Airport Sleeping Pods Guides

Can You Leave JFK During Layover?

Can You Leave JFK During Layover?

It can be frustrating to have a layover at a major airport like John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport and be tantalisingly close to an exciting city such as New York, known for its charming landmarks, gastronomic delights, and vibrant culture. But can you leave JFK during a layover and make the most of your time in the Big Apple? The answer is yes! Keep reading to learn what to consider before making your decision and how you can maximize your layover experience, while ensuring you make it back for your next flight.

Can You Leave JFK During Layover Table of Contents

Length of Layover


Visa Requirements

Before stepping out, weigh the factors that could impact your decision. Here’s what you need to consider:

Length of Layover

Evaluate the layover duration before venturing out. Experts recommend having at least 6-8 hours available to fully appreciate your time in the city, without feeling rushed. Travel to and from JFK can take anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes, depending on your chosen mode of transport and traffic conditions. Also, keep in mind that you should be back at the airport at least 1-2 hours before your departure time, to clear security and reach your gate.


Most airlines require passengers to collect their luggage and re-check it when travelling internationally, particularly if there’s an overnight layover. In case your layover is short, it’s wise to check if you can store your baggage at the airport for a few hours. JFK offers baggage storage facilities at terminals 1, 4, and 8 for a fee.

Visa Requirements

If you’re a foreign traveller, ensure that you have a valid visa to leave the airport and explore New York. Ensure you understand the visa requirements relevant to your nationality to avoid complications upon re-entry to JFK.

Fatigue & Jet Lag

Consider your energy levels and circadian rhythm when deciding whether to venture out during your layover. If you’re extremely tired or jet-lagged, it may be wiser to relax in a JFK Airport Sleeping Pod or other airport amenities.

Now, let us share some exciting ways to make the most of your layover in New York City.

New York Attractions: Sights & Bites

Once you’ve considered the factors above and decided to visit the city, try these quick, easily accessible attractions:

1. Time Square: A symbol of the city that never sleeps, Time Square is an iconic destination and only a 45-minute subway ride from JFK.

2. Central Park: Stroll through this lush, sprawling green space or visit a few surrounding museums for a taste of New York’s artistic scene.

3. Brooklyn Bridge: Walk across the beautiful, historic bridge for a view of Manhattan’s skyline, and indulge in a pizza slice at Grimaldi’s or Juliana’s.

Exploring the city can be a satisfying way to spend your layover while creating lasting memories. However, if you do decide to stay within JFK’s terminals, rest assured that there are various options available such as JFK Airport Sleeping Pods, lounges, and quality dining choices.

In conclusion, you most certainly can leave JFK during a layover, provided you have time and the energy to do so. Just keep those essential factors in mind, pack your sense of adventure, and don’t forget to share this guide with fellow travellers! Be sure to check out our other articles on Airport Sleeping Pods for more comprehensive guides to enhance your travel experiences.


About Curt Morrell

Meet Curt Morrell, a connoisseur of travel and airport architecture with a unique twist. With 15+ years of experience traversing the globe and analyzing the intricacies of airport design, Curt has become an authoritative voice in the realm of transit comfort and efficiency. His background in acting adds a creative lens to his expert analysis, enabling him to tell the stories of airports and their sleeping pods in a compelling and engaging way. Curt's insights have transformed layovers for countless travelers, and his passion for harmonizing the practical with the aesthetic in airport spaces continues to push the boundaries of what we expect from our transit experiences. Trust Curt to guide you through the world of airport sleeping pods with a blend of technical expertise, creative flair, and real-world wisdom.

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