Travel to Canada

Canada is one of the must-visit countries in North America. Its capital is Ottawa, yet the largest city is Toronto. With that said, there are a lot of things to do in Toronto. Canada tourist attractions are spread all over the country so you won’t have any problems looking for places to go and things to do.

With a land area that’s more than enough to be declared as the second largest country in the world, Canada offers a great deal for visitors to the country. Currently, Russia holds the record for being the largest country; followed by Canada. The fact that this country is the second largest and yet it’s the world’s most developed country says a lot about its government. Over half of its residents have college degrees, which can be credited to Canada’s education system.

Presently, Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy of the Westminster tradition. This means that Queen Elizabeth II rules them as their queen, but a prime minister presides over the country as the chair of the Cabinet. The economy in this country is growing as ever. In fact, Canada has the world’s tenth-largest growing economy.

Another outstanding fact about this country is that they have more lakes in their land compared to the rest of the world. Lakes are considered to be beaches in this area – and are included in the Canada sightseeing lists.

Because it is located right next to the United States, travelers often mistake Canada to look like an extension of the US. However, they differ significantly in their climate and vegetation. The landforms of Canada include the Western Cordillera, Prairie plains, Canadian Shield, Arctic North, St. Lawrence Lowlands, and the Atlantic Region.

Travel tips for Canada

Visa Requirements for Canada

Most travellers entering or transiting Canada by air will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa. The exception is US citizens/nationals and  Saint-Pierre and Miquelon residents.

It’s relatively easy to get a Canadian visa nowadays. All you need to know is to where you should submit your application and the other requirements needed. Initially, the visa application can be done online or personally through the various visa application centers in your hometown.

The primary requirements will depend on where you’re sending in your application. But generally, the requirements for a Visa application are a valid passport, duly accomplished form IMM5257 or the visitor visa form, duly accomplished form 5645, and passport-sized photos. Proof of income or financial capability is also needed. You can also get an affidavit of support to strengthen your claim that you will return to your home country. The travel history and purpose of travel along with the proper documents such as flight and hotel reservations will also be needed.

For more information, you can check the other requirements for a Canadian visa here.

Important Cultural Information

Canadians are artistic in nature. They value their culinary, literary, humor, musical, and social elements well. They are heavily influenced by the European culture. So, if you are familiar with the common practices of the British and French, then you probably have a close idea of how Canadians are like. Canadians are very progressive, diverse, and multicultural, as well. With that said, it’s important to consider that numerous nationalities are living in the country. Generalizing what the practices are is not possible. But we can give you an overview of it.

Before traveling to Canada, you should know that they have strong insights about their social and political awareness. Capital punishment is outlawed in this country, but euthanasia and cannabis are legal.

The country is inhabited by Christians as a majority. Hence, it’s important to respect their places of worship and how they implement their values. For the usual meeting and greetings, it’s customary to address people by their last name with their appropriate titles. This is the norm unless you are otherwise told to do so. In Quebec, it is usual to kiss once on the cheek. This is a custom that was inherited from France. It’s not unusual to have the gentlemen kiss the hand of the ladies upon greeting. Canadians are known to be one of the most polite races in the world. With this said, they would appreciate signs of politeness in return.

It is taboo to point at other people. Citizens of Canada might get offended when you have mistaken their place to be a part of the United States. It’s also best that you should keep away from initiating discussions about Quebec separatism, politics, or religion.

Banking & Money in Canada

The official currency of Canada is the Canadian dollar. It uses the same symbol with the dollar sign and the code as CAD. To avoid confusion with other currencies that use the dollar sign, it is written as Can$ or C$.

It’s perfectly safe to travel in Canada with only your credit or debit card with you. Sure, you would need to carry some minimal cash for public transportation.

Nevertheless, you won’t have any problems banking in this country as it is considered to be one of the safest banking systems in the world. The five largest banks in Canada are the Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. With these five giant Canadian banks, you are guaranteed that your internationally recognized card will get accepted in at least one, if not all, of them.

When exchanging money, you can have it exchanged to Canadian dollars at the majority of the border crossings, banks, and shopping malls. However, to get the best exchange rates, it’s advisable that you have your money exchanged at banks, the post office, and at the American Express office. Airports, train stations, and tourist areas offer the worst exchange rates. For your safety, you should avoid the common pitfalls. Read the posted exchange rates and look for the BUY rate. This will help you get a better deal.

When paying for your merchandise, almost all international cards like Mastercard and American Express are accepted in the majority of the retail stores.

Medical Emergency Information

For medical and fire emergencies in Canada, call 911 to contact help.

Although Canada has a public government-sponsored healthcare, it does not cover the tourists traveling in Canada. Hence, it’s important that you should get a travel insurance for Canada to keep you covered in case of any medical emergencies. Compare options with both WorldNomads and SafetyWing.

Wi-Fi and Internet in Canada

Depending on where you are going, you will likely find free public Wi-Fi connection. This will cover malls, major roads and highways, and tourist attractions. Make sure to set-up a VPN (like ExpressVPN) before using public Wi-Fi spots. Read our post about why it’s important to use a VPN while traveling.

However, if you want to have your own mobile internet, there are several mobile network providers you can choose from. The main providers in Canada are Telus Mobility, Rogers, and Bell. SIM cards can be bought in most stores.

Finding a coworking space in Canada isn’t hard to do as their presence is widespread in the country. There are coworking offices in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.

Arrival in Canada

Majority of the international flights will arrive at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. Some of the airlines that arrive and depart on this airport are Delta, Air Transat, WestJet, Air Canada, and United Airlines to name a few.

Other cities with international airports include Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, Halifax, St. John’s, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Kelowna, and Victoria.

Search for flights to Canada on Expedia.

If you are arriving in Canada via train most probably you are crossing from the United States – Canadian border. There are two major transcontinental freight railway systems: Canadian National and Canadian Pacific.

You can also arrive to Canada via car from the US. Consider Europcar for car hire in Canada.

Areas of Canada

Due to the sheer mass of Canada, it is impossible to visit all of the country in one trip. The best to pick one area of Canada to explore, otherwise hop between a few visiting just one or two spots in each area. Just to understand this further, to drive from one end of the country to the other could take 7-10 days or more (without making stops along the way).

There are also many cities in Canada with some of the bigger ones including Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Halifax, Quebec City, Toronto, Whitehorse and Winnipeg. Ottawa is the national capital of Canada. The below areas will help you decide where to go in Canada.

Central Canada

The center portion of Canada is commonly known as Central Canada or the Central provinces. Here you can find two of the largest and most inhabited places in Canada. These are Ontario and Quebec. If you are looking forward to going to Niagara Falls, then you should definitely give this area of Canada a visit. You can also visit the Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains. See how beautiful Toronto is at night at the Cn Tower that overlooks the city’s skyline. It is also in this region that you are going to find the Old Quebec, Ottawa’s Parliament Hill, and Old Montreal.

Québec City and Toronto are the two capital cities of Central Canada.

Canada’s Atlantic Region

Canada’s Atlantic region consists of the following cities: Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.

There are numerous places in this region that you cannot afford to miss. These are the Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick, the Green Gables, Charlottetown, Gros Morne National Park, Pier 21, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, and Peggy’s Cove. These are the seven most recommended places to go to when you are on the east coast of Canada.

The Prairie Provinces in Canada

It only fits that the collection of these places are called the prairie provinces. In here, you will get to experience what it is like to be one with nature. The Prairie provinces consist of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. You can visit the ever-famous Grasslands National Park and the Prince Albert National Park. You will never run out of parks to go to when you are in this place. At the same time, experience the beauty of the local culture and national history exhibits at the Royal Saskatchewan.

The main cities in the Prairie Provinces are Winnipeg, Regina and Edmonton.

Canada’s West Coast

In Canada’s West Coast, you can find British Columbia. In here you can find the most scenic views in all of Canada along with some of the best beaches in Canada. The most popular tourist attractions in this region are the Stanley Park, The Butchart Gardens, Capilano Suspension Bridge and Yoho National Park of Canada. Victoria is the main city in this area.

The North of Canada

The Northern part of Canada consists of the following places:  Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and the Yukon Territory. If the central part of Canada enjoys more of the sun, Canada’s northwestern part is all about the water. The most popular tourist attractions in this area are the Nahanni National Park Reserve of Canada, Great Slave Lake, Virginia Falls, and the Great Bear Lake, which is the largest lake in all of Canada.

The capital cities of the north include Iqaluit, Yellowknife and Whitehorse.

Transportation in Canada

Although Canada is considered to be the second largest country in the world, it’s fairly easy to get around. The fact that it has a great public transportation system accounts to how it easy for travelers would be to roam around Canada. Multiple modes of public transport are available in major cities across the country including buses, underground subways, and trains.

Most Canadian cities have a scheduled bus system. Three Canadian cities have rapid transit systems while four have light rail systems. Three Canadian cities have commuter rail systems. In the Montreal area the Canada train is run by Réseau de transport métropolitain, in the Toronto area by GO Transit, and in the Vancouver area by West Coast Express. These cities and several others are also served by light rail or metro systems. Toronto is the only city with an extensive tram system.

You also won’t have any problems traveling via air transportation. There are ten major airports in the country with Toronto’s Pearson International Airport topping the list.

Read our guide on driving in Montreal.

Accommodations in Canada

It’s easy to find accommodation in Canada, with loads of choices available for all budgets and requirements. This is true for all places or regions across the country.

In urban cities, it’s not uncommon to find hotels and apartments for rent. You can book this by simply walking in and enquiring or by booking online before.

In the northern and western part of Canada, where areas are considered to be rural, the most common forms of accommodation in these places are hostels, motels, and apartments. But if you want to feel more character throughout your stay, you can rent out some farmhouses in these areas.

It’s advised that you book your stay months in advance. We recommend looking for accommodation on Booking or Agoda.

What to Eat and Drink in Canada

There is a lot of food that you can eat in Canada. If there’s one food that you have got to try when you are in Canada, you should definitely try their poutine. Although maple syrup is the best in this land, there’s really no harm to try out something new.

Here is a list that we came out with:

  • Poutine – a dish that originated in Quebec; it consists of french fries and cheese curds with light brown gravy.
  • Caesar cocktails
  • Beavertails
  • Butter tarts
  • Nanaimo bars – one of the most popular treats in Canada
  • Ketchup chips
  • Montreal bagels – smaller, thinner, and sweeter version of bagels
  • Pierogies – Eastern European dumplings
  • Ice wine
  • Coffee Crisp
  • Swiss Chalet dipping sauce
  • Triple O-burgers

Tim Hortons is a place that you should also visit for your foodie needs. Your trip to Canada won’t be complete without visiting this cafe giant.

Read this list of Ottawa restaurants to visit.

What to eat and drink in Canada

Naramata Bench Wine Country in Canada

Naramata Bench: A Unique Wine-Country Experience

About a four-hour road trip from Vancouver, Naramata Bench wine country is waiting to be discovered by food and wine lovers.
Ottawa Restaurants - Best Places for Breakfast

Ottawa Restaurants: Best Places for Breakfast

Breakfast is one of the best ways to start the day and there are some great Ottawa restaurants to choose from in the city. These are ten of my favorites.
Partying in Montreal

A Local Girl’s Guide to Partying in Montreal

Where to go partying in Montreal? Here's a list of the best Montreal nightlife spots, from where to go clubbing to the best bars and food.
Similkameen Valley, British Columbia

From Farm to Table: An Organic Experience in the Similkameen Valley, BC

The Organic Farming Capital of Canada and known for its award-winning wineries, Similkameen Valley makes simple and healthy living easy.

Things to Do and See in Canada

Canada is packed with exciting things to do, from Salmon fishing through to hiking, exploring and unwinding.

It is without a doubt that you should visit Niagara Falls – the biggest of the Canada tourist attractions. Your Canada trip won’t be complete without seeing it. There’s nothing in this world that could ever compare to how majestic the falls are. But there are also loads of other things to do and see in Canada.

Enjoy meeting a polar bear in Manitoba. It’s not every day that you have the chance to come across an adorable polar bear, right? If you’re in the Churchill, Manitoba area, you are guaranteed that there’s a high chance you are going to come across a polar bear in this area. It’s called the Polar Bear Capital of the World for this reason.

Go mountain biking in British Columbia. Stay away from the cities and be one with nature. You’ll feel how rural this place is, and it’s extremely relaxing. Take a break off from handling your phone. It’s your time to unwind and put your hands across a bike bar.

Fall in love with Quebec’s charm. Mixed with tradition, Quebec is one of the most treasured gems in the world. The city is, in fact, a part of the UNESCO Old Town. See how beautiful this old place is by joining a walking tour of Old Quebec.

One of the most popular things to do in Toronto is to go on an art crawl. It’s like walking in a museum for free! In West Queen West, you can find Canada’s hippest district. You’ll never run out of background walls to take your Instagram picture with. 

Other Canada tourist attractions include visiting castles. Eight of the main castles in Canada that you should visit include Dundurn Castle (Hamilton,Ontario), Craigdarroch Castle (Victoria, British Columbia), Rideau Hall (Ottawa,Ontario), Hatley Park Castle (Colwood, British Columbia), Castle Loma (Toronto, Ontario), Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac (Quebec City, Quebec), Place Viger (Montreal, Quebec) and the Banff Springs Hotel.

Check out our guide on experiencing Montreal like a local.

Things to do and see in Canada

Biking the Kettle Valley Railway Trail

Biking the Kettle Valley Railway through Myra Canyon in British Columbia

The Kettle Valley Rail trail is true wilderness. Here's what to expect when biking the Kettle Valley Railway Trail in British Columbia.
experiencing Canada Day in Ottawa

Experiencing Canada Day in Ottawa

If you're going to visit Ottawa, make sure you go to experience Canada Day in Ottawa on July 1st. Here's what to expect.
Offbeat places to travel in Canada

Offbeat Places to Travel in Canada

No matter what drives your inner adventurer, these ten offbeat places to travel in Canada are bound to get you off the well trodden tourist path.
Skyline, Toronto, Canada

Fun Things to Do in Toronto

Planning a trip to Canada soon? Here are our top five fun things to do in Toronto ranging from museums to markets to sightseeing and more.
Naramata Bench Wine Country in Canada

Naramata Bench: A Unique Wine-Country Experience

About a four-hour road trip from Vancouver, Naramata Bench wine country is waiting to be discovered by food and wine lovers.
Similkameen Valley, British Columbia

From Farm to Table: An Organic Experience in the Similkameen Valley, BC

The Organic Farming Capital of Canada and known for its award-winning wineries, Similkameen Valley makes simple and healthy living easy.

Shopping in Canada

Take more than souvenirs. The best place for you to go shopping in Canada is Yorkville in Toronto, Ontario. You wouldn’t expect so many retail shops this place has because it sits in a quiet neighborhood. But don’t underestimate it! This is home to high-end stores such as Burberry, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, and Hugo Boss. Shop until you drop!

West Edmonton Hall in Alta is also one of the best places to shop in. It’s one of the world’s largest malls, and if you are a shopaholic, you cannot afford to miss buying your favorite purchases in this place!

If you are looking for more of a local and fresh touch, the By-Ward area in Ontario is one of the best places you can shop. Here, you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, and local souvenirs, too.

Canada’s Nightlife

Mornings and sceneries in Canada aren’t the only beautiful places and times in Canada. It is well-known to have the wildest nightlife, too. Toronto hosts the most ravishing parties in town. As well as Montreal in Quebec (check out our guide on partying in Montreal). Parties in Toronto would focus more on how it is to have a nightlife in a city; on the other hand, parties in Quebec give more of an elegant European feel. There are also west coast parties all over Vancouver, British Columbia.

Explore during the morning and have fun at night. Your Canadian experience shouldn’t end when the sun sets!

Safety Tips for Canada

Canada is probably one of the safest places for tourists. Crime rates are pretty low in the country, although it’s more common in tourist hotspots. Be careful of pickpockets as they could be widespread in the city. Usually, crime hotspots are located along the west and near the United States border. All else are considered safe.

Conclusion

Canada is such a beauty. No one can deny that fact. Aside from being one of the safest countries to visit, there are a lot of things to do and places you can visit in the country. You will want to keep returning to explore more. However, you should be mindful that other tourists flock to Canada during the summer and other holidays. Hence, it’s best that you plan your trip and book your accommodation beforehand.

The cost of touring and visiting the Canada tourist attractions is a bit expensive. So it’s recommended that you allocate your budget properly and have extra pocket money in case some things go wrong.

Visiting Niagara Falls and trying out Montreal’s poutine are the main highlights of your Canada trip. But there are some other activities like sightseeing a polar bear and visiting Quebec that you cannot miss doing while you are in Canada.

Travel tips for Canada

Similkameen Valley, British Columbia

From Farm to Table: An Organic Experience in the Similkameen Valley, BC

The Organic Farming Capital of Canada and known for its award-winning wineries, Similkameen Valley makes simple and healthy living easy.
Offbeat places to travel in Canada

Offbeat Places to Travel in Canada

No matter what drives your inner adventurer, these ten offbeat places to travel in Canada are bound to get you off the well trodden tourist path.
North America Trout and Salmon Fishing

North America: Best Places to Go Trout and Salmon Fishing

Trout and salmon fishing is a sport many Americans and Canadians love. Here are four places in North America where you can catch these fish in abundance.
Best Things to do in Vancouver, Canada

Best Things to do in Vancouver, Canada

Visiting Vancouver? Here's a list of the best things to do in Vancouver, including outdoor activities and family-friendly outings.
Skyline, Toronto, Canada

Fun Things to Do in Toronto

Planning a trip to Canada soon? Here are our top five fun things to do in Toronto ranging from museums to markets to sightseeing and more.
Biking the Kettle Valley Railway Trail

Biking the Kettle Valley Railway through Myra Canyon in British Columbia

The Kettle Valley Rail trail is true wilderness. Here's what to expect when biking the Kettle Valley Railway Trail in British Columbia.
Whistler Village Hotels, Canada

Whistler Village Hotels: The Westin Whistler Resort and Spa

Looking for luxurious Whistler Village hotels? Check out The Westin Whistler Resort and Spa, here's all that you need to know.
Partying in Montreal

A Local Girl’s Guide to Partying in Montreal

Where to go partying in Montreal? Here's a list of the best Montreal nightlife spots, from where to go clubbing to the best bars and food.
St Hyacinthe Quebec, Canada

Things to do in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec

If you're visiting St Hyacinthe Quebec anytime soon, here's some inspiration for how to spend your time including outdoor activities.
Naramata Bench Wine Country in Canada

Naramata Bench: A Unique Wine-Country Experience

About a four-hour road trip from Vancouver, Naramata Bench wine country is waiting to be discovered by food and wine lovers.
Montreal, Canada

Driving in Montreal: Not Worth The Headache

My advice for visitors who are interested in driving in Montreal is: DON'T DO IT! But if you're still set on the idea, here's what you should know
Moda Hotel in Vancouver, Canada

Trendy Historic Stay at Moda Hotel in Vancouver

Location isn’t the only thing that makes Moda Hotel in Vancouver, B.C. a prime accommodation when visiting Canada’s west coast.
Helena Peters on her working holiday in Canada

Canada Working Holiday: How to do it and What to Expect

Whether you’re on a gap year, are in between studies, or just looking for a new adventure – have you considered a Canada working holiday?
Ottawa Restaurants - Best Places for Breakfast

Ottawa Restaurants: Best Places for Breakfast

Breakfast is one of the best ways to start the day and there are some great Ottawa restaurants to choose from in the city. These are ten of my favorites.
Experiencing Montreal like a local

How to Experience Montreal Like a Local

We found so many fun activities in Montreal. Here's a few ideas to experience Montreal like a local, including what to do in the city.
experiencing Canada Day in Ottawa

Experiencing Canada Day in Ottawa

If you're going to visit Ottawa, make sure you go to experience Canada Day in Ottawa on July 1st. Here's what to expect.
MAP - Canada
Larger map

Check out & follow:

115,556FansLike
0FollowersFollow
18,176FollowersFollow
249,208FollowersFollow
1,710SubscribersSubscribe

Explorer Videos

More travel tips