Niagara Falls on a Budget: The Best Free & Cheap Activities
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Niagara Falls on a Budget: The Best Free & Cheap Activities

Niagara Falls, Canada, is renowned worldwide for its awe-inspiring and world famous waterfalls. Though most of the things to do around can be pricey, we made a compilation of the best free and cheap activities. We are locals who regularly visit Niagara Falls (and this is our first out of town together) and enjoy all that it has to offer without emptying our wallet. So if you're ready, let's delve right in.

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Niagara Parkway

No visit to Niagara Falls would be complete without getting up-close to the falls and seeing its majestic natural beauty. Every time we come here, we can't help but be amazed on how this 12,000-year old falls was formed and is still reshaping.

Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Canada, standing at Niagara Parkway, free things to do in Niagara Falls

Stretching from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Fort Erie, the Niagara Parkway offers some of the best views of the Niagara River and its surrounding landscapes. Take a leisurely stroll or bike ride along this picturesque route, stopping at lookout points to admire the falls from various angles. Pack a picnic and enjoy a scenic lunch admiring nature's beauty.

Queen Victoria Park

Located next to the falls, Queen Victoria Park offers lush gardens and prime viewing spots for the iconic Horseshoe Falls. Explore the park's pathways, snap photos of the falls with the colorful flowers, and catch the nightly illumination of the falls for a magical experience, all without spending a dime. In the winter you'll find incredible Christmas light displays.

Niagara Falls Illumination

Witness the falls come alive after dark with the mesmerizing Niagara Falls Illumination. Every evening, starting at dusk, colorful lights illuminate the waters, creating a dazzling display. Find a spot along the Niagara Parkway or Queen Victoria Park for a front-row seat to this free nightly spectacle. During select evenings throughout the year, level up your experience as Niagara Falls host spectacular fireworks displays.

Clifton Hill

Farris wheel at Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, Canada.

While Clifton Hill is known for its array of attractions and entertainment venues, you can still enjoy the lively atmosphere without spending a fortune. Take a stroll along the bustling street feeling the vibrant energy. Be sure to snap photos with iconic landmarks like the Niagara SkyWheel and the Dinosaur Adventure Golf. Clifton Hill is of course tourist-trap central, and all activities here will be pricey. However it is free to walk around and enjoy the sights and the shops - including some really cool candy and chocolate stores.

Niagara Glen Nature Centre

Niagara river from Niagara Glen Nature Center, Niagara Falls, things to do in Niagara Falls

Explore the natural beauty of Niagara Glen, located just a short drive from the falls. The Niagara Glen Nature Centre offers excellent panoramic views of the Niagara River gorge. Parking is $8/hour, and we were able to hike around the river in a single hour. Make sure you make it to one of the daily hiking tours that leave from the Niagara Glen Nature Centre at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Niagara-on-the-Lake

Horses lined up on Niagara-on-the-lake, free things to do in Niagara Falls

Take a scenic drive or bike ride to Niagara-on-the-Lake, a charming town known for its historic architecture and quaint shops. Explore the town's picturesque streets, visit local boutiques and stroll along the waterfront promenade for views of Lake Ontario—all without spending a dime.

Take a quick selfie at the iconic Prince of Wales Hotel built in 1864. Or better yet, stay here and feel like a royalty.

Shopping Destination

The Outlet Collection at Niagara is a huge open-air shopping outlet with over 100 brands and food trucks. While this outlet is known for many great deals and discounts, even window-shoppers will enjoy this impressive collection of shops and restaurants.

Niagara Falls History Museum

Delve into the rich history and heritage of Niagara Falls at the Niagara Falls History Museum. The museum focuses on the War of 1812 and insightful presentations of the transformation of Niagara Falls. There are engaging exhibits and interactive displays, tickets are $6 and can be purchased online.

Free Tastings

When you're in Canada's winery capital, you cannot miss visiting some of the hundreds of world-renowned vineyards.

Though in most cases, many travelers pay for their wine tasting, we opt to take advantage of our Visa Infinite Benefits Wine Country Program. Chances are, you might even have one in your wallet. Simply present it and enjoy your wine. If you wanna learn more, check out all the amazing Visa Infinite Benefits.

Who doesn't love a culinary adventure with free tastings at local wineries and craft food creators. Many establishments offer complimentary samples of their finest wines, beers and delights, allowing you to savor the flavors of Niagara without spending a penny. ChocolateFX offers a free chocolate tour with generous samples, and Maple Leaf Place offers maple syrup tours and tastings. If you don't have a Visa Infinite Card, winery tastings typically start at $15 for a tasting flight, such as at Hinterbrook Estates or Henry of Pelham.

Dufferin Islands

Canadian geese at Dufferin Islands park in Niagara Falls, Canada.

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and explore the scenic Dufferin Islands. This park features ponds, wooden bridges connecting trails and several picnic spots, making it the perfect for a leisurely stroll or a peaceful time. Enjoy bird-watching, wildlife spotting, and serene moments amidst the lush greenery—all for free.

Final Thoughts

Experiencing the beauty and wonder of Niagara Falls doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. With a little creativity and exploration, you can enjoy a memorable and budget-friendly getaway to this iconic destination.

If you're looking to do more wine tastings, check out our blog on our top Niagara wineries with Visa Infinite Benefits for some incredible tour and tasting experiences.

If you are travelling around Canada, make sure you leverage your travel spending to have more travels. If you want to learn more about travelling for less using points, check out the Best Travel Credit Cards & Current Highest Offers in Canada and learn more about each cards benefits. Clue: It is more than just free flight points! We frequently update this page to make sure you find the latest info.

man sitting in first class Air Canada flight, travel hacking with points

Happy Travels!

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