Penn Station NYC – The Complete Travel Guide 2023
Everything You Need To Know
Penn Station NYC, often referred to by locals as Penn Station, is the busiest transit hub in New York City and the whole Western Hemisphere. The bustling intercity rail station serves more than 600,000 passengers per day during the weekdays and includes New Jersey Transit connections as well as the new Moynihan Train Hall, which links travelers to Amtrak trains, Long Island Rail Road, and the New York City subway.
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Penn Station is conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan, inside Pennsylvania Plaza between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, within walking distance of Herald Square, the Empire State Building, and Koreatown. Whether you’re traveling through the station or looking for luggage storage near the sprawling transit facility, this guide offers everything you need to know about Penn Station NYC.
How to Get to Penn Station
Penn Station is accessible from JFK Airport and EWR Airport by train or car service. The cheapest way to get to Penn Station from JFK is to take the AirTrain from your terminal to Jamaica Station, then transfer to the NYC subway and take the E train 12 stops to 34 Street – Penn Station. The cost of this trip is $8.25 for the AirTrain and $2.75 for the subway, both of which you can pay for using a MetroCard.
The fastest way to get to Penn Station from JFK Airport by train is to take the AirTrain JFK from your airport terminal to Jamaica Station. Then transfer to the Babylon Branch 109 on the Long Island Rail Road, which will take you to Pennsylvania Station in two stops. The cost of this route is $8.25 for the AirTrain plus the cost of your LIRR ticket, which varies depending on the time of day ($7.75 for off-peak hours and $10.75 during peak hours). Check out Long Island Rail Road fares here.
To reverse this route and travel to JFK Airport from Penn Station, you can take the Long Island Rail Road and AirTrain for the quickest train trip. Take the Long Island Rail Road Babylon Branch 120 to Jamaica and then transfer to the AirTrain to get to your flight terminal. For a cheaper route from Penn Station to JFK Airport, take the NYC Subway E train from Penn Station to Jamaica Station then transfer to the AirTrain and take it to your terminal. The cost of this trip is $2.75 for the subway and $8.25 for the AirTrain, both of which you can pay for using a MetroCard.
To get from EWR Newark Airport to Penn Station NYC, take AirTrain Newark to Newark Liberty International Airport Station. Then transfer to NJ Transit and hop on the New Jersey Coast Line (NJCL) Northeast Corridor (NEC), or Raritan Valley (RVL) line to New York Penn Station. If you want to travel from Penn Station to EWR Airport, reverse this route and take the NJ Transit from Penn Station to Newark Liberty International Airport Station then transfer to AirTrain Newark and take it to your terminal. The fare is $15.25 for NJ Transit and the AirTrain for the route between EWR Airport and Penn Station.
You can also take rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft between EWR and JFK airports and Penn Station, but traffic is usually very congested and the ride will cost you considerably more than taking public transit.
Hotels Near Penn Station
Penn Station is centrally located with easy access to some of the best hotels in NYC. There are hotels to suit every budget in the Penn Station area. In addition, Times Square is only eight blocks from Penn Station and includes a wide range of hotel options. Whether you want to live it up in a luxury boutique hotel or save money with a budget-friendly option, you can find the perfect accommodations for you within reach of Penn Station.
Here are some of my recommendations:
01 Moxy NYC Chelsea
4 Stars | The Moxy NYC Chelsea is one of my insider tips in New York, because it meets my taste exactly: it is built in factory loft style, so you can expect floor-to-ceiling windows with great room height. The view is magnificent, the staff is super nice and everything is freshly renovated. This is how a New York hotel should be!
02 The New Yorker – A Wyndham Hotel
4 Stars| The New Yorker is one of the most famous hotels in the whole city – partly, because of the huge sign with its name on it on top of the building. Built in the Art Deco style, the hotel is beautifully decorated and should definitely be on your list if you’re looking for superb accommodation. From the upper floors you can see the Empire State Building and the Hudson River, and with Central Park you have the green lungs of the city right outside your hotel door.
03 MADE Hotel
4 stars | MADE Hotel is located in the heart of Midtown and is one of the coolest accommodations in this neighborhood, which I personally love. The hotel is modern, really nicely designed, contains a lot of greenery (which contributes to the wonderful atmosphere) and has as icing on the cake a rooftop bar & lounge called “Lounge Good Behavior” on the 18th floor of the hotel. The view of the city is really nice!
The Empire State Building is only 3 blocks away, Washington Square Park and Union Square are within easy reach, and you don’t even need the subway to get to New York’s many other attractions. The MADE Hotel is located in the Koreatown neighborhood on the border of Murray Hill – that’s why I put it on the list of the best hotels in Murray Hill NYC!
You want to see more? Here is my complete list of amazing and affordable hotels near Penn Station.
Restaurants Near Penn Station
New York City is home to an incredible variety of dining options, with cuisines from all over the world, and Penn Station is perfectly situated to give you access to endless eateries. Whether you want to grab a quick breakfast or dine at an upscale restaurant with rooftop views, you can enjoy a wide range of restaurants near Penn Station.
Here are some of my favorite places to eat near Penn Station:
01 Cipriani Dolci
Located directly in Grand Central Terminal, Cipriani Dolci is an exceptional Italian restaurant. Opened in March 2002, Cipriani Dolci quickly made a name for itself with great service and an affordable menu. Visually, the restaurant blends in beautifully with the magnificent Grand Central Terminal.
In addition to delicious meals, you can also enjoy great cocktails here.
02 Ci Siamo
Probably one of the best Italian restaurants in Manhattan is Ci Siamo. With its open kitchen, you can watch the kitchen crew prepare your dishes. Also perfect if you are looking for a romantic restaurant.
03 Benjamin Steakhouse
Located in the heart of Midtown East, Benjamin Prime is a sleek and modern steakhouse that is an excellent choice for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner in New York City. The restaurant features stylish and sophisticated decor, with dark wood accents, leather banquettes, and dim lighting that creates a romantic and intimate atmosphere.
Regarding NYC Valentine’s Day restaurants 2022, Benjamin Prime typically offers a special menu featuring a variety of high-quality steaks and other meat dishes and a selection of seafood and vegetarian options. The restaurant is known for its excellent wine list, which includes a wide range of red wines that are carefully chosen to pair with the menu.
You want to see more? Take a look at my complete list of great restaurants near Penn Station.
Bars Near Penn Station NYC
If you’re looking for a drink to unwind or socialize, you’ll find plenty of bars near Penn Station. Whether you want a casual drink or a swanky lounge with city views, there’s no shortage of bar options within walking distance of Penn Station.
These are some of the best bars near Penn Station NYC:
01 Dear Irving on Hudson
The bar Dear Irving on Hudson is a real insider tip. Located very close to Times Square, you can look down on Manhattan’s “urban canyons” from here and be relatively undisturbed. The bar is small and cozy and not yet as crowded as many others in the neighborhood. The cocktail menu is not that big, but the cocktails are really good.
02 Monarch Rooftop
I have a great rooftop bar for you: the Monarch Rooftop Lounge. It is not only beautifully designed, consists of one of the most beautiful lounges in town and an outdoor area, but also offers you a sensational view of the Empire State Building. So if you are looking for a spot where good food, fair prices (!) and relaxed music come together, then the Monarch Rooftop Lounge should be on your myNY list.
03 Blu 33 Rooftop
The Blu 33 Rooftop on top of the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott New York hotel is one of the few rooftop bars in the West Village. It’s just one block from Macy’s and two blocks from Hudson Yards, and the view from here is really special!
You need more inspiration? This is my complete list of the best bars near Penn Station in New York City.
Tickets, Trains, and Schedules
Whether you’re commuting to the city from out of state or transferring between subway lines, Penn Station serves as a major transfer point for railways. Penn Station NYC is a transit hub that includes train services for Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road, NJ Transit, and the NYC subway. Six subway lines connect at Penn Station, including the A, C, E, 1, 2, and 3 trains. You can also connect to nearby New Jersey PATH trains at 33rd Street.
If you need luggage storage, you’ll find an array of options within a short walking distance of Penn Station. Amtrak provides the only luggage storage inside Penn Station and the many storage lockers near the station offer additional options at local restaurants and retail stores close to Penn Station NYC.
History of Penn Station
Penn Station is named after the Pennsylvania Railroad, the original builder of the station. Pennsylvania Railroad was a major construction and railroad company that built several Pennsylvania stations around the U.S. Construction began on New York’s Penn Station in 1905 and the station opened its doors in 1910. The grand Beaux Arts building gave direct rail access to NYC from the south for the first time.
The original Penn Station was demolished in 1963 and rebuilt to include more underground space. The current Penn Station NYC has a large portion that sits below Madison Square Garden, 33rd Street, and Two Penn Plaza. In 2021, the new Moynihan Train Hall, an extension of Penn Station housed in the Beaux-Arts style former Farley Building, opened its doors, improving congestion, decor, and accessibility in Penn Station.
What is Penn Station NYC called now?
Moynihan Train Hall is the new extension of Penn Station and sometimes people may refer to the station as Moynihan or they might just say Penn Station.
Is Penn Station the same as Grand Central?
No, Penn Station is separate from Grand Central, which is another busy rail hub in Midtown Manhattan. Grand Central Terminal is located to the east of Penn Station, at 42nd Street and Park Avenue.
Why is Penn Station famous?
Penn Station is famous for its central location below Madison Square Garden and close to the Empire State Building, Herald Square, and Koreatown in Midtown Manhattan. It is also known for being a major railway hub and the busiest rail station in the Western Hemisphere.
Is Penn Station bigger than Grand Central?
Grand Central is bigger than Penn Station. Grand Central is the largest train station in the world, with 44 platforms spread over 48 acres. Penn Station is busier than Grand Central, however, making both transit hubs important parts of the city.
What is the main train station in New York?
NYC’s main train hubs are Grand Central Station and Penn Station. Penn Station connects commuter trains from Long Island and New Jersey, the NYC subway system, and Amtrak trains.
What is the difference between NY Penn Station and Penn Station NY?
They refer to the same place, Penn Station NYC.
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I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 20 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!
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