Heading to New York City? As you might be aware, there are several boroughs in this city, which is home to millions of people!
We teamed up with Expedia.com to help you navigate the large metropolis. Start off by checking out the many NYC hotel options on Expedia.com to decide where you want to put your feet up at night. Once you’ve figured out where you want to stay in New York, you’re going to need to know how to get around New York to all the sights you’ve come to the city to see.
Well, with our definitive guide, you’re going to learn all the different options you have for getting around New York. This will include all the major New York transport options, as well as tips for using each one.
Once you’ve read this, check out our guide to spending 2 days in New York, which has a detailed itinerary and lots of tips on what to see in the city. Now, let’s get started with our guide to getting around NYC.
How to Get around New York City
As you’ll see from this list you have a lot of options when it comes to getting around New York City. This is to be expected, after all, New York is the most populated city in the United States.
With over twenty million residents in the New York metropolitan area, which is spread across five main boroughs, it’s easy to see why there are so many ways to help them get around!
Here are some of the best ways to get around the city when you visit.
The iconic yellow taxi is certainly a popular way to get around the city with residents and visitors alike. The yellow taxi is easy to recognise, being bright yellow, and having a yellow light on the roof. These yellow taxis are the only vehicles that are allowed to pick passengers up in response to a street hail across the entire city.
A taxi shows it’s availability by illuminating the yellow light. An illuminated light means the taxi is available for hire. To hail a taxi, you just need to attract the drivers attention, usually by waving from the street corner.
Once the taxi sees you, they will stop somewhere safe to pick you up. Let the driver know your destination address. Taxis are metered, with fares starting at $3, and then increasing as time and distance pass – you can see the fares here. Note that tolls will also be added to your taxi fare. New York taxi Fares can be paid in cash, or with a credit or debit card.
It’s definitely worth taking a taxi in New York just for the experience. It’s not a big expense, particularly for shorter rides.
There are of course alternatives to the yellow taxi, including ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. These need to be booked in advance using their apps, and do generally work out cheaper than a yellow
Getting to NYC Whether you live across the Hudson or across the Atlantic, getting to NYC is easy. If you’re coming from outside the United States, check this page for visa information. See below for the best ways to reach the five boroughs from anywhere in the world, and click through each category (for example, “By plane”) for much more detail.
By plane If you’re coming from far away, you’ll probably want to fly into one of the New York City area’s major airports. There are a number of hotels conveniently located near the City’s airports.
By train Those starting from a nearby suburb can reach NYC by NJ Transit, Long Island Rail Road or Metro-North Railroad. Amtrak also offers comfortable, convenient service to NYC from cities near and far.
By bus For some travelers, especially those coming from other East Coast cities, buses are an affordable and convenient travel option. New York City enjoys service from such companies as Megabus, BoltBus and Greyhound, as well as other local carriers.
By car Driving to NYC? Use Google Maps to get directions, and plan ahead for where to park (there’s some street parking, plenty of parking garages and some hotels offer package deals that include parking).
Getting Around NYC New York is an excellent walking city, and getting around by foot is the best way to familiarize yourself with neighborhoods and their (sometimes subtle) divisions. Of course, sometimes you’ll need to move more quickly or cover great distances, for which you’ve got subways, buses and cabs at your disposal. Click through each category (for example, “MTA Subways and Buses”) for much more detail.
MTA Subways and Buses A MetroCard gives you access to trains and buses that travel to nearly every corner of the City. The system is accessible to people with disabilities.
Taxis Cabs are a quick, convenient way to get around the five boroughs.
Cars Driving within the City? Google Maps can help you navigate all five boroughs.
Other Ferries, pedicabs, cruise ships, bicycles and even helicopters are all great ways to get around New York.
Want help navigating the city by bike? The official NYC Bike Map is published each year. Plan your route or find a bike shop in your neighborhood.
Download or request a free copy of the NYC Bike Map
Bike share gives New Yorkers a fun, easy, and efficient way to get around the city without having to worry about bike storage or maintenance. Find out how to unlock a bike and get riding today.
Learn more about bike share and find a station near you Sign up to become a Citi Bike member Learn about NYC’s Dockless Bike Share Pilot
Cycling is booming in New York City. DOT provides helpful information to make your ride safer and easier, and gives away free bicycle helmet at events throughout the city.
Learn more about NYC DOT’s Safety Education for cyclists Find an upcoming helmet fitting event on the NYC Events Calendar Green Wave: A Plan for Cycling in New York City report
Building Bike Lanes
New York City is home to the largest bicycle network in North America, with over 1,200 miles of bike routes. To accelerate the growth of safe cycling, DOT is building a system of bicycle routes that traverse and connect all five boroughs.
Learn more about current bicycle route projects Greenways in NYC
Ridership Statistics and Reports
DOT evaluates how bicycle lanes impact safety, mobility, and economic vitality in New York City through studies, pilot programs, and bicycle counts. Explore current bicycling trends and download available DOT cycling datasets.
View bicycle counts Review network and safety statistics Review annual reports and studies
DOT provides free bicycle parking racks throughout the five boroughs. Learn more about DOT’s requirements and suggest new locations for street furniture.
Learn more about bicycle parking
More Resources for Riders & Residents
NYC Bike Laws
Cyclists have all the rights and are subject to all of the duties and regulations applicable to drivers of motor vehicles.
Download a complete list of New York City bicycle rules (pdf)
Commercial and Delivery Cyclists
Bikes are an inexpensive, fast, and efficient way to deliver goods. In addition to the biking laws, the city has laws and rules that to help make commercial cycling safer.
Get more tips for commercial cyclists and businesses
Bikes on Transit
Did you know bikes are allowed on New York City subways at all times?
Learn more about bike policies on the subway and get tips for a smoother ride
Bikes in Buildings
The Bikes in Buildings Program aims to increase bicycle commuting by providing cyclists with secure parking during the workday.
Learn more about the Bicycle Access to Office Buildings law and program requirements
Subscribe to NYCycles
Receive information about cycling events, workshops and new bicycle projects.
Subscribe to NYCycles NYC DOT’s monthly cycling email newsletter NYCycles newsletter archive