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How to Get to Washington from NYC

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

Cecilia Gaitán

Cecilia Gaitán

5 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 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.

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

The Obelisk standing on the National Mall| © Jacob Creswick
The Obelisk standing 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 for a short time and don't want to miss the opportunity to get to know the capital of the United States. With an organized tour you will have everything well organized and you won't have to worry about anything but enjoying yourself.

As I said, the tour can be done in one day, with round trip in the same day, or you can choose one of longer duration, which will also take you through Philadelphia.

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 taking the tour on those dates.

The departure point is usually a central location in Manhattan, although many tour operators offer various pick-up points throughout the city so that getting there is not a problem.

They usually leave early in the morning to make the most of the day and in the case of day tours, you will be back in the Big Apple by the end of the day.

Prices of organized tours

For a little more than 70 Euros in Hellotickets you have covered the cost of the tour, which includes not only private transportation to and from New York but also a 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 your tour of the city 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 tour to Washington

2. 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, D.C.| ©Beechwood Photography
Megabus bus traveling from New York to Washington, D.C.| ©Beechwood Photography

You can visit the capital of the United States 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 time of departure and return. 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 time and type of ticket.

Bus companies operating this route

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

  • Greyhound: between 33 € and 62 € *.
  • Flixbus: between 14 € and 22 € * * Megabus: between 22 € and 35 € * Megabus: between 22 € and 35 € * Megabus: between 22 € and 35 € *

Departure point: the bus station

All lines depart from around Penn Station or the Hudson Yards neighborhood and have an infinite number 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.

Arrival in Washington, DC

When you arrive in Washington, 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 trip to Washington from New York

3. 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. However, 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.

Departure point

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

Train fares

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

Book your Washington excursion from New York by train

4. Traveling by plane, the fastest option from New York to Washington, D.C

Aircraft at Washington National Airport| ©Pixabay
Aircraft 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 can do it in about an 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 all airline tickets, 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.

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

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 a group of friends. Because you will be able to make the trip at your own pace.

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

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

To the price of the rental car, you will have to add some tolls, around 30 €.