Scream zone sign and rides at Coney Island

Easy To Follow Directions to Coney Island Guide

In Brooklyn, Coney Island, Guides, See & Do by KatieLeave a Comment

Trying to find the best directions to Coney Island? Our easy to follow guide will give you the breakdown of how to get to Coney Island to enjoy your time at one of America’s oldest and famous amusement parks.

We break down different forms of transportation, pricing, and travel times for each one in order to help you find the best option to get Coney Island, one of the best things to do in Brooklyn!

Where is Coney Island?

Riegelmann Boardwalk and Stillewell Avenue in Coney Island

Wondering how to go to Coney Island? First, let’s cover where in the city and borough it is.

Coney Island is in the southwestern part of our lovely Brooklyn borough. It’s actually on a peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean.

As for the neighborhood of Coney Island, it is bound by Manhattan Beach and parts of Brighton Beach to the east, Lower New York Bay to its south and west, parts of Sea Gate to the west as well, and Gravesend to the north.

These are some of the best beaches in Brooklyn to check out by the way, see our guide for more information!

How to go to Coney Island

Train going over Coney Island in Brooklyn

Planning your next adventure in Brooklyn and wondering how to go to Coney Island? There are a few options which we will break down below.

Directions to Coney Island By Subway:

First, how to go to Coney Island by subway. This is actually my preferred transportation to Coney Island, but that’s because it’s a quick and easy ride once you are on the D, F, N, or Q trains. Using public transportation will always be the most affordable option as well.

Depending on where you’re traveling from, you may have to transfer trains. Your final destination will be Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue station, which is served by the D, F, N, and Q lines.

Depending on your starting location your subway line may vary.

The Q subway starts at the 96th Street/Second Avenue Station in Manhattan’s Upper East Side passing through Times Square, Canal Street, passing over through Brooklyn stopping at major stops like Atlantic Avenue before ending at Coney Island / Stillwell Avenue station as its last stop.

The N subway starts at Astoria Ditmars Blvd station in Queens passing through Manhattan with big stops including Times Square, passing through Lower Manhattan before crossing over in Brooklyn to major stops like Atlantic Avenue before ending at Coney Island / Stillwell Avenue station as its last stop.

The F subway starts at 179th Street in Jamaica, Queens passing through major stops like 42nd Street / Bryant Park and 34th Street / Herald Square before making its way to the Lower East Side and crossing over into Brooklyn stopping at major stops like Jay Street – Metro Tech before passing through neighborhoods like Park Slope ending at its final stop Coney Island / Stillwell Avenue station.

Last, the D subway starts at 205th Street in Norwood in the Bronx, passing through major stops in Manhattan including 59 Street / Columbus Circle station, 42nd Street / Bryant Park and 34th Street / Herald Square before crossing over in Brooklyn to major stops like Atlantic Avenue before ending at Coney Island / Stillwell Avenue station as its last stop.

When traveling by subway, always allow for more time than necessary, and arrive a few minutes prior to what your train schedule is as sometimes its off, by being early or late.

Keep in mind that on the weekends the subway also runs at a different schedule than on weekdays.

Here are subway directions to Coney Island from some popular city landmarks:

From Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan:

If you’re traveling from or near Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, I would allow over 60 minutes for travel time. From Grand Central-42 St, you would take the 6 line to Bleeker St, then transfer to the D or F train, which will take you all the way to Coney Island.

From Penn Station in Manhattan:

The easiest directions to Coney Island from Penn Station is to board the Q or N train at 34 St-Herald Square and take that all the way to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave. Due to delays, this subway ride could take over an hour as well.

From Times Square in Manhattan:

Another straight shot and easy to follow directions to Coney Island is from the Times Square-42 St Station. Hop on the Q or N train for an estimated 55-minute subway ride to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue. Just remember to allow for more time than necessary for possible delays, especially at a busy station like Times Square!

From Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn:

Once you’re in Brooklyn the travel time is nearly cut in half. Directions to Coney Island from Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn will take an estimated 30 minutes on the Q train to your final stop at Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue. You can also look at the D and N trains to get you there!

How to get a MetroCard:

The subway is always going to be one of the most budget-friendly options to get to Coney Island. If you do not have a MetroCard you simply need to go into the station and use a credit card at the kiosk to buy a MetroCard.

When you get to a kiosk to buy a MetroCard you have two options, to buy a MetroCard with a preloaded amount of money to spend for example $20 worth of rides that you can add value you to when you run out OR you can buy an unlimited MetroCard for x amount of days where you can ride multiple times a day.

If you’re purchasing a new MetroCard using cash, you will have to subtract the $1 fee for the new MetroCard from the purchase, so you would purchase a new MetroCard and then pick a custom amount to load of $19 to be used on subway fare.

If you’re using an old MetroCard be sure to check the date to make sure it didn’t expire if it has been a while since your last visit!

A single ride is $2.75, and when you transfer between the bus and subway it’s no additional cost.

Directions to Coney Island By Car:

Coney Island and Stillwell Avenue station in Brooklyn

Time for direction to Coney Island by car will vary depending on where in the city you’re coming from, time of day, route you choose, etc.

Starting by car in Manhattan, it can take over an hour to get to Coney Island by car, but it should be quite simple. Just make sure to find directions to Coney Island and keep them handy during your drive!

In order to get into Brooklyn, people coming from Manhattan will eventually merge onto the Hugh L Carey Tunnel then continue onto the I-278 W. From here, take exit 22 onto Belt Parkway E and then take exit 6 toward Crospey Avenue in Coney Island!

In a nutshell, that’s how to go to Coney Island via car in Manhattan but just double check before you depart for your trip, as this will vary depending on your starting point, time of day, etc. There could be detours depending on traffic or road closures, you just never know with New York!

Parking at Coney Island:

Sometimes getting there is the easy part, finding a parking spot is usually the real struggle!

You can find (if you’re lucky) free parking on the street, metered parking that’s around $2 for 2 hours max, as well as paid parking lots around Coney Island.

Free parking on the streets can be hard to get if you’re not coming first thing in the morning or visiting during peak summer season.

There are several pay lots including MCU Park and The New York Aquarium that are short walking distances to Coney Island Amusement Park and the boardwalk.

Keep in mind if you do metered parking that many have time limits and/or may require you to return to feed the meter more money or move your car.

Another great option suggested by some visitors is to park at surrounding subway stations, then take the subway train to the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue station, which is another great option!

West 8 Street-New York Aquarium and Neptune Avenue subway stops are also walking distance to Coney Island and the boardwalk.

Directions to Coney Island By Taxi/Ride Share App:

Coney Island view from subway

We all know taxis and rideshares are vital in the city. As we mentioned, traveling by car from Manhattan, and even in Brooklyn depending on where your departure is can sometimes take over an hour. This can unfortunately send rideshare or taxi prices through the roof.

Here are estimated times to Coney Island from some popular city landmarks:

Keep in mind these are estimated times and prices! Rates, especially with rideshare apps are always changing depending on the time of day you’re traveling, the day of the week, and if you plan on visiting Coney Island during holiday weekends.

Always allow for more time than you think you’ll need and evaluate the best form of transportation for yourself! To have no traffic is a bit unheard of in NYC unless you’re traveling at odd hours.

None of these estimates include tips.

From Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan:

Getting anywhere by car in or from Manhattan may take up to an hour, but the ride from Grand Central Terminal to Coney Island by rideshare should only take around 40-50 minutes on a perfect day. You should really give a cushion to allow for more time because of traffic and congestion in the city.

On average this ride can cost $75-$90 in a taxi cab.

When using a rideshare app, the rates vary depending on factors such as current demand and which ride option you choose. The price can ballpark from $70 to around $180.

From Penn Station in Manhattan:

Traveling from Midtown Manhattan to Brooklyn can take some time. On average the ride from Penn Station to Coney Island could be around 40 minutes on a perfect day with no traffic.

You should really give a cushion to allow for more time because of traffic and congestion in the city.

Since Penn Station is about the same distance to Coney Island as Grand Central, the taxi and rideshare pricing are around the same, $75-$90 for a cab and anywhere from $70-$180 for a ride-share.

From Times Square in Manhattan:

Another Midtown pickup spot can be expensive as we have already found out. For some reason pick up at Times Square seems to be a few extra bucks than the other spots we’ve covered.

A cab can cost you from $80-$100 usually and a rideshare can charge $73-around $180. This trip will usually take about 45 minutes to an hour. You should really give a cushion to allow for more time because of traffic and congestion in the city.

From Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn:

Traveling within the borough can make the ride cheaper than if coming from a further distance like Manhattan. So this drive can take around 35 minutes and costs significantly less than traveling from our Manhattan locations. I’d allow for more time though as traffic is common in the city.

Traveling by cab can cost from $40-$55 and rideshare is around $50 when it isn’t peak hours, and for rideshare apps the rates vary depending on factors such as current demand and which ride option you choose.

Directions to Coney Island By Ferry:

View of Coney Island from Steeplechase Pier in Brooklyn

Coming soon in 2021, travelers will be able to add a new way of how to get to Coney Island via the NYC Ferry system and we are really excited about it!

Both Staten Island and Coney Island will be added to the ferry routes to provide convenient travel for commuters between boroughs. With these additions, you will now be able to access each of the boroughs via the NYC Ferry system.

From Wall Street’s Pier 11, it should only be an estimated 40-minute ride to Coney Island.

Tips for Visiting Coney Island

So now that we’ve covered the directions to Coney Island, here are some tips on making it the best day trip possible.

Keep in mind that Coney Island operates seasonally. The boardwalk and beach are open all year long, but the rides and attractions are not.

These are usually operating from around Easter time to the end of October, but sometimes only on weekends!

Make sure to check that out before planning your trip.

And if you’re hitting the beach, note that lifeguards are only on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Luckily some of our favorite spots are open year-round too, like Nathan’s Famous, the New York Aquarium, and even some Brooklyn ice skating at Abe Stark Arena. Check out our guide to the Best Things to do at Coney Island for more!

And while you’re at it, check out our favorite Coney Island Instagram Spots for some photography inspiration for your trip, its really one of the best place for Brooklyn photography.

Lastly, I would say to take your time making a bucket list of things you want to do in Coney Island and think about the best form of transportation for you!

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