There are many reasons to travel to Niagara Falls, but one of the most powerful is to contemplate the wild landscapes of one of the most famous waterfalls in the world: Nature in its purest form! Of course, keep in mind that they are quite far from the Big Apple (they are separated by a whopping 650 kilometers) but fortunately the bus tours, the most popular way to travel from New York, are quite comfortable.
The dream of many travelers with an adventurous spirit is to visit this wonder of the American continent. If you are one of them and want to make the most of your trip to New York, I recommend you to take a look at this article about the best bus tours to see Niagara Falls from New York. I assure you that this excursion will be a memorable one, read on!
Niagara Falls Day Bus Tours
If you are already convinced to go to Niagara Falls but, after this comparison you still can't decide how to get there, I will tell you that the most popular option among travelers and the most comfortable is to do it within an organized tour. This way, you don't have to waste your time organizing anything, you can cancel it if your plans change and you make sure to spend as much time as possible because you will go with a specialized guide who will show you the most important things.
Save one night in a hotel in New York City
With the one-day bus tour you will make the overnight trip in about eight hours, which is less time than the bus you would take on your own because the private tours are newer, so you will save one night in a hotel in New York. And considering the prices of accommodations in the Big Apple, believe me, it's not a bad idea!
You're probably thinking that sleeping on a bus is not the best plan, but they are usually equipped with wifi and are high class so you can have a good night's sleep, and the trip flew by for me!
After a leisurely breakfast, you'll arrive at the falls early in the morning, and spend about six hours touring the falls (with a guide included). You will arrive in New York around 11pm with lots of anecdotes and pictures to show.
What services are usually included in the day tours?
- Private bus transportation with wifi on board.
- Professional guide in English. So you don't miss anything, like the stories about the rescues on the lake, there are some very interesting ones!
- Entrance to Niagara Falls National Park.
- Access to the Cave of the Winds or Terrapin Point (from November to April).
Useful information and pricing for day tours to Niagara Falls
- Price: from 167 € (there are usually different discounts).
- Total duration: approximately 22 hours.
- Recommended if... you only have a few days in New York and you want to make the most of your time.
Niagara Falls Two Day Bus Tours
If you prefer to tour Niagara Falls more leisurely and soak in nature and water (literally, too) I recommend you take the two-day tour. For me, this is the best option to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of New York City and enjoy the spectacular scenery of mother earth - I think, along with the Amazon, it's one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen in my life!
Two day tour itinerary
In this two-day tour you will travel by bus around 6:30 in the morning to make the most of the day and you will make stops at different points such as the impressive Watkins Glen Canyon (where you have to go down more than 800 stairs) and Seneca Lake. For me, taking several breaks made the trip very enjoyable. Afterwards, you will visit both the American and Canadian sides of the falls, so don't forget to bring your passport!
Once there, you'll tour Niagara Falls National Park and get wet (up to your bones) aboard the Maid of the Mist, the closest cruise to the waterfalls and only suitable for the most intrepid. On your return, the next day, you will probably (depending on the excursions) have the opportunity to stop for shopping at one of the best luxury outlets in New York.
What do two day tours usually include?
- A professional guide accompanying the group.
- Private bus transportation.
- One night hotel accommodation, usually with continental breakfast included.
- Panoramic tour of Niagara Falls.
- Entrance to Niagara Falls National Park on the U.S. and Canadian sides - a two for one!
- And my favorite service: free cancellation, in case of any unforeseen event.
Useful information and price of the two day tour
- Price: from 318 €.
- Total duration: 2 days.
- Recommended if... you will be in New York for at least one week.
Compare the two tours
Is a one-day or two-day tour better? This is the million dollar question. If I got paid for all the times I've been asked this question, I'd probably be rich. But I understand you, it's normal... I had my doubts too. If you don't know how many days to go, in this post I compare the pros and cons of the one and two day tours from New York so you can choose the option that interests you the most. And set up the trip to your liking!
I also leave you the definitive guide of the 10 things to see and do in Niagara Falls so you won't get bored for a single minute if you go for two days.
Four day bus tours to Niagara, Washington and Philadelphia
If you're a fan of traveling big and visiting as many places as possible, like me, take note! You might be interested in this type of excursion - can you imagine touring Niagara Falls, Philadelphia, Washington and Amish country all on the same tour? In this case, the road and the people you will meet will be part of the experience. Traveling alone will not be a problem.
Visiting these three places can be a very economical option if you want to! Imagine how much money it would cost to visit these three cities separately. Do the math. You've noticed, right? In this case and to save as much as possible, the best thing to do is to make a four-day trip, especially if you are traveling with your family. Buying so many flights to different places and seeing it on your own could be crazy.
What do four day bus tours usually include?
- Professional English-speaking guide so that you don't miss a single detail!
- Transportation in a small 15-passenger van or bus.
- Three nights hotel accommodation including taxes and breakfast to recharge your batteries.
- Entrance fee to Niagara Falls National Park.
Useful information and price of the four day tours
- Price: from 644 €.
- Total duration: 4 days.
- Recommended if... you want to make the most of your stay in the USA.
What is the bus trip to Niagara Falls like?
Niagara Falls is located on the border of USA and Canada and although there are different ways to get to Niagara Falls from the Big Apple such as train, plane or car, the most economical and practical option is to travel by bus. Here are the reasons why.
The best way? Unlike the plane, the bus is not subject to such rigid schedules or to booking so far in advance. In addition, with this means you can take advantage of the whole day and make a trip to your liking without depending on airports.
This trip, in most companies, usually lasts about 9 or 10 hours and departs from New York early in the morning, although there are some tours that travel at night and so you will save a good peak in the hotel. Then I'll explain how!
Most of the buses, fortunately, are quite modern and include wifi and power sockets for your tablet, computer and cell phone. In some of them you get a bottle of water! Throughout the trip, they also make stops so you can stretch your legs.
If you want the tour to be more enjoyable, I suggest that you take a book or download a movie beforehand. You will be more entertained! However, with the desire and excitement you will have to see the falls, it will be like a short walk.
What services do the buses include?
- Electric plug
- Water bottle (only some)
- Seats with room to stretch your legs
How to go by bus on your own
To travel by bus to Niagara Paradise you have two possibilities: take a bus on your own or take an organized tour. If you decide to travel on your own to the waterfall it will take you a few hours. For example, if you use Greyhound buses, one of the most popular companies in the U.S. and with the largest number of routes, it will take you approximately 9.5 hours and you will have to make a transfer in the city of Buffalo.
How much does the bus from New York to Niagara cost?
The price difference between if you book it in the same week or one or two months in advance is abysmal. With Greyhound if you buy it for the same week it can cost you approximately 150 € round trip, the cheapest ticket, even though it is not cheap at all! On the other hand, if you buy it with time in this same company, with a month in advance, you can pay 100 € the cheapest ticket for both routes.
Choose between economy, premium or flexi class
Normally, you can also choose the class you want to go: economy, superior or flexible,** in the latter you will have more amenities such as priority boarding, the ability to change the date of travel and carry two pieces of luggage (in economy class only one is allowed, as in low cost flights), among other services. However, in the best categories the price goes up quite a lot.
Bus on my own or on an organized tour?
In my case, after evaluating the different possibilities I opted for the bus on an organized tour. The price difference was minimal and, honestly, comparing the different bus websites in English and in dollars was a hassle. So I opted for the comfort of forgetting everything and... Live life!
Is airplane or bus better? Pros and cons
Pros of the airplane
If you are one of those who like to travel comfortably, do not waste a second in displacements and do not mind paying more, the plane is your option. Although, if you do not buy it in advance, it is not cheap at all, unlike the bus (there can be more than 100 € difference).
The cheapest ticket we can find between New York airport (John F Kennedy) and Buffalo airport is 88 euros. A bargain! Of course, you will get this price if you buy it in January, which is the cheapest month in low season to go to the falls. The trip lasts an hour and a half. If you dare with these dates, prepare a good jacket, hat and gloves. Warm!
Cons of the plane
However, from March onwards, things get more complicated and the ticket costs more than 200€, twice as much as by bus. On weekends, flights are even more expensive.
In addition, sometimes, unlike the bus or the excursions (where you go
sleeping at night) the schedule combinations are very bad, since they can break up the day and you can
You can split the day and not take advantage of the whole day. Be careful with that!
Another aspect that I don't like is that you will also have to take care of the transfers from the airport to the falls and vice versa, which increases the price even more ** Therefore, my advice is to travel by plane only if you get a good offer, one of those that we like!
Recommendations to get the most out of your bus trip
Whenever I pack my suitcase I always have the feeling that I've forgotten something. Do you feel the same? Grab a pen and paper and... take note! Here's a list of the essentials you should pack in your luggage and on the bus if you want your trip to be a success, but be careful! The first thing you should pack, as I have explained, is a sturdy raincoat for the falls, and lots of hobbies for the road.
Get a small backpack for the trip: This will be the most comfortable way to carry your belongings.
Don't forget your earplugs and mask for the bus.
Electronic devices: I recommend that you take a tablet or computer for the road, it will become your best ally in your 8 hours traveling! Do not worry if you have not had time to download your favorite movies and games because in almost all transports .... There is free wifi!
Books: as Cervantes, our most illustrious writer, used to say, "he who reads a lot and walks a lot, sees a lot and knows a lot". Following this wise advice, I suggest you take advantage of the bus to pick up your favorite novel, the one you never have time to read. You're on vacation!
Wear sporty and practical clothes: keep in mind that the day will be long and that you will be sleeping on the bus. I recommend that, even if it's summer, you take a jacket for the air conditioning! It is also a good idea to bring a change of clothes in case you get wet at the waterfalls.
And as for tips for visiting the falls....
Wear waterproof shoes. Many sections run under the waterfalls and are slippery, so choose good hiking boots!
Wear a raincoat or a good waterproof coat: If it's winter, you can even wear a ski coat. Take my advice, being dry as much as possible will make a difference.
Buy water to drink on the bus and some snacks for the stops, because the road is soooo long.
Put a lot of enthusiasm, talk to your fellow hikers and prepare your camera (if it can be GoPro or aquatic, better) to immortalize this wonder. Smile and say... Cheese!