Airport departure arrival

LaGuardia Airport to and from Manhattan

Posted by & filed under A Blog on Visiting New York City.

This post is about how to travel from LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Manhattan and back, including by subway, bus, train, shared shuttle and taxi. Check out our guide to getting around NYC.

 

 


SUBWAY AND BUS TO LAGUARDIA AIRPORT

LaGuardia Airport, located in the borough of Queens, is the closest airport to Midtown Manhattan (about 8 miles or 13 km away). It is a small airport but some international flights do arrive here. 

This is the cheapest option. It is only $2.75! You can get to and from LaGuardia from any location in New York City entirely via public transportation, but you will most likely have to transfer between a bus and subway, depending on your destination.

Regardless of how you get here, we recommend using this link to Google Maps and enter your destination address to get exact directions.

 

How to Get to and from LaGuardia Airport

 

There are 2 ways to go by public transport: take the Q70 to the subway or the M60 to the subway.


Q70 LTD bus to the subway  

Rolled out in 2016, the Q70 has dramatically reduced travel time to Manhattan. For tourists staying in Manhattan, this is likely the route that you will take.

The Q70 provides direct service 24 hours a day from the airport to the Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Ave subway station in Queens. There you can transfer for free to the E, M, F, R and 7 subway lines which go into Manhattan.


M60 bus to 125th Street 

The M60 bus travels from the airport into Harlem in Upper Manhattan. Once In Manhattan, the bus travels along 125th Street. This option is likely the best for people staying in Harlem and other northern reaches of Manhattan.

You can exit the bus at three stops and take the subway:

  • Lexington Avenue  4, 5, or 6 subway lines (green).
  • Lennox Avenue 2 and 3 lines (red)
  • St. Nicholas Avenue A, B, C or D lines (Blue and Orange)

You will need to purchase a MetroCard at the airport from the vending machines located throughout the terminals. Read our posts on how to buy a MetroCard and tips on mastering the NYC subway system

 

 

  • Total Cost: $2.75  on a MetroCard.  Note: If you are buying a new MetroCard, there is a $1 fee for the card.  Hold onto that card!  It is refillable!  
  • Travel Time: varies depending on your destination.  Plan on 50-90 minutes to get to Midtown Manhattan.
  • Pros:  The cheapest option by far! The Q70 has special luggage racks inside the bus. The M60 does not.
  • Cons: If you have a lot of luggage, be prepared to carry it up and down stairs because not all subway stations have escalators or elevators. Buses can be crowded at peak hours and traffic conditions can prolong your trip.

For more information on bus/subway transportation service from LaGuardia click here.
 


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SHARED VANS

Two companies, GoAirLink and SuperShuttle, are ride-sharing services that have the door-to-door benefits of a taxi but could be significantly cheaper, depending on the number in your group.  goairlink-van

You will be assigned to a van with other passengers heading to the same general area as you. You can request GoAirLink and SuperShuttle from the ground transportation desk in the baggage claim area. You can also book online in advance.

  • Cost: Depends on your destination from the airport. As a point of reference, the cost from LaGuardia Airport to Grand Central Station Terminal in Midtown Manhattan will cost you between $20-$25 per person. ($18/adult through Citysights if you use code save10)
  • Travel Time: Can vary.  If you are sharing a full van (11 passengers), you might be the first dropped off or you might be the last.
  • Pros: Has the convenience of a taxi and is much cheaper
  • Cons: Can take a very long time.  Passengers often have to wait at the airport until there are enough people for a mostly full van, so plan to sit and wait for a bit.

Tip: If you are considering purchasing a tourist attraction pass, City Sightseeing has a pass that comes with a bonus free shuttle ride from your Manhattan hotel to JFK, LaGuardia or Newark Airport using GoAirLink. 

It’s called the FreeStyle Pass Pick 7 and includes 3 days of hop-on-hop-off bus services, your choice of free entry to top attractions, a night tour a free ferry ride and much more.  

 


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EXPRESS SHUTTLE BUS

Express Bus LaGuardia

NYC Express Bus is the official bus operator for the NYC Department of Transportation. 

At LaGuardia, you can find the bus at Terminals B, C, and D. Look for the red signs. The bus goes into Manhattan and drops passengers at THREE locations:

  • Grand Central Terminal (corner of 41st Street & Lexington Ave) 
  • Times Square / Bryant Park (42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenue) 
  • Port Authority Bus Terminal (42nd Street between 8th and 9th Avenues)

To all destinations from LaGuardia:

Cost:  $16.00 per person (Children 5 and under are free)

Each ticket includes two suitcases and one carry-on bag. More than that and you must pay an additional fee.

Travel Time: Approximately 60 minutes – 2 hours.

Hours of Operation: 7 days a week, 11 am – 7 pm, every hour on the hour. 

Pros:

  • Reasonable price for a comfortable ride. Children under 5 are free!
  • You can book online which saves you time instead of purchasing your ticket at the airport when you arrive.
  • With online reservations, you can take any bus on the day of travel and the reservation is good for 90 days from the date of purchase. 
  • All three stops are in Midtown Manhattan and near many subways and lots of taxis that you can use to get to your hotel.

Cons:

  • Traffic is unpredictable. Your trip could be as short as 60 minutes, but if the traffic is very bad, you may be on the bus for up to 2 hours.
  • Not located at all terminals and you will have to walk to Terminals B, C, and D. It is not a long walk, however.

 


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TAXIS AND PRIVATE VEHICLES

Taxis from LaGuardia are metered rather than flat rate, as with JFK. Because it is geographically closer, trips from LaGuardia Airport to Manhattan will be quite a bit cheaper than trips from JFK. 

You can get a taxi at the Taxi Stand outside of Baggage Claim.  The same cautions apply when it comes to accepting rides from solicitors in the airport.

  • Total Cost: Will vary depending on destination, but usually $30-$40 (this does not include tip or bridge tolls)
  • Travel Time:  Again, will vary depending on location, but probably about 20-30 minutes
  • Pros: Very easy door-to-door travel.  This is the most hassle-free option for this airport.
  • Cons:  Can start to get pricey depending on your destination.

Private Car Service 

Hoping to avoid the hassle of taking public transportation? Consider using a private car service. GroundLink is a black car service that specializes in airport transfer. They’ll take you to the airport from anywhere in the city.

Guests are also able to see the cost of the service before requesting it, so there are no surprises when the bill rolls around. They’re also incredibly dedicated to timeliness.

If a driver is more than 5 minutes late in picking you up from your destination, then a $75 credit is added to your account.  

  • Total Cost: Will vary depending on destination.
  • Travel Time: Again, will vary depending on destination
  • Pros: Very reliable and easy. If you’re already looking into taking a taxi out to the airport, it may be smarter to use a private car service instead as costs are competitive.
  • Cons: More costly than many of the other options. Also, as with all driving options, there’s a chance that you’ll run into traffic on your way into Manhattan, so be sure to evaluate whether your desired departure time coincides with rush hour.

 


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UBER AND OTHER RIDE SHARE APPS

You can take Uber, Lyft and other ride-share apps to and from LaGuardia Airport. Drivers may pick you up outside of the baggage claim from each terminal. 

For Terminal B, exit the from the Upper Level and follow the signs for Green Car Services to the blue covered walkway. On Level 2, please wait for your driver in the designated lane.

How is the Weather in New York in November

Posted by & filed under A Blog on Visiting New York City.

This post is about the weather in November in NYC, including tips on what to wear as well as things to do. The weather is still fairly mild, and there are several great events in the city this month.  

 

 


AVERAGE TEMPERATURES  

The weather in New York in November is noted for falling temperatures yet without the prolonged cold snaps that can occur during the winter months. Read more »

NYC statue of liberty

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tours

Posted by & filed under A Blog on Visiting New York City.

This post compares the various options you have for Statue of Liberty tours, including tours with pedestal access and tours of Ellis Island.

 

 


OVERVIEW

There are several options that can really enhance your visit to both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Before exploring these options, make sure that you read our guide to visiting both islands.

Statue of Liberty ToursEvery ticket includes both self-guided audio tours as well as U.S. Park Ranger and volunteer talks on both Liberty and Ellis Islands. There are no additional costs for these tours. The audio tours can be picked up and dropped off on both islands.

You might also consider a guided tour from one of several outside companies. These tours include skip-the-line and priority access and you will have your own tour guide from start till finish.

These tours run between $50 – $70 and include the ticket for the ferries and usually include access and tours of the pedestal. There are several different types to choose from.

Lastly, you might want to consider a separate guided tour of the abandoned hospital complex on Ellis Island. These are known as hard hat tours because participants are required to wear hard hats. This tour costs $40 for adults and $35 for kids.

 


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PARK RANGER TALKS

Park Rangers and volunteers provide English-language guided tours throughout the day on both Liberty and Ellis Islands.Ellis Island Park Ranger Tours

These tours can last anywhere from 30-45 minutes and are included in the cost of every ticket. No additional tickets are needed to take the tours. 

You can find your Park Ranger or volunteer tour guide at the Liberty Island Flagpole located on a road that leads directly from the ferry landing.

Tours depart from the information desk inside of Ellis Island’s Registration Building.

Tour frequency depends on the availability of rangers and volunteers, but they generally depart every hour. 

The advantage of these tours is the expertise of the rangers and volunteers and that these tours are free. They won’t even accept tips.

However, the disadvantages are that your timing has to be right, otherwise, you may need to wait 30 minutes or more, and there is no cap on the number of participants, so groups can get pretty large in the high season.

There are also Junior Ranger Program packets for kids aged 7-12.


AUDIO TOURS

If you’re more comfortable going on your own, you can also take advantage of the self-guided tours available on both islands.

These audio tours are automatically included with every ticket purchase and are available in a number of different languages including Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish.

Audio tours can be picked and dropped off on both islands right next to the ferry landings.

The National Park Service also offers a virtual tour of the Statue of Liberty.

 


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STATUE OF LIBERTY AND ELLIS ISLAND TOURS 

However, there are a handful of walking tour companies who offer guided tours of Liberty and Ellis Island, which include your ticket for the ferry and pedestal access.

Each of these services is very highly rated and fairly priced. Expect ticket costs to range from $50-$70 on average.

 

 

There are also a number of other boat tour companies that cruise past the Statue of Liberty, and provide commentary on board. Check out our post detailing the specific boat companies that offer Statue of Liberty cruises so to help decide which is best for you.  

If you are planning on purchasing one of the discount tourist passes, keep in mind that they also include several boat cruises. Be sure to read our post which compares the different tourist passes

Below are a few companies that offer similar tours. All tours guarantee pedestal access. 


New York Tour 1

Don’t be fooled by the generic name – this is actually one of the most trustworthy tour services in NYC. In addition to offering a trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, they also provide a combo tour to both Lady Liberty and the 9/11 Memorial as well as a tour that includes walks in Midtown and Lower Manhattan with a visit to Top of the Rock.

The opportunities offered by this company are perfect for anyone who wants to see the most patriotic landmarks in the city. You may have to pay more for the experience, but you’ll also have the chance to visit different locations and avoid overbooking!

With an average rating of between 4.5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide (see the reviews), it’s clear that each of these tour packages is well received by most customers. Their Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour is especially well received, as only a handful of reviewers have had anything negative to say about their service. 

Below are their tours that include the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Most of these tours are available year round. Click here to see their full selection of guided NYC tours


Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour

Fully guided tour from beginning to end.

  • Ticket Prices: $57 for Adults | $49 for Children
  • Includes pedestal access.
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Daily @8:30 am

9/11 Memorial Tour + the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

This tour differs from the tour listed above, in that it includes a guided walking tour of Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial and then a self-guided tour (with skip-the-line privileges) of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  

  • Ticket Prices: $59 – Adult | $49 – Child
  • Includes pedestal access.
  • Duration: 3-5 hours (2 hours narrated tour included)
  • Daily @9 am

6 Hour NYC Highlights Tour

This tour combines walking tours of Midtown and Lower Manhattan with visits to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, Grand Central Terminal and a guided tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island with pedestal access.  You will use the NYC subway on this tour.

  • Ticket Prices: $69 – Adult | $59 – Child
  • Includes pedestal access.
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Daily @9:30 am.

Walks of New York

As you can no doubt imagine, this company does a variety of walking tours around New York City. When it comes to their Statue of Liberty tours, there are several combo packages that are far more extensive than anything offered by their competitors.

They also provide a Twisted Statue tour which seeks to give guests an entirely different perspective on this world-famous landmark. Although the price of admission for some of these trips is fairly high, they might just be worth it for anyone new to NYC.

Each Statue of Liberty tour and combo deal offered by Walks of New York has received a 4 ½ out of 5 stars or better rating on TripAdvisor. Reviews for their Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour are especially positive, with less than half a dozen negative comments on the record. Most guests feel that their tour guides are both informative and helpful in providing an excellent overall experience. 

Most tours run from January – October. Kids under 3 can join their parents for free!  We have only listed a couple of their tours below.  Click here to see their full selection of guided tours


Small Group Early Access Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour

This option promises that your group will be no larger than 20 total participants.  

  • Ticket Prices: $57 for Adults | $47 for Children
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Most days @8:30 am or 9 am

Twisted Statue Tour: Under the Skirt of Lady Liberty

An irreverent twist on a guided tour. This tour is a guided tour of the Statue of Liberty, where you will hear about stories not generally mentioned in history books.  Includes a self-guided tour of Ellis Island.

  • Ticket Prices: $49 for Adults | $46 for Children
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays @8:30 am (additional days available during summer months)
  • More information or to book online.

 


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HARD HAT TOURS 

When you disembark from the ferry to enter the main immigration building and museum, you won’t help but notice of a number of buildings across the ferry inlet.  

You are looking at some of the 29 buildings of the abandoned Ellis Island Hospital.  These are pleasant looking buildings in the Belgium style with a somewhat unpleasant history.

 

Ellis Island Hospital

 

Operating from 1902 until 1930, the Ellis Island Hospital complex was a state of the art medical facility that was the last line of defense for the United States of America against contagious diseases, such as tuberculosis, cholera, trachoma, diphtheria and countless other ailments.  

The 29 buildings included a contagious disease ward, laundry room, doctor’s quarters, an autopsy theater, a kitchen, power plant, dormitories, operating rooms, and a crematorium.  

Approximately 3500 people perished while detained at the hospital and roughly 350 babies were born here.  

You can watch a 55-minute documentary on the hospital titled “Forgotten Ellis Island”.

 

Birdseye View of Ellis Island

 


Hard Hat Tours

It is possible to tour part of the abandoned hospital complex through tours sponsored and led by SaveEllisIsland.org. Tickets are purchased through the Statue Cruises Website.  

The hard hats are required because you will be walking thru buildings and tunnels that have been left in disrepair. Only the haunting images created by street artist JR (watch the 2nd video below) and commissioned by Save Ellis Island are recent additions. 

 

 

Proceeds from ticket sales go to the restoration and maintenance of the hospital complex.  For access to parts of the complex not covered on the tour, please check out this virtual tour of those off-limits sections.

Prices

  • $40 – Adults ($58.50 with ferry ticket)
  • $35 – Seniors ($54.50 with ferry ticket)

 

 


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Christmas decoration at Holiday Lights tour

Diez Mercados Navideños en Nueva York

Posted by & filed under A Blog on Visiting New York City.

En esta publicación habla de los 10 Mercados Navideños más importantes de la ciudad de Nueva York, incluidos consejos sobre cómo llegar a ellos, qué se puede hacer y qué comprar, todo actualizado para 2018. Asegúrese de leer nuestra guía completa sobre Navidad en Nueva York.

 

 


 

MERCADOS DE NAVIDAD DE MANHATTAN

Los días festivos en la ciudad de Nueva York es uno de los momentos más festivos y bellos del año. También es un paraíso para los compradores, si le gustan los artículos únicos, regalos artesanales, artesanías y recuerdos.

Desde mediados de Noviembre hasta Enero, los mercados de Navidad al aire libre aparecen en toda la ciudad vendiendo joyas, ropa, artesanías y mucho más. Incluso si no planea hacer muchas compras, el ambiente es divertido y muchos mercados ofrecen comida fantástica y bebidas calientes.

Read more »

Apollo Theater Harlem Tour

Tour the Apollo Theater in Harlem

Posted by & filed under A Blog on Visiting New York City.

This tour is about visiting the Apollo Theater in Harlem, including how to tour the Apollo, get tickets for shows, as well as other tips on planning your visit here.

 

 


A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE APOLLO THEATER

This neo-classical theater originally opened as the Hurtig and Seamon New Burlesque Theater in 1914. The owners were Jules Hurtig and Harry Seamon, two of the biggest burlesque producers of the day. Like most theaters in the United States at that time, the theater was only open to white patrons and only offered opportunities to white performers.  Tour the Apollo Theater in Harlem 

When Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia imposed a ban on burlesque in 1933 the theater had to shut its doors. The theater reopened as the Apollo Theater and began its new life in 1934, under owner Sidney Cohen.

The now-renamed Apollo Theater was geared towards the African-American community in Harlem, which had become a hotbed of culture during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s. They prioritized giving performing opportunities to African-American performers, though they booked white performers as well.  

Within the next few years, future legends Ella Fitzgerald and Pearl Bailey would be introduced to Harlem audiences via the theater’s “Amateur Night.”  (Ella Fitzgerald was only 15 years old at the time!) Billie Holiday, Lena Horne and the Count Basie Orchestra also debuted at the new theater in those first few years.

Read more »

Holiday lights Tour NYC

Ten Christmas Markets in New York City

Posted by & filed under A Blog on Visiting New York City.

This post lists the top 10 Christmas Markets in New York City, including tips on how to reach them, what you can do and buy, all updated for 2018. Be sure to read our full guide on Christmas in NYC.

 

 


MANHATTAN CHRISTMAS MARKETS

The holiday season in New York City is one of the most festive and beautiful times of the year. It is also a shopper’s paradise – if you like unique items, artisan gifts, crafts, and souvenirs.  

From mid-November through January, outdoor holiday markets pop-up throughout the city selling jewelry, clothing, arts and crafts, and so much more. Even if you don’t plan to do much shopping, the atmosphere is fun and many markets offer fantastic food and warm drinks. 

Read more »

Christmas in New York City

¿Cómo está el Clima en Nueva York en Diciembre?

Posted by & filed under A Blog on Visiting New York City.

Esta publicación es nuestro pronóstico para el clima de diciembre en la ciudad de Nueva York, con consejos sobre qué ponerse y qué hacer. Asegúrese de revisar nuestra publicación sobre cosas que hacer para Navidad en Nueva York.

 

 


TEMPERATURAS PROMEDIO

A principios de diciembre, el clima a veces puede ser templado con temperaturas altas en la tarde, principalmente en los 40° F superiores (8-9°C) con 2-3 días probablemente llegando a los 50° F superiores o incluso a los 60° F inferiores (aproximadamente 15- 16C).

Los mínimos de la mañana durante los primeros días de Diciembre tienden a ser principalmente de mediados a los 30 grados F (2-3C).

Read more »

Where to Go Ice Skating in New York City

Posted by & filed under A Blog on Visiting New York City.

This post can help you choose the best ice-skating rink for you. We include hours, ticket prices (including discounts you can find), directions, and suggestions to make your experience great. If you are here during the holidays,  be sure to read our guide on visiting New York during the holidays

 

 

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Christmas in New York City

Things to Do at Christmas in New York City

Posted by & filed under A Blog on Visiting New York City.

This post is a guide to things to do in NYC during Christmas, including markets, public Christmas trees, tours, and shows, updated for 2018.  

 

 


OVERVIEW

The holidays are always a magical time of year, but there is something extra special about spending Christmas in New York. There are many things to do during Christmas, which is why we created this guide.

Timing is everything. Most decorations, lights, and window displays start going up in late November. Thanksgiving, a U.S. national holiday that takes place on the last Thursday of November, is seen by most New Yorkers as the start of the Holiday Season.

All of the most popular musicals and shows, as well as the famous light and window displays, start at the end of November. However, things really are in full swing by the start of the second week of December.

Below, we highlight the top things to do in NYC during the Christmas and holiday season. 

If you are planning on visiting many attractions during the holidays, then consider a tourist discount pass, and be sure to check out our definitive guide for things to do in NYC.

 


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HOLIDAY LIGHTS TOUR

Free Tours by Foot will offer our popular Holiday Lights tour again this year. Don’t miss this opportunity to see all of the holiday decorations and legendary window displays all at once!

Like all of our other walking tours, you will have the opportunity to pay what you want and see the best and most beautiful of our city’s holiday offerings. We will cover everything from Lincoln Center to Lord and Taylor to the Rockefeller Tree! The tour will run daily- see our calendar for dates/times.  

Click here to be brought to the tour page or go directly to our booking calendar. Read more »

Christmas in New York City

How is the Weather in New York in December?

Posted by & filed under A Blog on Visiting New York City.

This post is our forecast for December weather in New York City, with tips on what to wear and things to do. Be sure to check out our post on things to do for Christmas in New York.

 

 


AVERAGE TEMPERATURES

Early in December, the weather can sometimes still be mild with afternoon high temperatures mostly in the upper 40’s F (8-9 C) with 2-3 days likely reaching into the upper 50’s F or even to the lower 60’s f (about 15-16 C). 

Morning lows during early December tend to be mostly in the mid to upper 30’s f (2-3 C). Read more »