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Perfect Niagara Falls Day Trip from Toronto

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When one thinks of Toronto or Canada, the image of the mighty Niagara Falls comes to mind. Well, at least I can safely say that is what I thought of when I decided to move to Toronto Canada. And for me a Niagara Falls day trip from Toronto is one of the MUST do items.

Niagara Falls can be viewed from both Canada and the USA (New York). There are 3 waterfalls that make up the Niagara Falls. The Horseshoe Falls are the largest and are located on the Canadian side. And that is why the Canadian side of Niagara Falls is said to be more popular with tourists due to the host of activities that you can partake in here.

Perfect Niagara Falls Day trip from Toronto
Perfect Niagara Falls Day trip from Toronto (Canva)

Standing on the Canadian side of the Falls, you can see buildings and bridges on the US side as well. If you are planning to cross over the border, remember to bring in your passport (or US visa if you are not a Canadian or US citizen or permanent resident/Green Card holder).

Niagara falls day trip from Toronto 

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Ways to get to Niagara Falls from Toronto

Niagara makes for an ideal day trip from Toronto, combining the majestic falls, wineries and lots of fun and entertainment. The distance from Toronto to Niagara is 82 miles one way (131.95 kilometers). You can reach Niagara via road, bus, train or take a day tour.

Drive – You can rent a car and arrive in Niagara in about 2 hours one way. Parking is available near the Niagara Falls area.

Bus – Buses also take the same time to reach Niagara Falls – about 2 hours. There are multiple bus trips that happen during the day via Greyhound and other agencies. You will have to get down at the bus station in Niagara town and then walk a bit to explore the main town as well as the falls. Bus fare starts at $14+ CAD one way.

Train – Trains take less then 2 hours to reach Niagara falls from Toronto one way. And just like buses, you will have to walk a bit to reach the sightseeing attractions. There is only one daily train leaving for Niagara from Toronto (at the time of writing 2019) and fares cost $22+ CAD

Tours – An easy way to explore Niagara falls is to take a day tour from Toronto. The day tour includes pick up and drop off from various meeting points or hotels in Toronto, sightseeing with a tour guide as well as free time. There are a few variations to different tours.

Full day Niagara Falls tour

  • BEST tour to experience Niagara Falls and the town-site of Niagara-on-the-Lake, with complimentary wine tasting and boat ride at the Falls (more information below)

See the mighty Niagara Falls  – Things to do in Niagara Falls Ontario

Whichever method you use to arrive from Toronto to Niagara, here are some of the BEST things to do in Niagara Ontario.

Niagara Falls Day trip from Toronto
Niagara Falls Day trip from Toronto

First things first, you will have to see the mighty falls and well, that’s why you are making the trip. The mist in the air and the gushing sound of the falls, will welcome you from a distance.

There are many look out areas to view the falls closely and admire and take pictures. These views are priceless and also FREE to look at.

Price: Free

Take these amazing Niagara Falls Tours from Toronto

Best Niagara falls from Toronto Day tour

This highly recommended full day tour from Toronto to Niagara Falls combines the BEST of both worlds – time at the Niagara Falls (Canadian side) and sightseeing at Niagara on the Lake. So here is what you can get from this full day bus tour

  • Round trip from Toronto and GTA (meeting points) to Niagara Falls ( pickup and drop off from downtown Toronto and other neighborhoods) 
  • Exploration time at Niagara Falls with a boat ride, included in the price of the tour (summer activity or till weather permits)
  • Other Niagara activities like the Whirlpool Rapids, the floral clock, and other seasonal activities. You will get free time as well
  • This tour also takes you to the Niagara on the Lake townsite and includes a complimentary wine tasting in the region

Take a Helicopter flight, Hornblower Cruise boat and Skylon Lunch

This ultimate Niagara Tour is for you to enjoy the Niagara Falls completely! You will have to arrive in Niagara via car or bus to participate in this tour. If you are staying in Niagara, pick and drop off is included.

So here is what you can expect from the tour

  • Enjoy a helicopter ride above the Niagara Falls and the whirlpool rapids
  • Take the Hornblower Niagara Cruise boat to experience the Niagara Falls intimately
  • Get to the Skylon Tower for some stunning views of the Niagara Falls and enjoy your lunch at the Summit Suite Buffet (included in the tour)
  • This is a small group tour, of up to 7 participants
Niagara Falls Tour
Niagara Falls Tour

Take a scenic helicopter ride over the stunning Falls

If you are looking for adventure and something romantic, opt for a scenic helicopter ride over the stunning Niagara Falls. This tour is for 12 minutes only and doesn’t include pick up or drop off from Toronto.

Here is what to expect from the scenic helicopter ride tour

  • Small-group tour, with up to 7 passengers on one of the world’s quietest helicopters
  • 12-minute scenic ride curving the Horseshoe Falls
  • You will fly over the Rainbow Bridge, American Falls, Skylon Tower, Sir Adam Beck Generating Plant, and Queen Victoria Park.
  • Be mesmerized by colorful rainbows all over in a BUCKETLIST tour
  • Tour also includes audio guides in multiple languages
Views of Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls Night lights tour cruise and dinner

Light shows are beautiful over the Niagara falls. If you are staying in Niagara for the night or planning a weekend getaway, the light shows over Niagara Falls should be added to your itinerary. You can also experience this on a day trip before making your way back to Toronto.

This evening tour is perfect to end the day at Niagara Falls. Here is what is included in Niagara Falls Night Light tour cruise and dinner

  • It’s an evening 4-hour tour. You will have to arrive at the activity area to start the tour
  • The tour starts with a luxurious dinner meal at the Table Rock Restaurant
  • After your meal, you will proceed to the Illuminations Tower to see lights over Niagara and the stunning fireworks
  • At the tower, you can actually pick and choose what colors/lights you want the mighty Niagara to wear (yes, using a touch screen computer you can choose colors to be projected on the Falls)
  • This tour also includes a boat ride to the base of the illuminated Falls via the Hornblower boat Cruise
  • Also included is a visit to the Brink of the Falls for photos

Dining and viewing the falls from Skylon Tower

The Skylon Tower is an observation tower in Niagara, Canada offering panoramic views of the Falls. The tower has a revolving restaurant and an arcade.

From the Skylon Tower, you can see both the Canadian and the American side of Niagara Falls.

The Skylon Tower has 6 floors and there is an entry ticket for it. They start at $20 CAD and above (regular price) and are offered as combo tickets to include night (illuminations) and day ride. Keep in mind, most of the tours will have this included in the price. Their lunch buffet at the revolving restaurant starts at $40 CAD.

Skylon Tower sometimes has flash sales with lowest prices so this trip to the top is definitely worth it for the price and the views that you get. Click below for current sales on Skylon Tower access.

Maid of the Mist Boat Tour (USA)

Maid of the Mist Tour is a boat tour of Niagara Falls, but it starts and ends on the American side. It does make a quick cross over to the dense Canadian side of the Falls called the Horseshoe Falls. Most visitors to Niagara Falls look forward to this tour and rightly so, because it is amazing. But on the Canadian side the tour is operated and called the Hornblower Niagara Cruise tour.

Note: This tour is on the USA side. Check out the half day tour here with maid of the mist

Hornblower Niagara Cruises (Canada) Tour Niagara

Just like the Maid of the Mist boat tour, but on the Canadian side. Hornblower cruises operate out of Niagara in Ontario Canada. In this tour, you will climb abroad a passenger ship at the Hornblower Lower Landing in the Great Gorge (and hence the name). Within Niagara Great Gorge you will experience the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and into the heart of the Horseshoe Falls (and get all sprayed!)

With the Hornblower boat ride tour, you can go as close as you want to the Niagara Falls. Close enough to get wet and experience the force, whilst still being safe.

Hornblower boat cruises are also offered with most day tours to Niagara Falls. You can also purchase a stand-alone tour to experience the falls at a close range for 1-2 hours. The tour takes places in a boat, in a small group with an experienced guide. You will be provided with a poncho to protect yourself from getting wet. This is a GREAT tour to experience Niagara first hand.

Note: Whether you take the Hornblower Niagara Cruise or the Maid of the Mist tour, you do not need your passport. If you are on the Canadian side, you will take the Hornblower Niagara tour and then return to Canada (you will not set foot in USA or USA Niagara Falls). Same thing applies for USA – Maid of the Mist Tour – you will see the Horse Shoe Falls, but not get off in Canada.

Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour

Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour is another Niagara cruise where you can view the American and Canadian side of Falls up close. This tour can be taken in the evening as well to enjoy the stunning illuminations over Niagara. 

Journey Behind the Falls

‘Journey Behind the Falls’ is an all year round Niagara Falls attraction. You will take an elevator ride to descend to 150 feet to arrive at the base of the Horseshoe Falls (Canada) and get access to an outdoor observation deck. From the observation deck, you can see and feel the force of the Niagara Falls. This activity is operated by the Niagara Parks Commission and has an entry fee of $22 CAD. This tour is for 45 minutes to an hour.

Walk the Rainbow Bridge

Niagara Falls District
Niagara Falls District

The Rainbow Bridge connects two cities and countries together – Niagara in Canada and the Niagara Falls in New York USA. The bridge is officially called the Niagara Falls International Rainbow Bridge. You can walk on the bridge without your passport, but to cross the bridge over to the other side you need it.

Entertainment District

One of the FUN ways to spend time in Niagara is to head to the Entertainment District after checking off the Falls. There are tons of options for food, drinks and live music at the district.

Hit a bowling alley, or visit Haunted House or Ripley’s Believe it or Not. We spend 3-5 hours here, wandering through the lanes, grabbing a bite to eat and drink, while enjoying great (free) music.  

Niagara Falls District
Niagara Falls District

In the evening, we played a few games, including bowling before making our way to see the lights in the evening.

Niagara on the Lake (Niagara Town)

Niagara-on-the-Lake is beautiful town located at the mouth of the Niagara River. Pretty with small town vibes, Niagara-on-the-Lake is best known as a wine region. But what will melt your heart away are pretty flowers scattered all over the town. 

Niagara on the Lake
Niagara on the Lake

Niagara on the Lake is located about 30 minutes from Niagara Falls area. This is a great venue for romantic getaways. You can try to squeeze in a couple of hours in the afternoon/late evening at the Niagara on the Lake. 

This tour will take you to the Niagara Falls, with a trip to the wine region and optional lunch. 

Hope you have a great trip to the Niagara Falls from Toronto! 

Additional Canada Travel Resources

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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