Transfer from JFK to Manhattan

How to get from JFK to Manhattan and back

Image of author Maureen
14. January 2020
536 ratings

This is our ultimate guide on how to transfer from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Manhattan. You will find instructions in regards to the following topics below:


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Transfer Options from JFK to Manhattan

The JFK Airport is located in the Borough of Queens and is the primary airport serving New York, meaning that most people flying into New York will land here. The airport is about 15 miles from Manhattan and therefore the second closest to the city, after LaGuardia Airport, and before Newark Airport.

So if you are arriving at or departing from JFK, you have multiple transfer options to Manhattan. Below you can find all of the different means to and from JFK Airport to help you plan ahead of time. We will tell you step by step how to get to your destination. Be sure to know which one of the JFK Airport Terminals you will be arriving at or departing from.

1. Take a Taxi

Taxi from JFK to Manhattan

  • Cost: $60 + tolls (total)
  • Transfer duration: 60 – 90 minutes
  • no reservation required
  • not the cheapest option, typically long queues

Taxis offer a flat rate, so you won’t encounter any surprises later. You can get from JFK to Manhattan by cab for $70 including tolls. The screen should read “Rate #2- JFK Airport”. Don’t forget that you will need to wait in line for a taxi at the licensed taxi stand (this can take up to 20 minutes). Taxis are queued up in front of every terminal. Every taxi stand has an attendant who will steer you to the next taxi in line.

⚠ PLEASE NOTE: When you exit the airport, you will be approached by people asking if you need a taxi. Those are private individuals and should not be confused with the Yellow Cabs! Be sure to say NO, otherwise you’ll get ripped off! As soon as you step outside of the airport, you will see the official yellow cabs queued up in their allotted spot.

2. Book a Private Transfer

Private Transfer from JFK to Manhattan

  • Cost: from $17 per person
  • Transfer duration: 45 – 60 minutes
  • most convenient option, cheaper than a taxi or shuttle, fastest option
  • phone is required to call, which may be difficult for international travelers

Already from $17 per person, you can also book a private JFK airport transfer to Manhattan. These private transfer services are available 24/7 making them a very convenient option. Once you arrive at JFK Airport, all you have to do is call the number given on your booking confirmation (which you will receive immediately) and your car will arrive promptly. This is the family-friendliest and also fastest transfer from JFK to Manhattan.

You can choose between either a minivan which fits 5 people and a Sedan for a maximum of 3 passengers. The more people you travel with, the lower is the price per person. But even with 2 people, you’d pay less for a private transfer than for a regular taxi.


If you already wish to book your return trip back to JFK airport in advance as well, you can do so here.

3. Use the Shuttle Bus

Airport Shuttle from JFK to Manhattan

  • Cost: $22 per person (roundtrip $40)
  • Transfer duration: 90 – 120 minutes
  • flexible departure times
  • longer transfer duration compared to other options

The Manhattan Shuttle bus is a group taxi that takes 1-8 passengers to Manhattan for around $26 each. This is a great way to get from JFK to Manhattan if you are looking to save some money or are traveling in a large group. The shuttle transfer will take you straight to your hotel. If there are only two of you, keep in mind that other people may be dropped off first, meaning the transfer could take a little longer.

Booking a roundtrip will save you a few bucks!


4. Get on the Airport Express Bus

NYC Express Airport Bus to Manhattan

  • Cost: $17 per person
  • Transfer duration: 90 minutes
  • flexible departure times
  • won’t drop you off directly at your destination

The New York City Airporter Shuttle Bus leaves every half an hour between 11 am and 7 pm. The shuttle bus is a great way to save money due to the competitive price point per person and is an easy and non-complicated way to organize a New York airport transfer. This transfer is particularly useful if you wish to travel from JFK to Times Square, JFK to Port Authority Bus Terminal or the Grand Central Terminal.

You can pre-book your tickets, so you won’t have to search for NYC Airporter sales agents or counters at JFK Airport. With a mobile ticket ready, you can head straight to the bus, departing from Terminals 1, 4 & 8.

You can get off at the following bus stops:

    • Grand Central Terminal
    • Port Authority Bus Terminal
    • Times Square


5. Ride the Subway

Subway from JFK to Manhattan

  • Cost: $10 per person
  • Transfer duration: 60 minutes
  • cheapest transfer option from JFK to Manhattan
  • can be hard to navigate for first-time visitors, not convenient if you carry a lot of luggage

If you are looking for the cheapest transfer from JFK to Manhattan, you’ve just found it! Taking the AirTrain and the Subway will get you to your hotel or accommodation without spending a lot of money. In order to use the subway, you will need to purchase a MetroCard. Using the New York City Subway is straight forward, we have detailed your way into Manhattan from JFK Airport below to help you plan your arrival or departure in NYC.

If your destination is Midtown or Uptown Manhattan: Take the AirTrain at JFK to “Jamaica Center-Parsons/Archer” station. Tickets for the AirTrain are $7.75 per person and paid automatically upon exiting. From Jamaica Station, line E will take you as far as 53rd Street in Manhattan. You could also take the LIRR (Long Island Railway Service) to New York Penn Station. It is a faster, but more expensive alternative to taking the subway to Manhattan.

If your destination is Downtown Manhattan: Take the AirTrain to “Howard Beach JFK Airport” station. Tickets for the AirTrain are $7.75 per person and paid automatically upon exiting. From Howard Beach Station you can take the lines A and C to get to Lower Manhattan.

Check out and download the New York City’s MTA Subway Map to figure out your subway ride from JFK Airport to Manhattan.

6. Call an UBER

Transfer from JFK to Manhattan

  • Cost: $60-70 (total)
  • Transfer duration: 60 – 90 minutes
  • slightly cheaper than a taxi
  • app and internet access required

Ordering or hailing a taxi to JFK is easy, however, it will cost quite a bit. A slightly cheaper alternative to get from JFK to Manhattan is UBER. We recommend checking the estimated fare of your journey before you order your UBER, as fares can fluctuate according to the time of the day. If you’ve used UBER before, you know it’s easy to order one. All you have to do is enter your information into the app and you can be sure that your UBER to Manhattan is only a few minutes away. If you’re new to UBER, you can sign up here, using the promo codeselwynt1″ to get $5 off your first ride.

JFK Airport Transfer FAQs

How much is a taxi from JFK to Manhattan?
If you’re thinking about taking a cab from JFK to Manhattan, expect to pay around $70, including tolls. You can easily grab a taxi at the airport anytime, however, it is not the cheapest transfer from JFK.

How much does the AirTrain at JFK cost?
The fee to use the AirTrain at JFK is $5 and is paid upon exiting, meaning you don’t need to purchase a ticket in advance. The cost for the AirTrain will automatically be deducted at Jamaica or Howard Beach Station when you purchase your subway ticket.

Can I buy a MetroCard at JFK airport?
You will find plenty of vending machine upon exiting the AirTrain. There, you can buy any type of MetroCard to continue your journey.

Can I use an Unlimited MetroCard for the AirTrain?
No, you can’t use an Unlimited MetroCard to pay the AirTrain fee. You would need to pay an additional $5. Should you have a pay-per-ride MetroCard, you can use your MetroCard to pay for the AirTrain without a problem.

What is the fastest way to get from JFK to Manhattan?
Generally, the fastest way to get to Manhattan from JFK is by private transfer. They take about 45-60 minutes, whereas buses and shuttle services can take anything from 60-120 minutes. In case of heavy traffic, however, your best bet is taking the AirTrain, followed by the subway or LIRR into the city.

What is the cheapest way to get from JFK to Manhattan?
The cheapest way to get to Manhattan from JFK is by taking public transport. Using the AirTrain and the Subway will cost you less than $10. Other transfers, such as a taxi or a shuttle, will typically cost you around $15-20.

How far is JFK from Manhattan?
JFK is about 15 miles away from Manhattan, making it the second closest airport in the New York City area

Is there luggage storage at JFK airport?
Yes! If you need to store your luggage at JFK for some reason, you can easily do so. Locker prices start at $4 and are available in Terminals 1, 4 and 8. To find out where exactly you can store your luggage, including opening hours, price lists and luggage size regulations, take a look here.

Is the airport transfer included in the New York Pass?
The airport transfer is not included in the New York Pass. However, the transfer back from Manhattan to the airport is included in the Sightseeing Pass! If you already have a day pass, it’s practically free! If you have the FLEX version, you can use on attraction to book the transfer from Manhattan to the airport (JFK, EWR or LGA). For more details, please read here.

Transfer Options from Manhattan to JFK

In order to transfer from Manhattan to JFK, you can just take one of the airport transportation options listed above and reverse it! That means you can take a taxi, private transfer, shuttle, public transportation or an UBER to JFK from Manhattan.

About the author
Maureen Steinert
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Sherene Moodley

Require return transfers
JFK to Millenium Hilton One UN Plaza NYC

Residence Inn by Marriott Weehawken to JFK

Maureen Steinert

Hi Sherene,

what transfer are you looking for? For your arrival, we recommend a private transfer or a shuttle if you prefer not to take public transportation.
Unfortunately, there’s no shuttle departing from NJ, so you’d need to take the bus to the city and catch the shuttle from there. Alternatively, you can use an UBER for the entire ride, which will cost you a bit more.


Tarun Patel

Slightly confused by how excited this article gets about transfers and then lets you down with a complete lack of detail on what could be preferred options. It seems to focus entirely on private transfers but drops into a paragraph that taking the LIRR is faster but slightly more expensive than the subway. Doesn’t explain how much it costs or how long this option takes. Sorry, unimpressed.

Maureen Steinert

Hi Tarun,

thanks for your feedback! I will review the article. You can always shoot us an email at if you need further assistance in your planning.


Robert Daniel

Hi were flying to new york on 29th dec from england and have booked a private transfer thru th virgin holidays.On my itinerary it says we can take 2 x 23kg case each but the sedan picking us up only allows 3 cases and 2 hand luggage what do we do about the other case, sounds daft but is there an answer?

Maureen Steinert

Hi Robert,

it’s best to reach out to the operator directly.



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