Advice for First Time Travelers to Niagara Falls

By on December 10, 2013

The following is a list of essential information you will need when visiting Niagara Falls. Over 90% of the questions received by HelloNiagara.ca are answered by the following points:

  • Most attractions are located in and around the tourist area Clifton Hill. You will do a lot of walking.
  • The tourist area of Niagara Falls is vast; however walking is your best option for getting around.
  • Plan what you want to visit in advance. There are literally hundreds of attractions in Niagara Falls. Do your research, plan ahead.
  • Bring your passport, sunscreen, cash, camera, and walking shoes.
  • American citizens do not require a passport when entering Canada by land or sea. Americans still require some form of citizenship identification (birth certificate).
  • Research your hotel. There are over 100 hotels and motels to choose from. Some are very nice, some are very bad.
  • Research your restaurants. Again, there are over 100 restaurants to choose from. Restaurants around Clifton Hill are generally safe.
  • Best time to visit is middle to late spring. The summer is usually very busy and the winters are very cold.
  • The best shopping is outside of the traditional tourist area. The best shopping opportunities are the Factory One Outlet Mall on Lundy’s Lane and The Pen Centre in St. Catharines.
  • American cash is accepted at most establishments.
  • The Maid of the Mist, Whirlpool Aero Car and the Skywheel are among the best attractions.
  • Fewer attractions are open during the winter.
  • The falls are illuminated every night.
  • The falls never shut off.
  • The falls never freeze over thanks to the annual ‘ice boom’ installation in Lake Erie.
  • The best viewing is from the Canadian side.
  • You have to be 19 years old to drink.
  • You have to be 19 years old to enter the casinos.
  • You have to be 19 years old to purchase cigarettes. Smoking is not allowed in enclosed public areas (restaurants, theatres, buses, etc.).
  • The tourist area of Niagara Falls is very safe. Going for a midnight stroll is perfectly acceptable.