Canada is a beautiful country and today, we share how to plan a trip to Canada, including where to go in Canada & the best time to visit.
Why visit Canada?
Canada is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Its magnificent infrastructure, robust economy, and social justice system are some of the things that make Canada to stand out among other nations. Sitting in an area that covers about two-fifth of North America, Canada is the second-largest country in the world after Russia, and in 2021, it was ranked the overall best country to live in the world.
Canada is also a great vacation destination as it has lots of beautiful sites to see many luxurious and affordable hotels, warm and friendly people, and a multicultural setting that depicts their diversity. With the assurance that Canada has something fun for everyone, here are the top places you should visit when vacationing in Canada.
Best time to visit Canada
It really depends on what you want to see and do to decide when the best time to visit Canada is. Generally, September through o November is a great time to visit most places, as the weather is comfortable, the fall colors are beautiful and many destinations are quieter, with fewer tourists than in the Summer months. Plus, Canada knows how to enjoy Autumn too – expect pumpkin-infused treats and wine festivals. Also, these tend to be the cheapest months to visit Canada too.
June through August are the warmest months in Canada, so if you plan on visiting the beaches or enjoying Niagara Falls without catching a cold, then these are great times to visit. However, prices are higher during the Summer, accommodation can often get booked up quickly and attractions are busier.
Winter runs from mid-November to mid-March and can be cold, so unless you are visiting for the festive season or skiing, try to avoid this time when possible.
Getting around Canada
The county of Canada is huge but exploring all areas of it is worth your time. There are a few different ways to travel Canada:
Air – AirCanada and WestJet are two airlines that serve many destinations in Canada. These domestic flights range in price but save you many hours, especially if you are traveling from one side of the country to the other. Just make sure to book your flights in advance to save some money.
Car – One of the best and easiest way to explore Canada is by driving. If you are from the US, UK, Australia or New Zealand, you can drive with a full driving license in nada, as long as you are over 21. Just remember that petrol stations are few and far between once you are visiting the remote regions of Canada and is around 20% more expensive than in the US. The roads and highways are easy to drive but be careful of the gravel roads in the north and more rural areas.
Rail – Canada has a rail network (VIA Rail) that links cities across the country. Trains are comfortable and safe and you can learn more on the website.
There are some gorgeous routes that take you through Canada’s finest scenery, with the Toronto to Vancouver two-day journey being one of the most spectacular. Smaller companies run scenic rail trips like the Rocky Mountaineer in Vancouver and the Polar Bear Express that travels from Cochrane to Moosonee.
Bus – Greyhound Canada is the main bus company in Canada, offering long distance buses west of Toronto, including a popular Trans-Canada Highway route from Toronto to Vancouver. Low-cost bus services like Megabus run in Canada but aren’t as comfortable, so use these if you are traveling on a budget and aren’t traveling too far at once.
How to visit Canada on a budget
Canada can be an expensive place to visit but there are plenty of ways you can explore the country on a budget.
- Limit your stay in big cities – there are plenty of cities in Canada but prices in cities like Toronto and Vancouver can be high. But also check the nearby small towns, especially when visiting the national parks.
- Travel Off-season – Visit from Mid-May to June or September to November for cheaper prices; this is off-season in Canada so hotel prices are cheaper and attractions are quieter.
- Flying cheap – Flying to Canada can be expensive no matter where in the world you are traveling from. We love Momondo for comparing the best dates to travel on and greatescape.co is a great website that shows you the cheapest airports to the nearest airport to your chosen destination.
- Getting around – Buses are the cheapest option for those traveling around Canada but routes can be limited. We suggest driving if you want to explore at your own pace, on a budget and in comfort.
- National parks – if you plan on visiting the many national parks in Canada, you can get a yearly Discovery Pass that allows you entrance to all the parks at a reduced rate.
- Eating out – One of the biggest expenses in Canada after accommodation is food prices. Eating out can be expensive but there are ways to reduce the price. Firstly, check out the lunch deals in restaurants and take advantage of these when possible. Use the grocery stores to stock up on snacks and cold meals or check out the budget-friendly restaurants in each city. Most cities have chain restaurants too that offer cheaper meals but also check the Asian restaurants out for cheaper meals.
Best places to visit in Canada
No matter what time of the year it is visit to Vancouver gives you the opportunity to experience beauty, bask in a fun climate, and engage in lots of fun adventures. During winter, you can explore the snow-capped mountains, walk the sea walls or experience any of the nearest ski resorts. Canada is clearly not known for its beaches, but Vancouver has plenty of great beaches, perfect for a dip in the warm summer weather. It’s a bit cold for swimming in the winter, mind, but you can always play summer-themed games like Beach Life until the weather heats up.
Also make out time to visit Fraser Valley, Whistler, Victoria, and the towering trees at Stanley Park, where you can enjoy the beautiful view of the sunset while having a casual meal.
Starting from the day it was discovered in 1678, Niagara Falls, which is Canada’s most famous natural attraction, has drawn millions of tourists to the country. Your visit to Canada is never complete until you experience the awe of watching this majestic wall of water pound over the falls.
You will also marvel at the risky stunts that stuntmen and daredevils display as side attractions at the falls. If you have a day or two to spend, don’t hesitate to go around the city and experience the carnival-like lifestyle that has become the identity of the locals.
Of course, nobody goes to Canada without visiting Toronto. Being Canada’s largest city and home of the iconic CN Tower, which used to be the world’s tallest free-standing structure. Toronto offers lots of fun things that’ll make your vacation more than just exciting. With lots of opera, symphony, ballet, Broadway shows and rich museums, Toronto is the cultural hotspot that shows the true diversity of Canada. There are also lots of amazing waterfronts, fine dining, exquisite restaurants and outdoor concerts to make your summer vacation memorable. The popular Winterlicious, a public skating rink outside the city center and lots of unique water events are available to make sure that the cold winter doesn’t dampen your fun.
The historic city of Old Montreal, which was built as far back as the 1600s is Canada’s main tourist hub. With its vintage architecture and cobbled street, Old Montreal is the best place to bask in ancient history. Overlooking the archaic city is the modern Montreal, home to some of the world’s finest fashion designers. There are extensive underground shopping and a variety of parks and beaches.
Some other fun places to visit in Canada include Banff National Park, the historic city of St. John’s, the historic museums at Ottawa, Halifax Maritime Province, and the ancient French-speaking Québec City. When next you’re thinking of taking a vacation in Canada, make sure you visit these amazing sites to make memories that’ll last for a long time.
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- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy, and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favorite travel insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offer year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel, I always take these trusty hand sanitizers and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.