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Canada Travel Guide

With diverse seasons and terrain, Canada offers an ever-changing variety of experiences and scenery. While snow-capped mountains illuminate the sky, lakes paint the landscape in sumptuous shades of turquoise. No matter if you're craving outdoor activities or vibrant city life, rocky mountain vistas or coastal escapes, you have many options for your Canadian excursion.

The Highlights

  • Niagara Falls

    Niagara Falls is the collective name of three waterfalls that straddle the border between Canada and the US with a height of 167 ft. Boat rides to Horseshoe Falls take you into the mist and you can walk behind the thundering water. The nearby quaint town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is worth a visit.

  • Banff National Park

    Canada’s oldest national park, Banff National Park is part of the Rockies close to Calgary. Banff town is full of accommodation, restaurants and bars to use as a base for chasing incredible vistas such as Lake Louise and the Valley of the Ten Peaks.

  • CN Tower, Toronto

    One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the CN Tower is as epic as the city it’s located in, Toronto. There are plenty of ways to see the CN Tower: check out a skyline view from the Toronto Islands, take the elevator up or do the famed EdgeWalk around the exposed rim.

  • Whistler

    North of Vancouver, Whistler is home to one of the best and largest ski and snowboard resorts in the world. Zoom down the slopes of Blackcomb and Whistler mountains during the winter, or visit the world-class spas in the summer. There is something for everyone here.

  • Rideau Canal, Ottawa

    Connecting the Canadian capital, Ottawa, to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, Rideau Canal is a prominent fixture. During the winter, you can ice skate on the frozen canal, giving you incredible views of Ottawa.

  • Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

    A scenic roadway in the eastern province of Nova Scotia, the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island is one of the most famous drives in Canada. With its amazing ocean vistas, verdant forests and delicious seafood at your fingertips, it’s certainly not to be missed.

The Basics

When to Visit

when to visit
  1. Peak Season

    June to August

    During the summer months in Canada (with highs of 20°C-37°C in some parts) visitors can explore the many diverse hiking trails as all national parks will be open, offering spectacular viewpoints. With increased hours of sunlight each day over the warmer months, you can revel in one of Canada’s 561 lakes. This is also the best time to experience Canada’s biggest celebration in red and white for Canada Day on July 1st. Make sure to book accommodation and flights in advance and keep in mind that prices will be significantly higher.

  2. Low Season

    November to April

    This is one of the best times to explore Canada if you are a skier or snowboarder and to enjoy a range of winter activities including snowshoeing or ice skating at the Rideau Canal in Ottawa. As the temperature drops (and the days become shorter) the number of winter festivals increases and you will find this is the best chance to experience Carnaval de Québec – Canada’s most popular winter festival. Other noteworthy festivals include the Maple Syrup Festival in Ontario or the Ottawa Tulip Festival. Visitors will need to pack warm clothes, as the temperature will drop to -30°C and is expected to only reach highs of 7°C  in some parts.

Canada Tours

  • Visit Responsibly

    Travelling responsibly means respecting the communities, culture and environment of the places you visit. Keep these tips in mind when travelling to Canada:

    Go green. Be environmentally conscious on the road by taking short showers; turning off the lights in your hotel room when you leave; and resisting the urge to collect any plants, seashells, or other natural flora.

    Respect cultural differences. Before travelling, read about the local culture and customs – even just knowing the dress code and a few basic phrases in the local language will go a long way.

    Support local businesses. Enjoy a more authentic experience and directly support the local economy by travelling with a local guide, eating in local restaurants, buying from local artisans, and staying in locally-owned and operated accommodations.

    Wherever possible, avoid single-use plastics. Pack reusable items such as your own shopping bags, utensils, a water bottle, and a straw. These items are typically lightweight and compact, and will greatly reduce your consumption of plastics.

    Be conscious of overtourism. Opt to visit the lesser-known regions of Canada or travel outside the peak season – you'll likely even get a better deal and won't have all the crowds!
  • Sustainable Tourism in Canada

    As the world's second-largest country in size but around 40th largest in population, nature is big in Canada in every way. Here are some things being done in Canada to make it possible to tour sustainably:

    Conservation and Restoration Projects
    Canada-wide conservation efforts ensure that people can experience Canada's great outdoors for generations to come. Whether you are visiting Banff in Alberta, Cape Breton Highlands in Nova Scotia, or any of the other places we listed in our How to Travel Sustainably in Canada article, Parks Canada has a variety of Conservation and Restoration (CoRe) projects that are partially funded by visitor admission fees and ensure that Canada's nature remains pristine. Parks Canada is a government agency responsible for national parks and historic sites.

    Indigenous Tourism Experiences
    Each province and territory in Canada has an Indigenous Tourism Association, which also falls under the national Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC). They operate with the goal of improving the socio-economic situation of Indigenous people in Canada.

FAQs about Canada

  • Do you tip in Canada?

    Yes. Tipping is very common in Canada. Restaurant workers rely mostly on tips for their income, as such, their hourly wage is quite low. When paying for a meal, it is typical to tip around 15% to 20%. Also, when riding in a cab or getting a haircut a 10% minimum tip is expected.
  • What is the internet access like?

    Internet access in Canada is relatively accessible. Wifi hotspots are often available at various public and travel locations such as stadiums, airports and hotels, however, they are not guaranteed. Most cafes and restaurants supply free wifi. 
  • Is the tap water safe to drink?

    Yes. As the world’s largest source of fresh water, it is no surprise that tap water is abundant. The water in all Canadian cities is treated and safe to drink.
  • Can I use my credit cards?

    Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in Canada. American Express is accepted at a limited selection of retailers and restaurants. Note that you could be charged a 1-3% foreign transaction fee for each use. Be sure to check with your bank for details. Generally, you should be able to take money out at ATMs for your international debit cards.
  • What are the public holidays?

    In addition to the typical public holidays (New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labour Day and Christmas), Canada also has a number of unique holidays including Canada Day on July 1st, Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October and Remembrance Day on November 11th. Each province also has a number stat holidays that vary from province to province.
  • What are the toilets like?

    Public toilets in Canada (often referred to as washrooms) are generally quite clean. It is customarily free to use public toilets, however, when at local cafes and restaurants, they commonly request that you purchase something prior to using the facilities.
  • Do I need a visa to travel to Canada?

    Most travellers need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to, or transit through, a Canadian airport. What you need depends on: the type of travel document you will travel with, the country that issued your travel document, your nationality and how you will travel to Canada. 
  • Is it always cold in Canada?

    Contrary to popular belief, Canada has very warm summers that can get up to 38°C in some cities. Although Canada has cold winters and it remains freezing in the very northern parts of the country year-round, most of Canada’s population enjoy the best parts of all seasons (snow and sunshine alike).

Watch Our Ultimate Travel Guide

Canada: The Ultimate Travel Guide by TourRadar gives you all the info you need to explore this Northern nation like a pro. Learn some basics about the country, including what you have to do & see once you arrive, when it's best to travel and which food & drinks you definitely need to enjoy throughout your journey.
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