Canada travel guide (Shutterstock)

Canada


Canada

Your full Wanderlust guide to travel in Canada

Covering nearly 10 million square kilometres, spread across 10 provinces, there’s enough space and diversity in Canada to do pretty much whatever you like.

Watch abundant wildlife such as moose, whales and an array of bears. Experience world-class outdoor adventure. Sample the sophisticated cultural scene in Canada’s cities. Soak up the mountain scenery. Embark on a road trip of a lifetime.

With so many unique experiences on offer, it's hard to know where to start, but our guide will help...

Where in Canada should you go? 

Canada stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean, across 10 provinces and three territories  – each with their own unique culture and landscape.

From the historic island of Newfoundland in the east to the cosmopolitan Vancouver Island in the west; from the mountain-bordered wilderness of adventurous British Columbia to the culturally-rich and festival-ready city of Toronto, the hardest part of travel in Canada is deciding where to go.

Read on to find the perfect Canadian location for you...

Western Canada

Atlantic Canada

Central Canada

Northern Canada

Central Canada

Northern Canada

When is the best time to visit Canada?

Whenever you like! Canada comes up trumps in every season. Although it occasionally snows in summer and you may find blooming tulips in January, all four seasons bring their own unique charms to the country...

Wildlife watching in Canada

Whether you turn your head skyward to see birds of prey, or jump in a boat to watch whales swimming past. Perhaps you're peering in lakes to spot paddling moose and busy beavers, or searching for grizzly, polar, or spirit bears. 

Canada offers exciting wildlife opportunities everywhere you look...

Outdoor adventures in Canada 

If you do one thing in Canada, get outside and fill your lungs with all that fresh air. Canada's great outdoors is undeniably huge, and full of possibilities.

So, if you want to hike through stunning national parks, canoe on a crystal-clear lake, or snow-shoe through the Canadian Arctic, there aren't many countries poised to top Canada's capacity for outdoor fun...

Road trips

With roads running through mountains, past pristine lakes and winding their way around the wilderness, Canada is a great place to get your engine running.

Just remember: you drive on the right-hand side of the road in Canada, and whilst roads are excellent, drivers should be prepared to drive in snow if travelling in the winter, although most cars are equipped with winter tyres and roads are gritted and salted.

See below for the best road trips the country has to offer...

Getting to Canada and around

Generally, public transportation in Canada is excellent in cities and urban areas.

Getting there by aeroplane

International airports are dotted around Canada. Toronto is the major hub for international flights. 

British Airways offer flights from London to Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. 

Getting around by rail 

Via Rail is Canada’s national rail service, which offers journeys between cities and villages, as well as multi-day sleeper journeys, including spectacular, glass-roofed carriage trips through the Rocky Mountains. 

Getting around by road

Taxis are readily available in city centres. 

Long-distance bus companies are prolific and an inexpensive way to travel in Canada. Several consecutive days on a bus remains a rite of passage for travellers and locals alike.

 

Essential information 

Ottawa city skyline at sunrise (Shutterstock)

Ottawa city skyline at sunrise (Shutterstock)

Capital: Ottawa

Population: 37 million

Languages: Two official languages, English and French

Time: There are six time zones in Canada – from east to west. Daylight Savings Time (DST) runs from March to November.

Ottawa (Eastern Time Zone) GMT -5 (DST GMT -4) 

Newfoundland GMT -3.30 (DST GMT -2.30)

Atlantic GMT -4 (DST GMT -3)

Eastern GMT -5 (DST GMT -4)

Central GMT -6  (DST GMT -5 )

Mountain GMT -7 (DST GMT -6) 

Pacific GMT -8 (DST GMT -7)

International dialling code: +1

Voltage guide: 220 AC, 50 Hz

Visas: Canada visa

Money: Canadian dollar $CDN. ATMs are readily available. Credit cards are widely accepted. 

Tipping (15%) is generally expected in restaurants and for bar service. It never hurts to tip people in the service industry with a loonie ($1 coin) or a toonie ($2 coin) – they'll appreciate it. Hairdressers, taxi drivers and barbers may expect 10% for good service. 

Canada travel advice: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Canada tourist board: Canada - Keep exploring

Follow Team Wanderlust