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?

  • 2
    You will need to be a little more specific about the concern you have. Currency? Visa? ESTA? VWP? Border Crossing times? Rental Cars?
    – Karlson
    Commented May 1, 2013 at 13:42

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.

  • 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 Commented May 1, 2013 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. Commented May 6, 2013 at 17:20
  • The rental car difficulties for Canadian citizens, mentioned above, was correct, but has largely been corrected now. It had to do with tax. You will now only pay tax for the value of your rental for the time you are in Canada, provided the stay is short (up to a few weeks I believe). Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 20:37

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.

  • 1
    IMO the view is superior from the Canadian side...
    – jwenting
    Commented May 31, 2013 at 6:23
  • From land yes. But this was an alternative provided the concern OP had.
    – Karlson
    Commented May 31, 2013 at 11:02

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .