How to Navigate Penn Station Like a Pro

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If you’re heading into Manhattan in New York City, you just might be coming in via Penn Station. Are you worried about visiting this busy train station? Afraid you might get lost on your way to the platform? Those are pretty natural feelings to have.

Penn Station is a loud place that is bustling with energy, and it’s definitely useful to get prepared before you have to face this massive underground world. Especially if you’re on your own and geographically challenged, I would recommend taking some extra steps before you plan on leaving for the train station.

About Penn Station

Penn Station is located in midtown Manhattan in New York, New York. Specifically, it’s located in Pennsylvania Plaza between 7th and 8th Avenue in Chelsea.

According to NYC Go, Penn Station is one of the busiest railway stations in the entire world, and this is likely because it’s at the center of a social and busy hub near the center of Manhattan. Additionally, Penn Station offers an easy commute to other forms of transportation, making it a common in-between place for those who are traveling all over the world.

There’s also luggage storage in Penn Station, which is useful for instances where you would like to spend your layover time exploring parts of the city while you’re waiting for the next part of your journey. Especially if you’re going to be in the New York City area for less than a day, you might not want to shell out a lot of money for storage and accommodations. 

Luggage Storage in Penn Station

While there is luggage storage in Penn Station available to those who want it, this is not necessarily directly offered by Penn Station. Instead, it’s offered by Amtrak, according to Luggage Hero.

Additionally, there aren’t any storage lockers located inside the station, which can make it seem like options are limited in terms of how to keep your baggage safe while you’re out and about traveling in Manhattan.

However, there are many third-party companies that offer luggage storage in Penn Station. This makes it much more likely that you’re going to find some luggage storage in the area that feels convenient to your needs and the trip that you’re taking, as there are more locations that offer luggage storage in Penn Station.

Unfortunately, according to Jason N. Gibbs, there is no storage available for your bicycle if you happen to be traveling with it. Thankfully, there are some bike-share stands that are very close to the station.

Taking advantage of these luggage storage options could give you a little extra freedom while you’re exploring the outside city, or even if you just want your hands free while you’re allowing yourself to get a little more familiar with Penn Station as a facility. It can offer you some extra peace of mind, as you won’t have to worry about where you’re going, in addition to dealing with full hands.

Get Your Hands on a Map

Especially if you’re geographically challenged like me, it’s a good idea to find a map of the station to help you find your way around. One of the easiest ways to do this is to look up the color-coded maps that are already available online.

If you’re in need of a more tangible map than a picture on your phone, or if you don’t trust yourself to keep your phone charged enough to have your phone on as much as you’ll need it, it could even be a good idea to print out your own paper map.

Why is getting a map such a good idea? There are actually a lot of factors that could make you pretty confused. There’s more than one level to Penn Station, which doubles the amount of area within the station for you to get lost. Additionally, you might end up doubling up on your steps if you get lost or are running late to your platform.

And running late to your platform could also be a big issue. There are several platforms in Penn Station, meaning that if you come to the incorrect platform without much time to head to the correct one for your train ride, you could need to reschedule all or part of your trip.

Because of the multiple floors and platforms, I would strongly recommend getting to the station pretty early in order to give yourself some time to make potential mistakes. In my experience, this makes everyone in your traveling party less stressed and more calm and collected in their decision-making skills.

Thankfully, there are also disability-friendly elevators located around the station, which can be useful if you have a hard time with walking or general mobility. If you suspect you’ll be needing to go up and down the Penn Station floors quite a bit, it might be helpful to find a map online in order to find all of the relevant locations of these elevators.

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