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Travel Guide: Canada

If you’re planning a trip to explore the exhilarating sites of Canada, our Travelex Travel Guide is packed with everything you need to know.

Discover Canada

Located in North America, Canada is known for its stunning natural scenery, friendly people, and diverse culture. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a lover of French culture, a sports-fan, or a foodie, Canada has something for you.

Top Places to Visit in Canada

Banff National Park

Banff National Park

Our top pick is Canada’s first National Park, located in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains. After a quick Google Image search, it won’t be hard for you to see why. With stunning turquoise glacial lakes, picturesque mountain peaks, and local wildlife, Banff should be at the top of every itinerary when visiting Canada.

Toronto

Toronto

If skyscrapers and city lights are more your thing, Canada’s largest city is ready for you to explore. With a vibrant cultural scene and iconic landmarks like the CN Tower, you’ll never run out of things to do. Visit one of the many art museums, catch a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game or taste your way through the local cuisine including Toronto’s famous Peameal bacon.

Quebec

Quebec

For a taste of French culture, you can’t miss the province of Quebec. Explore neighbourhoods of cobblestone streets, lined by a unique blend of French and British architecture. The capital, Quebec City, is one of the oldest cities in North America full of rich history and culture. Montreal is another major city in Quebec known for its vibrant nightlife, diverse food scene, and cultural festivals. The city is also home to many museums, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Montreal Science Centre.



Ottawa

Ottawa

Boasting grand Victorian architecture and iconic landmarks and attractions, such as Parliament Hill, the Canadian Museum of History, and the Rideau Canal, the capital city of Canada is not to be overlooked. Offering a world-class culinary scene, and dubbed the capital of Christmas movies, it’s the perfect place to experience everything Canada has to offer.

Vancouver

Vancouver

One of Canada’s densest and most ethnically diverse cities, Vancouver features thriving arts, sports and foodie scenes. Known for its beautiful waterfront, gorgeous beaches, and the incredible backdrop of the North Shore Mountains, Vancouver is a great option if you’re interested in participating in both indoor and outdoor activities.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Straddling the border between Canada’s Ontario province and the US state of New York, the natural beauty of Niagara Falls is sure to take your breath away. The hard part will be picking which way to see the stunning falls. Stroll along the White Water Walk, get up close (and soaked) via boat, take in the sights from above with a helicopter tour or if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can also go ziplining or jet-boating.



Getting Around Canada

By Car

Driving is one of the best ways to traverse the wide lands of Canada. Excluding the northern territories, all of Canada is connected by the Trans-Canada Highway, making it easy to drive from town to town and stop off whenever you feel like it. To drive in Canada, you'll need both an International Driving Permit (IDP) and a valid Australian licence.

By Public Transport

Unlike what you may be used to, travelling by train in Canada is considered a luxury activity. Train travel is more expensive than taking the bus, with pricing often comparable to plane travel. However, by taking the train you will pass through mountain valleys, adjacent to rivers and enjoy stunning landscapes. Alternatively, bus travel is cheaper, generally comfortable and reliable. We recommend buying bus tickets as early as possible to avoid higher fares.

By Bike

For a unique travel method, try hiring a bike to explore one of Canada’s many cities. With most major cities featuring designated bike routes, you’ll be able to experience Canada’s beautiful sights and landmarks and discover hidden gems you might have otherwise missed.

Things to do in Canada

Canada national parks

Hike one of Canada’s thrilling trails

With over 40 national parks and reserves, there is no shortage of breathtaking hiking trails to explore. From the stunning Rocky Mountains to the rugged coastline of Newfoundland and Labrador, there’s a trail for even the most inexperienced hiker.

Quebec french canada

Immerse yourself in the French culture

Quebec’s distinctive mix of French and English cultures gives you a unique perspective into the rich history of Canada. Immerse yourself in the culture by delighting in some French-Canadian cuisine, music, and art. You may even line up your trip with one of their famous festivals like Quebec City’s Winter Carnival or Montreal’s Jazz Festival.

Hockey in Canada

Catch a hockey game

It will only take you a few hours in Canada to realise the locals view hockey as a way of life. With origins tracing back to 1875, the country’s national pastime sees millions of Canadians participating in the game at all levels. Whether it’s cheering on their favourite team or lacing up their skates to hit the ice themselves, Canadians have a deep passion for hockey. Witness this passion first-hand and join in on the exhilaration of cheering on the local team by catching a hockey game while you’re there.

Maple Syrup in Canada

Indulge in some maple syrup

Maple syrup is part of the country’s fabric, with Canada producing approximately three-quarters of the world’s maple syrup. Made from the sap of maple trees, which occupy 8,681,000 hectares of land across Canada, it is commonly used as a topping for everything from pancakes to fried chicken. You can tour one of the thousands of maple farms across the country or visit on December 17th - National Maple Syrup Day - as Canadians come together to honour the sweet auburn syrup.

Natural hot springs in Canada

Take a dip in the natural hot springs

For a relaxing and rejuvenating experience like no other, you can’t miss the chance to take a dip in one of Canada’s many hot springs. One of the most popular spots is the Banff Upper Hot Springs in Banff National Park. Unwind in the healing waters and take in your surroundings with stunning mountain views and snow-capped peaks.



Travelex Top Travel Tips

When is the best time to visit Canada?

Thanks to its size, the weather in Canada varies greatly from coast to coast. Picking the right time to visit will depend on the type of holiday you are after.

If you are interested in venturing to Canada for a snowboarding or skiing holiday, wintertime (December 21st - March 19th) is the best time to visit. Peak tourist season is during summer (July & August) with temperatures ranging from 20-35 degrees Celsius.

If crowds aren’t your thing, try getting to Canada between September and November. During these months you’ll find the temperatures have cooled down but the weather is still perfect for outdoor activities like hiking and visiting fall festivals.

What is the main language in Canada?

English is the major language in all parts of Canada except Quebec and Nunavut. However, if you are planning to travel to Quebec, you may not need to brush up on your French, as approximately 40% of Québécois can speak English. In fact, although French is the official language, according to Visit Quebec, anyone employed in the tourism industry must be fluent in both English and French!

What is the time zone in Canada?

Due to its large size, Canada is split into six different time zones spanning four and a half hours. From west to east, these time zones are Pacific (GMT-7), Mountain (GMT-6), Central (GMT-5), Eastern (GMT-4), Atlantic (GMT-3), and Newfoundland (GMT-2.30). As a guide, the west coast of Canada (Pacific) is 17 hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

What is the currency of Canada?

The official currency of Canada is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). You can order CAD from Travelex with ease, before you travel to Canada, leaving you with one less thing to worry about! Organise your foreign cash with Travelex online and collect at your nearest Travelex store or at your local Australia Post office. Alternatively, you can load Canadian Dollars directly onto your Travelex Money Card, and easily manage and check your balance using the Travelex Travel Money app.

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