CANADA TRAVEL TIPS: How to plan a trip to Canada
If you want to visit Canada, these Canada travel tips will come in handy: find out how to plan a trip to Canada, why you should visit Canada, the best time to visit, some essential travel tips, what to eat in Canada, and the best things to do.
Canada, the world’s second-biggest country, offers a stunning combination of natural beauty and multicultural cosmopolitan cities. It’s packed in with a selection of exhilarating activities and sights to see for every type of traveler.
Why visit Canada
Why should you visit Canada? The sheer vastness of the country means there’s simply too much there for you to physically be able to see or do everything. Luckily, you can use these Canada travel tips to plan your adventure wisely! Canada is spread across 6 time zones and spans over 9 million square km. It’s often considered one of the best country to visit by many different blogs and magazines, such as Lonely Planet. Friendly locals welcome you to glinting glaciers, immense mountains, and characteristic remote beaches.
Essential Canada travel tips
LANGUAGE: over 80% of residents speak English, but French is also widely spoken.
MONEY/ATM: the currency is the Canadian Dollar. There are plenty of ATMs around but it’s normally easier to use card for purchases.
ELECTRONIC APPLIANCES: like the US, the plug type is B with a standard voltage of 110-120V and 60Hz frequency. As usual, take your universal travel adapter with you.
VISA: most travelers will need a Visa to enter Canada. This will either be ‘visitor visa’ or ‘temporary resident visa,’ an official document stuck in your passport. more information
Best time to visit Canada
All four seasons in Canada offer something beautiful and unique, and due to its size, each area has different weather and conditions. The warm summers (June – August) make this the most popular time to visit.
However, a great time to visit Canada is just after the summer rush, between September and November. These autumnal months offer lower prices, colorful fall foliage, cooler temperatures, and local celebrations such as wine and pumpkin festivals.
After this period, temperatures drop down to minus 0. The winter months (December – March ) are really cold with a lot of snow. However, this can be a good time to visit Canada if you are interested in activities such as skiing and snowboarding.
How much is a trip to Canada?
Because of how large Canada is, and high taxes, it’s not the cheapest place to visit. However, doing Canada on a budget is possible if you carefully watch your spending. These numbers are rough and can change.
This is likely to take up half of your daily budget. There are many cheap options like hostels and university dorms (when students are out in summer) for around $25 a night. Luxury resorts, high-end hotels, and lodges can start from $200. Don’t forget that at the end of your stay an 18% tax will be added to your bill.
The cheapest options are sandwich shops and fast-food joints for $10 per meal. Eating out will be expensive as they add a 10% or 15% tax to your bill, tips are expected and on top of that.
Most of Canada’s natural beauty is free for you to see. There are plenty of outdoor activities available. For instance, hiking, snowboarding, kayaking, skiing, and white-water rafting. You could pay $15 for a trail’s access or over $100 if you need a guide or assistance.
Major cities have attraction passes with discounts.
What to eat in Canada
Canada offers a hugely diverse selection of foods and cuisines. Because of its colonial past, the indigenous culinary traditions had been neglected. That is, until recently, when Canadians have begun to embrace these traditions thanks to indigenous-owned restaurants.
You can find restaurants and street food from all over the world because of its multi-ethnic habitants. Keep reading to find out what to eat in Canada.
This is Canada’s national dish and only has three key ingredients. A hot, saucy dish of fries, cheese curds, and gravy. This delicious tummy-warming dish was created in Quebec in the 1950s and is still popular and found everywhere today. You can keep it simple with the basic but well-loved version, or mix it up with lobster, foie gras, pulled pork.
This little treat is simple but so tasty. It’s a small butter pastry with sugar, syrup, and eggs. The flaky pastry goes crunchy after baking and stays sticky and sweet in the center. Some people think it’s a cross between America’s pecan pies and Quebec’s sugar pies, though no one’s certain of its origin. No dessert tops this sweet and delicious tart.
Indigenous people were the first to discover this sweet syrup, from maple trees which are still found in every province, coast to coast. They harvest the syrup by making a hole in the tree and draining it every day. Canada produces almost 75% of the world’s maple syrup. A small bottle makes a great gift to bring back.
Best things to see and do in Canada
Canada is huge, you’d need a lifetime to visit everything it has to offer! Therefore, these Canada travel tips and guide lists just some of the best things to do!
Canada’s largest city, along Lake Ontario’s north-western shore, has everything you could possibly want in a city. It’s multi-cultural and offers many different cuisines and celebrations. Its eclectic nightlife, beach life, art scene, and museums (including a shoe museum) are unforgettable.
Toronto Zoo, High Park, and the Ontario Science center are ideal spots for keeping children entertained during family visits. For more information visit Toronto City Guide
The 5 Great Lakes
These are named Erie, Michigan, Superior, Huron, and Ontario and they create the largest body of fresh water on Earth. Situated along the Canada-United States border, they’re so large they make up one-fifth of the Earth’s freshwater surface. This vast space offers a variety of water activities such as kayaking, boating, fishing, surfing, scuba diving, and more. You can relax along the beaches and take advantage of stunning photo opportunities.
Thousand Islands, Ontario Lake
Ontario Lake, the biggest of the five great lakes, it’s known for its large number of tiny islands that can be reached by boat from several harbors. There are over 1800 magical islands, completely covered in nature with the occasional 19th-century mansion. It’s a hiker’s paradise, and on top of that, you can explore this beautiful land surrounded by water with a canoe.
Often known as the sixth Great Lake, it features over 30,000 small islands spanning 5,792 square miles along a pink/grey granite shoreline. Here you can discover the rich marine history and hop between lighthouses which dot the coastline. Activities are available, such as fishing, boating, and kayaking. Sail along turquoise waters and take advantage of idyllic photo opportunities with these ethereal landscapes. Views are so impressive they’ve been used for artistic inspiration by well-known painters worldwide.
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This natural wonder of the world remains one of the most impressive. These three phenomenal waterfalls formed 12,000 years ago thanks to the water flowing from the North American Great Lakes.
Niagara consists of two cities, of the same name, separated by the Canada and United States border. Their function is to accommodate the influx of tourists to the area. Here you can find cheap accommodation, restaurants, and general infrastructures.
Old Quebec City
This city is the heart and soul of the province. It makes an ideal location for history-loving travelers. Here you can enjoy incredible views of the Saint-Lawrence river and wander around the city’s boutiques and cafes.
Sightseeing in Montreal
This characteristic city is a beautiful sprinkle of Europe in North America with an exciting culture and arts scene. It hosts vibrant festivals and some of the most delicious restaurants in Canada. Brunch in cute cafes between unique boutique browsing.
Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia
This is one of the most visited and popular sightseeing attractions in North America. It’s a 300km road circling the Cape Breton coast and Cape Breton Highlands National Park along cliffs, viewpoints, mountains, and beaches. The occasional community along the twisting roads host unique shops, cafes, and local artisans.
Although one of the most expensive cities in the world, it’s one of the most exciting. Here you can go shopping, skiing in the mountains, hiking and surfing along blue waters… all in the same day. It’s an international multicultural city, which means most locals are friendly and welcoming. Therefore, make sure you include Vancouver in your itinerary.
The Canadian Rocky Mountains
Here you will discover some of the most impressive scenery in the world – mountains covered by glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, and rivers. The southern part is the most popular, you will find a breath-taking picture opportunity at every corner. Depending on the season, there are several activities available. For instance, cycling, hiking, skiing, fossil hunting, fishing, and canoeing in luscious turquoise waters. For more information visit Best Things to do in the Canadian Rockies
Dinosaur Provincial Park
Mystery and magic await you in this unusual photogenic place. It’s situated in south-eastern Alberta along the Red Deer River. The Dinosaur Provincial Park has deep canyons, multi-colored layers of sediment, and intricate rock formations. A photographer paradise.
This area offers less touristic activities and more hidden, traditional spots. It’s great for the outdoorsy and adventurous types as it offers activities such as skiing, dog sledding, hiking, and more. Rent a car to drive along the ice roads, sleep in a traditional cabin, and hike the Dempster Highway. The north of Canada is home to some of North America’s best National Parks and wildlife preserves. The climate and weather conditions can be dangerous so make sure you prepare yourself accordantly.
Have these essential Canada travel tips made you eager to plan a vacation to this immense and diverse country? Allow as much time as possible for your trip, and let me know how it goes in the comments below.