Canada is the second-largest country in the world and has no shortage of amazing sights and beautiful landscapes. There are lots of places you must see in Canada, and while it is impossible to cover every attraction in the country, this is merely a small sample.
Canada is known for its vast diversity of landscapes. It encompasses majestic mountains, stunning coastlines, lush forests, spacious prairies and even arctic tundra. If you are a nature lover, you are going to be spoiled for choice in Canada. You can explore the amazing wildlife, refreshing countryside, and some of the world’s finest unspoiled ecosystems.
From vibrant and culturally rich cities to incredible natural wonders, here are 14 places you must see in Canada.
1. Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains
Located in the province of Alberta, the Banff National Park lies at the heart of the majestic Canadian Rocky Mountains. With breathtaking snow-capped mountain ranges and crystal clear lakes, they are one of the ost beautiful places in the country. Three popular downhill ski resorts operate within the park – Lake Louise Ski Resort, Sunshine Village, and Mount Norquay. There are wildlife tours, ice walks, snowshoeing, and dogsled, horse sleigh rides and backcountry trails available throughout the park.
2. Toronto’s CN Tower
Located on the shores of Lake Ontario is the iconic CN Tower. This famous landmark stands at 553 meters high and is one of the tallest structures in the world. The tower is home to various attractions, such as the revolving 360 restaurant, and the Glass Floor. It offers breathtaking views of the city and beyond. Visible from everywhere in the city, the tower is lit up in different colours each night.
3. Niagara Falls
Niagra Falls is perhaps Canada’s most famous natural sites. Located on the border with the USA, it drops over 57 meters into the Niagara Gorge. Conveniently located near Toronto, millions visit each year. Each season brings something new to this popular attraction. In the summer there are various boat tours and the Clifton Hill SkyWheel. In the winters, if you’re lucky, you might be able to see the falls completely frozen.
4. Old Quebec (Vieux-Quebec)
Old Québec is perhaps the most charming part of Quebec City. It is full of remarkable attractions, such as the Citadel, the Musée de la Civilisation, Château Frontenac, and the Parque Historique de l’Artillerie. Spread across Upper and Lower Towns, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Lower Town on the banks of the St Lawrence River has the original settlements, and its cobblestoned streetd look like they’re straight out of Paris. Explore its picturesque shops, interesting museums, cafes, and restaurants.
5. Whistler Ski Resort
Whistler is located close to Vancouver and is one of Canada’s most popular ski resorts. The lively town offers myriad options for entertainment including skiing, snowboarding, four championship golf courses, shopping, restaurants and bars, hiking trails, spas, and mountain biking. Whistler also offers amazing clear air and beautiful mountain scenery.
6. The Bay of Fundy
Located on the East Coast of Canada between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the Bay of Fundy is truly a natural woner. The area is known for its amazing high tides and the Hopewell Rocks set against a backdrop of reddish cliffs. It is also home to rare whales, dinosaur fossils, and semi-precious minerals. The best time to visit is between spring and summer.
7. Old Montreal
Montreal is a city alive with history. The old sections of the city are full of beautiful historic buildings, dating all the way back to the 17th century. Lovely churches, exciting restaurants, art galleries, museums, and shops are dotted around the area. There are even horse-drawn carriages to take visitors through the cobbled streets located by the city’s waterfront. Don’t miss the beautiful Notre-Dame Basilica and the Marché Bonsecours.
8. Vancouver’s Stanley Park
One of the most beautiful places in Vancouver is the 405-hectare Stanley Park. Located on the west side of the downtown area., it is surrounded by the ocean. The park is full of lush forests of red cedar and Douglas fir. Apart from the walking lanes and scenic drives, the seawall aound the park provides amazing views of the city. The park is also home to the Vancouver Aquarium, scenic Beaver Lake, and the Stanley Park Pavilion and Rose Garden.
9. Ottawa’s Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill in Ottawa stands high above the Ottawa River. The beautiful Neo-Gothic style Parliament buildings are the political hub of Canada. In front lies the Centennial Flame which was lit in 1966 to commemorate the centenary of the Canadian Confederation. During the summer, you can explore the sculpture gardens behind the parliament and watch the Changing of the Guard on the front lawn. However, in the winter, the 7 kilometre Rideau Canal over the Ottawa River freezes over, and is open for skaters.
10. The Polar Bears of Churchill, Manitoba
One of the best places for animal lovers in Canada is the town of Churchill in Northern Manitoba. This small town near the Canadian tundra is the site of the famous polar bear migration. Occurring between October and November, it sees the bears make their way from land out onto the ice in Hudson Bay. You can take guided walks, or ride in tundra buggies along this route.
11. Victoria’s Inner Harbour
While cities like Montreal and Québec are a reflection of Canada’s French roots, Victoria features its British heritage. The capital of British Colombia is known for outdoor activities and Victorian buildings. The city’s waterfront area and Inner Harbour is full of historic buildings, shops, cafes, and restaurants. Visit the stately Craigdarroch Castle mansion or the vivid floral displays at Butchart Gardens. You can also stop at the historic Empress Hotel for a traditional high tea.
12. Gros Morne National Park
The remote Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is full of natural wonders. From thunderous waterfalls tumbling down the mountains to rugged cliffs, rock formations, and fjords carved by glaciers there is plenty to explore. You can take a boat tour of the lakes, go kayaking, or hike the Tablelands.
13. The Calgary Stampede
Calgary is a destination for sports lovers. It hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics, and is home to the annual Calgary Stampede every July. Held in the city’s Heritage Park, this ten-day rodeo has all ings of entertainment. Rodeo competitions, chuckwagon races, agricultural shows, music performances, “Grandstand Shows” and “Stampede Breakfasts” are the order of the day.
14. Prince Edward Island
Off the coast of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the Gulf of St Lawrence lies Canada’s maritime provinces. One of the most popular islands in Prince Edward Island. It is full of rolling green hills, red sandstone cliffs, lighthouses, delicious seafood, and fertile farmland. You can visit the Victorian buildings of Charlottetown, or the beaches and golf courses. Book lovers can also see the town of Cavendish. It was made famous by Lucy Maud Montgomery and her Anne of Green Gables series.
Of course, there are lots of other places you must see in Canada, and if we’ve missed any, be sure to share them in the comments below.