Travel Tour Reviews

The 5 Best Niagara Falls Tours from NYC [2020 Reviews]

Niagara Falls is one of the most beautiful natural beauties of North America and is worlds away from the concrete, glass, and lights of New York City. If you are visiting NYC, booking a Niagara Falls tour is the perfect way to experience this national treasure and also escape the hustle and bustle of The Big Apple.

Be sure to bring a waterproof camera or purchase one from a souvenir shop at the Falls and bring your passport as well so you can see the Falls from the Canadian side for those tours that include it.

Also, depending on whether you’d like to experience the Maid of the Mist cruise or explore the Scenic Tunnels, be sure to plan your tour for the right time of year.

Ready to learn more about the best Niagara Falls Tours from New York City?

Best Niagara Falls Tours from New York City

 Niagara Falls Day Trip by Air from New York City 2-Day Niagara Falls & Shopping Trip from New York CityFrom New York City: Niagara Falls Full-Day Bus Tour
editors choice
Departure Point Hotel Pick-upVariesRenaissance New York Times Square Hotel
Departure Time4 AMVaries4:00 AM
Duration14 Hours (approx.)2 Days (approx.)19 Hours (approx.)
Includes Roundtrip airfare from New York City, buffet lunch, up-close Niagara Falls experience, US and Canadian sides1-night hotel accommodation, continental breakfast, van or bus transportation with onboard Wi-Fi, expert tour guide, admission feesRoundtrip bus transportation, bilingual guide, tour of Niagara Falls, optional Maid of the Mist Cruise

Quick Answer: The 5 Best-Rated Niagara Falls Tours from NYC – 2019

  1. Niagara Falls Day Trip by Air from New York City
  2. 2-Day Niagara Falls & Shopping Trip from New York City
  3. From New York City: Niagara Falls Full-Day Bus Tour
  4. 2-Day Niagara Falls & Shopping Trip from New York City
  5. From New York City: Niagara Falls One-Day Tour

Niagara Falls Tours from NYC Reviews

#1 Niagara Falls Day Trip by Air from New York City

Tour Highlights At A Glance:

  • Departure Point: Hotel Pick-up
  • Departure Time: 4 AM
  • Duration: 14 Hours (approx.)
  • Includes: roundtrip airfare from New York City, buffet lunch, up-close Niagara Falls experience, US and Canadian sides
You’ll want to bring your passport along for this fantastic tour of both the US and Canadian sides of the majestic Niagara Falls. You’ll first be picked up at your hotel and taken to the airport where you will board a plane for a 1-hour flight north. Watch the beautiful upstate New York scenery pass below.

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You will have your own expert escort from the time you are picked up at your local hotel to the Falls and back. This guide can answer your questions about the Falls as well as what you’ll experience when you get there. Depending on the time of year, your up-close-and-personal views of Niagara Falls may be different.

If traveling in the summer months, you’ll enjoy a short cruise on the famous “Maid of the Mist” boat. It will take you along the front of the Falls where you can feel the powerful mist caused by the rushing water.

In winter months, you can take an elevator down over 100 floors to see Niagara Falls from behind the wall of water. No matter which experience is lined up for you, you can visit one of the most beautiful locations in North America conveniently during your New York City vacation.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#2 2-Day Niagara Falls & Shopping Trip from New York City

Tour Highlights At A Glance:

  • Departure Point: Varies
  • Departure Time: Varies
  • Duration: 2 Days (approx.)
  • Includes: 1-night hotel accommodation, continental breakfast, van or bus transportation with onboard Wi-Fi, expert tour guide, admission fees
With two days to enjoy the majestic Niagara Falls, you’ll experience much more than the average visitor, and all with a professional, expert tour guide by your side. Be sure to bring your passport so you can visit both the US side of the Falls as well as the Canadian side.

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You’ll leave the hustle and bustle of New York City for a beautiful bus ride through upstate New York with a stop at Watkins Glen Canyon National Park along the way. Enjoy views of Seneca Lake as well.

When you arrive at Niagara Falls, you’ll visit the US side with visits to Goat Island and Sister Island as well. Stick around to enjoy the Falls light up at night, a sight not to be missed. After breakfast at the hotel in the morning, you’ll head back to the Falls to visit the Canadian side, including Horseshoe Falls.

On the way back to New York City, enjoy the onboard Wi-Fi as well as a stop at a popular outlet mall. Feel free to stretch your legs or shop for some great deals. Don’t forget the souvenirs! You’ll arrive back in New York City just in time for your late-night dinner reservations at your favorite restaurant.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#3 From New York City: Niagara Falls Full-Day Bus Tour

Tour Highlights At A Glance:

  • Departure Point: Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel
  • Departure Time: 4:00 AM
  • Duration: 19 Hours (approx.)
  • Includes: roundtrip bus transportation, bilingual guide, tour of Niagara Falls, optional Maid of the Mist Cruise
No need to worry if you don’t have a valid passport and still want to see Niagara Falls in all its glory. You will be able to see the Falls from several different vantage points set up to give you different perspectives of the massive waterfalls. A Maid of the Mist Cruise tour is optional.

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After leaving New York City early in the morning aboard a comfortable bus, you’ll enjoy views of upstate New York and the beautiful Appalachian Mountains as you head north toward Niagara Falls State Falls. After your guided tour of the Falls, you will be allowed to explore the state park independently.

The time of year will dictate what vantage points and up-close-and-personal experiences are available. You’ll also be given plenty of time to enjoy lunch or shop for souvenirs after your tour. Souvenir shops offer waterproof, disposable cameras if you don’t have a waterproof digital camera or case for your camera.

You’ll arrive back in the Big Apple sometime between 11:00 PM and Midnight. In the City That Never Sleeps, you’ll still have time to take in a late dinner or even a show.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#4 2-Day Niagara Falls & Shopping Trip from New York City

Tour Highlights At A Glance:

  • Departure Point: Gray Line Visitor Center
  • Departure Time: 7:00 AM
  • Duration: 2 Days (approx.)
  • Includes: 1-night hotel accommodation, transport by bus or van equipped with air-conditioning and Wi-Fi, professional tour guide, up-close experience of Niagara Falls, sightseeing, outlet mall
After leaving New York City in the morning, you will enjoy scenic views of upstate New York, including the Delaware Gap and Seneca Lake. Stretch your legs with a wonderful walk through Watkins Glen State Park, taking photos of the many waterfalls there.

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You’ll arrive at the Niagara Falls State Park in the late afternoon and immediately start sightseeing on the American side of the Falls. Visit Goat Island and Sister Island before viewing the stunning colors of Niagara Falls lit up after nightfall.

The next day, after a relaxing night at the hotel, you’ll be treated to a continental breakfast and then head out to visit the Canadian side of the Falls. This also includes seeing the famous Horseshoe Falls.

Hop aboard your bus and head back toward the City around noon. On the way, you’ll stop at one of the largest outlet malls in upstate New York. Feel free to shop for great deals or just get out for a bit and stretch your legs. You’ll arrive back in New York City in time for a late dinner.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



#5 From New York City: Niagara Falls One-Day Tour

Tour Highlights At A Glance:

  • Departure Point: Varies
  • Departure Time: Between 11:00 PM & 11:30 PM
  • Duration: 22 Hours (approx.)
  • Includes: up-close Niagara Falls experience, bus transportation, bilingual guide, admission fees
You’ll leave New York City just before midnight and travel overnight to the Niagara Falls State Park, arriving early before any of the crowds start forming. Visit the uninhabited islands of Goat Island and Luna Island and view the thundering rapids of the Niagara River as the rushing water heads toward the Falls.

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Depending on the time of year, you will either take an up-close tour of the base of the waterfalls on the Maid of the Mist Cruise or explore the Scenic Tunnels behind the wall of water. Either is a sight not to be missed. Bridal Veil Falls is the highlight of this Niagara Falls tour from New York City.

Your bilingual guide will ensure you understand the history of the Falls as well as the geological science that has created them. Be sure to ask any questions you may have during the tour. This tour is also available for transportation only, so it can be a great way to get to Niagara Falls.

You’ll head back to New York City later in the afternoon and return to your hotel in time to enjoy a late dinner in the City while you talk about all the excitement of the day.

For tour prices, transportation and availability:



Your Guide to Niagara Falls Tours from New York City

Best Niagara Falls Tours From New York City travel guide

Airports & Entry

The city of New York has three main airports: John F Kennedy International Airport, La Guardia Airport, and Newark Liberty International Airport.

AirTrain is the most convenient way to get from JFK Airport to the city. It connects the subway with the airport and you can get to Manhattan in an hour and for a cost of just $2.75. Other way to get to the center is to take an express bus to Grand Central Terminal or Port Authority, which will take you 1,5 hour and cost you $18.

The approximate taxi fare is $52, but tolls, tips, and rush hour surcharges are not included. Taxis can be found at the taxi dispatch booths. Or you can use services such as Uber.

Although La Guardia is situated closest to Manhattan, it is considered the least accessible by public transport airport of New York City. To get to the center, you need to take an express bus #Q70, which will bring you to the 74th Street – Broadway metro station and will cost you $15.

The flat taxi cost varies between $34 and $53, excluding tips and tolls. Uber service is also an option.

To get to New York City center from Newark Liberty International Airport, take an AirTrain to Newark Airport train station. There you can change to any train, which goes to New York Penn station, and it will cost you $13.

Taxi fares vary from $60 to $80, and do not include tips or tolls. You can take a taxi, use Uber, or choose a similar service.

Planning Tips

If you are planning to visit a musical, you won’t be needing an evening gown. Your clothes can be casual (dark jeans and a shirt will do), but neat and clean. A cocktail dress for a woman will be appropriate. But you won’t need your diamonds or a bow tie.

You should also consider your other plans for New York City, before making a packing list. Are you planning to walk a lot? Bring comfortable shoes or snickers. Going for a picnic in the Central Park? Planning to dine in a luxury establishment? All your plans will require different clothing.

And don’t forget to book all your tickets in advance. Tickets for such events as Broadway musicals sell out weeks before the date. Keep that in mind, when planning your trip itinerary.

Restaurants & Eating Out

The one thing you can be sure about, when traveling to New York City, is that you won’t get hungry. Restaurants, cafes, bistros, bars, and street vendors are multiple and can fit any taste or budget. Small family cafes and huge world-known restaurant chains, fast food bistros and luxury top-end restaurants, street food of all kinds – all of these can be found in New York. The variety of different cuisines is exquisite: French, Greek, Italian, Mexican, Middle Easter, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese – this is just a short list of what you can taste in the Big Apple.

If you are on a low budget and want to cook for yourself, visit the markets: Chelsea and Fulton 55, where you can find all kinds of fresh ingredients for your meals, as well as many street food vendors and budget cafes.

There is also a list of must-try foods and drinks of New York. They don’t necessarily originate from the city, but they have definitely gained their particular features here and must be appreciated. So, if you want to feel like a real New Yorker, don’t avoid:

  • Hot dog
  • Bagels
  • Cheesecake New York
  • Pizza
  • Sandwich
  • Egg Cream
  • Long Island Ice Tea

Nightlife & Entertainment

New York City is, probably, the world’s winner for the number of night establishments opening every week, as well as for ones that close. Every district of the city has a variety of night clubs and bars for every taste and wallet size. If you stay in Manhattan, you should visit Greenwich Village, which is filled with night entertainment facilities, popular with both locals and tourists. Since the NYU students are the biggest part of the local public here, the prices are quite reasonable. If you are up for something more elegant, head to Chelsea or Lower East Side. And, of course, even if you stay in Queens, Staten Island, or Brooklyn, you won’t feel the lack of night entertainment either. New York is the city, which never sleeps.

Jazz is another thing that you can always find in the Big Apple. It is called the world capital of jazz for a reason. In the past, the city has revealed hundreds of jazz musicians and presented them to the world. Nowadays, there are still numerous establishments, where you can enjoy a drink with your friends or date, while listening to some good jazz. The Blue Note, situated in Greenwich Village, is, probably, the most well-known jazz club, as well as the Village Vanguard, located in the same district. However, these are the places for people with high travel budget. If you are looking for something simpler and cheaper, head to Fat Cat or Smalls, standing just a block away from each other, also in Greenwich Village.

If you are into passionate Afro-Caribbean music and love Latina dancing, New York City is a great place for you too! Salsa, although originates from Cuba, has rooted deeply in the cultural life of New York. The most popular places are Copacabana near the Times Square, which opened its doors for the first time in the 1940’s, Iguana in West Midtown, and El Morocco in Spanish Harlem.

If you consider yourself more of a classical music lover, choose one of the multiple opera, ballet, or musical performances, which the city offers. Head to Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, or one of the Broadway theaters, in order to enjoy a nice classical evening. Check out the list of the best musicals in New York, which we prepared for you, and don’t forget to book in advance!

And, of course, you can’t feel real New York without attending one of the sport matches. Most New Yorkers are passionate sport fans and have their favorite baseball, hockey, or basketball team. Join them for a night of sport fun, and don’t forget to pick up souvenirs with the name of the team you like!

Getting Around

Getting around the city of New York is not difficult, as it has an extremely extended system of public transportation. Subway, buses, commuter rail, as well as ferries, operate on a regular basis.

The simplest way to get from one point to another inside the city limits is by subway. You might be scared by the horror stories about New York subway criminal situation, but it’s almost completely in the past nowadays. Anyway, you should still beware and not attract criminals. The rules of safety are quite clear: don’t show your valuables in public, don’t walk alone at night, try to take crowded trains and use crowded stations. If you keep that in mind, most likely, you’ll be safe.

However, if you don’t feel secure enough, it’s better to take a taxi. World-famous yellow cabs have become a real symbol of New York, along with the Empire State Building, Central Park, and the Statue of Liberty. This is, probably, the second most popular way of transportation among New Yorkers, after subway.

Cabs are multiple, comfortable and reasonably-priced. To get one, all you need to do is raise your arm standing at the edge of the pavement. Keep in mind, though, it might be hard to catch a taxi during the rush hours. And, of course, remember about traffic jams. It might be better to take a subway if you are in a hurry!

Ferries connect the heart of New York with its islands. Staten Island Ferry starts at the Battery Park in the south of Manhattan and goes to Staten Island. It’s not only a great way of transportation, but also an opportunity to see New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty on the way. The big bonus is that it’s free.

New York Waterway Company operates ferries between the city and New Jersey Hudson River Waterfront, stopping also in Brooklyn and Queens. These ferries are not free, so keep that in mind.

New York Water Taxi are ferries painted yellow, like famous New York cabs. They connect points within Manhattan, as well as some points in Brooklyn and New Jersey.

Accommodations

The Big Apple is, probably, one of the most expensive cities to live in. If you decide to visit New York, be ready to pay, at least, $100 for a double room in a hotel, and a minimum of $50 for a bed in a hostel dormitory. However, that is if you want to stay in Manhattan. But there are other districts in New York City, of course. If you choose Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, or New Jersey, you can find much cheaper accommodations of the same quality as in Manhattan.

When traveling during the low tourist season – in January, February, or August, you can also save your traveler’s budget, as hotels usually reduce prices during this time of year. As for the days of week, Sunday is usually the cheapest day to rent a room in New York City.

When booking, keep in mind that fares are often mentioned without taxes. If you add all the taxes for New York State and New York City, you will end up with a 15%-higher price. Be ready to pay it on arrival.

Weather

New York City has continental climate, with hot summers, cold winters, cool autumns, and wet springs. In winter, the temperature can fall as low as -18oC, and during the summer, it can raise as high as to +38oC.Keep in mind, during the summer months, as well as in September, New York can experience heavy tropical storms, so bring a raincoat. Snowstorms occur often in winter, but the snow usually does not last longer than a couple of days.

Attractions

New York is the city, which you can explore for weeks: admiring the skyscrappers, having lovely picnics in the parks, taking pictures, listening to stories, and buying souvenirs. However, if you have limited time, here is a list of main attractions you should not miss.

Landmarks: the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Federal Hall, World Trade Center Site, Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Grand Central Terminal, New York Public Library, Rockefeller Center, Radio Music Hall, and Times Square.

Museums: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Frick Collection, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the PS1 Contemporary Art Center, the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Hall of Science, and the Transit Museum.

Parks: Central Park, Fort Tryon Park, Pelham Bay Park, Prospect Park, Flushing Meadow Park, the Greenbelt, and parts of the Gateway National Recreational Area.

If you see these places, you can honestly say that you have seen the most interesting spots in New York. However, if you want to get the most out of your time in New York City, we highly recommend taking a daily bus tour. Anyway, a trip to New York will become something you’ll remember for the rest of your life!

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We chose the Niagara Falls Day Trip by Air from New York City as our Editor's Choice for the Best Tour To Niagara Falls From New York City.

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