My daughter Isabella wanted to see a “real” castle for her 7th birthday. After doing some research, I decided we were taking the Amtrak Adirondack train to Montreal, Canada. We wanted to tour Montreal, and take a day trip to Quebec City, so Isabella could see the Chateau Frontenac. Although we have the Smithsonian Institution Building in DC, a castle, it is always fun to travel, so why not?
Our day started bright and very, very, early. It started at 3:12 AM, boarding Amtrak Train 190 from Washington DC, Union Station. Off we went, on our way to Montreal Gare Centrale, with a short stop in New York City. In just a few hours we were at New York City’s Penn Station, were we met the rest of the crew. The entire crew of 7 (including two kids, 7, and 3). My younger brother, sister, mother and my nice Sophia joined my husband, Isabella, and myself. We had a quick breakfast and at 8 AM we boarded Amtrak Train 69, on our way to Montreal.
Off we went! Armed with books, tablets, cell phones, toys, and a lot of snacks. We got comfortable in the train quickly. The seats were quite comfortable and spacious, equipped with electrical outlets and Wi-Fi on board. We chose to sit in a family area, where seats faced each other.
From the time the train left New York City, we began to enjoy the scenery. The views started to get more beautiful as the train progressed. The lush views of the Hudson Valley were simply spectacular, and the views of Lake Champlain were picturesque and gorgeous! So many gorgeous views of lakes, gardens, and small towns along the way. Aboard the train, I understood why this route is considered a “Top 10 Most Scenic Train Ride in the World”.
Bring your Pet! Or your Bike
One nice feature of Amtrak is that, they allow you to bring your small furry friends on board. Your small dog or cat can tag along and travel with you on the train. Since Amtrak offers different services to transport your bike aboard, you can also bring your bike. You just need to make a reservation for these extra services.
The Adirondack Train has a Café on board. They sell salads, sandwiches, coffee, pizza, wraps, and snacks. They also sell alcoholic beverages, wine and beers. And in case you need them- batteries, playing cards, and Tylenols are also available for sale. Many passengers brought their lunches and snacks, so that is always an option.
The travel time from New York City to Montreal is approximately 10 hours, but it really depends on how long the train stops at the USA-Canada border for Inspection, unfortunately often there are delay at the border.
We paid $165.60 (plus $17 for travel insurance), round trip for each adult, coach class. The price for the kid’s tickets were $73.50 roundtrip, a bargain! The price for flying from Washington, DC to Montreal would have been a lot more. Amtrak also offers First Class Seats, at a competitive price, we found coach to be comfortable, but, if you want to spend the extra money, go ahead and treat yourself.
Don’t forget your passport and please get insurance. Insurance is a minimal cost, and you never know when you will need it.
We arrived in downtown Montreal at 8 PM, about 45 minutes behind schedule. The border inspection took longer than expected, but we arrived safely, rested, and eager to tour Montreal. I really enjoyed the ride. Although long, I felt very relaxed during the trip. We were prepared for the delay at the border, and both kids were ok with the long ride. I recommend this trip and would love to have the opportunity to take it again. Amtrak offers trips on similar scenic routes, and some trains are equipped with beds, which I still did not try, once I do, I will be sure to write a review of my experience.