If you’re visiting New York City and flying into one of the area’s major airports, you may be wondering which one puts you closest to the heart of Manhattan. With three major airports serving the Big Apple, there are a few options to weigh when deciding which airport is most convenient for your NYC vacation or business trip.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is the closest airport to midtown Manhattan where the bulk of attractions, hotels, restaurants and businesses are located.
Understanding the Lay of the Land
Before exploring which airport is closest to Manhattan, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the geography of Manhattan itself. Manhattan is one of the five boroughs of New York City and is located at the southern tip of the island of Manhattan.
It is surrounded by the Hudson River to the west and the East River to the east. Manhattan is known for its iconic skyscrapers, bustling streets, and vibrant culture.
Manhattan Geography Overview
Manhattan is approximately 13.4 miles long and 2.3 miles wide, making it a relatively compact area. It is divided into several neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and attractions. From the bustling streets of Times Square to the historic charm of Greenwich Village, Manhattan offers a diverse range of experiences for residents and visitors alike.
Proximity of NYC Airports
When it comes to airports, New York City is served by three major airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). Each airport has its own advantages and proximity to Manhattan.
JFK is located in Queens, approximately 15 miles southeast of Manhattan. It is the busiest airport in New York City and offers a wide range of domestic and international flights. It is well-connected to Manhattan by public transportation options such as the AirTrain JFK and the subway.
LaGuardia Airport is located in Queens, around 8 miles east of Manhattan. It is the closest airport to Manhattan in terms of distance, but it primarily serves domestic flights. LaGuardia is currently undergoing renovations to improve its facilities and passenger experience.
Newark Liberty International Airport is located in Newark, New Jersey, approximately 16 miles southwest of Manhattan. While it is not technically in New York City, it is a popular choice for travelers heading to Manhattan due to its proximity and the availability of direct train services to the city.
It is worth noting that travel times to and from these airports can vary depending on traffic conditions and the mode of transportation chosen. It is always a good idea to allow extra time for travel, especially during peak hours.
When it comes to airports near Manhattan, LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is one of the closest and most convenient options. Located in the northern part of Queens, New York, LGA offers various transportation options to and from Manhattan, making it a popular choice for both domestic and international travelers.
Location and Transportation Options
LaGuardia Airport is situated approximately 8 miles from Midtown Manhattan, making it easily accessible for those traveling to and from the city. There are several transportation options available to get to and from LGA:
- Taxi or Rideshare: Taking a taxi or rideshare service is a common and convenient way to travel from LaGuardia Airport to Manhattan. The journey usually takes around 30 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.
- Public Transportation: LGA is well-connected to the New York City subway and bus system. Travelers can take the M60-SBS bus to Manhattan, which provides a direct route to various neighborhoods in the city.
- Shuttle Services: There are also shuttle services available that offer door-to-door transportation between LaGuardia Airport and Manhattan at affordable rates. These services are a popular choice for those traveling in larger groups or with a lot of luggage.
LaGuardia Airport consists of four terminals: A, B, C, and D. Each terminal offers a range of amenities and services to enhance the passenger experience. From dining options and duty-free shopping to lounges and charging stations, LGA strives to provide a comfortable and enjoyable environment for its travelers.
It is important to note that LaGuardia Airport is currently undergoing a major redevelopment project, which aims to modernize and improve the overall airport experience. As a result, some terminals may have limited amenities or temporary closures.
It is recommended to check the airport’s official website for the most up-to-date information before your trip.
Where LGA Falls Short
While LaGuardia Airport offers proximity and convenience, it does have its limitations. One of the main drawbacks of LGA is its limited international flight options compared to other airports in the New York City area, such as John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
However, LGA does serve a significant number of domestic flights, making it an ideal choice for domestic travelers.
Additionally, congestion and traffic can be a challenge when traveling to and from LaGuardia Airport, especially during peak travel times. It is important to plan accordingly and allow extra time for potential delays.
John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport, also known as JFK Airport, is one of the primary airports serving the New York City area. Located in the borough of Queens, JFK Airport is approximately 15 miles southeast of Manhattan.
With its close proximity to the city, it is a popular choice for travelers flying into or out of New York City.
Location and Transportation Options
JFK Airport is conveniently located near major highways, making it easily accessible by car. Travelers can take the Van Wyck Expressway, the Belt Parkway, or the Grand Central Parkway to reach the airport.
Additionally, there are several public transportation options available for those who prefer not to drive. The AirTrain JFK provides a direct connection between the airport and the New York City subway and Long Island Rail Road, making it easy for passengers to reach Manhattan and other parts of the city.
JFK Airport has six terminals, each serving different airlines. Terminal 1 is primarily used by international carriers, while Terminal 4 is the largest terminal and serves many international and domestic airlines. Terminals 2, 5, 7, and 8 also handle both international and domestic flights.
Each terminal has a variety of amenities, including shops, restaurants, and lounges, to make passengers’ travel experience more comfortable and enjoyable.
When JFK is More Convenient
While there are other airports in the New York City area, such as Newark Liberty International Airport and LaGuardia Airport, JFK Airport is often the most convenient choice for travelers visiting Manhattan.
Its location near major highways and its accessibility to public transportation make it easy for travelers to reach their destination in the city. Additionally, JFK Airport offers a wide range of flights to domestic and international destinations, providing travelers with plenty of options when planning their trip.
Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport is one of the major airports serving the New York City metropolitan area. Located in Newark, New Jersey, it is the closest airport to Manhattan, making it a popular choice for travelers heading to the city.
With its convenient location and various transportation options, Newark Liberty International Airport offers a seamless travel experience for both domestic and international visitors.
Location and Transportation Options
Newark Liberty International Airport is situated just 16 miles southwest of Manhattan. Travelers can easily reach the airport by car, taxi, or public transportation. The airport is well-connected to major highways, including the New Jersey Turnpike and Interstate 78, making it easily accessible for those driving in from different parts of the region.
For those opting for public transportation, the AirTrain Newark provides a direct link between the airport and the Newark Liberty International Airport Station, where passengers can catch trains to various destinations, including New York City.
The journey from the airport to Manhattan takes approximately 30 minutes, making it a convenient option for those looking to avoid traffic or prefer not to drive.
Newark Liberty International Airport consists of three main terminals: Terminal A, Terminal B, and Terminal C. Each terminal offers a range of amenities and services to enhance the passenger experience.
From dining options and duty-free shopping to lounges and charging stations, travelers can find everything they need within the airport premises.
Terminal C, also known as the Liberty Terminal, is the largest and newest terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport. It houses a wide array of airlines and offers a modern and spacious environment for travelers.
Terminal B is currently undergoing renovations to provide an upgraded and more efficient experience for passengers.
Best for New Jersey Travel
While Newark Liberty International Airport is the closest airport to Manhattan, it also serves as a convenient option for travelers heading to destinations within New Jersey. With its proximity to major cities like Newark, Jersey City, and Hoboken, the airport is a gateway to exploring the state’s vibrant attractions, including the beautiful beaches of the Jersey Shore and the cultural and historical landmarks of Princeton.
Whether you’re visiting New York City or exploring the Garden State, Newark Liberty International Airport offers a convenient and efficient travel experience. With its proximity to Manhattan and its extensive transportation options, it remains a popular choice for travelers looking to start their journey in the heart of the Big Apple.
While LaGuardia Airport is the closest airport to Manhattan and offers the quickest connections for those staying in central NYC, each airport has its own pluses and minuses depending on where you’re traveling from or to.
Consider convenience, transportation costs, and your final destination neighborhood when choosing between LGA, JFK and Newark for your upcoming New York City flight.