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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > New York State > New York City

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Travel to New York City

Flying to New York City

Airlines offering flights to New York from the UK include American Airlines, British Airways, Delta, Kuwait Airways, La Compagnie, Norwegian, United and Virgin Atlantic. Prices tend to be highest in July and August and cheapest from January to March. Multiple airlines operate domestic flights to New York from within the USA. 

Flight times

From London - 8 hours; Los Angeles - 5 hours 30 minutes; Toronto - 1 hour and 40 minutes; Sydney - 21 hours (including stopover).

Travel by road

US freeways and interstates are recognisable by numbers: odd numbers go north-south and even numbers run east-west over their whole length, although at any single, localised point this may seem different.

Driving is on the right. Speed limits vary from state to state, although in New York the limit is 48kph (30mph) in the city and 105kph (65mph) on freeways. It is illegal to turn right on a red light in New York City (but legal in most other parts of the country).

The minimum driving age is 16 years, though special restrictions apply for drivers under 18. An International Driving Permit is recommended, although it is not legally required and a full national driving licence is accepted. All travellers are strongly advised to acquire supplementary insurance. A yellow ‘non-resident, interstate liability insurance card', which acts as evidence of financial responsibility, is available through motor insurance agents.

The American Automobile Association - AAA (tel: +1 800 222 1134; www.aaa.com) provides information and roadside assistance to members. 

Emergency breakdown services

AAA (tel: +1 800 222 4357).

Routes

Travel to Manhattan from New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington DC is across the George Washington Bridge or through the Lincoln or Holland Tunnels. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connects Brooklyn with Staten Island. Queensborough Bridge links Manhattan and Queens. The Triborough Bridge leads to upstate New York, while the New England Thruway and Bruckner Expressway lead to New England.

Coaches

The Port Authority Bus Terminal, 625 Eighth Avenue at 40th Street handles long-distance and regional buses, as well as buses to the airports.

Greyhound (tel: +1 800 231 2222; www.greyhound.com) operates bus services that link New York City to points throughout North America.

Megabus (tel: +1 877 462 6342; www.megabus.com) also runs coach services to numerous eastern US cities. Its services leave from 34th Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues.

Time to city

From Philadelphia - 2 hours; Boston - 4 hours; Washington, DC - 4 hours; Montreal - 6 hours.

Travel by Rail

Services

New York is well connected by rail.

 

New York City has two main stations. Grand Central Station, 42nd Street, Park Avenue, is the terminus for Metro-North Railroad, with services to upstate New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Pennsylvania Station, referred to as Penn Station, 34th Street, Sixth Avenue, serves Amtrak and the Long Island Railroad.

Penn Station and Grand Central Station both have ATMs, bars, cafes, waiting rooms, shops and taxi ranks. Grand Central Station is a model of regeneration and the city's most impressive transport hub. Penn Station, on the other hand, is institutional, without many comfortable waiting areas.

Rail travel tends to be expensive, although a number of rail passes are available to overseas visitors. There is no central rail information number and all enquires should be directed to the relevant provider or Amtrak.

Operators

New York City's rail services are primarily operated by Amtrak (tel: 1 800 872 7245; www.amtrak.com), with services to Philadelphia, Washington DC, Boston, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, New Orleans, Miami and Los Angeles. Trains also go to Toronto and Montreal in Canada.

Journey times

From Philadelphia - 1 hour 30 minutes; Washington DC - 3 hours 30 minutes; Boston - 3 hours 40 minutes.

Travel by boat

New York has two terminals used by visitors arriving by cruise ship. NY Cruise (www.nycruise.com) operates terminals on Manhattan's west side, near 55th Street, (tel: +1 212 641 1440) and in Red Hook, Brooklyn (tel: +1 718 855 5590).

Many commuter ferry services operate from terminals at Lincoln Harbor, Hoboken, Harborside, Liberty Harbor and Liberty Landing on the Hudson River, St George on Staten Island, Hunters Point in Queens and West 38th Street, Pier 11 and South Ferry on Manhattan.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (tel: +1 212 435 7000; www.panynj.gov) can provide more information.

Ferry operators

The Staten Island Ferry (tel: 718 727 2508; www.siferry.com) is free and operates from Whitehall terminal in Battery Park, travelling out past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island to Staten Island every half an hour, daily 24 hours.

There are a variety of ferry operators, including New York Waterway (tel: +1 800 533 3779; www.nywaterway.com) and Seastreak America (tel: +1 800 262 8743; www.seastreak.com).

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