Getting to Niagara Falls from New York City

Getting to Niagara Falls from New York CityTwo of New York states’ most popular travel destinations happen to be New York City, itself, and Niagara Falls… so, it comes as no surprise that, most people, who visit the Big Apple, would be eager to see both.  Although the two sights are both located within the same US state (Niagara lying on the border between upstate New York and Canadian, Ontario), they are still a fair distance from one another – so, getting to Niagara Falls from New York City can still prove to be somewhat of a mission!!

On the plus side, there are a number of options available to you – dependant upon your budget, timescale and preferred travel experience…

Going it Alone

If, like me, you prefer to have the freedom of “going it alone” and having options as to how you spend your time, there are 4 different options available to you…

Car

Recommended if there is more than one person and costs can be split!

There are plenty of car hire companies available at JFK airport should you need a car when you arrive in NYC – they are all in the same area (Federal Circle stop – from the AirTrain), making it easy for you to get quotes for whatever you want/need (one day and leave the car in Buffalo/the duration of your time upstate AND the return drive/anything in between/extra drivers etc.).  Alternatively, you can book before your trip and, thus, hopefully get a cheaper deal.

The drive itself took us about 7-8hours (with a couple of food/coffee/toilet breaks)

Pros:  Toilet/food/coffee breaks whenever you feel like it, freedom on location (should you wish to explore Buffalo/Toronto/Lake Ontario – as opposed to just the Falls themselves), easy to navigate along the Interstate the majority of the way (but more scenic/cultural routes available if you wish)

Cons:  Tiring, Car hire costs (if applicable), Petrol costs, toll costs, time

Plane

Manhattan and the Hudson River from the air!!Recommended if you’re restricted by time rather than money.

Flying, to Buffalo (around 25miles from the falls), with a company such as JetBlue means you can fly out of JFK early in the morning and back the same evening – making a day trip to the falls a feasible, albeit ambitious, option!

The actual flight time is approximately one hour… however, once you add up; check-in time at the airport, luggage handling, getting to/from the airports at either end… you could be faced with a, more likely, 4-5hour commute.  Still, this almost halves the time spent for any other form of transport…

Pros: Time, fairly relaxed journey, great views of Manhattan from the air!

Cons: Cost, other things to organise (such as transport to/from airports), possible hidden luggage/tax costs, may be unreliable in bad weather (check out my blog post from my journey here…)

Train

Recommended if you like to sit back and relax.

Amtrak connects NYC to the US side of Niagara by rail – with journeys leaving three times per day, ranging between $65 – $155 or £43 – £103 (as at Nov 2015) per person, each way.

The journey takes approximately 9hours with a fairly short bus journey to the falls at the end (and a little bit of walking between each section).  It’s fairly easy to check out the journey on Google Maps beforehand 😉

Pros: Fairly relaxed journey, toilet/food/coffee breaks whenever you feel like it, scenic Hudson River Valley views

Cons: Cost (if more than one person), Time, less freedom on location unless you hire a car

Bus

Recommended if you’re a budget traveller with plenty of time.

The Greyhound buses serve the area between NYC and Niagara, Ontario.  The vehicles are equipped with an on-board restroom, as well as free wi-fi and individual power outlets.

The bus journey can take anything from 9-11hours and seems to be priced from around $47 or £30 (as at Nov 2015) upwards.

Pros: Toilet breaks, scenic views, cost (better if booked in advance), free wi-fi

Cons: Time, less freedom, Stock up with food/drink beforehand if you want a snack!

 

Niagara Falls (American Falls)

Tour Packages

Recommended if you’re more limited by planning time than money!

If you prefer to have a ready made package, a tour could well be the best option for you.  Many companies offer both single day, and multi day tours from NYC to Niagara Falls.

I prefer not to promote full travel packages if I haven’t used the company before myself, however, I have been on a month long tour booked throughSTA Travel in Asia and thoroughly enjoyed the experience… otherwise, a simple Google search should do the trick for you! 🙂  Happy holidays!!

Have you ever travelled to Niagara Falls from New York City? Any pleasantries or horror stories to share from your experiences??  (Check mine out here!!)  Please feel free to comment below! 🙂

 

Love, Magic and Fairy Dust 😉

 

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28 thoughts on “Getting to Niagara Falls from New York City

  1. I’ve been to Canada, and Niagara Falls two times both by road. This information is very useful for Americans living in the New England area, who wanna take a trip our northern neighbor. The information is also good and broken down into those wanting to go to Niagara Falls by plane, bus or even train – which is very helpful.

    • Thank you very much!! 🙂 Can you suggest any stop off’s en route that may be of interest to any other readers?

  2. Hi Zoe!
    After reading your article, I couldn’t help clicking on your About Me page and I was delighted to meet such a lively young lady. I have done a lot of travelling myself and I believe I know exactly how you feel. Travelling is probably the best way to grow as a person and to experience freedom. I liked this article very much although I would like to add another way to getting there which you probably missed because of your background: Hitchhiking!! 🙂
    My best wishes
    Oscar

    • Oscar!! I love hearing from other like-minded travellers!!

      …and thank you for your extra recommendation too… hitchhiking is an experience I’ve, thus far, been a little afraid of – but would love to try it somewhere in the world some day!! 🙂

      Thank you for commenting!

      Zoe

  3. I have no experience getting from New York City to Niagara Falls, but I will say it is a wonderful place to visit. I lived in Buffalo for 18 years as a child and every year we would make the trip to the falls, usually in the Winter because it was so much more prettier at night with the colored lights .

    We always went to the Canadian side because you had a nicer view. That was before 9-11 and the required passports.

    • Debra!! There’ll be a blog post from my experiences there coming up soon too!! 🙂 Isn’t it beautiful! I only wish I’d seen the coloured lights on it too!!
      I’m slightly jealous of your childhood open availability to Buffalo Chicken Wings by the way!! 😛
      I have to admit, I enjoyed looking over from both the Canadian and American sides… would’ve loved to have seen it from the air though – did you ever manage it?
      Thank you for commenting! 🙂

  4. Great information here. I was planning to do the journey by car but you have just put me off with the time it takes. I might just look into going by train. Thanks for sharing

    • Thanks Terry – I’m so glad you’ve found the post useful!! 🙂 It might take a similar amount of time to get there by train, but at least you can relax on the way!! 😀

  5. I went to niagra falls when i was a baby so i can’t remember it, but i definitely want to go again. New york city is also a place which is on my wish list of places to visit so this article is definitely helpful if i intend to go to new york first. I loved the way your article is so helpfully layed out if ones method of transport changes, so well done

    • Thanks Jazzy – I hope this post helps if you do decide to go again!! 🙂

      I can definitely recommend NYC as a fantastic holiday… just be prepared as it’s an expensive one!! And the falls are absolutely beautiful… I never knew there were actually 2 waterfalls – and they’re both pretty spectacular!! 🙂

      Zoe

  6. Hi,

    I really love your site, your articles are interesting and I love the fact you add a bit of yourself in to it. I can’t believe how far apart Niagara Falls and New York City are! Internet sites definitely don’t add the distance in to the small print! Great work and I look forward to your next article!

    Sammi

    • Thanks Sammi!! Comments liek your make it all worthwhile!

      Isn’t it crazy?! I’m from the UK so I can get across my entire country in the same time frame!! haha – but NYC and Niagara are in the same state and it takes that long!!

      Zoe

  7. I have never personally been to New York City or Niagra Falls before sadly. I’m sure it is an amazing sight and I know lots of people visit yearly. So I have to ask, what time of the year would you suggest I visit the big apple for the first time?

    • Aaron!! They sure are incredible sights!

      In honest answer to your question -since this is the first time I’ve been too, so I wouldn’t be too sure on the best time to visit… having said that, one of my best friends did live and study there – and she said fall/autumn is a great time to go! 🙂

      I’ve always wanted to visit NYC over Christmas/new year, so I’m sure it’ll be on the agenda at some point in the future but, for now, this is the best advice I can give!!

      Other than that, I can just divert you to this website, which seems to have some excellent advice to help you decide which time of year suits you best!! I hope it helps!! 🙂

      Zoë

  8. Hello there Zoe , I am planning to visit NYC this summer if everything goes on plan.

    We are very excited for this journey and the Niagara falls looks like a fantastic tour.

    We won’t have a car there so I think we will take the plane as our time is limited.

    I am gonna check this link you provided to find flight prices and accomodation.

    Is that you on the red jacket in front of these falls?

    Nice , my kids will love it.Thank you for posting about NY.

    • hi Tasos!

      Thank you for trying out the links and supporting the continuation of this site!! 😀 much appreciated!!

      It sure is me! 🙂 in front of the American falls though, as opposed to the horseshoe/Canadian falls!! 🙂

      Thanks again!! Zoë

  9. The journey is fairly a long one because driving 7-8 hours is not a small one. But it is worth it if you love to be at these two places.

    Niagara Falls is really a nice site seeing place.

    What are the risks in traveling by road alone? Because traveling by plane, train and bus won’t be much of an issue.

    • hey Daniel!! As far as I’m aware, there are no specific risks in travelling through new York state, alone, by car… aside from the usual risks you may find anywhere else you travel, such as fatigue/other drivers!!

      I hope this helps!

      Zoë

  10. Thanks for sharing this superb information. Your website is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you’ve on this site. I’ve bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found the information I already searched everywhere for and simply could not come across. What a great web site.

  11. Hi Zoe, your post on ‘Getting to Niagara Falls from New York City’ really got my attention, I did this journey many years ago and what a memorable experience that was, you certainly know your stuff about the area and the local tourism in general, will be looking out for future posts from your website, I have book marked your site to my favourites. One last question, have a you an email newsletter I can sign up for? Couldn’t locate it on your site? Look forward to hearing from you. regards, Michael

    • Hi Michael!!

      Thank you very much!! 🙂 I don’t currently have an email newsletter (potentially a future endeavour)… but please feel free to join my facebook page, as all of my posts will also be posted there as and when they go up!! 🙂

      Many thanks, Zoe

  12. Hey, Zoë! Fantastic tips on getting to Niagara Falls. Even though nowadays it’s really expensive to fly to the United States, this is a dream I have had ever since watching those old Woody Woodpecker cartoons. I guess unfortunately I would have to go the cheapest possible route – by bus. Are there any other routes I can explore nearby?

    • Hi Daniel!! It can be quite expensive to fly to the US… but I tend to use skyscanner as my flight tool – you can sometimes find some really great, cheap flights on there!! 🙂

      I’m unsure what you mean by other routes… Other ways of getting there? Or other places to see on the way from NYC to Niagara?

      Thank you for joining the discussion!! 🙂

      Zoe

  13. I have always wanted to go to Niagra Falls and to New York so right away this post had my interest and I am glad I ran across it. I like the idea of flying there and then renting a car. When I am traveling I want to spend as much time as I can sight seeing and less time trying to get to where I am going. The train is not too bad either as that would cut down on the travel time. Looks so fun! Really can’t wait to go, on my Bucket List!

    • You definitely should!! NYC is such a multi-cultural city… I love the diversity of it!! 😀 I truly hope the post helped your considerations for how to get between the two destinations!! I’d love to hear from you again once you’ve been… feel free to report back! 🙂

      Thank you for commenting!

      Zoe

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