We arrived early at Port Authority Terminal in New York City from Montreal on the overnight Greyhound bus trip. We dropped off our luggage at the Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites New York Manhattan Times Square South with the concierge since our check-in wasn’t until 4pm.
We decided to go straight to Rockefeller Center to admire the beautiful iconic Christmas tree. It’s a perfect place to get into in the Christmas spirit. We then went to the famous toy store F.A.O Swartz so I can play the large scale piano seen in the movie Big.
It’s time for lunch and we headed over to the Burger Joint, the hidden snack bar at the Parker New York hotel. It was so worth the hour wait to bite into an amazing burger and fries.
Afterwards, we headed down Fifth avenue to admire the beautiful decorated store Windows. Sax Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman had the best Christmas window displays but close to every other store deserve honorable mentions.
We arrived at the Empire State Building to visit the observatory. I’ve been many times before but I was really excited to check out the new Empire State Building experience. It did not disappoint. They’ve completely revamped and added a beautiful exhibits to admire as you walk to the elevators to the 86th floor. They added many artifacts and documentary movies of the history of the Empire State Building. As we enter the renovated 86th floor, we took in the breathtaking views of Manhattan. We upgraded our ticket to visit the 102nd floor to see the city from a higher bird’s eye view. It was one of the highlights of our trip.
We walked back to our hotel making stops at Macy’s to see more Christmas decorations and stopped to eat at Fresh&Co to eat a poke bowl.
It’s been a long day so we decided to check-in to our hotel and get ready for day 2.
We woke up early, got a breakfast sandwich at Carve Unique Sandwiches and headed to the Vessel at Hudson Yards to walk up the stairs. You must book in advance but the activity is free.
Once we came down from the Vessel, we walked a few steps to the entry point of the High Line Park. What a pleasure to walk the High Line and take in the views of the city, architecture and art on display. We walked until the end of the High Line up to Gansevoort street.
Since we were in Chelsea, we wanted to check out the Christmas decorations at Chelsea Market. As we’re walking to the market, we saw a unique Starbucks and decided to get some hot drinks. You can check out the Starbucks Reserve Roastery‘s website to understand our experience.
We’re an hour away from seeing a broadway show: Harry Potter and the cursed child. In full disclosure, I’ve never seen a Harry Potter movie nor have I read the books. I have to say that it’s now my top Broadway show. It was entertaining and magical to say the least. It’s a mix of a great story and illusions. The play went from 2pm until 4:30pm and the second part is at 7pm until 10pm. I though at first it would be too long the time flew by. It was so good! I would definitely see it again.
We found a restaurant near our hotel called Samba Kitchen, a Brazilian restaurant. It was a really cute place and the food was really good. I would recommend it.
After breakfast at our hotel, we took the subway from Times Square down to the Financial District. We walked around The Oculus. Over the last 10 years, the financial district as become a must see when visiting New York City.
We took a taxi to Pier 16 to try our newest activity added to our organized tour: The Hornblower Statue of Liberty cruise.
On day 4, we got up early, and headed over to the Shops at Columbus Circle to do my favorite sport which is shopping. We then walked through the Columbus Circle Holiday Market. It’s not the biggest Christmas market but the products are made locally. We headed over to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts and got there by walking through the beautiful Central Park.
If you’re into museums like myself, you will really love the Met. The pieces seen at this museum make you realize that we’ve come a long way. The Egyptians, Greeks and American Indians to name a few.
We made lunch reservation at the Met and requested a table overlooking Central Park. The food was to die for. Everything you would expect from fine dining exceeded our expectations.
Why take the bus from Montreal to New York
Over 70% of Quebecers that drive from Montreal to New York City get there by car. Have you ever considered taking the bus? In this article, we get into the reasons why the bus is the best option while traveling to New York City.
Bus service is the most cost effective way to travel throughout North America and getting from Montreal to New York is no exception.
How long does it take to get to New York City from Montreal by bus?
While a car maybe somewhat faster than taking the bus, it will only increase your travel time by 30 to 60 minutes. The route is roughly 600km and will take 7.5 hours including the stops we make at US Customs and a restaurant for one hour.
We get many inquiries at Tourika about taking the train from Montreal to New York. Once we explain the times of departure and duration, people are typically considering a better alternative. The train ticket price is also much more than Tourika's starting price at 129$ CAD round trip bus from Montreal to New York.
Here is a screenshot from Amtrak website. You can easily spot the problems with opting for the train to get to New York City.
Departure time at 10:20am arriving in New York City at 8:50pm
Duration of 10.5 hours
Ticket price at 146 USD
Return time at 8:15am arriving in Montreal at 7:11pm
What about taking a flight instead of the bus?
You can't beat taking an Air Canada flight from the Montreal airport (YUL) and arriving in New York City an hour later. You feel like you leave the airport and in no time the flight attendant let you know they are commencing the descent. Having said that, here are a few disadvantages to think about:
You must arrive at least 2 hours prior to departure. The airline could refuse you boarding of the plane if you try to register 1 hour or less prior to departure. Expensive parking at the airport Potential lengthy lines at security and customs The flight ticket price is typical double, triple or more than the bus ticket price. You arrive at a New York airport as opposed to midtown New York City. A taxi from Newark, JFK or La Guardia airports to Midtown New York will cost anywhere from 45$USD to 75$USD.
In most cases, with chartered buses like ours, the US customs officers will enter the bus and ask everyone to take out their passport. He or she will then collect them, scan them and give them back to the tour guide. This procedure usually takes 15 to 20 minutes. During holidays, the wait times are more significant but it's the same for the car lanes.
Why driving is the most popular option?
It's obvious that it's easiest way to get to from Montreal to New York City is by car. You get in your car and off you go. The route duration is roughly 6.5-7 hours considering you will stop at customs, and for gas and food along the way.
Here are some not so good reasons you should leave your car at home and consider taking the bus
No parking fees (parking in Midtown Manhattan is roughly 15$ or more per 30 minutes. Hotels have daily rates at roughly 50$ per day.)
Convenience of being dropped off close to all hotels and attractions. Many of our customers will walk to their hotel.
You won't need your car once you get there.
Unless you're driving Kitt from the Knight Rider series or trust Telsa's self driving options, chances are you will need to stay awake during the ride. It's highly recommended :) When you take the bus, sit back, relax or fall asleep.
What are the advantages of taking the bus from Montreal to New York?
Where do we start?
The first advantage that comes to mind is the fact that you can rest and not worry about driving. You won't get a speeding ticket on your way to New York or on your way back. At the prices of speeding tickets today, you could have flown Air Canada. You can sleep the whole way and have energy once you get there. First stop is directly in Midtown Manhattan close to all major hotels.
Where can I purchase a bus ticket?
Tourika has bus line tickets that leaves from major Quebec cities such as Montreal, Quebec, Laval, Trois-Rivières and Longueuil. The bus tickets start at 129$ per person, taxes included. At this price, it will leave you with more money for shopping. It's one major reason we recommend travel by bus: price.
You can also consider Greyhound if you are looking for bus tickets during the week.
Frequently Asked Questions
Port Authority Bus Terminal located in Manhattan at the following address: 625 8th Ave, New York, NY 10018, USA
You will be dropped off at the Port Authority Bus Terminal located in Manhattan at the following address: 625 8th Ave, New York, NY 10018, USA
Using public transit is pretty much the fastest and more used way to get around in NYC. Buses and some subway lines run 24h. You can use a taxi, Uber, and Lyft or have private transport.
The reason you should book with us is because of three things: Easy booking, personalized customer care and our awesome mobile app. Our promise to you is that you will be well informed and we will be available when you have questions.