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RaeJean Lepird

Carroll, Iowa

Bus or Train Travel from Washington DC to New York City

My daughter and I are planning a day trip from Washington DC to New York City the first week in June. Ideally-we would leave our car parked outside our Airbnb in Washington DC, walk the 3 blocks to the nearest Metro bus stop, and travel to New York City via bus or rail. We would like to see the 911 Memorial and other nearby points of interest. Then we would travel back to DC in the evening. I'm interested in locating inforation on safe and economical travel options. Thanks!

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  • Kim Thomas

    answered by

    I’ve taken the bus from Washington, DC to New York City and Amtrak from DC to Pennsylvania, North Carolina and georgia.

    I’d deem both means of transportation as safe - mechanically and people-wise. (I’m not easily intimidated, but it would take a LOT for me to drive into NYC. Plus, the multiple road tolls alone are near the cost of a bus ticket.)

    My preferred means of travel between the two options is via train (Amtrak in this instance). You can walk about the different cars, get away from a smelly or irritating seat-mate, and get to see more of the terrain. But more often than not, bus fare is more economical. The bus is more likely to encounter “characters” of personality you may not want to deal with, but I’ve never been faced with anything I’d consider adversarial or dangerous.

    There are 2 or 3 bus lines that do round-trip trips between DC and NYC daily. Bolt comes to mind. Seems like it was around $70 r/t per person. Left DC around 6am arriving 9am or so and dropped off in the middle of a shopping district - near Macy's Herald Square. Saw the park and Chinatown New York. The 911 memorial and Statue of Liberty are definitely accessible via cab if too far to walk. While the Lady is quite a sight to see, if you HAVE to choose I’d say do the 911 Memorial. While not a happy place, the ambiance and emotional learning experience is beyond describable.

    I came back the same day departing 8pm’ish arriving 11pm’ish. It was an exhausting day. If you have the means to stay overnight in NYC, even if you’re double paying for accommodations, I’d suggest it. But know that it’s not mandantory for a nice trip.

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    1. Washington, DC (city)
    2. New York City (city)
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    6. Macy's Herald Square (attraction)
    7. Chinatown New York (neighborhood)
    8. Statue of Liberty (attraction)

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  • Julie C

    answered by

    I agree with the other comments. Both options are easy and safe, and it's really dependent on budget. I usually take the train as it is much more comfortable and relaxing than the bus was.

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  • Georgia G

    answered by

    budget makes a big difference. you can take one of many "cheap" busses- very economical but the drop off and pick up areas can be in odd locations and times around the city. if you can do Amtrak- better price if you book way in advance- it is very pleasant from Union Station to Pennsylvania Station. once at Penn you can travel everywhere by subway or even by foot. 9/11 Memorial is all they way downtown and can be a time consuming museum visit or walk through the park with waterfalls. but in that area you also have Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island. Manhattan is not huge but for a one day trip I suggest you have an itinerary that is efficient- chose an area: downtown, midtown or east/west uptown. midtown has St. Patrick's Catholic Church Rockefeller CenterTheater, and food/shopping in every direction. uptown around Central Park there are Museums. depending on your interests, make a wish list and then it is easier to make a plan- you will be back!

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    1. Union Station (attraction)
    2. Pennsylvania Station (attraction)
    3. 9/11 Memorial (attraction)
    4. Statue of Liberty (attraction)
    5. Ellis Island (attraction)
    6. St. Patrick's Catholic Church (attraction)
    7. Rockefeller Center (attraction)
    8. Central Park (attraction)

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  • Shlomo HaLevi

    answered by

    Bus is much cheaper. Mega Bus is fine and usually cheap

    Amtrak is more comfortable, but can be quite pricey

    Check out their websites

    Have Fun!

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  • Mariana Matos

    answered first by

    Definitelly bus, cheaper and safe

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  • Adam Monroe

    answered by

    I did exactly what you did, but allowed myself 4 nights in New York City to see a bunch of stuff. I rented an AIRBNB in Washington, DC, and got permission to leave my car for the 4 nights I was in NYC. MEGABUS https://us.megabus.com/ pick up at Union Station is what I used. Free wifi and not too long of a trip. Just 1 day would allow you go see all of the Museum (I spent over 2 hours there with a 30 minute wait to get tickets). MegaBus usually drops you off near 27th street (fashion district), so you could uber or take the subway to lower Manhattan. 27th street is pretty walkable to broadway and Times Square too. If you left at 5AM tickets will be $10 and you'd arrive in NYC around brunch time. I ended up taking an amtrack train back to DC. Trains leave from Pennsylvania Station, which was right across the street from the hotel I stayed at.

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    1. New York City (city)
    2. Washington, DC (city)
    3. Union Station (attraction)
    4. Times Square (attraction)
    5. Pennsylvania Station (attraction)

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  • Fritzi Lareau

    answered by

    The train(Amtrak) is much nicer but more expensive. I always take the train, it’s so comfortable and the ride is scenic. To me it’s totally worth it to pay the extra for the train. Lots of low cost buses will also get you there and back.

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  • LaToya staten

    answered by

    Both are easy with frequent travel times. Train is most comfortable.

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  • Diane gordin

    answered by

    Train!

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  • Courtney Robinson

    answered by

    Personally, I would take the train from Washington, DC, especially if you only have one day. For one thing, it takes about half the time and you never know what kind of traffic you'll run into with the bus. Yes, you will have to get from Pennsylvania Station downtown, but you'll still be ahead of the game.

    If you're going to go downtown to see the 9/11 Memorial, here are some other things in that general area of town (although you might have to do a little walking):

    The Oculus - this is the big new shopping center. It's a stunning building although I wouldn't waste a lot of time shopping there as the stores are the kind you can visit anywhere. You might want to check out Eataly NYC Downtown for lunch, though.

    St. Paul's Chapel - this little church is right near the towers and ended up being a very, very moving memorial to 9/11.

    Tenement Museum - really interesting place although I believe they do make you take tour.

    Whitney Museum - I haven't been down here since it moved but I'm sure it's great.

    Rubin Museum of Art - one of my favorite museums in the city. If focuses primarily on Himalayan art but always has a variety of things on exhibit. Also has a lovely tea room if you need a break.

    New Museum - haven't been here yet but I've heard great things about it.

    Chelsea Market - this is just a fun place to have lunch, do a little shopping and people watch.

    You could also take a little stroll through Chinatown New York and/or Little Italyalthough both have become pretty commercial.

    It's so hard to say what to do with one day in New York. You could spend a year there and not see everything! @

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    1. Washington, DC (city)
    2. Pennsylvania Station (attraction)
    3. 9/11 Memorial (attraction)
    4. The Oculus (attraction)
    5. Eataly NYC Downtown (restaurant)
    6. St. Paul's Chapel (attraction)
    7. Tenement Museum (attraction)
    8. Whitney Museum (attraction)
    9. Rubin Museum of Art (attraction)
    10. New Museum (attraction)
    11. Chelsea Market (attraction)
    12. Chinatown New York (neighborhood)
    13. Little Italy (neighborhood)

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  • peggy robbins

    answered by

    Yes, bus is the least expensive. I have only used Tripper Bus which is out of Bethesda, a suburb of Maryland. The bus stop is a couple of blocks away from the Bethesda metro station. Many of the buses let you off near Pennsylvania Stationin New York City. Check out this Washington Post article regarding the different buses that travel between DC and NYC. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/artsandliving/travel/busreview/

    The train is faster and departs from Union Station and takes you directly to Penn Station. If you take a train, try to get an express train especially for the way up so you can get your sightseeing day started early in NYC. The good news for you is your trip is in June. If you have an exact date you can book now and get a bus for as low as $5.00 each way and the train at a deep discount as well. If you wait to book the train the rates are high, especially for a day trip.

    Whether you take the train or bus, you will be able to get on the subway at Penn Station and take it to the 911 Memorial if that's where you want to start. If you've never been to NYC I would suggest walking through Times Square at night before you head back to DC. It's a good way to end your trip......and stop at Junior's restaurant and get a slice of cheesecake to eat on the way back!

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  • Amanda ONeil

    answered by

    The bus will cost $25-35 each way with a little discount if you buy a round trip ticket. The buses have a bathroom on board and are clean and comfortable. They generally don't stop so bring snacks and a book/movie. They leave every 30 minutes or so and you can change tickets up to 24hrs ahead of the trip.

    They generally leave from DC's Union Station or Dupont Circle (both on metro red line) and land in the Pennsylvania Station area in NYC (34th street, near Madison Square Garden). Each bus has a different assigned parking place in NYC.

    You can go to www.gotobus.com for a range of options. I recommend WashDeluxe and BestBus (www.bestbus.com, formerly DC2NY) which are the most consistent best run.

    The train can be ~60 minutes faster as it's not beholden to traffic but it will cost $93-150 each way. They also travel from Union Station-> Penn Station.




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  • sam hh

    answered by

    Mega Bus: Cheapest

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  • Rachel LF

    answered by

    bus is way cheaper, but so much longer. I suggest Amtrak. Its station is conveniently in downtown.

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