How to get around New York City – Everything you need to know!

Are you planning a trip to New York and would like to know how to get around there? On this post you will find all the information you need.

Although New York is such a huge city, public transportation works very well and visitors can also count on taxis and Uber.

So, you won’t have any trouble getting around New York and all of its tourist attractions. All you need to do is to choose the best transportation according to your traveler profile and budget.

Let’s examine the available options for getting around in New York.




The subway is undoubtedly the most effective way to get around in New York and it is also the cheapest transportation available. Perfect combination, isn’t it?

By using the subway, you avoid traffic and can get to places in less time than any other transportation, so will you will surely use it a lot regardless of your travel budget and level of English.

You should know that the subway system is less intuitive than other capitals such as Paris and London, but fully intelligible to any traveler that has minimal sense of location.

The MTA (Metropolitan Transport Authority) is the company that runs the subway system in New York and sells the Metrocard, a pass that enables saving of money and time. To learn more about the pass click here to read the full post to see if worth or not worth it!

Subways run 24 hours a day, every day of the week and has schedules of every 2 to 5 minutes during rush hour, every 10 to 15 minutes during the other hours of the day day, and every 20 minutes at night.

The worst hours to use the subways in New York are usually on weekdays between 7:30 and 09:30am and 4:30 and 6:30pm, so try to avoid them.


How to Ride the New York City Subway


It is not difficult to use the New York subway, but the task requires some planning, such as consulting a map of lines whenever you want to get around.

There are free maps for you to carry in your purse or backpack, which are available at the stations, so just ask for it. You can also download the subway map and take it on your smartphone or check the routes in the interactive machines available in some stations.

It is important to understand that the directions of the subway system are generally from north to south ( Uptown to Downtow ) but there are some lines that crosses the city from West to East.

The lines have specific colors in subway and train maps, but the reference for asking assistance from locals are the numbers or letters.

On the map you can locate your destination and the nearest subway station, and if has a black spot is a local line and you can get off in an station, on the other hand, if it has a white spot is an express line and you can get off in only few stations.

Always pay attention to the direction of the route, checking the final station, because there is always a path to the end and starting point of the line and you must choose the correct way and board.

This is it? It’s super easy to use the subway in New York!




Taxis in New York are relatively inexpensive and feature basic fare of $ 2.50, in which will be added 50 cents for every three blocks.

To call a taxi, simply sign with the hand if it has a green light in the top of the car, which means it’s free. Note that if the taxi shows a red light or no light at all it will be busy and if it show the “off duty” sign it will not be out of service.

When you board the taxi, you should preferably indicate the street or crossing streets and avenues, so always have a map in hands. For example: 5th Avenue and 31st.

Most taxis in New York accepts payment by cash or international credit card, but do not forget to tip at least 20%, as it is a tradition there. Also know that it is possible to tip via credit card, and you can manually add the tip you wish to give.

Taking a taxi at night is usually the easiest and safest option. During night, there is a small additional fee of $ .50 cents charged between 20:00 and 06:00. From Monday to Friday, during traffic jam between 16:00 to 20:00 is charged $ 1 extra.




The Uber operates in New York and is very popular among tourists and New Yorkers, as it provides convenience and economy.

Although it is still being discussed in legal and legislative framework, Uber works very well and it is one of the best transportation options in the Big Apple.

It is safe, cheap and convenient, so they represent a great transportation option for your trip, especially if you are in a group from up to 2 people!

In order to use the service, you need to download and install the Uber app in your smartphone and register the data from your credit card. That simple.

Then, just login in and activate the mobile GPS, so the app will search for available Ubers in your location.

When you type the destination, it will be possible to estimate the value of the ride and get the information of available drivers.

Also, you should know that the rates varies according to selected time and that Uber has different price categories, such as: Economy , Premium, Affordable and Carona.

When you get to the final destination, it is not necessary to pay anything because the value will be charged to your credit card and there is also no need to pay tips!





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Lara Nogueira

More about Lara Nogueira

Lara founded "Finding New Paths" as a platform to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to experience our world in an unique way. She now divides her time between studying a Masters ( International Tax Law ) in Sweden and her adventures abroad!

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