JFK Airport to Manhattan: How To Go

Find out your best way to get to Manhattan from JFK Airport. Read the details and tips below.

Shared Van
Yellow Taxi
Exclusive Non-Stop Van
Express Buses
Private Car
Train to Penn Station

My Recommendation

I think the best option is to take the subway or a taxi.
I don’t recommend you the shared van. You might have to wait a lot until they pick up all passengers from the airport and it may take a while until you arrive to your hotel, since they make a lot of stops (except if you are the first one to drop off).

Frequent Question: Can I Get Free WiFi at the Airport?

Yes! You can get WiFi connection in all terminals. JFK offers Free Wifi for the first 30 minutes of use.


NYC Subway Car Interior

Take the subway if:
  • You have lightweight luggage
  • You want the cheapest way to get to Manhattan
  • Your hotel is close to the subway station
  • You are 2 and don’t want to spend around USD 30 more each for a cab
  • You’re traveling in peak hours
  • If you take a car you’ll face more than an hour of traffic
Don’t take the subway if:
  • You have heavy luggage: you will have to take the stairs since you don’t have elevators in all stations, and if you do have elevators, sometimes they don’t work!
  • You have to walk many blocks from the Subway Station to your hotel carrying a heavy luggage.
NYC Subway Cost

USD 7.75 single trip ($5 AirTrain + $2.75 subway single ride).

  • If you don’t have a Metrocard (Subway/Bus Card), you’ll need to buy one for a dollar fee.
  • Once you have your Metrocard, you can refill it at no additional cost.
  • Tip: if you are staying for 7 days in Manhattan and planning to use the subway every day, I’d recommend you to buy the 7 Days Unlimited Pass. You’ll still have to pay the $5 for the AirTrain!
  • NYC Subways run 24 hours (they run with less frequency after 10/11PM).
Travel Time

It takes around an hour / hour and a half traveling from JFK to Manhattan by subway, depending on your destination and the closeness from the subway to your hotel.


First, check on Google Maps how to go from JFK to your address in Manhattan, to see what’s the best subway for you.

Take the AirTrain from the airport:

  • Take the AirTrain that goes to Howard Beach Station if you need to take the subway A.
  • Take the AirTrain that goes to Jamaica Station if you need to take the subways: E, J or Z.

AirTrain within the airport terminals is free. You only pay when you want to leave the airport and go to the subway station.

If you’re taking the subway A:

  • Get off the AirTrain at Howard Beach Station (it’s the last stop of the AirTrain). The subway station is right there! Follow the signs that say SUBWAY.
  • You will have to pay the AirTrain ticket ($5) and purchase your subway card in the same place. You can use the same card (metrocard) to charge the amount for your subway trip.
  • Then take the escalator (automatic stairs) or the elevator to the subway station (downstairs). You don’t need to go out to the street!

For Jamaica Station:

  • Get off the Airtrain at Jamaica Station (it’s the last stop of the AirTrain) and follow the signs that say Manhattan subways. It’s very easy and you don’t need to go out to the street.
  • You will need to take an elevator to the subway or the LIRR train station.

Be aware to take the subway that says: TO MANHATTAN.

Printable Version: Brief Steps JFK to Manhattan by Subway or Train


View Full Size Image here



Super Shuttle NYC. Shared-ride ground transportation to and from Airport

Take a shared van if:
  • You’re 1 or 2.
  • With heavy luggage
  • You don’t want to spend too much money on a taxi
  • You prefer a service that takes you directly to the door of your hotel
  • You want to see the city while traveling from the airport to Manhattan

You can book it online in advance! Or ask at the airport for the SuperShuttle or Go Airlink Shuttle kiosk.
Be aware that this van will be making lots of stops and it might take longer to arrive than the subway or the taxi (especially if you are traveling in peak hours).

SuperShuttle / Go Airlink Shuttles:

From JFK to Hotel in Manhattan: $22 per passenger
From JFK to Residence/Business: $31 – $33 per passenger. Price vary depending on the final destination in Manhattan.
SuperShuttle and Go Airlink Shuttles are able 24 hours a day.

Check prices if you’re 2, because it may cost the same to take an Uber/Lyft/Juno depending on where you’re going.



NYC Taxis Yellow cabs

You can take a yellow taxi from the airport.

Groups of 4 or more: you can take the yellow taxi that is a mini-van (cost should be the same as a regular car!).

It’s good to take a yellow cab if:
  • You don’t want to take the subway
  • You want a non-stop service
  • You prefer a service that takes you to the door of your hotel
  • You are 2 and don’t want to take the subway. It will be your best option in terms of costs and travel time compared to a shared van
  • You want to see the city while traveling from the airport to Manhattan
  • It makes you stressful the fact of searching on Google Maps what’s the closest subway station to your hotel, printing a map to see how to walk from the station to your hotel, taking the stairs of the subway… You kind of have some money to spend, this is your first time in New York and it will make you relieved to take a cab

Cost: about $70-$80. Price may vary depending on your final destination.

Travel Time: 45-60 minutes(it may take longer in peak hours and depending on traffic).

NY Taxis work 24 hours a day.



black car

If you have Internet (you’ll get Free WiFi for the first 30 minutes of use at JFK) you can request an Uber, Lyft or Gett.

You have to request them when you’re already at the airport with all your luggage ready to go. They usually come pretty fast and you don’t have to pay the driver. You pay through the app, even the tip.

Click here to know all the car options they offer and to get a promo code if you’re a new customer on any of those 3 companies. Get a discount on your first ride!

Uber is the most popular worldwide, but here in New York the same drivers work for the 3 of them.

Travel Time: 45-60 minutes(it may take longer in peak hours and depending on the traffic).

Cost: a bit cheaper than a yellow taxi. Gett has a fixed price so if you face more traffic than usual, you won’t be charged more for the “extra” time.

Uber and Lyft have a $35 promotion from JFK to Manhattan when you request an UberPool or LyftLine if you are not more than 2 people.

They work 24 hours a day

They offer car options for large groups!



It will cost you $140 approx. (sharing the cost between the 10 of you).

You can ask at the airport when you arrive and negotiate the price there (you shouldn’t be paying more than USD 120 if you are all going to Manhattan).



JFK to Manhattan - NYC Airporter - NY Airport Express Bus

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 11.43.55 AM

Hours: 6am – 11:30pm, 7 days a Week.

Frequency: The Express Bus departs every 30 minutes depending on traffic.

You can book it online here.

Cost: $18 for a single trip and $34 round trip. Express buses from the airport to Grand Central Terminal, Port Authority (Times Square), Penn Station (34th Street) and Bryant Park.
They offer a free shuttle to your hotel at the Bryant Park Station, if your hotel is located between 23rd Street and 63rd Street in NYC.




If you need to go to Penn Station, this is the fastest option compared to the subway, but more expensive. The difference in this case, is that the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Train will make fewer stops from Jamaica Station to Penn Station (only 1 or 2) compared to the subway where the travel time is around twice as long as the LIRR Train.


Take the AirTrain from the Airport to Jamaica Station.
Take the train (Long Island Rail Road) towards Penn Station.
Total cost: AirTrain + Train: $15.
Duration time: 35 minutes (travel time by train is around only 20 minutes and travel time with the AirTrain will be around 15 minutes).


Hope all this info was helpful to make your trip easier!
Please, if you find it useful share it and recommend this blog 🙂


Hi there :) I'm Jess and I came to NYC to pursue my dream and I feel I'm living it every day. New York is magical and you have to be open to everything because you never know who is sitting next to you on the subway or behind you in the line of the supermarket. I decided to create this blog about NYC because I realized how many powerful tips would have helped me if I knew them before coming to the city from someone who was living in NY! So I thought that it would be awesome to share with you some tips about New York from a New Yorker. I'm going to keep updating this blog so stay tuned :)