With the Canadian and American sides of the border offering different attractions around Niagara Falls, of course, we naturally asked can you walk across the border at Niagara Falls?

Straddled across the border of the USA and Canada, Niagara Falls is a natural wonder of the world. On our first visit, we stayed on the US side and crossed the border to visit the Skylon Tower on the Canadian side. For our second visit we crossed Rainbow Bridge, suitcases and all, and stayed on the Canadian side. It is worth visiting both sides of the Falls to experience the great attractions in the area, so here is how to cross the border at Niagara Falls for those who aren’t too sure.

Maid of the mist

Can you walk over the Rainbow Bridge?

Rainbow bridge is the route you will take when crossing the border and you can either drive or walk across the bridge.

Crossing as a pedestrian or bicyclist from NY to Canada is free and the reverse route costs 50Β’ but make sure you have cash; there is a machine to get the change from if needed. Walking across the bridge gives you an advantage of great views of the falls but also great photo opportunities on the border.

Both sides are very walkable areas that are well signposted, so if you are staying near the bridge, you can easily walk and find the bridge entrance. If not, use the map below or ask a taxi to take you to Rainbow Bridge.

Creative tip: The Rainbow Bridge also a great location for viewing the Falls & Friday night fireworks.

Can you drive over the Rainbow Bridge?

You can drive over Rainbow Bridge – either via taxi or self-drive, though be aware that there can be traffic on the bridge with some wait time, causing a higher taxi price.

Traffic can be busy early in the morning and between 4-7pm so if you are planning on just a day trip on the other side, the walk may be a better option.

2019 toll fees: $3.75 U.S. or $4.75 Canadian funds for autos (round trip).

Do you need a passport for Niagara Falls?

Yes, you are leaving one country and entering another so you will need a passport.

For many passport holders, you will not need a visa for either Canada or America but double check the visa requirements for both if you are unsure.


Where to stay in Niagara Falls?

For both visits, we have flown into Buffalo Airport, the first time taking the Express Bus 210 that operates between May – September. These only run 7 times a day and we were lucky to catch one just after exiting the airport. You can also catch the 204 bus to Buffalo Downtown then change to bus 40, schedules found here.

A friend of ours who recently travelled to Niagara Falls mentioned hotel shuttle buses to the left of the airport as you exit, which took her to the hotels near Rainbow Bridge. On our second trip, we went for a taxi as we had big suitcases and were very tired from an early flight. This second trip meant we had to take a taxi to Rainbow Bridge, costing us $70. From here, we walked across the bridge and then took the short 8-minute walk to our hotel; Days Inn near the falls.

So that is how we crossed the border at Niagara Falls. As newbie travellers on our first ever trip tot the USA, this was a bit daunting to begin with and we struggled to find information online. After travelling around Asia, this border seems like a breeze – and it is! Any further questions don’t hesitate to comment below. Have a great time at the falls!

Helpful resources:

Rainbow Bridge Location:

5650 Falls Ave, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3L7, Canada

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Showing 35 comments
  • luxurybackpacking | Emma

    I’ve always wanted to visit Niagara Falls, it seems so beautiful from all the pictures, including yours! Great tips on the boarder crossing too, will make note of that, and I’ll make sure I have some cash on me πŸ™‚

  • Jen Morrow

    Niagara falls is so beautiful and romantic. I had no idea that you could walk across. Time permitting that would be my choice over driving.

  • Lydia@LifeUntraveled

    The last and only time I went to Niagara Falls was more than 40 years ago (I’m no spring chicken…lol!). I live in Montreal and it’s only a few hours away but I’ve never went back. I’m happy to know people from all over the world still come to Canada to visit this beautiful site!

  • Juliette | Snorkels to Snow

    Niagara Falls would be amazing to visit. It’s funny hearing about crossing the border, because coming from New Zealand, the closest border to cross is a three-hour flight away! Anyway, good advice for those wishing to do so. Cool you can walk across!

  • Reply

    I didn’t know that you could walk over the bridge. I was at Niagara falls about 12 years ago and I would have loved to have done this. I will have to wait till I am next there. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Cliodhna Ryan

    I would love to visit Niagara Falls. I visited Victoria Falls from both Zambia and Zimbabwe so I would definitely want to see Niagara from both sides as well. I hadn’t realised it was so straightforward.

    • Katie

      Victoria Falls looks amazing, would love to visit it!

  • Claire Summers

    This looks great! I went to Niagra a few weeks ago but it was just into December and most of it was closed for the winter so we didn’t get to do much. However, it was really quiet so no crowds! Unfortunately, we couldn’t walk over the bridge as my mum forgot her passport! Next time though!

    • Katie

      Oh the falls must have looked amazing in the winter! I have seen photos of it all frozen over πŸ™‚

  • Melissa

    I crossed the border at Niagara Falls last summer. I took a rental car. As an American, the process was super easy. I’m curious how hard it is for visitors from other countries.

    • Katie

      We are from the UK and it wasn’t too hard at all πŸ™‚

      • Amanda

        With a UK passport did you need a visa?

  • Wendy Maes

    I love Niagara Falls. I have family living close by, so I have visited them many times. But if you really love falls, you need to go to Zimbabwe to see Victoria Falls.

  • Corinne

    I loved our visit to Niagara, and I agree seeing both sides is key. We drove across the border as well, and the lines were pretty long. I think it would have been faster to walk.

  • Milena

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Especially as you write, because sometimes it’s difficult to find useful information onliine.

  • Sutee Dee

    Cool to focus on the border crossing. Good help with logistics.

  • Anuradha Manjul

    How thrilling.

  • Felicia

    Great tips on crossing the border! I didn’t realize it was such a process

  • Mica de Leon

    That is one outstanding view. Would be great to see this up front but that will only be a dream of mine. I’ll have to make do with the photos. Thanks for sharing!

  • Faith Coates

    I have been to Niagara on many visits when we have had people visiting us from the UK and Ireland. I love the falls in the winter in particular when it is cold enough to freeze and they put the lights on at night. It gave me a great pleasure to read about my home area today.

  • Jimmy and Tina

    Stunning photos, I imagine the walk across the bridge would be some stunning sights. Not a bad price, I knew Canada charged to leave the country, which I find funny. Last time I flew to Vancouver I was charged $10 to leave, strange!

  • neha

    Its really nice that you can actually walk across the bridge. How much time does it take to cross that way? The natural beauty around the area looks stunning.

  • Eva

    Niagara Falls is a great place to visit. The second photo is amazing!!

  • Sushmita

    Amazing Pictures loved them, thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  • loudy

    those waterfalls are impressive

  • Evelyn Boey

    We are Singaporeans, will visit Niagara Falls next month, staying in US side. Do we neef to fill any forms or visa when we go to Canada and then back to USA

  • Serap

    Very informative,thank youHow much time is needed to walk from Canada to America ΓΆr vice versa?Is a week more than enough for the US side?

    • Katie

      A week is more than enough to see both sides! It takes around 30 – 45 minutes to walk across if you are walking at your own leisure and want to take photos of the view! We have visited in the height of summer and you never have to wait for more than 5 minutes to get across the border.

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