in the middle
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Booking yourself a flight to New York is an exciting experience because you know you'll be heading to one of the world's most famous cities! It's so well-known from countless TV shows and films that you might feel like you've been there already, but there really is no substitute for getting your feet on the ground and seeing things for yourself.
Thanks to cheap New York flight deals being more available than ever before, the city that never sleeps has never been cheaper to get to. Many people jet over for a long weekend, but even with a week or two you can be sure you won't have time to fit in all you want to do. So we're certain you'll be heading back over the Atlantic on a New York flight again before you know it!
In addition to perennially popular attractions like the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and the Museum of Modern Art, there are always new things opening too. There will be new shows to see on Broadway, the next big thing when it comes to bars and restaurants, and hot new galleries and sights too. Chinese New Year, St Patrick's Day Parade and Gay Pride all bring the party to the city, as does the Thanksgiving parade, so you could think about timing your New York flight to get you to one of these in 2017 or 2018 if you want to add a little extra to your trip. Need more New York inspiration? Get it here.
New York flights from the UK take around eight or more hours to arrive, which means that short city breaks can be squeezed into a long weekend! There are flights departing from across the UK, with the best deals available between October and March. It does get cold at this time, but wrap up warm and you could be enjoying wintry treats like ice skating in Central Park. The summers in New York are can get pretty hot so splash out on a hotel with air conditioning!
With their convenient positions either side of the Atlantic, there are plenty of airlines offering direct New York flights from the UK. National carriers from both the UK and USA offer a wide range of direct departures from the major UK airports. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Delta and American all fly direct to New York from London, Edinburgh and Manchester. United offer the widest choice of departure airports, with non-stop flights to New York from Birmingham, Newcastle and Belfast as well.
If you're looking for low-cost direct flights check out Thomas Cook's direct route between Manchester and New York. Norwegian are also trying to make flying to the states cheaper than ever before, and offer a direct flight between London and New York.
New York direct flights will save you time on an indirect route, typically taking around eight hours. The exception is Belfast. As it's that bit closer to New York, a direct flight should last around seven and a half hours!
New York has three main international airports, JFK, Newark and LaGuardia. The majority of flights to New York land at JFK, but some cheaper fares may land at Newark. Direct flights leave from UK airports including London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow. New York is one of the rare long haul destinations where direct flights can be just as cheap as indirect.
The easiest option into the city centre is to jump into a yellow cab direct to your New York hotel. Taxis from JFK operate on a fixed fare system, currently $52 to the centre of New York. Taxi fares from Newark and LaGuardia vary but should cost about $26 or $38 respectively. Don't forget to tip your driver - $1 a bag is about right. Alternatively car hire is readily available at all airports if you can handle New York's heavy traffic yourself. Being New York, public transport is readily available and convenient. We've listed the main ways of heading into New York from each of the airports below:
Follow signs from the arrivals hall after the baggage claim. The Air Train runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to destinations throughout Manhattan and links directly with the subway and Long Island Rail Road. Fare is $5.
There are two shuttle bus companies operating to and from JFK to locations in Manhattan. Both run regularly throughout the day, and take between 45-60 minutes into the city. Fares from $14.
The easiest way to access the subway is to take the free shuttle bus to the long term parking lot. This will take you to the JFK subway station, where subways to Brooklyn will take you to major interchanges for onward travel. Travelling on the subway can be difficult with large baggage, especially if you arrive at peak times.
Bus stops are located on the east side of the arrivals road of terminal 4. Fare is $2.25, you will need to have exact change for the fare and the bus is unsuitable if you've got large pieces of luggage.
Both New York Airport Service Express Bus and Express Shuttle USA operate coaches to LaGuardia throughout the day. Expect to pay between $10 and $13. The journey can take up to 60 minutes.
Subway and Bus service
The New York bus service and the subway both have stops at LaGuardia but large luggage is not advised. Fares are $2 in exact change.
The Air Train connects to destinations in Manhattan and intercity rail and operates around the clock all year through. Fare is $5.50 with under 11s travelling free.
Newark Liberty Airport Express runs shuttle buses throughout the day to several stops in Manhattan. The journey takes 45-60 minutes and the fare is $15 one way or $25 return.
It can be tempting to emulate the New York City lifestyle of screen favourites like Carrie Bradshaw and Serena van der Woodsen and hop into one of the famous yellow taxis whenever you want to get somewhere, but remember to keep an eye on your budget too! The subway system is really comprehensive and can take you wherever you want to be - and make sure you don't underestimate how much you will see on a stroll to your next destination!
Seasons in New York City are exceptionally pronounced, with hot and humid summers reaching 30°C, and cold and sometimes stormy winters. Though autumn and spring can be unpredictable, they are frequently touted as the best time to fly to New York. Rainfall stays pretty constant all year round.
The influx of Christmas shoppers, combined with New York's brisk, cold winter weather and twinkling lights throughout the city make for a magical Christmas atmosphere. But this is also the time of year when prices for flights and hotel rooms shoot through the roof. The period directly after the New Year conversely is one of the best times to visit New York on a budget. Whilst hotels are never cheap in New York, between January and March each year hotels struggle to fill rooms and there are some great deals about.
As the weather turns milder New York becomes a beautiful city to stroll about, especially if you visit whilst the cherry trees are in blossom. Though the average spring temperature hovers around 16°C spring, weather can be changeable and the evenings remain cold - so make sure you bring plenty of layers.
Summers in New York are notorious for their heat and humidity, and whilst it's true that the city does get sticky, (especially on the subway!) don't be put off right away. Summer is also the season of free shows, outdoor concerts, and long balmy evenings. Plus hotel prices drop again and the city is pleasantly free of crowds at the weekends, as New Yorkers themselves head out of the city.
From September onwards the city starts to cool down and tourism ramps up again. Many New Yorkers describe fall as their favourite season, and certainly the city is a beautiful place to visit when the as the trees begin to change colour and the first notes of crispness reach the air. Unfortunately this is mirrored by the rising costs associated with visiting the city!
The currency in New York is US Dollars $. You shouldn't have a problem getting hold of currency anywhere in New York. There are ATMs everywhere and most accept international cards. Major credit cards and debit cards are accepted in hotels, shops and restaurants, and if you do need to change some currency you can do so at most banks.
+1 for the USA. New York dial codes begin 212, 718, 917, 347 or 646.
The UK has a reciprocal visa waiver programme with the USA which means that most valid UK passport holders will not need to apply for a visa if they plan to holiday in New York. However you will need to apply for authorisation through the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before you can fly - Click here to fill out a form and apply online. The process takes a few minutes and cost $14. Once you have your authorisation it is valid for the next two years.