The Best Way to Go From DC to New York


The journey from Washington, D.C. to New York City is one of the most accessible in the U.S. There are a variety of bus, train and air travel options to cross the nearly 250 miles between the two. However, the best way may depend on your own preference.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with internet
  • Ticket
  • Government-issued identification
  • Cash or credit card
  • Map

By Train: Acela Express

  • Call Amtrak for schedules or download the Acela Express schedule at to decide when to leave.

  • Book your ticket ahead on or leave enough time at the train station to buy one. Most tickets, even ones purchased in advance, can be picked up directly at the train station. Ask for the Acela Line if ordering over the phone.

  • Arrive at Washington, D.C.'s Union Station with enough time to board the train. Usually trains start boarding 30 to 45 minutes prior to departure. Arriving with excess time to spare is not mandatory like at an airport.

  • Board the train for New York City and arrive at Penn Station in 2 hours and 45 minutes, about 30 minutes faster than regular Amtrak service.

By Air: Delta Shuttle

  • Purchase tickets by making reservations online at or at an airport kiosk on the day of departure.

  • Collect your boarding pass at the check-in counter, a self-service kiosk or by checking in online and printing it at home. Arrive at Reagan National with adequate time for check-in, security checks and boarding.

  • Present your boarding pass and ID at the security checkpoint.

  • Relinquish your luggage to be screened. Limit yourself to one carry-on and one personal item.

  • Board the shuttle for the 1 hour 15 minute journey to La Guardia airport.

By Car: Choose your Auto

  • Plan your route from the capital to Princeton Junction, New Jersey using a map or atlas.

  • Consult the Amtrak schedule from Princeton Junction to Penn Station to plan when you want to leave in the car.

  • Make the drive to Princeton in about 3 hours 30 minutes. Parking is available at the train station in Princeton Junction for a nominal daily fee.

  • Buy tickets at a kiosk for the 1 hour journey into New York City.

  • Board the train 15 to 30 minutes before departure.

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  • Photo Credit travel image by martini from
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