How to Get to Washington from NYC

Washington DC is very well connected to New York, especially by road. If you are thinking of visiting during your trip, take note of the best ways to get there.

Cecilia Gaitán

Cecilia Gaitán

6 min read

How to Get to Washington from NYC

View of the Capitol in Washington DC | ©Jorge Alcala

Washington DC is the capital of the United States and therefore is a city that will complete your trip to New York perfectly. There you will find mythical and world famous buildings such as the White House, the Pentagon and the Capitol, which are definitely worth a visit.

If you are in New York, it is a perfect getaway. Although it is almost 400 kilometers away, it is perfectly possible to visit it since you can get there by train, bus and plane.

But the option that I recommend the most is to join one of the organized tours to Washington from New York, which can be one, two or even four days. This way you will have the means of transportation assured without having to worry about scheduling public transportation.

The most comfortable option

Washington D.C. Day Trip From NYC

Tour and guided tour of the U.S. capital, Washington DC

On this one-day tour you will tour the nation's capital with a professional guide, who will also accompany you on the bus ride from New York, which is also included.

With the tour to Washington from New York, which lasts 15 hours, you will visit the White House, the Capitol and the Senate, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, where the tomb of John F. Kennedy is located, or the imposing Lincoln Memorial. You can also take advantage of this tour to visit the National Air and Space Museum at your leisure.

Why I like this option... you will get to see many places you have previously seen in the movies such as the Lincoln Memorial or the Library of Congress.

Recommended if... you spend more than five days in New York.

Organized tours to Washington from New York: the most convenient way to get there

Standing Obelisk on the National Mall| © Jacob Creswick
Standing Obelisk on the National Mall| © Jacob Creswick

Spending one or several days in Washington DC is an ideal travel option if you are in New York. With an organized tour you will have everything taken care of and all you have to worry about is enjoying yourself. The tour can be a round trip in one day, or you can choose a longer tour, which will also take you to other sites such as Philadelphia. And, of course, you will be able to visit places of interest such as: the White House, the Capitol, Arlington Cemetery, the Air and Space Museum, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam and Korean Veterans Memorial, among others.

How is the transportation on the organized tours?

Transportation between New York and Washington on organized tours is usually by private bus or minibus, depending on the number of travelers. The departure point is usually a central location in Manhattan, although many tour operators offer different pick-up points throughout the city so that getting there is not a problem. Regarding the schedule, they usually leave early in the morning to make the most of the day.

Prices of the organized excursions

For a little more than 70 € in Hellotickets you have covered the cost of the tour, which includes not only private transportation to and from New York but also the guided tour of the city with an expert guide. This is undoubtedly the most efficient option if you want to get to know Washington in a short time and with a professional guide. In addition, during the tour you will cover some distances on the same bus, which will save you from having to organize different trips on Washington's public transportation.

Book your trip to Washington

Travel from New York to Washington by public bus if you're looking for the cheapest way

Megabus bus traveling from New York to Washington| ©Beechwood Photography
Megabus bus traveling from New York to Washington| ©Beechwood Photography

You can get to know the capital of the United States by traveling from New York by bus. It is the cheapest way to get to Washington, as the ticket costs between 18 € and 50 €*, depending on the company, if the route is direct and the departure and return time. Of course, the earlier you buy your tickets the better, as this will also reduce the price.

*Fares are estimates and vary according to the schedule and type of ticket.

Bus companies that operate this route

The most popular companies that operate the route New York - Washington are:

Starting point: the bus station

All lines depart from around Penn Station or the Hudson Yards neighborhood and have plenty of schedules 24 hours a day. So you will have no problem getting there and back, even in the wee hours of the morning.

As expected, buses in the United States have many amenities, both in their seats as well as WiFi connection and food on board, among others.

Arriving in Washington, DC

When you arrive in Washington, DC, buses will drop you off within a 15/20 minute walk to the Capitol. Megabus and Greyhound arrive at Union Station, while Flixbus stops at a busy downtown corner at 550 New York Avenue, very close to the station itself. So as soon as you arrive, it will be very easy to start your sightseeing tour.

Book your 2-day tour to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C

To save time from New York to Washington, choose to travel by train

Washington DC Train Station| © Karen Mallonee
Washington DC Train Station| © Karen Mallonee

Traveling by train from New York to Washington DC, will allow you to save some time compared to the bus, between half an hour and an hour. Of course, the cost of the ticket is more expensive and ranges from 35 ¤ to 173 ¤, depending on the schedule and the class of car you choose.

Starting point

It is very simple to organize the trip as they depart from Penn Station in New York and arrive at Union Station in Washington DC.

Train fares

You can check timetables and prices on the official website of Amtrak, the train company that runs this route, although as I said before, the minimum is 35 ¤ per ticket and journey.

Book your excursion to Philadelphia and Washington

Traveling by plane, the fastest option from New York to Washington

Airplanes at Washington National Airport| ©Pixabay
Airplanes at Washington National Airport| ©Pixabay

The airplane is always (or usually is) the best option when it comes to saving time. In case you choose to fly from NYC to Washington DC, you will be able to do it in one hour.

You must take into account, however, the transfers to and from the airports, which in such big cities can be counterproductive and less profitable than taking a bus or a train.

Flight prices

In terms of price, an average round-trip price can be around 130 €. As with any airline ticket, the earlier you buy the ticket the better. I recommend checking the price on search engines like Skyscanner or on the website of American Airlines, which is the company that has the most frequent flights for this route.

Book your tour to Philadelphia and Washington

If you are traveling in a group, renting a car may be an option.

Treasury Department in Washington DC| ©Malek Jamal
Treasury Department in Washington DC| ©Malek Jamal

This is not the fastest option, nor perhaps the cheapest, but it may be the most convenient if you are traveling with family (especially children) or group of friends. Because you can make the trip at your own pace.

##We compare the options

You should keep in mind that renting a car involves dealing with traffic in the city, but once en route, getting to Washington from New York is very easy because it is all the way on the I-95S highway, just follow the signs.

To the price of renting a car, you must add some tolls, about 30 €.

  • Organized tours
  • 70 approximately
  • Departure point: Different pick-up points distributed around the city
  • Early in the morning
  • Includes transportation and guided tour
  • Public bus
  • From 18 to 50 euros
  • Departure point: Around Penn Station or Hudson Yards neighborhood
  • Wide variety of schedules 24 hours a day
  • May include Wifi and on-board meals, among other services
  • Train
  • Between $35 and $173.
  • Departure point: Penn Station
  • Different schedules throughout the day
  • A very fast option
  • Plane
  • The ticket costs around 130€ round trip
  • Different schedules throughout the day
  • You have to take into account the transfers to and from the airport.
  • Rented car
  • Price of the car rental plus 30 € toll
  • Freedom of schedules
  • City traffic to be taken into account