What are the best things to do in Canada?
Niagara Falls attracts more than one million visitors each year. As one of the country's most famous natural attractions, the chance to see the falls is just one of the many reasons people book return flights to Canada. Join an organised boat tour if you want an up-close look at the falls (and make sure to wear something waterproof!), or you can simply enjoy the view from above at one of the various lookout points. You can reach the falls by driving from Toronto, or those looking for a more direct option can book flights that land at Niagara Falls International Airport (IAG).
Banff National Park
If your dream holiday involves incredible natural scenery and plenty of hikes, book your airfare to Canada and head straight to Banff National Park. The park is located in the province of Alberta, and the turquoise coloured lakes and snowy mountain peaks make for the perfect holiday snaps. Some of the highlights at the park include Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and the Icefields Parkway. The easiest touchpoint to reach the park is via Calgary Airport (YYC). Rent a car to drive to Banff once your flights to Canada arrive, so you can see as much of the park as possible and spend however much time you like at each of the sights.
One of Canada's most unique attractions are the polar bears of Churchill. Each year, these endangered creatures migrate down to Hudson Bay near the Churchill township. Keep an eye out for cheap flights to Canada for October, and you can sign up for tours which will take you to see the bears.
Old Quebec is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its historic buildings deserve a spot on your Canada itinerary. The town is spread across upper and lower Quebec and it’s 25 minutes’ from Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB). All around Old Quebec, you'll find incredible historic buildings and other attractions such as Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, the Citadel, Place d'Armes, Parque Historique de l'Artillerie and the Plains of Abraham. A visit to Quebec, be it the old or new part of the city, is also your chance to brush up on your French. Be sure to practice a few phrases before boarding your flights to Canada!
What should I know before visiting Canada?
Tipping for services is expected in Canada. It’s common to leave between 15 and 20% of the bill at restaurants. Leave a few coins behind when tipping at bars.
When to buy flights to Canada
The busiest time of year to travel on return flights to Canada is in the summer. From June to August, travellers from North America and the rest of the world take advantage of the good weather. Those wanting to snap up lower airfare prices should look to book flights to Canada for travel in the North American spring and autumn. Both of these seasons are considered shoulder periods for tourism, so can see lower tourist numbers and even lower hotel rates. Those wanting to ski, snowboard or take advantage of the alpine opportunities should book tickets to Canada for travel between November and February. Head to some of Canada’s most famous ski resorts - Whistler, Jasper and Mont Tremblant - to hit the slopes.
Canandian food is delicious
Foodies booking flights to Canada certainly won’t go hungry once they have arrived in the Great White North. Canadian cuisine takes influence from the United States, France, Scotland and indigenous cultures. One of the most beloved Canadian staples is poutine, a dish made with French fries that are topped with cheese curds, melted cheese and gravy. Another Canadian mainstay is Beaver Tails. These pieces of deep-fried dough are topped with the likes of Nutella, cinnamon and sugar, or even M&Ms. Other dishes to try while holidaying in Canada include bannock (baked or fried breads), butter tarts, lobster rolls, smoked meat from Montreal, and Nanaimo bars.
What is the cost of visiting Canada?
For a stay at a mid-range hotel, expect to pay between $100 to $250 CAD ($109 to $274 AUD) in major cities like Vancouver and Montreal. Luxury accommodation at four- to five-star hotels can start from $200 CAD ($219 AUD) per night, and can even run above $500 CAD ($548 AUD) or more.
Canada is a massive country and there is an incredible amount to see. If you are comfortable with driving on the right-hand side of the road, look into booking a rental car as soon as you’ve confirmed your airfare to Canada. Having your own car will allow you the freedom to drive between national parks, small alpine towns and more remote areas of the country. However, if you're staying in the bigger cities, such as Vancouver and Toronto, for the majority of your time away, you can rely on public transport to help you get around. Car rental costs in Canada starts at about $30 CAD ($32 AUD) per day. A return train ticket between Toronto and Montreal can cost between $100 to $300 CAD ($109 to $328 AUD). Montreal subway tickets cost between $2.50 to $3.50 CAD ($2 to $8 AUD) depending on your destination.
If you aren't planning on cooking food at your accommodation, you'll need a bigger budget for food. Breakfast at a diner typically costs $15 CAD ($16.44 AUD) per person. For a two-person dinner at an upmarket restaurant, you can expect to pay as much as $200 CAD ($219.24 AUD).
Exploring Canada’s extraordinary great outdoors and wealth of natural attractions is just one reason to book flights to Canada. Interested in whale watching? Tours can be booked in season that cost about $50 to $120 CAD (up to $130 AUD). Want to experience Canada’s famous resort towns and slopes? A one-day ski pass to Whistler or Mont Tremblant can cost between $80 to $100 CAD (from $87 to $140 AUD).
Montreal is the second largest city in Canada and the country's cultural capital. It's home to the largest French-speaking community outside of France, and its skyline is a blend of old meets new.
18th-century houses set the stage for the city's best restaurants, and Montreal's nightlife scene continues until the wee hours of the morning.
Make sure you explore its world-class museums and grab a coffee at one of the traditional French cafes along Saint-Laurent.
Toronto is a bustling cosmopolitan city and Canada's biggest city. It's considered to be one of the most diverse cities in the world, with more than half the population born abroad.
Over 200 ethnic groups call Toronto home, and its streets are filled with chatter from over 140 different languages.
Its impressive landmarks include the castle of Casa Loma, the Toronto Islands, the world's largest underground shopping mall and the iconic CN Tower.
Surrounded by mountains and beaches, Vancouver is a nature lovers' paradise.
The city's hiking trails, mountain biking routes, white water rafting and 11 miles of beaches are some of the best ways to experience this natural playground.
But Vancouver is also an epicentre of pop culture. Several major movie pictures and television shows have used the city as a backdrop. Visit the filming locations for "The Twilight Saga", "Supernatural" and more.
No visit to Canada would be complete without a visit to the city of Quebec.
It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is full of the smells, tastes and sounds of France. Spend your days wandering past the 17th-century houses, nibbling on freshly baked croissants and learning about Quebec's unique history.
Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It's full of beautiful architecture, interesting museums and quirky boutiques.
It's also a city of festivals. If you're looking to experience Canadian culture at its finest, plan your trip around Winterlude or the Tulip Festival.
If you can handle the cold temperatures, visit the city during its winter months. Ottawa's Rideau Canal freezes and transforms into the largest ice skating rink in the world.
Top Attractions in Canada
The Bay of Fundy
Located between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the Bay of Fundy boasts the highest variation between high and low tide in the world.
Twice a day, you can witness 160 billion tonnes of seawater flow in and out. The best place to appreciate this phenomenon is within the World's Highest Tides Ecozone.
Visit the Bay at low tide and return six hours later for high tide to get the full experience of this natural wonder. There are loads of hikes in the area to explore as well, plus the impressive rock formations at Hopewell Cape and the nearby Grand Manan Island.
Canada's most famous natural attraction is Niagara Falls. Located an hour away from Toronto, it attracts more than a million visitors each year.
One of the best places to view the falls is on the Ontario side in Queen Victoria Park. The falls are illuminated at night, and during the summer months, firework displays add to Niagara's magical atmosphere.
But there's more to do here than just look at the falls. Spend a day hiking through the wilderness, visiting the interactive exhibits or hop on board the Maid of the Mist to visit the basin of the falls.
Polar Bears of Churchill
Each year, the small town of Churchill welcomes tourists from near and far to witness the polar bear migration. It's one of the most accessible places in the world to view these creatures in their natural habitat.
Join a tour and head out to Hudson Bay where you can watch the bears make their way out onto the ice. The best time to go is in October and November as the bears make their way to seal-hunting territory.
It's a unique experience that will get you up close with these endangered animals. Take a ride in a local tundra vehicle or go on a guided walk along the bears' migration route.
Banff National Park
In the heart of the Rocky Mountains, lies one of Canada's most impressive national parks. Inside Banff, you'll find 6,641 square kilometres of pristine green lakes, snow-capped mountains and beautiful scenery.
Its most famous attraction is Lake Louise. The green waters reflect the surrounding mountains, creating an unforgettable sight.
The national park boasts beautiful day hikes. Take the Iceline Trail if you want something challenging or trek to the nearby Takakkaw Falls. Banff also offers world-class golfing, and an exhibit where you can view the ancient fossils discovered in the park.
But if you don't have a lot of time, take the Sightseeing Lift for a bird's-eye view of the Canadian Rockies.
Whistler is home to one of Canada's best ski resorts. Only two hours from Vancouver, you'll find world-class skiing, beautiful mountain scenery and so much more.
Since hosting the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the village of Whistler has gained international fame. Once a sleepy town, it's developed into a bustling destination with a range of summer and winter adventure activities.
Go kayaking, try ice climbing or get your adrenaline pumping by bungee jumping off the Cheakamus River bridge.
Once you're tired yourself out, you can relax at the luxurious spas and indulge your taste buds at Whistler's best restaurants.
Major International Airports in Canada
- Toronto Pearson International Airport
- Vancouver International Airport
- Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
- Calgary International Airport
- Edmonton International Airport