New York layovers at John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) offer plenty to do for travelers both inside and outside the airport. JFK airport is located in Queens roughly 12 miles from downtown Manhattan, making it an accessible destination for those on a long layover. If you’re trying to figure out if you can leave the airport during your New York layover, click here for useful tips.
If you’re stuck on a layover inside the airport, there’s plenty to do while you wait. Shops, restaurants and services are listed here by terminal. Wireless Internet service is available throughout the airport and you can choose a daily plan or use your existing account – click here for more information.
If you’re looking to store your bags, there’s luggage storage located in Terminal 1 Arrivals (first floor – (718) 751-2947), Terminal 4 Arrivals (first floor – (718) 751-4020) and Terminal 8 for passengers of American Airlines ((718) 995-9292). Call ahead for hours of operation and rates. Luggage wrapping is also available in Terminal 4 in the Arrivals Lobby.
The Lounge JFK is available for select first-class passengers, and an additional fee of $40 per person ($20 for children) for other passengers. Open from 4a.m. to 1:30a.m. daily, it is located in Terminal 4. Additional airline lounges are located throughout the airport including British Airways in Terminal 5, American Airlines in Terminal 8 (day passes are available for $50) and Lufthansa in Terminal 1. Here’s info on additional lounges.
If you arrive on an overnight layover, or are looking for a nearby hotel, there are many options to choose from. Most offer courtesy shuttles (to connect to a courtesy shuttle, take AirTrain to Federal Circle Station). For a comprehensive list of New York hotels at varying price points, click here and for hotels specifically near the JFK airport, click here.
If you’re planning on leaving the airport, taxis are available outside of Arrivals. A flat fare of $52 is available between the airport and Manhattan – the receipt should show that it is a flat fare – and the ride takes roughly a half hour depending on traffic. For more pricing samples, click here. In addition there are public transportation options including the AirTrain, Subway, and Transit Bus Service – click here for more information. Private transfers can also be booked.
Layover Guide’s Suggestions Of Things To Do On A New York Layover (for Overnight NY layovers, click here):
There are so many New York tours to choose from – you can book New York cultural tours to museums, Ground Zero, and the Statue of Liberty, or take a trip above the skyline with helicopter tours, book show tickets to Broadway, cruises, and tons more! Also, with the New York City Explorer Pass you can get access to over 50 top attractions, tours and activities.
Take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island, to visit where roughly 12 million immigrants entered the United States. The Ellis Island Immigration Museum is a great place to learn about the history of Ellis Island. There are security checks, so make sure you don’t have any sharp objects. Don’t miss the audio tour at Ellis Island – it’s full of interesting history. You can check out ferry times and locations here.
It’s hard not to visit New York without remembering the tragic attack on September 11, 2001. Head through the Financial District to Ground Zero to visit the location where the twin towers stood. It may surprise you how big the space was — about 12 million square feet. Check out the Ground Zero Museum Workshop.
Nothing says New York like Broadway. There are dozens of different types of shows to watch, including musicals, dramas, comedies, and so much more. Book ahead online here.
New York is known for their pizza, and for those who love a slice, there’s no better way to spend your day then trying the best pizza in the city. These tours include a great selection of New York pizza, as well as visits to the city’s top pizzerias.
Central Park is a great way to enjoy New York’s biggest park. You can enter the park at 59th and check out all the artists. Inside the park you can ride the carousel, skate at Wollman rink, visit the zoo, ride in a horse-drawn carriage, see Strawberry Fields and you can’t miss the ducks at the pond. You can also stop for a bite at the boathouse. Click here for Central Park bike and pedicab tours.
Rockefeller Center & Home Of The Rock Observation Deck
Rockefeller Center is where you’ll find the Top of the Rock Observation Deck, as well as shopping, restaurants, the NBC Studio Tour and the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center. If you need a quick view of New York, the observation deck is much less crowded than the Empire State Building, yet has great views. It is a 3-tiered observation deck on the 67th, 69th, and 70th floors and you can enter on 50th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue.
If you have the time to battle the tourists, don’t miss heading to the top of the Empire State Building. It’s quite a sight, from 102 stories high. For those in a rush, a $35 “Express Ticket” gets you on the deck within 20 minutes. You can book ahead for Empire State Building Tickets – Observatory and Optional Skip the Line Tickets.
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