Niagara Falls on the border between the USA and Canada is one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. Imposing volumes of water plunge 50m into the depths and can be admired from the promenade in the town of Niagara Falls, the Syklon Tower or even directly from the Niagara River.
Niagara Falls is located directly on the border between the American state of New York and the Canadian province of Ontario. Between the two huge lakes Lake Erie and Lake Ontario flows the Niagara River, which plunges almost 60m down a gorge at Niagara Falls. The apt Indian name for this place, "Niagara", translates as "thundering water". The spectacular Niagara Falls are one of our top 10 most beautiful waterfalls in the world.
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PICTURES: Niagara Falls
Goat Island in the middle of the Niagara River splits the falls into two parts, the state border between the USA and Canada runs right through the middle. Thus, there is an American part of the falls, only 21m high, with an edge length of approx. 260m and a Canadian part with an edge length of just under 800m.
Niagara Falls has been open to tourists since 1800. Celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe have already been drenched by the omnipresent spray.
Niagara Falls by land, sea and air
Just watching the gigantic masses of water tumble down is attraction enough. On the promenade of the town of Niagara Falls (which is also both American and Canadian), you can walk up and down for hours, feel the spray on your face and stare down at the river without getting bored with the ambience.
We always hear that the view of Niagara Falls is best from the Canadian side. That's also where you'll find the most accommodation.
Those looking for a change of perspective can climb the Skylon Tower on the Canadian side. A lift takes visitors to a height of 170m, from where they have a sensational overview of the thundering water.
This excursion is especially worthwhile at night, when the falls are illuminated in white and also in all kinds of changing colours. If you can afford it, you can also have a unique dinner at the Fallsview Restaurant there.
Boat trip on the Maid of the Mist
For the next change of perspective, take a ride on the Maid of the Mist I and II, two excursion boats that take visitors right to the bottom of Horseshoe Falls. Rain protection included - the closer you get, the wetter it gets.
Journey behind the Falls
If you don't want to be completely soaked by the spray, you can also book the "Journey behind the Falls". Through underground passages you reach two platforms, one directly behind the falls, where you can see the water rushing down in front of an opening, and one right next to it. (This platform is visible from the promenade - look out for yellow dots in the mist, these are people with rain gear).
From there, you feel like you can reach into the water, although it is not as wet as on the boats. There are spectacular photo opportunities and a sight you will never forget.
Tip: We recommend the "Journey behind the Falls". You see just as much, if not more, as the view is not obscured by the water mist, and you don't pay as much as on a boat trip on the "Maid of the Mist".
Deadly Niagara Falls
It has happened many times that people have plunged down Niagara Falls, either by accident or wantonly in padded barrels or boats. Such "attempts to descend" are forbidden by law, every second one of them ended fatally.
The most famous cases occurred on the one hand in October 1901, when a 63-year-old teacher survived the fall in a wooden barrel for the first time, and on the other hand in July 1960, when a seven-year-old boy was pulled out of the water with a life jacket by the "Maid of the Mist II" and only survived the fall with a concussion. No one is known to have survived a fall over the American falls.
Curious: out of season or when tourist numbers are low, the falls are throttled to 10% of their natural force by a weir and the remaining 90% of the flow is diverted to a power station to generate electricity. So they can actually be turned on and off at the touch of a button.
Official Niagara Falls Tourism Page