Niagara Falls is the most popular tourist destination in Canada and is visited each year by millions of people from all over the world. Every visitor, both young and old, is captivated by the beauty of the Falls.
Other than the Falls themselves, there is so much to see in Niagara Falls, from great parks and wineries to the sometimes spooky and always fun attractions on Clifton Hill.
We have compiled a few tips that should help you on your visit to Niagara Falls
Best Time to Visit Niagara Falls
Summertime is peak season in Niagara Falls, Canada. Depending on your interests, each season has its pros and cons.
Spring: If you interested in flowers, spring would be the best time to visit Niagara Falls. See millions of daffodils and tulips in full bloom in Queen Victoria Park. The Botanical Gardens, Centennial Lilac Garden, and Floral Showhouse are some of the other places to visit in spring.
Summer: This is peak season and for good reason too. The weather is warm and all the attractions are open. If you do not want to miss the Hornblower boat cruise, then this is the best time to visit Niagara Falls.
Autumn: Fall season is perhaps the best time to visit Niagara Falls. The temperatures are cool to slightly chilly, there are fewer crowds, hotels are cheaper, and most of the attractions remain open. September and October are harvest season at the vineyards, making it a great time to visit wineries. The crimson and golden hues of trees are also a great sight.
Winter: If you can tolerate freezing temperatures, then this is the time to visit, but bear in mind that most attractions will be closed for the winter. Hotels, however, will be cheaper in winter.
What to Wear
During the summer months of June, July and August, the temperature is between 15-26°C (59-79°F). You can pack light clothes, sandals, sunscreen, and an umbrella for a visit in the summer.
Autumn and spring months are pleasant to slightly cold, so do not forget to pack some warm clothes like jackets and mittens/gloves.
Winter is very cold and snowy, and temperatures range between -2 to -10°C (28-14°F). Winter jackets, parkas, scarves, hats, mitts, shoes/boots are a must.
Having a waterproof jacket is essential in any weather as the mist from the falls can get you wet.
Buy passes to popular attractions
Instead of buying a ticket at each attraction, you can buy a pass that gives you access to some of the popular attractions. The Niagara Falls Adventure Pass and Clifton Hill Fun Pass are 2 such passes.
Be Prepared To Get Wet
The Hornblower Cruise and Journey behind the Falls are 2 activities which take you to the very edge of the waterfalls. Though you are given a complimentary rain poncho, you will still get soaking wet. Wear a rain jacket with a hood to protect yourself from the spray of the waterfalls. It is sensible to wear sandals for these attractions.
A fun family destination
Though once reputed as a honeymoon destination, in recent years Niagara Falls has become more of a family destination. The many indoor waterparks, Bird Kingdom, The Butterfly Conservatory, museums and the Niagara Skywheel are some of the fun activities for families with young kids.
Try to eat away from the tourist areas
Do not eat at tourist spots unless you have to as the food will be overpriced. Lundy’s Lane has many affordable places like Falls Manor and the Flying Saucer Restaurant. The Secret Garden Restaurant on Niagara Parkway is also a great place.
Cell phone charges
International travelers, before arriving in Canada, should switch over to an international plan from their local service provider. You can save some money by doing so.
If you are visiting from another country, you should have a valid passport or a visa (for countries other than USA). For more information, visit www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp.
You can experience the Falls by night and day
View the Niagara Falls during the day and then get ready for the spectacular sight of the Falls at night when they are illuminated in a rainbow of colors. From June to September, there is a great fireworks display every night and on select days the rest of the year. You can also take the Hornblower Illumination Cruise on the Niagara River. You can check out the schedules to know the dates.
It is recommended that visitors use Canadian currency when in Canada. You can exchange your currency for Canadian dollars at a bank or at a currency exchange centre. Niagara casinos also offer currency exchange.
Debit and Credit Cards
International travelers should alert their bank of their travel plans. This way, your credit card transactions will not be denied. Before your travel, check with your bank to find out what banking services its cards will allow you to use.
Parks and recreational activities
Niagara Falls, Canada has many parks and nature reserves where you will feel like you are in paradise – quiet, secluded, unspoilt and beautiful. Dufferin Islands, Niagara Glen Nature Reserve, Queen Victoria Park, Centennial Lilac Garden, Oakes Garden Theatre, Botanical Gardens are some examples. What is great is admission to these parks is free.
Visit historic and quaint towns
Niagara-on-the-Lake, just 30 minutes away from Niagara Falls, is a pretty little town with flower-lined streets and well-preserved 19th century architecture. There are many cafes, antique shops, eateries and pubs that you can explore. It has stunning lakefront views and the historic Fort George.
St. Catharines and Port Dalhousie are great places to visit if you are in Niagara Falls for more than a day.
Discover wine country
A little known fact is that the Niagara peninsula of Ontario is Canada’s largest wine growing region. There are many wineries in and around Niagara-on-the-Lake that welcome tourists and provide tours and wine tastings. Do not forget to taste Ice Wine, a specialty of Ontario.
You can take a short helicopter tour for a bird’s eye view of Niagara Falls and its surroundings.
Where to stay
There are many choices for every budget type. The Fallsview hotels are pricier. For those on a budget, Days Inn Near the Falls, Howard Johnson by the Falls, Travelodge at the Falls, and Courtyard at the Marriot are some of the affordable hotels. There are many campsites, motels and bread and breakfasts that are affordable and will not burn a hole in your pocket. You can compare prices online.
We hope our tips will help you on your visit to Niagara Falls. Here’s hoping you have a pleasant stay in beautiful Niagara Falls.
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