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My flight from Europe to South America includes 10 hours of transit time in New York (JFK). Is it possible to do a short sightseeing trip? Are there any city tours by bus that include the airport?

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There are sightseeing buses but they hardly leave Manhattan, much less stop at JFK.

However, if you are very adventurous you could still do it. You won't have a lot of time, but can see a few of the most popular sights:


Either take the subway (metro) 1 hour for $8 to Manhattan, or a taxi half an hour (outside rush hours!) for $60. Go to Times Square, because why not. From there, you can easily get on a sightseeing bus, or just walk around on your own. Walk up Broadway to see Columbus Circle and Central Park, or down for the Empire State Building (only worthwhile if you will pay to ascend). If you like museums, the Museum of Modern Art is nearby and worth the steep admission price.


As an alternative: go downtown, e.g. Fulton Street. Here you can see Wall Street, the new One World Trade Center, take the free Staten Island ferry to see the Statue of Liberty (from afar, but not very far, 1 hour return). This is good if you like buildings more than people.

  • Thanks for your clear reply. I think I'll take the subway to Times Square and then walk your alternative route. – PieterN Jan 2 '15 at 9:00
  • @PieterN: You're welcome. The alternative route, downtown, was meant to start downtown, i.e. you can take the subway from JFK to downtown directly. Of course you can take it to Times Square and work your way down the island too, but you'll have to be quick about it. :) – John Zwinck Jan 2 '15 at 9:05
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    Actually, a little bit more expensive than the subway, but overall faster, would be taking the Air Train to Jamaica, and then the Long Island Rail Road to Penn Station. You should have a train roughly every 10 minutes, and it takes around 20 minutes scheduled (as opposed to 40 to 50 minutes on the fastest subway). The current "City zone" timetable is here: web.mta.info/lirr/Timetable/Branch/CityTerminalBranch.pdf – Max Wyss Jan 3 '15 at 0:20
  • @MaxWyss: I've done that myself, but found it slightly more troublesome/confusing at first, plus you miss out on the NYC subway experience! Anyway, +1 for useful alternative. – John Zwinck Jan 4 '15 at 10:08
  • I'd forget Times Square! It's just a disneyland for tourists. Wall St area is not bad but it's more mopey WTC tourists. of course .. just go where every person in Manhattan wants to go, SoHo. Have fun! – Fattie May 23 '15 at 9:05
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Forget Times Square!

Take public transport direct to SoHo. Spend, say, 3-5 hours being really cool and having fun. You need plan nothing - every single street, every corner, in the SoHo/Tribeca etc area is worth seeing. Take in a few cafes and maybe galleries. You can't go wrong.

Hop on public transport and go back for your flight. It's that easy.

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