1. CANADA TRAVEL GUIDE
Canada is a country filled with wonderfully friendly people, classy, diverse cities, and a diverse landscape that includes tundras, rainforest, deserts, huge mountains, and much more. From the icy tundra of the Yukon to rocky beaches of the east coast, the mountains of Calgary to the rainforests of Vancouver, Canada is a country that is often skipped over on many world trips. That’s such a shame. Canada is so big and makes for a wonderful road trip country! Spend a few months going from end to end. I love our friendly neighbor to the north and believe Canada is a really underrated destination. There’s a reason everyone around the world loves Canadians. They rock. Visit their homeland and find out why. Added bonus: It’s easy to get a working holiday visa here so you can stay, work, and make money here for future trips! This travel guide will help you plan a trip to the Great White North!
Accommodation – Rates can vary a lot depending on what city you’re staying in. On average, you’ll wind up paying about 30 CAD for a dorm room at a hostel while you should expect to pay around 65 CAD for a budget hotel room. Expect prices to rise drastically in larger cities (notably Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa). Airbnb is available across the country, rivaling budget hotels for price and convenience. Expect to pay an average of 30 CAD per night for a shared room, while entire homes/apartments will cost you around 80 CAD. Just keep in mind many smaller towns won’t have many options, though they will usually have locally-owned hotels or motels that are generally quite cheap. Don’t hesitate to ask the locals for advice. Remember, Canadians are friendly! My suggested places are:
- Wicked Hostel (Calgary)
- HI Vancouver Downtown, Samesun (Vancouver)
If camping is your thing, you’ll have plenty of options all across the country. Prices will vary depending on the grounds but expect to pay between 10-30 CAD per night for a basic pitch. Many of the major campgrounds will sell out early, so be sure to book in advance during the peak season (June-August).
Food – Food can be inexpensive as long as you stick to cooking for yourself or hit pubs. Conversely, a meal out at a restaurant will cost you around 15-35 CAD! Cheap sandwich shops and fast food are your best bet and will be less than 13 CAD per meal. If you are going to cook your own food, expect to pay between 50-75 CAD per week.
Transportation – This is a big country, and it’s hard to get around without a car. Within city limits, you’ll find great public transportation networks, especially the metro system which is about 3 CAD for a one-way ticket. There is a train service (VIA Rail) that runs from coast to coast and is very scenic, though not cheap. Megabus is the cheapest option when it comes to traveling between cities in Ontario and Quebec as fares can be as low as 1 CAD if booked in advance! Where Megabus doesn’t operate you’ll find Red Arrow, Greyhound, Coach Canada. They have long-haul routes throughout much of the country, though it isn’t the most comfortable way to travel such great distances. If you’re going between provinces or staying a while in the country, consider renting a car for between 35-80 CAD per day. As your last alternative, you can fly, but since the country has only two major airlines (WestJet and Air Canada) prices are often very high.
Activities – Canada has a lot of outdoor activities – kayaking and canoeing, hiking, skiing and snowboarding, white-water rafting are just some of the many options available. No matter what part of the country you are in, and no matter the season, there is always something to do. Costs range from 20-over 100 CAD depending what you are doing and if you need a guide.
Money Saving Tips
- Use coupon sites – If you know your stops ahead of time, monitor sites like Living Social and Groupon for local deals and saving. There are always good listings on some top restaurants and attractions.
- Couchsurf – As Canada is not the most budget-friendly destination, you’ll be able to cut down on your costs by couch surfing. While not huge in many smaller towns, you won’t have a hard time finding a host in any of the major cities. Just be sure to book ahead during the summer, as that is prime tourist season.
- Outdoor summer festivals – Since Canadians are stuck indoors all winter, they love to make the most of hot days by packing in lots of festivals into the short summer. Many of these, like Heritage Days (Edmonton), Kits Days (Vancouver), and Caribana (Toronto), are free. Check out upcoming events online in every city you visit.
2. Before You Travel to Canada
Before you travel to Canada, a little planning and research are well worth the effort. Avoid the most common travel mishaps, like planning to do too much and misjudging distances between Canadian cities by knowing travel requirements, climate, transportation.
In addition, Canada, though adjacent to and friendly with the United States, is a different country with its own guarded border, currency, and laws. Don’t assume what flies in one country is okay in the other.
Determine Your Eligibility
To visit Canada, you need to meet some requirements according to the Government of Canada, Immigration, and Citizenship. These include such things as having a valid travel document, be in good health, appear to be ready and willing to leave Canada when your trip is over, have a sufficient amount of money, and no criminal record.
What Travel Documents You’ll Need
Don’t slow a vacation down by not having the right travel documents. Once a confusing issue, crossing the Canada border is now pretty straightforward: Bring your passport. Some exceptions apply to U.S. citizens, but a passport or passport equivalent is the best bet.
Other nationalities may require a visa.
Aside from travel documents, know what you can and can’t bring across the Canada border. Some items may surprise you.
Consider the Size of Canada
Made up of 10 provinces and 3 territories, Canada is the second largest country in the world; only Russia is larger. The land plus freshwater area of Canada is 9,984,670 square km (or 3,855 174 sq miles). In fact, coast to coast, Canada covers five time zones.
The capital of Canada’s most westerly province, Victoria is 4,491 kilometers (2,791 miles) from Toronto and a whopping 7,403 kilometers (4601 miles) from the most easterly capital, St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Choose Your Destination(s)
Possibly you have one destination in mind or maybe you want to build several into your Canada travel itinerary. Canada is famous for its adventure and scenic travel, but there is a wide range of destinations to suit any interest.
Because the country is so big, not too many people visit all of Canada in one trip. Usually, it is divided up into more manageable chunks, such as a visit to the Maritime (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island) or Quebec and Ontario (Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, and Niagara Falls) or the West Coast, Prairie Provinces, or Canada’s North.
Decide When to Go
Maybe you head to Canada on a whim due to a strong U.S. dollar or a great travel deal or you plan your vacation way in advance. Prices, climate, and available activities change depending on when you are in Canada.
Canada uses the Canadian dollar, unlike its neighbor to the south that uses the U.S. dollar. Some Canada/U.S. border towns and major cities will accept both currencies, but you should familiarize yourself with Canadian money, where to get it, sales taxes, tipping, and more.
Differences in Laws
Before you come to Canada, be sure to read up on local laws regarding drinking age, speed limits, regulations about bringing in firearms, liquor, and more.
The best places to visit in Canada are a proof that the country has a heart bigger than its size when it comes to satiating the wanderlust of every type of traveler. And you would happily agree with us once you see them with your own eyes. Be it the lakes, the gardens, or the cities as a whole, Canada has got it all that would make your holiday worthwhile!
Take a look at these 20 places in Canada so that you know which ones you need to put on the top of your list!
1. Niagara Falls
If there is one destination you’d find in every ‘best places to visit in Canada’ list, it is the Niagara Falls. Built along the spellbinding waterfalls by the same name, this famous city is an ideal place to explore if you’re looking for a magical experience.
Things To Do:
- Witness the gorgeous waterfalls
- Get your game on at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort
- Spend time at the MarineLand
Location: Ontario, Canada
Home to one of the largest ski resorts in North America, Whistler is your winter holiday destination! Skiing, snowshoeing, and tobogganing are few of the thrilling sports to indulge in for enjoying in this captivating snow land.
Things To Do:
- Indulge in snowmobiling
- Witness the town’s vibrant culture by visiting the art museums and cultural centres
- Dine at 21 Steps or Alta Bistro
Location: British Columbia, Canada
3. Quebec City
Renowned as North America’s oldest walled city, this is amongst those Canada tourist places, which you must visit with your partner if magic, romance, and all things french is what tickles your fancy the most.
Things To Do:
- Visit the historic attractions like The Citadel
- Relax at the BattleFields Park
- Walk along the scenic Terrasse Dufferin
Location: Québec, Canada
4. St. John’s
Popular for its jelly beaned & crayon colored houses, and being an artist’s retreat, St. John’s is like a mini San Francisco. Despite being the oldest city, the vibe of this place is as refreshing as that of any metro town, which is perfect for any of your holidays.
Things To Do:
- Visit the Cape Spear Lighthouse
- Learn about the local culture and history at The Rooms
- Shop and eat at the famous Water Street
Location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
If you can’t imagine a holiday without a beach, Tofino is the place for you! It’s a paradise for water lovers, and a haven for people seeking comfort in their cosy hotel rooms after spending a long day out in the town.
Things To Do:
- Explore the famous beaches like Long Beach and Chesterman Beach
- Try the popular fish tacos
- Indulge in kayaking and camping at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
4. 19 Bucket-List Worthy Places To Visit In Canada
With its welcoming atmosphere, vibrant cities and awe-inspiring scenery, Canada is truly an exciting and beautiful country that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. As the largest nation in North America, “The Great White North” is a vast land blessed with virgin forests, spacious prairies, spectacular coastlines and Arctic plains. Though much of Canada is of French and British decent, it is home to a mosaic of multicultural communities. And trust me, there is no shortage of gorgeous and fascinating bucket-list worthy places to visit in Canada.
1. Quebec City
Looking for a cheaper alternative to Europe? Quebec City may be the political capital of the Canadian province of Quebec, but its French architecture, language and heritage make it appear a lot more like a historic charming European village. One of the most nostalgic places to visit in Canada, this Canadian city enthralls it visitors with its horse-drawn carriages and lovely historic buildings that were built in the 17th and 18th centuries. Giving you a taste of Paris, the city’s gas lamp-lit cobblestone streets are also filled with aromas of brewing espresso and freshly baked bread, making your visit even more wistful and delightful.
The sound of French pleasantries and historic feel of oldest city in Canada, however, aren’t the only things you can enjoy in Quebec. Although it is lauded for its history and culture, the city has some zest and a youthful side too. There are reinvigorated neighborhoods in the city brimming with funky restaurants, sexy nightclubs, and a laissez-faire French ambiance.
Vancouver, with miles of gorgeous coastline and an awe-inspiring mountain landscape, is a slice of heaven for thrill-seekers and travelers who want to embrace the great outdoors. Praised for its laid-back charm, extensive parks and urban beaches, this Canadian city has chock-full of leisure activities that promise to bring you bliss as well as give you a heavy dose of adventure and fun. Known as one of the popular places to visit in Canada, Vancouver has scenic landscapes that offer a natural playground wherein travelers can snow ski in the mountains, swim in the ocean, and rollerblade through lush parks – all in one day.
But, make no mistake about it – there’s so much more to Vancouver than its alluring natural beauty. In fact, it is a gleaming modern city with a dynamic cultural life and a wide variety of festivals and attractions.
Wondering what to do in Vancouver, the third largest metropolitan area in Canada? The undisputed star of Vancouver is Stanley Park, which covers a vast area of green spaces, gardens and woodlands, making it one of the top places to visit in Canada for nature lovers. Some of the Vancouver’s top sites, including the energetic array of shops in Chinatown and the remarkable food market in Granville.
There are a number of good reasons to travel to Calgary, and the most obvious one is to hit the slopes. Perched majestically in foothills of the internationally renowned Canadian Rockies, the city has literally become a base for winter sports connoisseurs. Swing by the Canada Olympic Park to catch sight of world-class athletes train, or try out some of its amazing facilities for yourself. And keep in mind that there’s so much more to this Canadian than its hiking trails and ski slopes. You can indulge in a little shopping therapy along the glitzy Stephen Avenue Walk, cheer on a local sports team at the Saddledome, or relive the glory days of the Wild West at the Heritage Park.