What’s the best way to get to Manhattan from Newark International Airport in New Jersey?

Flying into Newark (EWR) can not only often be a cheaper way to get into New York with some airline carriers, but it can also be an easier way to get into Manhattan on arrival, too. Unlike La Guardia (LGA) and similar to the crowded John F Kennnedy (JFK), Newark has a train station connected directly to the Airport, accessible by an AirTrain which connects the station to the airport’s three terminals and four parking structures.

At US$12.50, you’re able to pick up your ticket from a vending machine before you board your AirTrain, making for a seamless transition to your rail line. Of course, NYC isn’t the only destination for the trains at this station, with services running for local New Jersey lines, while your train bound for New York Penn also stops at Newark NJ Penn en route, with trains running every twenty minutes or so during the usual hours.

The journey to New York Penn took about 40 minutes, which in my experiences is roughly equitable getting to/from Manhattan via any of the airports… if not the quicker of the options, especially at the hour. Your other options are an express bus, which costs $16 each way and is subject to the conditions of the road, or a multi-passenger shuttle like SuperShuttle. This service changes in price based on the number of guests, the destination and whether you’re heading to a residence or a hotel. It’s likely to be the most expensive and time consuming option of the above, though still cheaper than a taxi and will deliver you to your final destination without any hassle.

Given I arrived 8am into Newark, neither was never going to be a smart option. You do not want to start off your New York adventure stuck in peak hour traffic! And the NJ transit trains are comfortable ones, even at this hour. I was able to find a seat without issue and stow my luggage in racks provided above the seats.

By the time I arrived in New York, it was just before 9am and I was able to miss the major inner city rush hour to complete my journey to the lower east side. Your NJ Transit ticket doesn’t transfer you to the New York Metro, however, so you’ll need to pick up a Metrocard on arrival. To keep things easy for my 6 days in New York I purchased a week fare for $30. A must for any traveller; you’re going to be using the Metro a LOT, it’s the only way to get around New York!

Journey: New Jersey’s Newark International Airport to Delancey, Bowery, New York City (Manhattan).
Total journey time: 8am to 930am
Total cost: $12.50 + $31 for a weekly MetroCard (including $1 card fee). Single fares are $2.50.

HOT TIP: Not sure which New York / New Jersey airport your airline flies to? When listing your destination, enter NYCrather than LGA or JFK and you will be able to access the rates for whichever of the three airports your carrier flies to.

For a broader search, we recommend using SkyScanner (http://www.skyscanner.net) online or on the SkyScanner app to search for multiple airlines simultaneously. Please note Southwest is not readily searchable on engines like this, and we recommend checking the Southwest website as a final comparison when travelling domestically in the USA. I’ve found their web fares to be the most competitive in the USA. Plus, they are one of the very few domestic airlines to include baggage in the price. Travellers should add $25 each way to a round trip when considering the best fare, if you’re checking a bag.

Note: PATH and New Jersey Transit are not one and the same, as I discovered the hard way on my trip back, though both will get you to the airport. Stick with the New Jersey Transit for this route… the other is a long, all stops service. Let’s just say I was lucky to make my flight!

This article was originally published¬†in October 2013, at which time all the prices and information listed were correct. For latest details head to the Newark Airport’s website.


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.