Niagara Falls: Tips for Visiting Them

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Aina Martin
@ainamartin
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Niagara Falls are the largest waterfalls in North America and one of the most famous attractions in the world. It is a unique and unforgettable experience, a perfect place for everyone, also ideal for families with children!

In this article you will find all tips and information for organizing a trip to Niagara Falls, a must-do tour if you are exploring Eastern Canada or the United States.

By reading this article you will understand which side of Niagara Falls to see, when to visit them, how to reach them, how to plan the visit, what are the attractions not to be missed, where to sleep etc. In short, a complete guide to Niagara Falls



Tips for Visiting Niagara Falls

Cascate Niagara Falls

Before discovering the tips for visiting Niagara Falls, let's try to understand how they are composed.

The famous Niagara Falls are actually made up of 3 different falls:

  • Horseshoe
  • American falls
  • Bridal Veil

Horseshoes, so called because of their horseshoe shape, are found in the Canadian side and are the largest and most fascinating.

The American Falls and Bradal Veil occupy the US side and are separated from each other by a small strip of land, called Luna Island.

Around these 3 incredible jumps there are paths where you can walk and admire one of the most beautiful natural spectacles in the world!

Where are Niagara Falls located?

Niagara Falls is located along the Niagara River and divides Canada from the United States. The two towns that occupy both sides are: Niagara Falls in the province of Ontario and Niagara Falls in the state of New York.



You can visit Niagara Falls from both borders, but the view will obviously be different, as are the different attractions and also the atmosphere that reigns in the two cities. Among the various tips on Niagara Falls we will also see later which side to prefer and why.

In any case, Niagara Falls can be reached from several cities in the area, both independently and with organized tours.

How to reach the Falls

There are several ways to reach Niagara Falls obviously depending on where you are and how you want to visit them. Let's see in detail the various options and the main starting points:

Plane

The closest airports to the falls are Buffalo and Niagara Falls, both in the United States.

Buffalo is located about 30 minutes from the falls and is served by many airlines, so it is often the most convenient solution.

Niagara Falls International Airport is located just 7km from the falls, but is less well served.

Alternatively, there is the Toronto airport about 1 hours from Niagara Falls.

On the train.

Niagara Falls can be reached by train from both Toronto and New York.

The train from Toronto departs from Union Station and takes approximately 2 hours to get to Niagara Falls (ON). You can check prices and timetables on the Viarail website.

While from New York it is a 9-hour journey departing from Penn Station.


Bus

It is definitely the best option if you are around the Falls. There are several companies departing from Buffalo, Toronto or other cities.


Car

Finally, for a more independent trip you can rent a car. Keep in mind that parking can be expensive, so try to find a Motel with parking included, especially on the American side if there are many.

Organized tours

Visiting the falls relying on organized tours can be convenient if you have little time available but you absolutely don't want to miss Niagara Falls.

Major tours depart from New York and Toronto.

New York is about 650 km from the falls. It is possible to choose between tours of one or more days and generally the package includes various transfers and a boat ride under the waterfall. The price varies considerably depending on whether you are traveling by plane or by bus.

Here are some that I have selected for you.

Toronto is much closer to Niagara Falls, about 120 km away and there are many agencies that run daily tours.

American or Canadian side: which one to choose

The Canadian side is certainly the most beautiful to admire the spectacle of Niagara Falls, the view from this side is something unique, especially the view of the Horseshoe Falls. Plus there are tons of attractions and things to do.


The American side is also wonderful. If you can, I recommend visiting both, just cross the famous Rainbow Bridge to enjoy the falls from a different perspective.

Customs Passage: Information

To cross the border from one state to another you only need a passport. The eTA for Canada or the ESTA for the United States is only needed if you are arriving by plane.


Keep in mind that, if for some reason, you have been denied an eTA (or ESTA) then in that case your passport will not be enough even to pass by land.

I always recommend checking before leaving that nothing has changed.

Keep in mind that crossing the border can take more or less time, depending on the times and days of the week. If you can, avoid holidays and weekends. In any case, you can check the waiting times live on the website www.nittec.org.

When to Visit Niagara Falls?

The best time of year to visit Niagara Falls is approximately April to October. In particular, spring is ideal, temperatures are pleasant and the area is less crowded with tourists than in summer. The summer period is in fact the most touristy one with people from all over the world, prices go up and queues increase. For this reason, it is preferable to plan ahead and book accommodation and excursions in advance.

During the winter, temperatures drop dramatically and many tourist attractions are closed. However, even in this period the falls have their own charm, in part they will be frozen and it will be a more intimate experience.

What to do at the Falls

First of all, it is good to say that there is no entrance fee to visit the falls, you only pay for any attractions.

There are plenty of things to do on both the American and Canadian sides. Among the various activities, the two unmissable are the boat that takes you under the waterfalls and the tunnel.

The boat ride can be done from both sides, Maid of the Mist is the name of the American one, Hornblower Cruises the Canadian one.

The Journey Behind the Falls, literally travel behind the falls, are a series of tunnels carved into the rock from where you can admire the Horseshoe Falls very close. It is located on the Canadian side and is a unique experience: getting so close to the falls and feeling all their power will leave you breathless! Keep in mind that Journey Behind The Falls is also open during the winter.

These two are the most famous attractions, but there are many others, such as the cave of the winds on the American side, the various viewing towers on both sides, the night show, the zipline, the Ferris wheel, a helicopter ride or a visit to Niagara on the Lake.

There are also packages that include more tours and excursions. In any case, especially if you are traveling in high season, it is advisable to buy tickets online so you will also avoid the queues.

Where to sleep in Niagara Falls

There are several alternatives for a stay in Niagara Falls. First you will have to decide whether to stay a few steps from the falls or stay overnight in a nearby city.

I usually recommend staying directly in Niagara Falls, however I talked about it in detail in the article on Where to Stay in Niagara Falls, where you will find all the tips to choose the best option for your needs.

Council: remember to take out good travel insurance, which is essential when you leave for North America. For more information read the guide on the best Travel Insurance.

Conclusions

In this article I have decided to collect all the tips for planning a trip to Niagara Falls. I wanted to answer the various questions that usually arise before leaving for the Falls. If you have any further doubts, do not hesitate to comment on the article or write to me in private. I recommend if the article was useful share it on the various social networks!

Video Niagara Falls

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