Calling New York City a popular tourist destination would be quite the understatement. New York, New York takes our breath away at every turn, from lit-up Times Square to the iconic Grand Central Terminal, and world-famous Madison Square Garden to the packed theatres of Broadway, there’s never a shortage of things to see and do in The Big Apple. There’s so much going on in Manhattan, it can be easy to get overwhelmed from the moment you land at JFK or LaGuardia airports.
That’s why we suggest taking care of those first steps now — book a charter bus or minibus to get you and your travel group from either airport directly to your hotel. Here’s your NYC airport shuttle bus rental cheat sheet.
Do you need to charter a bus from JFK or LaGuardia?
If you’ve ever driven a car in New York City, you probably cringe at the thought of renting one to get to and around Manhattan. The city’s classic yellow taxis can be convenient, but can run pricey and can be a nightmare to coordinate for a big group. For corporate outings, school trips, or bachelor(ette) parties, chartering a bus is the most efficient, cost-effective, and downright funnest option. To get you from the airport to your hotel or Airbnb, and transport your group to landmarks, dinners, and events throughout your stay, chartering a bus with Bus.com should be one of the first items you check off your to-do list.
How far in advance should you book your transportation from JFK or LaGuardia?
The sooner the better! We tend to advise booking six months prior to your arrival. For a wedding party, there should be no problem booking transportation well in advance as you’ll know the date several months out. However we understand that not all trips are created equal. Not to worry! Last-minute rentals — so long as it’s not during a landmark holiday like the 4th of July — are possible, and we guarantee we’ll find the right bus option for you.
How much should a NYC airport charter bus cost?
Taxis charge a flat rate of $52 (tip not included) from JFK to Manhattan. From LaGuardia, they run on a meter, so it’ll depend where your final destination is. Uber and Lyft, of course, calculate rates based on time and distance, and add surge charges at busier times. We suggest avoiding the chaos in favour of something more predictable. The most cost-effective way to transport large groups especially from either New York airport is a charter bus.
The coach bus fits up to 55 passengers, so for logistical reasons alone, any group that size should choose a bus over — excuse us while we crunch the numbers — 11 taxis! Economically, the coach bus wins out too. At $115/hour, you could basically get just two taxis for the same price. And the coach bus provides comfort in air conditioning, reclining seats, and undercarriage storage. For corporate or tour groups, the coach bus just makes plain old sense.
Mini Coach Bus
For groups smaller than 32 people — say a sports team — the mini coach bus provides all the comforts of the regular coach. The mini typically costs between $475-900 per day, which when divided up between passengers, is quite cost-effective.
When you’re willing to strip away the amenities in favour of the cheapest option to get from point A to point B, C, and D, the regular school bus is your winner. Exploring the Big Apple in a big ol’ yellow will bring you back to your childhood!
Going from the airport to the hotel, or just to a Broadway show and back? Try out an minibus, which accommodates up to 21 passengers, and at just $98/hour still includes A/C and WiFi.
If you are looking for a ride from the airport for you and a few peers, it may be more economical to consider splitting the costs of a sprinter van rental. A sprinter van is a type of passenger vehicle that can fit up to 15 people comfortably. Bus.com offers sprinter van rentals in New York that can either be driven by a professional chauffeur or a member of your group.
When is the best time of year to visit NYC?
You can’t step foot in Manhattan without immediately rubbing elbows with throngs of tourists. So, from experience, we’d say NYC is a great destination at any time of year. It is, after all, the City That Never Sleeps. From hot summers and festive winters to crisp falls and refreshing springs, there’s no bad time to take a bite out of the Big Apple.
Add these group tour locations to your itinerary
Few things have contributed more to New York’s status as North America’s cultural capital than Broadway. There are more than 41 professional theatres on this iconic street in Midtown Manhattan’s Theater District, each one holding between 500 and 2,000 people. Some of the most famous shows still running on Broadway include Chicago (1996), The Phantom of the Opera (1988), and relative newcomer, Hamilton (2015).
Empire State Building
One of New York’s, nay, the world’s most recognizable landmarks is a must-visit on any trip to NYC. You can see the 102-story skyscraper and its piercing, sky-high antenna from miles away, but you’ll want to get up close and personal — and maybe even climb to the top. As the Empire State Building is in one of Manhattan’s busiest areas, the best way to get there is with the help of an expert bus driver experienced in navigating these city streets.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Known to locals as the Met, it is the largest art museum in the United States and the third-most visited art museum annually in the world. Admire centuries-old works along with new pieces from all over the globe.
The bright lights, towering billboards, and energetic street performers of Times Square are central to our lasting image of New York. And they’re what make this hub one of the most visited tourist locations in the world.
Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal is not just a hub for transportation — it’s an architectural crown jewel recognized as one of the country’s great design feats. It’s also ingrained in the city’s social fabric as a common meeting place for locals.
New York’s iconic baseball stadium is home to its historic franchise, the Yankees. From April to September, the Bronx Bombers play all their home games at Yankee Stadium. Make sure to take a tour of Monument Park, a shrine to the team’s all-time greats: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, and more. Then turn to the field where the legends of tomorrow carve their place in history. All aboard the bus, we’re taking you out to the ballgame. (Don’t expect us to buy you peanuts or crackerjacks though!).
Museum of Modern Art
Known as the MoMa, this 53rd street museum is one of the world’s most influential. Its collection of masterpieces includes works by one-namers like Dalí, Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, Warhol, and more.
Madison Square Garden
Ah, the World’s Most Famous Arena. It’s worth making a trip to Madison Square Garden, even if you can’t make it inside to catch an event. Hockey’s Rangers and basketball’s Knicks each play their home games here between October and April. And some of the most famous musical acts on earth hold some of their most memorable shows at MSG. Fans of Billy Joel can attend one of his concerts monthly.