Visiting Niagara Falls: What You Need to Know Before Your Trip

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Whether you love waterfalls or really not sure what the fuss is all about, you won’t be disappointed if you ever plan a trip to the famous Niagara Falls.

It is worth a visit just for the sheer thrill of seeing one of the world’s best waterfalls that attracts over 30-million visitors from across the globe, every year.

Even Hollywood has had a long-term love affair with this iconic attraction. A bucket list destination for many, magical family experience for most.

Oh, and it’s labeled the honeymoon capital of the world! Guaranteed, a thrilling experience for all ages.

About Niagara Falls


The Niagara Falls are world-renown as a Natural Wonder of the World, famed for its sheer volume and raw power. A 12,000-year-old legend of epic proportions which has stood the test of time.

Niagara Falls is situated in a unique location, overlapping the international borders of the US (from the State of New York) and Canada (Ontario province).

The good news is that it is easy to access and equally easy to view. Not only that, it’s kind of a 3-for-1 deal as it comprises a trio of waterfalls.

Horseshoe Falls is the largest of the three (also known as Canadian Falls) and plunges directly on the border between the two countries. The two smaller waterfalls are the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, both cascading on the US side.

What to See & Things to Do


What to see and do…that is the question!

Quite simply, don’t overwhelm yourself with the options. As the Falls are the actual attraction, stick to just that.

The other attractions (and there are many) are mostly touristy, so rather appreciate nature in all its glory. Give yourself 8-10 hours to explore the Falls and the surrounding area.

If you get there bright and early, stop by one of the local eateries for breakfast first!

Consider the following activities for a day trip that is budget-conscious but without missing out on anything:

  • Take in the views – there are many viewpoints that will take your breath away (free)
  • Pick a spot and have a picnic – you’ll be spoilt for choice and enjoy the surroundings (free)
  • Go for a boat cruise aboard either The Hornblower for the Canadian side or The Maid of the Mist for the US side (they run daily and the same route)
  • Take a relaxing walk from Clifton Hill to Horseshoe Falls – a very do-able 15 minutes (Canadian side, free)
  • Stroll through the State Park (the oldest state park in the US, free)
  • Visit Goat Island via the footbridge for a dramatic vertical birds-eye view of the Falls (US side, free)
hornblower cruise boat

If you need to notch up the entertainment for kids to keep the moaning and groaning at bay, try these life-savers:

  • Zip-lining
  • Skywheel
  • Fallsview Waterpark
  • Outlet shops and mall
  • Movies and 3D/4D/6D theatres
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How Much Does It Cost


So what’s the potential damage, so to speak, when visiting Niagara Falls?

With so many choices, here are ball-park costs covering the basics (USD):

Parking: from $10, day passes from $26.55

Boat Cruises, 20-minute trip:

The Hornblower (Canadian side): from $25.00/adult, $15.00/child
The Maid of the Mist (US side): from $20.00/adult, $10.00/child

Combo Adventure Passes from $89.90/adult, $58.00/child

An average cost for a day trip (including meals, local transport and boat cruise) can be around $50 to $100 USD per adult.

Tips for Niagara Falls


Get your hands on a free map to familiarize yourself with Niagara Falls and where everything is in relation to each other — kinda sucks if you spend most of your time lost and confused!

If you have little ones, keep in mind that children under 5 years old can go on boat trips and other attractions for free.

Be sure to bring or purchase a waterproof poncho – no one escapes the spray or potential drenching of the Falls!

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Best Time to Visit Niagara Falls


Summer, without a doubt, is the best time of year to visit Niagara Falls. Spring and Autumn also don’t disappoint, and brings seasonal drama into the mix.

If you make a day trip to the Falls (which is highly recommended), you might want to end the day watching the Illumination Show at sunset.

What to Bring & What to Wear

Journey Behind the Falls

They may seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised how many folks forget these essential items!

  • Bring along a practical day pack
  • Wear suitable clothing for a day outdoors, including good shoes for walking and “slippery when wet” scenarios
  • Travel documents (passport)
  • Camera and backup charger
  • Waterproof poncho or raincoat
  • Snacks and drinking water
  • A light jacket
  • Spare clothes (optional)

How to Get to Niagara Falls


There are 3 airport options to choose from when it comes to flying into the area.

From the US side:

  • Niagara International Airport is the best option and only one hour on a public bus to the Falls.
  • Buffalo Niagara International Airport has cheaper flights but it’s recommended to rent a car over taking public transportation.

From the Canadian side:

  • Toronto International Airport is about an hour and 15-minutes by car to the Falls (you could also take the train or bus).

Final Thoughts

Niagara Falls is one of the most popular bucket list destinations in the world and is a natural wonder of the world that simply does not disappoint.

So before you suffer from information overload, be sure to plan ahead to get your trip underway…even just a little.

It may just be the difference between “are we there yet??” and “best day ever!!”.