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Travel From Washington, DC to New York City

How to Get to New York City from Washington, DC


Washington, DC, the United States capital, and New York City, the capital of almost everything else, are two of the most popular travel destinations in the USA. These cities are often paired on itineraries of the Eastern U.S. because of their proximity. Because the route between Washington and New York City is much-traveled, there are several transportation options for getting from one place to the other.

By Car
Travel Time: Approximately five to six hours
Best option for families, travelers who wish to make frequent stops
Driving from DC to New York takes approximately five to six hours by car. The preferred route of most drivers is I-95 from DC through Maryland and Delaware; the New Jersey Turnpike through New Jersey, taking one of the exits between exits 10 through 14; and then entering New York City via a bridge or tunnel.

There are a number of tolls along the way between DC and NYC, including the Fort McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore; the Delaware Memorial Bridge between Delaware and New Jersey; the New Jersey Turnpike; and the bridges to New York City, such as the Goethals and the Verrazano. Expect to pay approximately $25 for tolls one-way. You can pay for tolls with cash. Drivers who do this drive often have an E-Z Pass, which allows for quicker travel through toll plazas.

By Bus
Travel Time: Approximately five to six hours
Best option for budget travelers, students
Taking the bus is the same as going by car except that someone else is doing the driving. Taking the bus has long been among the cheapest options for travel between DC and NYC. But only recently has this style of transport been somewhat in vogue. Greyhound Buses, which operate out of the Greyhound Terminal near Washington's Union Station and the Port Authority in New York City, used to be the only game in town. But now there are other companies competing for travelers' dollars. They include Bolt Bus, Megabus, and a fleet of cheap buses that operate between the two cities' Chinatowns. It is useful to note that while Bolt, Megabus, and Chinatown buses do not yet have their own platform - check their websites regularly - they do have prices that match or beat those of Greyhound. Most all bus lines offer on-board entertainment and Wi-Fi throughout their fleet.

By Train
Travel Time: Approximately three to five hours
Best option for business travelers; fastest city center to city center
Train travel on board Amtrak is usually reliable, fast, clean, and spacious. Best of all, taking the train is the fastest way to get from city center to city center without all the hassle of rest stops or security checks. The endpoint stations for train travel between Washington and New York are Union Station, in DC, and Penn Station in New York.

Travelers taking Amtrak can take a regional train, which makes frequent stops at stations along the way, or the Acela, an express train. Regional trains tend to cost less, but this is not a hard and fast rule. Both types of train service have cafe cars and quiet cars (cell-phone free), ideal amenities for harried business travelers between these two cities. As for rates, trains are never as cheap as buses and are sometimes as expensive as flights.

By Plane
Travel Time: Approximately two to three hours, including security checks and additional travel times from airports into the cities
Best option for getting there as fast as possible
Flying between DC and NYC is fast, approximately two hours from start to finish. Most flights from DC to NYC originate and terminate at those cities' domestic airports: Washington National Airport (DCA) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA). But travelers on the lookout for deals will do well to check fare pairings on travel search engines between Dulles Airport (in DC's Virginia suburbs) and Newark Liberty or John F. Kennedy airport in Queens, New York.

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