Canada, the second largest country in the world, is a vast land of mountains, forests, and prairies stretching between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. A bilingual country, English and French, it is a true melting pot.
The cosmopolitan cities of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are centers of great immigration from all around the world. Some great destinations include British feeling Victoria, Banff, a picture perfect mountain town, polar bear watching in Churchill, capital city Ottawa, and French outpost Quebec City. One should not forget the Atlantic provinces and the diverse maritime provinces.
Whether looking for culture, adventure or a road trip, Canada is sure to please the traveler.
Top Things to See and Do in Canada
Toronto, Canada’s largest city could be considered a little New York. A destination for many immigrants, it is a multicultural metropolis with half of the residents born outside Canada. It’s the center of entertainment, culture, business… Toronto has it all. Some of the places to put on the list are the CN Tower, Casa Loma, St. Lawrence Market, Art Gallery of Ontario and so much more.
Montreal is the cultural and economic capital of French Canada. Considered a lively city with a healthy immigrant population there is plenty to do. Festivals like the Montreal International Jazz Festival, sports like Montreal Canadiens and Formula 1 Grand Prix, and historic Old Montreal attract many visitors year round.
Vancouver, consistently rated one of the most livable cities, rests where the mountains meet the sea. Another multicultural city with a huge Chinese/Indian influence it has plenty of attractions natural and man-made. First stop is Stanley Park containing natural forest, an aquarium and walk paths. Grouse mountain can be hiked or cable car to the top for a view of the city. In between, stop for some of the freshest seafood found on the west coast.
The Rocky Mountains, some of the most pristine forests covering mountains in western Canada. Camp, fish, hike and get back with nature in diverse destinations such as Banff and Jasper in Alberta, ski in Whistler or Kokanee in BC, or canoe and water ski on mountain lakes such as Shuswap and Kootney.
Calgary Stampede “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” is Canada’s largest rodeo pulling competitors from all over the world. For 10 days in July, partake in watching chuckwagon races, games of chance or risk a wild carnival ride. Definitely Calgary’s biggest yearly event.
Hockey is Canada’s national past time. Seven major cities have teams in the National Hockey League. Tickets are expensive and can be hard to get but what better country to see the sport? Or catch the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Churchill, considered the polar bear capital of the world. It’s off the beaten path in Manitoba on the Hudson Bay and it’s a great place for whale watching during summer and northern lights viewing during winter
Niagara Falls straddles the border between Ontario and New York. It is considered one of the most romantic places on earth. It’s a huge tourist draw so it can seem commercialized, but the falls are truly spectacular. One should definitely take a boat ride into the falls, take the chance to walk behind the falls and watch the falls light up at night. Visit the Skylon Tower for the overall view of both country’s falls.
General travel advice for Canada
- Do you need a visa for tourism? Check here – ATTENTION: There are new entry requirements for Canada. Now, even if you don’t need a visa, you need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to visit Canada (even if just in connecting flights). You can apply here. The only exception is for U.S. citizens, who can just bring their passports.
- Language spoken: English (majority of the country) and French (mainly Quebec, but also an official language in New Brunswick and Yukon)
- Currency: Canadian dollar. Calculate the exchange here
- Electricity: 110 Volts
- Standard electrical frequency: 60 Hz
- International calling code: +1
- Drives on the: Right
- Sim Cards: Bell and Rogers are the main cell phone providers
Articles about Canada