New York is serviced by three main airports – John F. Kennedy, Newark Liberty and LaGuardia – and Australian travellers can enter by any one of them depending on domestic connections.

Airport transport

LaGuardia is the closest airport to Manhattan but is under-serviced by public transport: expect a 25-minute taxi ride to the city. From JFK, the AirTrain links to the subway for trips of an hour or so and taxis have a flat rate of $US52 plus tolls. Newark to the city can be done by train or shuttle. Taxis here don’t have a flat rate but rideshare company Via has a city-airport trip for $US50 plus tolls.

Local transport

Rush hours are at 8am and 6pm, with another crescendo at lunchtime. It’s often faster to use the subway. If you do get a car, Uber is king but an insider favourite is Via, which has unbeatable prices if you don’t mind car-sharing with strangers.


+8.6 million with 1.6 million in Manhattan.


English but almost every language in existence can be heard somewhere in the boroughs.


US dollar

$AU1=$US0.76 (subject to change)

Average temperatures

Spring ◖ 2°C ◖22°C

Summer ◖18°C ◖29°C

Autumn ◖ 5°C ◖25°C

Winter ◖-3°C ◖ 7°C

Best SIM card

T-Mobile has a Tourist Plan for $US30, which gives you 1000 minutes of calls and unlimited texts and data.

Best local app

Goings On, which is curated with up-to-date information on the Big Apple’s cultural offerings by editors at The New Yorker.

Average price of a cup of coffee

$US2.50 for American filter coffee; $US4 for espresso-based drinks. 


Be on time for meetings and meals – some restaurants won’t seat you for brunch until all members of your party have arrived. If you’re stuck in traffic, send a courtesy message; people will understand. 

Tipping culture

Mandatory. Keep in mind that wages are lower here. Unless otherwise stated, a restaurant tip is 18 to 20 per cent of the final bill; taxis are 15 to 20 per cent; bellboys (and bellgirls) expect a few dollars per bag; and a bartender deserves $US1 to $US2 per drink served.


“G’day!” will probably delight your American colleagues but most people employ the usual polite salutations.

SEE ALSO: The Definitive Business Travellers' Guide to New York City




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