NYC Subway Map


A free NYC Subway Map is available at most subway stations and also posted on the wall of every subway station, which are roughly nine blocks apart. The subway is the easiest and fastest way to get around Manhattan and generally very safe.

How to Use a MetroCard on the NYC Subway

MetroCard and NYC Subway Map

To use the NYC subway, buy a MetroCard at a machine, available in almost every station. You can use credit or debit card at the automated machines, or cash at a ticket booth, to purchase an Unlimited Ride (good for a specific number of days) or Pay-per-Ride card. As a general rule, an Unlimited 7-Day card is a better deal than the Pay Per Ride if you take at least 12 rides in the 7 days.

Unlimited Use MetroCards cannot be used again at the same subway station or bus route for 18 minutes, so each traveler needs their own card. Unlimited cards are available for 7-Days ($32) and 30-Days ($121).

Pay Per Ride – Each subway ride deducts $2.75 and up to 4 people can use one Per Ride MetroCard. It allows subway-to-bus, bus-to-subway, or bus-to-bus transfer within 2 hours, but does not allow free subway to subway transfers (unless you transfer within the same station). Per Ride Cards purchased in amounts from $5 to $100, are awarded a 5% bonus for every $5.50 spent. Refill your card to use a balance less than $2.75.

Single Ticket – The cost of a SingleRide ticket is $3.00. Sold at automated vending machines only.

Up to three children 44 inches tall and under ride for free on subways and local buses when accompanied by a fare paying adult. 

Using the NYC Subway Map

A free New York City Subway Map is available at the MTA website, or another NYC subway map with streets and subway line descriptions is in the NYC Insider Printable Guide.

NYC Subway Map

NYC Subway Map Directions

A popular site for getting NYC Subway Map Directions is, which also has several free apps. Let’s walk through an example of subway directions from the Museum of Natural History to Times Square. For popular attractions, you don’t need to know addresses, just the names will do.

NYC Subway Map Directions

After entering your starting and destination locations, click “Get Directions.” As you can see below, this route uses the C Train for 4 subway stops and takes 21 minutes. On the Directions results page, you may click “Add Stop” and continue to navigate your city route.

Using the Subway

Visit the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and their special section meant for visitors. MTA is the government organization that runs all of New York City’s Public Transportation. They have all the information you need to know about Metrocards (the card you need to pay and use the subway). There is a New York City Street Map and subway map posted on the wall of almost every subway station, so you can always check on your way in or out. If there is someone at the ticket booth, they also have a free foldable map for you to carry.

Is the Subway Safe?

Since 2005, New York City has had the lowest crime rate of the 25 largest US cities (check more interesting facts about New York City). In the main parts of Manhattan, the subway is almost always safe. I use it 24/7 and never have any issues, but if you want to play it really safe, I recommended not using it between about midnight and 5:00am.

If you are not familar with urban cities, here are a few tips. During daylight, the subway rarely has safety issues. At night, if staying in a remote area, it might be best to avoid the subway. Stations such as Union Square or Times Square are pretty much safe all the time and have the most frequent trains. Always keep your purse and bags closed (locked if possible) and close to you.

Now that we’ve covered the NYC Subway Map, let’s move on to Arriving in New York City.

NYC Printable Map Guide Book

Download over 100 pages of NYC maps, information and recommendations in less than 5 minutes! Our NYC Insider Printable Map Guide Book includes organized, easy to follow, color coded guides to NYC, detailed maps of every neighborhood, weekly chart of Free Museum Days and Times and free weekly neighborhood tours, Best of NYC Categories and lists by ALL native New Yorkers and much more.

New York City Travel Guide

The New York City Travel Guide is your NYC PRE VACATION Guide, sort of like, “New York City 101.” This book is an overview of NYC to help you PLAN your trip so you make the absolute MOST of your time and money here. Think of this book as the guide to answer all the most commonly asked questions and avoid the most common NYC Vacation and Trip Planning mistakes.

NYC Printable Map Guide Book

The NYC Map Printable Bonus Guide is a 14 page downloadable Bonus Guide, compiled of the best free, downloadable local neighborhood maps with stores and shops block by block put together by our local NYC neighborhood associations; all formatted and ready for you to print.

Back to New York City Vacation


  1. We are coming to NYC for our first visit. I want to get from JFK to 206 E 52nd with suitcases. Suggestions? Traveling on a Sunday.


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