Getting From New York City to Philadelphia

(and from Philly to NYC!)

Philadelphia is located about 95 miles southwest of New York City in the state of Pennsylvania.

To get from New York City to Philadelphia there are several transportation options. Consider the pros and cons of each option to choose the best transportation option for you. Advance booking many of these options can offer additional savings.

Philadelphia is an ambitious, but do-able day trip from New York City. I recommend spending at least one night there to make travel worthwhile and enable yourself to really get a taste of Philadelphia. Philadelphia is home to the Liberty Bell and also famous for their namesake cheese steaks. 

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  • 01 of 04

    New York City To Philadelphia By Train

    Amtrak Celebrates National Train Day 2010
    ••• Lisa Lake/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

    Traveling to Philadelphia by train from New York City is a quick, low-stress option. Trains travel from Penn Station in Manhattan to Philadelphia's 30th Street Station. Amtrak's Acela service takes just over an hour, while other trains take about an hour-and-a-half. You can purchase tickets in advance on Amtrak's website or in person at Penn Station. Fares range from about $39-175, depending on the schedule. The most affordable fares are available when you purchase your tickets two weeks or more in advance.

    Budget-conscious travelers might prefer to take NJ Transit to Trenton and where you change to the SEPTA train to Philadelphia. The change is easy, since it's just across the track. It takes longer (nearly 2.5 hours) but it costs less than $20.

    Pros: quick, direct from Manhattan to Philadelphia, PA
    Cons: Amtrak is pricey, NJ Transit is more expensive than the bus, which takes about the same amount of time

  • 02 of 04

    New York City To Philadelphia By Bus

    Bolt Bus in New York City
    ••• Bolt Bus in New York City. Chris Hondros/Getty Images

    Bus service from New York City to Philadelphia, PA is an easy, affordable option for visitors. Trips take about two to three hours, depending on traffic. Only Greyhound departs from within Port Authority Bus Terminal, while other bus services depart curbside. Confirm where your bus will depart from so you can be in the right place at the right time. Purchase your tickets in advance online to get the best fares. Some bus companies have service from downtown Manhattan as well.

    Pros: cheap, frequent service
    Cons: traffic, not as comfortable as train

  • 03 of 04

    New York City To Philadelphia By Car

    Cars waiting to pass the New Jersey Turnpike Tollbooth
    ••• Cars waiting to pass the New Jersey Turnpike Tollbooth. Travel Images/UIG/Getty Images

    You can drive from New York City to Philadelphia -- the most direct route takes you through New Jersey on I-95 or the New Jersey Turnpike is about 95 miles. For most visitors it doesn't make a lot of sense, since you won't need a car in either city and parking can be difficult and expensive. Plan on about two-and-a-half hours of travel time, though stops and traffic will add to overall time. You can rent cars in Manhattan, though rates at the airport tend to be cheaper.

    Pros: good value if traveling with a group, no schedule to adhere to
    Cons: traffic, parking

  • 04 of 04

    New York City To Philadelphia By Plane

    Plane Taking Off
    ••• Plane Taking Off. Andrew Howe / Getty Images

    Flying to Philadelphia, PA is the fastest way to travel, with the flight taking just an hour, but that doesn't include time spent getting to and from the airport, clearing security, etc. That said, shuttle flights from New York City to Philly can be cheaper than the train and run frequently. Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is the closest and most convenient airport to downtown Philadelphia and SEPTA runs from the airport to Center City.

    Pros: fast, often less expensive than train
    Cons: airport hassles, NYC airports are outside of Manhattan