own and decide to take the train be aware that it stops at a number of subway stations on route and takes about 35 minutes to get to Penn Station in midtown Manhattan. You travel on the free section of the AirTrain inside the airport to Jamaica Station where you have to get out and purchase a ticket into New York City.
Follow the signs to the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) to find the platform and the fast train that will take you to Penn Station. The E J and Z lines of the New York City subway system also leaves from Jamaica Station but they are slower as they stop at every station.
Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark isn't actually in New York State. It is in New Jersey. But it is closer to Manhattan than JFK so it is a good airport to fly into.
Taking a Taxi from Newark Airport into New York City
Taking a taxi from Newark Liberty International Airport to Manhattan may not be the cheapest way, but it is defiantly the easiest and most hassle free. The last thing you want after an eight hour flight is to endure an uncomfortable hot packed bus or train trip into New York. You still have to walk to your hotel from the metro or bus station with a suitcase at the other end. Unless you are really on a budget take a taxi.
As you walk out of the airport look for the signs for ground transportation and taxi. Go up to the uniformed taxi dispatcher who will ask you how many passengers are in your party, and where you want to go. Cabs cannot pick you up from anywhere apart from these designated areas. Do not go with anyone else who is offering a taxi to New York. They are not legal.
A Taxi will take less than an hour from Newark Liberty International Airport to Manhattan. You could snooze in the back of the cab but I bet you don't as you will be too excited.
Taxi's cost between $35 - $55 plus tolls (around $8) and tips (15%). When you want to leave New York and head back to Newark Airport ask your hotel to order you a limousine to take you back to the airport. They charge a fixed rate of about $50.00. A New York yellow cab taxi will charge you the meter fare and an additional $10 when going to Newark, because it is "out of state" plus tolls and tips.
Take the train from Newark Airport into Manhattan
The Newark AirTrain Mono-Rail takes you from the Newark airport terminals to the airport railway station on the on the main train line. The station is called Newark Liberty International Station. From this station you can get either take a NJ Transit ($15 in 2010) or AMTRAK ($30 in 2010) train that will take you directly to Manhattan's Penn Station stopping at Newark Penn Station and Secaucus along the way.
The train journey takes around 25 minutes to reach midtown. On weekdays, between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., three NJ TRANSIT trains arrive every hour at the airport station. Between 9 p.m. and midnight, two trains arrive every hour. Service is not available between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Journey time takes under an hour
Take the Express Bus from Newark Airport into Manhattan
The Newark Liberty Airport Express bus will take you into Manhattan dropping off at Port Authority Bus Terminal (W 42nd St /8th Ave), the attractive Bryant Park in Fifth Ave or the magnificent Grand Central Station Terminal (42nd St/Park Ave). It pick ups from all of the Newark Liberty Airport terminals. Buses come every 15 minutes during the day, 365 days a year. In 2010 the prices were $15 One-Way; $25 Round Trip.
The following applies to all New York City airports
Taxi and Public transport aren't the only way of getting into Manhattan. Consider a Car Service, as these can be cheaper than a taxi, or even a Shuttle if you're on a budget, but have luggage to transport into NYC. Contact your hotel and see if they offer a collection service.
The airport Shuttle bus
To save you a bit of cash and having to walk to your hotel from the railway or bus station with your suitcase try a shuttle bus. If you are in a group shuttles charge for the first passenger at one rate, and a reduced rate per passenger after that, within your party. SuperShuttle www.supershuttle.com is probably the best known shuttle service.
There are others. They will take you from JFK airport to your hotel. You have to remember that you will be sharing the shuttle with other people, so it may mean that you will be the last to be dropped off. They do require 24 hours notice so you have to book before you leave.
New York Hotel Tips
I am not going to recommend any hotel as peoples tastes an budgets are different. NYC is split into many different areas. Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Staten Island. Most tourists want to stay in Manhattan. The hotels know you want to stay in the most central location and these are the most expensive. Check your price comes with breakfast.
If you are a family group look out for hotels offering family rooms with four beds. These type of rooms are more expensive than double bed rooms but are cheaper than having to book two rooms.
You can find a nice hotel at a cheaper rate if you stay away from the tourist trap areas like Times Square and midtown central Manhattan. Think about staying somewhere else like SoHo, Murray Hill, and Greenwich Village. Transport is easy in Manhattan. You can get to most locations within 30 minutes. You will find the local shops cheaper. www.Tripadvisor.com and www.virtualtourist.com are good websites to look at other peoples reviews on New York hotels.
If you intend staying in New York for more than 3 nights consider finding a hotel in New Jersey, and travelling into Manhattan by train. This will save you a lot on the cost of staying in a hotel. The disadvantage is that you will not be able to nip back to your room for a rest and drop off your shopping during the day.
If you do have lots of shopping bags you could put them in luggage lockers at the railway station before going out for a meal in the evening and collect them again at the end of the day as you get the train to your hotel.
Some of the local Airport Hotels are cheaper than those in Manhattan. They are ideal if you are on a stop over and have an early flight out of New York. Make sure that they offer a free hotel shuttle bus. That makes them even more affordable. If you want to go into Manhattan get a yellow cab to a Subway station.
Do not walk as the area around the Airport is not one of the most desirable. If there is a group of you take the hotel's shuttle bus back to the airport and then take a fixed price Yellow cab into Manhattan. To get back walk into any hotel and order a fixed price Limousine. Wait in their bar.