Traveling to Ithaca

Ithaca, New York

Traveling to Ithaca, New York, USA

Cornell University is located in Ithaca, a small city in central New York State (see map). It is approximately 250 miles (400 km) northwest of New York City.

For more information: maps, directions, and local information.

Travel by Air

As you will see, the most expedient way to arrive in Ithaca is through the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport. The Cornell campus is ten minutes away from the Ithaca Airport.

These airlines offer service to the Ithaca Airport:

  • American to/from: Philadelphia International Airport
  • Delta to/from: Detroit Metro International Airport
  • United to/from: Newark Liberty International Airport

Note: There are no direct flights to/from JFK International Airport; therefore we suggest going to one of the above three instead. If you need to use JFK, you could then take a shuttle or taxi to the Newark airport for a flight to Ithaca. Another option is to take a bus, car, or train from a New York City location to Ithaca (see below).

If you cannot arrange a direct flight to Ithaca, you will find that the Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, New York, offers more airline options. Ithaca is about a 90-minute drive from Syracuse. Ground transportation to and from the Hancock Airport can be arranged through a local service, Ithaca Airline Limousine (phone 1.607.273.3030 or 1.800.273.9197). You must call for a reservation, based on their scheduled times, two to 14 days in advance. The cost is $85/one-way, or $130/round-trip (subject to change). (You also have the option of a private reservation, at a time you choose, for a higher cost.)

As an alternative to that service, you may choose to take a taxi from Syracuse to Ithaca. The taxi service is located in the Hancock Airport terminal. There are no schedules or advance reservations required, and you can usually depart quickly. The cost is approximately $180/one-way. Another possible option is to rent a car at the airport and drive to Ithaca.

Weather Advisory

In March, flight delays or cancellations due to winter weather in the eastern U.S. are not uncommon. With this in mind, you should plan ample overall travel time and time between connecting flights. Road travel can also be affected. Ithaca weather information can be found at

Travel by Bus, Car, and Train

Note: The information below is mostly specific to travel between New York City and Ithaca; however these options should also apply to other cities.

If you need to get from a New York City-area airport to one of the New York City stops listed below, you can take a taxi, bus, or shuttle. One shuttle option is New York Airport Service.

By Bus

If you are arriving at a New York City-area airport and need to get to one of the New York City stops listed below, you can take a taxi or public bus, subway, or train. With luggage, taking a taxi is more convenient, and likely quicker, but a higher cost than public transportation. See options in the ground transportation section on the applicable airport page.

The following companies provide bus service between New York City and Ithaca (a 4.5-to-6-hour ride):

  • Cornell's Campus-to-Campus Express (phone 1.607.254.8747)
    We recommend Cornell's executive bus service. It offers direct express service with a convenient stop location on campus, comfortable seating, wireless Internet, power outlets, reading lights, complimentary beverages, and snacks. See FAQs for more information. To make a reservation, go to -> "Reservations" -> "Online Reservation Form" (you will be prompted to create a new user account).

    Please note, regarding the bus stop location options:
    • In New York City: You have two options: The Cornell Club and Weill Medical College.
      The Cornell Club is nearer to midtown Manhattan, and is the last stop, so you are on the bus a shorter time. To reach the Cornell Club via public transportation, Grand Central and Penn Stations are nearby, about 5-to-15-minute walks.
    • In Ithaca: Select Sage Hall, which is nearest to the Statler Hotel.
      When you arrive at Cornell, walk approximately one-half a block north (the direction the bus is heading) on the sidewalk along the school/hotel building. At the end of the building you will bear right and walk across the statue plaza. The Statler Hotel main entrance will be to your right. If you want assistance from hotel staff at the bus stop, call +1.607.257.2500 when you reach the first stop on campus (Sage Hall is the second stop), and ask them to meet you in ten minutes. (Note: If you are returning to New York City, the bus will pick you up in a different location, which is across the street and one-half a block south of your arrival location, next to the Sage Hall building.)
  • Big Red Bullet (phone 1.866.228.3990)
    This new bus service (not affiliated with Cornell) also provides direct service. As it recently started operating, we have not received feedback or had direct experience regarding the service. To make a reservation, go to (you will be prompted to create a new user account). Note: The bus does not currently operate on Saturdays; See FAQs for more information.

    Please note, regarding the bus stop locations, which may not be as convenient for you as the Cornell service stops:
    • In New York City, Bryant Park: From public transportation hubs in the area—Grand Central Station, Penn Station, and Port Authority Bus Terminal—it is approximately a 15-to-30-minute walk to this stop. A taxi could provide a closer drop-off point.
    • In Ithaca, Green Street: The Statler Hotel is approximately two miles from the stop; therefore, you will need to call a taxi service to be taken to the hotel (phone: 1.607.277.7777 or 1.888.321.1149).
  • Greyhound (phone: 1.607.272.7930 or 1.800.231.2222)
    Ithaca stop: Ithaca Bus Terminal
    New York City stop: Port Authority Bus Terminal
  • ShortLine (phone: 1.607.277.8800 or 1.800.631.8405)
    Ithaca stops: Ithaca Bus Terminal and Cornell Theater Arts Center
    New York City stop: Port Authority Bus Terminal

    Please note, regarding Greyhound and ShortLine: 30 minutes before your bus arrives in Ithaca, you can call the hotel to request a shuttle pickup from the stop (phone 1.607.257.2500). Local taxi service is also available (phone: 1.607.277.7777 or 1.888.321.1149). The Ithaca Bus Terminal building is closed at night from 6:45 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. (1845 - 0430 hrs), so if you arrive during that time, you will not be able to go inside. You should plan to have the shuttle/taxi there when you arrive.

By Car

For directions, see driving directions to the Statler Hotel; the GPS address is: 130 Statler Drive, Ithaca, New York. (Hotel parking is US$12/night + tax, subject to change.) If you wish to rent a car, some of the companies that have local service outlets are:

  • Avis (phone 1.607.257.0441 or 1.800.831.2847)
  • Enterprise (phone 1.607.275.9000 or 1.800.736.8222)
  • Hertz (phone 1.607.257.8677 or 1.800.654.3131)
  • National (phone 1.607.272.2575 or 1.888.868.6207)

By Train

Amtrak train service is also an option, although the nearest station to Ithaca is in Syracuse. Ithaca Airline Limousine can provide shuttle transportation from the Syracuse train station to Ithaca.

Entry/Visa Questions

You will need to determine the appropriate method of admission into the United States. Here are some general information websites for your reference:

The Visa Waiver Program enables nationals of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.

If a visa is required, we can send you a B-1 (Business Visitor) Visa Certification Letter that you can submit with an application to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. It is used to support that you will be coming to the U.S. for a business purpose. You should confirm that the letter is sufficient with the Embassy/Consulate.

It is important to state that you will be a professional attending a business conference. You will not be an admitted student or earn academic credit, and therefore it should not be appropriate to apply for a student visa. We cannot provide you with an I-20 form, as that document is issued only to students admitted for full-time university study.

Also, if you plan to take a trip into Canada during your stay, it is your responsibility to determine whether you need a visa from the Canadian government and/or a re-entry visa to return to the U.S.

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