Canada ticks all the boxes no matter if you are an adventure junkie looking for a thrill, nature enthusiasts wishing to spend a laid-back vacation amidst unspoiled nature or a city slicker seeking some time off from the humdrum of cities. Canada often paints a picture in our mind as a place swathed with lush vegetation, emerald lakes, glacier-topped Rocky Mountains, raw coastlines and pancakes dripping in maple syrup. But luckily, the country offers more than that.
Amidst the wilderness, there lie cosmopolitan cities, unusual towns, and remote settlements that are equally amazing and gorgeous to explore. Before you head to this beautiful country without any preparation, you should take a thorough look at the guide to travel Canada to savor the best experiences the country has to offer. Here is your guide to Canada to help you in advance and prevent you from getting a culture shock.
Best Time to Visit
Since Canada is a huge country, weather conditions for different regions vary accordingly. However, on a safer side, you can travel Canada anytime between August and September. If you wish to experience snowfall and freezing cold of the country, visiting it between October and March wouldn’t be a bad idea.
- Summers: Summers are quite pleasant in Canada when the streets come alive with colors and the ambiance of harmony fills the environment. Montréal Jazz Festival and Toronto’s Luminato light festival also happens in summers.
- Winters: Winters in Canada are harsh and bring avalanche and snow storms in certain areas. Highways get usually closed due to these conditions and therefore, you should avoid travelling during such time or tread with precaution when exploring risky regions of the country.
How to Reach Different Places in Canada
- Rail: Canada’s rail service covers a majority of cities and villages and is an economical way to explore the length and breadth of the country.
- Taxi: If you don’t have the time to book a train ticket, you can book a taxi instead to tour different cities and regions of Canada. For a short ride, be prepared to give CA $15. Intercity transport can cost around CA $100 or more (depending on the city you wish to travel to).
Note: A one-time bus/train/tram ticket can cost you around CA $3.
- Accommodation: For a dorm room at a hostel, you might have to shell out CA $30 and CA $65 for a budgeted hotel. Prices may shoot up for hostels and hotels in larger cities.
- Food: One time meal from a decent restaurant will cost between CA $20 and CA $30. Fast food and cheap sandwich shops are the most economical option here when it comes to food.
- Activities: Canada is a Pandora’s Box as far as activities are concerned. You can cover everything from hiking, skiing, snowboarding, sightseeing, river rafting, orca watching, polar bear watching, hot air balloon, café hopping to name a few. Wherever you go, you can find something to do in Canada.
British citizens, if are planning to travel to Canada for a short period need not require a VISA for the same. However, for a long duration stay, you need to get an electronic travel authorization. If you are a citizen from a country other than Britain, you need to possess a valid Visa to travel to Canada.
Things to Know before Travelling to Canada
- Capital: Ottawa
- Currency: Canadian Dollar (made up of 100 cents)
- National Animal: Beaver
- Languages: English and French
- National Sport: Ice Hockey and Lacrosse
Places to Visit in Canada
- Western Canada: Capture the sprawling vineyards, and dramatic mountains of British Columbia, Visit breweries in Vancouver, Stop by a coffee shop and drink as your heart desires, explore Chinese influenced suburbs of Richmond for night shop, Trek through the Canadian Rockies, Spend a day or two in tiny mountain villages of Canada and experience the hospitality of Canadians, enjoy skiing at Whistler mountain etc.
- Atlantic Canada: Atlantic coast of Canada is where the memorable and adventurous road trips begin. Visit the quirky towns with blinding beauty of New Brunswick, quench your thirst for new experiences in Newfoundland, Head to Prince Edward Island for tranquility and peace.
- Central Canada: If you’re all set for good food, music, and culture, heading to Toronto and Ontario is the best thing to do. Make a splash in Niagara Falls, get familiarized with the culture of Canada in Ontario. The nightlife of Toronto is something not to be missed at any cost.
- Northern Canada: Trek to Baffin Island, explore the Canadian high arctic, see the longest flowing river in North America.
Things You Must Experience/Try
Canada is packed with plenty of things to keep you occupied. There won’t be a single city in the country that will bore you. Every region in Canada has its interesting traditions and customs to know about. You have tons of opportunities to pamper yourself with the best things and best experiences in Canada.
- Explore the province of Québec
- Marvel at the imposing Niagara Falls
- Dive into Toronto’s culture and festivities
- Head to Montréal’s famous International Jazz Festival
- Practice winter sports in locations like Mont Tremblant or Whistler
- Blaze the trail through Alaskan Highway
- Explore Banff National Park in Alberta
- Hike the Pacific Rim National Park
- Experience the icy tundra of Yukon National Park
- Stroll through the city of Toronto and Vancouver.
Attractions in Canada worth Visiting
Bay of Fundy: Known for its peculiar shape and high tides, Bay of Fundy is a gorgeous place to be. The bay attracts tourists from all over the world for its mesmerizing cliffs and rock formation.
Athabasca Falls: If you wish to capture insta-worthy pictures, then Athabasca falls is the place where must visit when touring Canada. On the way to the falls, you will encounter picturesque landscapes that are bound to make you fall in love with Canada’s natural beauty.
Churchill: Animal lovers especially the ones who love fluffy animals like a polar bear would find Churchill a perfect place to capture these tundra creatures in action in their natural habitat. Every year hundreds of polar bears wait for the water to freeze so that they can migrate onto the ice in Hudson Bay near Churchill and spend some time there. You might also spot beluga whales, birds and the aurora borealis. Churchill will show you what’s it like to live in the arctic.
Moraine Lake: In western Canada, Moraine Lake is one of the most ethereal lakes in the country that pulls tourists from across the globe for its gorgeous blue-green landscapes, hiking trails and eye-pleasing views.
Banff National Park: Nestled into the heart of Canadian Rockies, Banff national park is popular for lakes (turquoise colored one), snow-draped cliffs, and accessible glaciers. Moraine Lake and Louis Lake are the two alpine lakes that give an impressive view of the park with dramatic backdrops.
Whistler: If you love adventures, then you won’t find Whistler boring. The snow-packed mountains are known all over the world for their utterly gorgeous landscapes that force tourists and adventure seekers to come out of their shell and spend some time amidst it. Then there’s skiing, mountain biking, golfing and all sorts of winter sports events and recreational opportunities.
Quebec: A UNESCO world heritage site, Quebec is Canada’s gem that boasts of its historic buildings including citadels, the Plains of Abraham, place d’armes, and the Parque Historique de l’Artillerie.
Old Montreal: Loaded with bewildering iconic buildings, horse carriages, town hall, Notre Dame Basilica etc, Montreal is a place that will make you feel as if you have landed into the land of the fairy tales. The enchanting land of Old Montreal has it all when it comes to festivities, cultural vibrancy, good food and friendly people.
Victoria’s Inner Harbour: Situated on Vancouver Island, Victoria’s Inner Harbour is packed with colorful wooden boats, and fascinating architectural buildings one look of which is enough to steal your heart. Victoria pays tribute to the country’s British heritage which is reflected in the architecture of buildings there. Besides that, there is plenty of aquatic wildlife to keep you occupied throughout the day. Interestingly, the waters of Victoria houses 80+ Orca whales watching whom play with water is an amusing sight itself.