The sight of Lady Liberty rising above New York Harbor is one of America’s most iconic images. If you’re visiting the city and landing at JFK, you’ll want to know the best way to make your way into Manhattan and visit this national treasure.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Take the AirTrain from JFK to Jamaica Station and transfer to the Long Island Railroad to Penn Station. Then take a ferry from Battery Park to Liberty Island. Total travel time is around 2 hours.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get from JFK airport to the Statue of Liberty in detail, including:

– Transportation options and routes

– Travel time estimates

– Tickets and fares

– Tips for navigation

Getting from JFK to Manhattan

When arriving at JFK Airport and wanting to make your way to Manhattan, there are several transportation options to choose from. Each option offers its own advantages and considerations, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.

AirTrain to Jamaica + LIRR

One option is to take the AirTrain to Jamaica station and then transfer to the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to reach Manhattan. The AirTrain is a convenient and affordable way to travel between JFK and various transportation hubs.

From Jamaica station, you can hop on the LIRR, which offers frequent service to Penn Station in the heart of Manhattan. This option is ideal for those looking for a speedy and direct route to Manhattan, especially if you have a lot of luggage.

The AirTrain and LIRR combination is often recommended for its efficiency and reliability.

NYC Airporter Bus

If you prefer a more direct route from JFK to Manhattan, you can consider taking the NYC Airporter Bus. The NYC Airporter Bus provides a comfortable and reliable shuttle service between JFK and various stops in Manhattan.

The buses are equipped with amenities such as free Wi-Fi and charging ports, making your journey more enjoyable. This option is great for those who value convenience and prefer a door-to-door service. The NYC Airporter Bus is also a cost-effective option compared to other modes of transportation, especially if you are traveling with a group.

Taxi or Rideshare

For those who prioritize convenience and privacy, taking a taxi or rideshare service from JFK to Manhattan is a popular choice. Taxis are readily available at the airport and provide a direct and hassle-free transfer to your destination.

Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are also widely used and offer a similar level of convenience. These options are perfect for those traveling with a lot of luggage or seeking a more personalized experience.

However, it’s important to note that taking a taxi or rideshare may be more expensive compared to other transportation options, especially during peak hours or heavy traffic.

Getting to Battery Park in Lower Manhattan


The subway is one of the most convenient and cost-effective ways to get to Battery Park from JFK Airport. Take the AirTrain from the airport to Jamaica Station, then transfer to the E train towards World Trade Center. Get off at the World Trade Center stop and walk south to Battery Park.

The subway ride takes approximately 1 hour and costs around $2.75.

For more information about the subway system and to plan your route, you can visit the MTA website.


If you prefer a more scenic route, you can take a bus from JFK Airport to Battery Park. The NYC Airporter Bus offers direct service from the airport to several locations in Manhattan, including Battery Park. The bus ride takes approximately 1 hour and costs around $19.

You can purchase tickets online or at the airport.

For more information about the NYC Airporter Bus and to book your tickets, you can visit their official website.


If you enjoy walking and have some extra time, you can also consider walking from JFK Airport to Battery Park. Just kidding! 😂 Walking from the airport to Battery Park is not a practical option, as it would take several hours and cover a distance of over 15 miles.

It’s best to use public transportation or other means of transportation to get to Battery Park.

So, whether you prefer the convenience of the subway, the scenic route of a bus, or the leisurely stroll of walking (just not from JFK Airport), there are several options available to get you from JFK Airport to Battery Park in Lower Manhattan.

Choose the option that suits your preferences and enjoy your visit to the iconic Statue of Liberty!

Taking the Ferry to Liberty Island


When planning a visit to the Statue of Liberty, taking the ferry is a popular and convenient option. To board the ferry, visitors need to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased online through the official National Park Service website or at the ticket office located at the ferry departure point.

It is recommended to buy tickets online to avoid long queues and ensure availability, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Pro tip: Check the official National Park Service website for any special offers or discounts on ferry tickets. Planning ahead and purchasing tickets in advance can save both time and money.

Departure Times and Frequency

The ferry to Liberty Island operates daily, except on Christmas Day. Departure times vary throughout the year, so it is essential to check the schedule in advance. During peak season, the ferries run more frequently to accommodate the high number of visitors.

The first ferry usually departs early in the morning, and the last ferry departs in the late afternoon. Be sure to arrive at the ferry departure point at least 30 minutes before your scheduled departure to allow for security checks and boarding.

Fun fact: The ferry ride to Liberty Island offers breathtaking views of the New York City skyline and the Statue of Liberty herself. Don’t forget your camera!

What to Expect Onboard

The ferry ride to Liberty Island is an experience in itself. The ferries are spacious and comfortable, with indoor and outdoor seating options available. Onboard amenities include restrooms, food and beverage options, and informative audio guides that provide interesting facts and historical information about the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Did you know? The ferry ride from Battery Park in Manhattan to Liberty Island typically takes around 15-20 minutes, depending on the weather and water conditions.

Once you reach Liberty Island, you will have the opportunity to explore the grounds, visit the museum, and even climb to the top of the pedestal or crown of the Statue of Liberty, if you have the appropriate ticket.

Remember to plan your visit accordingly, as there may be time restrictions for certain activities.

For more information and to purchase ferry tickets, visit the official National Park Service website.


With the right combination of trains, buses, and ferries, getting from JFK to the Statue of Liberty is very doable, even if you’re navigating New York City for the first time. Following this guide will help you map out the fastest and most efficient route.

Enjoy your up-close encounter with Lady Liberty!

Some final tips: Purchase ferry tickets ahead of time, allow plenty of extra time for unexpected delays, and consider getting a Metrocard for subways and buses. With good planning, you’ll be able to check visiting this iconic landmark off your NYC bucket list with ease!

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