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How to Get to Coney Island

Updated: March 27, 2024

As local tour guides, many of whom reside in Brooklyn, we all go to Coney Island at least once a year for sun and fun (and Nathan’s Hot Dogs!)

This post explains how to get to Coney Island by subway and car. We also include information on things to do here. (See our post, Things to Do on Coney Island for in-depth information).

We also include some suggestions from the roughly 200k members of our popular NYC Travel Tips Facebook group what they thought.

This group consists of locals, like our tour guides, veteran NYC visitors, as well as newbies to the city.

You don't need to become a member to read the posts, comments, and recommendations.

Check out the group when you are finished reading this post.


WHERE IS CONEY ISLAND IN NYC?

Coney Island is located on the southern tip of Brooklyn, approximately 14 miles from Midtown Manhattan.

For a point of reference, we use Times Square as a starting location in this post.

Use this link for directions to Coney Island from Manhattan or anywhere in the NYC area.

NYC Sightseeing Pass

Subway to Coney Island

Taking the train to Coney Island from Times Square will take you about one hour.

While driving can sometimes be a faster trip, we recommend using the subway.

You won't encounter traffic nor will you have to deal with finding parking.Taking the subway is the easiest way to get here.

How to get to Coney Island

You can take the Q line, N line, F line, or D line to the "Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue" stop at 1243 Surf Avenue.

The subway station is just a 5-minute walk away from the subway to the most famous Coney Island sites.

We suggest you use this Google Maps for directions to Coney Island from your point of departure.

If you are new to the NYC subway, you may find the following guides helpful.

Here Katie, one of our tour guides, shares 7 tips on using the subway.


By Car

Driving from Times Square can take anywhere between 35 minutes to an hour, but this depends on traffic can take longer due to traffic.

Your drive will commence in Midtown Manhattan and go into Brooklyn through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.

Before choosing to drive, know that the tunnel toll is quite expensive at just over $11 each way.

Directions

  • Take 7th Ave west and then head south on West Street/I-478 to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel.
  • Exit the tunnel onto Belt Parkway/Leif Ericson Dr to Shore Pkwy.
  • Get off at Exit 7 onto Ocean Parkway. Take Ocean Pkwy to Sea Breeze Avenue.
  • This will leave you at the NY Aquarium. You can walk along the Boardwalk from here.

We suggest you use this link to Google Maps for directions to Coney Island from your point of departure.

Parking

Most streets have metered parking. If you can't find a spot with a meter you can opt for a parking lot.

There is a big parking lot next to MCU Park at 1904 Surf Ave.

More paid parking lots are at West 12th between Mermaid Ave and Surf Ave, on Neptune Ave between West 12th and Stillwell Ave, and on West 15th Street between the boardwalk and Surf Ave.

Use this Google Maps link to find parking lots and addresses.


Ferry to Coney Island

In 2018, the NYC Ferry began its planning and construction of a ferry route between Manhattan and Coney Island.

The project came to a halt in 2021 and as of March 2024, the launch of this new route is postponed indefinitely.

The NYC Ferry system does travel to many parts of NYC and is a great alternative to the subway. It's more scenic too! Find out more here.


THINGS TO DO ON CONEY ISLAND

You can relax on the sandy beach, take a thrilling ride on the iconic Cyclone roller coaster, indulge in delicious boardwalk treats, and explore amusement parks like Luna Park.

Additionally, you can visit the New York Aquarium or catch a baseball game at MCU Park.

Read our post Things to Do on Coney Island for a complete list of activities, events and where to eat - including the original Nathan's Hot Dogs!


TIPS FROM LOCALS AND TRAVELERS

Here are some tips on getting to Coney Island from members of our New York Travel Tips group on Facebook.

Group members also share suggestions of what to do there.

Nearly all replies to this question said that the subway ride takes around an hour from Times Square, though some people get lucky with a train pulling into the station immediately, shaving some time off their trip.

So... you’ve made it there, no what is there to do? Lots!

After her hour-long ride there, Vera made the most of her time by going to the amusement park, the aquarium, the boardwalk, and the museum.

She suggests you go to Brighton Beach at the eastern end of Coney Island, referred to as “Little Odessa” due to the large Russian population. Try some yummy piroshki!

Caroline found her subway ride from Times Square to Coney Island very easy. She went twice, one time to see the Aquarium and a second time to the Luna Park amusement park.

On her second trip, she experienced the true Coney Island! Nathan’s Hot Dogs and a ride on the Cyclone roller coaster which opened in 1927!

Marjan also had a super smooth ride on the subway and loved the nostalgic feel of Coney Island. It dates back to the early 1900s!

Given it does take an hour each way, many people want to know if Coney Island is worth a visit. 

Perhaps it isn't the best way to spend your time if you are here on a short vacation.

But if you find yourself with time to spare, it can be a great place to go to see a non-touristy part of NYC.

Alexander and Anina say it is definitely worth a trip and both had a blast!

If you have any more questions about how to get to Coney Island (or anything else about NYC) that we haven't covered here, check out our New York Travel Tips Facebook group!


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About The Author

Courtney Shapiro

Courtney is a lifelong New Yorker fascinated with the city’s history, culture and cuisine. She loves exploring the world, as well as sharing her travel expertise with others. She joined the Free Tours by Foot team in 2011, first as a guide and then as a writer. She has a law degree, a teaching degree and a worn-out passport. Her motto is “Have backpack, will travel”. READ MORE...
Updated: March 27th, 2024
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