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A while ago, I took my daughter on a special birthday trip to New York City, just the two of us. Since we were staying in midtown Manhattan, none of the three NYC airports (JFK / LGA / EWR) were markedly better than any of the others.

After searching the various options for paid and award flights into New York, we ended up flying Delta from Cincinnati to Newark Liberty. So, because we were going to be landing at EWR (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.

I did a bunch of research, so I thought I would share it with you to help you figure out the best way to get from Newark Liberty International Airport to New York City. (If you’re flying round-trip to NYC or are otherwise departing from EWR , I’ve also written a guide to find the cheapest and best way to get *from* Manhattan to Newark Liberty airport.

Getting from Newark Liberty International airport (EWR) to Manhattan by taxi

You can absolutely take a taxi or (or even limo service!) from Newark airport to Manhattan, but it will be fairly expensive. Depending on where you want to go in Manhattan, a taxi from Newark Liberty to Manhattan is likely to cost anywhere from $40 to $70, exclusive of tips and tolls.

If you do want to take a taxi from EWR to Manhattan, you’ll likely save money by using a service like Taxi2Airport.com — plus you can save $5 off using this link with coupon code T2A5OFF

Note 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 you’re subject to New York City traffic, especially if you’re traveling in rush hour (which seems like every hour!).

Getting from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Manhattan by shared car service like Uber or Lyft

Uber gives an estimate of $43 – $50 to go from Newark airport to Manhattan:

uber-estimate-newark-airport-manhattan

Lyft is similarly priced from EWR to Manhattan, though both Uber and Lyft often run promotions, especially in NYC, so be sure to check with them before you go.

[The time my Lyft driver went the wrong way down a one-way street]

If you do sign up for Uber or Lyft, if you use my referral code you will get a bonus on your first ride.

Getting from Newark Liberty (EWR) to Manhattan by express bus or airport shuttle

A variety of express buses 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 have plenty of storage underneath the seats for luggage. Newark Airport Express is one such shuttle bus. It’s $17 for a one-way ticket or $30 round-trip, and children under 5 are free. GO Airlink Shuttle is another such bus — it costs $21 one-way. It runs every half hour on the half hour and it will pick you up at a variety of hotels and NYC transportation hubs (Grand Central, Penn Station, Port Authority bus terminal, etc). Try promo code SHUTTLE to save 5%.

If you want to travel on a single public bus from EWR to the city … you can’t. That’s because different transit authorities serve New York and New Jersey. NJ Transit bus lines 28, 37, 62, 67, and 107 all serve Liberty 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 rush hour.

The cheapest and best way to get from Newark airport (EWR) to Manhattan

Although those classic yellow taxis, Ubers or Lyfts, buses, shuttle service, car service, and even limos are all feasible ride options to get from Newark airport to Manhattan, the absolute best way is by train. (Plus, taking public transportation makes you feel like a local.)

Taking the train into midtown Manhattan costs $13, which includes the fees for both (1) the AirTrain Newark, which takes you from Newark airport to Newark Liberty Airport Station, and (2) for the NJ Transit train, which runs from Newark Liberty Airport Station to New York Penn Station. The Newark Airport AirTrain runs every 3 minutes for most of the day.

newark-airport-manhattan-airtrain-map

Note for families: The whole train ride from Newark airport to Penn Station costs $13 for adults. The AirTran portion of the trip ($5.50) is not charged for children 11 and under, AND the other portion is half-price, making a child’s ticket $3.50.

best-way-newark-airport-manhattan-airtrain-ticket

Adult ticket from Newark Airport to Manhattan on the right, child ticket on the right

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 all the traffic. When we visited NYC, our flight arrived at about 8:45 a.m., still in the ending stages of rush hour , so a ride in a taxi or bus could have taken over an hour. Our train from Newark Liberty International to Penn Station in Manhattan was about 30 minutes end to end.

Step-by-step instructions on how to take the transit train from Newark International Airport to NYC

Make your way through the Newark airport terminal, following the signs for the AirTrain. (We landed at Terminal B, and with all the signs, it was quite clear where we needed to go.) As we walked toward the AirTrain, we found a train ticket kiosk to purchase tickets AND a helpful NJ Transit employee who helped us understand which ones 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:

newark-airport-nyc-air-train-waiting-station

We lined up on the right to go to P4 and RailLink. We just missed a train when we got there, so we had to wait a few minutes for the next one. We were there a little after 9 a.m. and it was quite busy — our train was pretty crowded with passengers but with only one carry-on, 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:

cheapest-way-get-from-newark-airport-to-manhattan-train-doorway

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 that once you scan your ticket at the turnstiles, you won’t need it again — but make sure to hold on to it!

Taking the NJ Transit train from Liberty International Airport 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 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 other passengers – just follow the crowds. :-).

You will take the train for about 3 to 5 stations. The first one is NEWARK Penn Station — that is NOT the same as New York Penn Station, so don’t get off there! The train that goes from Newark Airport to Manhattan ends at New York Penn Station (NYP), so really, you just have to wait till it ends. Again, that’s where most passengers will be getting off, so it’s a good policy to just follow the crowd.

Once you’re at Penn Station, follow the signs to the street, and you’ll pop out in the middle of Manhattan – between 7th and 8th Avenues and 31st and 33rd streets! You can then take a taxi, Uber or Lyft, or the subway — or even walk — to your final destination.

You can earn rewards on travel spends with travel credit cards here

If you're going from Newark Airport in New Jersey, here's the best and cheapest way to get from Liberty to Manhattan in New York City - complete guide with map and step by step instructions

I hope this guide has helped – what are your tips for the cheapest and best way from EWR to Manhattan?


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