If you are visiting Canada for the first time, this guide is for you. Because Canada is such a large country, deciding where to begin can be difficult. I’ve compiled a list of the ten best places to visit in Canada and the ten best things to do with the help of 20 experienced Canadian travelers to help you plan the perfect itinerary.
Ottawa is the best place to visit in Canada for the first time
Visiting Ottawa is one of the best things to do in Canada, even cooler than Trudeau and possibly more beautiful. Despite this, it is frequently overlooked by tourists heading to nearby Toronto and Montreal. However, things are slowly changing, and word of Ottawa’s distinct charm is spreading. The only surprise to me is that this hasn’t happened sooner! The Canadian Capital of Cool has it all: beautiful scenery, an intriguing food scene, tons of history, and plenty of charisma. Not to mention some of North America’s best museums.
In the winter, you can ice skate on the historic Rideau Canal, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are endless neighborhoods and captivating street art pieces to explore during the summer. The famous ByWard Market is always open for foodies who want to taste their way around Ottawa, no matter the season, and history buffs will want to spend at least one full day in the Canadian Museum of History.
Toronto is the Canadian equivalent of New York, London, or Singapore, and it is a dynamic, creative, and bubbling city. Why is Toronto called the most multicultural city in the world?
West of Queen West are less well-known districts such as Parkdale, Roncesvalles, Liberty Village, and Little Portugal, each with their own distinct charm and identity.
Many Chinese and Thai shops and restaurants can be found in Chinatown (which is divided into two districts: Chinatown and Chinatown East). Mother Dumplings has the best dumplings in town.
Vancouver, the best place to visit in Canada for the first time
Vancouver, on British Columbia’s south-west coast, is a must-see city in Canada. This lovely cosmopolitan city surrounded by ocean and mountains is a mecca for a wide range of outdoor activities, from snow sports in winter to hiking and even surfing in summer. The modern city also has upscale shopping, excellent restaurants, lively markets, and a vibrant nightlife. Top 9 Vancouver Attractions That Make Locals Proud!
In Vancouver, there are also numerous awesome ocean adventures to choose from. Between the months of March and October, go whale watching to see a variety of whale species such as humpbacks, orcas, minke, and grey whales, as well as dolphins, sea lions, and seabirds. Many ocean trips depart from Granville Island, a great place to spend the day in the city with an amazing open-air market and buskers performing all day. 10 Top-Rated Beaches in Vancouver, Canada
Montreal is a fantastic city, full of great cafes and breathtaking views, but Vieux Montreal is history brought to life. The cobblestone streets and beautiful architecture highlight the area’s seventeenth-century roots, but the delicious foodie scene and great shopping add a fun modern touch. Why Montreal is North America’s Most Exciting City
If you enjoy history, plan to spend an hour or two at Montreal’s archaeology museum, Pointe-à-Callière. You can learn about the city’s founding as well as see the archaeological remnants of the area’s first age of French colonists. Best Must-Visit Museums In Montreal
Waterton Lakes National Park
Waterton National Park shines in a country where spectacular scenery appears around every corner. This park, located 260 kilometers from Calgary in Alberta, was established in 1895, making it the fourth Canadian National Park to be established. Today, the park is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (one of my obsessions, read why here). It is also the first International Peace Park in the world.
In comparison to some of Alberta’s more well-known parks, such as Banff and Jasper, Waterton remains relatively unknown. The small town of the same name is located within the park. It’s laid-back and low-key, with only a few streets and family-run shops and restaurants.
Banff National Park, the best place to visit in Canada for the first time
Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada, is one of the most beautiful National Parks in the world, with its soaring peaks and turquoise lakes. Top 5 Unreal Lakes in Banff, Canada
Because most of the lakes and waterfalls are only a short walk from the car parks, Banff is easily accessible to many people who aren’t into extreme hiking. This is fantastic news for families visiting Banff with small children who do not want to go on long hikes. The drawback is that the most iconic sights, such as Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, are usually overrun with tourists. This is especially true during peak season, which lasts from early July to late August. To enjoy the beauty of the main sights without crowds at this time of year, go early, and by early, we mean before sunrise.
If you don’t want to hike, there’s plenty to do in Banff. Take a stroll through town, ride the gondola up Sulphur Mountain for spectacular views, or unwind in the Banff Upper Hot Springs.
Quebec, also known as the beautiful province or la belle province, is the largest Canadian province with French as its official language.
It is sometimes referred to as the Europe of North America because it is one of the oldest European settlements. The capital city, Quebec City, is a must-see for anyone visiting Canada for the first time or visiting the province. 8 Best Ways To Enjoy Europe In Quebec, Canada
Walking around Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will undoubtedly captivate you with its cobblestone streets, quaint restaurants, and charming shops. 7 Most Charming Towns in Quebec If You Want To Escape The City
The world’s largest freshwater island is located within the province of Ontario. Manitoulin Island is known in the Indigenous Odawa language as Manidoowaaling, which means “cave of the spirit,” and you’ll understand why as soon as you visit. It truly is a magical place!
The Great Spirit Circle Trails will teach you about the indigenous culture of the area. You can participate in guided tours, cultural workshops, and other activities to learn about centuries-old traditions.
The island is home to a number of fantastic museums and galleries, including the Perivale Gallery, which is regarded as one of the best in the province!
Gros Morne National Park
From coast to coast, Canada has many beautiful national parks. Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland is one of the best places to visit on the East Coast.
If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, Gros Morne is the place to be. It has over 100km of pristine trails, ranging from easy day hikes to multi-day treks. The summit of Gros Morne mountain is one of the best hikes in Gros Morne. It’s a challenging 16-kilometer round-trip hike, but the views at the top are spectacular.
Because of its geological significance, Gros Morne is one of four UNESCO world heritage sites in Newfoundland. The inside of the earth’s mantle, which was pushed up thousands of years ago, can be seen on the Gros Morne tablelands. The theory of plate tectonics was confirmed as a result of this area.
The Niagara Falls, the best place to visit in Canada for the first time
Although Niagara Falls is well-known as a honeymoon destination, it has much to offer all visitors. It will undoubtedly be a trip that the entire family will remember.
First, walk along the boardwalk to see the three waterfalls that comprise Niagara Falls: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Take a helicopter ride for an aerial view if you want to splurge. After admiring Niagara Falls from afar, take a boat tour – either the Hornblower or the Maid of the Mist – to get a different perspective. Then, on the American side, visit the Cave of the Winds to get even closer to the Falls. On the Hurricane Deck, you will experience tropical storm force winds. Then, on the Canadian side, visit the Journey Behind the Falls attraction to see the backside of Horseshoe Falls.