A Breakdown of NYC's Subway Lines and the Neighborhoods They Serve
One great way to become an expert on NYC neighborhoods is to simply get on different subway lines and see what happens if you take them to the end of the line.
You'll be amazed at the gems you'll discover, even without a map or a tour guide.
Still, need a jump start? Here are the lines and the places they go... You might want to start exploring ones that include areas you're already interested in and branch out from there. Note that all run from Midtown to Queens or Bronx (uptown), and Midtown to Lower Manhattan/Brooklyn (downtown).
Here are the BIGGEST train stations in Manhattan. Just about all of the train lines runt though them, so you may want to remember which lines hit which stations:
Times Sq-42 St (N,Q,R,S,1,2,3,7)/42 St (A,C,E) *Port Authority
Grand Central-42 St (S,4,5,6,7)
34 St-Herald Square (B,D,F,M,N,Q,R)
14 St-Union Sq (L,N,Q,R,4,5,6)
34 St-Penn Station (1,2,3)
34 St-Penn Station (A,C,E)
*Do not confuse Times Sq-42nd St with 42nd Street/Bryant Park. They're walkable distance, but not the same station!
The Numbered Trains
There are seven numbered train lines. Most of them run from the Bronx to Brooklyn with the exception of the 7 which runs from flushing to Queens.
The Lettered Trains
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, J, L, M, N, Q, R, Z, W and S subway lines also run through NYC, they serve different areas and neighborhoods. Some of the neighborhoods served by them include:
MTA Subway Map
Subway Service Information (lists the subway lines and their current routes)
NYC Metro Survival Tip
It's not uncommon for the monitors on the trains to suddenly go down commonly being replaced with an announcement that says, "Listen for further information," during which time train will suddenly start running on the tracks of another line (in other words, stopping at those stations.)
In this case, it's a good idea to have access to the MTA Text Map. These maps list the names of the stations on each route and can be particularly useful if the train keeps switching lines (often due to construction.)
For easy access to these routes go to Chrome, top the three dots at the top of the screen and select add to home screen. It will then turn the website you're looking at into an app that you can easily access from your phone's Home Screen.
For Apple, go to the bottom of the screen and click the SHARE button, then add to home screen.