Guide on How to Get From Montreal to Niagara Falls

Niagara Fall road trip
••• National Motor Museum

Whether you're traveling by train, plane or automobile, I've broken down everything you need to know about getting from Montreal to Niagara Falls. While the trip may not be too far there are a lot of factors to take into consideration to make sure that you're doing so on a budget, but also not wasting time.

So if you're embarking on the next great Canadian adventure of a road trip or simply making your way to see Niagara Falls there's a lot to take into consideration to ensure that you're being as economical as possible.

I've broken down everything you need to know to make the best travel decisions for your trip.

By Car 

Duration: ~ 6 hours 45 minutes

The route you take will all depend on whether you have an enhanced license or a passport as 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 straight forward so it should make for a simple ride either way. If you don't mind crossing over the boarder you can 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, this will take you right past Toronto. Hop on Queen Elizabeth Way right over the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge into New York. Take i-190 south for about three miles and you'll be in Niagara Falls.

By Plane

Duration: Through Buffalo ~ 5 hours including layover and drive from the airport; Montreal to Toronto ~ 1 hour

Cost: Through Buffalo ~ $300; through Toronto ~$150

If you decide to fly keep in mind that it's difficult to get around Niagara Falls without a car, so it's good to have some idea of how you'll get around once you get into town. The public transit isn't the most reliable so a rental car is your best bet.

You have two international airports to fly into that are in close proximity to Niagara Falls. The first being Toronto's Pearson Airport which is about an hour and a half drive from Niagara Falls. Your second option is the Buffalo Niagara airport which is much closer at about 30 minutes away.

It's tricky to come across a direct flight between Montreal and Buffalo as 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 1-hour WestJet or Air Transat flight. 

By Train

Duration: ~ 7.5 hours

Cost: ~$200

Unfortunately, there isn't a straight shot from Montreal to Niagara Falls but the trip is on the shorter side considering that the route includes three different trains. VIA Rail Canada offers routes multiple times daily from Montreal to Toronto which takes the majority of the trip at about five hours.

From Toronto's Union Station you 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. 

By Bus

Duration: ~ 8 hours 15 minutes

Cost: ~ $120 round trip

Thankfully the trip from Montreal to Niagara Falls has gotten a little easier in the past few years 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. The route takes about eight hours and fifteen minutes total without taking layovers into consideration.