What to do during a lay-over at JFK?

I am all for spending time in airport lounges, especially when I can relax and have a shower, a drink and charge my phone, but I so get bored and the prospect of spending 8 hours at JFK in the middle of the day was a little much for me.

There are many ways to get into the city when at JFK. You can get a flat fare taxi for $52. You can get a ride on a shared bus, like http://www.nycairporter.com which is $30 return. I have done this before when staying near Grand Central and it was very convenient. You can also get the metro, which is what I did.

First of all, I jumped on the AirTrain which connects all the terminal buildings together, and headed towards Howards Beach. To get out you need to pay the AirTrain Fare of $5. You can do this at the ticket machines by getting a metro card. They are reusable, cost a dollar and are used on all the metro and busses too. I loaded some more cash on and jumped on the A train. This line takes you to Manhattan via Brooklyn. I got off at Jay Street / Metro Centre after only about 25 mins.


My destination was the New York Transit Museum. I had seen it on my last visit to the city, but didn’t have time to go. It seemed to fit with my trip of being all about transport too!

The museum is in a old subway station about 5 minutes walk from the metro. At $7 it is great value and has plenty to see. One of the highlights is being able to get aboard a variety of different metro cars from the last 100 years to see how they have or, indeed, haven’t changed!


After an hour of pottering round, I decided to head back to the airport, via Starbucks. I left the airport at about noon, was in the museum for 1pm, and was back at Terminal 7 ready to go through security at 3pm. It was the first time that I have ever left an airport during a transit, and I thought it was fantastic! I would definitely do it again.

What are your top tips for a layover at JFK or any other airport?

3 thoughts on “What to do during a lay-over at JFK?

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