New York City is hosting WorldPride this summer, which means a celebration that was already massive just got even bigger. And with 2019 commemorating 50 years since the Stonewall riots shook the city’s Greenwich Village and transformed the modern Pride movement, it’s an extra powerful time and place to celebrate.
Headed to New York this summer or thinking about it? Here’s everything you need to know to plan for WorldPride NYC.
What’s in this guide
Plan Your trip
Flights & hotels
Check out personalized insights from your home airport to New York, such as median airfare, when to book a flight and what qualifies as a good deal.
When to visit
WorldPride spans the entire month of June in New York, and with more than 50 events happening across the city, there’s no bad time to visit. However, if you want to take part in the biggest Pride celebration in the world, you’ll want to plan your trip to coincide with the NYC Pride March on Sunday, June 30.
How to get to the city from the airport
There are two major airports in New York City and another in nearby New Jersey. Compare flight prices for all three to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is located in Jamaica Bay, Queens, and is the city’s largest airport. While it’s only around 15 miles to Midtown Manhattan, a taxi will take you around 40 minutes and cost around $50 (not including tolls or surcharges). Skip the high fare and opt for public transportation instead. The airport offers an AirTrain that connects to the E, J or Z subways as well as the Long Island Railroad, which takes you straight into Penn Station.
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is also located in Queens, and it’s only 8 miles from Midtown Manhattan. A taxi will take around 30 minutes and cost around $30 (not counting surcharges or tolls). If you prefer public transportation, take the M60 bus (you can grab it at any terminal) to 125th Street where you can transfer to the subway.
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) may be in New Jersey, but it’s actually only 16 miles from Midtown Manhattan. A taxi to the city will take around 30-35 minutes but will set you back close to $60, so public transportation may be your best bet if you’re not in a rush. Find direct rail connections via NJ Transit to New York Penn Station. You can get the train from Newark Liberty International Airport Station, which is easily accessible via AirTrain from any of the airport’s terminals. Be sure to get the train to New York Penn Station, not Newark Penn Station.
Good to know
- If you’ve done Pride in New York before, keep in mind that this year’s march will take a different route than in previous years. It steps off from 26th Street and 5th Avenue at noon, and you can find route map here.
- While Uber and Lyft are available, NYC’s taxis are iconic for a reason – they’re actually some of the cheapest taxis in the U.S. If you’re looking to hail one, you can easily tell if a car is occupied by its lights. If the numbered sign on the roof is lit up, you can grab it – if it’s dark, they already have passengers.
- Keep this link handy to find public restrooms during the festivities. You can search by your location or type in an address to find restrooms near you.
- It may sound obvious, but drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen and find a happy compromise between festive attire and comfort – it will likely be hot and you’ll be on your feet most of the day.
New York isn’t exactly cheap, and if you’re traveling for a worldwide event like Pride, be prepared to pay a bit more than you would at other times in the year. That said, even with interest in the event surging – flight searches are up 30% compared with last year and hotels searches are up 40% – our data doesn’t show a rise in flight or hotel prices compared with 2018’s festivities. In fact, average median hotel prices are down nearly 10% compared with last year.
And, if you’re looking to save money, there are plenty of opportunities on the ground. Many of the WorldPride events are free – including the NYC Pride March, the PrideFest Street Festival, the Stonewall 50 Commemoration and Youth Pride. Check out the event calendar for more options (all the free events are clearly marked right up front).
According to our data, the average median airfare for the weekend of the NYC Pride March is $563, while the average median hotel cost is $237/night. We suggest booking at least one month in advance for domestic travel (so the sooner the better).
Where to go & what to do
Note: Check out this map to see the city’s neighborhoods.
New York City is massive – it’s made up of five boroughs, each with unique attractions for travelers. If you’re traveling for WorldPride, chances are you’ll be spending a lot of your time in Manhattan. Lucky for you, it’s an incredibly easy borough to get around. Streets are numbered and run from east to west, while avenues run north to south. There are exceptions, of course, and most of these occur in the neighborhoods below 14th Street.
The subway is always a great way to get around New York City. Especially true during an event like Pride when crowds will be at a maximum, the subway may be faster, more reliable and definitely cheaper than sitting in traffic. If you’re going to be bouncing around, do yourself a favor and get a MetroCard upfront. You can purchase them from machines in any subway station.
*Note: In the interest of time (ours and yours) we are focusing on only a small amount of this expansive city. Did we leave your favorite place off our list? Snap a pic, post a tip and use #KAYAKPicks on Instagram for us to find it. You may score a feature.
If you’re traveling to New York for WorldPride, spending time in the neighborhood where the modern LGBTQ+ movement started is a given. It’s here you’ll find The Stonewall Inn – the site of the 1969 riots. You can still visit the iconic bar on Christopher Street, which hosts events like Drag Bingo and, during WorldPride, will play host to the Pride Rally on June 28. Wander down Christopher Street and you’ll also find a cabaret bar Duplex and a karaoke bar – Marie’s Crisis – with a catalog jam-packed with show tunes.
Head to hip Chelsea for art galleries and vintage shopping. Visitors shouldn’t miss snapping a few photos on The High Line – a public park built on an elevated rail line. Contemporary art lovers should spend some time wandering through the Whitney Museum (Pride travelers will be able to catch the Whitney Biennial exhibit).
Later comb through hidden gems in the Chelsea Market, where you’ll find a diverse selection of food vendors and opportunities to shop local at the Artists & Fleas market. Grab a glass of wine at Corkbuzz (the wine list is curated by master sommelier Laura Maniec), or head to laid-back Barracuda Bar, a cozy gay bar with happy hours and drag shows in its repertoire.
Dining in Hell’s Kitchen is a must for any trip to New York, but especially during WorldPride. For upscale comfort food, head to 44 & X, or for traditional Latin cuisine, give TACUBA a try. Hell’s Kitchen is also close to the Theatre District, so it’s the perfect place to head after catching a show, but it’s also a prime spot for a night out all on its own.
After dinner, grab a drink at Flaming Saddles Saloon – a gay bar with a Wild West theme and dancing bartenders (but be sure to hit an ATM – it’s cash only). Keep the party going at Therapy NYC, where you’ll find tasty cocktails and drag shows five nights a week.
Once a hub for the counterculture and home to Beat writers, Ginsburg, Kerouac and Burroughs, this neighborhood has long been known to attract artists and creatives.
There’s so much to do in this eclectic area, with museums that range from the Anthology Film Archives to the Museum of the American Gangster. After exploring, cool down by grabbing a cone at Big Gay Ice Cream, where you can take your pick from their sweet treats or live on the wild side by trying their Cheeto-flavored ice cream. In the evening, catch a show at Joe’s Pub, a cabaret-style venue with a regular roster of queer performers. Later, have a drink at one of the area’s friendly, longstanding gay bars like The Boiler Room or Phoenix.
Where to eat
When it comes to finding a good meal in New York City, you won’t have to look far. Whether it’s sitting down to a fancy meal complete with tasting menu or grabbing halal from a street vendor (New Yorkers aren’t known for waiting around, so you can count on quality if you see a line assembled), dining out is a way of life in NYC.
Since it can be hard to narrow down the options, we’ll defer to the advice of one Neil Patrick Harris. He’s a New York local and trusted expert – he played a doctor on TV and he’s married to professional chef, David Burtka, after all.
If you’re looking for a laid-back spot to grab breakfast, head to one of Harris’s top choices, Good Enough to Eat, on the Upper West Side.
If brunch is more your style (mimosas, please!), score a reservation at Balthazar, a French brasserie with a popular brunch that fills up quickly and is worth the advanced planning.
For dinner with a show (a magic show, that is), head to The NoMad, where you can sip crazy good cocktails (NPH approved) before heading to the second floor for The Magician, an often sold-out show that takes place every weekend.
Check out the rest of Neil Patrick Harris’s Favorite New York City Restaurants, and be sure to make your reservations well in advance of WorldPride.
Set the mood
Feeling that Pride vibe? Here’s a playlist of tunes for planning your trip, taking a long walk around the city, or getting ready for a night out. >>>
Search dates for flights and hotels used are six months before travel for Pride dates as follows: NYC: June 28-July 1, 2019 vs. June 22-25, 2018. YoY compares data for Pride dates in 2019 with Pride dates in 2018.