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5 Best Places to Visit in Canada

Canada’s cities and towns offer travelers a diverse choice of experiences, from chic, cosmopolitan centers to mountain resorts and maritime cities. Determining the best places to visit may depend on your interests and the type of trip you’re hoping to create.

In the heart of the country is Toronto, Canada’s biggest city and the highlight of Canada’s arts and cultural scene. Nearby, Niagara Falls is a must-see attraction for visitors to Canada that never disappoints. In the neighboring French-speaking province of Québec, Montreal is known for fashion, culture, and history.

In the West, Vancouver and Victoria offer two very different perspectives on West Coast cities, but each has something unique to offer. The mountain towns of Whistler and Banff are places to immerse yourself in beautiful mountain scenery and enjoy a little of the great outdoors.

Eastern Canada has a culture all of its own, with a rich maritime heritage and friendly people. And scattered throughout the country are other popular cities and lesser known gems to explore. For ideas to help plan your Canada itinerary, see our list of the best places to visit in Canada.

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1. Vancouver

Vancouver
Vancouver

For beauty, climate, a fun atmosphere, and plenty of things to do, you can’t go wrong planning a trip to Vancouver. Set on the shores of the Pacific Ocean and backed by snow-capped mountains, this is an active city, where locals enjoy the outdoors year-round.

Sunbathers can bask on the beaches in summer, and skiers can hit the nearby ski resorts in winter. At any time of year, you can walk the seawall or stroll through the towering trees in Stanley Park, enjoy fine dining or a casual meal while watching the sunset, or find fabulous shopping, from the markets of Granville Island to the high-end shops in the city center.

If you are spending more than a couple of days in the city and looking for some interesting outings, take a day trip from Vancouver to some of the nearby hotspots such as Whistler, Victoria, or some of the small towns in the mountains or Fraser Valley.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Vancouver: Best Areas & Hotels

2. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls

Canada’s most famous natural attraction, the majestic Niagara Falls has been drawing sightseers almost since its discovery. The great wall of water pounding over the falls is an amazing sight, and the view and access afforded visitors is astounding. You can literally walk up to the edge of the falls, separated only by a cast iron railing, and see the water as it disappears over the crest.

In 2021, the Niagara Parks Commission opened the 115-year-old Canadian Niagara Power Company generating station. After years of painstaking renovations and rehabilitation, this fascinating building displays its old generators and electrical equipment. The plan is to allow visitors to descend beneath the building and walk through former water tunnels, ending up at the river’s edge below the falls.

The city that has developed here, also named Niagara Falls, has been greatly influenced by the people and atmosphere the falls have created. Stuntmen and daredevils have been tempting their fate on the falls throughout the decades, and as a result, a carnival-style atmosphere has come to define this unique city. Just a short drive from Toronto, Niagara Falls is easy to reach, and the city is a fun place to spend a day or two.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Niagara Falls: Best Areas & Hotels

3. Toronto

Toronto skyline
Toronto skyline | Photo Copyright: Michael Law

As Canada’s largest city, Toronto is the country’s cultural hot spot, with ballet, opera, symphony, and Broadway shows. It’s also home to the landmark CN Tower. Add extraordinary shopping, fine dining, and fantastic museums, and there is no end to the entertainment.

In recent years, Toronto’s waterfront has experienced ongoing development and now boasts beautiful walking areas, restaurants, and in summer, outdoor concerts and cultural performances.

Just outside the city center, in either direction from downtown, are beautiful beaches, perfect on hot summer days. In winter, a public skating rink springs to life outside city hall, and unique winter events, including the popular Winterlicious, add to the fun. You can find ski resorts near Toronto as well.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Toronto: Best Areas & Hotels

4. Montreal

Old Montreal
Old Montreal | Photo Copyright: Lana Law

Montreal is a unique city, with a beautiful old historic district dating back to the 1600s and a modern city center with extensive underground shopping. Old Montreal is the main tourist hub, with cobbled streets and fantastic old buildings, a perfect place to lose yourself as you wander up and down the historical streets. In and around Montreal are a fine assortment of wonderful parks and beaches.

Montreal
Montreal

Montreal is also home to a large number of fashion designers, and high-end boutiques line the historic streets, along with quaint hotels and restaurants. Located in the French-speaking province of Québec, Montreal has its own cultural identity, but English-speaking visitors will have no trouble communicating with anyone in the tourist industry.

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Montreal: Best Areas & Hotels

5. Banff National Park

Kayakers on Waterfowl Lake in Banff National Park
Kayakers on Waterfowl Lake in Banff National Park | Photo Copyright: Lana Law

The charming mountain town of Banff, in the stunning Banff National Park, is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the Rocky Mountains and see some of the most beautiful scenery in Canada. This is undeniably a tourist town, catering to international travelers from all over the globe.

In summer, the turquoise lakes, including Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, set below glacier-capped mountains are a glorious sight. One of the best ways to experience the landscape is to drive the Icefields Parkway, which runs through the park to Jasper National Park. For those looking for a bit more adventure and exercise, consider tackling one of Banff’s best hiking trails. These classic routes take you to some of the most impressive sights in the park.

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Blackblood
@Blackblood
Beautiful
1y ago
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