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Aerial view of the Skylon Tower and the beautiful Niagara Falls at Canada
Photograph: Kit Leong/Shutterstock

The 13 best things to do in Niagara Falls

From helicopter rides to a haunted house, here are all the top things to do in Niagara Falls

Written by
Kieran Meeke

Okay, so we know you’re in Niagara Falls to see Niagara Falls. But you’d be a fool not to have an explore of everything else on offer whilst you’re there. Just to confuse things, Niagara Falls refers to both resort cities on the US-Canada border around the waterfall itself. So that’s Niagara Falls in Ontario, and Niagara in New York, both of which are hugely popular. 

So now that we’ve got that cleared up, it’s time to reveal that we’re talking about Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada, where the view of the Falls is much, much better. And there are endless ways to soak up the experience – you can check out the falls by boat, on foot or in a helicopter. Plus, afterwards, there’s plenty of beer gardens, food spots and casinos to get involved in. Here are the best things to do in Niagara Falls. 

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Top things to do in Niagara Falls, Canada

What is it? The largest part of Niagara Falls and the most powerful waterfall in the whole of North America. 

Why go? Horseshoe Falls is truly something to behold. Standing at 188 feet high and 2,600 feet wide, this waterfall is twice the size of the American Falls, and the view you can get in Ontario is second to none. 


What is it? A sightseeing helicopter tour over Niagara Falls.

Why go? Yes it’s pricey, but this is one thing you’ll remember. You’ll see the hydropower station, Niagara River Gorge, American and Horseshoe Falls, with lakes Erie and Ontario in the distance. The choppers take seven passengers when busy and piped commentary is in 12 languages.

What is it? Niagara’s equivalent of Sunset Strip is a tacky-but-fun family-friendly street of shops, restaurants and other attractions.

Why go? Here’s where you’ll find everything from the Niagara SkyWheel to the Movieland Wax Museum, and fast-food joints such as Boston Pizza. You’ll also find the Haunted House, Ripley’s and the Great Canadian Midway video arcade. A Fun Pass gives discounted entry to six main attractions.


What is it? A walking tour around Niagara Falls, taking in local shops and restaurants.

Why go? The city’s farm-to-fork revolution comes alive in the hands of an expert guide, who’ll take you to a family-owned Italian restaurant, a local ice-cream parlor and many more of the city’s quality eating spots – with room for Ontario wines and a peppering of local history too.

What is it? Expect to get drenched when you ride one of these boats into the Devil’s Hole Rapids of the Niagara River Gorge.

Why go? Those who find the spray of Horseshoe Falls too tame can risk these open boats in class-five rapids (the highest category is class six). The boats hit 55mph and can do a 360-degree spin to add to the thrills.


What is it? This 520-foot-high observation tower has great views all around Niagara Falls.

Why go? Overlooking both the American Falls and larger Horseshoe Falls, this tower also has a Revolving Dining Room that slowly spins through 360 degrees every hour. You can see as far as Buffalo and Toronto, although the view of the immediate area is perhaps finest at night when the waterfalls are lit up.


What is it? A restaurant serving the best in seafood and local wines, this oyster house started out as a VW food truck.

Why go? For the high-quality oysters, while other favorites include blackened octopus and baked scallops. Even the beef burgers are tasty.


What is it? An antique cable car that travels across a sharp bend in the Niagara River.

Why go? This ten-minute ride is a real treat for photographers. The Spanish-built cable car from 1916 takes up to 35 standing passengers, suspended on six steel cables almost 250 feet in the air. Below you is the Whirlpool, formed where the river is forced into a narrowing canyon, and you cross the US-Canada border four times.

What is it? Niagara Falls has always been noted for its haunted houses, and this dark, maze-format place is a scary (and gloriously cheesy) one to visit.

Why go? So the legend goes, this was once a coffin factory – and it’s haunted by the ghost of its eccentric former proprietor, who doesn’t like trespassers. It claims to be ‘the scariest attraction in Niagara Falls’, and you can hear the screams from outside.

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