Often seen through the lens of the United States’ little cousin, Canada is actually the second-largest country in the world and somewhere that easily stands on its own two feet. From city getaways to mountain hikes, Canada is filled with bustling neighbourhoods and scenic landscapes. But where should you go if you’re planning a trip? We’ve got all the best places to visit in Canada in this guide.
Vancouver 🏊♀️ 🎿 🖼️
Museums, outdoor markets, skiing, swimming and leisurely strolls await you in Vancouver. It’s a city with a bit of everything, whether you’re skiing on Grouse Mountain, swimming at Kitsilano Beach or visiting cultural attractions. Head to Granville Island, an artistic hub with a buzzing market, before seeing the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which stands 230 feet above the Capilano River.
The largest city in Canada (though it’s not the capital), Toronto is a place full of vibrancy. Think low-key New York, and you’re not far off. There are skyscrapers downtown, boutique shopping opportunities and Bohemian districts. If you’re looking for tourist attractions, the CN Tower was once the world’s tallest building and has everything from a rotating restaurant to an observation deck where you can look over the city’s skyline.
The Rockies ⛰️
Prepare to be impressed with a visit to The Rockies, white-topped mountains sitting between British Columbia and the Alberta border. All in all, there are five national parks to explore – Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Waterton Lakes and Jasper –offering an escape to nature. Go on hiking trails, hit the ski slopes and see rushing white water.
Niagara Falls 🌊
A trip to Canada is incomplete without a visit to Niagara Falls. Located in Ontario, just a couple of houses outside of Toronto, the falls are one of the world’s most famous landmarks. So make sure you bring a camera and capture them in all their glory, seeing the falls from above in a helicopter or by walking alongside them. There are other attractions too, including the Niagara Glen Nature Centre, as well as plenty of places to grab a bite to eat.
France’s second home, Montreal offers the perfect French-American combination. The official language is French, and the city embodies itself to a laid-back vibe and acts as the country’s cultural hub. It’s also a city of festivals, with more than 100 every year, including the Festival International De Jazz De Montréal, Mural Festival and the Montreal World Film Festival.
Quebec is the largest province in Canada, with Quebec City acting as the capital. It’s located on the country’s east coast and is home to some of Canada’s most beautiful countryside. Quebec is another French-speaking location and features enchanting architecture inspired by 19th century France. You can visit the province during any time of the year, but it really comes alive in the colder months with its snow-covered buildings and cosy atmosphere.
Manitoulin Island 🏝️
Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater island in the world and floats right in Lake Huron’s midst. Hit the beaches and relax in summary cottages as you discover another side to Canada. There are eight communities on the island, and they all collaborate to offer local foods and eco-adventures for tourists who enjoy a spot of canoeing, hiking and horseback riding. If you’re looking for a sustainable holiday, pay a visit to Manitoulin Island.
Prince Edward Island 🌳
You will find rolling green hills, red sandstone cliffs and all the seafood you can eat on Prince Edward Island. It offers visitors the chance to get back to nature and relax away from the crowds, whether you’re chilling on the beach, hitting one of the island’s many golf courses or doing a spot of seal watching.
Whistler is one of the country’s top skiing destinations and offers adventures aplenty. The resort town in British Columbia has everything you need, whether you’re reaching for a pair of skis or are grabbing your board. When you’re not on the slopes, spend some time in Whistler Village. Here, you can visit independent shops, stroll through the Whistler Olympic Plaza and take in many of the local delights.
The capital of Canada, Ottawa is a small and friendly city – not the type of place you’d typically associate with being a capital. Peaceful and civilised sum it up, and you’re more likely to see people enjoying a ride on their cycles than driving flashy cars zipping around the city. Ottawa is also right on the doorstep of the Canadian wilderness and acts as the perfect starting point for your adventure discovering Canada’s local nature.
The best places to visit in Canada
Canada is a beautiful country with so much variety. And it’s worth a visit, whether you’re looking for a city break or want to escape into the countryside while enjoying scenic landscapes. Whatever you visit Canada for, you’re assured to enjoy the company of friendly locals while exploring a country that doesn’t feel anywhere near as big as its status as the second-largest in the world.