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My wife and I, citizens of Italy, will be travelling to New England for sightseeing. We'll have an ESTA (US visa waiver). We will arrive and leave at/from New York JFK and rent a car.

Since we would like to see Niagara Falls, we will need to cross the US-Canadian border and come back on the next day or so.

Should we expect any trouble obtaining a Canadian visa at the border, or reentering the US afterwards?

Can we take the rental car across, or do we need to clear it with the rental company?

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You will need to be a little more specific about the concern you have. Currency? Visa? ESTA? VWP? Border Crossing times? Rental Cars? –  Karlson May 1 '13 at 13:42
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2 Answers 2

Most US rental companies will allow you to take a car into Canada, as long as you are bringing it back. You should however check with your rental company that this is allowed. There may be a small surcharge. There are extra difficulties if you are a Canadian citizen, but they don't apply to you.

You can get to see the Falls without crossing into Canada, including the Maid of the Mist that Karlson mentions. However most people do say that the view is better from the Canadian side, and many Americans cross the border to see it. There are a couple of attractions not accessible from the US side.

It should also be added that almost everything you might want to see is walking distance from the Rainbow Bridge, and there is a good shuttle bus service - so you might want to just leave the car on the US side.

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If the rental car people say you can't take the car across the border, you could always just walk across the bridge (travel.stackexchange.com/questions/2007/… ) and walk back later - but have proof you intend to continue your vacation in the US –  Kate Gregory May 1 '13 at 17:00
    
A very good point. If you don't want to stay over, everything interesting in Niagara Falls Ontario is walking distance from the Rainbow Bridge. –  DJClayworth May 6 '13 at 17:20
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If all you're looking to do is see the Falls you don't need to cross the border to do that.

There is a boat tour on the Maid of the Mist, which runs from the US side of the border so you won't have to go through the border crossings.

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IMO the view is superior from the Canadian side... –  jwenting May 31 '13 at 6:23
    
From land yes. But this was an alternative provided the concern OP had. –  Karlson May 31 '13 at 11:02
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