Canada is the second biggest country in the world! It’s full of natural beauty and amazing destinations worth exploring.
Gorgeous cities and a vast array of picturesque natural wonders can be found across the country.
In the western part of the country visitors can enjoy the lovely Rocky Mountains and laid back cities like Calgary, Victoria, and Vancouver.
Central Canada is home to the world renowned Niagara Falls, the nation’s capital, and Canada’s biggest city.
Don’t worry – the fun doesn’t stop here!
Once you head out east you can meander through the quaint cities of Halifax and St. Johns. Then head into nature and spend a day exploring the Gros Morne National Park.
Don’t forget about the northern part of the country. Up North are the little-known cities of Yellowknife and Whitehorse as well as the North Pole!
No matter where you are there are always countless things to do in Canada.
Even a lifetime isn’t enough time to explore everything that this beautiful country has to offer!
If you’re planning to visit this beautiful country, take a look at this post about Canadian culture! It will set you off on the right foot for your trip.
When it comes to the best places to visit in Canada there really is an endless list of different things to do.
In this post I want to narrow it down and give you a quick list of some of the best places to visit in Canada!
More people visit Niagara Falls than anywhere else in all of Canada. The falls gets millions of visitors every single year.
Situated between Buffalo and Toronto, Niagara Falls is very easy to reach whether. It’s accessible both by car and public transportation. driving or taking public transportation.
Hopefully you’re not on the fence about it! You don’t want to miss the water from Lake Erie dropping more than 57 meters off of the Niagara escarpment into the Niagara River down below.
Surrounding the Falls are plenty of hotels and casinos. There’s also popular tourist strip called Clifton Hill. It’s lined with enough attractions to keep you busy for the whole day.
Since the Falls were discovered the area has been a popular place for tourists. It’s even more popular among those looking for thrilling adventure.
It’s not unheard of for people to go over the waterfall inside of a barrel. There are even people walking across it all the time along tightropes or other weird contraptions.
Something is always going on at Niagara Falls and you’re bound to have a great time whenever you visit.
Don’t forget to check out some of the other things to do in the Niagara area. You can go hiking in the Niagara Gorge, learn more at the Butterfly Conservatory, or head to one of the small towns nearby like Niagara on the Lake.
The CN Tower in Toronto
The CN tower is another one of the best places to visit in Canada.
The tower is one of the tallest free-standing structures in the world. It boasts a height of more than 550 metres – that’s more than half a kilometer tall!
You can find the CN tower in downtown Toronto, Canada’s biggest city.
At the top of the tower there’s a restaurant that features a 360 degree rotation.You can enjoy a fancy meal here while admiring the amazing view of Toronto and Lake Ontario down below.
There are some fun things to do at the CN Tower for tourists. Don’t miss out on the glass floor! You can walk out on the floor and see what the city looks like from a different perspective.
Visitors also have the chance to go on an “edge walk” around the outside edge of the CN Tower. I recommend checking out the Edge Walk CN Tower website if you’re interested in this exhilarating experience.
You definitely don’t want to visit Toronto and not make your way to the CN Tower. This is one of the coolest attractions in the country and something you need to check out!
The Rocky Mountains (Banff National Park)
The majority of people visiting Canada spend their time in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City. Very few people, even Canadians themselves, venture out west to the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
The Rocky Mountains and Banff National Park are located in Alberta. Here you’ll find some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Canada.
The Rockies reward visitors with glaciers, vibrantly colored lakes, snow-covered mountain ranges, and untouched wilderness. All of this is easily accessible through the National Park system.
One of the highlights of Banff National Park is Lake Louise. This is one of the most photographed places in Canada and the most Instagrammable spot as well.
You’ve definitely seen it before – the beautiful blue lake with the mountains rising just at the end of it. That’s Lake Louise!
To properly explore the area it’s a good idea to rent a car if you’re not already on a road trip. Driving in western Canada is the best way to see the provinces out here.
Running between Jasper and Lake Louise is the famous Icefields Parkway.
This is one of the most scenic drives in the world. On a clear day you’ll get stunning views of the Rocky Mountains around you.
During the winter you can spend your days skiing or simply enjoying the beautiful outdoor scenery. In the summer the mountains are popular for hiking and other warm weather activities.
The old town area of Quebec City is one of the oldest areas in Canada and it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are quite a few things to do in Quebec City and you’re going to want to spend at least a few days exploring the city and checking out everything that it has to offer.
The old town is full of buildings that were built hundreds of years ago and as you’re walking through the city centre you can really feel the European vibe that the original settlers left behind.
There are few places in Canada where you’ll find more historic and cultural attractions in such a small area and much of the city is extremely picturesque such as the Chateau Frontenac, the Plains of Abraham, and the Quartier Petit Champlain.
Apart from all of the old buildings there are also quite a few museums in Quebec City worth checking out if you’re into history and the nearby Ile d’Olreans also makes for an interesting day trip and a great place to spend a warm summer day exploring.
Explore the Montreal Old Town
Montreal is a big city, one of Canada’s biggest, but it’s the old town part of the city that’s worth checking out.
The Old Port area of Montreal is full of historic buildings, cobblestone streets, narrow laneways, horse-drawn carriages, and sprawling squares.
During the winter it really comes alive with all of the different lights, displays, and other Christmas holiday decorations that cover the touristy area.
Don’t worry if you don’t speak French, despite Quebec being a French-speaking province there are plenty of people living and working in Montreal with a great grasp of the English language and as a tourist you shouldn’t run into any issues at all.
Some of the different things you’re going to want to check out in Montreal include the popular waterfront walking path, the Notre Dame Basilica, Rue Bonsecours, and if you get a chance you’ll want to spend a few hours exploring the Biodome.
Hit the Slopes in Whistler, British Columbia
Any trip to western Canada isn’t complete without a visit to Whistler, one of the most famous ski resorts in Canada.
Whistler is only a two-hour drive from the city of Vancouver and it’s not just skiing that you can do here.
There are a wide range of winter based activities to participate in. During the summer there is plenty of hiking options as well.
You might have heard of Whistler before.
That’s because in 2010 it was one of the locations of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games so it’s popular in Canada as well as around the world for the quality of winter activities that it offers.
The surrounding area is also incredibly scenic and very beautiful so with quite a few options when it comes to accommodation in Whistler it’s somewhere that I would definitely recommend checking out.
Look for the Prime Minister at Parliament Hill in Ottawa
As Canada’s capital city, Ottawa plays a huge role in the political development of the country and it’s Parliament Hill where you can go and admire one of the most recognizable buildings in Canada.
The Parliament Building, situated high up on Parliament Hill, was built during the last half of the 19th century and if you’ve ever seen a photo of it before then you’ve definitely noticed the Peace Tower standing stall right in the middle of the structure.
It’s the Peace Tower that actually splits the House of Commons and the Senate right in two so each half of the building is used for a similar, yet still completely different, purpose when it comes to governing the country.
On the walkway leading up to the Parliament Building entrance is a large fountain and right in the center is a flame – this is the Centennial Flame and it was lit up in 1966 in order to commemorate 100 years of Confederation.
During the summer, if you’re lucky enough to visit during this time, you can catch the exciting Changing of the Guard ceremony where the bright-red and black dressed guards march around the field in a unique display.
There are some interesting sculptures and statues that you can check out right beside the main building and behind it is a lovely walking trail that runs right along the Ottawa River, a great place to enjoy the weather if it’s nice out.
Apart from the Parliament Building there are also quite a few other things to do in Ottawa and I’d recommend spending a few days in the city to experience much of what it has to offer.
Admire the View from Signal Hill National Historic Site in St. John’s
Located right at the entrance of St. John’s harbour is the Signal Hill National Historic Site.
This is where the first wireless transatlantic signal was received in 1901 and the site offers a great view of the surrounding city as well as the nearby body of water.
During the Seven Years War the area was also a strategic defensive point and in 1812 is when the current fortifications in the area were built.
One of the most important structures at Signal Hill is the Cabot Tower.
This tower was built in 1897 and it was designed to be a commemoration of the more than 400 years that have passed since Newfoundland was discovered.
It also acts as a commemoration to the reception of the first transatlantic radio signal by Guglielmo Marconi and his achievements of receiving a signal over a distance across the Atlantic Ocean of more than 2,700 kilometers.
You can actually explore the inside of the tower today and inside are a few exhibitions and displays that provide more detail on the history of communications as well as some history of Signal Hill itself.
Once you reach the top of the tower you’re able to take in a wonderful panoramic view of the surrounding area and on a clear day you can even see Cape Spear, which is the most easterly point in all of North America.
Even if Signal Hill doesn’t seem that interesting to you it’s still worth paying a visit to St. John’s as it’s also one of the most historically relevant cities in Canada and the capital of Newfoundland.
Take a Polar Bear in Churchill, Manitoba
There’s hardly anywhere else in the world that you can see polar bears like you can see them in Churchill, Manitoba.
It’s here where the polar bears migrate from out on the ice onto land and vice versa depending on the time of year and how heavy the ice coverage is in Hudson Bay.
The most popular time to see the polar bears is in the fall when they’re making their way back out onto the ice to get some hunting done for the winter season and Churchill is the base for all of this exploration to happen.
Depending on the time of year that you visit you might get lucky and you can also catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights which is another incredible and memorable experience.
Stroll Around the Inner Harbor of Victoria, BC
There are very few other cities in Canada where you can enjoy such a wonderful waterfront experience like you can in Victoria.
This coastal city in British Columbia has spent a lot of money developing the land right up against the water to make it more pedestrian-friendly and to make up somewhere worth visiting where you can have a good time regardless when in the year you’re visiting.
There are plenty of restaurants, small shops, cafes, and countless places where you can relax and enjoy your time while people watching and just taking in the surrounding scenery.
The harbor is busy throughout the year with both tourists and locals arriving by boat and all of it is made even more wonderful by the historic and picturesque Fairmont Empress Hotel.
The hotel absolutely dominates the harbor skyline and since it was built many different kings, queens, and other important individuals have visited the hotel and wandered throughout the surrounding streets.
Something you’re definitely not going to want to miss if you happen to visit the Victoria Harbour is the traditional high tea at the Empress Hotel.
During the winter it doesn’t get that cold in Victoria like it does in other places of British Columbia and the rest of Canada so even during the colder months it’s still a wonderful place to visit.
Watch the Tides at the Bay of Fundy
Another one of the highlights of Eastern Canada is the Bay of Fundy.
This natural attraction with its unique rock formations and tide variations are what make it such an interesting place to visit.
There is a 19 meter variation between the low tide and the high tide, which is one of the biggest variations in the world, and if you arrive at the right time you can watch the water rise up while it completely changes the scenery around you.
Along the way there are plenty of places you can stop and find more information on some of the best areas to watch the tide coming in or out and it’s the cliffs and rock formations at specific areas along the bay that are the most popular.
Looking for somewhere to stay nearby? Take a look at the lovely Apothic Inn in Amherst.
Some of the best places to watch the tide coming in or leaving include Hopewell Cape, the viewing platforms at the Fundy National Park, the Fundy Trail Parkway, and the Grand Manan Island.
Keep in mind that the water comes in fast and it rises very quickly so you’re going to want to avoid any low-lying areas at all costs and make sure to practice caution near any cliff edges.
Stanley Park in Vancouver
Stanley Park is one of the most popular things to do in Vancouver for tourists and locals alike.
It’s a huge 405 hectare green space west of the downtown Vancouver area and it’s situated on the peninsula so at the park you’re able to capture amazing views of the surrounding ocean as well as the mountains off in the distance.
Right along the water’s edge, on a huge sea wall, is a walking trail and throughout the year there are plenty of people walking, biking, and jogging along the pathway.
This walkway makes for quite a relaxing break from the hustle of downtown Vancouver and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and grab some amazing photos.
Even if you’re on a road trip there’s a scenic road that runs through the park and there are quite a few places to pull out where you can take photos as well.
Also in the park you’ll find the incredible Vancouver Aquarium, the picturesque Beaver Lake, a variety of totem poles that were erected more than a hundred years ago, and the lovely Rose Garden.
Gros Morne National Park
Not too many tourists visit Newfoundland and very few Canadians make the journey to the Eastern part of the country so the park is never that busy, even during the summer when the weather is beautiful.
What makes Gros Morne National Park so unique are the fjords, mountains, huge waterfalls, and unique rock formations that were carved by glaciers millions of years ago.
I would definitely recommend going on a boat tour so that you’re able to check out some of the best scenery that the landscape has to offer and if you’re into hiking or other activities there are plenty of hiking trails that you can experience and even some opportunities to go kayaking.
During the winter even less people visit the National Park but there are opportunities to go on ski tours and even backcountry ski huts that you can spend the night after exploring during the day on your skis.
The Calgary Stampede
For 10 days in July there isn’t anywhere else in Canada that’s more busy or more popular than the Calgary Stampede.
Locals, Canadians from across the entire country, and loads of tourists head to this city in western Canada to experience the best that the Stampede has to offer.
It’s during these 10 days that the City of Calgary is turned into a true cowboy and western style town where everybody walking around is wearing cowboy boots, jeans, and ridiculous cowboy hats.
At the Stampede there is plenty going on such as the rodeo events that take place every day, different carnival rides, fun games, and a wide range of different food stalls to choose from.
Another one of the main highlights of the Calgary Stampede are the “Stampede Breakfasts” and this free breakfast is hosted by many different establishments and businesses throughout the city and if you’re willing to wait in line you can get a delicious pancake breakfast without spending any money.
Every day during the Stampede there are live performances by both local and internationally renowned country music performers and you’re definitely going to want to check out one of these concerts hopefully wearing some cowboy boots and a cowboy hat.