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A few weeks ago, I took my daughter on a special birthday trip to New York City just the 2 of us. Since we were staying in mid-town Manhattan, none of the 3 New York City airport options (JFK / LGA / EWR) were markedly better than any of the others. After searching the various options for paid and award tickets into New York, we ended up flying Delta from CVG to EWR. So, since we were going to be landing at Newark airport (adding an ‘E’ to my list of airport code arrivals), we needed to find the cheapest and best way to get from Newark airport to Manhattan. Since we did a bunch of research to find the best way from Newark to Manhattan, I thought I would share with you some of my information to help you figure out the best way to get from Newark airport to New York City.
Getting from Newark airport to Manhattan by taxi
You can absolutely take a taxi from Newark airport to Manhattan but it will be fairly expensive. Depending on where you want to go in Manhattan, a taxi from Newark to Manhattan is likely to cost anywhere from $40 to $70, exclusive of tips and tolls.
Note too that during weekday rush hours – mornings (6AM to 9AM) and afternoons (4PM to 7PM) and on weekends (Saturday and Sunday from 12PM to 8PM) – there is an additional $5 surcharge to all points in the State of New York, except Staten Island.
And obviously you will be in a car, so subject to New York City traffic, especially if you’re traveling in rush hour (which seems like every hour!)
Newark airport to Manhattan by Uber or Lyft
Uber gives an estimate of $43 – $50 to go from Newark airport to Manhattan
Lyft is similarly priced from EWR to Manhattan though both Uber and Lyft often are running promotions especially in New York City so be sure to check with them before you go
How to get from EWR to Manhattan by bus
There are a variety of express buses that go from Newark airport to Manhattan, in the $15 to $20 (one-way) range. These are large buses designed for airport runs, so most of them should have plenty of storage underneath the seats for luggage. The Newark Liberty Airport Express is one such bus – it costs $16 one-way or $28 roundtrip, it runs every 15 minutes on the quarter hour, and you have to buy your tickets in advance. You can pick up the bus at Terminal A, B or C and it makes 3 New York City stops
- Grand Central Station 41st Street between Park and Lexington avenues
- Bryant Park 42nd Street and 5th Avenue
- Port Authority Bus Terminal 41st Street between 8th and 9th avenues
If you want to travel on a public bus from EWR to New York City, you won’t be able to do it in one trip – since different transit authorities serve New York and New Jersey. NJ Transit bus lines 28, 37, 62, 67, and 107 all serve Newark Airport.
Of course, buses also go on the road, so when going from Newark to New York City by bus, you’ll be subject to traffic during peak traffic periods.
The cheapest and best way to get from Newark airport to Manhattan
While taxi, Uber, bus and even other ride share services or limos are all options to get from Newark airport to Manhattan, the absolute best way to get from Newark airport to Manhattan is by train.
The train costs $13 which includes both the AirTrain Newark which takes you from Newark airport to Newark Liberty Airport Station as well as the NJ Transit train from Newark Liberty Airport Station to New York Penn Station. The Air Train runs every 3 minutes for most of the day.
The cost of a ticket to New York Penn Station is $13, which includes the AirTrain portion of $5.50. The Newark AirTrain is free to ride if you stay at Newark Airport but if you go to Newark Liberty Airport station, it is $5.50. The $5.50 portion is not charged for children 11 and under, AND the other portion is half price, making the child’s ticket $3.50
Another advantage of taking the train from Newark to Manhattan is that you’re not on the road (duh), so you don’t have to deal with any of the famous New York City traffic. When we were there, our flight arrived at about 8:45 a.m., still in the ending stages of rush hour, so a taxi or bus in could have been over an hour. Our train from Newark airport to to Penn Station in Manhattan was about 30 minutes end to end.
Step by step instructions on how to take the train from Newark to NYC
To take the train from Newark Airport to Manhattan, once you land at Newark Airport, make your way through the terminal and follow the signs for the AirTrain. We landed at Terminal B, and it was quite clear where we needed to go. As we made our way through Newark airport towards the AirTrain, there was also a train ticket kiosk to purchase tickets AND a helpful NJ Transit employee that helped us know which tickets to buy and how to buy them. Continuing to follow the signs for the AirTrain led us to a waiting area that looked like this
Consulting the map above, you can see that we lined up on the right to go to P4 and RailLink. We actually just missed a train when we got there, so we had to wait a few minutes for the next one to arrive. We were there a little after 9 a.m. and it was quite busy – our train compartment was pretty crowded but with only one carryon, it wasn’t too bad.
A few stops later, we were at the Newark Liberty Airport train station. There you will have to scan your ticket to go through the turnstiles. Once you do, you will get to a doorway that looks like this
IMPORTANT NOTE: You need to show your ticket twice! You’ll use your ticket to scan through the turnstiles when going from Newark Airport into the Newark Liberty Airport train station and then AGAIN once you’re on your NJ Transit train, the conductor will come through the train asking to see tickets. You might think once you scan your ticket at the turnstiles that you won’t need it again but make sure to hold on to it!
Riding the NJ Transit train from Newark to Manhattan
Follow the signs to Tracks 1 / A where you will go downstairs and take the first NJ Transit train you see. Some Amtrak trains will also stop there, so make sure you’re on an NJ Transit train to get from Newark to Manhattan, or you’ll have to pay the Amtrak fare. Unless you are trying to go from Newark Airport to Manhattan in the middle of the night (and probably even then!), there will be a ton of people there – just follow the crowds :-).
You will take the train for about 3-5 stations – first is NEWARK Penn Station – that is not the same as New York Penn Station, so don’t get off there! Really the train that goes from Newark Airport to Manhattan ends at New York Penn Station (NYP), so just wait till it ends. Again, that’s where most of the people will be getting off, so again, it’s a good policy to just follow the crowds.
Once you’re at New York Penn Station, just follow the signs out to the street and you will find yourself in the middle of Manhattan – between 7th and 8th Avenues and 31st and 33rd streets, where you can take a taxi, Uber, subway or walk to your final destination.
I hope this guide has helped – what are your tips for the cheapest and best way from Newark Airport to Manhattan?