First time to Canada where to go?

Canada seems to most travelers to be a distant and incomprehensible country. Many would like to travel around the United States, have heard a lot about the countries of Latin America, but here is Canada … What is there, on the other half of the globe? What to do, what to see? Our travel expert knows the answers to all these questions very well – and has compiled a detailed guide for you. In two weeks you will get to know this country closely and, we are sure, will love it.

Route:

Montreal → Quebec → Ottawa → Toronto → Vancouver → Banff National Park

Days 1-4. Montreal

Montreal is Canada’s second largest city. There are old houses, large cozy parks and interesting modern buildings.

We have selected for you 4 options for hotels, different in cost and class:

Old city

A Feminist City Guide to Montréal | Unearth Women

The first step is to go for a walk in the Old Town. Buildings from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries have survived here. This part of the city is home to many shops, restaurants, several cathedrals and art galleries. The Old Port of the city and its promenade will also be a pleasant place for a walk.

For history, check out the Pointe-à-Callière Museum of Archeology and History. It hosts various expositions and exhibitions related to the history of the city. The museum also contains exhibits from archaeological excavations. The museum is open every day, except Monday, from 10:00 to 17:00, and a ticket will cost A $ 22.

Basilica of Notre Dame

When walking around the city center, be sure to check out the Notre Dame Basilica. The Gothic temple is a symbol of the city with stunning colorful interiors.

In the evening, a unique light show takes place here: the vaults of the walls shine with stunning color patterns to the sound of music. Please check the schedule in advance to attend the show. The ticket price is A $ 26.50.

Address: 110 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréal

Saint Louis Square

Next to the Old Town there is the square and the Saint-Louis park of the same name. They are surrounded by charming houses with colorful roofs. Of particular note are the buildings at the corner of Square Saint Louis and Henri-Julien Avenue.

In the park with a fountain, it is nice to take a break from walking and feed local squirrels.

Mont Royal

Mont Royal is an extensive park area near the city center. Great views of the city can be enjoyed from the Belvédère Kondiaronk observation deck. To get there, the most convenient way is to climb the stairs leading to the park. The staircase starts from the intersection of Avenue des Pins and Chemin le Serpentin.

The picturesque Castor Lake, surrounded by trees and lawns, will also be an excellent place to walk in the park. Here you can also rent a boat for $ 25 for four (30 minutes).

Another attraction of the park is the Mont Royal Cross, an iconic religious monument in Montreal.

Jean-Drapeau Park and the Biosphere

On the island of Saint-Helene, there is another Montreal park – Jean-Drapeau. The main attraction of the park is the unique Biosphere space with exhibitions dedicated to ecology, nature protection, the planet and the future. Here you can be a scientist for a while in a modern interactive laboratory. A ticket to the Biosphere will cost 15 A $. Working hours: from 10:00 to 17:00.

Address: 160 Chemin du Tour de l’isle, Montréal

Montreal Botanical Garden

Don’t miss Montreal Botanical Gardens. Here you can walk among flowering shrubs, Chinese and Japanese villages, an aquatic garden and an orchid garden. 

Ticket Price: A $ 20.50.

Address: 4101 Rue Sherbrooke E, Montréal

Days 4-5. Quebec

On the morning of the fourth day of your journey, travel to Quebec. Take the train from Central Station and travel to Gare du Palais station. You will spend about 3.5 hours on the way.

We suggest you take a flight at 06:25 or 08:56 am. In this case, the ticket price will be A $ 30 and A $ 38, respectively.

Quebec is a charming town with French roots. Here you can slowly walk among the old stone houses, looking at the windows of shops with interesting goods.

Stay overnight at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac .

Old city

Quebec’s Old Town is a charming quarter with French architecture, aromatic cafes and a festive and magical atmosphere. Head to Place Royale and from there to Notre-Dame street. Here you will find a Quebec fresco and the Church of Notre Dame de Victoire.

And then just walk around the city, turning into the streets you like. This is the best way to see the most interesting buildings, find shops with unique goods and feel the atmosphere of the city.

Fortress of Quebec and Abraham Fields

Travel to the Citadel of Quebec to view the city from the top of its walls. There is a museum on the territory of the fortress, and along the eastern wall there is a quiet and cozy Promenade de Gouverneur. The fortress is open from 9:00 to 17:00, and the ticket costs 16 A $.

Not far from the fortress are the Fields of Abraham – a large park, which often hosts events and concerts. It will be pleasant to relax here, having a picnic in the meadow or walking along the shady alleys.

Days 5-6. Ottawa

On the fifth day, we suggest you go to Ottawa. Leave early: the journey time by train will be approximately 6 hours. Ticket price – from 49 A $ to 77 A $.

An alternative and faster way to get to Ottawa (only an hour’s journey) is by plane.

Ottawa is the capital of Canada. Modern architecture, picturesque parks and some historic buildings await you here.

Ottawa landmarks

The first step is to head to Downtown, a city center with glass buildings, shops and business centers. After walking along it, keep your way to the main attraction of the city – Parliament Hill.

Parliament Hill is a neo-Gothic complex that houses the Parliament of Canada. The Parliament building itself is worth exploring from all sides, and from the park nearby there is an excellent view of Downtown.

After exploring Parliament Hill, head to its embankment. On your right you will reach the picturesque promenade of the Rideau Canal and pass Laurier Castle and a variety of sculptures.

Cross the canal and head to the National Gallery of Canada, where you will be greeted by a huge statue of the Maman Spider. The gallery itself contains collections of photographs and works by Canadian artists. The ticket will cost 16 A $. Working hours from 10:00 to 20:00.

In Ottawa, we have selected for you 3 options for hotels, different in cost and class:

Upper Canada Village

On the sixth day, we invite you to take a trip into the past of Canada, going to Upper Canada Village – a village on the shores of Lake Saint Lawrence, where the atmosphere of 1860 is recreated.

Here you can walk between buildings that repeat the architecture of those times, and try a variety of themed attractions: ride a horse cart or an old train, look into a bakery and a flour factory, milk cows, walk with a calf, or go to a traditional pub.

Ticket price: 22 A $ (for one day).

How to get there: Unfortunately, there is no public transport to the village. We suggest you rent a car and then drop it off at Toronto Airport. By car, take Trans-Canada Hwy / ON-417 E. The journey will take approximately 1 hour.

Official site: Upper Canada Village

Days 6-8. Niagara Falls and Toronto

On the evening of the sixth day, travel from Upper Canada Village to Toronto. By car, take the ON-401 W. The road will take about 4 hours.

On the seventh day of the trip, we suggest you go to Niagara Falls, and the next day – explore Toronto.

The best place to stay in Toronto is one of the following accommodation options:

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is a complex of waterfalls on the Niagara River, which connects Lakes Erie and Ontario. The complex consists of three waterfalls: Canadian Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.

An obligatory point of the program when visiting the waterfall is a trip to it by ship .

The cost of such entertainment is C $ 28.95.

How to get there: by car, take the Queen Elizabeth Way / QEW. The journey will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Toronto

Toronto is the capital of the province of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located on the coast of Ontario, the smallest lake in the Great Lakes system.

CN Tower

The main symbol of Toronto and a popular observation deck with huge panoramic windows, glass elevators and floors. Here you can take part in an extreme attraction – take a walk along the edge of the tower, the so-called EdgeWalk.

Opening hours of the observation deck: from 8:30 to 23:00

The ticket costs C $ 38

Address: 290 Bremner Blvd, Toronto

Official site: CN Tower

Toronto islands

A group of small islands in Lake Ontario with parks and beaches. The canon view of downtown Toronto opens from here. You can get to the islands by ferry .

High Park

The main city park located in a hilly area. The main symbol of the park is a huge maple leaf made up of seasonal flowers.

Address: 1873 Bloor Street W, Toronto

Distillery District

A trendy neighborhood with restaurants, shops and galleries housed in Victorian buildings on the site of an old industrial district. Not far from Distillery is the St. Lawrence Market, another place to go for delicious food.

District Address: Distillery District, Toronto

Market address: 93 Front Street E, Toronto

Young street

Yonge Street, stretching from Lake Ontario across the city, is considered by some to be the longest street in the world. At the beginning of the street there is a remarkable building of the Hockey Hall of Fame, just to the north is the huge business and shopping center Eaton. Behind Eaton Center is a beautiful old Victorian town hall building, and not far from it you will find a modern block with two towers of the new town hall. There are also many restaurants and shops along Young Street.

Park Queen

North of the town hall is a small Queen Park, on the territory of which the magnificent Ontario Parliament building is located. Right next to the park there is an architecturally unusual Royal Museum, part of which resembles a crystal. A little off to the north of the park is the original neo-gothic Casa Loma castle.

Days 8-10. Vancouver

On the evening of the eighth day of travel, go to Toronto Airport (you can also drop off your previously rented car there). Your flight to Vancouver is waiting for you. The optimal flight can be found on OneTwoTrip.

Vancouver is the capital of the province of British Columbia and the third largest city in the country. It is located on the Gulf Coast in the picturesque Pacific Northwest region of western Canada. Vancouver is surrounded by mountains and ocean on all sides. Here you will find extensive parks, beaches, as well as skyscrapers and unusual objects of modern architecture, adjacent to attractive old buildings.

We have selected for you 4 options for hotels, different in cost and class:

Stanley Park and Lions Gate Bridge

Stanley Park is the main park of the city, occupying an entire peninsula and surrounded on all sides by the waters of the bay. Here you can walk along the numerous paths inside the park and along the coast, relax on the beaches and admire the surrounding landscapes on observation platforms. There is an Oceanarium on the territory of the park.

The park also overlooks the magnificent Lions Gate suspension bridge over the bay.

Downtown

To the southeast of Stanley Park is the downtown skyscraper district. One of the skyscrapers – Harbor Center – is the main observation deck of the city. On the waterfront near the Harbor Center, it is also worth looking at the remarkable Canada Place building, whose roof resembles sails. In addition, downtown is worth a look at the Vancouver Public Library – its building resembles the Roman Colosseum.

Opening hours of the observation deck: from 9:00 to 21:00

The ticket costs C $ 18.25

Address: 555 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Official site: Vancouver Lookout

Library working hours: from 10:00 to 21:00 (Mon – Thu), from 10:00 to 18:00 (Fri – Sat), from 11:00 to 18:00 (Sun)

Free entrance to the library

Address: 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver

Gastown District

Vancouver’s historic neighborhood, starting just behind Harbor Center. Fine examples of Victorian architecture have been preserved here. Walk down Water Street, lined with some of Gastown’s most notable buildings, including the iron-shaped Europa Hotel. On the same street there is the Steam Clock, which works thanks to the steam mechanism.

Also on the territory of Gastown is Vancouver’s Chinatown, where you can see the classic Chinese garden of Sun Yatsen.

Park Address: 578 Carrall Street, Vancouver

Center “Scientific World”

Vancouver Science Museum, the exposition of which will be most interesting for children. However, the unusual shape of the building deserves to be seen by adults too. The museum is located on the shore of a small bay. On the opposite side of it is the BC Place stadium, which also has an unusual appearance.

Museum Address: 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver

Granville Island

Until the early 20th century, this area, located south of downtown, was home to factories, mills and sawmills. Today, this site houses a huge market with numerous restaurants, shops and workshops. Granville Island Market is a popular getaway for the townspeople.

Market address: 1661 Duranleau Street, Vancouver

Official site: Granville Island

Queen Elizabeth Park and Van Dusen Botanical Garden

Queen Elizabeth Park is a large and beautiful landscaped park with an arboretum, rose garden and sculptures. The entrance to its territory is free.

The park is open from 6:00 to 22:00

Park Address: 33rd Avenue and Cambie Street, Vancouver

Next to the park, there is another picturesque green area – the Van Dusen Botanical Garden. Entrance to the garden costs C $ 8.

Botanical garden opening hours: from 9:00 to 17:00 (time depends on the season)

Address: 5251 Oak Street and West 37th Avenue, Vancouver

English Bay and Kitsilano beaches

Vancouver has many beautifully equipped beaches, and although the ocean water is too cold even in the hottest months, locals often spend time here. In addition to the beaches in Stanley Park, the excellent beaches of English Bay and Kitsilano can be distinguished. The first is located west of downtown, the second is located near Granville Island.

Suspension bridge Capilano

On the other side of the bay from Stanley Park there is another magnificent park – Capilano (you can get to it via the Lions Gate Bridge). The main attraction of the park is the 140-meter suspension pedestrian bridge. Here you can walk between the trees at a height of 70 meters.

Park ticket costs C $ 53.95

Park opening hours: from 9:00 to 18:00

Address: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver

Official site: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Mount Graus Mountain

Behind Capilano Park (if you go from the city center) is Mount Graus Mountain, the territory of which belongs to the park of the same name. You can climb to the top of the mountain by cable car. It offers a magnificent view of Vancouver and the surrounding area.

A ticket to the park costs C $ 50

The park and cable car are open from 9:00 to 22:00

Address: 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver

Official site: Grouse Mountain

Days 10-13. Banff National Park

On the tenth day of the journey, go to contemplate the magical and majestic nature of Canada in Banff National Park. To do this, rent a car .

We recommend leaving Vancouver at noon to reach the park in the evening. Follow Highways BC-5 N and Trans-Canada Hwy / BC-1 E. The journey will take approximately 8 hours and 20 minutes, depending on the hotel chosen.

We suggest you choose one of the following accommodation options where you will spend the next days. All of them are located in the park or in the immediate vicinity.

National park

Wherever you stay, be sure to head to the park’s unique attractions:

Johnston Canyon is a scenic walking trail to the falls along a specially equipped path. The distance from the parking lot to the end point is about 2.7 kilometers. You can leave your car in the parking lot at Bow Valley Pkwy, Improvement District No. nine.

Lake Louise . You can explore it and enjoy its gorgeous blue hue while walking along the Lake Louise Lakeshore Trail. The Lake Agnes Trail also departs from the northern shore of the lake, leading to the neighboring Lake Agnes.

Moraine Lake is a visiting card of the park, surrounded by spruce forest and mountain peaks.

Lake Peyto has a unique blue water tint. A simple route leads from the parking lot to it, at the end of which breathtaking views open up.

In Banff, we suggest you take one of the wildlife watching tours. Company Banff Adventures offers to go in search of deer, grizzly bears and wolves in the Rehabilitation Center. You can get acquainted with the prices for tours on the company’s website.

Day 13. Return to Vancouver, flight to Montreal and flight home

Return by car to Vancouver Airport, drop your car and fly to Montreal. Since you originally flew to this city, most likely, you fly home from there.