How to Travel From LaGuardia Airport to Brooklyn by Subway, Bus, and Car

Brooklyn New York with Fort Greene in distance
Jerry Trudell the Skys the Limit / Getty Images

As one of New York City's three major airports, LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is located in the borough of Queens, just north of Brooklyn. With a land area of 70 square miles, Brooklyn is three times bigger than Manhattan, so how far you'll need to go to get from the airport to Brooklyn depends entirely on which neighborhood you're visiting. For example, Greenpoint is Brooklyn's northernmost neighborhood and only 7 miles away from the airport while Brighton Beach, the southernmost neighborhood, is 21 miles away.

Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal is a transit hub where the 2, 3, 4, 5, B, D, N, Q, R, and W subway lines and the Long Island Railroad intersect. From this terminal, you can also connect to the B41, B45, B63, B65, B67, and B103 buses, which can take you to parts of Brooklyn not serviced by the subway.

  Time Cost Best For
Subway + Bus 1 hour, 15 minutes $2.75 Budget travel
Taxi 25 minutes from $23 Stress free

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From LaGuardia Airport to Brooklyn?

Although taking public transportation to LaGuardia can be a bit of a hassle, it's the least expensive option. When you use a MetroCard, which can be purchased at one of the vending machines in the airport, a one-way trip will only cost $2.75. This includes your transfer from the subway to bus. The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) offers a Trip Planner tool on their website for finding real-time travel routes. From the airport, the Atlantic Terminal is at least one hour, 15 minutes away using only public transportation.

First, you'll take the M60 Bus, which leaves from all airport terminals, to Roosevelt Avenue and 74th Street Station. From there, you can take either the E or M train toward Manhattan and get off at Court Square and 23rd Street Station to switch the G train and get off at Fulton Street, which is a six-minute walk from the Atlantic Terminal. You can get off earlier if you plan to visit the neighborhoods of Greenpoint, Williamsburg, or Bedford-Stuyvesant. If you don't want to walk from Fulton Street, you can also take the N train, which will drop you off right at the Atlantic Terminal, but it takes over an hour and requires transferring from the M60 at 31st Street to the Astoria Boulevard station, and traveling on a roundabout route through Manhattan.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From LaGuardia Airport to Brooklyn?

The most convenient and fastest way to travel through Brooklyn is by cab or ride-share. You could also consider renting a car at the airport, but parking in New York City can be extremely expensive and is generally not recommended. If there's no traffic, the ride from the airport to the Atlantic Terminal would only take about 25 minutes along the I-278. Yet, traffic is par for the course in New York so you should anticipate the trip taking longer.

When you arrive at LaGuardia, you can either hail a cab from the taxi stand or use a ride-sharing app like Uber or Lyft. If you're arriving at Terminal B, bear in mind that you won't be able to meet your driver at the curb and will need to walk to the designated parking garage for ride-share pickups.

Taxis can cost $23 to $45 to get to the airport from downtown Brooklyn, depending on the time of your departure and the car service you use. There are no tolls, but you will need to pay for other hidden costs, including tipping, parking, and time spent in traffic.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Brooklyn?

Whether you take the bus and subway or get a car, you'll want to avoid rush hour between 7:30 and 9 a.m. in the morning and 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the evening. During this time, you'll not only run into more traffic on the road, but you'll also find packed buses and trains, which can be difficult to manage if you're traveling with a lot of luggage.

In terms of seasonality, the best time to plan a trip to Brooklyn is in the summer. With plenty of restaurants and rooftop bars where you can spend time outside, the borough really comes alive in the warmer weather. Summer is also a great time to find free outdoor music events like the Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series at Brooklyn Bridge Park or the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival at Prospect Park.

What Is There to Do in Brooklyn?

Brooklyn has really come into its own as a destination and many visitors to New York prefer the borough's laid-back vibes to the overwhelmingly busy energy of Manhattan. There is no shortage of things to do in Brooklyn from its quirky museums to its street art, vintage shops, and unrivaled coffee scene. Brooklyn is also home to many high-end hotels, which tend to be more spacious than Manhattan hotels and sometimes offer better views. If you only have one day to see Brooklyn, you shouldn't leave without eating at one of the best pizzerias or taking a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

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