Niagara Falls Border Crossing Information
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The Niagara Falls area is served by three border crossings: the Rainbow Bridge, the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, and the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge. The Rainbow Bridge is the most popular and convenient crossing for tourists, as it is located directly between Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York, and provides easy access to the falls and other attractions on both sides.
To cross the border, visitors will need a valid passport or other travel documents such as a NEXUS card, FAST card or Enhanced Driver’s License. These documents are required for both adults and children, regardless of age. It is important to note that a driver’s license alone is not sufficient to cross the border, even for Canadian citizens.
Visitors should also be prepared to answer questions about their trip and their reasons for crossing the border. Customs officials may ask about where you’re staying, how long you plan to stay, and what you plan to do while in the country. It is important to be honest and accurate when answering these questions, as failure to do so could result in being denied entry.
It is also important to be aware of the restrictions on what can be brought across the border. Visitors are allowed to bring personal items such as clothing and toiletries, but they are not allowed to bring weapons, illegal drugs, or certain types of fruits and vegetables. It’s also important to note that there are restrictions on the amount of alcohol and tobacco that can be brought across the border.
Once visitors have crossed the border, they can enjoy the many attractions on both sides of Niagara Falls. The Canadian side is known for its scenic views of the falls, while the American side offers a variety of activities such as boat tours, hiking and the Niagara Falls State Park.
According to statistics from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Rainbow Bridge is the most popular crossing point at Niagara Falls, with an average of over 4 million vehicles and 8 million pedestrians crossing the bridge annually. The Lewiston-Queenston Bridge comes in second, with an average of over 2 million vehicles and 4 million pedestrians crossing the bridge annually. The Whirlpool Rapids Bridge is the least used, with an average of over 250,000 vehicles and 500,000 pedestrians crossing the bridge annually.
It should be noted that these numbers may have changed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions put in place to curb its spread.
The majority of individuals crossing the border at Niagara Falls are tourists visiting from other parts of the United States and Canada. However, there is a significant number of local residents who regularly cross the border for work or other reasons.
The wait time at the border can vary depending on the time of day and the day of the week. During peak travel periods, such as summer and holidays, wait times can be longer. However, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection has implemented a number of measures to minimize wait times, including the use of technology such as license plate readers and facial recognition systems.
NIAGARA FALLS BORDER CROSSING BRIDGES
Crossing Canada can be accomplished across any of the four bridges spanning the Niagara River.
Rainbow Bridge – The Rainbow Bridge, which is located in Niagara Falls and offers a spectacular view of the falls and the Niagara River, is exclusively used by travelers and not by commercial vehicles. Visitors can also walk and ride a bike across the bridge. For the current waiting times for crossings, please visit http://www.niagarafallsbridges.com/
Queenston Lewiston Bridge – The Queenston Lewiston Bridge, located about 7 kilometers downstream from the falls, is open to commercial and residential vehicular traffic. For the current waiting times for crossings, please visit http://www.niagarafallsbridges.com/
Peace Bridge – The Peace Bridge is open to commercial and residential traffic. IT allowing visitors to cross from Buffalo, New York, to Fort Erie Canada. For the current waiting times for crossings, please visit http://www.niagarafallsbridges.com/
Whirlpool Bridge (Nexus Pass Holders Only) – The Whirlpool Bridge is located approximately 2.9 kilometers downstream from the Falls, open only to Nexus Pass Holders.
Be sure to save your receipts if you make purchases and travel between Niagara Falls Ontario and New York Falls Niagara Falls. You will be required to declare all purchases when crossing the international border. Some items may be taxable or tax refunds may qualify for you. For more information, please visit the duty-free stores on the bridges between the U.S. and Canada.
Crossing border with pets:
For travelers with their pets visiting Niagara Falls. In the park areas, dogs are welcome as long as they are leashed and cleaned up afterward. You may be asked to provide an existing vaccination certificate if you plan on crossing the border with a pet. Pets are not permitted by most hotels. Please visit the official Canada Inspection page if you are interested in bringing your pet to Canada. Please visit the United States Department of Agriculture’s website if you are interested in bringing your pet to the United States. Only official guide dogs (therapy pets are not included) are allowed at some attractions.