With travel available by train, plane, or automobile, it's relatively easy to get from Montreal to Niagara Falls, but there's a lot to consider to ensure you're being as economical as possible with your mode of transportation. For instance, while driving from Montreal to Niagara Falls may only take six and a half hours, it's much more expensive than taking a bus trip, which takes about eight hours.
Whether you're embarking on a the next great Canadian adventure on a road trip or simply making your way to see the falls at a leisurely pace, you'll need to consider how much you're willing to spend and how long you're willing to take to get there. Also keep in mind that prices and travel times can vary for taking a car, train, bus, or plane and that you'll need book your travel itinerary well in advance to ensure prices don't go up.
Montreal to Niagara Falls by Car
The route you take by car will all depend on whether you have an enhanced license or a passport, either of which allows you to drive across the border between the United States and Canada. You can either drive straight through Ontario—hitting Toronto on your way down—or cross over the St. Lawrence River into New York State. Thankfully, there's only about a five-minute time difference between the two routes, but in case of heavy traffic, it's good to keep an alternative in mind.
The drive is pretty straightforward so it should make for a simple ride either way. If you don't mind crossing over the border, start by heading west on ON-401 for about 150 miles, then merge onto I-81 south. Take I-81 to Syracuse, then switch to I-90. Take I-90 for 160 miles all the way to Niagara Falls, New York.
The route is even easier if you decide to stay in Canada for the entirety of your trip. Take ON-401 west for 300 miles, which will take you right past Toronto; then hop on Queen Elizabeth Way right over the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge into New York. Once there, take I-190 south for about three miles and you'll be in Niagara Falls.
- Duration: 6 hours, 45 minutes
- Price: Varies depending on rental and gas prices
Montreal to Niagara Falls by Plane
There are two international airports in close proximity to Niagara Falls: Toronto's Pearson Airport is about an hour and a half drive from Niagara Falls, but the Buffalo Niagara airport is much closer at about 30 minutes away.
It's tricky to come across a direct flight between Montreal and Buffalo (most go through New York City or Philadelphia), and they tend to be on the pricier side at nearly $300 round-trip on Delta. Flights to Toronto are much more frequent and significantly more affordable at around $150 for the one-hour WestJet or Air Transat flight.
If you fly, keep in mind that it's difficult to get around Niagara Falls without a car. Additionally, the public transit isn't the most reliable, and it will take an extra four hours to drive from Buffalo to Niagara Falls, so you may need to rent a car anyway with this option.
- Duration: 5 hours via Buffalo (including driving time and layovers); 1 hour via Toronto
- Price: $300 through Buffalo (plus rental car costs); $150 through Toronto round-trip
Montreal to Niagara Falls by Train
Unfortunately, there isn't a train route that runs from Montreal to Niagara Falls directly (without transfer), but the train route that does connect to the falls is relatively short considering that it has three different trains you have to board.
VIA Rail Canada offers routes multiple times daily from Montreal to Toronto, which covers the majority of the trip and takes about five hours. From Toronto's Union Station, you can then connect to Burlington, which takes about an hour, and then catch your final train to Niagara Falls, which takes about one and a half hours.
- Duration: Around 7.5 hours
- Price: About $200 for round-trip tickets
Montreal to Niagara Falls by Bus
Thankfully, the trip from Montreal to Niagara Falls has gotten a little easier with the growth of Megabus, which offers affordable bus rides throughout North America and Europe.
Megabus doesn't offer a direct route to Niagara Falls from Montreal, but you can take a bus to Toronto and then connect to a New York City-bound bus and get off at the first stop.
- Duration: About 8 hours 15 minutes one way
- Price: Around $120 round trip