Taking the subway in New York City is one of the fastest and least expensive ways to get around the city. Millions of New Yorkers take it every day to get around the city, get to work, and get home at night. Every day on instagram we get dozens of questions from people asking if we recommend taking the subway in NYC.
So we have made a summary for you of what we think are the main things you should know before using the Subway in NYC.
1. Cost. A Metro ticket costs $2.75 and also allows you, if needed to reach your destination, to change trains.
2. The ticket. In NYC there is no subway “ticket” in the true sense of the word. To get on the subway you need a card called a Metrocard. The Metrocard can be purchased at any subway station, it costs $1 and is rechargeable. With the Metrocard you can ride the subway, bus and can also be used on the JFK Air Train or PATH trains going to New Jersey.
3. The unlimited formula. If you think that you will take the subway regularly during your vacation (and by regularly we mean at least 2 times a day for 7 days) then we recommend you to buy an unlimited metrocard. With this card you can take the subway as many times as you want and it is also valid on buses. The unlimited metro card costs 33 dollars for a week and 127 for a month. Note: the unlimited Metro card does NOT work on the JFK Airport Air Train or PATH Trains to go to NJ. What we usually do is reload the Unlimited Metro Card with specific amounts to go on, for example, the Air Train.
4. Nighttime. Our advice, especially if you are not so familiar with NYC, is to avoid taking the subway at night, and by night we mean after 11pm, to avoid unpleasant situations. If you stay out late, we recommend taking a cab or Uber as an alternative.
5. Zones. Taking the subway during the day to get around Manhattan is relatively safe. It is used as the main mode of transportation by millions of New Yorkers every day. Our advice, however, is to avoid, if possible, using the subway to travel to distant and non-touristy areas. If you want to visit Queens, the Bronx or some parts of Brooklyn, we recommend you to choose a guided tour that will show you the main things of these neighborhoods in a few hours and in an efficient way. For example: