Getting to Queens, New York

Julia Opl Picture
Jeremias Padilla Picture
by Julia Opl, Jeremias Padilla
updated over 2 years ago

Queens is known for Flushing Meadows Corona Park, with the Unisphere (a 12-story 1964 World's Fair globe sculpture), Queens Museum, and for hosting the U.S. Open tennis tournament. Located in Long island across the East River from Manhattan, there are lot of things to do and places to visit in Queens.

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Queens Key Information

The prices for hotels and rentals are considerably lower when compared to those of Midtown Manhattan. Located only 20 minutes or less away from the major areas of interest and connected to the extensive subway network, it may make more sense to stay in Queens when traveling on a budget.

Queens is the only borough of New York which has "Hyphenated Addresses". This means the addresses will be displayed with two sets of numbers separated by a dash. The numbers preceding the dash indicates the nearest cross-street or avenue and the numbers after the dash are the actual number of the building or house.

Differently from the other New York boroughs where only the name of the borough is mentioned for addresses, in Queens you will always find the addresses displaying a specific neighborhood within Queens.

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The tricky part

Trains connecting JFK to Queens that end in Lefferts Blvd. take a detour through Brooklyn before going to Queens making the journey twice as long as if you took a direct train. These trains are mainly used by locals and should be avoided unless you need to visit the Lefferts Blvd. area.

Not all Subway terminals are equiped with elevators or escalators making it harder to access all levels for some people, particularly if carrying luggage.

Subway service is often disrupted during the winter season due to blizzards. Overground transportation may also be affected and civilians are recommended to stay indoors.

The locals suggest to stay away the bridges at night, especially in the Queensbridge and Junction Blvd. areas. Petty crime is always a threat, as well as fights between gangs.

Queens is the largest borough of New York but in general it is relatively safe compared to the other areas of New York. In 2015, the NYC government released an interactive map which contains the information regarding crime incidents

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Getting to Queens

Queens is the largest of the five great boroughs of New York stretching to the East of the metropolitan area, and encompassing ninety one neighborhoods. Being mostly a residential area, it houses a great cultural diversity, offering a variety of temples, shops, and street food. You will not exactly find skyscrapers in Queens, but numerous parks, businesses, stadiums and museums.

Home to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Queens is also served by LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Newark International Airport (EWR) in spite of the larger difference separating this borough and the airports.

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By Train

With the most relevant train stations (Grand Central and Pennsylvania Station) located in Manhattan receiving trains from the rest of the United States and Canada, a connection is necessary to reach the borough of Queens.

The most important train arriving to Grand Central Terminal is the Metro-North Commuter Railroad (connecting Manhattan with the south-eastern suburbs and Connecticut). Take the subway lines 4 or 5 to Fulton Street and then change to line A towards 104 Street to reach Queens.

Pennsylvania Station serves as hub for Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, the Long Island Railroad (LIRR), and PATH (Port Authority Trans Hudson) a subway line connecting Manhattan and New Jersey. The subway line A from Penn Station that takes you straight to Queens to Rockaway Blvd in the heart of Queens.

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By Bus

Port Authority Bus Terminal is the endpoint to the most notorious bus companies such as BoltBus, Megabus, Peter Pan, and Greyhound.

Given that Port Authority Bus Terminal is located in Manhattan, a connection to Queens will be necessary. You can either take a taxi with rates from $65, the Subway from Penn Station, or the Q Subway Line from Times Square taking you to the neighborhood of Jamaica in Queens.

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By Car

NYC is connected to every important national route of the area, making a direct option from any nearby city. To the West from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC take Route 95. From the East, New Haven and Boston also connect to Route 95. When entering New York, route 95 becomes highway 695 directly into Queens. You can also travel to the City using Route 76 from Pittsburgh or from the North, Route 97 goes straight to Montreal in Canada.

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The Frugal Option

Located only 15 minutes away from Queens by train and subway combination, JFK International Airport is connected to the subway network via the AirTrain with a connection to Metro Line E at Jamaica Station to make your way to Queens. With a fare of $7.50 per passenger (for both the AirTrain and Subway), this remains the cheapest option in spite of the downturns it presents.

Once you arrive to Jamaica Station you will need to figure out

Though this will require studying which are the connecting lines and subways you need to pick in order to arrive to the nearest stop to your location.

A lot of stairs and ramps with your luggage will be involved. It is very cheap but it requires your group to fully handle the and carry the luggage in the subway which may many times be packed and result uncomfortable.

The AirTrain can be boarded from any of JFK's terminals directly.

If you have arrived to LaGuardia airport, you can easily board the Q72 bus from Terminal B/Hov Lane which will take you to Queens. This bus ride ends in Junction BI and the 57th Av. Also from LGA, the Q70 Bus SBS going to Woodside and 61 Street. These buses will stop at LGA every 10 minutes.

From Newark Liberty, the ride will be longer as this airport is further from Queens. Take the AirTrain departing every 5 minutes from Terminal B to Newark Liberty Airport Station where you will board the New Jersey NJ Transit Northeastern Corridor into Penn Station. From Penn Station, Subway line A to Queens to Rockaway Blvd. The final cost is $13 including the cost of buying the MetroCard.

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Long Distance Hauls

If you are visiting from another State or the Eastern region of Canada, both buses and trains are available into New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal, Pennsylvania Station, or Grand Central.

Some reference prices by Train:

  • From Philadelphia, PA. Amtrak NorthEastRegional costs $35 and takes 2 hours.
  • From Pittsburgh, PA. Amtrak NorthEastRegional costs $160 and takes 10 hours
  • From Baltimore, MD. Amtrak NorthEastRegional costs $55 and takes 3 hours.
  • From New Haven, CT. Amtrak NorthEastRegional costs $40 and takes 2 hours
  • From Boston, MA. Amtrak Acela costs $35 and takes 4 hours.
  • From Washington, DC. Amtrak NorthEastRegional costs $130 and takes 3 and a half hours.
  • From Cleveland, OH. Amtrak LakeShore Ltd. costs $100 and takes 12 and a half hours.
  • From Montreal, Canada. Amtrak towards Penn Station. costs $75 and takes 10 and a half hours.
  • From Toronto, Canada. Via Rail towards Niagara Falls. costs $190 and takes 13 and a half hours.

Some reference prices by Bus:

  • From Philadelphia, PA. MegaBus costs $25 and takes 3 hours.
  • From Pittsburgh, PA. MegaBus costs $55 and takes 8 and a half hours.
  • From Baltimore, MD. GreyHound bus 2304 costs $25 and takes 3 and a half hours.
  • From New Haven, CT. CoachRun costs $9 and takes 1 and a half hour.
  • From Boston, MA. CoachRun costs $9 and takes 3 hours.
  • From Washington, DC. BoltBus costs $20 and takes 4 and a half hours.
  • From Cleveland, OH. MegaBus costs $65 and takes 10 hours.
  • From Montreal, Canada, Trailways New York costs $90 and takes 9 hours.
  • From Toronto, Canada, MegaBus costs $70 and takes 12 hours.
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Private Transfer Options

After a long trip and jetlag, many travelers prefer to have their transportation to their hotel, bed and breakfast, appartment, or other lodging accommodation pre-arranged before their arrival.

On Demand Apps offer rides starting at $30 for a small sedan for up to 2 passengers.

Prebooked through Mozio, a car service from the airport with a professional driver that waits for your arrival with a sign with your name on it while monitoring the flight for any delays.

  • From JFK: On a private sedan for up to 4 passengers from $72, on an SUV for 6 passengers from $120, on a private van for 7 passengers for $185, or on a bus for 14 from $295.
  • From LGA: On a private sedan for up to 3 passengers from $66, on an SUV for 6 passengers from $90, on a private van for 7 passengers for $180, or on a bus for 14 from $296.
  • From EWR: On a private sedan for up to 3 passengers from $108, on an SUV for 6 passengers from $132, on a private van for 7 passengers for $264 or for 14 passengers from $211.
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On Demand Options

As Queens is a huge borough we have a reference list below per neighborhood from JFK moving towards Manhattan.

  • To Jamaica: For 3 passengers with Lyft for $18 or with UberX for $18. For 6 passengers with UberXL for $21 or LyftXL for $21.
  • To Kew Garden Hills: For 3 passengers with Lyft for $29 or UberX for $32. For 5 passengers with UberXL for $35 or LyftXL for $38.
  • To Woodhaven: For 3 passengers with Lyft for $35 or UberX for $38. For 5 passengers with UberXL for $43 or LyftXL for $46.
  • To Bushwick: For 3 passengers with Lyft $45 or UberX for $48. For 5 passengers with UberXL for $53 or LyftXL for $56.
  • To Astoria: For 3 passengers with Lyft for $47 or UberX for $51. For 5 passengers with UberXL for $57 or LyftXL for $61.
  • To Long Island City: For 3 passengers with Lyft for $50 or UberX for $52. For 5 passengers with UberXL for $57 or LyftXL for $63.
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The Mozio Recommendation

Getting a private option upon arrival is recommended to avoid the long times and connections needed to get to your lodging option.

Having some help with your bags and not having to worry about them in the car, is the best way to start your trip.

The price is easily mitigated if travelling in a group. A taxi fare can only be about $3 more per passenger if pooling money together, and all you have to do is sit down and relax before starting your holiday after a long trip.

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Moving AROUND Queens

Even if Queens (and New York in general) is easy to navigate given the Avenue to Street disposition, the busy streets often dissuade people from attempting to drive through it unless it is extremely necessary (such as crossing the boroughs to reach a certain location).

Driving around Queens is more comfortable than driving in Midtown Manhattan. Rented cars are always equipped with GPS which allows an easy navigation across the city.

Given the heavy traffic, bike rentals are not recommended unless they are to be used in a specific park or across the Marina.

The best way to access the public transportation is via de MetroCard with the weekly pass for unlimited access to all subway lines and buses (even if trains are excluded). The Metrocard alone is $1 while the 7-day pass is $30.

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The Frugal Option

Using the MetroCard for all public transit rides in New York gains you access to bus and subway.

Most tourists make their way into Manhattan from Queens just by using the Q or N Subway lines which operate all across Queens. N lines has the direction "to Jamaica" towards the East and "Via Conney Island" towards Manhattan. It takes about 20 minutes from Astoria to reach Times Square.

Other Subway lines operating in Queens are:

  • From 63rd Street, Line F.
  • From Archer Avenue, Line J, Z, and E.
  • From Astoria Line N and W.
  • From Fulton Street, Line A.
  • From Flushing, Line 7.
  • From Myrtle Avenue, Line M.
  • From Queens Boulevard, Lines E, F, M, and R.
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Are Rideshare & TaxiApps Readily Available in Queens?

Available On-Demand Providers

  1. uber

  2. lyft

  3. cabify

  4. bolt

  5. grab

Not Available Options

  1. freenow

  2. gojek

  3. didi

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