Canada is outlandishly divergent. What you experience at one Canadian destination is unique from all other regions. The Great White North as it is often referred as is truly a colossal nation filled with jaw-dropping scenic landscapes, rich cultural influences, and free-spirited modernity.
While you are excited about visiting the second largest nation in the world, its sheer expansive topography, impressive stretches of coastlines and plethora of nature adventures and cultural experiences certainly will make you skeptical as to where to begin planning your Canadian journey. Here’s what you need to consider while planning your Canada holiday.
Intro to Canada
Canada is huge and spans over six time zones. It is not possible to cover everything in one trip. So for a contented Canada travel, try to stick to one or few regions that are close to each other and keep in mind the distance between destinations while planning your trip.
English and French are the most spoken languages in Canada. If you are visiting Quebec, knowledge of French will come handy as Quebec is a francophone region of Canada. The currency used in Canada is Canadian Dollar.
Canada never seems boring and boasts to be a year-round destination. This is because the weather differs from one region to another. The motive to visit a certain Canadian region should depend on its tourist attractions and events held in those months. You will never run out of things to do in Canada. However, autumn and spring – especially the month of July is the most preferred season to visit Canada when there is plenty of sunshine and scenic nature views.
February is the coldest month in Canada but this is when winter sports activities and various festivals are held all around Canada. Plan on packing clothes for chilly and rainy weather as the climate in Canada can be unreliable.
Get all your travel-related documents in order. Make sure you possess a passport with validity for at least six months after your arrival in Canada. You should also have a valid Canada visa to get entry into the country. A travel and health insurance is a must for any Canadian visitor as any unforeseen mishaps can end up being an expensive affair without insurance coverage.
Always put safety first. Your safety must be a priority on any travel holiday. In Canada, the abundant wildlife is a thrill to encounter. There is a great possibility to spot grizzly and black bears in national parks. Makes sure you adhere to safety rules such as avoid carrying food products or disposing of garbage in parks so that you would not attract the attention of these wild creatures. If you are not confident about watersports or winter sports, it is better not to try them on your own.
Take guidance from experts or beginner’s courses available for skiing and scuba diving sessions. Keep note of emergency numbers. Canada’s emergency service is 911. A pocket Canada travel guide, a French phrase book and Canada maps are essential for Canada holidays.
Canadians take politeness very seriously. So does order and decorum. Even jumping line can be very disapproving. Tipping is considered as a generous gesture by Canadians. Tourists are expected to pay 15 – 20% as standard tipping.
Where to stay in Canada totally depends on your budget and travel genre. Adventurers and nature lovers can stay overnight at campsites in national parks. You can even stay overnight onboard scenic trains if you are exploring Canada by scenic rail vacations. A budget traveller can stay in dorms and vacation rentals for 100 CAD and above. A 4-star hotel and luxury stay options start from 200 CAD.
Canada is best to be explored on scenic drives and rail tours. Travelling from one destination to another by flight is expensive. Canada’s extensive road and rail networks winding through some of the most astounding scenic panoramas and charming cities are a reliable way to explore the country. Canada’s scenic rail vacations combine viewing nature’s scenic splendors with convenient travel and comfortable services.
Places to visit in Canada
Niagara Falls is a mighty wonder of nature that sprawls over the borders of two most incredible countries in the world. However, Niagara Falls has the larger chunk of breathtaking cascades at the Canadian side. Niagara Falls is one of the main reasons Canada tourism flourished initially. The Horseshoe Falls curves majestically to offer the most spectacular views of the waterfall. Witness the thunderous might of the torrents as it plummets from high rounds into the void on a cruise tour that takes you right to the foot of the falls.
Venture around the neighboring township and enjoy the quaint settings of Niagara wine region where food and wine is a celebration. The month of December brings in chilly weather which often freezes Niagara Falls into a stunning marvel of icicles. The Niagara Festival of Lights is a mesmerizing sight you would never forget as hundreds of shimmering colorful lights illuminate the fascinating cascaded of Niagara Falls.
Toronto – the capital city of Ontario region is a dynamic destination brimming with live music concerts, major sports events, art exhibitions and seasonal festivities. You will never run out of ideas on what to do in Canada if you have included a visit to Toronto in your travel plans. There won’t be one dull moment on your Toronto visit as the city will gladly keep you obsessed with its activities.
The towering skyscrapers dominated by the CN tower offers a splendid city skyline to marvel at the harbourfront. Toronto is one of the most ethnic cities in Canada where half the population are immigrants from other parts of the world. This eclectic mix of global nationals exudes its essence in the cultural fest, recreational activities, and food scene. You can club Toronto with an excursion to Niagara Falls which is just 90 minutes away from Toronto.
Ottawa is the capital of Canada and offers its visitors a perfect blend of witnessing quintessential Canadian experience amid picturesque nature vistas as well as enjoying a contemporary lifestyle. The city is packed with national monuments, landmarks, museums and cultural heritage sites such as the Parliament Hill, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian Museum of History, War Memorials to name a few. Each seasonal change in Ottawa brings in a unique makeover to its ambiance.
The city celebrates its seasons with vigor. The best time to be in Ottawa is when spring starts to show its magic and the city bursts into thousands of tulip blossoms. The Canadian Tulip festival held every year in May is something you will regret missing on your Canadian trip. The Winterlude festival at Rideau Canal is a beautiful way to loosen up in charming city vibes and mingle with the locals.
Quebec showcases the Franco-Canadian spirit. It is the only region in Canada that is dominated by French-speaking population. The region highlights some of the most profound impacts of European colonization and ages-old settlements in Canada. Stroll through the Old Quebec Town and discover the rustic historic treasures of European heritage such as Petit-Champlain District, Château Frontenac and lace Royale.
Île d’Orléans takes you back into the time of centuries-old village and farm life of Canada. Nature lovers would fall in love with the breathtaking sights of one of the grandest waterfalls in Canada – the Montmorency Falls. Quebec’s beauteous nature transforms from a kaleidoscope of fierce autumn hues to icy wonderlands covered in glaciers and sheets of snowy landscapes during winters making it an adventure playground for outdoor enthusiasts.
Vancouver in British Columbia
A bustling harbor city located in British Columbia region at the western coast of Canada, Vancouver is one of the most popular cities to visit in Canada. Considered to be among the cleanest and most livable cities of the world, Vancouver offers its visitors a medley of seafront towns, mountain terrains, urban beach shores, historic sites, outdoor recreations and lively fests and events. Stanley Park is the most picturesque park in Vancouver which is popular for its seafront views and the vast expanse of lush greenery.
The Vancouver Aquarium boasts to be the largest aquarium in Canada. Granville Island offers a myriad of attractions for family-friendly tours. One of the famous spring festivals in Canada takes place in Vancouver when the Vancouver’s Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off as the city gets shrouded in pink and white blossoms of cherry trees. Don’t miss an excursion to Tofino and Whistler for some exciting adventure activities.
The Canadian Rockies
The spectacular snowcapped alpine mountains shrouded in dense forests slopping gradually into glacier-fed lakes and postcard perfect scenic valleys is what you can look forward to on a visit to the Canadian Rockies. Encompassing some of the stellar natural panoramas of Canada, the Canadian Rockies is a destination which will leave a long-lasting impression on your mind about Canada’s spectacular natural beauty.
The outstanding scenic tour of Canadian Rockies takes you on a journey through Banff National Park, Jasper, and Lake Louise. The clear glassy lakes of Lake Louise, the rugged snow peaks of majestic mountains, glacier stretches of Ice field Parkway and the delight of spotting wildlife are some of the highlights of Canadian Rockies you will never forget in your life. The best way to experience the Canadian Rockies is by taking a scenic rail tour that weaves its way through some of the hidden enchanting sights of Canada.