The gentle giant
Canada, oh, Canada. What to say about this second largest country in the world? Or better yet – where to begin? The list of great things is just too long. All around the globe Canada holds a reputation of being one of the friendliest places on this planet. It starts with the friendly and welcoming citizens and continues with the incredibly beautiful landscape. Canada has thousands of lakes, rugged mountain terrains, many fast-paced cities and urban jungles, and even more of the vast, quiet and sleepy rural areas. Canada is versatile and fun. It’s a country obsessed with hockey and a country that spoils us with maple syrup. It doesn’t matter if you’re a backpacker looking for adventures, a family looking for some quality time together, or want to enjoy a memorable, high-end vacation, Canada will make it happen.
But what truly makes it so special and beautiful it’s the diversity. There’s so much to see and do here you won’t even know where to head first! But don’t worry.
This comprehensive travel guide is here to help you. Keep on reading and find out what all is there to see and do.
What to see and do in Canada
Untouched nature is Canada’s biggest treasure, and nowhere this reflects more than in beautiful Banff. Even those who don’t like spending time outdoors must admit that it’s simply stunning. You can hike, relax in the thermal hot springs, enjoy the fabulous lake vistas, hit the slopes in the winter… This paradise in the Canadian Rocky Mountains should definitely make it on your must see list.
Pacific Rim National Forest
Makes a great hiking trail. This park is amongst the most popular in Canada. Rightfully so as it’s beautiful with lush scenery of emerald greens and trees.
In the country where nature is so powerful, so is the wildlife. Canada is a perfect spot to observe some of the most majestic wildlife in their habitat. The bears, bisons, moose and elks, wolves, birds, and whales are just some of the Canadian residents you can admire. Take one of the many tours, such as whale watching. You can even come up close with beautiful, but endangered polar bears. The best place to do so is in the small town of Churchill, Manitoba. Not only it is the Polar Bear Capital of the World, it’s also the top location to catch the magical dance of the northern lights!
Old Quebec – Quebec
One of the oldest cities in North America will take you back in time and make you feel very European. The richness of history and architecture will leave you in awe. Old Quebec brings you the best of both worlds and all times. Let this fascinating city steal your heart with everything it has to offer – from romantic streets, history, and culture – it’s certainly old enough to know how to make a good, memorable impression.
The country has many wonderful cities, Quebec being just one of them. Don’t leave out Ottawa, Canada’s capital. Head to Toronto to enjoy the views from the CNC Tower, spend some time in beautiful Vancouver, and go to Calgary to enjoy some of the festivals.
everyone’s favorite and a postcard picture of Canada. The never-ending power of water is mesmerizing and attracts thousands of visitors every year. The city is touristy and offers a wide array of activities. However, the waterfalls take all the glory as they are simply majestic and will leave you breathless.
The Bay of Fundy
This wonderful bay on the Atlantic coast of North America houses some of the world’s highest tides. You can explore the area in kayaks when the tide is high or walk around the cliff when the tide is low. A truly unique experience and a marvelous play of nature. Be careful though – you don’t want to stay there when the sea begins to rise.
Eat maple syrup in your weight
Tthe sweet sap of the sugar maple is said to be a healthy alternative to sugar, so why not indulge in it? Don’t limit yourself by using it only on your pancakes. Head to Manitoba and try their yummy maple taffy. They make it by pouring the boiling sap into the snow and then pick it up with a wooden stick. Voila, your (healthy!) sweet treat is served.
How much money you’ll spend on accommodation heavily depends on the region you’re staying in as well as on the season. Cities are notably more expensive than the countryside. An average price for hostels’ dorm rooms is around US$ 22. Budget-friendly hotels cost from US$ 47 up. You can find Airbnb apartments all over the country, costing around US$ 22 per night for a shared room and US$ 58 for the entire home. Try Couchsurfing, and you won’t have to pay for your stay, but you’ll get some great advice from the locals. Camping is very popular in Canada, and if you want to pitch a tent, you’ll need to pay between US$ 7-22.
Remember to book in advance especially during the high-season and check what your choice of stay includes in an offer.
Food and drinks
Meals at inexpensive restaurants cost around US$ 11. Check out food trucks, markets, small delis and ethnic eateries for good deals and delicious meals. You’ll pay around US$ 50 for a nice, three-course meal for two people. You’ll need around US$ 36-55 for a week’s worth of groceries.
If you choose to eat at fast-food chain restaurants, it’ll cost you roughly US$ 7. Caffeine drinks cost some less than US$ 3. A pint of domestic beer costs around US$ 5 and small sodas cost around US$ 1.50. Tap water is drinkable in Canada.
The best (and easiest) way to explore such a big country is by renting a car. Car rentals prices range between US$ 25-58 per day. However, if you don’t feel like driving you still have other options. In the cities, the public transportation system works well and you shouldn’t have any problems getting around. A one-way metro ticket costs around US$ 2. A trip with the train is scenic but comes with a price. Check out the coach operators who provide fares at very reasonable prices. But beware as they don’t drive everywhere, so make sure your chosen destination is on their list. Flying is one of the options, but there aren’t really any airlines operating under the low-cost carrier model. If you want to try hitchhiking, keep in mind that Canada’s laws have restrictions on it. Besides, it’s not the safest way to travel.
You can save money by booking tours through various coupon sites and choose to do many of the free activities Canada offers. Otherwise, some of the most popular tours include Niagara Falls from US$ 95, Stanley Park from US$ 27, Old Quebec from US$ 32, Notre-Dame Basilica from US$ 6, Peak 2 Peak Gondola in Whistler from US$ 41, Royal Tyrrell Museum from US$ 102, and US$ 30 for a one-day ticket for Canada Wonderland.