The Niagara Falls are the world's most famous waterfalls.

Niagara – Thundering Waters

With the Niagara Falls, nature shows all its unbridled power. 18 million people from all over the world visit the world’s most famous waterfalls every year. They separate Canada and the USA – the first stop of my trip around the world.

At the end of the path is the precipice. For the broad river, which until now has quietly meandered through its riverbed, a chasm opens ab. Uncontrollably, the water plunges with loud roaring into the depths, simply disappears. White spray mist, caused by the violent impact, rises up high in the air. Unrestrained is the power of nature that leaves me fascinated. Niagara – thundering waters is suppposed to be a meaning of the name. How appropriate.

The Niagara Falls – the first stop on my trip around the world – are not the largest waterfalls on earth. 57 meters high are the Horseshoe Falls, between 21 and 34 meters the American Falls. There are many others where the water falls from a much greater height into the depths. It’s the volume of water that makes the falls on the US-Canadian border so impressive. 168,000 cubic meters of water per minute (!) run into the abyss, according to the official website. This makes them the most famous waterfalls in the world.

Imposing: the American Falls (left) and the Horseshoe Falls (right).
Imposing: the American Falls (left) and the Horseshoe Falls (right).

The cheapest way to travel from Toronto to the Niagara Falls is to join one of the many tours (see below for info). We leave the largest city of Canada in the morning in a minibus. First stop: the small town of Niagara on the Lake, one of Canada’s oldest cities. Correspondingly cute are the houses lining the main street of the small town. A wealthy city and it’s a popular place to come to retire, says Guide Burkus. Flowers line the main street with its many shops – from owner-run chocolate stores to pastry, soap and clothing stores – to the old clock tower.

Niagara on the Lake ist one of the oldest cities in Canada.
Niagara on the Lake ist one of the oldest cities in Canada.

Even the Queen of England once visited Niagara on the Lake and stayed at one of the local hotels. This makes our tour group almost feel a little royal. After sufficient time to explore the small town on our own, we take the road along the Niagara River, which is the natural border between the US and Canada. Border bridges connect the two countries. Especially on the weekends, long queues with waiting times of one to two hours form here, according to Guide Burkus. Reason: Every car has to declare customs.

Winston Churchill is supposed to have said that the journey from Niagara on the Lake to the Falls is the “prettiest Sunday drive in the world”. It is actually idyllic. Large mansions with pretty front gardens line the street, every now and again one can see the river through trees.

Before we reach the Falls, there are three more short stops:

The Living Waters Wayside Chapel is supposed to be the smallest church in the world.
The Living Waters Wayside Chapel is supposed to be the smallest church in the world.

1. Living Water Wayside Chapel – the supposedly smallest church in the world (really worth seeing)
2. Winery with wine tasting (interesting, because the vines come from Germany). The ice wine is great Fun Fact: For a bottle of ice wine, the vintner needs 4,000 grapes – one grape, one drop, and 1,500 grapes for the same amount of red wine.
3. A flower clock consisting of up to 16,000 plants.

Just in time for lunch, we reach the Niagara Falls – and after a few sips of wine, the group is in a merry mood. Now, there are three hours of free time and various opportunities to see Niagara Falls from a different perspective than from the Niagara Parkway which leads along the river:

  • By helicopter flight
  • tour with the Hornblower boat (here you get wet …)
  • tour behind the Niagara Falls (also a wet matter)
  • Zipline
  • Skylon Tower

I find the waterfalls without boat tour etc. impressive enough. Even from afar, the white spray mist is visible, which rises meters high in the sky. The closer one gets to the waterfalls, the louder the thundering roar of the uncontrollably falling masses of water. Nature shows all its power. Densely packed, tourists from all over the world line the 1.5-kilometer-long Niagara Parkway and whip out their cameras to capture this imposing piece of nature via a photo. A worthwhile trip – and a nice first world travel day.

Densely packed, tourists from all over the world line up along the river.
Densely packed, tourists from all over the world line up along the river.

Day trip from Toronto to Niagara Falls
Approximately 64 Euros
Booking via Tripadvisor on Niagara Day Tour

Recommendation: do not eat outside. There are very hungry sea gulls along the Niagara Parkway, stealing unsuspecting tourists‘ lunch (I speak from my own experience).

For the broad river, which until now has quietly meandered through its riverbed, a chasm opens ab. Uncontrollably, the water plunges with loud roaring into the depths.
For the broad river, which until now has quietly meandered through its riverbed, a chasm opens ab. Uncontrollably, the water plunges with loud roaring into the depths.

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