Top 20 Things To Do In Canada

What to do in Canada?

Are you planning to visit Canada on your next trip?

The wide open spaces, the wild nature, the gigantism of North American cities are yours , not forgetting the harsh winter and the magnificently colored autumn!

To help you organize your stay, I have prepared a list of places of interest, activities and top things to do in Canada. And no matter the season of your trip, you will find something to marvel at in caribou country!

So what’s the top things to do in Canada?

Visiting Canada: the essentials

1. Montreal

We start our top things to see in Canada with the city of Montreal , a practically obligatory passage during your trip!

Very cosmopolitan and multicultural city , having lived there for 3 years, I can tell you that there are a host of activities to do in Montreal !

Here are the places of interest that you should not miss:

Travel Tips
Between 2 visits, don’t forget to taste a typical dish from Canada , a poutine! 2 camps oppose each other: those who love and those who hate. So you might as well make up your own mind on the matter.
Montreal by night

2. Quebec

Direction then the second city of the province of Quebec after Montreal, Quebec.

Here, no buildings like in Montreal, Quebec is a small old-fashioned city , more European in type than its big sister. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site , it has retained all its charm and has a unique cachet given by its old houses and narrow streets.

Personally, I loved the very warm atmosphere that reigns there. Maybe also at that time it reminded me a little of my country of origin, France.

Overview of the places to see during your visit to the city:

A few minutes by car from Quebec, I also advise you to go see the Montmorency Falls. You probably don’t know it but they are higher than Niagara Falls .

Their flow is really impressive and they are just as beautiful in winter when frozen. A footbridge located at the very top allows you to cross them, sensations guaranteed !

To better organize your visit to the city, read our article: The 15 things to see absolutely in Quebec.

Quebec

3. Niagara Falls

Well even if the Montmorency Falls are impressive, it must be recognized that they are still less famous than the famous Niagara Falls.

For me, it is without a doubt one of my most beautiful memories in Canada and one of the attractions not to be missed during a tour in Canada .

Niagara Falls can be admired from every angle and in different ways:

The Niagara falls

4.Toronto

Toronto is not far from Niagara Falls , a good reason to visit Canada’s largest city.

Toronto looks a lot like New York with its skyscrapers, many shopping areas and some with a more bohemian vibe.

Toronto ‘s major attraction is undoubtedly climbing to the top of the CN Tower, so I tried it. Knowing that I have vertigo, you can imagine that I found it impressive. First you have to take the elevator and on leaving a transparent glass floor you can admire the view 1 13 floors below . Floor-to-ceiling windows also offer an exceptional panorama of the entire city.

If you need more to be impressed, no problem, I suggest you test the highest promenade in the world . You can walk on the edge of the tower simply attached by a harness. It’s a shame, it didn’t exist yet when I visited it *sigh of relief*

List of other places of interest to see in Toronto:

5. The Thousand Islands

During my visit to Niagara Falls and Toronto, I took the opportunity to take a boat trip to the Thousand Islands , a little less known place in Canada.

The best way to visit them is to opt for a cruise of one or more hours. Boats depart from the towns of Rockport, Gananoque or Kingston. Most are tourist boats (about fifty people on board) but you can also take a private boat.

The cruise will allow you to navigate in the middle of some of the 1865 islands.

All of different sizes, some house cabins or more luxurious houses , or even a castle!

The Thousand Islands

6. Mont-Tremblant

Mont Tremblant is one of the most famous places in Canada to admire the colors of Canadian fall.

And yes, this is where you will find the emblematic postcard landscapes, with the trees in warm and colorful tones. The colors range from yellow to intense red. If you are lucky enough to be in Quebec in the fall, it is to be included in your circuit!

A hike starting from the bottom of the village and climbing to the top of the Mont allows you to admire the lake and its colorful trees from different points of view. It climbs quite a bit!

In winter, Mont Tremblant becomes one of the best ski resorts in Canada and is a delight for winter sports enthusiasts. There are a hundred runs and a 7-hectare snowpark , with ramps and slide bars.

Finally, in summer, you will find a summer toboggan run , a mini-golf course and you can of course enjoy many water activities on the lake.

Canadian Fall in Mont Tremblant

7. Ottawa

What if you did like me and visit the capital of Canada, Ottawa , during your stay?

A short list of sites to see in Ottawa:

Travel Tips
A brief word on the Canadian Museum of History which is truly one of the most interesting museums I have visited. The exhibits are very well done and captivating. We discover the history of the Canadian First Nations and the collection of totems is impressive. It’s not for nothing that it’s the most visited museum in Canada! Add to your list of things to do in Ottawa.
Ottawa

8. Banff National Park

Banff National Park offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. No doubt it has its place in my top things to do and see in Canada!

This natural park is located in the Canadian Rockies, a range of mountains known to be among the most impressive in the world. The landscapes are simply extraordinary.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site , Banff National Park is home to the 2 most photographed lakes in the world: Lake Louise and Lake Moraine. Thanks to the silt carried by the water of the glaciers, their color is indeed an intense turquoise blue. You have to see it to believe it !

Another lake to see in the national park, that of Minnewanka, which with its 21km long is the largest in Banff.

Around each of the lakes you will find many hiking trails to admire them from all sides and try to take the perfect souvenir photo.

Banff National Park

9. Icefield Parkways / The Icefield Parkway

The Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) is one of the most beautiful scenic drives in Canada , and for some, in the world. I strongly advise you to integrate it into your program during your stay.

Over nearly 230 km it connects the cities of Banff and Jasper passing through national parks. Many car parks and belvederes have been set up to allow you to stop and admire the magnificent natural landscapes and take beautiful photos. Waterfalls, canyons, glaciers, rivers, lakes, nature lovers will be delighted!

On the road, you will be able to see in particular:

All the information is on the site of the promenade des glaciers.

Travel Tips
The glacier walk is very touristy so if you can, leave early in the morning. To make the most of the stops on the road, plan to sleep one night in Jasper or Banff (it depends on which way you travel it) and return the next day to admire the places you would have missed.
Travel Tips
On the way, it is quite possible that you will see wild animals . It is strictly forbidden to feed them and lure them to take pictures. Canada is super strict about this!
The glacier walk

10. Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park is the largest of the Rocky Mountain parks.

One of the main sites of this natural park are the Athabasca Falls , fed by the melting of the same glacier. You can also explore the glacier on foot or by taking a bus with huge wheels specially designed to roll over it.

Also not to be missed in the park:

For hiking addicts, I recommend the Skyline trail, which will allow you to discover the superb landscapes of the Rocky Mountains over nearly 43 km.

National Park

11. Rocky Mountaineer

In Canada, you can enjoy an unusual activity, the Rocky Mountaineer . Embark on one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world and also one of the most expensive – I prefer to warn you right away!

The train allows you to admire all the beauty of the Canadian Rockies passing through Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. You will be able to explore places inaccessible by car during the day and at night you will sleep in splendid hotels because the train only runs during the day so as not to miss any of the landscapes. And as it is a luxury train , excellent meals are served on board!

Several itineraries are possible with different departure cities ( Vancouver , Jasper) and varying lengths of stay (from 2 days to 3 weeks). The cheapest package, with 2 days of train starts at 1050€.

To plan your Rocky Mountaineer adventure, visit the official website.

The Rocky Mountaineer

12. Visit Canada’s Other National Parks

I told you about the national parks of Banff and Jasper which are the 2 best known in Canada . But did you know that in Canada, there are more than 45?

For all outdoor and hiking enthusiasts, Canada is just THE ideal destination.

I offer you a small overview of the most beautiful so that you can include some of them in your program of things to see:

Travel Tips
There is a charge for entry to national parks, but from 2018 it’s free for young people under 17 . You will have no excuse not to take your children with you!
Prince Edward Island National Park

13.Vancouver

Vancouver is a super pleasant city to discover during a trip to Canada, it is also regularly in the top 5 of the most pleasant cities in the world. Cleverly blending an urban center with beautiful natural landscapes, the city is full of things to do.

I give you some ideas to discover it well:

14. The Gaspé Peninsula

The  Gaspésie is a flagship region to visit, it is also more and more touristy. Perhaps it is because the National Geographic has ranked it for years as one of Canada’s must-see destinations.

Here are the main attractions that make Gaspésie famous:

Travel Tips
To explore Gaspésie, there’s nothing better than taking Route 132, a pretty panoramic road that circles the peninsula.
Gaspesie

15. Whale Watching in Canada

One of the most memorable activities to experience during your stay in Canada is to go whale watching.

The best place to try to see them is at the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord, in Tadoussac more precisely. The whales find plenty of food there and therefore come back every year.

In Tadoussac, you will have the choice between several types of cruises: by big boat, by zodiac and even by kayak for the bravest.

The most favorable period for this type of observation is from mid-May to October , but the whales are in greatest numbers in September and October , so if you are lucky enough to be there at that time you can definitely see some.

Travel Tips
To see the whales, it is better to get up early and leave with one of the first boats. There will be fewer people than in the late morning or early afternoon.
Watch the whales

16.Calgary

Calgary is a good stopover city for anyone wishing to visit Banff and Jasper National Parks. Its location between the Canadian Rockies and the prairies gives it a unique appeal.

The city itself is very effervescent in all seasons even if it is especially famous for its annual rodeo competition, the Calgary Stampede which takes place every summer in July for 10 days.

The festival attracts over a million people and is broadcast across Canada. On the program, rodeo of course , but also shows, concerts and a carnival.

And above all, every morning you can enjoy the pancake breakfast  : everywhere in the city, pancakes are cooked and served for free and at will ! For that alone I love Calgary!🙂

Other than that, in Calgary, don’t forget to:

To find all the things to do in Calgary, it’s in our article: Visit Calgary, Top 10 things to see absolutely.

The city of Calgary at night, with the Peace Bridge in the foreground

17. Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is a beautiful region of Canada that has retained all of its authentic charm.

Renowned for its splendid natural landscapes but also for excellent food based on seafood, you will not be bored for a second by visiting this region located on the east coast of Canada.

Overview of the main attractions of the region:

Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, Nova Scotia

18. Yukon

The Yukon is a less touristy destination in Canada On the other hand, it is the dream if you wish to make a stay off the beaten track in the country!

The region offers wild landscapes of great beauty where you will also have the impression of being alone in the world. It is also an opportunity to discover peoples with fascinating cultures and traditions, the First Nations.

A short list of top things to see in the Yukon:

The Yukon

19. See the Northern Lights in Canada

Your trip to Canada will give you the opportunity to discover a fascinating and marvelous spectacle: the Northern Lights which adorn the sky with colorful hues.

For this, you will have to go to the North of the Country, closest to the magnetic pole, that is to say from 60 degrees latitude. Winter is the season when you will have the best chance of seeing them because the sky must be clear and total darkness. And of course you will have to watch because most of them occur between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.

The most famous places to see the Northern Lights are in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories (around Yellowknife) . You can also go northeast to Nunavuk and Nunavit on Inuit territory.

To put the best chance on your side of witnessing this breathtaking phenomenon, you can consult this site which gives forecasts of the aurora borealis in real time.

Northern Lights in Canada

20. Snowmobiling in Canada

One of the most popular activities and a must on a trip to Canada is to take a snowmobile outing ! (Also called Skidoo there).

Canada has a whole network of marked trails where you can practice this sport in complete safety. You will have the choice between several organized excursions, whether for a few hours or even a few days.

Most provinces in Canada offer this activity. However, if you are a beginner, choose the shores of the St. Lawrence River and the Charlevoix region, which has easy trails.

The Laurentians, Lanaudière, La Mauricie, Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean, the Eastern Townships and Gaspésie are all places where you can have fun snowmobiling.

Snowmobiling in Canada

Are you going on a trip to Canada? Also read

Check out all our articles about Canada: All articles about Canada are listed here!

5 steps to prepare your trip to Canada :  The complete guide to prepare everything from A to Z!