LaGuardia is New York’s least busy major airport. It’s a National Airport so only People flying or connecting from another US Airport will arrive here. LaGuardia is the closest airport to Manhattan but the journey is not always straightforward. Read on for our guide to the best transportation from LaGuardia to Manhattan.
The Aiport is a small national facility which means there are no customs or immigration facilities so you can pass through pretty quickly compared to the larger international airports of JFK and Newark. The fact it is more local to the City Centre along with its compact nature means getting into the city is easier and faster making arriving at LaGuardia a great choice. However Public transport links are actually poorer than the huge infrastructure that has been put in place to serve the major airports.
Let’s look at your options
Taxi from LaGuardia
Taxicabs are a very popular and convenient choice for getting you to your hotel from LaGuardia. As LaGuardia is pretty close to the City Centre the taxi ride is not overly expensive $40-50 should usually cover it. It should take you about 30 Minutes. Cabs take a maximum of 4 passengers so shared between you, it’s quite a reasonable cost considering the convenience.
Unfortunately, the Traffic can make this journey far less pleasurable than it could be. If the rush hour is in full swing it could double the time taken. Also, the Metered price will also increase while standing in Traffic. So you have to pay more for the pleasure of crawling along
You should have no trouble locating a Taxi as you leave the terminal. The Taxi ranks are well signposted and there should be queues of yellow cabs waiting to whisk you away.
Uber from LaGuardia
We are really big Uber fans and use the ride-sharing service all the time now on our trips. However Uber is not quite as competitive in New York as in other cities. The issues around traffic also plague Ubers just as much as taxis and private hire cars. This means for most airports we do not recommend Uber. However, Laguardia being that much closer means Uber is still a great option.
For a few dollars less than a taxi you can whip out the app and request a ride and be at your hotel inside the hour. Pick-up at LaGuardia is right outside of Terminals A and C and at the Car services (follow the green Car Services Signs) for Terminal B
Rides cost around $40 to midtown/Times Square
Public Transport – Bus and Subway
Being so close to the City, Public transport is fairly convenient and very cheap. All it costs is $2.75 per person plus $1.00 for the metro card or you could just buy a 7 Day unlimited Metro card if you plan on using the Subway and Buses quite a bit on your trip. This will cost you $33.
The first stage is to catch a Bus to connect you to the Subway. The Bus you need is the Q70 SBS (Select Bus Service). Ride this all the way to 74 St/Roosevelt Ave.
Here you simply head to the Subway station where you can access the 7, E, F, M, R subway lines. If that’s all gibberish to you then need our New York Subway Guide.
This Map should help you Visualise the Journey. And you can view Subway Maps here. As you can see The Bus and Subway will get you right into the heart of Manhattan.
While the Subway can be a little intimidating the first time in New York. It’s well worth the effort to save quite a bit of money. The other downside is the fact the Subway Systems are quite dated and You will need to Haul your Luggage up and down the Stairs at each Subway station. New York’s Subway isn’t too deep so it’s not too many stairs.
Time-wise it varies quite a bit on where in New York you are going. If it’s central around 45mins is a fair guess.
From LaGuardia, the shuttles are notoriously poor. Shuttles are shared mini-vans that pick up various groups of passengers and whisk them off to their hotels. As the group all split the cost of the van prices per person are far cheaper than private hire options.
They can be ok if you strike it lucky and the shuttle is almost full when you arrive and your stop is first. But the flip side is if the Shuttle is empty when you arrive, you will have to wait while it fills with strangers then the shuttle could drop off all others before you. If traffic is poor it could be 2 hours. Yes, you will save a little bit at approx. $15 pp. It’s really not a lot over a private door-to-door taxi! Honestly, we see no reason to recommend them if arriving at LaGuardia. However, if you have a Large Group and can fill a Shuttle they can be a good option.
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Shared Shuttles are currently not allowed due to the pandemic. You will need to rent the whole shuttle and this is expensive, in the region of $100
There are several car service options available where you can pre-book a car just for yourself to whisk you off to your hotel. This is a fantastic option, but of course, it’s not the cheapest. Your driver will greet you at the airport and help you with your luggage out to the car and then drop you off right at the door all for a fixed fee. You are once again at mercy of the traffic but at least the meter won’t be running ever upward as you sit there! Base fares are around $45 dollars plus tip and tolls. Try Dial 7 or CarmelLimo for quotes and booking.
You can always hire a car. And LaGuardia has all the usual options but really New York is not the best city to hire a car. The traffic is appalling and the chances are you will not be well versed in negotiating it. Parking is an expensive premium in the city. Really We only recommend hireling a car if you are planning on leaving the city at some point. Maybe if this is the first stop of a Road Trip, and even then only on the day, you leave the City!
We know the Last thing you need after a tiring flight is to spend more time on a long stressful journey. So often a Taxi is very appealing. With a little foresight booking a car is not really much more expensive and definitely worth looking at. But for ultra Budget just using Public transport is the only Option. The Subway can be daunting but it’s quite simple once you get your head around it. Whichever way you choose it should be less than an hour before you are snuggly in your hotel and ready to get out exploring.
Have Your Say
Let us know in the comments below if you have any experience of getting to Manhattan from LaGuardia. Especially if your experience differs from ours. We hope our guide helps you get to your hotel in a way that suits you best. Please leave a comment should you have any questions or need any more detailed advice.
We would be happy to give you a more detailed route using the Subway if you let us know where you are staying. Just comment below we will happily get back to you letting you know what lines you will need!