We love visiting New York City, and it is so easy to access from Boston. There are lots of Boston to New York transportation options, including the bus from Boston to NYC, Amtrak train from Boston to NYC, flights (from Delta, JetBlue, and others), and driving. Wondering how to get from Boston to New York?
Over the years, we’ve experienced most of them with our family, so here are our experiences as well as an overview of other popular options.
Do you have a favorite Boston to New York transportation option? Leave a comment below with your best way to travel between these two cities, and let us know! If we haven’t included it, we can update our post.
We received two complimentary tickets on the LimoLiner roundtrip from Boston to New York at no cost a few years ago and purchased two. I’ve also received complimentary Amtrak tickets over the years.
This post also contains affiliate links. A purchase through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us. All opinions are my own.
How To Get From Boston to New York
While you are in New York City, check out the CityPASS, which can give you a great discount on popular attractions. If you plan to visit most of the popular attractions included with the pass, purchasing a CityPASS can be the cheapest way to visit everything on your list.
While I have focused on specifically traveling from Boston to New York, these options are also available for the reverse trip. If Boston is your vacation destination, you can also purchase a Boston CityPASS.
Acela Amtrak Train from Boston to NYC
I have always enjoyed taking the train, and Amtrak’s Acela train is a quick, convenient way to get from Boston to NYC. The Acela offers a snack car selling food and beverages, restrooms, plugs at the seats, and complimentary internet access.
You’ll also have extra legroom so you can stretch out during the journey. Amtrak’s Acela Trains offer seats in business class and first class, and I’ve found that I have much more room than with any other way to get from Boston to New York.
Seats in business class aren’t reserved by seat, so once you enter the train, you’ll need to walk along the train cars until you find seats together. If you are lucky, you may even find four seats together surrounding a table. If those are an option, I prefer them for my family so we can all sit together.
There are several Boston Amtrak train stations including South Station, Back Bay Station, and the Rt. 128 station in Westwood. If you need to park a car, the Rt. 128 station has a large parking garage that can be convenient.
Otherwise, the two Boston stops are pretty centrally located. If you are traveling during a busy time, it may be best to get on at an earlier station so that you’ll be able to find seats together.
In NYC, you’ll get the train at New York’s Penn Station. From there, you’ll be able to get a cab or ride-share service to your hotel. Because New York Penn Station is in the city center, it’s quicker than flying once you land to get downtown.
We’ve easily been able to get a cab from Penn Station, and it’s never a very long cab ride to midtown Manhattan hotels. Some hotels are even within walking distance. There’s a cab stand at Penn Station, so once your train arrives, just walk to the stand and wait for your turn for a cab.
Families should understand that you’ll need to carry your own luggage to the train or find a red cap at the station to assist. If you do utilize a red cap, make sure you tip them appropriately. There is storage at the end of each Amtrak train car as well as over the seats, but there isn’t a ton of space if you have lots of luggage.
Although you’ll find that the train ticket prices for the Acela service are more than the Amtrak regional trains, they also arrive quicker because there are fewer stops. There is no direct train from Boston to New York, but this is the closest option.
Amtrak Northeast Corridor Regional Train
If you don’t want to spring for the Acela, or if that schedule doesn’t work for you, there’s also an Amtrak regional train that makes more stops and takes a bit longer to get into the city. The Northeast regional trains are still very nice, and offer lots of the same amenities as the Acela train including free Wi-Fi. In recent years, improvements in the Northeast Corridor regional service have made it even closer to the Acela in terms of comfort.
I love taking the train because it’s easy to get work done on your journey. Even though the WiFi isn’t perfect, it’s still good to have. Keep in mind that it can be tough to have phone conversations, and streaming doesn’t really work on the WiFi.
If you are looking for a quieter option, there are quiet cars on the Acela Trains. These are a great choice if you want to get work done, but wouldn’t be a good option for a family.
In bad weather, it can be much more reliable than flying. Depending on where you are staying in Boston or NYC, it is usually more convenient than flying. This is because the stations are in the city, rather than outside the city like the airports are.
Another factor is security. You won’t need to go through TSA security when taking the train. So, you can arrive shortly before your train takes off and won’t have to worry about the length of the security lines. This can definitely help you save time.
Keep in mind that there are baggage requirements when taking the train. While you won’t need to check bags or get them at baggage carousels, you will have to be mindful of what you pack – especially with kids in tow.
While I do like the Acela (and the regional train), it can be expensive, so definitely compare prices before booking. Don’t just assume that the Boston to New York train is cheaper than flying because that isn’t always the case. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly – just be sure to factor in the additional costs of parking, baggage fees, and cabs.
Fly from Boston to NYC
Flying is definitely quicker than any other transportation option from Boston to NYC – at least when it comes to the actual transportation time. However, you’ll still need to go through security at the airport and arrive in advance of your flight. Your actual time in transit will be significantly longer than the actual flight time.
In addition, getting from the airport to the city definitely takes time. I like the option of flying for a very quick trip, but prefer other options when going for a longer stay.
Once you arrive at either LaGuardia or JFK airport, you’ll have to get into Manhattan. Depending on the time of day, that can actually take a while. I’ve had it take over an hour to get to midtown from the airport.
During a recent short trip to NYC from Boston on a flight, my daughter and I were delayed for hours because of rain and lightning in the area. What should have been a quick flight ended up taking over five hours.
Other people on our trip took the train, and arrived in NYC well before us. In this case, the lightning that delayed the flight wouldn’t have affected the train. Then, because we arrived late, during rush hour, it took over an hour to get to our hotel.
So definitely factor in the time of year when deciding what transportation to take for your trip. In the winter, the train may be a better option than flying or taking the bus because there will likely be fewer delays.
There are several different airlines offering NYC to Boston flights, so you’ll have lots of options for times. Be sure to look at which of the two NYC airports your flight arrives at. JetBlue, for instance, flies into New York JFK Airport.
Other airlines flying from Boston to NYC include Delta, American Airlines, Spirit, and United Airlines. These are direct flights and generally the flight time is less than 60 minutes.
Drive from Boston to NYC
Driving is definitely the most direct way to get from Boston to NYC since you’ll leave your home and go direct to the hotel with no additional stops (unless you choose to stop). However, driving through the city can definitely be challenging, especially if you aren’t used to city driving. In addition, parking fees in both cities are usually pretty high, and you won’t always have immediate access to your vehicle (although you probably won’t need it).
Most hotels in New York City don’t have their own garages, but instead valet park at nearby garages. If you are staying for just a few days (and are traveling with the family), it may be the most cost-effective way, however since you won’t have to purchase train/bus/plane tickets for everyone in the family.
Check with your hotel before leaving to make sure they offer parking and find out current rates. It’s also a good idea to travel at an off-peak time so you can avoid traffic which can add time to your journey and can be stressful. As you’d expect, rush hour in NYC can be a nightmare, so it’s best to avoid it if at all possible.
Taking the Bus From Boston to NYC
Looking for the best prices for transportation? If you don’t want to drive, the bus can be the best way to get from Boston to NYC on a limited budget. Bus tickets can be very affordable.
You’ll find that there are several different bus companies that travel from Boston to NYC. These include the Peter Pan bus lines. Those buses leave from Boston’s South Station bus station (located adjacent to the South Station Train Station) and arrive at the NYC Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan.
There’s also the Greyhound buses, which depart and arrive from the same stations. These are fairly similar, so look at pricing and the schedule to decide which to take.
Cheap bus tickets are also available on the Bolt Bus. These buses offer free Wi-Fi and power outlets, and depart from Boston’s South Station.
They can definitely be very cost-effective but aren’t as fun or convenient with kids. I’d recommend these options more for adults traveling without children or adults with older kids.
What is your favorite way to get from Boston to NYC with your family?
Note that the LimoLiner ceased operations in December 2019, and is unfortunately no longer an option for travel. We really enjoyed the LimoLiner so we were disappointed when it shut down.
The LimoLiner is a luxury coach bus from Boston to NYC. It makes two stops in the Boston area – in the Back Bay of downtown Boston and in Framingham, as well as one-stop in NYC at the Hilton Midtown. This luxury bus line has a restroom on board and provides complimentary meal service, beverages, and snacks (those over 21 will even get a glass of wine on evening rides).
With complimentary WiFi, power outlets at the seats, live satellite TV and radio, and an on-board attendant, your ride absolutely flies by. It does take a bit longer than the train or flying, but it can definitely be more convenient and more affordable.
Because the LimoLiner bus service has stops at popular locations, you may not even need to take a cab when you arrive. Living West of Boston, it’s so easy to get to Framingham – much easier than driving east into Boston to just end up going west again. The LimoLiner is such a great option for families – and they even offer pet-friendly trips at select times.
The LimoLiner is the same as driving, so you’ll want to be aware of driving conditions and weather. Traffic and road closures will definitely affect your travel time.
Be sure to purchase your bus ticket in advance, and you’ll get to choose your seat. When traveling with kids, you’ll want to make sure that you are sitting next to each other.