New York, New York!
As one of the world’s premier centers of business, finance, tourism, fashion, cuisine, theater, arts, and sports, New York City (NYC) holds an outsized role in the consciousness of modern humanity. It is a city of superlatives, grandiosity, and cultural trendsetting. That many residents consider it the most important city in the world speaks to New Yorkers’ love for their home city. It is affectionately referred to as “the big apple,” “the city that never sleeps,” and, to those in the know, simply “the city.”
With 8.8 million residents, it is the most populous city in the United States. It is also the world’s most linguistically diverse city, with hundreds of languages and dialects spoken by its residents. It has more Chinese residents than any city outside of Asia, more Jewish residents than any city outside of Israel, more Latino residents than any other U.S. city, and more Puerto Rican residents than any city in the world.
Despite it being the most densely populated metropolis in the United States, around 22% of New York City’s land is dedicated to public parks. The city is comprised of five municipalities called boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. Brooklyn is the most populous and was it a city itself, it would be the fourth largest in the United States
NYC has a colorful and fascinating history. The island now known as Manhattan was settled in 1624 as an extension of the Dutch Republic. When the English purchased Manhatten in 1664, they renamed it New York City in honor of the Duke of York. The purchase price? One dollar in today’s currency. Later, the city would serve as the first capital of the United States.
New York City Airport Guide
The New York Metropolitan area is home to over 19 million people. Furthermore, the airports serving the region also serve as gateways to hundreds of national and international destinations. There is no way that one airport can possibly meet the demand for air travel, so three major airports share the load. The largest and busiest, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), located in Queens, is the focus of this guide. The second major NYC area airport is LaGuardia (LGA), also located in Queens. The third is Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), located across the Hudson River in New Jersey. You can use Jayride to book airport car services to, from, or between all three airports.
Also, although this post focuses on the JFK car services, much of the information here applies to all three regional airports.
John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK)
Located about 16 miles (26 km) from Midtown Manhatten, JFK covers 8.1 square miles (21 square km) of prime real estate. Around 90 airlines take off and land on JFK’s four runways, and there are direct and nonstop flights to the six inhabited continents. The airport serves as the operating base for JetBlue and is a hub for Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. Around 60 million passengers pass through its terminals every year.
The terminals at JFK are numbered 1-8. It’s a little confusing because there are only six terminals. This is because terminals 3 and 6 have been demolished, and the remaining ones were never renumbered. The six active terminals are arranged in a U-shape around a central area that contains parking and other airport services. The AirTrain connects the terminals.
The AirTrain is automated and runs 24/7, with three lines. It has ten stations in Queens and connects all the terminals with the NYC subway system and the Long Island Railroad. Like so much in New York City, the airport enjoys international fame from the many blockbuster movies that took place there, including Catch Me If You Can, The Goodfellas, and The Terminal.
JFK Airport Transportation
JFK airport transportation service is more extensive than in most cities. There are four reasons for this. The first is the sheer population of the New York Metropolitan area – 19 million people means a lot of people flying by airplane!. The second reason relates to the financial and cultural aspects of the city – there are simply many people of means with the means, necessity, and desire to travel. The third reason relates to tourism – over 30 million people visit the area annually! Finally, New York City has the most robust public transportation system in the United States. As a result of this and the high cost of owning a car in the city, many residents don’t travel by private vehicle. There are so many options for JFK transportation services that using Jayride to book airport transfers makes practical sense!
No matter how you get to and from JFK, assume that there will be heavy traffic and schedule accordingly. Although New York City has the best public transportation system in the United States, it also has some of the worst traffic congestion.
If you have visited NYC before, you will know how expensive things can be. If it’s your first time, be prepared for sticker shock on just about everything, including transportation. It is commonly ranked as the most expensive city in the United States and the ninth most expensive in the world.
Car Services, JFK Airport
Private car services in JFK is popular among many travelers. For those new to the city, it is much less complicated than navigating the complex maze of parkways, thruways, interstates, one-way streets, bridges, and bumper-bumper traffic that typifies getting to and from the airport. And for anyone, having a private driver familiar with the roads and traffic patterns makes the journey more relaxing and a lot less complicated than many other transportation options. One-way car services for the 16-mile (26-km) ride from JFK to Times Square in Manhatten will cost around $120.
It’s wise to reserve JFK Airport Car Services right after you book your flight. It will be one less thing to worry about so you can focus on the purpose of your trip and the journey itself. Car service companies are accustomed to delayed and canceled flights, missed connections, and other perils of airplane travel and will work with you to adjust should there be any changes in your arrival or departure day or time. If you don’t book in advance for whatever reason, you can still make reservations at any point, even from baggage claims. Remember to book Car Services to JFK for the return trip to the airport at the end of your stay. Visit the Jayride website to make all arrangements for private car services in JFK.
JFK Airport Limo Service
New York is a city of style, luxury, and status. Using a JFK Airport Limo Service is the way to go if you want to travel in the ultimate class. Once again, Jayride provides the ultimate guide to finding and booking your premier limousine ride. Limousine service with a professional chauffeur to JFK can cost as little as $150 or as much as $1,000 or even more, depending on the company, the number of passengers, the distance, tolls, and tip.
JFK Town Car Services
Consider JFK town car services when a limousine is too much, but you still want to travel in style with a professional chauffeur. For a little less money, you will still travel in style and class. With Jayride, you can compare prices between JFK town car services, JFK Airport Limo service, and other JFK Airport transportation options.
Shuttle Service JFK Airport
Because of the area’s comprehensive public transportation networks, the JFK airport shuttle service is not as widespread as in some other major U.S. cities. However, there are still plenty of options. A round-rip shared shuttle from JFK to midtown Manhattan costs about $35. A shuttle to JFK from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) will run around $60. Remember that shuttles from JFK Airport during peak holidays will fill quickly, so book early.
Uber and Lyft can pick you up and drop you off at the JFK airport. If you are an arriving passenger, follow the signs for “Passenger Pick Up.” The pick-up areas are just outside each of the six terminals, usually near the taxi stand. The Uber and Lyft apps will give you options of different pick-up areas at each terminal, identified by a letter. For example, you may be asked if you want to be picked up at pick up C or D.
If you are a departing passenger, Uber and Lyft drivers can drop you off directly at your departure terminal. Rideshare fares to and from JFK will vary based on many factors but will likely fall into the following ranges:
|Bronx||$40 to $90|
|Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)||$130-$150|
JFK Taxi Service
Taxis between Manhattan and JFK charge a flat fee of $52, plus tolls, surcharges (around $1-$7 depending on the route and if it’s a rush hour), and tips. Taxi service between JFK and other destinations is at the standard metered fare.
Taking a cab in New York City is generally, but not always, less expensive than using a rideshare service such as Lyft or Uber. This is especially true of rides between JFK and Manhattan since taxis charge a flat fee for this service.
Another advantage of a taxi is that you can hail one on a whim from an almost busy street in the city. However, rideshare cars tend to be in better shape and are often more comfortable than taxi cabs.
When deciding on the amount of a gratuity for a car, taxi, or rideshare service in New York City, remember that your driver is living in one of the most expensive cities in the world and is navigating the most congested city in the United States. And this isn’t to mention the sometimes erratic driving habits made famous by Hollywood Movies and the tales told by visitors to the Big Apple! Although tips between 15% and 20% are typical for most cities, err on the higher side in New York if you can afford to. If you receive stand-out service, giving a generous tip of 25% or more will be greatly appreciated.
Shuttle bus drivers tips are often calculated in round dollar amounts. Give at least $3 to $5 per person, and more if your bags are numerous or heavy and the driver helps unload them.
Top 7 New York City Attractions
Indeed the heart of Manhattan, Times Square was once a seedy place with a notorious reputation for drug dealing, prostitution, and crime. Those days are long gone; it now feels more like a crowded outdoor mall and is abuzz with New Yorkers and tourists throughout the day and night. It’s during the hours of darkness that Times Square comes into its full glory and literally lights up with giant LED screens, turning night into technicolor day and illuminating the streets below. It’s not all hustle and bustle, as there is also a pedestrian zone where you can slow down and relax. This is the same place where up to a million people congregate on New Year’s Eve to celebrate and watch the lighted ball drop. If you can’t be there on New Year’s Eve or the thought of the crowd makes you want to run the other way, you can still watch a small-scale recreation of the midnight countdown re-created at the Times Square Visitor Center.
The pedestrian plazas of Times Square are also great places to catch costumed characters from Broadway plays, who will perform to gather crowds beneath the towering digital billboards.
Standing in sharp juxtaposition to Times Square, yet every bit as iconic, are the 840 acres (340 hectares) of Central Park, a swath of green space stretching 2.5 miles (4 km) between 59th and 100th streets and 0.5 miles (0.8 km) between 5th and 8th avenues. The sprawling park holds a natural contrast to the skyscrapers and the hubbub of the city that surrounds it.
Even if you’ve never been to Central Park in person, chances are you’re familiar with it anyway. More movie scenes are filmed there than in any other location in the world. It served as the backdrop in movies such as Ghostbusters, Avengers, When Harry Met Sally, Wall Street, Night at the Museum, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, and hundreds of others.
You can pick up a park map at one of the many visitor centers. Walking through the park is far from the only activity to do there. You can take a carriage ride, rent a bicycle, or even a paddleboat. In the winter, there is even ice skating. The most peaceful place here is the Ramble, a 38-acre wilderness area on the park’s west side.
Birding might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of New York, yet Central Park is considered a birder’s paradise. Of the roughly 800 bird species believed to live in North America, an astounding 275 have been spotted in the park!
Besides the park itself, there are some worthwhile attractions within its borders, including the Central Park Zoo, Belvedere Castle, and Strawberry Fields.
The 70-story art deco skyscraper at 30 Rockefeller Plaza is the centerpiece of this shopping and entertainment complex in the center of Manhattan. It is home to the NBC television network and was made famous by a long list of T.V. shows and movies, including 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, The Godfather, Midnight Cowboy, and (again!) Elf. The Top of the Rock Observation Deck, occupying the 67th, 69th, and 70th floors, offers breathtaking daytime and nighttime views of Manhattan. The skating rink at the base of the skyscraper is usually open from October to April. After Thanksgiving, a massive Christmas tree is hoisted in front of the skating rink and becomes a tourist attraction itself. Another famous part of Rockefeller Center is the bronze sculpture of Atlas, an iconic NYC landmark and a popular subject for photographers.
Broadway Theater District
“Broadway” is the shorthand term for both the New York City theater district and commercial theater in general. Attending a Broadway show in NYC is one of the most popular tourist activities in the Big Apple and is often the highlight of people’s visit to the city. The district has become an entertainment capital not just for New York City but for the entire world. Despite a large number of theaters and performances, the popularity of Broadway plays means you should purchase tickets well in advance of your visit, especially if you want to attend one of the more popular productions.
Empire State Building
Easily the most recognizable building in New York City, if not the world, the 102-story Empire State Building is one of the most popular attractions in Manhattan. If you plan to go, purchase tickets in advance so you can be assured of getting in. The building is open to the public daily from 8 am until 2 am. Remember, you’re in a city that never sleeps!
Like at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the Empire State Building is another iconic art deco skyscraper. Like so many attractions in NYC, its fame was helped by its appearance in blockbuster Hollywood films, from the original King Kong (1933) to Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021). Oh, and lest we forget, Elf (2003)!
When completed in 1930, the 1,452-foot (443-meter) tall skyscraper was the highest building in the world. It maintained that distinction until the World Trade Center opened in 1970.
You’ll find shops and restaurants on the ground floors and observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors. The 86th floor has a glass-enclosed area and an outside deck, the highest open-air observatory in NYC. The 102nd floor offers a 360-degree view where you can see skyscrapers 80 miles away on a clear day.
9/11 Memorial and Museum
The World Trade Center’s twin towers once stood 110 stories tall and dominated the NYC skyline. The September 11, 2001 attacks are all-too-real to many New York area people who lost family members, friends, and co-workers on that tragic day. The two footprints that once held the towers are now occupied by reflecting pools as part of the National September 11 Memorial. Bronze panels around the pools memorialize the names of those killed in the attacks. The pools are recessed, the water flowing over the sides into a seemingly bottomless square. Surrounding these are trees and grass, giving the site a peaceful yet somber feeling. It’s an incredibly poignant place to visit.
The underground museum contains moving displays covering the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the plane that crashed in a Pennsylvania farm field. In the museum, you’ll find photos, videos, and artifacts telling the story of 9/11, including its aftermath and impacts. Because the museum is so popular, it’s wise to book ahead.
Restaurants and Food!
New York City has one of the best food scenes on the planet. No matter what type of restaurant you’re looking for, you’ll find it in the Big Apple, and chances are it will be one of the most delicious meals you will ever eat.
However, certain dishes are famous because of how New Yorkers prepare them. These are the foods that people will rave about for years after visiting the city. They include:
- New York-style pizza is cooked in a high-temperature oven, made with a thin crust from high-gluten flour, traditional Italian red sauce, grated, dry mozzarella cheese, and only a few toppings (sausage, pepperoni, etc.) but NEVER pineapple!
- Manhattan clam chowder has a tomato-based broth and no milk or cream. It usually contains diced sauteed onions, carrots, celery, and herbs.
- New York-style cheesecake is made with generous use of cream cheese, heavy cream, and/or sour cream to create a creamier, smoother, denser texture.
- New York-style bagels have a shiny crust with a slight hardness. The bagels are boiled and never steamed, and the inside is chewy but not doughy. Many New Yorkers insist that the city’s water supply’s low calcium and magnesium content is the secret ingredient in making the inside so soft.
- New York-style soft pretzels are similar to New York-style bagels in that they are quickly bathed in boiling water. In the case of the pretzels, the water is seasoned with baking soda.
- Take a deep dive into New York City casual eating by ordering a hot dog served from one of the many street carts sporting a blue and yellow umbrella. The typical hot dog is all-beef and topped with spicy brown mustard, onion sauce, and sauerkraut. New Yorkers will insist that these are the best hot dogs anywhere in the known universe.
Use Jayride to book transportation services to all these great New York City attractions, even the hot dog carts!
On the Jayride website, look for the “COVID-19 Prepared” tag. Companies earn this tag by implementing a minimum of two procedures to reduce the chance of transmission. This may include drivers wearing masks, readily available hand sanitizer, social distancing, extra cleaning of the vehicles, and other Covid-19 safety measures.
FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
There is a considerable price range depending on the company, pickup location, time of day, type of service, etc. You can spend as little as $35 for a shuttle or hundreds of dollars for a limousine. To compare options and prices, use Jayride.
Black car service with a professional chauffeur will run between $95 and $150.
Several private companies provide shuttle services between JFK and popular NYC destinations. Use Jayride to see options and compare prices on shuttles and other JFK airport transfers. Some hotels also offer complimentary shuttle service to and from JFK.
Uber and other rideshares pick up outside each terminal. Your rideshare app will provide more specific directions.
Tips of around 20% of the fare are typical.
A limousine with a professional chauffeur between most NYC destinations and JFK will cost between $150 and $1,000, or even more depending on the distance, number of passengers, tolls, and tip.
Because taxis charge a flat rate of $52 for trips from JFK to Manhattan, taxis are almost always the better bet price-wise. Taxis charge additional fees for peak times, but even then, they usually work out cheaper than Uber.
You can expect to pay between $80 and $150 for a sedan or $160 to $200 for an SUV or van.