Amtrak, New York City
While the ride from Montreal to New York city is long (9 - 10 hours depending on track delay), it's certainly scenic as the track follows Lake Champlain down to the Hudson River all the way down to The Big Apple.
At $68 USD round trip, it was a bargain!
Amtrak is the best way to get to NYC from DC. It is expensive, though. It takes 3.5 hours and drops you right in the center of New York. Here is a pic of me on the Amtrak in 1999.
Since then, Jim and I have mainly headed to NYC on the Greyhound. Now, it takes 4 hours, and is very cheap, but, I cannot stand getting into DC late at night at the bus station here. This bus station is the pithell of earth, in my mind. It is dirty, and in a VERY dangerous neighborhood. I told Jim that if we are to take Greyhound again, he and I would have to arrive in the daylight. He really likes to come home at like midnight, which is an awful time, really!!
Planes, trains, auto and boats. All roads lead to NYC.
NYC has two major airports (both in Queens) JFK and LaGuardia. JFK is a zoo, but it is getting better. LaGuardia is a lot easier to get to and from. If you are coming from over-seas JFK is most likley the airport you will arrive at.
Am-Track, Metro North, LIRR and the PATH trains all take you to the two main stations; Grand Central and Penn Station (both are joined by a shuttle train.)
NYC is linked by tunnels and bridges. Some are free and others may cost you a small fortune.
Try to leave your car at home, parking is a nightmare. If you do find parking it will cost you. You do not need one here. Let Mass Transit do all the work. The subways can be a little confusing (I still get on the wrong trains sometimes.) If you feel lost take a yellow taxi cab. They should take you right to the location you desire. Buses are also another way to go, but they are to slow. My favorite way to get around is the old fashion way... walking.
I can't think of a better way than taking the PLANE and the TRAIN. JFK Airport is reeeally HUGE... and complicated!
Sorry, no offence meant to the New Yorkers... but I really suffered a major migraine just trying to get from ONE point to another point within the SAME terminal at the JFK Airport! Also, it doesn't help much if the airport staff are REALLY RUDE! I have NEVER been ticked off this much by an airport staff until I visited New York! This black guy was just soooo grouchy and made all our lives soooo difficult. I was really tempted (there and then) to share with him the joys of looking at life on the bright side... until my sweet buddy kicked me very hard in the shins. Ouch!!
On the other hand, I had a wonderful experience at the PENN STATION whilst trying to catch our train to Washington D.C. The Caucasian porter who served me was EXCELLENT. He even went one step further and bought the train tickets for us! I couldn't help but tip him slightly more than what I would normally give. He was just #1 and oh-so-gentle and polite. It is my dearest wish (as a foreigner) to see such courteous behavior from the other airport/ train service staff. Their behaviors could make or break a person's view of this otherwise nice city. Don't you agree??
Let's start with.... CABS.
Cabs are easy to find... and it costs approximately US$30 for a one-way cab ride from JFK airport to Central Manhattan. It's STILL much cheaper than taking a cab in London! ;-)
Subways? I've never taken them. I guess I got frightened after hearing all those horror stories about the muggings, slayings and what-nots happening in the New York subways! So, most of the time, I'd walk, hail a cab or one of my colleagues would drive us around....
When coming from neighboring states, use trains (Metro North, NJ Transit, etc.). Otherwise, fly in to JFK, LaGuardia or Newark International Airports.
The subway is the fastest and safest way to get around. Cheap too, as fares are not based on excursion. A $1.50 token will get you as far as you need to go. Buses cost the same, but are not as efficient because of heavy street traffic. Cabs are a must for late night traveling because they are safer, but can cost a lot more. Try not to catch a cab during heavy traffic (usually from early morning through 7 p.m. and always on rainy days). If you must take the train late at night, be sure to sit in the train car where the conductor is located or where it is most crowded. Be careful if bicycling or rollerblading to your destination--wear a helmet. NYC drivers are very aggressive and many accidents occur.
We arrived via Acela Express (Amtrak) from Boston. Penn station is a crazy, crazy place. If you have bags, get a redcap to help you get out of the station.
Use the subway - it's clean and safe.
Take a cab ($$$)
Amtrack has some good deals for travel to NYC... plus, just like SEPTA trains..much easier than driving into NYC