By Kohleun Adamson, on December 27, 2019

New York Comic Con Essentials You Need to Know

There’s more to pop culture conventions than beaches and gaslamps. Just ask the avid attendees of New York Comic Con. Each year the lineup of celebrity guests and entertainers at NYC Comic Con gets bigger and bolder. At the 2019 event, superstars included Sean Astin of “Lord of the Rings” and “Stranger Things” fame; Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose; Brian K. Vaughn, author of the popular comics series Saga; and many more of today’s top artists. The next time superfans and cosplayers take over New York City, you’ve got to be one of them.

Before you shimmy into your superhero spandex and head to the Big Apple, take some time to plan ahead. We break down when and how to get NY Comic Con tickets, where to stay, and what to eat, as well as other travel details you need to know to get the most out of your experience.

What You Need to Know About New York Comic Con

Closeup of a New York Comic Con badge from 2012 with a zombie from "The Walking Dead" on the front.
Via Cory Doctorow/

When is New York Comic Con?

New York Comic Con 2020 is scheduled to take place Oct. 8-11. It has occurred in October for the past nine years. Before that, organizers scheduled the event during February or April. Autumn in NYC is awesome, so win-win!

When do New York Comic Con tickets go on sale?

The specific sales dates for NYCC tickets (i.e. badges) vary each year. In the past, Fan Verification opens in May and closes in July, which is when the previous year’s attendees are verified for badge pre-sales and perks. During verification, new fans can create an account to purchase their badges during general sales. Only verified fans with an NYCC account are eligible to purchase tickets, so sign up for the NYCC newsletter to get notifications about upcoming verification and sales dates.

How much do NYCC tickets cost?

The exact cost of tickets to NY Comic Con can change each year, and prices are announced closer to the Fan Verification phase. In 2019, entrance fees cost $55 a day, or $190 for a 4-day pass. When you buy admission to NYCC, you’re purchasing a badge that is specifically created for you.

Where is NYCC held?

NYCC is held at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. Located in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, Javits Center is close to Lincoln Tunnel and lots of great restaurants. Bonus: Many of the hotels near NY Comic Con have stellar views of The High Line, Hudson Yards, and the Hudson River.

What is the weather like for New York Comic Con?

Fall trees with bright yellow, orange, and green autumn leaves in Central Park, a peaceful place to take a break during New York Comic Con.
Via Songquan Deng/

Temperatures tend to be in the 60s down to the low 50s—perfect for sweaters and jackets or layering a hoodie and sneakers over a Spidey suit. October gets about five rainy days for the whole month, and the leaves are colorful and crunchy.

What should I pack for New York Comic Con?

Obviously, you want to pack your NY Comic Con cosplay and clothes you can layer on cooler days. Make sure these essentials are also in your suitcase…or utility belt:

  • Walking shoes: New York has great public transportation and the area is very walkable.
  • Fan swag: Bring your favorite comic book or poster for the New York Comic Con guests to sign.
  • Device charger: You’ll burn through battery power taking photos, posting to social media, and communicating with friends.
  • Snacks: You’ll be surrounded by great food in the Big Apple, but you might get hungry standing in line or waiting for NY Comic Con panels to begin.

What can I eat and drink during NYCC?

Two cheeseburgers at Bareburger, one served on a wholegrain bun and the other with bacon, avocado, and salsa—a delicious food option for New York Comic Con.
Via Jaysin Trevino/

You’ll be in New York City, so you can eat pretty much anything within a short walk or subway ride. For an easy coffee fix and snacks, head to the Starbucks inside Javits Center. Otherwise, think of Midtown Manhattan as the world’s best food court. Nosh on this:

  • Blossom on 9th: An all-vegan restaurant serving brunch, salads, pasta, and hot sandwiches like the cheesy portobello panini.
  • Bareburger: Burgers and comics are a winning combination. Chow down on organic, all-natural burgers and classic sides at Bareburger. Patties include organic, grass-fed beef and plant-based Impossible and Beyond Meat burgers.
  • Pio Pio: Peruvian restaurant Pio Pio is famous for their rotisserie chicken served with their signature aji verde (green sauce).
  • Ben’s Kosher Restaurant & Delicatessen: Getting a great sandwich at a local kosher deli is part of the quintessential New York experience. Order a hot pastrami sandwich and a side of Grandma’s Soup.

Closest airport

Flights to New York can arrive at several local airports. In fact, there are actually three major airports near the New York Comic Con location. The closest one is LaGuardia Airport on the north side of Queens. With public transportation, the trip from the airport to hotels near Comic Con New York takes under an hour, and express trains leave every 12 minutes. John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens and Newark Liberty International Airport, located in Newark, New Jersey, are good options as well.

Getting around New York

 A group of NYCC fans on a well-lit subway train in New York City.
Via Mussi Katz/

Public transportation

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) services the region with buses, subway trains, and above-ground regional trains. Because you’ll be visiting the city for multiple days, we recommend getting a MetroCard, which can save you quite a bit of money compared to individual fares:

Standard MetroCard fares:

  • Base Pay-Per-Ride Fare: $2.75
  • Single Ride Fare: $3.00
  • 7-Day Unlimited Ride: $33.00

Reduced fares for passengers 65 and older and people with disabilities:

  • Subway, Local Bus, Select Bus: $1.35
  • 7-Day Unlimited Ride: $16.50
  • Express Bus (Off-Peak Only): $3.35

Taxis and rideshare

Taxis and rideshare apps are another convenient way to navigate the city during NYCC. It’s not the most time-efficient method to travel during rush hour, but it can be the simplest way to get to and from the airport. Fares average about $48-$55 for routes from LGA to Hell’s Kitchen.

Where to stay for New York Comic Con

Graystone and red brick townhouses with climbing leaves and autumnal trees in the Upper West Side.
Via Duozoid/

You won’t have a hard time finding great hotels in New York, but picking the right NYCC hotels comes down to location, location, location—just like your favorite movies. Look in these nearby areas:

  • Hell’s Kitchen is an obvious choice. This corner of Midtown Manhattan is known for high-end restaurants and lots of development, like Hudson Yards and the beautiful High Line park.
  • Chelsea, located just south of Hell’s Kitchen, is a trendy neighborhood with lots of art galleries, museums, and popular LGBTQ bars.
  • The Upper West Side is the place to stay when you want to wake up to views of Central Park or the Hudson River. This long, narrow neighborhood is home to the American Museum of Natural History.

Other things to do in New York City

You’re going to have a full itinerary during NY Comic Con…but the city is famous for historical landmarks and innovative art, so if you can see more of it, do so! While you’re there, explore some unbeaten paths all over the city, or add an extra day to your trip. You’ll be surprised how much you can experience with just 24 hours in New York City. Let’s get geeky!