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Which Airport Is Closest To Times Square, New York City?

If you’re visiting New York soon then you might be wondering which airport is nearest to Times Square.

New York City can be a confusing place if you’ve never been before. That’s why I’ve put together this handy guide which breaks the whole thing down into simple terms.

I’ve included which of New York’s three airports is closest to Times Square, exactly how you can get there by taxi & public transport and how long it takes.

Which Airport is Closest to Times Square?

The airport closest to Times Square is LaGuardia Airport which is 8.8 miles away. Traveling from LaGuardia to Times Square takes approximately 18 minutes by car or 42 minutes by public transport.

It can take up to 40 minutes to travel by car if you travel during peak times as the traffic is bad in New York.

Although LaGuardia Airport is the closest airport to Times Square, there are some cons to flying into it:

  • There is no direct public transport route to Times Square. You have to take a bus then the subway.
  • It is an international airport but only receives international flights from countries within the region e.g. Canada, Caribbean. You can’t get a flight there from Europe, Asia or Australia.

If these two points could be a concern for you then you would be much better off booking your flight to one of New York’s other airports.

JFK Airport and Newark Airport both receive flights from all over the world and both have easy public transport options which will get you to Times Square with less changes.

It’s actually quicker to get to Times Square from Newark Airport if you’re traveling by public transport compared to LaGuardia.

LaGuardia is quicker by car but Newark is quicker by public transport.

Here’s the distance from New York’s other airports to Times Square:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport is 16.5 miles from Times Square which takes approximately 27 minutes by car or 43 minutes by public transport.
  • Newark Liberty International Airport is 16.6 miles from Times Square which takes approximately 25 minutes by car or 37 minutes by public transport.

Please note that the car times are an average and it could take longer if the traffic is bad.

Chart showing the cost and travel time to Times Square from each New York airport.
Chart showing the cost and travel time to Times Square from each New York airport.

As you can see, all of New York’s three airports are pretty close to Times Square and it will take you less than half an hour to get to Times Square by car no matter which airport you fly into.

Here’s a map of the three airports and their proximity to Times Square:

Map showing locations of New York's 3 airports and Times Square.
Map showing locations of New York’s 3 airports and Times Square.

Best New York Airport For Times Square

Overall, I personally think that Newark Airport is the best airport for Times Square. 

Here’s why:

  • The journey time to Times Square is only slightly longer when compared to LaGuardia by car (25 mins vs 18 mins).
  • It’s actually quicker to get to Times Square by public transport from Newark compared with LaGuardia (37 mins vs 42 mins).
  • There are direct public transport options using the NJTransit train.
  • You can get a flight to Newark Airport from pretty much anywhere in the world.

Truthfully, there isn’t really a better or worse airport to fly into when it comes to New York. Whilst each has their pros and cons, there is little difference overall.

When choosing an airport, I would personally choose the one which has the best and cheapest flights from your city.

💡Quick Tip: I always use Kayak.com to check flight prices as they scrape the entire internet looking for the best possible price for your route. This has saved me hundreds of dollars over the years.

Are There Any Airports in Manhattan?

No, there are no airports in Manhattan itself.

Manhattan is an island that is 13.4 miles long and 2.3 miles wide. Currently there are no airports in Manhattan itself and due to how built up the area is, there probably won’t ever be.

There’s not much room for any airports in Manhattan and New York City’s main airports are all close enough.

How to Get From LaGuardia Airport to Times Square

LaGuardia is a small airport that is located close to Manhattan making it ideal for anyone who wants to visit Times Square.

Taking a car is the quickest and easiest way to get to Times Square from LaGuardia and can take as little as 18 minutes (it can take a bit longer if there’s lots of traffic).

There is a designated area for rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft when you leave the arrivals terminal. 

The app will then give you a small range of areas to wait for your ride.

When your car arrives, make sure you check that the registration plate matches the app. 

A common scam in New York is unmarked cars pretending to be taxis/ubers and either charging a ridiculous price or worse, they could be dangerous people.

💡Helpful Tip: I share more common tourist scams and other safety tips in my Manhattan safety guide.

You can also pre book an airport transfer from LaGuardia Airport to save yourself the hassle.

Public Transport From LaGuardia

Unfortunately there is no subway access from LaGuardia so if you want to take public transport then you’ll have to use the bus and then transfer onto the Long Island Rail Road.

Take the Q70 bus from LaGuardia Airport to Woodside station. From here you can use the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to get to Penn Station which is then just a 10-minute walk from Times Square.

It is safe to walk around Times Square at night so you shouldn’t have any issues.

Here’s an overview of how to get from LaGuardia Airport to Times Square by public transport:

How to get from LaGuardia Airport to Times Square.
How to get from LaGuardia Airport to Times Square.

By public transport, the journey takes around 42 minutes.

How to Get From JFK Airport to Times Square

By public transport, you can get from JFK to Times Square in just 43 minutes.

The easiest way to get to Times Square from JFK is by taking the AirTrain from JFK to the Jamaica subway station (in Queens).

From here, take the subway to Penn Station in Manhattan. Penn Station is just a 10-minute walk from Times Square – you can either walk or grab a cab from here.

Alternatively, you can also take the LIRR to Penn Station. Check my LIRR vs Subway guide to decide which is better for you.

Here’s an overview of this route:

How to get from JFK Airport to Times Square.
How to get from JFK Airport to Times Square.

You can also pre book an airport transfer from JFK Airport to save yourself the hassle or you could call an Uber/Lyft when you arrive.

By car, it takes around 27 minutes but it can take up to an hour if the traffic is heavy.

How to Get From Newark Airport to Times Square

Newark Airport is located in New Jersey, just outside of Manhattan.

If you’re traveling by public transport then Newark Airport will get you into Times Square in the fastest possible time.

It takes just 37 minutes to get from Newark Airport to Times Square by public transport and there’s no changes on the train making it super easy and simple.

Whilst the subway doesn’t go to Newark Airport, you can take the NJTransit train from Newark Airport to Penn Station in Manhattan.

Penn Station is the main train station in Manhattan and is just a 10 minute walk from Times Square so you can just walk the last little bit (or grab a cab which will only take a few minutes).

Here’s an overview of the route:

How to get from Newark Airport to Times Square.
How to get from Newark Airport to Times Square.

You can also grab a taxi or Uber/Lyft from Newark but be aware that it’s more expensive than the other two New York airports.

The reason for this is because Newark Airport is located in New Jersey and not New York state. This means that whenever you enter New York City from New Jersey by car, you have to pay a toll.

The toll varies depending on which route you enter from but costs between $15 and $17 per car making the taxi ride more expensive from Newark when compared with JFK or LaGuardia.

You can also pre book an airport transfer from Newark Airport to save yourself the hassle.

This airport transfer includes all tolls in the price and offers a competitive rate.


And that’s it!

Thanks for reading this post which explains which airport is closest to Times Square.

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Megan

Megan Jones is a travel expert and founder of Traveller's Elixir, who has been travelling the world full time since 2021. Megan's travel tips been featured in numerous media outlets including Metro, Timeout, Thrillist and more.

Learn more about the Traveller's Elixir Team.

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