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TRAVEL to CANADA – Tips and Information Guide (2024 Edition)

Everything you need to know about travel to Canada in our comprehensive 2024 Canada travel guide.

Have you ever wanted to see the Northern Lights? Or to explore the beautiful cities of Vancouver, Quebec or Calgary? What about venturing out into the world-renown national parks of British Columbia?

Unspoiled nature and incredibly vibrant urban areas create the perfect mixture of reasons to travel to Canada.

“The Great White North,” is a vast country that offers virtually unlimited opportunities for visitors of all kinds.

Whether searching for wildlife, landscapes, adventure activities or the culture of city life, travelling in Canada will give you a variety of experiences you are sure to remember.

There really is so much to do it can be overwhelming to plan to visit Canada. But getting started is not that difficult.

Read on to learn everything you need to plan for travel to Canada!

Travel To Canada Guide


Here are the basics of travel to Canada.


With so much to see and do in Canada, it really is hard to pick the top experiences. We have written a comprehensive guide on the best things to do in Canada here.

However, we think that to truly appreciate Canada you need to plan to do these 5 activities during your visit.


Check out Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is one of the world’s most famous waterfalls and well worth a visit. Find yourself in awe watching the water tumble over the top of the falls. Or hop on a boat and cruise up to the falls from the river!

Read about all our favourite Niagara Falls attractions .

Explore the Canadian Rockies

From picturesque mountain peaks to stunningly blue glacial lakes, the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia have so much exploration to offer! This part of Canada could be a trip in itself!

Check out our ultimate guide to Hiking in Banff

Banff Lake

View The Northern Lights

Witnessing northern lights is one of the most amazing natural phenomena. The city of Whitehorse in the Yukon territory might be a perfect place for it! Your chances are highest between September and April since the nights aren’t dark enough during the summer.

Check out the Northern Lights in Whitehorse , Yukon Territory.

See Polar Bears

Churchill in northern Manitoba is known as the ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World’, making it an obvious choice to visit for travellers wanting to get close to the planet’s largest apex land predator.

See polar bears in Churchill, one of Canada’s best wildlife experiences .

Polar Bears

Drink the Sourtoe Cocktail

Taking a shot of alcohol with a frostbitten toe may not be on everyone’s bucket list. But if it’s on yours, you absolutely must try to Sourtoe Cocktail in Dawson City. It’s a strange, yet unique experience when you visit Canada.

Read more about the Sourtoe Cocktail and lots of other great things to do in Dawson City .

Other Things to do in Canada

Scale the CN Tower in Toronto. If you’re unafraid of heights, strap into a safety harness and walk around the top or just check out the views.

Visit Stanley Park in Vancouver. The world’s happiest city has much to offer . But most visitors start at this famous park downtown.

Take a drive on the Icefield Parkway. This incredible stretch of highway connects Banff and Jasper National Parks and is full of amazing landscapes and stunning wildlife!

Hang out with Polar Bears in Manitoba. View these dangerous, but remarkable, animals as they waltz around Churchill like they own the place.

Take a gondola ride in Banff. Situated in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff boasts unrivaled beauty best seen by way of the gondola.

Eat poutine . A strictly Canadian plate, poutine is french fries and cheese curds covered in gravy. Try varieties all across the country!

Take a flight over glaciers in Kluane National Park. The only way to beat the spectacular views of driving or hiking the Canadian Rockies is to check them out from above !

Tour La Citadelle de Québec in Quebec City . One of the most visited cathedrals in Canada, you will feel lost in the grandeur of this sacred place.

Ride the Rocky Mountaineer train . The most relaxing way to enjoy the Canadian Rockies is touring them on this train ride from Vancouver to Banff .

Eat lobster in the Maritimes. Lobster doesn’t get much fresher than that caught and served up in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Go dog sledding in the Yukon. Yes, there are humane ways to enjoy this absolutely incredible experience . Dress warm and enjoy the ride!

Peyto Lake Travelling In Canada


There are plenty of amazing places to visit in Canada. Depending on your interests, trip duration and time of year you will find plenty of things to do during any length of stay. 


Toronto is not only the largest city in Canada but also truly one of the most stunning cities in the world. It’s famous for its diversity and travelling here will be a great chance to learn about different cultures! The people are incredibly nice, the sights are beautiful.

Check out our Toronto City Guide.

Montréal is a fascinating mix of Europe and North America. It’s a definition of a vibrant city – full of festivals, museums and must-visit restaurants. There’s an abundance of things to do there. Brush up on your French before your trip!

Check out our Montreal City Guide.

Ferrris Wheel, Old Montreal, Things To Do In Montreal

Vancouver is consistently ranked as one of the top places to live in the world. With picturesque scenery all around, tons of outdoor activities, numerous opportunities for wildlife encounters and many great day trips you absolutely have to add Vancouver to your Canada itinerary.

Check out our Vancouver City Guide.

Banff / Lake Louise

Lake Louise is one of Banff National Park ’s most famous sights. The extraordinarily turquoise water is a real feast for the eyes. Plus there is spectacular hiking, biking and even kayaking that you can do to further enjoy the beauty of the nature around. You can visit during the summer or spend your winter vacation here!

Check out our Banff City Guide .

Lake Louise

For more information on specific things to do in the top places to visit in Canada, reference our following city travel guides: 

Visit Canada Manitoba


Canada is huge and there are so many amazing things to do there that planning an itinerary for your travel can be a little overwhelming. 

We’ve divided these itineraries into Eastern Canada and Western Canada options for both 1 or 2 weeks. Having at least 1 month to road trip across the entire country would be ideal.

But short of this, your best option will be to plan to visit each side of the country separately.

Of course, no one-size-fits-all plan will suffice. But if we were to head back to Canada these are the top places and things that we would want to do! 

1-Week Canada Travel Itinerary Highlights

Eastern canada 1-week itinerary.

  • Fly into Toronto (2 days) / day trip to Niagara Falls
  • Go to Ottawa (1 day)
  • Go to Montreal (2 days)
  • Go to Quebec City (2 days)
  • Fly from Quebec City

Western Canada 1-week Itinerary (Road Trip)

  • Fly into Calgary (1 day)
  • Tour Canadian Rockies – Banff/Jasper/Yoho National Parks (3-4 days)
  • Vancouver (3-4 days)
  • Fly from Vancouver

2-Week Canada Travel Itinerary Highlights

This is an idea of how we’d spend 2 weeks in Canada. 

Eastern Canada Itinerary

  • Fly into Toronto (3 days)
  • Day trip to Niagara Falls
  • Go to Ottawa (2 days)
  • Go to Quebec City (3 days)
  • Return to Toronto

Western Canada Itinerary (Road Trip)

  • Fly into Calgary (1-2 days)
  • Banff National Park (1-2 days)
  • Jasper National Park (1-2 days)
  • Yoho National Park / Glacier National Park (1 day)
  • Revelstoke National Park (1 day)
  • Stop in Revelstoke (1-2 days)
  • Drive to Vancouver (4 days)
  • Day trip (ferry) to Victoria on Vancouver Island
  • Fly out of Vancouver

Things To Do In Montreal Canada


Best time to visit canada.

Since the country is so vast and diverse, there really isn’t a time of year unsuitable for travel to Canada.

Depending on what you want to do, you should pick the month of your trip accordingly.

Summer Travel (June – August)

The warmer summer months, such as July and August, are the most common times to visit Canada.

As in many countries in the northern hemisphere, summer in Canada is an ideal time of travel and adventure for many tourists. Expect to come across more tourists and higher prices during this time.

But don’t worry about the crowds and expense. Canada is beautiful during the summer!

It’s summer temperatures tend to not be as extreme as other summer destinations. Some parts of the country, particularly those further north and at higher elevations, will still see the snow melting well into June and July.

This is a great time to explore Canadian cities. But it is also the ideal time to visit any of the stunning national parks.

Winter Travel (December – February)

Winters in Canada can be very cold. But this is also a great time of year for winter activities, such as dog sledding , snowboarding/skiing and ice climbing.

But, keep in mind that some parts of the country deal with extremely uncomfortable temperatures.

For example, Winnipeg is Canada’s coldest city. Temperatures there can drop to -40°C at times!

Many of the places that are popular during the summer months are not as popular during the winter.

So if you would like to see parts of the country with fewer crowds than winter may be a great option for you.

Shoulder Season

The shoulder season in Canada is similar to other parts of the world. Spring and Fall tend to see less tourist traffic than the summer and winter months.

The months that are not very popular are April and November. They are often neither cold nor hot enough to enjoy certain activities.

However, the prices are much lower during this part of the year. So if you factor this into your planning, maybe this isn’t such a bad time to travel to Canada.


Budgets for travelling in Canada can vary greatly. This depends on where you want to go, what you want to see and do, how you want to travel and the level of comfort you expect in your accommodations.

Canada is a highly developed country. As such many day-to-day expenses such as meals and accommodation can range in price greatly.

Here are a few ideas of what to expect in planning your budget to travel to Canada.

Budgeting Tips:

To make your money go further here are a few budgeting tips: 

  • Take public transportation or walk whenever you can.
  • For longer trips, look for rideshare options on places like Craigs List and travel forums and groups.
  • Buy food at local markets and cook your own meals as often as possible.
  • Look for free events and festivals to attend in the cities you visit
  • Consider couch surfing from time to time. And camping should be on your list of things to do anyway
  • Look for last-minute deals on accommodation, travel and activities.

But there are a few things you should know about the different budgets at which you can choose to travel.

Note: Budgets shown as Single Traveller / Couples per day. 

Budget Traveller ($40-75 Single / $100+ Couples)

If you are a budget traveller visiting Canada on your own you will have quite a challenge to keep yourself within budget.

The most affordable accommodation, besides Couchsurfing, are hostels and Airbnb. But not all places you’ll want to travel will have these options.

If you’re on a tight budget then you probably won’t eat at restaurants on a regular basis.

Your best options might be fast-food restaurants and buying your own groceries and cooking when that is an option.

Canada has open-air markets and lots of chain grocery stores where you can buy groceries at affordable prices.

When it comes to public transportation, the prices are different in each area. But they’re not exactly cheap anywhere.

Daily city transportation can cost around USD$10 and single tickets are around USD$3.

Additionally, you will need to budget separately for the various activities that you would like to do.

For example, ski passes in winter can be pricey. And daily entrance fees to national parks are reasonable but will add up.

Mid-Range Traveller ($125 Single / $175 Couple)

If you are travelling to Canada with a mid-range budget then you have some flexibility in your plans that you wouldn’t have on a tighter budget.

The biggest changes will be in accommodation and meals. You’ll be able to stay in moderately priced hotels and eat most of your meals in proper restaurants (even if it’s only fast food).

You might also choose to rent a car from time to time or to upgrade on tour options to do an activity that might otherwise not be in the backpacker budget.

Couples travelling at this budget will save considerable expense by staying in hotels and Airbnb options instead of hostels. Transportation costs could also be reduced for couples choosing to rent a vehicle.

Luxury Traveller ($350+ Single / $450+ Couple)

If you can afford to travel with a little more luxury you’ll find plenty of options to enjoy yourself in Canada.

Large cities, as well as certain vacation destinations, have top-notch hotels and resorts. And you’ll find great stays in boutique lodging all throughout Canada.

You will also be able to afford to eat at the best restaurants and indulge in local delicacies and staples across the country.

Aside from more luxurious meals and accommodations, there are tons of things you can do when travelling in Canada with a more substantial budget.

You will be able to rent a vehicle or hire transportation around town. When travelling across the country you will be able to save time by flying.

Additionally, your choice in activities will expand to more unique experiences. From riding the Rocky Mountaineer train to flights through glacial ice fields , there is no shortage of experiences well worth the higher costs.

White Water Rafting Adventure Activities In Canada


Entry requirements.

Canada is relatively accessible for travel. Passport holders in 54 countries can visit Canada without obtaining a visa.

Canada will permit these travellers to stay in the country for up to six months.

Click here to see if your country is on that list. Others must obtain a temporary resident visa.

Travellers must also have an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA).

When applying for the eTA , visitors have to provide certain biographical details and passport information. Also, you’ll be asked about your employment information, available funds and your health and immigration history.

Getting to Canada

Since it is one of the most developed Western countries, there are multiple ways to travel to Canada.

The choice is yours depending on your needs and origins.

But you may want to consider comfort, prices, duration of trip and preferred method of travel as you plan how to get to Canada.

Canada has around 20 major international airports. This makes flying to Canada the quickest, most convenient way to enter the country.

The biggest and busiest airport is the Toronto Pearson International Airport. Direct flights to Toronto are available from a lot of cities across the world.

But you will also find international flights in and out of most major cities across the country.

Regardless of whether you put a lot of time into planning your trip or make a last-minute decision to visit Canada, there are almost always reasonable flight options available.

Sometimes it might also be cheaper to fly into the USA and then drive to Canada. So take that option into consideration.

Personal/Rental Vehicle

Many people travel to Canada as part of a North American exploration. Or you may find a better flight deal into a major US city like Boston, New York City, Chicago or Seattle.

As such you may find yourself driving to Canada from the United States.

In many places, it is very easy to pass between the Canadian/US border to visit nearby places in both countries.

Popular places include the Seattle/Vancouver area, Niagara Falls and Montreal/Vermont.

Roads between the US and Canada are generally in excellent condition. They are also marked well so navigation between the two should not be difficult.

Depending on your country of origin, time of stay and purpose for visit, passing through border security by vehicle is often less of a hassle than when arriving by plane.

If crossing into Canada from the United States, do check with your car rental company to make sure that you are able to do so without violating the terms of your agreement.

You will also want to make sure that the vehicle is insured in both countries.

If you’re going to travel to Canada from the United States, you can also travel by bus. Certain cities, like Seattle, Boston, Albany, Detroit or New York, have direct routes and inexpensive fares.

Some well-known bus companies that make trips between the US and Canada include Greyhound, Megabus and Quick Coach.

If you like to travel by train, then travelling to Canada from the US on a train is a great option. This combines relatively low costs, reasonable duration and incredible scenery.

In travelling from the US into Canada train you have two company options. VIA Rail Canada and Amtrak each have three routes that cross various borders between the US and Canada.

Further, all routes start and end in major cities so you can quickly orient yourself to other transportation options upon arrival.

Ferries can be a unique way to see parts of both Canada and the US that are not usually explored by most travellers.

At the moment, there are five ferries that travel to Canada from the United States.

Two depart from Maine and go to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and Deer Island, New Brunswick (Bay Ferries Limited, East Coast Ferries).

Another two travel from Alaska to Port Hardy and Prince Rupert, both in British Columbia (Alaska Marine Highway System, BC Ferries).

Finally, you can get to Victoria, British Columbia from Seattle (Victoria Clipper).

Reasons Why You Should Take Rocky Mountaineer

Getting Around Canada

It is pretty easy to get around when you are travelling in Canada. Expect to pay quite a bit more in Canada to travel between cities than in many less developed parts of the world.

And with higher costs, also expect longer durations in between destinations as distances in Canada can be great.

Travelling by Air

Travelling within Canada by air is the best way to cover ground quickly.

The county has many international and domestic airports. Sometimes, especially if you’re short on time, your best option is flying across the country.

In certain remote areas, there aren’t any other options besides air travel. When it comes to domestic flights, Air Canada has the best network of flights.

A few other companies include Air Creebec, Air St-Pierre, Pacific Coastal Airlines among others.

Travelling by Car

Rental cars are accessible and typically reasonably priced in more populated cities.

Much of Canada is best seen by rental car. There are many trips you can take to explore places considered off the beaten path for most.

Keep in mind that fuel prices can be high, particularly in less-trafficked regions of the country.

But a rental car would be a great way to explore the various cities in eastern Canada. It would also be the best way to get around the various national parks and other natural beauty in western Canada.

Travelling by Bus

In most cities, buses are the main form of public transportation. Toronto has the largest system, with around 140 bus lines.

Travelling by Taxi & Rideshare

Taxis are available everywhere in Canada. However, they are a very expensive way to travel.

You should ask the driver in advance what the price is going to be.

The prices are based on mileage and can’t be negotiated and are usually around USD$2 per kilometre.

In many of the larger cities you can also find rideshares such as Uber and Lyft.

These are often substantially more affordable than taxi. But note they are not always available outside of urban areas.

Travelling by Subway

Subway systems exist only in Toronto and Montréal. These systems cover the cities quite well. In Montréal, the subway network has 4 lines.

The daily tourist card costs USD$9 and a three-day pass costs USD$17. In Toronto, there are 3 subway lines available, and the daily pass costs USD$8.50.

In Vancouver they have the Skytrain network, which now connects the airport with downtown, making it very convenient to get around.

This Image Has An Empty Alt Attribute; Its File Name Is Bohemian-Canada-E-Bike-1024X682.Jpg


Here are a few apps we think you should definitely acquaint yourself with prior to your travels:

  • XE Currency – Transfer, monitor and calculate currency as the need arises. This app may not be totally necessary as you are typically tied into rates the banks charge for services. But it is handy to have around. 
  • Express VPN – This will protect your sensitive information wherever you travel – not just in Canada. Be sure to have this to keep your online information secure as you travel. 
  • iOverlander – iOverlander is any Canadian road trip enthusiast’s best friend. Find every resource you need on the road – from free or cheap campgrounds to places to eat or refill RV supplies if travelling by campervan or RV.
  • Gas Buddy – This app will help you find the most up-to-date fuel locations and prices when driving nearly anywhere in Canada. This is especially important to have when covering large distances or across remote parts of Canada.


Some Canadian specialities are worldwide famous. While some require some research to discover!

Here are some of the most popular dishes in Canada:

  • Poutine : Probably the most well-known Canadian staple consisting of french fries and cheese curds topped with light-brown gravy
  • Lobster Rolls : a sandwich made with lobster meat, lemon, and seasoning best served fresh in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick
  • Butter Tarts : crumbly crust filled with a butter, sugar and egg cream
  • Nanaimo Bars : a sweet, crispy and crunchy dessert bar with layers of chocolate and custard
  • Montreal Smoked Meat : Delicious pastrami or brisket smoked and seasoned in a way particular Montreal
  • Bannock : delicious native bread either baked or fried and similar to nan. Bannock is served in a variety of ways and included in almost every meal.
  • Yellow Split Pea Soup : soup made with dried peas, veggies and salt pork
  • Montreal Bagels : smaller and denser than its famous NY bagel, but usually with the typical everything seasoning
  • All-dressed Potato Chips : a name given to some of the fanciest and most interesting flavours you can imagine for potato chips
  • Maple Syrup : The maple leaf is iconic of Canada and the syrup from the maple tree is just as famous and delicious and well worth a try as often as possible

Poutine In Canada


Canada is not exactly known for cheap accommodation. A highly developed country, rates can be relatively similar to those in Europe and the United States.

However, the prices vary and with advanced planning, you should be able to find a reasonably priced room.

Types of Accommodations

There are over 100 hostels spread out through dozens of cities across Canada. Staying in hostels is not only accepted, it is expected among budget travellers.

You can expect prices and amenities to be comparable to those in Europe. But remember many of the smaller towns and villages will not have hostels as an option.

Canada offers an abundance of hotels. These are typically the best option for travelers in a mid-range budget and are available in most cities and small towns and villages across the country.

Of course, prices range by location and amenities. And if you are travelling during the busier summer season be sure to book in advance.

Another good option for budget accommodation in Canada is Airbnb. In recent years Airbnb has been growing and there are more and more amazing places popping up in Canada to stay for very affordable prices every day.

As is typical in many destinations where Airbnb accommodations are available, you’ll likely find great value and a little more personal space with an Airbnb stay. 


Travel to Canada is more or less the same as travel to any country. But there are some subtle tips and tricks that will help make your visit safe, pleasant and more affordable.


While there are many basic travel tips we suggest you use when travelling to Canada, there are also plenty of Canada-specific tips that will make your visit the best it can be. 

Here are a few we recommend you consider as you plan your trip to visit Canada: 

  • Pack (and dress) according to the weather. Depending on where and when you travel to Canada the weather can catch you off guard. From extreme heat to mind-boggling cold and everything in between, be sure to pack and wear what will keep you comfortable and safe.
  • Have travel insurance. Canada has a fantastic health care system. But having travel insurance is always the best way to protect yourself financially from any mishaps on the road. Not sure you need it? Read this post .
  • Be aware (and warned) of wildlife. Bear and moose look cute in pictures and videos. But they can be deadly in person. Canada abounds in wildlife so be mindful when you are out exploring.
  • Know the emergency number. 911 is the same call for help in Canada as it is in the US. In some areas, 311 is also helpful for non-emergency situations.
  • Tax and tipping are not included in meal prices. Know that tax will be added at the end of the meal and, while not required, tipping is customary at the 15-20% level.
  • Pick up a little French. Depending on where you travel, it might be necessary. But you’ll find French is almost everywhere on signs and sometimes it will help to make local friends who can assist you in making the most of your trip to Canada.

Travel To Canada Guide


We always travel with a core packing list wherever we go. And when it comes to Canada, many factors will affect what else you need to bring along with you. 

Check out our travel essentials and be sure to add any of the other additional items listed below. 

Important Note! Before you book any international trip, we honestly recommend getting travel insurance. You never know when things will go wrong, and medical bills can add up quickly if you get sick or injure yourself overseas.

Our personal recommendation based on our own experience is World Nomads.


Canada is a very safe country to visit. It has a very low crime rate and Canadian people are known for their hospitality and seem to always be willing to help someone in need.

Violent crime is basically non-existent in popular tourist spots.

Just like anywhere else in the world, there are some areas in big cities should be avoided. Ask the locals about those neighbourhoods so you can enjoy your trip in peace.

Also, take care of your personal belongings, since tourists are often victims of petty thefts.

Canada is also one of the safest countries for female travellers.

You shouldn’t have any problems if you’re travelling solo. Just keep in mind the same general safety tips you would use anywhere else in the world.

If you’re visiting the Canadian wilderness, watch out for the wild animals.

Every year tourists are attacked by bears, moose and bison. But this is usually due to not respecting the space of the animals and approaching too close to them.

Please mind the wildlife when you see it!

Your best option is to explore and area with someone familiar with it. But if that’s not possible, just be careful and study your maps, have bear spray, whistles and bells and know any regional laws or warnings when it comes to wildlife.

Check out our best travel tips to help you navigate around safely.

Red Chairs Parks Canada


Canada is a developed nation and staying connected while travelling in Canada is not very difficult. Of course, there are more remote places you can travel where cellular service will be limited.

And if you drive across the country you’ll experience long stretches of highway where you may have hit-or-miss cellular service.

In general, you can expect to connect to WiFi in a few ways for little to no cost. But we feel like your money will go a lot further if you consider a few other options. 

Purchase a SIM Card

Purchasing a SIM card is one of the best ways to access local wireless networks in most countries.

In Canada, you can purchase a SIM card in any of the country’s 3 major carrier stores and at convenience stores and kiosks in major cities. Apply funds for prepaid service and purchase data as you need.

Then throw up a hot spot from your mobile device if you’d like to get online with your computer or tablet.

Rent a Portable WiFi Device

Portable WiFi devices are also readily available across Canada. Roam Mobile, WiFi Cube and MyWebspot Mi-Fi are just a few of the handful of options to look into if you don’t have a qualifying portable WiFi device of your own.

Access Free WiFI

Of course, the easiest and cheapest option to stay connected in Canada is to access free WiFi at a variety of places across the country.

Most hotels, hostels and Airbnb accommodations offer free WiFi.

And if you are out and about you can expect fast food and coffee restaurants such as Tim Hortons, McDonald’s and Starbucks to provide free WiFi as well.


As is the case whenever you choose to visit and interact with people and places in a foreign land, Canada offers you the opportunity to be responsible in your journey.

Here are a few things to consider as you plan to travel to Canada:

  • Leave the natural environment better than you found it. Pretty standard stuff here: pack out your trash, stick to the trails, pick up after yourself.
  • Leave wild animals alone. Canada is full of wildlife encounters sure to change your life. But don’t touch, feed or otherwise harass wildlife.
  • Be your own transportation as often as possible. Adding a bit of walking or biking to your travel plans reduces the impact of taking vehicles that contribute negatively to the environment.
  • Support locals as often as possible. Sure the bigger cities will be full of big brands and mega shopping centres. But as you wander into more remote parts of the Great White North be sure to support smaller, independent businesses as often as possible – including merchants and tour operators.


Maybe you already know everything about Canada. Chances are you don’t!

But even if you are well-read, here are a few suggestions that might be worth your time while you’re on the plane to Canada. 

Canada (Mike Meyers) – Yes, Mike Meyers the comedian and actor has written a book that shows his take on his homeland from his hilarious, if not entirely quirky, perspective.

Alone Against the North (Adam Shoalt) – In a wild adventure that crowned him the “Canada’s Indiana Jones,” Shoalt embarks to explore the Again River in a way that shows that there are still parts of the world unexplored.

Why I Hate Canadians (Will Ferguson) – A humorous, satirical account of Canadian culture and history that sets out to show that opinions on Canada are best expressed through personal experience.

An Inconvenient Indian (Thomas King) – A serious, albeit darkly humorous, look at the Native American – White relationship that has taken place in Canada and throughout North America in search for ways for the collective culture to move forward in meaningful ways.

Read Our Canada Posts

The perfect banff itinerary you can’t miss (2024 guide), 25 awesome things to do in banff, canada, the ultimate guide to yoho national park in canada, the golden circle route – an epic yukon road trip itinerary, 17 awesome things to do in dawson city, yukon, the perfect 3 days in vancouver itinerary (2024 guide), 7 awesome day trips from montreal (2024 guide), the perfect 3 days in montreal itinerary, the 10 best day trips from toronto, 21 awesome things to do in toronto, canada [2024 guide], 11 fun things to do in hamilton, ontario, the 20 best things to do in calgary (2024 guide).

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Canada Travel Guide

Last Updated: November 21, 2023

the stunning Canadian rockies towering over western Canada

Canada is often skipped over on many round-the-world trips owing to its proximity to the US, poor flight connections, and few budget cross-country travel options.

But those people miss out on so much! Canada is one of the best countries in the world for RVing and road trips and it’s brimming with outdoor activities for all levels. Backpacking Canada is an amazing experience.

I love my friendly neighbor to the north and believe Canada is a really underrated destination. There’s a reason everyone around the world loves Canadians after all.

To top it all off, it’s also easy to get a working holiday visa here so you can stay longer and make money while you explore (there are huge seasonal industries across the country).

This travel guide to Canada can help you plan your trip, save money, and make the most of your visit to this friendly natural wonderland!

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Canada

Click Here for City Guides

Top 5 things to see and do in canada.

The CN Tower and skyline of Toronto as seen from the island out on Lake Ontario

1. Tour Toronto

Toronto is often considered the most multicultural city in the world, as over half of the city’s population is foreign-born. It’s an awesome, hip, artsy city. Don’t miss Kensington Market for good eats and cool shops, and there are plenty of tasty eats to be found in the city’s massive Chinatown as well. If you want to play tourist, head up the CN Tower for the best views of the city. For a bit of swimming in the summer, check out some of Canada’s easily accessible beaches on Lake Ontario where you can go kayaking, windsurfing, stand-up paddle boarding, and more. And if you’re traveling with kids, don’t miss the nearby amusement park Wonderland.

2. Explore Jasper and the Columbia Icefield

The Icefields Parkway connects Banff and Jasper in Western Canada and is one of the most scenic drives in the country (if not the world). Stop along the way at the Columbia Icefield, an enormous icefield that feeds into eight glaciers. You can travel onto the 10,000-year-old Athabasca Glacier where you can hike around and even drink from the crystal-clear icy glacial water. If you’re not squeamish about heights, walk out to the cliff-top glass-floored Skywalk to get a spectacular panorama of the entire area. It’s easy to reach via an enormous bus or opt for a hiking tour where you can walk the glacier. There’s even a restaurant at the top that’s a bit expensive but worth at least a coffee for the view.

3. Road trip the Maritimes

Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick make up Canada’s east coast. If you want to spend your days hiking, relaxing by the ocean, and whale watching, this is the place to do it. Nova Scotia is sometimes considered the most beautiful province with rolling hills leading to lush green coastal cliffs over frothy shores. There are colorful little fishing villages like Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered one of the “Prettiest Painted Places in Canada.” It boasts delicious fresh seafood and friendly locals to chat with. Be sure to set aside a few days for an incredible road trip on the 298-kilometer (185-mile) Cabot Trail around Cape Breton and spend in the Highlands National Park where you can hike, camp, or fish. The east coast is stunning and sees very few tourists compared to other areas of the country.

4. Hang out in Montreal

Montreal offers a look at the French side of the country. Old Montreal is thriving with culture and a mix of old and new architecture within its European-style cobblestone streets, the Notre Dame Cathedral, museums, and river cruises. The other side of Montreal is extremely modern with an underground city and mall, funky jazz clubs, and amazing cuisine, which make this the hippest and most romantic city in the country. It’s also cheaper than most of the other large cities in Canada. Don’t forget to try the poutine and bagels when you visit!

5. Have fun in Vancouver

Other things to see and do in canada, 1. celebrate the calgary stampede.

During July, over 1 million people descend on Calgary for this multi-day rodeo, drinking festival, and carnival where everyone gets to be a cowboy. It’s a lot of fun, and you’ll meet tons of people from around the world. It’s one of Canada’s premier events so book early — prices rise and accommodation disappears fast! Also, wear cowboy boots and a hat if you want to fit in.

2. Hit the slopes

The mountains in Canada offer great skiing and snowboarding during the winter. Banff is a popular mountain town known for its excellent trails. It’s quite busy during the winter as locals and visitors alike hit the slopes, but it’s popular for a reason. While Banff is the most popular place to go, there are tons of other great skiing destinations in the country. Sunshine Village, Whistler Blackcomb, Lake Louise, Kicking Horse, and Mont Tremblant are just a few to check out (they stretch from British Columbia to Quebec so you’ve got lots of choices).

3. Discover Vancouver Island

Take a few days off from Vancouver to explore nearby Vancouver Island . Eat delicious seafood, hike, spot some whales (lots of orcas live near here), shop, and lounge on the beach. This is a place to just sit and relax. Since it is so close to Vancouver, it’s a popular getaway with the locals during the summer. Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is located on the island. It’s a quiet but gorgeous little city worth a couple days of exploring. From here you can also visit places like Tofino, where the bustling surf community has evolved into a fun hippie town. If you’d rather hike an incredible yet challenging trail, the West Coast Trail is famous for its rugged beach and rainforest trails, man-made ladders through the trees, and rare wildlife.

4. Hike the rainforest

Hike the Pacific Rim National Park for a wonderful look at some temperate rainforests on Vancouver Island. It’s one of the most popular parks in Canada, home to Western Red Cedars, Pacific Silver Firs, and tons of wildlife including deer, wolves, bears, and cougars. The Long Beach area is one of the most accessible places for hiking, but the sand dunes behind Wickaninnish Beach on the South Beach Trail are also worth the trek.

5. Explore Calgary

Often skipped over by travelers since it’s not on the coast, Calgary actually has a lot to offer when it comes to free and low-cost activities. Have a picnic in one of its many parks, go rollerblading, watch a hockey game, or head up to the top of the surrounding peaks. There’s great hiking, kayaking, skiing, water rafting, and camping here and you can easily rent a bike and explore the city via its many bike paths. Although it’s been long dismissed as an oil town, it’s one of the liveliest cities in Canada.

6. Visit the galleries of Toronto

Toronto has some of the best museums and galleries in the country, so take a day or two to admire the art of the city. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) are the two most famous art museums, but there are a plethora of smaller, specialty galleries too, like the Textiles Museum of Canada and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Galleries often offer discounts on certain days of the week, so check before you go to save some cash.

7. Take a road trip

This huge country is best explored by car or RV. It’s the ideal way to find yourself in tiny little towns, majestic mountains, amazing countryside, and plenty of off-the-beaten-track places. If you have a lot of time, this is your best and cheapest option to see the country. The Trans-Canada Highway stretches from coast to coast, making a road trip relatively easy to plan. Just keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable (especially in the winter). Of course, you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and you’ll want to be prepared for long stretches of driving without any rest stops or gas stations. However, it’s worth it — the changing landscapes and scenic vistas are out of this world! you could easily spend weeks or months touring the country and still barely scratch the surface. For the best car rental prices, use Discover Cars .

8. Stroll the nation’s capital

Ottawa is a very easy city to explore on foot. Home to museums, art galleries, and plenty of shops, it’s a charming city worth visiting for a couple days. You can take a tour of Parliament Hill (the historic buildings where the Canadian government operates) or cross the Ottawa River and visit Quebec (the great Museum of Civilization is just across the bridge). The Canadian War Museum and the National Gallery of Canada are two must-visit museums in Ottawa. Also, don’t miss the busy Byward Market, and be sure to check out the craft breweries in Westboro. Try a beavertail (a sweet pastry with sugary toppings) when you’re here!

9. Get off the beaten path in Nova Scotia

The locals boast that Nova Scotia is home to the friendliest people in Canada. They might be right. That, combined with over 100 beaches, picturesque lighthouses, great sailing, mouth-watering seafood (this area of Canada is the main fishing region), and a marvelous coastline, makes Nova Scotia an amazing place to visit in Canada. Plus, the province doesn’t see lots of tourists so it’s far less crowded and unspoiled compared to other regions. It’s perfect for road trips and camping.

10. Admire Quebec City

Quebec City’s Old Town offers cobblestone walkways, well-preserved 17th-century architecture, and the only North American fortress, the Citadel. The historical Quartier Petit Champlain is stunning and gives you an authentic French feeling with little cheese shops, bistros, creperies, and boutiques. It’s especially magical in December as it’s fully decorated with twinkling lights, snow-covered canopies, and lined with beautiful Christmas trees. In the warm weather, you can easily lose track of time wandering the streets admiring the flowers everywhere and colorful window shutters and storefronts. Don’t forget to sample the local ice ciders, head out for drinks on Grande Allée, and explore the streets below the stunning Château Frontenac.

11. Visit Kelowna

Warm in the summer and mild in the winter, this glacial valley has some of the best weather in the entire country. It’s no wonder that this is where many Canadians spend their vacations. There’s a marina and a few golf courses, not to mention that the Okanagan Valley is home to Canada’s best vineyards and wineries (a four-hour wine tour costs around 125 CAD). In the summer, Canadians rent fancy houseboats complete with waterslides to vacation on nearby Okanagan Lake. Overall, this is just a gorgeous slice of the country that shouldn’t be missed.

12. Head north to Churchill, Manitoba

This might be a small town in the middle of nowhere, but it also happens to be the Polar Bear Capital of the World, the Beluga Whale Capital of the World, and one of the best places to view the Aurora Borealis. You can ride in a tundra buggy (a special bus raised on giant wheels to keep you out of reach from polar bears) and head out on the open plains to see polar bears in their natural habitats. Mother nature is alive and thriving here. Day tours in a tundra buggy during the summer start at around 250 CAD, including lunch.

13. See the iconic Niagara Falls

This is one of the most visited attractions on the entire continent. You can never imagine how big it is until you see it up close (you never envision so much mist either). To see it up close, on a boat tour and head out into the waterfalls (be prepared to get soaked). Walks runs a daily boat tour that has exclusive access to the best spots and includes access to behind the falls (tours are 107 CAD). The town itself is touristy and cheesy so don’t spend more than a day or two (it’s fun for kids though).

14. Get lost in the Yukon

The Yukon is the perfect place to get your nature fix. The chances of seeing a bear, elk, or deer are incredibly high (or you can tour the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, where you’re guaranteed to see them). Go hiking in Tombstone Territorial Park, soak in a mineral hot pool at the Takhini Hot Springs, or swing by the Sign Post Forest with its unique collection of over 77,000 signposts. Hardly anyone ever visits the Yukon as visitors tend to stick to the major cities in the south of the country. Because of that, you’ll find yourself surrounded by unspoiled nature.

  For more information on specific cities in Canada, check out these guides:

  • Calgary Travel Guide
  • Montreal Travel Guide
  • Nova Scotia Travel Guide
  • Ottawa Travel Guide
  • Quebec City Travel Guide
  • Toronto Travel Guide
  • Vancouver Travel Guide
  • Vancouver Island Travel Guide

Canada Travel Costs

the stunning Canadian rockies towering over western Canada

Accommodation – Rates vary a lot depending on what city you’re staying in. On average, you’ll end up paying 35-45 CAD per night for a dorm room at a hostel. Expect to pay at least 90-120 CAD for a budget hotel room. Prices 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 60-90 CAD per night for a private room, while entire homes/apartments start around 100 CAD. Keep in mind that many smaller towns won’t have many options. However, there are usually locally owned hotels or motels that are generally quite cheap. Also, Airbnb prices can double (or triple) when not booked in advance so book early.

If camping is your thing, you’ll have plenty of options across the country. Prices vary depending on the grounds but expect to pay between 25-35 CAD per night for a basic pitch for two people. Many of the major national and provincial campgrounds sell out early in the summer, so be sure to book in advance during the peak season (June-August).

Food – Overall, the food here is a collage of dishes from other cultures, owing to the country’s diverse history of immigration. On the coasts, seafood is king while the prairies have more of a meat and potatoes diet. Be sure to sample some of Canada’s famous staples like poutine (fries with gravy and cheese curds), beaver tails (fried dough with maple syrup), Canadian bacon, and the oddly tasty ketchup chips.

Overall, food can be inexpensive if you stick to cooking for yourself, eating street food, and dining at cheap fast-food places. Cheap sandwich shops and fast food are your best bet, usually costing less than 13 CAD per meal.

Pizzas cost 15-20 CAD while Asian food is usually 10-15 CAD for a main dish.

A meal out at a casual restaurant costs 20-35 CAD for a main dish and a drink. Casual fine dining costs double that.

Beer is around 7 CAD while a latte/cappuccino is around 4.60 CAD. Bottled water costs 2 CAD.

If you cook your own food, expect to pay 50-75 CAD per week for groceries. This gets you basic staples like rice, pasta, veggies, and some meat or fish.

Backpacking Canada Suggested Budgets

How much does it cost to visit Canada? Well, it’s complicated. How much you spend largely depends on where in Canada you’re going to visit. For example, Canada’s biggest cities like Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver are considerably more expensive than the smaller ones (like Halifax, St. John’s, and Quebec City). The rural areas are even cheaper but getting around costs more as you may need to rent a car or take expensive buses.

On a backpacking budget, you should plan to spend around 70 CAD per day. This assumes you’re staying in a hostel dorm, cooking all your meals, using public transportation, limiting your drinking, and sticking to free activities like hiking and enjoying nature.

On a mid-range budget of 185 CAD per day, you can stay in a private Airbnb, take buses between destinations, eat out for most meals, enjoy a few drinks, and do more paid activities like visiting museums or taking a food or wine tour.

On a “luxury” budget of 310 CAD per day or more, you can stay in a hotel, eat out for all your meals, drink more, rent a car to get around, and do whatever tours and activities you want. This is just the ground floor for luxury though, the sky is the limit!

You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages — some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in CAD.

Canada Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Given the size of Canada, there are plenty of ways to save money when you travel, but it varies by region (as I’ve been repeating). The general tips below can help but for specific tips visit our city guides!

  • Stay with a local – As Canada is not the most budget-friendly destination owing to its inconvenient size, you’ll be able to cut down on your costs by using Couchsurfing . While not huge in smaller towns, you won’t have a hard time finding a host in the major cities. Just be sure to plan ahead during the summer as that is prime tourist season and it’s much harder to find a host then.
  • Enjoy 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 by visiting the local tourism board’s website.
  • Embrace the outdoors – A vast country with a relatively minuscule population leaves lots of potential for outdoor activities. Rent a pair of cross-country skis or snowshoes in the winter and enjoy the free use of many trails (versus expensive downhill lift passes). In the summer, you can bike, hike, kayak, or canoe. The cost of most equipment rentals is around 25-100 CAD for a day, and you can explore many areas at no further cost.
  • Take the bus – Megabus runs in Ontario and Quebec (with connections into the U.S., including NYC). You can find tickets for as little as 1 CAD if booked in advance. This is the most affordable way to get between Toronto and Montreal (or into the U.S.).
  • Use ride-sharing services – If you are going to be traveling between cities or provinces, keep an eye out for people sharing their vehicles. Craigslist, Couchsurfing, Kangaride, and Facebook all have ride-share pages for most major cities. If you can find someone traveling in your direction you can tag along and share the cost of gas.
  • Eat street food – Every major Canadian city has plenty of street vendors selling hot dogs, sausages, and veggie dogs for as little as 3 CAD. You won’t find a cheaper lunch!
  • Take a free walking tour – Most major cities in Canada offer free walking tours. They are a great way to explore and get a feel for each location and its history. Most last a couple of hours and don’t need to be booked in advance. Just remember to tip your guide at the end!
  • Buy gas on native reserves – If you are driving around the country, keep your eyes peeled for native reserves — they are the cheapest places to buy gas in Canada. With lower taxes, you’ll find gas prices significantly cheaper than anywhere else. They are also great places to stop and experience the vibrant cultures of Canada’s First People.
  • Bring a water bottle – The tap water here is safe to drink so bring a reusable water bottle to save money. LifeStraw makes a reusable bottle with a built-in filter to ensure your water is always safe and clean.

Where to Stay in Canada

Hostels are not that plentiful across Canada, but generally, they’re high quality and clean. Here are my suggested places to stay in Canada:

  • The Only Backpacker’s Inn (Toronto)
  • The Parkdale Hostellerie (Toronto)
  • Cambie Hostel Gastown (Vancouver)
  • Samesun Vancouver (Vancouver)
  • HI Calgary City Centre (Calgary)
  • HI Lake Louise (Banff)
  • HI Montreal Hostel (Montreal)
  • Alexandrie-Montréal (Montreal)

How to Get Around Canada

A person in a small kayak on the calm waters of Lake Louise near Banff, Alberta

Public transportation – Within city limits you’ll find great public transportation networks. Toronto and Montreal are the only two cities in Canada with subway systems (although Vancouver has SkyTrain), but even the smallest Canadian cities have extensive bus routes. It usually costs about 3.25 CAD for a one-way ticket.

Larger cities have passes designed for tourists to make the most of the metro system. For example, Toronto has a daily pass for unlimited travel for 13.50 CAD.

Bus – There’s no singular country-wide bus system here. Instead, regional operators vary per location. Megabus is the cheapest option when it comes to traveling between cities in Ontario and Quebec. Fares can be as low as 1 CAD if booked in advance. Red Arrow is primarily an Alberta coach line. On the east coast, Maritime Bus is the main coach company (except in Newfoundland where it’s DRL Group).

Toronto to Ottawa costs about 30-50 CAD with Flixbus, while Ottawa to Montreal is around 35-50 CAD. A longer ride — like the 13-hour drive from Calgary to Vancouver — costs around 125-165 CAD.

To find bus routes and prices, use BusBud .

Train – There is a train service (VIA Rail) that runs from coast to coast and is very scenic, albeit not cheap. Many train routes are currently suspended or running with limited space due to COVID-19, meaning that journeys take even longer. It takes over 24 hours to get from Halifax to Ottawa, costing about 150-170 CAD. On the other hand, shorter routes like between Montreal and Quebec City (a 3.5-hour journey) are more affordable and start at 36 CAD.

Flying – As your last alternative, you can fly, but since the country has only two major airlines (WestJet and Air Canada) prices are often high. Round-trip flights from Toronto to Vancouver usually start at around 200 CAD when booked early but they can easily cost triple that price. Round-trip from Ottawa to Calgary is around 270 CAD, but again, this is when booked in advance. Expect to pay at least double that price if you don’t book early.

Overall, flying is worthwhile only if you want to see specific cities and have limited time. For shorter routes (like Montreal to Ottawa) you’ll save a lot of money if you just take the bus or train.

Car Rental – If you’re going between provinces or staying a while in the country, consider renting a car for 35-50 CAD per day. This is one of the best, most convenient ways to get around the country — especially if you’re interested in getting out of the cities and into Canada’s wilderness (ideally if you have someone to share the cost with too).

For the best car rental prices, use Discover Cars .

Ridesharing – If you are traveling between cities or provinces, keep an eye out for people sharing their vehicle. Check these websites for rides:

  • Couchsurfing

When to Go to Canada

Since Canada is such a large country, climate and temperature vary drastically from coast to coast. Canada has very defined seasons, and winter can be harsh and long in some places. For example, winters in the Northern Territories begin early and end late, and places like Newfoundland and Labrador can experience snow until late May.

On the other hand, winter in the Canadian Rockies is epic and people from all over the world flock to British Columbia and Alberta to hit the slopes around Whistler, Banff, and Revelstoke. Prepare for cold temperatures, though. In some places, like on the prairies, it can get as cold as -40°C (-40°F). In short, only visit in the winter if you’re planning to do winter sports.

Summer in Canada is beautiful, but it’s also the busiest time of year. June to the end of September is the main tourist season, with inflated prices and large crowds. On the other hand, the temperatures are lovely during this time, often in the high 20s°C (70s°F). There are music festivals galore and it’s a great time to hike, bike, and explore the Great Lakes.

Shoulder season is also a fantastic time to visit Canada, although spring (March-June) can be quite wet. Fall (September-October) is highly recommended, as temperatures are still warm enough and the autumn foliage is really something special. Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces are well worth an autumn trek.

How to Stay Safe in Canada

Canada is a safe place to backpack and travel — even if you’re traveling solo, and even as a solo female traveler. Violent attacks are rare and tend to be confined to certain areas (generally where drug and gang violence are a problem). You may encounter petty crime, like theft, around popular tourist landmarks, though that isn’t super common. Nevertheless, always keep an eye on your belongings, especially while taking public transportation, just to be safe.

Solo female travelers should feel safe here, however, the standard precautions apply (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.).

If visiting in the winter, dress warmly. It gets so cold here that people literally freeze to death so take precautions and always keep an eye on the forecast.

If you’re going out hiking, always check the weather beforehand and ensure you have enough water. Bring sunscreen and a hat too. It can get humid here!

Canada’s cannabis legalization has a whole lot of rules and restrictions. The CBC has a great outline on everything you need to know if you’re thinking of consuming cannabis while in Canada.

Scams here are rare, but it never hurts to be prepared. Read about common travel scams to avoid here if you’re worried about getting ripped off.

If you experience an emergency, dial 911 for assistance.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Canada Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!

Canada Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on Canada travel and continue planning your trip:

Where to Stay in Quebec City: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

Where to Stay in Quebec City: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

Where to Stay in Vancouver: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

Where to Stay in Vancouver: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

Where to Stay in Toronto: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

Where to Stay in Toronto: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

Canada Road Trip: A One Month Suggested Itinerary

Canada Road Trip: A One Month Suggested Itinerary

How to Road Trip the Yukon on a Budget

How to Road Trip the Yukon on a Budget

How to See Alberta: A 10-Day Suggested Driving Itinerary

How to See Alberta: A 10-Day Suggested Driving Itinerary

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  • Where To Stay
  • Transportation
  • Booking Resources
  • Related Blogs

Canada - Toronto, Canada

Introducing Canada

About canada.

  • Images of Canada
  • History, language & culture
  • Weather & geography
  • Doing business & staying in touch

Plan your trip

Travel to canada.

  • Where to stay

While you’re there

  • Things to see & do
  • Shopping & nightlife
  • Food & drink
  • Getting around

Before you go

  • Passport & visa
  • Public Holidays
  • Money & duty free

Book your flights

  • British Columbia
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland And Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Saskatchewan
  • Yukon Territory
  • Quebec City
  • Calgary International Airport
  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport
  • Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
  • Ottawa International Airport
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport
  • Vancouver International Airport

Ski Resorts

  • Kicking Horse
  • Lake Louise
  • Whistler Blackcomb

Canada travel guide

Whether you’re a hardcore adrenaline junkie, a wildlife enthusiast or a city slicker looking for cutting-edge culture, Canada ticks all the boxes. The world’s second-largest country (by total area) racks up an astonishing diversity of landscapes; the vast Canadian Prairies rise abruptly to the glacier-topped Rocky Mountains; rugged, unspoiled coastlines give way to immense forests and emerald lakes; and Arctic waters lap upon frozen tundra. Incredibly, this wilderness is also home to cosmopolitan cities, quirky towns and remote indigenous settlements.

Canada’s people are as varied as the landscapes; from the Arctic Indigenous peoples and the Francophone Quebeckers to the British expatriates and burgeoning Asian community, this is a multicultural land where around 22% of the population are foreign-born.

Canadian cities are progressive, vibrant and regularly feature on lists of "best places to live". Toronto, a veritable patchwork of charming neighbourhoods, has an idyllic beachside location on the shore of Lake Ontario, while Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, contains a clutch of fantastic museums and the gorgeous Rideau Canal for ice skating in winter. Montreal’s skyscrapers belie its French heritage, but look closer and you can stumble upon historic, cobbled streets and centuries-old customs.

A stone’s throw from the Canadian Rockies, booming Calgary flaunts its cowboy traditions during the annual boot-stomping Stampede. Chilled-out Vancouver, meanwhile, seems to have it all: mountains, beaches, an incredible downtown park and a cosmopolitan dining scene. And across the Georgia Strait, Vancouver Island offers a wide variety of things to see and do including marine and land activities and festivals.

For something wilder, ski steep chutes in British Columbia, kayak secluded bays with whales in Nova Scotia or learn to lasso at an Albertan ranch. Capture grizzlies on camera in the Yukon, watch mammoth icebergs drift past the Newfoundland coast, or soar over Niagara Falls by helicopter. Tour vineyards, dig for clams or feel giddy gazing at the Northern Lights. In Canada, the options are endless.

9,984,670 sq km (3,855,100 sq miles).

37,602,103 (estimate Q2 2019).

3.92 per sq km.

Federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy.

HM King Charles III since 2022, represented by Governor General Mary Simon since 2021.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau since 2015.

Travel Advice

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice .

Before you travel

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide as well as support for British nationals abroad , which includes:

  • advice on preparing for travel abroad and reducing risks
  • information for women, LGBT+ and disabled travellers

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated.

Travel insurance

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance . Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.

This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Canada set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact Canada’s High Commission in the UK .

COVID-19 rules

Countries may restrict travel or bring in rules at short notice. Check with your travel company or airline for changes.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Visit TravelHealthPro (from the UK Health Security Agency) for general COVID-19 advice for travellers .

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for passengers entering Canada. Avoid travelling if you have symptoms of COVID-19. See the Government of Canada’s website for more information on COVID-19 and travel.

Public spaces and services

The Government of Canada recommends that all travellers wear a face mask on public transport.

You may be asked to wear a face mask indoors, such as in hospitals or on public transport. You may need proof of vaccination to visit settings such as care homes.

Local authorities in Canada can introduce restrictions or measures at short notice. Comply with the rules and advice of the local authorities. Check the COVID-19 guidance for each province and territory .

Passport validity requirements

Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay.

Visa requirements

Most people need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada – not both.

You do not need a visa for short visits (normally up to six months). You will need an eTA instead. Check entry requirements and find out if you need a visa or an eTA for your visit using this tool.

You may need to provide fingerprints and photos at a visa application centre to apply for permanent residence or a study or work permit. Find out if you need to give biometrics. If you do need to give biometrics, see the list of biometrics collection points .

When you arrive, you must show that you have enough funds to support yourself during your stay, even if you are staying with family or friends.

Contact Canada’s High Commission in the UK if you are unsure about visa requirements or your eligibility to enter the country, for example, if you have a criminal record or have been arrested.

Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA)

You must get an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) to enter or transit Canada by air, unless you’re exempt. Read the list of exemptions on the ETA website . If you enter Canada by land or sea, you don’t need an eTA. However, you must travel with acceptable travel documents and identification .

If you have British-Canadian dual nationality, you cannot apply for an eTA. You need a valid Canadian passport instead.

The eTA website has information about the eTA system and how to apply .

Visa and eTA scams

Some  unauthorised websites  charge for submitting visa applications. These websites are not associated with the Government of Canada.

If you think you may have been a victim of a scam, use the eTA Check Status tool to confirm if your eTA is valid. If it has been 72 hours since you applied, and you have not received a confirmation of your application, complete this enquiry form .

Transiting through Canada

You must have a valid Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) to transit Canada, unless you are exempt.

If you have questions, contact:

  • your airline
  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • your nearest Canadian high commission, embassy or consulate

Find out more about transiting Canada .

Travelling with children

If only one parent is present, carry a letter of consent from the non-travelling parent. Immigration officers have the right to question children using simple and appropriate language to see if there are any concerns about child abduction.

For further information, check with Canada’s High Commission in the UK or the Canada Border Services Agency .

Customs rules

There are strict rules about goods that can be taken into - and out - of Canada . You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.

Banned food products will be confiscated and you could be fined. Check the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website for more information.

If you visited a farm, or had contact with wild animals before entering Canada, and intend to visit a farm during your stay, you must complete the relevant section in your Customs Declaration Card. For more information, see the Government of Canada’s website on biosecurity .

There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. You should remain vigilant at all times.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on  staying safe abroad  and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from  terrorism  while abroad.

Terrorism in Canada

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Canada.

Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. You should remain aware of your surroundings, keep up to date with local media reports and follow the advice of local authorities.

Recent attacks include:

  • in 2023, one person was stabbed and injured in Surrey, British Columbia
  • in 2021, 4 people were killed and one injured by a vehicle in London, Ontario
  • in 2020, one person was killed with a hammer in Scarborough, Ontario
  • in 2020, one person was killed and 2 wounded in a machete attack in Toronto, Ontario

See the  Government of Canada’s national terrorism threat level .

Take precautions to protect yourself from petty crime, including:

  • not leaving your bag or luggage unattended
  • keeping luggage out of sight in cars
  • keeping valuables and passport in a hotel safe
  • leaving copies of important documents with family and friends in the UK
  • carrying a photocopy of your passport for ID

Laws and cultural differences

Recreational cannabis is legally available in Canada. Local laws vary depending on the province or territory you are visiting . It is illegal to carry any form of cannabis into the UK without a valid licence issued by the Home Office. This includes cannabis and cannabinoid oils prescribed for medicinal purposes in Canada. It is illegal to take cannabis across the Canadian border without a permit or exemption authorised by Health Canada.

There is more information on the  Canadian Border Services Agency website .

If you are hiking or camping, be considerate and cautious of local wildlife. You should:

take all rubbish with you including food items to avoid attracting animals to your site

be careful around animals with nearby young or nests – they may be aggressive when protecting their territory

research the region to learn about the local wildlife

take particular care if you’re in an area where bears have been sighted

keep a safe distance from any wildlife including marine animals and birds

follow park regulations

Transport risks

Road travel.

Traffic and safety laws vary between provinces and territories. This includes laws on whether you are allowed to turn right on a red light. See more information on driving in Canada.

Follow speed limits and take extra care when travelling on country roads. Watch out for wild animals.

For more information on road conditions and road safety, see Transport Canada , the Canadian Automobile Association and Travel Canada .

Driving in winter

In winter, highways are often closed because of snowstorms and avalanches in Alberta, British Columbia and other provinces. Check local weather conditions on  The Weather Network .

Driving conditions can be dangerous, even when roads remain open during a winter storm. Take care, follow local restrictions or guidelines, and make sure your vehicle has snow tyres and emergency supplies.

Car hire in Canada

You can drive a car in Canada using a full UK driving licence. However, some car hire companies may require you to have an International Driving Permit . Check your car hire company’s requirements before you travel. Always carry your driving licence and take out full insurance cover if you hire a vehicle.

Extreme weather and natural disasters

From July to November, coastal areas can be affected by hurricanes. Check the  National Hurricane Centre ,  Environment Canada  and  The Weather Network  websites for the latest weather conditions. See FCDO advice on tropical cyclones.

Avalanches can happen in mountainous regions, including Alberta and British Columbia. Always follow avalanche advice and stay away from closed trails. Follow the directions of local guides or instructors. For more information and avalanche news, visit the  Canadian Avalanche Foundation.

Earthquakes and tsunamis

Familiarise yourself with safety procedures in the event of an earthquake or tsunami. The Government of Canada has more information about emergency preparedness .


Summer thunderstorms are frequent in most parts of Canada, particularly between April and September. They can cause property damage and threaten lives.


Winter storms, which can involve severe freezing rain, blizzards and hail are frequent in many parts of Canada, particularly between November and April. They can cause perilous driving conditions, property damage and threaten lives. Follow local warnings or news for details.

Tornadoes can occur anywhere in Canada between May and September, but June to July is the peak season in:

  • Southern Ontario
  • southeastern Quebec
  • Southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba through to Thunder Bay
  • the interior of British Columbia and western New Brunswick

Follow instructions from Canadian officials or law enforcement. Check the  National Hurricane Centre  for weather updates.

Forest fires

Forest fires can start at any time, whatever the season. There is more risk of fire in the grasslands and forests of western Canada, although in summer 2023 there were also significant fires in parts of Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. Follow local warnings or news for details on latest outbreaks.

For more information about active wildfires and forecasts, visit the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System website .

Arctic travel

Parts of Canada are in the Arctic Circle, including some very remote areas of land and sea. Emergency medical assistance and search and rescue are limited in these areas. See Arctic travel safety advice .

Before you travel, check that:

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
  • you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Emergency medical number

Dial 911 and ask for an ambulance.

Contact your insurance or medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Vaccinations and health risks

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check:

  • the latest information on health risks and what vaccinations you need for Canada on TravelHealthPro (from the UK’s National Travel Health Network and Centre)
  • where to get vaccines and whether you have to pay on the NHS travel vaccinations page

Altitude sickness

Altitude sickness is a risk in parts of Canada, including the ski and hiking destinations in the Canadian Rockies, such as Banff and Lake Louise. More information about altitude sickness is available from TravelHealthPro .

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.

TravelHealthPro explains best practice when travelling with medicines .

The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad .

Healthcare facilities in Canada

The cost of medical treatment can be very expensive. There are no special arrangements for British visitors. 

For emergency healthcare, go to a hospital emergency room or a walk-in clinic.

If you have dual British-Canadian citizenship, you may still have to pay for medical treatment if you don’t meet provincial residency requirements for healthcare. Check with the relevant province or territory for more information .

COVID-19 healthcare in Canada

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Canada on TravelHealthPro.

Seek medical assistance if you develop COVID-19 symptoms while in Canada. Follow the advice from Public Health Canada   for updates and guidance. These Twitter accounts are also official sources of information and guidance:

  • @GovCanHealth
  • @CPHO_Canada

The TravelHealthPro website has more advice on  travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic .

Travel and mental health

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health . There is also guidance on TravelHealthPro .

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.

Emergency services in Canada

Telephone: 911 (ambulance, fire, police)

Coastguard maritime emergencies

Telephone: 1-800-463-4393

Contact your travel provider and insurer

Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.

Refunds and changes to travel

For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.

Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans , including:

  • where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
  • how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim

Support from FCDO

FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:

  • finding lawyers , funeral directors and translators and interpreters in Canada
  • dealing with a death in Canada
  • being arrested in Canada
  • getting help if you’re a victim of crime
  • what to do if you’re in hospital
  • if you are affected by a crisis , such as a terrorist attack

Find more support for British nationals abroad .

Contacting FCDO

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also sign up to get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.

Help abroad in an emergency

If you are abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission .

You can also contact FCDO online .

FCDO in London

You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.

Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)

Risk information for British companies

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

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Canada Travel Guide

Your ultimate canada travel guide, with tips, ideas on things to do, and best things to see in canada. great for first-time and returning travelers..

Why Canada ? Full of natural beauty and plenty of activities for fans of the outdoors, Canada is a great vacation spot.

From skiing and snowboarding to kayaking and canoeing, to spotting grizzly bears and the Northern Lights, there are many things to see and do in Canada.

Add in metropolitan cities like Montreal with its shops and exciting nightlife, and Canada has something for everyone.

This Canada travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.

To browse all our articles about Canada click here.

Popular City Guides

  • Quebec City

Our Highlight

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Table of contents

Table of Contents

Fast Facts about Canada

  • Currency: The official currency is the Canadian Dollar and 1 Canadian Dollar is equal to 0.79 USD. American dollars are accepted in Canada, though change will be in Canadian Dollars.
  • Power: Power voltage is 120V at 60 Hz.
  • Entry:  To enter, you will need a U.S. passport valid for at least 6 months after your departure date.
  • Getting Around : The best way to get around is by public transport or renting a car but beware, Italians are hairy drivers!
  • Sales tax : The provincial sales tax for goods and services is set at 7 – 8%, plus GST which is set at 5% which can bring the tax up to 15% depending on the provinces. For more information click here
  • The Capital City of Canada is Ottawa – See the Best Things to do in Ottawa.

Things to See and Do in Canada

  • Whistler, BC  – Largest Ski Resort in the World, Hiking and Downhill Mountain biking,  Bobsledding ,  snowmobiling , outdoor fun.
  • Our particular favourite is  snowboarding in Whistler or Lake Louise  
  • Walking with Polar Bears in Manitoba.
  • Kayaking the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia.
  • Quebec City  is Canada’s most European destination and one of the oldest cities in North America established way back in 1608
  • Aboriginal Experience – Canada’s First Nations People are welcoming and are a fascinating culture to visit. There are many chances to immerse in aboriginal culture in Canada.
  • Niagara Falls – The Canadian side of Niagara Falls is an amazing destination with magnificent views, nightlife and lots of things to do.
  • Icefields Parkway – One of the world’s most beautiful drives is from Banff to Jasper and not to be missed.
  • Cabot Trail – Incredible scenic drive on the East Coast with whale watching, lobster fishing and awesome views.

Canada Travel Guides

  • Best Things to do in Toronto
  • Best Things to do in Alberta
  • Epic Things to do in Ontario
  • Beautiful Places in Alberta
  • Nova Scotia Road Trip
  • Drive the Dempster Highway
  • Best British Columbia Road Trip
  • Things to do in Winnipeg
  • Best of New Brunswick
  • Things to do in Prince Edward Island (PEI)


Budget: You can find a number of budget hotels and hostels for around 20-65 Canadian Dollars. Enjoy dorm-styled or private rooms, common areas, shared kitchens, free Wi-Fi, and easy access to city or scenic locations. 

Mid Range: For mid-range hotels, expect to pay 100 to 200 Canadian Dollars per night. Stay in hotels with private rooms, free Wi-Fi, a fitness center, complimentary breakfast, and a restaurant and bar.

High End: Upscale hotels will range from 230 to 500 Canadian Dollars, with the top hotels going up to over 1,000 Canadian Dollars per night. Take in the best with top-of-the-line hospitality and room service, upscale private guest rooms, spa services, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness centers, fine dining, and more. Certain hotels near the water also provide kayak services.

  • If you are starting your trip in Toronto check out our suggestions for where to stay in Toronto
  • Read: Where to Stay in Vancouver and Where to Stay in Montreal
  • Check out our favorite booking platforms , Tripadvisor and VRBO for the best deals on accommodation.

The food in Canada has a wide variety of influences, including French, English, Scottish, and First Nations cuisine.

Poutine (fries, gravy, and cheese curds) is a popular dish here, while Nova Scotian lobster rolls are another. If you’re looking for some snacks or desserts, try a Montreal bagel (a sweeter version of a New York bagel, usually topped with sesame or poppy seeds) or a butter tart (eggs, butter, and sugar baked in a pastry shell).

Canada has many great restaurants and cafes where you can try some Canadian food. Expect to pay around 65 Canadian Dollars for a day of food.

Canada’s national drink is the Bloody Caesar, it’s like a Bloody Mary but it is made with Clamato juice. Give it a try, you’ll love it.

The Best Ways to Get Around Canada

Getting to canada:.

The Toronto Pearson International Airport is the busiest airport in Canada and is just a 30-minute taxi ride to downtown or you can take the UpExpress leaving the airport every 15 minutes to downtown.

The Vancouver International Airport and the Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airports are two alternative options, especially when traveling to those cities.

You can check for the best flights to Canada on Skyscanner .


Canada is a massive country and if you want to get around from Province to Province, the best bet is to fly.

Trains are a fast way to get around, especially in larger cities but trains are more expensive in Canada compared to places like Europe and Asia.

If you want to go from Toronto to Vancouver at a more leisurely pace, take The Canadian, an 86-hour trip where you can enjoy beautiful scenic views, dine and sleep in a bed in your private cabin, and enjoy stops at Winnipeg, Edmonton , and Jasper.

Buses : Buses are a good way to get around. You can take the Greyhound or the Megabus and it is a cheap option to get from city to city.

Major cities have rapid transit and light rail systems to get you where you need to go quickly. A typical fare is 3.64 Canadian Dollars.

Taxis:   Taxis are an alternative way to get around. Prices typically start at 3.50- 4 Canadian Dollars and increase 2 Canadian Dollars per kilometer traveled. Uber and Lyft are widely used in major Canadian cities.

Car Rental:   To rent a car, you must be at least 21 years old and have a valid driver’s license. Check for prices and availability here.

When to go To Canada

  • Canada has four seasons and there is no bad time to visit Canada if you are prepared for the weather.
  • Summer (June to August) is a good time for road trips , canoeing, hiking, and exploring cities.
  • Winter (November to February) is great for skiing, ice skating, and winter carnivals .
  • Spring (late March to May) can be unpredictable with a mix of snow, rain and warm sunshine and the same can be said for Autumn (September/October) although Autumn is usually dry.
  • September through November is considered the best time to go to Canada, as peak tourism has ended (meaning fewer crowds and lower hotel prices) and there are many beautiful autumn leaves to see. However, for those going to Canada for winter sports, January to March is when the snow conditions are at their peak and is a great time for skiing or snowboarding. 

Where to Stay in Canada

Fairmont Lake Louise : Fairmont Lake Louise. I don’t know if there is another hotel in the world with a view like this. It’s worth the spurge to spend a night here when visiting Banff.

Ritz Carlton Toronto: The Ritz Carlton Toronto is in the heart of it all near the Entertainment District, Harborfront, and CN Tower. Pure Luxury in Canada’s Largest City

Prince George Hotel Halifax : Located in the heart of Halifax this grand hotel is pure luxury and within walking distance of everything.

Check out our favorite booking platforms , Tripadvisor , and VRBO for the best deals on accommodation.

Canada Accommodation Guides

  • Where to Stay in Toronto
  • Where to Stay in Niagara Falls
  • 24 Fantastic Things to do in Saint John New Brunswick
  • Where to Stay in Vancouver – Best Hotels & Vacation Rentals By Area
  • Things to do in Calgary, Alberta
  • Where to Stay in Montreal
  • Where to Stay in Nova Scotia
  • 15 Best Things to do in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • Where to Stay in Banff
  • Things to do in Jasper
  • 14 Things to do in Winnipeg – Plus Other Hidden Gems
  • The Best Things to do in Toronto – A Guide to the Top Attractions

What to Pack for Canada

If you travel to cities like Toronto, Vancouver, or Montreal in the summer, it’s hot and you can dress as you would in any major metropolis around the world. For winter travel in Canada, expect extremely cold weather. Canada has winter, period.

If you are going to the Rocky Mountains, the North or East Coasts, it can be cool any time of year so pack in layers. Nights can get cool even in the middle of summer in all provinces.

  • Hiking Boots: Keep your feet comfortable with a sturdy pair of hiking boots.
  • Layers: Be prepared no matter the weather by bringing clothes with layers.
  • Waterproof Coat: As it can rain, a waterproof coat is a good item to bring.
  • For winter travel to Canada, check out our tips for how to survive the winter deep freeze.
  • Dress in layers and be prepared for cool nights, (even in the summer and especially in the mountains.
  • How to Pack for a winter vacation read – Travel Tips for Winter Packing

Canada Travel Guide: Best Booking Resources

Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies. We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.

We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.

  • : This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It usually has the cheapest prices, especially in Europe and we love their interface. Not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.
  • Trip Advisor :  What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. TripAdvisor is where we go when we want to compare prices with multiple accommodation providers.
  • VRBO : is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It can sometimes be cheaper than hotels and it is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.
  • Hostelworld :  With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.
  • Skyscanner : This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.
  • Rome 2 Rio :  If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs.I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.
  • Get Your Guide:  For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.
  • World Nomads Insurance:  When traveling to Italy you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.

Canada Travel Guide: Related Articles

To browse all our articles and guides about Canada click here.

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Reconnect with what matters

Explore all that Canada has to offer, where wide open spaces and friendly locals can be found from coast to coast. Experience your country like never before—all you need to bring is an open mind.

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Discover Canada's captivating allure where welcoming metropolises meet sweeping coastlines, embodying a unique blend of wild prairies, fearless adventures, and refreshing perspectives. Whether kayaking off British Columbia, savouring Nova Scotia's lobster feast, or witnessing the mesmerising northern lights in the Yukon. Canada offers a diverse landscape that promises unforgettable experiences with true Canadian charm.

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Thrifty Nomads

The Ultimate Canada Travel Guide

canada travel guides free

C anada has been the spotlight of the travel community this year, and with good reason. Lonely Planet ranked it 2017's top country for travel, and Canada has been the word ever since. The icing on the cake? This year only, Canada is offering  free admission to all national parks and historic sites . No better time to visit, eh!

Despite the recent hype, Canada's beauty has been long renowned. Our snow-smeared mountains resemble the cosiest of snow globe scenes, and the glacial lakes are as brightly emerald as photos portray. And our overly polite reputation? Well  sorry , but I'm afraid that's true too.

As thrifty Canadians ourselves, a thorough guide to our home country is long overdue. We've driven across Canada via a 1-cent per day RV relocation , explored both sea-soaked coasts, and ventured the far North in search of the Yukon's aurora. Here's our ultimate travel guide to seeing Canada affordably!

  • 1 How much does a trip to Canada cost?
  • 2 When to Go
  • 3 Where to Go
  • 4 Transportation
  • 5 Accommodation
  • 6 Activities & Tours
  • 7 Food & Drink
  • 8 The Thrifty Gist

canada travel guides free

How much does a trip to Canada cost?

First things first, Canada isn't cheap. Food, accommodation, and activities are fairly comparable to Europe or Australia. Tax is not included for nearly all food and goods, so prices can be deceiving. In addition to tax, tipping 15-18% is expected for drinking, dining, and tours.

But don't be dismayed – there are plenty of ways to reduce your costs here. A conservative travel budget for Canada would be $80 USD per day to cover accommodation (e.g. dorms and humble AirBNBs ), food, and potentially activities. This depends largely on how basic your accommodation is, and whether you choose free entertainment versus day tours. A mid-range amount would be $80-$200 USD, again, varying  hugely based on your pace of travel, activities, mode of transport, and more.

Most Canadians would tout that our country is beautiful year-round – and we can't argue with that. Ultimately, trip timing should be based on what you want to see. Each season has its own festivals, foods, and unique natural displays. Travellers are spoilt for choice here!

Winter (November – February)

Winter in Canada is snowy, other-worldly, and of course, cold . Our already incredulous landscapes of mountains, rivers, and forests become more majestic when draped in a fluffy layer of snow. Take note that the west coast tends to have milder, rainier winters. Top winter highlights include:

canada travel guides free

  • Snow-smothered mountains and landscapes (British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon, Northwest Territories are great for this). Winter sports are popular country-wide, including skiing, sledding, snow-shoeing, and ice skating.
  • A wonderfully winter-y Québec , the French-influenced province with delightful European vibes. Montréal and Quebec City are pure magic in the winter months – check our Montréal winter bucket list  here .
  • A frozen Niagara Falls (if the temps are cold enough!), colourfully lit during the Fallsview Winter Festival of Lights.
  • Delectable winter eats like maple taffy (maple syrup drizzled on snow, twirled onto a popsicle stick). A cup of mulled wine is also great for frigid fingers!
  • Infinite winter festivals – a quick Google search will reveal local events. Popular ones include the Quebec Winter Carnival (Carnaval de Québec), Winterlude in Ottawa, and Montreal's Festival of Lights (Montréal en Lumière).

Spring (March to June)

canada travel guides free

Springtime is bloom time, and is also the shoulder season of travel. This means less festivals and events, but far less tourists too. The snow has melted (or is melt ing ), animals emerge from hibernation, and greenery reappears. Spring also brings lots of rain, so prep for wet days. Springtime highlights include:

  • Spotting 10,000 year old glaciers floating through the ocean. In April to late June, Newfoundland and Labrador providers optimal viewing in “Iceberg Alley”. You can even kayak right up to them!
  • Outdoor activities like white water rafting gain popularity with increased river flow from snow melt-off in early spring.
  • Vancouver's Cherry Blossom Festival  is one of Canada's few major spring festivals. This event celebrates the city's perfumed blossoms, which embellish the city in hues of pink.

Summer (June to September)

Summer is a favourite, albeit fleeting, season for Canadians. Temps average between 20 and 30 degrees depending on where you are (our weather is generally erratic). A hurried energy fills in the air as people squeeze in as much sunshine as possible. Summer highlights include:

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  • Wildlife spotting via hiking or camping . With our elusive animals being more active, the chance to spot moose, bears, deer, beavers, and other wildlife increases.
  • Festival season! Summer is packed with events across the country, from music and art, to food and wine. Some of the big ones include Calgary Stampede  (Alberta),  Celebration of Light (Vancouver),  Montreal Jazz Festival  (Québec), and  Just for Laughs  (nationwide, originates from Montréal).
  • Infinite backyard barbecues . Connect with some locals and experience a classic Canadian summer's night with BBQ'd food, bonfires, and good company.
  • Outdoor sports – kayaking, canoeing, and the ultra Canadian choice – portaging. Portaging is an alternation between canoeing and carrying your canoe overland for water and land-based exploring. Not for the weak-armed!

Fall (September to November)

Fall is another top contender for most-loved season. Canadian autumn is world famous for the spectacular leaf colour changes that occur as temperatures drop. This paints mountains and forests in rustic shades of orange, yellow, and red. Fall highlights include:

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  • Polar bear spotting . These creatures are incredibly  out of the way and require expensive tours to see, but once you do, it's worth every effort. From October to November polar bears (and beluga whales) are spottable at Churchill, Manitoba and Baffin Island, Nunavut as they fatten up for winter. Tours are mandatory, and are available either as a day tour , or a package trip through TourRadar ,  G Adventures or Viator .
  • Spirit bear watching . Spirit bears are a rare subspecies of black bears (not albino). These mystic creatures are spottable in fall as they fatten up for hibernation. They are best viewed on the west coast from August to September. The Spirit Bear Lodge is a dedicated lodging tour operator for spirit bear spotting.
  • Finding fabulous trails, drives, and lookouts for changing leaves changing is a staple activity for Canadian autumn. Each province has leaf change tracking websites (e.g. here for Ontario) to track the where/when of colour changes.
  • Toronto's wonderfully quirky  Nuit Blanche  takes place each October. This eclectic all-night arts event speckles immersive pieces and experiences across the entire city.
  • Canadian Thanksgiving takes on the second Monday of October every year. This involves a huge feast of roast turkey drizzled in spices, served with mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, gravy, and more. If you cannot find a local family to dine with (try searching BonAppetour ), try to find a restaurant putting on a Thanksgiving roast.

Where to Go

Canada is massive  – in fact, it's the second biggest country on the planet!  Even if you're long-term travelling, scratching its surface is an enormous task.

To start, choose one or two regions to cover. It's best to determine what kind of scenery and activities you want to narrow down your choices. If you're covering a few areas, it is likely you'll need to connect your trip with flights.

Need inspiration? We have a great roundup of some of Canada's best national parks here , and some epic driving routes  here  to get the Canadian wanderlust flowing.

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“West Coast, best coast” is a phrase touted by residents of Canada's westernmost province, British Columbia (B.C.). This province, along with its neighbour Alberta, are a popular combo for first-time visitors. Much of Canada's quintessential wildlife and scenery can be found here, amidst lots of other highlights including:

  • Mountainous scenery and mountain-based activities . The famous Canadian Rockies wind through both B.C. and Alberta. Many mountains here boast glacial lakes whose neon hue will suck the “wow” right out of you. Skiing and mountain sports are hugely popular here and Whistler – home to the 2010 winter Olympics – begs a visit in summer or winter, whether hitting the powder or hovering the mountains by gondola.
  • Beautiful and accessible nature .  If visiting Vancouver, Stanley Park is not to be skipped. Arguably the most beautiful city park in the world, Stanley has oceanside views, towering forestry, and the delectable scent of cedar, fir, and spruce trees hanging in the air.
  • Quintessential Canadian wildlife . Keen to see bears, moose, beavers, elk, and more? B.C. is one of the best places to view them. Whistler is perhaps the most accessible from Vancouver, but the province's parks are also a great place to search for wildlife.
  • An iconic city and skyline . Vancouver has an unbeatable skyline – its modern, shiny downtown sits perched along the Pacific Ocean, while a backdrop of snow-drizzled mountains tower behind. Trendy bars and restaurants abound, as well as plenty of nearby hikes and biking trails to escape the city bustle.

The Great White North

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The true great North is a rugged venture to get to, but it is well worth every effort (and penny!) once you've made it. The “North” is comprised of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Of the three, Yukon is perhaps most accessible as it can be most affordably combined with a visit to B.C. Here's what's the Great White North has in store for its visitors:

  • Aurora (Northern Lights) spotting . Whitehorse, Yukon and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories are the most accessible places for spotting the incredulous Northern Lights. September to March is the best time for viewing. To avoid the coldest months, Sept-Nov and Feb-March are best. The cheapest times are tourist shoulder season, around September and March. You can compare viewing tours along with reviews on Viator .
  •   Epic road tripping . The remote landscapes here feel that much more otherworldly when you jump in a car and explore them. A great drive is to do a figure-eight loop through the Yukon and Alaska (outlined in this post). You'll pretty much be guaranteed bear sightings and a visual feast of mountainous scenery.
  • Remote national parks . The North has several stunning national parks including Kluane National Park (Yukon), Auyuittuq National  Park (Nunavut), and Nahanni National Park Reserve (Northwest Territories). Camping or cabin-hopping here is a must !

The Prairies

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Besides Alberta, Canada's prairies are one of the nation's lesser visited regions. But don't be mistaken, this area is teaming with unexpected treasures. While much of this region is well, prairies , which harvest a large supply of the world's wheat, don't miss out on any of these gems:

  • Polar bear spotting . Churchill, Manitoba is remote and expensive to get to, but is one of the best places on earth to for polar bear watching. Tours are required (trust us, you wouldn't want to watch these notoriously aggressive beasts without one!).
  • The freshest steak in the country.  Alberta produces nearly 3% of the world's beef – this is the place to sink your teeth into some! Calgary has many acclaimed steak restaurants – the best steak we ever had was at  Model Milk . Be sure to try the “Fat Kid Cake 2.0” if you have room for dessert!
  • Cowboy culture and country livin' . The world famous Calgary Stampede displays Canada's “cowboy” culture in July each year. Featuring a rodeo, concerts, acrobatics shows, and more, there's plenty to see and do!
  • Spectacular mountain ranges and national parks . As mentioned in this post, Jasper and Banff National Park are some of Canada's most visited national parks, and justifiably so. Both parks offer prime opportunities for wildlife spotting and a breathtaking selection of mountains and lakes.
  • Visit the world's oldest, biggest dinosaur fossils . Dinos in Canada? Yep, we've got 'em (or their fossils at least!). The Alberta Badlands are home to tens of thousands of dinosaur fossils. You can view them in sediment at Dinosaur Provincial Park , or see the biggies on display at the Royal Tyrell Museum.

Central Canada

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Central Canada is home to some of the nation's biggest cities, as well a delightful array of national and provincial parks. The terrain here is flatter (no towering mountains), but houses an abundance of gorgeous lakes and forests. Here's what the centre of the country has to offer:

  • Historic sites and parliamentary buildings . Ottawa is home to parliamentary buildings, quaint historic streets, and the picturesque Rideau Canal (which you can skate on in winter). Québec is teeming with historic sites and cobblestoned streets – Québec City and Montréal being the best to wander.
  • Trendy cities, eclectic art, and buzzing nightlife . Toronto and Montréal are rich in music, arts, and festivals. Both cities have plentiful bars and clubs for those seeking booze or a boogie. The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in Toronto is a must for art lovers, as is Montréal's Museum of Fine Arts. Toronto's CityPASS and Montreal's Passporte MTL are great ways to see some of the top attractions in each city at a deep discount.
  • Visit the world-famous Niagara Falls . 1.5 hours north of Toronto lies  Niagara Falls. Each second, thousands of tonnes of turqouise water spills over Niagara's cliffs. Be warned, the entire immediate vicinity surrounding the falls is the epiphany of tourist tacky. Casinos, buffets, and the biggest selection of mini putt you've ever seen – you get the idea. That said, if you know what to expect, you can still have a tacky great time! A huge number of day tours from Toronto and within the Niagara region can be instantly booked on Viator and GetYourGuide .
  • Taste and explore Niagara wine region . Counteracting the tackiness that is Niagara Falls is the splendidly serene Niagara wine region. Niagara-on-the-lake is a quaint Canadian town speckled with fudge shops, homemade goods like quilts and scarves, and adorable cafes. It's also a great base for exploring the region's plentiful vineyards. We recommend exploring with a wine tour so that you can safely taste all the wine you want without worrying about driving or getting from one winery to the next. If visiting wineries independently, a car or bike is recommended – local buses exist, but are sporadic. Here is also one of the few places on earth producing ice wine – a sweet, syrupy dessert beverage made from frozen grapes. It is divine!
  • A taste of France in Canada . Québec was colonized by the French hundreds of years ago, and their influence has led to a uniquely French Canadian flair ever since. Montréal is a captivating city, and feels foreign even to resident Canadians with its cobblestoned streets and French cuisine (poutine and crepes are a must !). If visiting Montréal in winter, be sure to check our bucket list items  here .

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Canada's East is made up of New Brunswick, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador (the latter two names being a single province). A bite-sized east coast trip would include New Brunswick, P.E.I., and Nova Scotia. Newfoundland and Labrador is stunning, but more remote and pricier to get to and explore. This side of Canada offers red sand beaches, fresh seafood, and classic Canadian wildlife like moose and deer. Other eastern must-do's are:

  • Witness the world's highest tidal change . The Bay of Fundy (in New Brunswick) is home to the world's highest change of tide – up to 17 metres (56 feet) tidal change takes place here. During each 12 hour tidal change, 115 billion tonnes of water flow in and out of the bay. This is also a good region for whale watching .
  • Wander genuine viking settlements . An unknown fact to many is that Canada was in fact a settlement place for vikings as far back as 1,000 A.D. These can be visited in L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland.
  • Watch 10,000 year old icebergs bobble and crash . Newfoundland and Labrador are primely located south of the Arctic. Each spring, icebergs break off of ancient glaciers and hobble down what's known as “Iceberg Alley”. One can take tours to see them up close by boat.
  • Visit fjord and waterfall filled national parks . Arguably reminiscent of Iceland, Newfoundland's Gros Morne National Park is a must-visit for this region. Endless stretches of fjords, fields, and stomach-churning cliffs are just some of the delights in this remote slice of Canada.
  • Embark on one of Canada's best coastal drives . Nova Scotia's Cabot Trail is one of Canada's most impressive drives. The trail winds through Cape Breton National Park, alternating between oceanside stretches and moose-ladenl forests.
  • Indulge in Canada's Gaelic culture . Having been inhabited by refugees from the Scottish Highlights centuries ago, Canada's east has a strong Gaelic influence that is still alive today. Watching a local Ceilidh (a show of string music and traditional dancing) is an absolute must.


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Flights to and within Canada are generally not cheap. We do not have budget airlines, and our airline taxes make tickets wildly expensive compared to other countries. Sale and error fares  to/from Canada do exist – including to/from the United States – but this requires flexibility. Some international budget airlines, such as Spirit and WOW Air , are now offering international flights into Canada.

Where you fly into will depend on your route. Here's a quick breadown:

  • West coast (i.e. “mountainous” Pacific region) : Start and end in Vancouver (British Columbia) or Calgary (Alberta).
  • The Prairies : either Calgary (Alberta), Saskatoon (Saskatchewan), or Winnipeg (Manitoba).
  • The North and Arctic Canada : Whitehorse (Yukon) is a great base for exploring both the Yukon and Alaska, as well as aurora spotting. Fly into Iqaluit (Nunavut) to explore the arctic. Yellowknife is best for explore the Northwest Territories and also aurora spotting, though most of these flights will require a connection via Calgary or Vancouver.
  • Central Canada:  Fly into Toronto (Ontario), which is also a good base for visiting Niagara Falls (can be done as a 1-2 day trip). Toronto is also a departure point for driving or flying to Ottawa, the nation's capital. For Canada's “European” region of Quebec, fly into Montreal.
  • The East Coast (i.e. Atlantic): fly into  Charlottetown (P.E.I.), Halifax (Nova Scotia), or St. John's (Newfoundland and Labrador). These may require connections if flying internationally.

If you're doing a big Canada trip, it could be cost-effective to book an open-jaw flight. If making several stops,  Kiwi is great for constructing complex, multi-leg itineraries. To identify the cheapest dates to fly, we recommend  Skyscanner  and selecting “whole month” to visualize the month's pricing. For more tips, check our other flight booking hacks here .

Domestic Flights

Canada is well connected by (overpriced) flights. The somewhat “budget” airlines include  Porter , Flair , and Air Canada's Jazz , though true bargain fares are rare.

If you are visiting more remote regions (e.g. Northern British Columbia, Yukon, etc.), these areas often have smaller, regional airlines only. As such, these do not always show up in major airline search engines, so be sure to always Google search for local airlines (e.g. “Yukon local airline”).

Car, Campervan, or RV Rental

Canada is one of the best places to explore by car. When planning a road trip, be generous with driving times and allocating days in your itinerary . The distances are long and the scenic stops plenty . If your days are too packed with no time for whimsical stops, you won't feel like you've really “seen” much of Canada at all!

Car rental pricing varies by season and demand. Upwards of $25 USD per day is standard for a compact vehicle. You're wise to book in advance (especially in summer) to at least “hold” a good rate if cancellation is free. We recommend BookingBuddy , which lets you compare many car rental sites in a single search. For more car rental hacks, check our other tips here .

An RV or campervan is an excellent mode of transport, given that it doubles as accommodation. This can be a major saver in tourist hotspots like Banff and Jasper (where many of Canada's famous glacial lakes and mountains are pictured).  Keep in mind that bigger, grander RVs guzzle gas quickly. If you can split an RV or camper with friends or fellow travellers, you'll reduce your costs.

Outdoorsy pitches itself as the Airbnb of RV and campervan rentals, letting you book an RV direct from an owner for a fraction of the cost of a standard RV rental (which can easily cost thousands in daily rates, add-ons, and mileage). Insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance is included in all bookings. If you want to book an RV, Outdoorsy is one of the best options.

RV and campervan relocation deals  exist in Canada, but are typically posted last minute (~2-3 weeks before the required departure date). Peer-to-peer RV sharing is another great way to reduce costs. Sites like Wheel Estate connect RV/campervan owners with those wishing to rent them when not in use.

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Regional buses connect much of Canada's small towns and cities. If you aren't renting a car, bus travel is typically your cheapest transport between cities and provinces.

Greyhound is the biggest bus operator in Canada, with routes in nearly every province and territory. Tickets purchased seven days in advance are reduced in price. Discounts for military, seniors, and students also apply.

STA Travel offers hop-on hop-off bus passes, providing greater flexibility at reduced cost. These include fixed small group tours, or a non-accommodated hop-on hop-off pass valid for 6 months.

Megabus is a low-cost bus carrier that is notorious for its low prices, but temperamental service. Arrival and departure times are spotty, and buses are sometimes overbooked. We highly recommend paying the small extra fee for reserved seating to ensure you get a spot. Megabus operates between Ontario, Quebec, and some U.S. cities.  Coach Canada  also runs routes around Ontario and select U.S. cities.

Canada's cross-country railway is one the most impressive train routes worldwide. Tourist and commuter routes are mainly operated by VIA Rail . VIA's most famed experience is the sleeper class trains, where the train cars' glass roofs provide full visibility to mountains, forests, and wildlife. This is a unique and breathtaking way to see Canada, with the hefty price tag to prove it.

Regular (non-sleeper class) trains are more affordable than domestic flights, but pricier than buses. Prices typically start at $31 USD for shorter one-way routes, upwards of $120 USD for longer ones. Tickets are sold in a tiered system, with basic economy as the lowest fare, up to business class. This means in order to get the best price, it's best to book in advance  before cheap fares sell out. Concession rates exist for students with an ISIC card .

Every Tuesday, VIA Rail posts sale fares  here  (or sign up for their newsletter for a reminder). National and regional rail passes are also available, including 21-day and 60-day passes. These are pricey, but can be worthwhile for lengthier trips covering a lot of ground.

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Public Transport

Public transit is available in most major cities and suburbs, with bus coverage at minimum. Major capital cities will have a more sophisticated network of subways or trains. Ride passes are often available and can provide better transit fares. For directions, Google Maps is linked up with public transport, or you can simply ask a transit worker for assistance and a map.

Taxis & Ride Sharing

Taxis are abundant in Canada, as is ride sharing. Ride share services like Uber are typically much cheaper, especially in cities with idling traffic like Toronto, Montréal, or Vancouver. Get $10 off your first ride with coupon code uberthriftynomads .

Bike sharing services are common in Canada's major cities, and can be a great way to create a DIY city tour. Simply pick up a bike from a docking station and return it to another one anywhere in the city.

Rental rates are around $4 USD per hour, though better fares apply for longer trips (e.g. 1-day use or a membership). The bike share services in Canada's major cities are:

  • Montreal: Bixi
  • Toronto: Bike Share Toronto
  • Ottawa: VeloGo
  • Vancouver: Mobi Bikes


Accommodation options and prices in Canada are somewhat comparable to Europe or Australia. Dorm beds are $20-$40 USD, camp sites $20-$40 USD, budget hotels ~$60-$100 USD (depending on proximity to city centre), and mid-range and higher hotels $130+ USD. Last minute deals do exist, but touristy regions will sell out and drive up rates in peak season (e.g. summer and winter). Broad hotel search engines like HotelsCombined and TripAdvisor will reveal most options.

Ways to Save

Book last minute.

If your schedule allows it and it isn't peak season, last minute hotel deals are a great way to save. These are often aggregated on apps and websites like HotelTonight  or Hotwire . TravelZoo  often does a nice roundup (“Top 20”) of hot deals, sometimes including higher end hotels in touristy regions. Another clever service is  Roomer , which allows you to take over a hotel reservation of someone who no longer wants it, at a discounted rate.

Use sharing economy services

Sharing economy services like AirBNB are a great way to slash sleeping costs.  AirBNB is plentiful countrywide, and arguably provides the best bang for your buck  for accommodation. Private rooms typically cost less than a dorm bed if you are two or more people. It can even be used to find places (i.e. backyards) to camp in.

Housesitting is common in Canada, as is house swapping (check our how-to guide on these  here ). This is a more feasible option for those with flexible travel plans, or if you can arrange a sit or swap before your trip date. Dog Vacay is a fairly new service which invites one to look after someone's pet in their own home, or the pet owner's home.

Many universities and colleges across the country will rent out dorm rooms when they are unoccupied in summer or during holidays. There are aggregate sites like University Rooms , or conduct a search via Google or  TripAdvisor  forums to check with locals' knowledge.

Craiglist and Kijiji are popular posting platforms for selling goods like sports equipment and clothing (perfect for picking up ski and camping gear for your trip), as well as listing rental accommodation and ridesharing. For a complete list of the types of sharing economy services out there, check out comprehensive post here .

Build meaningful connections

Canadians are famously friendly, and it's not uncommon for them to open their homes to travellers. Establishing a basic friendship is a good place to start. One can begin seek out connections via platforms like Twitter, Facebook groups, or websites like Reddit (look for sub-reddits in the city you're visiting, like Vancouver or Toronto ). Hostel dorms are also a great place to meet travellers who may happen to have connections in your country of visit.

Work in exchange for accommodation

If you're travelling long term, you can easily combine travel with work to reduce or eliminate accommodation costs. Firstly, you can work in hostel dorms in exchange for your bed. One of the most common work exchange programs is  WWOOF  – Willing Workers on Organic Farms. This service usually provides accommodation for free in exchange for work on farms, vineyards, and more, with additional pay sometimes included as well.

For other tips on how to work abroad while travelling, read our detailed guide here .

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Camping in Canada is a rite of passage for any visitor. It's not only an easy way to sleep on a budget, but a great way to immerse yourself in our country's natural beauty. For 2017 only, all national parks have no admission charge, so this is the year to camp as much as you can!

If you want to reduce camping costs, there's a few ways to do so as park fees do add up. One option is to pay to camp at people's private properties via sites like Gamping . If driving an RV or campervan, it is an unwritten rule that Walmart allows travellers to park overnight in the back of their parking lots. You can also obtain a camping membership to get reduced rates across several sites. For a list of camping memberships, check this post here .

Activities & Tours

Canada has a wealth of cheap and free activities on offer. Sites like Groupon  and TravelZoo can be useful for discounted activities, particularly touristy ones. In any city you visit, be sure to check for national parks, walking trails, and city parks as these are often cheap or free. Vancouver's Stanley Park is perhaps one of the most impressive city parks in the world, and it doesn't cost a dime!

Group tours can be a great for both day venturing or longer trips. Organized tours are often essential to visit particular sites, such as glaciers, boat tours, or historic sites.

Below is a list of some of the more popular tours to do in Canada. All these links allow you to book online with immediate confirmation:

  • Niagara Falls Horn blower falls tour (Niagara Falls, Ontario): Book on GetYourGuide or Viator
  • Orca (killer whale) watching (West Coast): Book on GetYourGuide or Viator
  • Polar bear watching (Churchill, Manitoba): Book as a day tour , or as a package tour through TourRadar ,  G Adventures or Viator
  • Northern Lights tours (Yellowknife, NWT and Whitehorse, Yukon): Book on Viator
  • Wildlife tour through Jasper and Banff, Alberta (note: you can DIY this yourself, but those tight on time or not wishing to drive may prefer an organized tour): Book on Viator ( Jasper , Banff ) and GetYourGuide ( Jasper , Banff )


Food & Drink

Like America, fast food chains are the cheapest eats here. Tim Hortons is our national coffee chain, which serves up healthy-ish mediocre food. Bagels and cream cheese, light salads, sandwiches, and soups can all be bought for $2-$8 USD, while hot drinks range from upwards of $1.60+ USD.

Mid-range restaurants vary from $10-$20 USD per meal, and upwards of $20 USD for a nicer venue. Breakfast is often the best bang for your buck, especially at diners where small hot meals can range from $4 USD upwards. Lunch specials are common at restaurants, sometimes around the $8 USD mark. Dinner is most expensive to dine out for. Food trucks are common in some cities (e.g. Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary) and can offer quick cheap food options.

Keep in mind that menu prices do not include the provincial sales tax (8-13%) and a tip (15-18%, but only expected at sit-down restaurants). Groupon can be good for finding reduced restaurant prices, but cross-check reviews on TripAdvisor or Yelp  before buying.

Prepping your own food is always cheapest, whether that means packing simple eats for breakfast (e.g. fruit and granola bars), or tortilla wraps with your simple choice of filling such as tuna or peanut butter. Farmers markets exist in most major cities, and can be great for stocking up on fresh produce and locally farmed eats.

The Thrifty Gist

  • Canada is a big place. Choose only one or a few regions for your trip to cut costs (and flights). The less you fly, the more you'll save.
  • Exploration by car (combined with camping) is a cheap, scenic alternative to flying.
  • Visiting regions that are rich in natural beauty (e.g. West Coast) is a great way to reduce paid activities since free ones like hikes and parks are plentiful.
  • Travelling in off season such as spring or fall can reduce prices, but also means more unpredictable weather.
  • Dining out is not cheap – alternating between DIY meals and making breakfast or lunch your big meals out will slash costs.

Jessie on a Journey | Solo Female Travel Blog

Canada Travel Guide

Looking for an in-depth Canada travel guide ?

Then you’re in the right place!

As North America’s northernmost country, Canada usually falls behind its neighbors to the south, the United States and Mexico in the rankings of top travel destinations.

There is so much more to this huge and diverse country than snow, maple syrup, and nice residents — although folks are actually very nice!

From glaciers to waterfalls to world-class cities, Canada has something for every kind of traveler. With so many options, you should definitely add some Canadian travel to your bucket list.

Canada’s national parks are some of the most beautiful in the world and preserve Canada’s diverse environment for all to enjoy.

For instance, Gros Morne National Park is the gem of Newfoundland. Located on the island’s west coast, the park features a cliff-lined freshwater fjord, gorgeous wildflower-covered mountains, and colorful fishing villages. With tons of trails open year-round, it’s a paradise for hikers in the summer and cross-country skiers in the winter.

Canada is also home to one of the largest national parks in the world, Wood Buffalo National Park. Stretching from Alberta into the Northwest Territories, the park is the perfect place to peep some of Canada’s most iconic animals like moose, eagles, and bears.

And you can’t miss the Canadian Rockies on display at the famous Banff National Park! Read on to learn more about this top park.

Major cities like Toronto, Vancouver , and Montreal are considered some of the top places to visit in Canada for their diverse cultures and amazing attractions. But if you’re looking to avoid the crowds and save a little cash, consider visiting some of the country’s smaller cities.

Quebec City on Canada’s east coast was founded in 1604 and offers a beautiful peek into French Canadian culture. From quaint streets lined with gorgeous little shops to historic buildings like Chateau Frontenac to museums celebrating the art and culture of Quebec, there’s something for everyone here.

And for nature lovers, Jacques-Cartier National Park is just a short drive away for your hiking and snowshoeing pleasure. It’s also a great place to start a French Canadian road trip along the St. Lawrence River.

Keep reading to dive into resources that will help you with planning a trip to Canada in North America .

Note: This ultimate Canada guide contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Canada travel guide

Use this Canada tourism map to begin planning your trip to this incredible country!

Canada map

Click here for an interactive Google Map version of the above graphic.

Alberta Travel Guide

These Alberta tourism guides can help you plan the Canada travel itinerary!

Delicious food is an important part of any Canada travel guide

10 Offbeat Reasons Why Edmonton Should Be Your Next Trip

hotels in Banff with private hot tubs

14 Amazing Hotels In Banff With Private Hot Tubs

British Columbia Travel Guide

These British Columbia tourism guides can help you plan the perfect Canada trip!

Victoria BC should be on your Canada travel itinerary

10 Unique Experiences In Victoria BC (Beyond Butchart Gardens)

Trying organic caviar while traveling Canada

Organic Caviar Tasting On British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast

Visiting Whistler thanks to a Canada travel guide book

7 Can’t Miss Outdoor Experiences In Whistler

Visiting Vancouver on a trip to Canada

Traveler’s Guide To Vancouver On A Budget

Exploring Granville Island when traveling Canada

Quirky Vancouver: A Visit To Granville Island

Visiting British Coumbia during Canada travel

Canada’s National Gingerbread Competition Brings Sweet Offerings To British Columbia

Ontario Travel Guide

Plan an unforgettable trip to Ontario with the help of the following guides!

best places to hike near Toronto, Ontario, Canada

12 Best Places To Hike Near Toronto For Amazing Scenery

Quebec Travel Guide

These Quebec tourism guides can help you plan the perfect trip to Canada!

Montreal is a popular Canada travel guide recommendation

Tips For Exploring Montreal On A Budget

Eating poutine during a trip to Canada

Solo Travel, Local Culture & Unique Things To Do In Montreal

Planning a trip to Canada to visit Montreal

Traveler’s Guide To Montreal

Best Canada Tours

Explore local culture with a Canada tour guide through these unique excursions:

  • North Shore Day Trip from Vancouver: Capilano Suspension Bridge & Grouse Mountain from Vancouver
  • Fundy Coast to Fundy Shore Tour from Saint John in New Brunswick
  • Northern Lights and Huskies from Whitehorse
  • Valley Wine Tour from Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Tundra Buggy Autumn Day Tours with Polar Bear viewing from Churchill
  • Niagara Falls in One Day: Deluxe Sightseeing Tour of American and Canadian Sides from Ontario
  • Mountain Lakes and Waterfalls Day Trip from Banff
  • Victoria Whale Watch Tour with Views of Vancouver Island from Victoria

Renting A Car In Canada

Need a rental car for your Canada trip?

Use Discover Cars to quickly compare your car rental options.

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Public Transportation In Canada

Getting around Canada by train, bus, or ferry?

Omio is a must! You can use this tool for all of your public transportation needs when traveling around Canada.

The site is straightforward and user-friendly — and you can pre-book your tickets in advance at a discount.

They even offer flight and car deals!

Canada Hotels

Click here to browse the best Canada travel hotels!

Prefer self-contained stays?

Click here to check out unique local rentals!

You can also use this map to search for local stays:

Canada Travel Insurance

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling solo or with a group on a Canada tour. When visiting Canada — or any other country in the world — make sure to get travel insurance to protect your health and safety.

In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

With coverage, you’ll have peace of mind as you embark on your Canada travel itinerary.

Click my referral link here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks .

Canada Travel Guide FAQ

Below, find answers to frequently asked questions about traveling in Canada .

Q: What is the best month to travel to Canada?

Canada is a huge country with a wide range of climates, so the weather will not necessarily be the same everywhere you go.

That said, fall is considered one of the best times to visit Canada. While temperatures are cooler than they are in the summer, it’s still quite comfortable across the board. The fall foliage also makes for some incredible views.

Summer is considered Canada’s peak season as the weather is much warmer; temperatures range between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Canada’s winters make it a top destination for winter sports but they are not for the faint of heart. Temperatures can drop to 0 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months.

Q: What is the cheapest way to travel across Canada?

The cheapest way to travel across Canada is probably by car. Car rentals are fairly affordable and having your own set of wheels will give you the flexibility to travel wherever you want. Plus, you can use DiscoverCars to easily compare rental prices and save up to 70%.

Buses are an easy and inexpensive way to get around Eastern Canada but sadly there is no one nationwide bus system.

VIA Rail, Canada’s train system, offers scenic coast-to-coast service but fares can get pricey. However, if you plan to travel, head to Omio to find and book tickets to destinations all across Canada.

Q: Is Canada expensive to travel?

How much does a Canada trip cost? That depends on your destination.

You’ll generally spend more on food, accommodations, transportation, and other travel expenses in big cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.

Smaller cities like Quebec City and more rural destinations are usually a bit more budget-friendly.

The average traveler spends about $145 USD per day in Canada.

Q: What are the best things to do in Canada?

Canada’s most popular attractions are definitely its natural wonders.

Niagara Falls, which sits on the border of New York and Ontario, brings in millions of visitors every year who come to marvel at one of the largest waterfalls in the world. You can take a ferry and get drenched by the mist coming off the falls or climb down to explore the caves behind the water.

There are also plenty of attractions to experience on the Canadian side of the falls, like butterfly conservatories, the 235 meter-tall Skylon Tower, and the gorgeous 1800s-style village of Niagra-on-the-Lake in Niagara County .

On the western side of the country, the Canadian Rockies draw in tons of hikers and climbers.

The breathtaking snow-capped mountains and gorgeous turquoise lakes of the Rockies are on display at Banff National Park in Alberta. The 2,564 square mile park has so much to explore at any time of year. It’s also a top destination for winter sports and is home to some of the country’s top ski resorts. Plus, there are a number of epic hotels in Banff with private hot tubs .

If you’re looking for a city getaway, Toronto has plenty to explore. Check out views that extend into New York state (on clear days, of course) at the CN Tower, a 553-meter 360 degree observation tower in the city center. You can also find some amazing hiking trails near Toronto .

Browse the collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario, one of the largest art museums in North America.

And you can’t leave without seeing a show in the Entertainment District, home to theatrical productions that rival those on Broadway and London’s West End! It’s truly a top North America tourism experience!

Q: How many days do you need for Canada?

Since Canada is such a huge country, you’ll need a bit more time to get the full Canadian experience.

You can do a decent cross-country road trip with stops in cities like Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver in two weeks. If you want a shorter, more in-depth tour, stick to one area of the country, like Quebec and Ontario in the east or Alberta and British Columbia in the west.

Either way, you’ll want to factor travel times into your itinerary, especially if you’re driving between destinations.

Q: Is Canada safe to travel?

In general, Canada is very safe to visit and crime rates are low — though, of course, it is always smart to pack travel safety gear and to understand how to avoid pickpockets , especially in touristy areas.

If you’re exploring the outdoors, make sure to research local wildlife and how to stay safe in the wilderness. Canada is home to a number of animals — like the Grizzly Bear and Prairie Rattlesnake — that are amazing creatures but that are not friendly to humans.

Q: How long can a tourist stay in Canada?

Most visitors from abroad can stay in Canada for up to six months.

Q: Do I need a Canada travel visa?

While it varies by country, travelers from the United States, the EU, Australia, and several other countries do not need a visa to visit Canada for a period of fewer than 180 days.

It’s recommended to view your country’s Canada International Travel Information page for the most up-to-date information on entry and exit requirements. You can also contact the Embassy of Canada.

Q: Where is Canada?

Canada is the northernmost country in North America.

It is bordered by the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans, as well as the United States in the south.

It is the second-largest country in the world by total area.

Q: Are credit cards accepted in Canada?

Credit cards — particularly Visa and Mastercard — are widely accepted around Canada, though it is always wise to carry some cash for smaller establishments and in case of emergency.

Q: Can you drink the tap water in Canada?

While tap water is safe to drink in most places in Canada, it’s smart to check with the hotel in your specific destination to be safe.

Q: What is the local currency in Canada?

The local currency in Canada is the Canadian dollar (CAD).

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List of official canadian tourism offices

Don't hesitate to contact them directly to ask for maps and tourist guides.

Most of the time, they will be happy to send you travel information free of charge.


Destination Canada, the Canadian government's official tourism website, offers a host of information to help you plan your trip to Canada: travel guides, places to go, things to do, souvenir wallpapers, etc.


The official Parks Canada website presents Canada's national parks. Note that each Canadian province also has its own provincially-managed parks. So if you don't find the park you are looking for on this website, check out the provincial parks website of the province in question (see links below).


The Tourism Québec website has everything you need to organize your holiday in la belle province .

Other Québec tourism offices:

  • Bureau Touristique de Percé
  • Tourism Charlevoix
  • Maritime Québec


Pay an online visit to Québec's fabulous network of parks. This website will be useful for preparing your vacation in our great outdoors. You will find photos, videos, lists of activities and accommodations, and much much more.


Discover Ontario, home of Niagara Falls, Toronto, the Thousand Islands and Ottawa.


Learn more about Ontario's provincial parks. Where to stay, what to do, rates and reservations...

Your trip to Western Canada should begin with a visit to this website, which offers a host of practical information about BC.

Everything you need to know about British Columbia's provincial parks.


The official Travel Alberta website invites you to visit the beautiful province of Alberta and the spectacular Rocky Mountains. Everything you need to plan your Western Canadian adventure.


Visit this website to learn more about Alberta's beautiful provincial parks and wilderness areas.


Discover this unique northern region, rich in history and natural wonders. The official tourism website provides a host of useful information to help make your dream a reality.


The official tourism website of the province of New Brunswick. Travel guides, attractions, accommodations, activities, restaurants, photos, videos...


Nova Scotia is the heart of the Maritimes, steeped in the rhythm of the sea and the clean salt air. Start your trip with a visit to this useful and inspiring website.  


Suggestions for road trips by car

What to wear in summer in Canada?

When is the best time to visit Canada?

What to pack & Travel checklist 

Taxes and tips

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The commodity-fuelled Canadian economy is one of the world’s richest, and though most things in Canada are r easonably priced by western European standards, food and drink, even basic items and snacks, can be relatively expensive. Canada’s recession in 2014/2015 did at least make Canadian dollars cheaper, making this a good time to visit for US and European travellers. In remote areas such as Labrador and the far north, everything starts to get significantly more expensive – travel here is much harder on a budget. Accommodation, almost certainly your major outlay, can be very pricey in any of the country’s cities and towns – especially if you’re after a degree of comfort – but there are plenty of bargains to be had, not least in the burgeoning hostel and B&B market.

Crime and personal safety

Electricity, entry requirements, measurements, useful phone numbers, tourist information, useful websites, travellers with disabilities, public holidays, national holidays, provincial holidays.

On average , if you’re prepared to buy your own picnic lunch, stay in hostels and stick to the least expensive bars and restaurants, you could get by on around £30/US$50/C$65 a day. Staying in a good B&B, eating out in medium-range restaurants most nights and drinking regularly in bars, you’ll get through at least £80/US$123/C$160 a day, with the main variable being the cost of your room. On £126/US$192/C$250 a day, you’ll be limited only by your energy reserves – though if you’re planning to stay in the best hotels and make every night a big night out, this still won’t be enough.

Virtually all prices in Canada for everything from bubble gum to hotel rooms are quoted without tax , which means the price you see quoted is not the price you’ll end up paying. With the exception of Alberta, the Yukon, Nunavut and NWT, each province levies a Provincial Sales Tax (PST) of between five (Saskatchewan) and ten (PEI) percent on most goods and services, including hotel and restaurant bills; this is supplemented by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) , a five percent Federal levy applied nationwide. In New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador, the two taxes are amalgamated into the so-called Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) at a rate of thirteen to fifteen percent.

All of this means Alberta (and the territories) has the lowest total sales tax of just five percent (though hotels are slapped with an additional four percent in Alberta), while Nova Scotia has the highest, at fifteen percent.

Canada is one of the safest countries in the world and although there are a few crime hot-spots, these are confined to the peripheries of the country’s three big cities – Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver. Few Canadian citizens carry arms , muggings are uncommon, and even in the cities, street crime is infrequent. Canadian officials are notorious for coming down hard if you’re found with drugs , especially on non-Canadians. Stiff penalties are imposed, even when only traces of any illegal substance are found. Police are also diligent in enforcing traffic laws .

In Canada electricity is supplied at an alternating current of 110 volts and at a frequency of 60Hz, the same as in the US. Appliances such as shavers and hair dryers from most other countries need transformers – most phones, laptops and tablets can usually handle both 220/240 and 110 volt currents. For all appliances, you’ll need a plug converter for Canada’s two-pin sockets.

As of March 2016, Canada requires all visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to Canada to get Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) in advance. This applies to citizens of the EU, Norway, Iceland and most Commonwealth countries, including the UK, Australia and New Zealand – passport holders from South Africa must still apply for formal visas in advance. You must apply for eTA online and pay a $7 fee – most are approved within minutes and are valid for five years (multiple entry). You’ll need a valid passport, an email address and a credit card (not debit card) to complete the online form. Visit w for the latest requirements and forms. US citizens only need a passport or approved alternative to enter Canada (and can stay for up to six months without a visa). Note that eTA is also not required for anyone visiting Canada by land and sea from the US – border formalities at these entry points remain unchanged.

At the border itself the immigration officer decides the length of stay permitted – usually not more than six months. The officers rarely refuse entry, but they may delve deep, asking you for details of your schedule and enquiring as to how much money you have and what job you do; they may also ask to see a return or onward ticket.

For visits of more than six months, study trips and stints of (temporary) employment, contact the nearest Canadian embassy, consulate or high commission for authorization prior to departure. Once inside Canada, if you need an extension of your stay or want to change the basis on which you were admitted, you must apply to the nearest Canada Immigration Centre at least thirty days before the expiry of the authorized visit. Most visitors to Canada cannot work or study in the country without a special permit.

For duty-free , the standard allowance is 1.5 litres of wine or 1.14 litres of liquor or 24 355ml bottles/cans of beer, plus two hundred cigarettes, fifty cigars or cigarillos, and 200g of tobacco.

Canada has an excellent health service , but nonresidents are not entitled to free health care, and medical costs can be astronomical – get insurance before you go. If you have an accident, medical services will get to you quickly and charge you later. If you are carrying medicine prescribed by your doctor, also bring a copy of the prescription – first, to avoid problems at customs and immigration and, second, for renewing medication with Canadian doctors, if needed. Most larger towns and cities should have a 24-hour or late-opening pharmacy. For general information on public health, and a list of travel clinics across Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada is a good resource ( w ).

You are unlikely to face any special health issues in Canada, though there are certain dangers in the backcountry . Tap water is generally safe to drink, but at campgrounds water is sometimes good for washing only. You should always boil backcountry water for at least ten minutes to protect against the Giardia parasite, which thrives in warm water, so be equally careful about swimming in hot springs – if possible, keep nose, eyes and mouth above water. Symptoms are intestinal cramps, flatulence, fatigue, weight loss and vomiting, all of which can appear up to a week after infection. If left untreated, more unpleasant complications can arise.

Blackflies and mosquitoes are notorious for the problems they cause walkers and campers, and are especially bad in areas near standing water and throughout most of northern Canada. Late April to June is the blackfly season, and the mosquito season is from June until about October. If you’re planning an expedition into the wilderness, take three times the recommended daily dosage of vitamin B complex for two weeks before you go, and to take the recommended dosage while you’re in Canada; this cuts down bites by up to 75 percent.

Once you’re there, repellent creams and sprays may help: the best are those containing DEET. Don’t go anywhere near an area marked as a blackfly mating ground – although it’s very rare, people have died from bites sustained when the creatures are in heat. Also dangerous is West Nile virus (mid-April to Oct), a mosquito-borne affliction with life-threatening properties; the virus has infected people as far west as BC and has killed over forty since 2002, so pay attention to local advice.

If you develop a large rash and flu-like symptoms, you may have been bitten by a tick carrying Lyme borreliosis, or Lyme disease . This is easily curable, but if left untreated can lead to nasty complications. It’s spreading in Canada, especially in the more southerly and wooded parts of the country, so you should check on its prevalence with the local tourist authority. It also may be advisable to buy a strong tick repellent and to wear long socks, trousers and sleeved shirts when walking.

In backcountry areas, look out for poison ivy , which grows in most places, but particularly in a belt across southern Ontario and Québec. If you’re likely to be walking in affected areas, ask at tourist offices for tips on where it is and how to recognize it. The ivy causes itchy open blisters and lumpy sores up to ten days after contact. If you do come into contact with it, wash your body and clothes as soon as possible, smother yourself in calamine lotion and try not to scratch. In serious cases, hospital emergency rooms can give antihistamine or adrenalin jabs.

Prior to travelling, you should take out an insurance policy to cover against theft, loss and illness or injury. You’ll probably want to contact a specialist travel insurance company , or consider the travel insurance deal we offer. Most policies exclude so-called dangerous sports unless an extra premium is paid: in Canada this can mean whitewater rafting, mountain climbing and so on. If you need to make a claim, keep receipts for medicines and medical treatment. In the event you have anything stolen, you must obtain a crime report statement or number from the police.

Internet access is commonplace at Canadian hotels, hostels and B&Bs, and there are also plenty of cafés with free wi-fi in cities and towns. Free internet access is also available at all major libraries.

For unlimited Wi-Fi on the go whilst travelling Canada, buy a Skyroam Solis , which works in 130+ countries at one flat daily rate, paid for on a pay-as-you-go basis. You can connect up to five devices at once. Prices start from as little as $6 a day.

Every Canadian city, town and village of any significant size has its own post office , operated by Canada Post ( w ). Opening hours are usually Monday to Friday 8.30am–5.30pm, though a few places open on Saturday from 9am to noon. Much more numerous are Canada Post service counters inside larger stores, especially pharmacies, and here opening hours vary considerably, though core hours are the same as those of the post offices. To check for the nearest postal outlet, call t 1 800 267 1177, or consult the website. Apart from Canada Post outlets, stamps can be purchased from automatic vending machines, the lobbies of larger hotels, airports, train stations, bus terminals and many retail outlets and newsstands. Current postal charges are 85¢ for letters and postcards up to 30g within Canada, $1.20 for the same weight to the US and $2.50 for international mail (also up to 30g).

The free maps issued by each provincial tourist office are excellent for general driving and route planning, especially as they provide the broad details of ferry connections. The best of the commercially produced maps are those published by Rand McNally ( w, though Google Maps are also fairly accurate for most areas of Canada.

Canada uses the metric system , though many people still use the imperial system. Distances are in kilometres, temperatures in degrees Celsius, and foodstuffs, petrol and drink are sold in grams, kilograms or litres.

Canadian currency is the Canadian dollar ($), made up of 100 cents (¢). Coins come as 1¢ (penny), 5¢ (nickel), 10¢ (dime), 25¢ (quarter), $1 and $2. The $1 coin is known as a “loonie”, after the bird on one face; the $2 coin is known as a “toonie”. There are notes of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. US dollars are widely accepted near the border, but generally – banks, etc apart – on a one-for-one basis, which can be a very bad deal for US dollar holders. For up-to-date exchange rates, check w; at the time of writing, one Canadian dollar was worth 0.50 British pounds (£), 0.67 euros (€), 0.76 US dollars (US$), 1.08 Australian dollars (Aus$), 1.18 New Zealand dollars (NZ$) and 10.44 South African Rand (R).

Banking hours are a minimum of Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm, but many have late opening – till 6pm – on one night a week, others are open on Saturday mornings.

ATMs are commonplace. Most accept a host of debit cards , including all those carrying the Cirrus coding. All major credit and charge cards are widely accepted.

When dialling any Canadian number, either local or long-distance, you must include the area code. Long-distance calls – to numbers beyond the area code of the telephone from which you are making the call – must be prefixed with “1”.

Most mobile providers in Canada (Bell, Telus, SaskTel & MTS) have traditionally used CDMA technology compatible with their US counterparts, though most CDMA networks will be shut down by 2017 in favour of HSPA and LTE (GSM technology). Rogers Wireless and several other providers already use GSM technology, which means that mobiles bought in the UK and Europe can also be used in Canada (assuming you have a roaming option and your phone is tri-band) – in this case you’ll definitely be charged international rates for incoming calls that originate from home. UK providers that have roaming agreements with Rogers include Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone and 3. If you have a Blackberry or iPhone these should work in Canada, but you’ll need to be extra careful about roaming charges, especially for data, which can be extortionate; even checking voicemail can result in hefty charges. Many travellers turn off voicemail and data roaming before they travel. Most phone companies will provide cheaper options for customers travelling to Canada, so check in advance. In Canada, mobile networks cover every city and town, but in rural areas you’ll struggle to get a signal.

Public telephones are becoming harder to find due to the popularity of mobile phones. The cost of a local call is usually 50¢ for three or four minutes, depending on the carrier (each phone company runs their own booths). Long-distance calls are much pricier, and you’re better off using a prepaid calling card ($5, $10 or $20), which you can buy at most grocery stores and newsstands.

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Canada has six time zones , but only four-and-a-half hours separate the eastern extremities of the country from the western.

Newfoundland is on Newfoundland time (3hr 30min behind the UK and 1hr 30min ahead of the eastern US).

The Maritimes and Labrador are on Atlantic (4hr behind the UK and 1hr ahead of the eastern US), though southeastern Labrador follows Newfoundland time.

Québec and most of Ontario are on Eastern (5hr behind the UK) – the same zone as New York and the eastern US.

Manitoba, the northwest corner of Ontario, and Saskatchewan are on Central (6hr behind the UK; same as US Central).

Alberta, the Northwest Territories and a slice of northeast BC are on Mountain (7hr behind the UK – same as US Mountain).

In the west, the Yukon and the remainder of BC are on Pacific (8hr behind the UK and 1hr ahead of Alaska – same as US Pacific).

Nunavut spans a number of time zones, from Mountain to Atlantic.

For daylight savings (used in all regions except Saskatchewan, parts of Québec and northeast BC), clocks go forward one hour on the first Sunday of April, and back one hour on the last Sunday in October.

All of Canada’s provinces have their own tourist website and these, along with those run by Parks Canada , covering the country’s national parks and historic sites, and Travel Canada ’s generic website ( w, are the most useful source of information before you set out. Each province and territory operates a toll-free visitor information line for use within mainland North America. In Canada itself, there are provincial and territorial tourist information centres along the main highways, especially at provincial boundaries and along the US border; information centres at every national and many provincial parks, selling fishing and backcountry permits and giving help on the specifics of hiking, canoeing, wildlife watching and so forth; and tourist offices in every city and town.

Assembly of First Nations Lobbying organization of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples, with plenty to get you briefed on the latest situation.

Canadian Ice Hockey . The official site of the amateur governing body for the national obsession.

The Globe and Mail . Canada’s premier newspaper online.

National Atlas of Canada Online . Maps, stats and plenty of details on Canada’s geographic features.

National Library of Canada . Information on all things Canadian, ordered by subject. Includes Canadian arts, literature and history.

Parks Canada . Excellent website with detailed information on all of Canada’s national parks and national historic sites. Reserve space at some national parks at w .

Weather – Environment Canada . Get the most accurate weather forecasts at this government site.

w . Get the most accurate weather forecasts at this government site.

At least in its cities and towns, Canada is one of the best places in the world to travel if you have limited mobility or other physical disabilities . All public buildings are required to be wheelchair-accessible and provide suitable toilet facilities, almost all street corners have dropped kerbs and public phones are specially equipped for hearing-aid users. Wheelchair users may encounter problems when travelling on urban public transport, but this is changing rapidly. Out in the wilds, things are inevitably more problematic, but almost all the national parks have accessible visitor and information centres and many have specially designed, accessible trails. In addition, VIA Rail offers a good range of services for travellers with disabilities – and the larger car-rental companies can provide vehicles with hand controls at no extra charge, though these are usually only available on their most expensive models; book one as far in advance as you can. Provincial tourist offices are the prime source of information on accessible hotels, motels and sights. To obtain a parking privilege permit, drivers with disabilities must apply to a provincial authority, though the permit itself, once issued, is valid across Canada. Useful websites include w otc-cta .

New Year’s Day Jan 1

Good Friday Varies; March/April

Easter Sunday Varies; March/April

Easter Monday Varies; March/April (widely observed, but not an official public holiday)

Victoria Day Third Mon in May

Canada Day July 1

Labour Day First Mon in Sept

Thanksgiving Second Mon in Oct

Remembrance Day Nov 11 (only a partial holiday; government offices and banks are closed, but most businesses are open)

Christmas Day Dec 25

Boxing Day Dec 26

Alberta Third Mon in Feb (Alberta Family Day); first Mon in Aug (Heritage Day)

British Columbia First Mon in Aug (British Columbia Day)

Manitoba First Mon in Aug (Civic Holiday)

New Brunswick First Mon in Aug (New Brunswick Day)

Newfoundland and Labrador March 17 (St Patrick’s Day); third Mon in April (St George’s Day); third Mon in June (Discovery Day); first Mon in July (Memorial Day); third Mon in July (Orangeman’s Day)

Northwest Territories First Mon in Aug (Civic Holiday)

Nova Scotia First Mon in Aug (Civic Holiday)

Nunavut April 1 (Nunavut Day)

Ontario First Mon in Aug (Civic Holiday)

Québec Jan 6 (Epiphany); Ash Wednesday; Ascension (forty days after Easter); June 24 (Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day); Nov 1 (All Saints’ Day); Dec 8 (Immaculate Conception)

Saskatchewan First Mon in Aug (Civic Holiday)

Yukon Third Mon in Aug (Discovery Day)

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Alberta Tourism Information

Why visit alberta.

Alberta , the largest of Canada’s three  prairie provinces , contains a large portion of the Rocky Mountains and most tourism to the province centers around visiting the beautiful parks that surround them. The province’s two main cities, Calgary and Edmonton , are Canada’s largest outside the Toronto-Montreal-Vancouver axis, though they’re much less popular as tourist destinations. The larger city, Calgary, is generally acknowledged to contain more to see and do, though Edmonton contains a few famous attractions, as well.


Most Albertans live in either Calgary or Edmonton and the cities are about three hours apart, with Calgary in the south and Edmonton in the north. The Rocky Mountain region is on the province’s far west, along the border with British Columbia . Everywhere else is largely rural, home to small farm towns and oil fields.

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Lake Louise in Banff National Park. kavram/Shutterstock

The rocky mountain parks.

The most iconic tourist destination in Alberta — and possibly the entire country — is the beautiful Banff National Park and its emerald-green Lake Louise . Containing over 6,000 square kilometers of unspoiled Rocky Mountain scenery, Canada’s most popular outdoor resort is home to virtually every activity you could imagine, with over 1,000 km of hiking trails, a dozen campgrounds, numerous ski hills, a 27-hole golf course , three hot springs, and a wild river (the Kicking Horse ) that’s ideal for white water rafting . There are no shortages of shops, hotels, and restaurants in the village of Banff Town , which is usually packed with tourists.

Three hours north of Banff is Jasper National Park , which is broadly similar to Banff in terms of natural beauty, but is harder to get to, has fewer activities and is thus slightly less popular. Some prefer its more laid-back vibe. Even more laid-back are the smaller-still mountain communities of Canmore Kananaskis , which is near Banff, and Waterton Lakes National Park which is in Alberta’s most south-west corner. All of the Rocky Mountain parks are a couple hours from the two big cities. Banff, Canmore, and Waterton are closer to Calgary while Jasper is closer to Edmonton.

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Calgary's Peace Bridge, over the Bow River that divides the city. Its eccentric design, though controversial at first, has now become an icon of the city.

Calgary Tourism

The largest city in Alberta.

Calgary is split in half by the Bow River , which has a pleasant coastline for walking and in the summer is popular for “floating” — what locals call riding in inner tubes. The river is crossed by multiple bridges, with the recently-completed Peace Bridge the most architecturally interesting.

The 160 meter tall  Calgary Tower is the city’s most famous landmark, and like most buildings of its sort, it contains a rotating restaurant and observation deck at the top. It’s no longer the tallest building in Calgary, however — that honor goes to the uniquely curved Bow Building , recognizable from afar with its criss-cross design. Equally iconic is the sloping roof of the Scotiabank Saddledome , home of the city’s NHL team, as well as other sports events and concerts.

Within walking distance of downtown is the massive Calgary Zoo which encompasses over 159 hectares and houses a vast assortment of Canadian and foreign animals, as well as exhibits on Alberta’s dinosaur-filled past.

Calgary postcards often feature pictures of the Ski Jump Towers , a relic of the 1988 Olympics found on the edge of the city limits. The surrounding  Olympic Park  is now run by a company named WinSport that offers a variety of public activities, including a Zipline and bobsled.

  • Official Website, Tourism Calgary
  • The Top 10 Things to Do in Calgary, TripAdviso r

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" Wonderland ," a sculpture by famed Spanish artist Jaume Plensaat (b. 1955) at the base of downtown Calgary's Bow Building.

Museums and Galleries

The Glenbow Museum is Alberta’s largest museum, featuring an extensive history of the province from aboriginal times to the present, as well as contemporary artwork and traveling exhibits from around the world.

Spanning over 127 acres, Heritage Park Historical Village is a vast village of antique buildings containing re-creations of Canadian life from the Victorian era to the 1950s, complete with costumed actors.

Shopping and Restaurants

8th Ave SE, better known as Stephen Ave (Calgary streets often have two names) is the primary shopping district. Closed to car traffic in the summer and weekends, it contains a vast array of shops, restaurants, and vendors, many of which are housed in iconic Victorian-era sandstone buildings. An enormous shopping mall known as the CORE runs parallel to a portion of 8th, and contains most major retail chains, as well as a large indoor park, the Devonian Gardens , on the top floor.

Many blocks away, 17th Ave SW, also known as the Red Mile , is the other trendy shopping area, but is better known for its bars and restaurants. A 15 minute drive from the downtown core is the city’s largest mall, the Chinook Centre , which has everything the CORE doesn’t.

The Red Mile is Calgary’s iconic drinking and party zone, named after the color of Calgary’s hockey team, the Flames, which appears in considerable abundance on game nights. The Mile is home to many of the city’s oldest and most iconic bars and lounges.

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Chuckwagon races at the 2016 Stampede. Bill Marsh/Calgary Stampede

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A T-Rex skeleton display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller.

The Calgary Stampede is Canada’s biggest party, and takes over much of the city for 10 days every July. Though the 100-year-old festival is officially supposed to revolve around watching traditional cowboy sports like bronco riding and steer wrestling, the modern-day Stampede has grown to offer something for everyone, including live concerts, carnival rides, shopping, and plenty of hot, greasy food.

Spectator Spots

Calgary has an NHL team, the Calgary Flames who play in the Scotiabank Saddledome  and a CFL team, the Calgary Stampeders , who play in the  McMahon Stadium .

Outside Calgary

An hour and a half from Calgary, the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller houses a vast collection of exhibits on life in prehistoric Canada, including an array of dinosaur skeletons uncovered from the Alberta badlands. The bizarre landscape of the  badlands themselves, which surround the museum, are fun to explore as well.

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The skyline of Edmonton on the base of the Saskatchewan River .

Edmonton Tourism

Alberta’s second-biggest city and provincial capital.

Edmonton is split in half by the North Saskatchewan River and ample parklands surround the coasts. The downtown area is located on the north side.

The city’s most iconic building is the enormous sandstone structure that houses the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and four glass pyramids on the south side of the river that house the Muttart Conservatory , a massive indoor garden and museum. An equally grand glass pyramid can be found on the roof of the distinctive City Hall building. Surrounding city hall is Sir Winston Churchill Square , a large public plaza.

The gigantic Hotel Macdonald is Edmonton’s fanciest hotel, and the city’s most prominent example of Victorian-era architecture. Outside of downtown, the neighborhood of Old Strathcona contains most other historic buildings of note.

  • Official Website, Tourism Edmonton
  • The Top 10 Things to Do in Edmonton, TripAdvisor

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The World Waterpark at the West Edmonton Mall. Jeff Whyte/Shutterstock

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Edmonton City Hall and the Friendship Tower clock.

Most of Edmonton’s shops and restaurants are concentrated around the long Jasper Ave. (also known as 101st Ave) which runs through the downtown core, and the Old Strathcona neighborhood, centered around Whyte Ave (also known as 82nd Ave), which has a more bohemian character.

More than anything else, however, shopping in Edmonton is synonymous with the enormous West Edmonton Mall , which was at one time the largest mall in the world. Though the 1980s-era building is hardly state-of-the-art by today’s standards, its size remains awe-inspiring. It contains over 800 shops and countless other gimmicky attractions, including a roller coaster, a waterpark, a petting zoo, mini-golf, and a re-created 16th Spanish galleon. It’s about a half-hour drive from downtown.

The Art Gallery of Alberta is a wild-looking building containing the province’s largest collection of historic and contemporary art from both Canadian and international artists, with constantly changing exhibits.

Fort Edmonton Park  is an outdoor “living history” museum offering recreated streets and buildings from Edmonton’s past. It’s popular with schoolchildren on field trips.

Spectator sports

Edmonton has an NHL team, the Edmonton Oilers , who play in Rogers Place . Edmonton’s CFL team, the Edmonton Eskimos , play at  the Brick Field  in  Commonwealth Stadium .

Edmonton is unexpectedly home to the world’s third-largest fringe festival , run by a local outfit called  Fringe Theatre Adventures . Held in August, Edmonton Fringe is an 11-day celebration of independent plays, story slams, comedy, magic, busking, and all other forms of public performance. A global assortment of talent stage shows all over town. Ticket prices are quite cheap.

Fan of more conventional performances can check out a play at the  Citadel Theater , or a concert by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra at the beautiful Winspear Centre .

Outside Edmonton

As Edmonton is not exactly a major tourist destination unto itself, the surrounding area offers limited appeal for visitors. Parks and campgrounds are the main attractions, primarily Jasper National Park (see above), and to a lesser extent  Elk Island National Park , which, though beautiful, has the dubious distinction of being Alberta’s only national park not recognized as a World Heritage Site by the U.N.

Alberta Tourism Resources

  • Alberta Tourism Official Website
  • Alberta, Lonely Planet
  • Alberta Travel Guide, Fodor's

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The Rough Guide to Canada (Travel Guide with Free eBook) (Rough Guides) Paperback – December 6, 2022

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Practical travel guide to Canada with a free eBook featuring points-of-interest structured lists of all sights and off-the-beaten-track treasures, with detailed color-coded maps, practical details about what to see and do in Canada, how to get there and around, pre-departure information, as well as top time-saving tips, like a visual list of things not to miss in Canada, expert author picks and itineraries to help you plan your trip. This guidebook has been fully updated post-COVID-19.    The Rough Guide to Canada covers : Toronto, Ontario, Montreal and Southwest Quebec, Quebec City and Northern Quebec, The Maritime Provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador, The Prairie Provinces, The Canadian Rockies, The BC Interior, Vancouver and Vancouver Island, The North    Inside this travel guide you'll find:   

  • RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EVERY TYPE OF TRAVELER Experiences selected for every kind of trip to Canada, from off-the-beaten-track adventures in Wonderstrand, Labrador to family activities in child-friendly places, like Vancouver and Whistler or chilled-out breaks in popular tourist areas, like Toronto.
  • PRACTICAL TRAVEL TIPS Essential pre-departure information including Canada entry requirements, getting around, health information, travelling with children, sports and outdoor activities, food and drink, festivals, culture and etiquette, shopping, tips for travelers with disabilities and more.
  • TIME-SAVING ITINERARIES Carefully planned routes covering the best of Canada give a taste of the richness and diversity of the destination and have been created for different time frames or types of trips.
  • DETAILED REGIONAL COVERAGE Clear structure within each sightseeing chapter includes regional highlights, brief history, detailed sights and places ordered geographically, recommended restaurants, hotels, bars, clubs and major shops or entertainment options.
  • INSIGHTS INTO GETTING AROUND LIKE A LOCAL Tips on how to beat the crowds, save time and money and find the best local spots for whale-watching, canoeing, skiing and hiking. 
  • HIGHLIGHTS OF THINGS NOT TO MISS Rough Guides' rundown of Toronto, Ontario, Montreal and Vancouver's best sights and top experiences helps to make the most of each trip to Canada, even in a short time.
  • HONEST AND INDEPENDENT REVIEWS   Written by Rough Guides' expert authors with a trademark blend of humor, honesty and expertise, to help to find the best places in Canada, matching different needs.
  • BACKGROUND INFORMATION Comprehensive 'Contexts' chapter features fascinating insights into Canada, with coverage of history, religion, ethnic groups, environment, wildlife and books, plus a handy language section and glossary.
  • FABULOUS FULL COLOR PHOTOGRAPHY Features inspirational color photography, including the stunning Jasper and the spectacular Niagara Falls.
  • COLOR-CODED MAPPING Practical full-color maps, with clearly numbered, color-coded keys for quick orientation in Toronto, Ontario, Quebec City and many more locations in Canada, reduce the need to go online.
  • USER-FRIENDLY LAYOUT With helpful icons organized by neighborhood to help you pick the best spots to spend your time.
  • FREE EBOOK   Free eBook download with every purchase of a printed book allows you to access all of the content from your phone or tablet, for on-the-road exploration.
  • Print length 920 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher Rough Guides
  • Publication date December 6, 2022
  • Dimensions 5 x 1.5 x 8 inches
  • ISBN-10 1789198771
  • ISBN-13 978-1789198775
  • See all details

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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Rough Guides; 11th edition (December 6, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 920 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1789198771
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1789198775
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.75 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5 x 1.5 x 8 inches
  • #30 in Quebec Travel Guides
  • #141 in General Canada Travel Books
  • #1,312 in Tourist Destinations & Museums Guides

About the author

Escape the everyday with Rough Guides.

Rough Guides is a leading travel publisher known for its “tell it like it is” attitude, accurate, up-to-date content and authoritative contemporary writing. We publish books covering more than 120 destinations around the globe, producing an ever-growing series of ebooks and a range of reference titles, with an award-winning website.

Since 1982, our books have helped over 35 million travellers explore the world with accurate, honest and informed travel writing.



Stylish picture-packed inspirational books that make great gifts.


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Guidebook bibles for budget-conscious travellers.


Everything you need to know before you go.


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Now we offer a personalised trips of a lifetime with unique adventure

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Air Canada's Checked Baggage Fees & Policies: Everything You Need To Know

Understanding airline baggage policies is essential for travelers to avoid unexpected fees and ensure a smooth journey. Air Canada , like most airlines, has specific rules and fees regarding checked baggage. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into Air Canada's checked baggage policies, including fees, allowances, and important guidelines, to help passengers prepare for their upcoming flights.

Checked baggage allowance and fees

Air Canada's checked baggage allowances differ based on the fare purchased, route, and travel class. According to Upgraded Points , checked bags must weigh no more than 50 lbs (23 kg) per item for economy class, or 70 lbs (32 kg) for business class. Furthermore, the bag must have a linear dimension (length + width + height) of under 62 inches (158 cm).

Checked baggage fees vary depending on factors such as fare type, destination, and frequent flyer status. Typically, passengers flying on economy class tickets are required to pay for checked bags, whereas higher fare classes or elite status may include complimentary baggage allowances. It's crucial for travelers to review their fare conditions and baggage allowance before booking to avoid unexpected charges at the airport.

All passengers in the premium economy, Premium Rouge, and business cabins are entitled to two checked bags each. In economy class, however, the checked baggage allowance depends on the route and fare, as detailed below.

Which Airlines Have The Most Generous Checked Baggage Allowances?

For flights between the US and Europe, Canada and Europe, as well as domestic US flights, one checked bag is allowed per customer, excluding those on Economy Basic fares. For flights between the US and Canada and the US and Mexico, one free checked bag is provided only for Flex and Comfort fares. Outside these fares, a $35 fee is applicable for the first checked bag, and $50 for the second.

Those on Latitude fares can bring along two checked bags, no matter the route. Similarly, Star Alliance Gold members can enjoy one free checked bag, regardless of the fare purchased. From the third bag onwards, passengers can expect to pay between $100 and $225 per item, depending on the route.

To avoid surprises at the airport, you can opt to prepay for baggage online or via the mobile app from 24 hours to 45 minutes (domestic Canada flights) or 60 minutes (all other flights) from the scheduled departure.

Special items and oversized baggage

In addition to standard checked baggage, Air Canada accommodates special items such as oversized baggage and sports and hunting equipment. However, transporting these items may incur additional fees or require advance arrangements. Passengers should familiarize themselves with Air Canada's policies regarding special items to ensure a hassle-free travel experience.

As per Air Canada , bags weighing between 50 lbs (23 kg) and 70 lbs (32 kg) are labeled as “overweight”, while bags measuring 63 inches (160 cm) to 115 inches (292 cm) are “oversized”. A fee of $100 is imposed on bags considered overweight and/or oversized.

When it comes to sports equipment, passengers must register their items at least 24 hours before their scheduled departure by contacting the airline’s reservation desk or their travel agent. Fees vary depending on the type of equipment: for example, a $50 fee per flight is applicable for bicycles, while surfboards, paddleboards, and wave skis will incur a $100 fee.

Like with sports equipment, passengers will need to register their hunting equipment no less than 24 hours before the flight and arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the usual check-in time. Antlers and horns are $150 to check in, while firearms are $50 per segment of the flight. For specific packing requirements for special items, you are advised to refer to the Air Canada website .

Traveling with pets in the baggage compartment

As for the other type of precious cargo – pets – Air Canada accepts dogs and cats in the baggage compartment. For travel within Canada or between Canada and the US, a $105 one-way fee is applicable, while all other itineraries will cost $270.

The animal must be kept in a carrier that is no larger than 115 inches (292 cm) in linear dimensions, with a maximum weight of 100 lbs (45 kg) for both the pet and kennel combined.

Your Stress-Free Guide To Traveling With Furry Friends

Other requirements include:

  • The cat or dog must be at least 10 weeks old and fully weaned.
  • A maximum of two pets (of the same species) can be allowed in the same kennel.
  • The carrier must be hard-sided, secure and leak-proof, and large enough for the pet to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably.

Key takeaways

To avoid inconvenience and unexpected fees, passengers should adhere to Air Canada's baggage policies and guidelines. This includes sticking to weight and size restrictions and planning ahead for special items.

Passengers are also advised to take note of itineraries that include travel with Air Canada’s codeshare partners. In such cases, the baggage policies of the other carrier may apply.

How To Upgrade To On Your Next Air Canada Flight

Understanding Air Canada's checked baggage fees and policies is essential for travelers to plan and budget for their trips effectively. By familiarizing themselves with the airline's guidelines, passengers can avoid surprises at the airport and enjoy a seamless travel experience with Air Canada.

Air Canada's Checked Baggage Fees & Policies: Everything You Need To Know

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The Guide to Air Canada Wi-Fi

Jennifer Coates

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

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Does Air Canada have Wi-Fi?

How much is wi-fi on air canada, does air canada have free wi-fi, how to save on air canada wi-fi costs using credit cards, how to connect to air canada wi-fi, if you want to connect to air canada wi-fi.

For some travelers, staying connected in the air is essential to flying. Whether you respond to business emails before arrival or keep up to date with your social networks, Air Canada generally offers some level of Wi-Fi access, depending on your flight details.

If you're planning an Air Canada trip soon, here’s what you should know about in-flight Air Canada Wi-Fi.

» Learn more: The points collector’s guide to Air Canada Aeroplan

All Air Canada Rouge (Air Canada's low-cost subsidiary) customers can access high-speed Wi-Fi during their flight. Premium Rogue customers can enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, while economy customers have Wi-Fi available for purchase.

Air Canada is working on growing its Wi-Fi capable aircraft. Currently, the carrier offers Gogo-equipped Wi-Fi, but connectivity is limited to certain North American and international flights.

Nearly all of Air Canada’s wide-body planes have streaming-quality Wi-Fi and most of Air Canada’s narrow-body aircraft are also equipped with Wi-Fi.

The exception is the 737 MAX 8 (7M8) fleet, where connectivity is still in progress. As of this writing, just 25% of Air Canada’s 737 MAX 8 (7M8) aircraft have Wi-Fi connectivity.

You can check if Air Canada in-flight Wi-Fi is available on an aircraft before booking your flight. Simply check that the Wi-Fi logo is present in the flight details to confirm that the aircraft is Wi-Fi connected. Keep in mind that you’ll need to verify in-flight Wi-Fi for each flight on a multi-leg trip.

Additionally, you can use the Air Canada Wi-Fi tool on the airline’s website to check if your upcoming flight has Wi-Fi access. You can check this detail using your flight number and departure date, or using your flight route and departure date.

» Learn more: Getting elite status on Air Canada with the Aeroplan credit card

Air Canada passengers can pre-purchase one of three Wi-Fi pass options or purchase a pass at in-air pricing — possibly at a higher cost — after boarding. The pass options include:

Air Canada 1-Hour Pass $4.77 ($6.50 CAD). Offers one continuous hour of Wi-Fi access during the flight.

Air Canada 1-Way Pass $15.41 ($21.00 CAD). Offers internet connectivity during the entire length of your flight.

Air Canada Monthly Plan $48.40 ($65.95 CAD). A monthly subscription for internet access on all Air Canada Wi-Fi capable aircraft between Canada, U.S., and Mexico.

With a pass you can browse the internet, check email, scroll updates on social media and send text messages via Wi-Fi. However, in-flight Air Canada Wi-Fi doesn’t support Voice Service and Voice over IP.

Air Canada’s Aeroplan loyalty program offers complimentary Wi-Fi access for its 75K Status and Super Elite Aeroplan members. Specifically, this benefit offers a 12-month plan for Gogo Wi-Fi for up to five devices. Only one device can be logged into in-flight Wi-Fi at a time.

Additionally, Aeroplan members have access to free texting. To access this complimentary feature, members must add their Aeroplan number to their booking information before checking in to the flight.

Unfortunately, Air Canada’s Aeroplan® Credit Card doesn’t offer free or discounted Wi-Fi access as a travel benefit. However, one way to cover all or part of the cost of Wi-Fi is through a travel rewards credit card.

If you carry a card that provides an annual travel credit you haven’t claimed yet, you can subsidize the cost of a Wi-Fi pass using your card’s benefit. Some credit cards that offer travel credit that can be applied to in-flight Wi-Fi charges include:

The Platinum Card® from American Express

on American Express' website

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

on Bank of America's website

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

Up to $200 annually with your preferred airline. Enrollment required. Terms apply.

Up to $100 annually.

$300 annual statement credit for travel purchases.

» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now

Once comfortably in your seat, you can connect to Wi-Fi on Air Canada flights in three simple steps.

Go to “Settings” on your mobile device. Set your device to “Airplane mode” and turn on Wi-Fi. 

Select “” to connect to the airline’s Wi-Fi network.

Launch your browser and go to “” and follow the instructions from there.

If you need technical support during your flight, select “Wi-Fi Onboard” for assistance from Air Canada’s Wi-Fi service provider.

Unless you have 75K or Super Elite Aeroplan status, chances are Air Canada Wi-Fi will cost you. You might be able to save a few bucks by purchasing your pass ahead of time if you’re sure you’ll need to be connected.

The good news is the airline is focusing its efforts on getting free in-flight Air Canada Wi-Fi for all its passengers in the future. It’s testing out “full, fast and free” Wi-Fi for its regional flights and plans on expanding that to its other customers.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

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Your last-minute guide to Monday's total solar eclipse

Photo Illustration: The phases of a total solar eclipse

A total solar eclipse will cross North America on Monday , offering millions a rare opportunity to see afternoon skies temporarily darken as the moon blocks the face of the sun.

Tune into NBC News NOW as Lester Holt hosts a two-hour special at 2 p.m. ET Monday from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The eclipse's path fortuitously cuts across Mexico, 15 U.S. states and a small part of eastern Canada. In all other states in the continental U.S., viewers will be treated to a partial solar eclipse, with the moon appearing to take a bite out of the sun and obscuring part of its light.

Here’s everything you need to know about the rare celestial event.

What is a solar eclipse?

Solar eclipses occur when the sun, moon and Earth align. The moon passes between Earth and sun, temporarily blocking the sun’s light and casting a shadow on Earth.

A total solar eclipse is when the moon fully obscures the sun, whereas a partial solar eclipse means it blocks just a portion of the sun’s face.

Solar eclipses occur only with the new moon. Because the moon’s orbit around Earth is tilted, the three bodies don’t always line up in a way that creates an eclipse.

“Imagine if the moon’s orbit were in the plane of Earth’s orbit around the sun — if that were the case, then every new moon, you’d have a total solar eclipse and every full moon, you’d have a lunar eclipse,” Neil DeGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, told NBC News. “So, because things don’t always align, it lends to the rarity of the event and the specialness of the event.”

Where and when will the eclipse be visible?

This year’s eclipse will follow a slightly wider path over more populated areas of the continental U.S. than other total solar eclipses have in the recent past.

NASA estimates that 31.6 million people live within what’s known as the path of totality, where the total solar eclipse will be visible. An additional 150 million people live within 200 miles of the path, according to the agency.

The path travels through Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Tiny parts of Michigan and Tennessee will also be able to witness totality if conditions are clear.

After the eclipse crosses into Canada, it will pass over southern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton, at the eastern end of Nova Scotia.

Those outside the path of totality can still take part in the astronomical event by viewing a partial solar eclipse — visible throughout all 48 states of the contiguous U.S. — or a NASA livestream.

The timing, including how long totality lasts, depends on the location, but some spots will see the moon fully cover the sun for up to 4 minutes and 28 seconds.

Below is a list of timings for some cities along the path of totality, as  provided by NASA . A number of other resources, including  and , can also help people plan.

  • Dallas: Partial eclipse begins at 12:23 p.m. CT and totality at 1:40 p.m.
  • Little Rock, Arkansas: Partial eclipse begins at 12:33 p.m. CT and totality at 1:51 p.m.
  • Cleveland: Partial eclipse begins at 1:59 p.m. ET and totality at 3:13 p.m.
  • Buffalo, New York: Partial eclipse begins at 2:04 p.m. ET and totality at 3:18 p.m.
  • Lancaster, New Hampshire: Partial eclipse begins at 2:16 p.m. ET and totality at 3:27 p.m.

This composite image of thirteen photographs shows the progression of a total solar eclipse

How to safely view a solar eclipse

It is never safe to gaze directly at the sun, even when it is partly or mostly covered by the moon. Special eclipse glasses or  pinhole projectors  are required to safely view solar eclipses and prevent eye damage. Failing to take the proper precautions can result in severe eye injury,  according to NASA .

Eclipse glasses are thousands of times darker than normal sunglasses and specially made to enable wearers to look at the sun during these kinds of celestial events.

Sky-watchers should also never view any part of the sun through binoculars, telescopes or camera lenses unless they have specific solar filters attached. Eclipse glasses should not be used with these devices, as they will not provide adequate protection.

However, during the few minutes of totality, when the moon is fully blocking the sun, it is safe to look with the naked eye.

Image: Tyler Hanson

Beware of fake eclipse glasses. On legitimate pairs, the lenses should have a silver appearance on the front and be black on the inside. The manufacturer’s name and address should be clearly labeled, and they should not be torn or punctured. Check, as well, for the ISO logo and the code “IS 12312-2” printed on the inside.

If you don’t have eclipse glasses, you can make a homemade pinhole projector, which lets sunlight in through a small hole, focuses it and projects it onto a piece of paper, wall or other surface to create an image of the sun that is safe to look at. 

All you need is two pieces of white cardboard or plain white paper, aluminum foil and a pin or thumbtack. Cut a 1- to 2-inch square or rectangle out of the center of a piece of white paper or cardboard. Tape aluminum foil over that cut-out shape, then use a pin or thumbtack to poke a tiny hole in the foil.

During the eclipse, place a second piece of white paper or cardboard on the ground as a screen and hold the projector with the foil facing up and your back to the sun. Adjusting how far you hold the projector from the second piece of paper will alter the size of the image on the makeshift screen.

What to look for while viewing the total solar eclipse

For people along the path of totality, there are some fun milestones to keep track of as the total solar eclipse unfolds.

As the eclipse progresses and the sun gets thinner in the sky, it will start to get eerily dark, according to Tyson.

The "diamond ring effect" is shown following totality of the solar eclipse at Palm Cove in Australia's Tropical North Queensland in 2012.

When the last beams of sunlight are about to become obscured, look out for the “diamond ring effect”: The sun’s atmosphere will appear as an illuminated halo, and the last light still visible will look like the diamond of a giant ring.

As the sunlight decreases even further, an effect known as Baily’s beads will be created by the moon’s rugged terrain. Tiny “beads” of light will be visible for only a few seconds around the dark moon, as the last bits of sunlight peer through the moon’s mountains and valleys.

When the moon is fully blocking the sun, it is safe to remove eclipse glasses and look at the total solar eclipse with the naked eye.

The Bailey's Beads effect is seen as the moon makes its final move over the sun during the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017 above Madras, Oregon.

Some lucky sky-watchers may even catch a glimpse of a comet .

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks — nicknamed the “ devil comet ” because an eruption last year left it with two distinct trails of gas and ice in the shape of devil horns — is currently visible from the Northern Hemisphere as it swings through the inner solar system.

The comet can be seen in the early evenings by gazing toward the west-northwest horizon. During the eclipse, when skies darken during totality, it may be possible to see the comet near Jupiter, but its visibility will depend on whether it’s in the middle of an outburst and thus brighter than normal.

Most likely, all eyes will be on the alignment of the moon and sun.

“Most people won’t even notice,” Tyson said. “But if you know to look, it’s there.”

When is the next solar eclipse?

The next total solar eclipse will be in 2026, but it will mostly pass over the Arctic Ocean, with some visibility in Greenland, Iceland, Portugal and northern Spain. In 2027, a total solar eclipse will be visible in Spain and a swath of northern Africa.

The next total solar eclipse visible from North America will be in 2033, but only over Alaska. Then in 2044, a total solar eclipse will cross Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, parts of Canada and Greenland.

The next total solar eclipse to cross the continental U.S. coast-to-coast in will occur in 2045. The path of totality for that eclipse will cut through California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

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Denise Chow is a reporter for NBC News Science focused on general science and climate change.

Lucas Thompson is a content producer for the NBC News Climate Unit.


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