New York to Washington DC by Bus

This post reviews the various bus companies that offer bus service between NYC and DC.  We compare the average prices, length of journey, availability of basic facilities (such as Wifi and luggage storage), and arrival/departure locations. With so many different bus companies operating between the cities, it is hard to know which one offers the best value for your needs.  Additionally, we also show you how to easily compare and book bus tickets for specific journey times on your own, as well as use public transportation in either city, find the best bus tours, and choose the best hotel. Finally, we’ve also included a list things to do in NYC and DC so that you can make the best use of your time in both cities.

Sorting out transportation during your vacation can be stressful, but with this guide it doesn’t have to be!


Public Transportation in NYC and DC

Bus Tours in NYC and DC

Hotels in NYC and DC

Things to Do in NYC and DC

 

Buying Bus Tickets

Company Reviews

Pick-Up + Drop-off Locations

Things to Know


 

 

Buying Bus Tickets from NYC to Washington, DC

There are two very useful sites for comparing bus options between New York City and Washington, DC. Each is a database that allows travelers to search for specific journeys and compare prices between several different companies.  Though neither database includes results for all bus operators between NYC and DC, their selection is vast and each website is an excellent solution for those who don’t want to review each bus company’s offerings separately.

 


Wanderu

With Wanderu, you simply plug in your departure and arrival destinations, as well as the dates that you wish to travel, and a list comparing several different companies will appear. 

Each result specifies the departure and arrival times, the cost of the ticket, and the type of amenities included. Travelers can then book directly through Wanderu, making the booking process incredibly simple. 

 


Go2Bus

Similar to Wanderu, Go2Bus is another easy way for people to book seats on buses between NYC and DC. In addition to showing departure times, cost, and features, Go2Bus also rates each company and allows guests to further narrow their search by limiting the results to specific operators, departure times, or a price range. 

 


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Bus Company Reviews

 


BOLTBUS

Bolt Bus is a popular transportation company that operates around the country and is known for its affordable fares. They offer several trips between New York City and Washington, DC everyday, so guests can choose from a wide selection of departure times. As is the case with most companies, Bolt Bus requires passengers to have government issued ID and usually prefers that they provide a copy of their reservation. 

Length of journey: Between 4 hours – 4 hours & 45 minutes 

Average Cost: Approximately $15 each way, though tickets booked in advance are cheaper, and tickets booked at the last minute or during peak times can be much more expensive. 

NYC Pick-up/Drop-off: (1) New York W 33rd St & 12th Ave or (2) New York 6th Ave Between Grand & Watts

DC Pick-up/Drop-off: Union Station 

Facilities: All  Bolt Buses have Wifi, power outlets. 

Baggage: No checked baggage service provided. Passengers are restricted to one (1) bag to be placed under the bus and two (2) carry-on bags, such as a purse or backpack. Carry-on bags should be small enough to fit into the overhead bins.

Reviews: Bolt Bus is a solid, affordable option for those looking to travel between New York and DC. Though the facilities are rather basic and seat space is limited,  the affordable price and frequency of trips more than make up for these minor issues. Some reviewers complain that there bus was late, however this almost exclusively occurs during rush hour as Bolt Bus (like most companies) does not adjust its scheduled arrival time to factor in traffic. Yelp Rating: 3 stars. 

 


MEGABUS

Similar to Bolt Bus, MegaBus is another budget transportation operator that offers several trips between New York and DC. Though most fares are approximately $10-$15 each way, guests who book several months in advance can occasionally purchase tickets for as little as $1. Travelers are required to present ID upon checking in at the station. 

Length of journey: Between 4.5 – 5 hours 

Average Cost: Approximately $10-$15 each way, though tickets booked in advance are cheaper, and tickets booked at the last minute or during peak times can be much more expensive. 

NYC Pick-up/Drop-off: New York, NY , 34th St b/t 11th Ave and 12th Ave

DC Pick-up/Drop-off: Union Station 

Facilities: Wifi, power outlets, and are green certified.

Baggage: Passengers are allowed 1 checked bag that can be put below the bus and that must not weigh more than 50 pounds. Additionally, passengers are allowed 1 carry-on item that should be able to fit in the overhead storage facilities. 

Reviews: Though Megabus admittedly receives very mixed reviews for punctuality, the company remains one of the most widely used in the country. The low price of their tickets and the frequency of their departures make the a popular choice, especially amongst younger travelers. Yelp Rating: 2 stars.

 


BESTBUS

BestBus is a reliable alternative for those who are weary about the reputation of some of the other companies. Though slightly more expensive, BestBus coaches are often much cleaner, more comfortable, and come equipped with free bottles of water. Additionally, unlike many other companies, their buses depart and arrive from 3 different stations in Washington, DC (Union Station, Dupont Circle, and Silver Spring Metro), which is ideal for those who don’t live near Union Station. 

Length of journey: 4.5 hours

Average Cost: $30 each way 

NYC Pick-up/Drop-off: Penn Station 31st street between 8th & 9th Ave

DC Pick-up/Drop-off: (1) Union Station, (2) Dupont Circle, or (3) Silver Spring Metro (this is actually Maryland)

Facilities: Wifi, power outlets, green certified, and free water. 

Baggage: Guests are allowed to have up to 3 pieces of luggage (including bikes) to be stowed beneath the bus. Additionally, guests may bring 1 carry-on item, which must be able to fit in the overhead storage. 

Reviews: Reviews for BestBus are generally very positive, with many reviewers praising them for their punctuality and cleanliness. Some comment that the Wifi was unreliable or non-existent, but unfortunately that is the case for most bus companies. Yelp Rating: 3.5 stars. 

 


VANMOOSE

VanMoose is a smaller bus company that only operates between New York, Virginia, and Maryland. Though the departure and arrival point for Washington, DC is technically in Virginia, guests are just a short train ride (1 stop on the Metro) or walk (5 minutes across Key Bridge) from being in DC. As is the case with most companies, guests are required to show their reservation before boarding. 

Length of journey: 4.5 hours

Average Cost: $20-$40 each way, though tickets bought at the last minute can be much more. 

NYC Pick-up/Drop-off: Penn Station 31st street between 8th & 9th Ave

DC Pick-up/Drop-off:  (1) 7401 Waverly St Bethesda, MD, (2)1801 N Lynn St Arlington, VA, and (3) Lorton, V

Facilities: Power outlets and wifi 

Baggage: Guests are allowed to stow 2 bags beneath the bus and 1 carry-on item. 

Reviews: Reviews of VanMoose are generally very positive as guests are impressed with the reliability of the operator. Though a bit more expensive than some of the other companies, VanMoose buses tend to be very clean and punctual. The biggest negative for VanMoose is probably it’s limited schedule. As a smaller company, it can’t quite keep up with the frequency of journeys on offer by MegaBus or BoltBus. However, the times are still very manageable if you plan ahead. Yelp Rating: 3.5 stars. 

 


GREYHOUND / PETER PAN

Peter Pan, which has had an alliance with Greyhound since 1999, is one of the largest bus companies in the United States with most of their journeys operate in the northeast. With most tickets selling for less than $20 per journey, Peter Pan is a very economical choice that is more similar to MegaBus or BoltBus rather than some of the slightly more upscale options. 

Length of journey: Approximately 4-6 hours 

Average Cost: Approximately $12-$18 each way, though tickets bought at the last minute can be much more.

NYC Pick-up/Drop-off: Port Authority Bus Station 

DC Pick-up/Drop-off: Union Station

Facilities: Wifi, power outlets, and extra legroom 

Baggage: Guests are allowed to stow up to 2 bags beneath the bus and 1 carry-on bag that can fit either under your seat or in the overhead. 

Reviews: Reviews of Peter Pan are relatively mixed. While many appreciate the affordable price and extensive number of journey options, several others complain about the company’s poor customer service and consistent delays. Yelp Rating: 2 stars. 

 


GOBUSES

GoBuses is another smaller company that specializes in bus journeys between Boston, Providence, New York, and Washington, DC. Tickets are usually a bit more expensive than those on offer by some of the larger companies, but if purchased in advance or for off-peak times, they can be extremely affordable. 

Length of journey: 4 – 4.5 hours 

Average Cost: Approximately $20-$25 each way, though weekday tickets can be as low as $5 each way.

NYC Pick-up/Drop-off: 31st Street and 8th Avenue

DC Pick-up/Drop-off: (1) L’Enfant Plaza 526 C Street, Washington, DC SW and (2) Arlington, VA Eisenhower Ave. Metro Station

Facilities: Wifi, power outlets, and free bottle of water. 

Baggage: Guests are allowed to stow up to 2 bags beneath the bus (including bikes or instruments) and 1 carry-on bag that can fit either under your seat or in the overhead. 

Reviews: Reviews of GoBuses are also mixed with the biggest complaint being the occasionally mediocre customer service. However, many reviewers also comment that they had no issues during their trip and appreciated the cheap price of the ticket. For those hoping to avoid delays, it’s best to not travel during rush hour. Yelp Rating: 3 stars. 

 


CHINATOWN BUS

Chinatown Bus was originally established in the 1990s to help Asian immigrants who needed a cheap and easy way to travel between cities on the East Coast. Now it services several different areas in the United States and works with several different operators. It is important to note that guests are required to print out their ticket or they will be charged a $1 fee upon boarding. 

Length of journey: 4 – 4.5 hours 

Average Cost: Approximately $20 each way.

NYC Pick-up/Drop-off: Various locations

DC Pick-up/Drop-off: Various locations

Facilities: USB outlet

Baggage: Guests are allowed to stow up to 2 bags beneath the bus (including bikes or instruments) and 1 carry-on bag that can fit either under your seat or in the overhead. 

Reviews: Though several reviewers complain about experiencing technical issues on their Chinatown Bus ride, there are also many whose journey proceeded without issue. Some staff members don’t speak English very well, and so communication has also been a problem in the past. Yelp Rating: 2.5 stars. 

 


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Pick-up and Drop-Off Locations

There are several different places from which buses traveling between New York City and Washington, DC depart and arrive. Here is a list of those locations so you can determine which company may be most convenient to you. 

NEW YORK: 

Penn Station 31st Street and 8th Avenue – GoBuses, Greyhound / Peter Pan, Best Bus, and VanMoose 

Port Authority Bus Station – Greyhound / Peter Pan 

34th St b/t 11th Ave and 12th Ave – MegaBus and BoltBus 

New York 6th Ave Between Grand & Watts – BoltBus 

 

WASHINGTON, DC: 

Union Station – BoltBus, MegaBus, BestBus, Greyhound / Peter Pan 

Dupont Circle – BestBus 

1801 N Lynn St Arlington, VA (technically VA, but very near Washington, DC) – VanMoose 

Arlington, VA Eisenhower Ave. Metro Station (technically VA, but very near Washington, DC) – GoBuses

L’Enfant Plaza 526 C Street, Washington, DC SW – GoBuses

 

VIRGINIA: 

Lorton, VA – VanMoose

MARYLAND: 

Silver Spring Metro Station – BestBus 

Baltimore 27th Street and 7th Avenue – MegaBus 

 


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Things to Know

  • Always bring government issued ID. Though this is not a requirement for every bus company, it makes the check-in process much easier – especially in the unlikely instance of confusion.
  • Have an electronic or printed copy of your seat reservation. Though this is also not always required, some companies (like Chinatown Bus) will charge you if you don’t present this at check-in.
  • If traveling with a bicycle, contact the bus company ahead of time to inquire about available space and reservation requirements.
  • Try to avoid booking a reservation during rush hour. None of the bus companies account for traffic when calculating their estimated arrival times, and so are often inaccurate during peak travel hours.
  • Carefully consider the arrival and departure locations when considering which bus company to select. Some are much more conveniently located than others. 
  • If you’re worried about not being able to sit in the front or with a particular person, consider paying a few dollars extra for a seat reservation which will guarantee you a place.
  • Always assume that the driver will not stop along the way. Although there are occasional stops in Baltimore or Providence to collect additional passengers, these are brief and do not include a visit to a snack shop for water or food.

 


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Guides to Public Transportation in NYC and DC

As both NYC and Washington, DC are very congested cities, it is often easiest to get around via public transportation. Though the Metro and Subway can be a bit intimidating at first, each is relatively easy to navigate once you understand how they work.

Below is a list of several guides we have written on how to use public transportation in both New York City and Washington, DC. 

Washington, DC: 

New York City:

 


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Bus Tours in NYC and DC

In addition to using a bus company to travel between New York City and Washington, DC, visitors can also opt to take a bus tour within each city to save time on sightseeing. With dozens of different walking tours available through our company, we are obviously impartial toward tours that bring guests up close to different sites by foot. However, if you prefer to travel on wheels, there are many different bus tour companies on offer. 

Below we review all of the most popular bus tour companies in both Washington, DC and New York City so that you can more easily decide which one is best suited for your needs. 

Washington, DC: 

New York City:

 


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Hotels in NYC and DC

Both Washington, DC and New York City are expensive cities, and so finding accommodation that fits your needs and is within your budget can be a challenge. Below is a list of guides we have written on where to stay in both New York City and Washington, DC. 

Washington, DC: 

New York City: 

 


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Things to Do in NYC and DC

Both Washington, DC and New York City are vibrant cities with many different activities from which to choose. Below is a list of some of our favorite tours in each city, as well as a collection of our favorite activities and sites to see. 

Washington, DC: 

All-in-One (National Mall and Tidal Basin) Tour 

Arlington National Cemetery Tour 

Lincoln Assassination Tour 

Capitol Hill & Library of Congress Tour

Historic Georgetown Tour 

 

Guide to Visiting Mount Vernon

Visiting the American History Museum 

White House Garden Tour

Visiting the Pentagon on a Guided Tour

 

New York City: 

New York City One Day Tour

Soho, Little Italy, Chinatown Tour

Central Park Walking Tours

Harlem Tour

Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights, and DUMBO Tour

Lower East Side Food Tour

 

High Line Map and Visitors Guide

Ellis Island Tickets and Tours

Top 10 Things to Do in NYC at Night

22 Things to Do in Times Square

Visiting the Empire State Building

 


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