Getting to New York City

By Air: NYC is served by 3 airports.  In order of proximity to the conference, they are: LaGuardia (LGA), Kennedy (JFK) and Newark (EWR).  Taxi is the most convenient way to get from the airport to the conference and costs approximately $40 from LGA, $60 from JFK and $80 from Newark.  Car services, airport shuttles, trains, buses and subways to Columbia are also available.   There are also car service hailing Apps such as Uber.  Airtrain connects JFK to the subway system and can be accessed with the same card (Metrocard). 

By Train: Amtrak is the national train network. The main NYC train station is New York Penn Station (NYP).  You can take the subway or a taxi from Penn Station to Columbia University.  

By Bus: Many different bus lines come into New York City.  Most arrive at Port Authority Bus Terminal.  You can take the subway or a taxi from Port Authority to Columbia University.  We suggest that you search the Web for the city you are leaving from + New York City + bus to find the appropriate bus line.  BoltBus serves the Northeast United States and offers Wifi onboard.

By Car: It is possible to drive to New York City, but there are many parking restrictions.  Parking garages are available in the Columbia University area and costs vary widely.  You can use a website such as ParkWhiz to locate and pay for parking garages.


Visa requirements are stated on the US Department of State website.  Please visit the US Consulate or Embassy in the country of your residence for further information.  


ATMs (automated teller machines) are widely available and most establishments accept credit cards.  We recommend only using ATMs inside of banks.  There is currency exchange at the airport, but exchange rates are generally better when using an ATM or credit card.

Phones and Wifi

Contact your mobile phone service provider for information about roaming and data charges while traveling in New York.  There are many mobile phone stores where you can obtain a SIM card, if needed.  There are not many pay phones available.  Free Wifi will be available at the conference, as well as at most hotels and some libraries, cafes, restaurants and public parks.  

What to Pack

New York City summers are very warm and often humid (average temperature 84°F/29°C) and it stays warm at night.  There is occasional rain.  Bring light, summer clothing, but also light sweaters or jackets for air-conditioned rooms (approximately 70°F/21°C).  Bring comfortable walking shoes.  Many drugs require a doctor's prescription, so bring any medications you take.  Toiletries, umbrellas, and other sundry items can be readily purchased.

Health and Safety

New York is generally safe, but it important to stay aware.  We don't recommend walking around or taking the subway between 2am and 5am.  Pedestrians should be especially careful when crossing the street.  There are many hospitals in the area.  Phone 911 for emergencies and 311 to connect with city services.  New York City drinking water is safe to drink and tastes good, too.  

Getting around New York City

The best way to get around the city is by subway and by walking.  There are also city buses.   Subway and bus rides cost $2.75 regardless of distance traveled.  Taxis are widely available and can be hailed in the street.  Taxis are vacant when the medallion number on the roof is lit.  Credit cards are accepted.  Ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft are widely available.

Things to Do

CUNY Graduate Center is located in Midtown Manhattan, which is one of the business districts of Manhattan.  There are also many landmarks in Midtown Manhattan, including the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal, Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, and Broadway.  The conference committee will be organizing tours to several destinations in the city.  

For more information

Please see the Transportation and Resources in NYC page.