Recommended itinerary – 3 weeks in Canada
Have you decided to spend 3 weeks in Canada? Excellent choice!
To help you prepare for your stay, I have organized a 3-week Canada itinerary for you to discover many of the country’s unmissable places of interest.
Arriving in Vancouver, I suggest you go through Victoria, Whistler and the famous parks of Wells Gray, Jasper and Banff.
And if you just want to visit only Quebec during these 3 weeks, it’s in my other article: Itinerary of 3 weeks in Quebec.
So, what to do in Canada for 3 weeks (West + East)?
Day 1-2: Vancouver
To begin your 3-week Canada itinerary, I propose you to land in Vancouver, British Columbia. I will say right now that western Canada is a very large area for this circuit in Canada , so the return will be from Calgary. In 10 days, if you want to see the maximum of things, this is the best solution.
I recommend you start by visiting the historic district of Vancouver, Gastown.
This is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the city’s atmosphere and see the beautiful Victorian buildings typical of the area. Do not miss to see the curiosity of Gastown, the famous Steam Clock!
Nearby, visit Chinatown to visit Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s Chinese Garden, the first Chinese garden in the world to be built outside of China. The place is really beautiful and the atmosphere very soothing, perfect for recovering long hours of flight.
Then join Canada Place and its waterfront. The place offers a splendid view of the surrounding mountains and Stanley Park. Think about photographing Canada Place’s most famous item, the Digital Orca, a giant pixel art orca. One of Vancouver’s must-see!
I also suggest you try Vancouver’s must-see attraction, Fly Over Canada, which takes you to Canada in 4D(not in 10 days but in 8 minutes!), Comfortably seated in dynamic seats. The experience is great but like everywhere in Vancouver, it’s not cheap.
For lunch, you will have no trouble finding something to eat, whether you are more street food or restaurants. Why not try Japadog, Japanese hot dogs?
For the rest of the program, spend a relaxing afternoon at Stanley Park, Vancouver’s largest park. You can explore it on foot or by bike, a walk of 9 km makes the tour. In both cases, do not miss to go to the Amerindian totem pole and from the point of view to admire the Lions Gate Bridge.
At the end of the day, to admire the sunset, Vancouver’s best spot is atop the Vancouver Lookout. In the same style as the CN Tower in Toronto, the building has an observation platform at 170 meters to admire a 360 ° panorama of the entire city.
And to finish in style, this first day in Vancouver, heading to the Yaletown district, where are concentrated the best restaurants in the city.
The next day, to continue to visit Vancouver, I propose a more original experience than usual during this tour in Canada: a flyover from Vancouver by seaplane!
Several companies are available, the rate will depend on the duration and places you want to see. If you want to fly over the city, the beaches and the parks, I advise you to book your excursion in advance with one of the most serious service providers right here. Count € 88 per person for 20 minutes by seaplane.
And because the emotions are digging, continue the morning on Granville Island, where you’ll find lots of vintage shops and local crafts but above all a huge indoor market!
For the lunch break I can only recommend that you make a picnic with local products or test the food court and its dishes from around the world. To enjoy with a good beer at the edge of the water.
In the afternoon, a cultural visit to the Museum of Anthropology to understand the history of First Nations, the Native American peoples of British Columbia and Canada. To see especially for his collection of totems. If you’ve ever visited the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa , it’s kind of the same.
At the exit of the museum, you can take a tour by the beach of Wreck Beach. It is right next door.
To find a bit of nature and greenery in Vancouver, head to the Van Elsen Botanical Garden. Considered one of the most beautiful gardens in North America, it has more than 7,500 species of plants and trees. Wooden bridges, waterfalls, fountains, the garden is really well done and very nice.
And to end the day, nothing beats a quick shopping session on Vancouver’s main commercial street, Robson Street. You have just arrived, it is obliged that you miss a T-shirt or a little dress in your suitcase !!! 🙂
Tips for your Canada itinerary:
To visit Vancouver in 2 days, you will not need your car. You can easily visit on foot or use public transport , which, as in any major tourist city, are highly developed and convenient. I advise you to rent a car from the 2nd stage of this 3-week Canada itinerary.
Accommodation in Vancouver
- Samesun Vancouver : Hostel located in the city center, 2 steps from Yaletown. Bed in dormitory from 35 €, breakfast included. The most: the central location, the atmosphere, the comfortable beds, the good breakfast with muffins and bagels.
- The Sylvia Hotel: The hotel is located just 2 minutes walk from Stanley Park and one minute from the beach. Spacious and bright double room from 120 € per night. The most: the location, the friendliness of the staff, the authentic charm of the place.
- Blue Horizon Hotel : Located on Robson Street, Vancouver’s main shopping street. Double room really spacious and comfortable with a magnificent view from 190 €. Pros: the location to visit Vancouver on foot, the view, the many shops and restaurants nearby, the comfort of the rooms. It’s our heart stroke for its benefit / price ratio! For me the best hotel in Vancouver.
- The St Regis Hotel : Located in downtown, 200 meters from Vancouver Lookout. Spacious and warm double room from 240 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the optimal geographical location, the competent and warm staff, the comfort of the rooms, the breakfast excellent and hearty.
Day 3-4: Victoria
For the second stage, really start your 3-week Canada itinerary by joining Victoria, the capital of British Columbia.
To do this, head south of the city center to take the ferry at Tsawwassen. Crossing of about 1h30 for a price of about $60/car and $18/passenger.
The boat will land you 30 km from the center of Victoria, in Swartz Bay.
Before reaching the city, I advise you to stop halfway to visit the Butchart Gardens. Organized into several themed gardens, the park is home to sublime flowerbeds.
Then drive back to Victoria, 30 minutes away. You can end the day with a walk:
- In Chinatown, one of the oldest in North America
- In Market Square, for shops and restaurants
- Au Bastion Square
- At the Inner Harbor where Victoria’s most famous hotel is located: the Fairmont Empress.
Spend the night in Victoria.
On the second day in Victoria, I strongly recommend that you take the boat trip to observe orcas and whales. Between May and September, departures every hour for a 3-hour cruise.
In the afternoon, you can visit the most popular museum in Victoria: the Royal BC Museum. It is interested in the history of the province and is really super well done, with a neat staging.
End the day with a walk in Beacon Hill Park, by the sea.
Spend a second night in Victoria.
For more details and information on Victoria, it’s in my article: 2 Days in Victoria: Ultimate 2-Day BC Itinerary
Tips for your Canada itinerary:
Information for the ferry between Vancouver and Victoria can be found on this site: BC Ferries. Tickets must be reserved in advance.
Accommodation in Victoria
- Ocean Island Inn | Backpackers | Suites: Hostel located in the city center. Bed in dormitory from 30€, breakfast and dinner included. It is the cheapest accommodation in town. Ideal for backpackers.
- Robin Hood Inn and Suites: Located 5 minutes drive from downtown Victoria. Spacious and very clean double room from 100€. The most: the pleasant staff, the geographical location, the calm.
- Oak Bay Beach Hotel: Located on the seafront, 5 min drive from Victoria. Warm and comfortable double room with large bay window from €200. Most: the view, the heated outdoor swimming pool, the spa, the comfort and the standing of the hotel.
- Hotel Grand Pacific: Located just 100 meters from Parliament and 5 minutes from Beacon Hill. Modern and bright double room from €250, breakfast at €15. Most: the large indoor pool, the view of the bay, the location.
- Fairmont Empress Hotel: 5 star hotel located in the heart of Victoria. Elegant and tastefully decorated double room from €350, breakfast included. Most: the indoor pool, the Spa, the location.
Day 5-6: Whistler
The second leg of this 3-week Canada itinerary takes you to Whistler. From Vancouver, it will take about 2 hours to drive to Whistler.
Whistler is best known for being a ski resort with some of the best ski slopes in the world. If you travel to this part of Canada during the winter, this is the perfect place to enjoy winter sports in Canada. You can also go on dog sled rides or snowmobiling.
In the village, you can also indulge in shopping and eat in very good restaurants.
A good program for the day, is not it?
But do not worry, if you do not like skiing or if it’s not winter, Whistler offers the opportunity to do many other activities throughout the year.
Things to do and see in Whistler include the following activities:
- Ride the 2 highest peaks in Whistler in just 10 minutes with the Peak to Peak gondola. She is famous for its length, more than 4.4 km long! You will be able to admire a superb panorama on the valley and the glaciers.
- Take a hike. Many trails start from Lost Lake. Remember to bring your picnic, there are some very nice places to land.
- Try the mountain bike. Shops rent in Whistler and it’s a good way to walk the trails and experience new sensations.
- Relax in one of Whistler’s upscale boutique hotels.
- Get off at over 100 km / h on the largest zip line in Canada!
Accommodation in Whistler
Whistler is the premier ski resort of choice in Western Canada. Even if you book as early as possible, expect still high rates, especially in the middle of winter.
- Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel Whistler: Located 10 minutes walk from the slopes. Modern and cozy studio equipped with a kitchenette from 140 € per night. The most: the comfort and the decor of the accommodation, the very nice staff, the pool and the jacuzzi. This is our favorite for its benefit / price ratio in Whistler.
- Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside: Located just 150 meters from the departure of the gondola. Spacious studio, very well equipped with oven, microwave, dishwasher, practical to be able to make food, from 250 € the night. The most: the situation, the equipment, the friendliness of the staff.
- Four Seasons Resort Whistler: An upscale hotel located in the upper part of Whistler. This 5 * hotel offers very comfortable and cozy double rooms with views of the mountains, from 500 € per night, breakfast 27 €. Goodies: a heated outdoor pool, a SPA, jacuzzis, free shuttle service. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Whistler!
For a slightly more economical alternative and if sleeping in a dormitory bed does not bother you, I advise you to sleep at Whistler Lodge Hostel. Everything is new, clean and you will have access to a jacuzzi in the middle of the forest. Bed in dormitory from 40 € per night.
Day 7-8: Wells Gray Provincial Park
Third leg of this 3-week Canadian itinerary, Wells Gray Provincial Park. Today is really a big stop to drive,as the drive from Whistler to the park takes about 5 1/2 hours.
I know, it’s long, but it’s a must stop for all routes in Western Canada, with the park practically halfway between Whistler and Jasper (the next stop).
It allows you not to go all the way at once and it is truly a beautiful place in western Canada. It is a wilderpark and much less touristy than those of Jasper and Banff.
You have 2 possibilities:
- you get up very early to arrive at the park early in the afternoon so you can begin to discover it quietly
- make a full day road trip by taking your time on the road to admire the scenery and take some pictures. The road from Whistler to Wells Gray, Highway 99 is considered one of the most beautiful roads in Canada and really worth taking your time!
The following day, according to your desires and interests, here is a list of activities to do in Wells Gray Park:
- See Helmcken Falls: These are the most famous, they are among the most beautiful in Western Canada. They are easily accessible within a 10 minute walk from the car park and located in a beautiful natural setting, this is the must-see site of Wells Gray.
- See the other waterfalls you should not miss: the Bailey’s Chute where you can see the salmon going up the river; Spahat Falls and Dawson Falls. It is not for nothing that Wells Gray Park is nicknamed “The Waterfalls Park! “
- Take a swim or canoe at Clearwater Lake
- Hiking on one of the many trails. The one called Trophy Mountain leads you to Sheila Lake through sumptuous landscapes and beautiful flowery meadows.
- Observe the black bears.
Tips for your Canada itinerary:
When you arrive in Clearwater, go through the Visitor Center to get a map of the park. Very useful for organizing your day.
To get to Clearwater Lake, it’s better to have rented an SUV: there is not really a road, only a 26 km track and with a classic rental car, it’s a bit of a hassle and it’s a risk take a lot of time.
Accommodation in Wells Gray Park
- Wells Gray Inn: Located at the park entrance. Basic double room but very clean from 60 € per night, breakfast 10 €. The most: the situation, the benefit / price ratio, the outdoor jacuzzi, the warm welcome. A convenient and economical hotel for a night in the park.
- Gateway B & B: Located in Clearwater, 1 minute walk to the beach. Apartment with 2 bedrooms, a corner, a separate entrance and a kitchen, the fridge is even filled by the owner before your arrival! From 100 € per night, breakfast included. Most: the comfort of accommodation, breakfast, the beautiful garden. Ideal for a stay with family or friends in Wells Gray Park.
- Stoneshire Guesthouse: Located 10 minutes drive from downtown Clearwater. Comfortable suite with sitting area and kitchen equipped with utensils and hotplates, from 140 € per night. More: the calm, the equipment, the proximity of the lake to bathe, the service of rent of bicycles and organization of descent in rafting.
Day 9-10: Jasper National Park
Visiting Canada in 10 days is all about taking a stop at the famous Jasper National Park, a landmark of Western Canada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From Wells Gray Park, it’s a 4-hour drive to get there. Just before arriving in Jasper, stop at Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.
You will probably arrive in the early afternoon, for the rest of the day, so I suggest you go see the 2 most beautiful lakes of Jasper:
- Maligne Lake is approximately an hour’s drive from Jasper City. It is the largest rocky lake and Spirit Island, which is in the middle is one of the most photographed in the world. You can walk around the lake or enjoy a cruise on the lake. Count about 50 € for a commented cruise of 1h30.
- On the return between Maligne Lake and Jasper, you’ll find Medicine Lake, the second lake to be seen in Jasper National Park.
Spend the night in Jasper, the park’s only “city” where you’ll find shops, restaurants and hotels.
The next day, spend a day exploring the National Park on foot. After the day spent yesterday by car and the day ahead for tomorrow, I recommend you to do some hiking! Jasper is the perfect place for this, as it offers plenty of different trails for all levels. Check with the visitor center for a map.
Among the most popular hikes, I advise you:
- The Maligne Canyon Trail: round trip distance 4.4 km for moderate difficulty
- The Cavell Meadows Trail in the Mount Edith Cavell area: 7 km round-trip distance, medium difficulty
- The Sulfur Skyline : 8 km round trip with a difficult level because there is a good elevation of 700 m. At the top, it offers a magnificent 360 ° view of the Rockies.
- The Old Fort Point Hill Loop with stunning views of the Athabasca River: distance of 3.8 km with average difficulty level
- The valley of 5 lakes : 4.5 km away and a medium difficulty.
And to end the day and relax, there’s nothing like passing through another must-see place in Jasper, Miette Hotsprings. In other words hot springs of hot water located outside. You can relax while enjoying a magnificent view of the mountains and the park.
Accommodation in Jasper
Tip: Book your accommodation in Jasper as soon as possible! Most establishments are full months in advance, even campsites. Prices can also fly according to the weeks: a room proposed to 120 € passes to 350 € the week after. The rates of the hotels that I propose to you are therefore really random.
- Chateau Jasper: This hotel offers spacious and well-equipped double rooms from € 110 a night. Most: the pool and spa area, the comfort of the rooms, the price / performance ratio.
- Mount Robson Inn: Hotel near downtown Jasper, 2 minutes drive. Very quiet double room with views of the mountains from 200 € per night, breakfast included. Most: the calm, 2 hot tubs.
- Best Western Jasper Inn & Suites: The hotel offers several types of suites with seating areas, some with kitchenettes. They are all very warm and spacious. From 230 € per night, breakfast included. The most: sauna, steam room, swimming pool, the good location, the warm welcome.
- Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge : Located 7 km from Jasper, on the shores of Lac Beauvert. Double room warm and comfortable from 400 € per night. Pros: the beautiful lakeside location, the heated outdoor pool, the attentive staff.
If you have a small budget to sleep in Jasper National Park, I recommend Jasper Downtown Hostel. This hostel offers dorm beds from € 30 per night. Everything is super clean and modern.
Day 11-12: Banff National Park
For this 5th leg of this 3-week Canada itinerary, take the mythical route of the Canadian West, the Icefields Parkway.
The Icefield Parkways (Highway 93) is known to be one of the most scenic drives in Canada. It connects the cities of Jasper to Banff over 230 km through the two national parks.
I advise you to plan a whole day for the trip. There are indeed many places and points of view to admire all along the street. The car parks and lookouts are provided to be able to stop easily.
Stops to make when you travel on the Icefield Parkways:
- See the Athabasca Falls, over 20 meters high
- Stop at Sunwapta Falls
- Discover the Athabasca Glacier and the Columbia Icefield. If you only have to make one stop on the glacier walk, this is it. You can walk the glacier on foot or take a bus ride on giant tires for a ride. It’s one of the most popular activities in the area!
- Lake Peyto, accessible by a 15 minute mini walk. You will be surprised by its turquoise waters from the melting glacier.
To not miss any of the points of interest, you can visit the site of the glacier walk.
At the end of the day, you are at the end of Route 93. For this night and the night after, I recommend you to stay in Lake Louise, the closest town to Lake Louise. This lake is in Banff National Park and is one of the most photographed lakes in the world. In an intense turquoise blue, the lake is simply splendid and ultra photogenic.
In the program of the next day, you can practice the most widespread activity in the park, hiking! Many hiking trails start from Lake Louise but also from Moraine Lake, the second famous Banff Lake. The flyer for all walks is available at the Visitor Center in Lake Louise Village.
In the list of easy trails, I recommend the one that goes around Lake Louise in just 1 hour, a good way to get in shape. You can also climb to the Fairview Lookout, in just 45 minutes to admire the lake and the famous hotel in the background. On the same principle, you can also go around Moraine Lake in 45 minutes.
For medium difficulty hikes, the most beautiful is undoubtedly that of the Plaine des Six Glaciers. With a duration of approximately 4 hours it allows to discover a series of impressive glaciers and peaks.
To find out in advance about the state of the trails, and check out all possible hikes, visit the Canada Park site.
Our tips and tricks to better organize your day hike in Banff Park.
1) Lake Louise and Moraine Lake both have parking. However the sites are limited, and during the tourist period (June to September), it is advisable to be there before 9 am if you want a place.
2) Once the Moraine Lake locations are complete, the road is cut off and you will not be able to access it. Note also that it is open only from May to October.
3) From Lake Louise (the village), a shuttle takes you to Lake Louise for free. Rotate approximately every 20 minutes until 6 pm for return.
4) Bears are very present in Banff Park, always have pepper spray with you and make noise as you walk to hear you approach. The best is to move in groups.
Accommodation in Lake Louise / Banff National Park
Here, same recommendation as for Jasper National Park, book early! And also the same for the (very) high rates.
- Paradise Lodge and Bungalows: Located 1 km from the village of Lake Louise. Suites and wooden bungalows, typical and warm from 300 € per night. The most: the ideal location, the beautiful setting, the excellent home.
- Baker Creek Mountain Resort: Located 20 minutes drive from Lake Louise. This resort offers suites and chalets decorated in the mountain style with paneling and fireplaces from € 400 a night. Most: the location near the river, the natural environment, the beauty of the cottages. This is our recommendation for a romantic stay in Banff Park.
- Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise: This is the famous hotel on the shores of Lake Louise! Elegant and well decorated double room overlooking the lake or the castle park from € 600 a night. The most: the panoramic terrace to admire the lake, the geographical location, the friendly staff. It’s our choice for a luxury vacation in Banff National Park!
A much cheaper option for the budget, spend a night in a youth hostel. I recommend the HI-Lake Louise Alpine Center. Bed in dormitory from 40 € per night, hard to find cheaper!
Day 13: Calgary / Flight to Montreal
Today, leave Banff National Park to join Calgary. From Lake Louise, a journey of approximately 2 hours awaits you.
Calgary is often a stopover town on the way to or from a road trip in Western Canada. Yet it deserves a little tour to discover the main places of interest.
To visit Calgary in 1 day, I suggest you visit the Glenbow Museum. The perfect way to learn more about the history of the city and the region of Alberta. With 33,000 works, the Glenbow is nothing less than the largest art museum in Western Canada. His visit is really very interesting.
Then head to Calgary Tower, Calgary’s iconic landmark. This tower offers a 360 ° view of the entire city and part of the Canadian Rockies. With a glass floor, sensations guaranteed to almost 190 meters high! Just like in the towers of Toronto or Vancouver, you can have lunch in the revolving restaurant at the top.
In the afternoon, I recommend visiting Heritage Park Village. Stroll through a typical western Canadian village of the last century. Browse stalls, the forge, the bakery, to discover the lifestyles of yesteryear. Take a seat in an authentic steam locomotive or embark on a paddle boat cruise .
From Calgary, you can fly to Montreal and continue your stay by visiting Eastern Canada! There are about 4 direct flights per day and the flight time is 4 hours.
Spend the night in Montreal (see list of accommodations below).
Tips for your Canada itinerary:
If you have some time to explore Calgary before your flight, you can find all the details on things to do here: Visit Calgary.
Day 14: Montreal
For the continuation of this 3-week vacation in Canada, I now suggest that you devote a week to Eastern Canada.
The first day, I advise you to visit Montreal:
- Old Montreal: the historic district of the city where you will notably discover the Notre-Dame de Montreal basilica, the Bonsecours market, the Quai de l’Horloge and the Jacques-Cartier square.
- The Old Port of Montreal for a stroll along the St. Lawrence River
- Lunch at the “L’arrivage” restaurant at the Pointe-à-Callières museum, at the end of the Old Port promenade. One of the best restaurants in town with an amazing view of the Old Port! And the full menu is under $25!
- Mont-Royal Park from the belvedere from which you can admire the most beautiful view of Montreal
- Plateau Mont-Royal and its typical houses with colorful facades and spiral staircases
- Dinner at “la Banquise” to taste the traditional Quebec dish: a poutine!
Spend the night in Montreal.
Accommodation in Montreal
In Montreal, as in all tourist destinations, the best accommodations sell out very quickly. I therefore strongly recommend that you book your hotel in advance!
- M Montreal : Youth hostel located 5 minutes walk from the Berri Uquam metro station on Sainte Catherine Street. Bed in a modern and comfortable dormitory from €25 per night, breakfast included. Possibility also to sleep in a double room. The pluses: very welcoming staff, modern infrastructure, bar in the basement with shows on certain evenings. An excellent choice where to stay inexpensively in Montreal!
- Best Western Plus Hotel Montreal: Located in the entertainment district. Warm and spacious double room from 150€ per night. Most: the perfect location for visiting Montreal, cleanliness, comfortable beds.
- Le Dauphin Montreal Centre-Ville: Located 200 meters from the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal and 5 min walk from the Old Port. Double room from €170, breakfast included. Most: very well located, the size of the rooms, the large bed.
- Le Petit Hotel Montreal: Located in the historic center of Montreal. Room with real character with exposed stone and brick wall, from €250, breakfast included. Most: the service, the good breakfast, the charm of the hotel.
- Le St-Martin Hotel Centre-ville – Hotel Particulier: Located 50 m from rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest. Elegant and cozy double room from 290€. Most: the swimming pool with waterfall and water jets, the adorable staff, the location, the comfort. This is our recommendation for an upscale stay in Montreal!
- Hotel Birks Montreal: Located downtown, this 5* hotel offers superb tastefully decorated rooms from €500, breakfast at €19. Most: the perfect location, the architecture, the friendliness of the staff, the Spa. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Montreal!
Day 15: The Thousand Islands
Today, it’s time to get back in the car for the rest of this 21-day itinerary in Canada, leaving Montreal to reach the Thousand Islands, a 3-hour drive away.
As their name suggests, the Thousand Islands are a group of several islands (1865 islands in all) of varying sizes spread over the St. Lawrence River. The best way to discover them is to opt for a cruise, you will see the landscapes are truly magnificent!
You will have the choice between several durations.
The same cruise also exists in a 1h30 version.
If you have a slightly higher budget, it is also possible to fly over the Thousand Islands by helicopter. You will have the choice between circuits of 10 to 30 minutes.
Spend a night in the Thousand Islands.
Accommodation in the Thousand Islands
- Howard Johnson Gananoque : Motel located 1.5 km from the cruise pier. Spacious and comfortable double room from €70 per night, breakfast included. Most: location, outdoor swimming pool, cleanliness, comfortable bedding, good breakfast, free parking. It is our favorite for its performance / price ratio!
- Comfort Inn & Suites Thousand Islands Harbor District : Located 5 minutes walk from the boat pier. Comfortable double room from €100 per night, breakfast included. The pluses: the indoor swimming pool, the free parking, the breakfast, the quality of the welcome, the geographical location.
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites 1000 Islands: Located 2 km from the departure of the cruises. Modern and warm double room from €150 per night, breakfast included. The pluses: the indoor swimming pool, the sauna, the comfort of the rooms, the good breakfast, the calm.
Day 16-18: Toronto
For the tenth leg of your three-week Canada itinerary, head to Toronto, the capital of the province of Ontario.
Count about 2h30 by car from the 1000 islands.
Arrived in Toronto, I suggest the following route of visits for the first day:
- Kensington Market, one of Toronto’s oldest neighborhoods. To know everything about its history, I advise you to choose a guided tour.
- Chinatown, to stock up on souvenirs: magnets and mugs are the cheapest in town
- The Distillery district, an entirely pedestrian area with lots of cool shops and trendy cafes. Possible to book your guided tour here.
- The St-Lawrence market and its good local products: tasting and visit to book there.
- Ripley’s Aquarium: Canada’s largest aquarium. Tickets on sale here.
Finish the day by climbing to the top of CN Tower to admire the unmissable panorama of the city of Toronto.
If you are not afraid of heights, it is even possible to walk on the outer edge of the tower, only restrained by a harness! For the modest sum of $225 all the same…
Spend the night in Toronto.
On the second day in Toronto, I advise you to:
- Discover Casa Loma, an authentic medieval-style castle in the middle of Canada, the whim of a wealthy industrialist…
- Visit the Royal Ontario Museum, really unmissable, it is the largest museum in the country! The topics covered are very varied: natural history, world cultures and of course the history of the first nations. Entrance tickets available here.
In the afternoon, take the ferry to Queens Bay to reach the Toronto Islands in just 10 minutes. The crossing allows you to contemplate one of the most beautiful views of the Toronto skyline.
You can then rent a bike to tour the islands. There are plenty of beaches for swimming.
Spend a second night in Toronto.
On the third and last day in Toronto, it’s time to go discover one of the iconic tourist sites of this 3-week tour of Canada: Niagara Falls!
They are located about 1h30 by car from Toronto.
And I’m not teaching you anything if I tell you that the best way to see them is to choose the cruise that takes you to the foot of the falls. Remember to book your tickets in advance to avoid queuing!
You can also fly over them in a helicopter. Even if it is necessarily a little more expensive, it is an unforgettable moment! And hey, we don’t visit Niagara Falls every day.
After the boat trip, you can also climb to the top of the Skylon Tower to see the falls from its observation deck. Tickets can be booked directly here!
The “Journey Behind The Falls” activity (click here to book your tickets) also allows you to reach an observation platform but this time located at the foot of the falls through the tunnels, 40 meters underground.
For the rest of the day, I advise you to take the Niagara Parkway route. It allows you to admire beautiful landscapes and reach the picturesque village of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Return to sleep one last night in Toronto.
I recommend that you read my article dedicated to Toronto to have even more details on these activities: What to do in Toronto?
Tips for your Canada itinerary:
If you don’t want to bother driving in a big city, I advise you to opt for an organized day tour.
I recommend the one offered by GetYourGuide. It’s the best way to let yourself go through the day without any stress, everything is organized. A shuttle even picks you up directly in front of your hotel and brings you back to the same place in the evening.
The day includes:
- The bus ride
- La visite de Niagara-on-the-Lake
- A photo stop along the Niagara Parkway
- The famous boat cruise close to the Falls
- 3 hours of free time to wander around as you wish and make the most of the day
- As an option, you can also choose to live an extraordinary experience by flying over Niagara Falls in a helicopter!!!
Accommodation in Toronto
It’s not so easy to find a hotel offering good value for money in Toronto. In order to help you, I have prepared a list of the best hotels according to your budget.
Last piece of advice: If the establishment that attracts you is available, book it immediately. Demand is very high in the city and the best accommodation is going (very) quickly!
- The Clarence Park : Hostel located 10 min walk from the CN Tower. Bed in dormitory from 35€ per night. The pluses: the location, the friendliness, the curtains for the beds in the dormitory, modern. An excellent choice for cheap accommodation in Toronto!
- Margie Townhome Suites: Guest house located 5 minutes walk from the Eaton Centre. Pleasant and cozy room from 110€. Most: location, calm, next to the metro.
- The Novotel Toronto Centre: located right next to St Lawrence Market. Contemporary and very spacious double room from 150€. Most: indoor pool, location, very good breakfast.
- One King West Hotel and Residence: located in Old Toronto, 5 min from St Lawrence Market. Modern, spacious and elegant suite with a superb view of the city from €190, breakfast €17. Most: in the city center, excellent bedding, the incredible view.
- The Omni King Edward Hotel : For anyone who wants to treat themselves to a little treat during your trip to Toronto. Upscale hotel located in the Financial District, steps from the Eaton Centre. Cozy and neatly decorated double room from €300, breakfast at €23. Most: the ideal location, the attentive staff, the decoration and the comfort of the rooms, excellent breakfast. To be preferred for an upscale stay in Toronto (or just one night to treat yourself as a couple!)
- Bisha Hotel Toronto: 5* hotel located just 500m from the CN Tower. The establishment offers superb rooms decorated by the design firm of the star Lenny Kravitz. From 390€. Most: the infinity pool on the roof with a view of the CN tower, the excellent restaurants of the hotel, the ideal location. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Toronto!
As you may have noticed, accommodation in the center of Toronto is still quite expensive, which is quite understandable because it is a large Canadian city that is very touristy.
If you want to save a little and don’t mind staying a little further from the center, hotels located near the Toronto airport (17km from downtown) generally offer lower rates.
You have for example:
- Doubletree by Hilton Toronto Airport
- Best Western Plus Travel Hotel Toronto Airport
- Courtyard by Marriott Toronto Airport
- Hampton Inn by Hilton Toronto Airport Corporate Centre
Day 19: Ottawa
Continue your 3-week stay in Canada by joining Ottawa, the capital of Canada.
The best thing is to leave Toronto fairly early because there is still a 4h15 drive between the 2 cities.
Things to see and do in Ottawa:
- The Byward Market: the perfect place to start your visit as you can have lunch there. Without forgetting to taste the traditional Canadian pastry: a beaver tail.
- Parliament Hill where the buildings of the Canadian Parliament are grouped
- The Canadian Museum of History which is one of the most interesting museums I have visited. It retraces the whole history of Canada in a super interesting way. See also the largest collection of totems in the world! Don’t hesitate to book your tickets in advance by clicking here!
- The Rideau Canal for a walk along the banks.
Spend the night in Ottawa.
Tips for your Canada itinerary:
If you don’t feel like walking, there are several ways to discover Ottawa (click on the links in orange to book):
- A hop-on hop-off bus tour
- A commented cruise on the Ottawa River
- An electric boat cruise
- A guided amphibian bus tour: this is by the way my favorite because it combines the bus and the mini-cruise!
Accommodation in Ottawa
Ottawa may be the capital of Canada, but it’s still a small city. The offer for accommodation is therefore a little limited. I advise you to do it in advance to book accommodation from our selection and not to hesitate too long.
- HI Ottawa Jail Hostel : Hostel located in a restored former prison. So you will sleep in cells! Bed in dormitory from 30€, breakfast included. Most: the originality of the place, the excellent location, the good breakfast.
- The Business Inn : Hotel located 1.3km from Parliament Hill. Very well equipped studio with a kitchen from €95 per night, breakfast included. Most: the geographical location, the spacious rooms, the presence of a computer with printer in the rooms, the possibility of cooking. It is our favorite for its unbeatable price/performance ratio!
- Andaz Ottawa Byward Market-a concept by Hyatt : Located in the Byward Market area. Double room with modern and refined decoration from €160 per night, breakfast included. Most: the geographical location, the welcoming staff, the roof terrace, the very complete and varied buffet breakfast.
- Fairmont Château Laurier : Luxury hotel located a 10-minute walk from Parliament Hill. Spacious and comfortable double room from €350 per night, breakfast included. Most: the quality of the services, the comfort of the rooms, the indoor swimming pool, the helpful and attentive staff. Ideal for having fun!
Day 20-21: Montreal
Here you are at the last stage of this recommended itinerary for visiting Canada in 3 weeks.
I propose today to reach Montreal, 2h15 drive from Ottawa.
The rest of the day will be dedicated to visiting Montreal:
- Climb to the top of the Olympic Stadium’s tilted tower for views of the entire region
- Visit the Montreal Biodome to immerse yourself in the different ecosystems of the American continent
- Take a walk in the botanical garden
- Finish with a shopping session on Sainte-Catherine Street, Montreal’s main commercial artery. Last chance to finish spending your Canadian dollars!
Spend the night in Montreal.
The next day unfortunately marks the end of your 3-week Canada itinerary. You will have to think about taking your return flight.
Tips for your Canada itinerary:
For a 20-day trip to Canada, spend one less day in Toronto.
If you have decided to visit Canada in 22 days, you can add a day at any stage. It’s up to you whether you prefer to devote an extra day to discovering a city or enjoying a little more nature in the national parks.
Variation to this 3 week itinerary in Canada
It is quite possible to adapt this 3-week Canada itinerary if you want to visit Quebec instead of Ontario.
Just follow this trip to stage 7 in Calgary and take the flight to Montreal.
You will then have a whole week left to discover Quebec. You can visit Montreal, Quebec City and La Mauricie National Park.
I explain the different stages in my article: Itinerary of a week in Quebec.
If you have any questions to organize your 3 week itinerary in Canada, do not hesitate to ask me in the comments.
Are you going to Canada? Read Also:
- What to do in Canada? The 20 things to discover absolutely during your trip!
- Itinerary: A week in Canada: All the steps to visit Canada in 1 week!
- Itinerary: 10 days in Canada: All our advice for organizing your 10-day trip to Canada!
- What to do in Quebec? My 15 favorite things to discover in the French-speaking province!
- Itinerary: A week in Quebec : How to visit Quebec in 1 week, with all our advice!
- Itinerary: 2 days in Quebec: All the steps to organize your 2-day stay in Quebec!
- Calgary: The Top 10 Things to Do When You Visit