Canada Travel, Backpacking & Gap Year Guide
Canada is one of the most popular destinations in the world with incredible cities and spectacular sights like the Rockies and Niagara Falls. Get information, advice and inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to travel, go backpacking or take a gap year in Canada.
Canada Travel Ideas, Backpacking Trips & Gap Year Programs
Travel to Canada
Bordered by beautiful oceans, Canada is an amazing country to visit and boasts one of the highest standards of living in the world. You will get to explore destinations and enjoy the best time of your life.
Our Canada destination guide aims to give you all the information you need to have an amazing experience in this amazing country. Find affordable travel and backpacking ideas with advice for amazing things to do and how you can be more than just your average traveller.
You can also get recommendations for places to stay and how visit Canada on a budget.
- Capital - Ottawa
- Currency - Canadian Dollar (CAD)
- Population - 34,483,000 (approx)
- Language - English + French
- International Dailing Code +1
- Area - 9,976,000 km2
- Health & Safety - Canada is a very safe country to visit, you shouldn't encounter any problems when visiting also there are no vaccinations requirements required to enter
Travelling & Backpacking in Canada
Canada is a travellers dream and you can't leave without visiting Niagara Falls which is on the border with both New York State and Ontario. The waterfalls are breathtaking and somewhere you must visit once in your life. You should visit Horseshoe Falls which is probably the most magnificent waterfalls of Niagara or book a river cruise and get up close to the famous falls. There are also plenty of places to see in the surrounding areas of Niagara Falls, you could take a city break to Torinto or sample drinks in Canada's wine growing region. The city of Buffalo in Canada is not far and quite enjoyable too.
One place not to miss is the Canadian Rockies, this area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the highlights of the country. National Parks in Canada which we recommend checking out include the Jasper National Park, Banff National Park and Yoho National Park whilst taking a trip to Vancouver Island & Tofino can be a great experience. One favorite destination is Vancouver, British Columbia. The city with many sky scrapers has so many public art that walking through the city feels like walking through an outdoor modern art museum. You should also try to see the Shuswap Lakes, checking out the Columbia and Icefields Parkways, going to visit Prince George, catch a ferry through he inside passage and go to the Ksan Indian Village.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
Due to the size of Canada the weather varies depending on where you located. Canada stretches from the Pacific to Atlantic Ocean, covering five time zones. In winter temperatures plumet and snow can cause havoc so its best to be prepared if you are visiting around October - April time.
- Montreal Weather - In winter you can expect it to be cold and snowy. The cold in Montreal can be especially biting because of the wind-chill factor. Snowfall usually begins in November and continues through March. During winter months, the daytime temperatures are between -6°C to -15°C. Summer temperatures range from 15°C to 25°C.
- Toronto Weather - In winter the weather is milder than most Canadian cities, yet still cold and snowy. Summer temperatures range from 15°C to 25°C. During winter months, the daytime temperatures are between -10°C to 12°C.
- Vancouver Weather - Wet, yet mild throughout the year. Summer in Vancouver is pleasantly warm with an average temperature of 22°C. Winters are wet, but snow is rare. Average daily temperatures in winters range from 3°C to 7°C.
Top Places to Visit in Canada
Places you might want to check out include:
- The Jasper National Park is great to visit, this is a huge park and quite remote. If you enjoy hiking or climbing there are numerous opportunities to explore. Recommended places to visit include the the Miette Hot Springs and the Icefields Parkway which will not disappoint.
- You can't visit Canada without seeing the Banff National Park, if you love being in the outdoors you might want to join a camping trip where you can see wild moose in their natural habitat.
- Vancouver located in British Columbia is a popular place to visit, we recommend seeing a ice hockey game and enjoy the atmosphere of this great American past time. Vancouver is a modern city with large skyscrapers but you can relax in Stanley park which is a great place to spend an afternoon.
- Toronto is a popular destination be sure to visit the famous tower for great views across the city
- Head to Whistler for skiing and snowboarding, these slopes are probably up there with the best in the world
Canada Travel Tips
How to Get Around:
There is a public bus service which is very reliable and connects you to most towns and cities at low prices. If you hire a car or campervan its best to shop around for the best deal, also check notice boards in hostels as there are always travelers looking to sell their vehicles. There are also trains and internal flights but if you want to see as much as possible we don't really recommend these modes of transport.
There are many places to stay while you visit, hostels are popular with travellers from all over the world but there are also other options. If you have a larger budget you can stay in world class hotels, or you might want to rent your own campervan to see more of the country. If you are planning to stay for a long period, you can find cheap accomodation by reading hostel message boards for people offering flat / house shares. Generally if you stay outside of the main city centres or out of the main tourist areas you will get cheaper accommodation. Some companies offer trips which include accommodation which is great as Canada can be quite expensive to visit.
There are ways to save money when visiting Canada. For example not drinking too much alcohol and shopping at local supermarkets rather than eating out.
Gap Year in Canada
If you are considering taking a gap year why not join an increasing number of people who are choosing to travel to Canada. This country is spectacular and there are so many gap year jobs, trips and programs available all year round.
Canada is one of the most popular gap year destinations, thousands of students, graduates and gappers visit every year to experience the laid back lifestyle and adventure activities on offer. Canada has spectacular mountains and landscapes, amazing diverse cities, numerous national parks and natural beauty spots - this will be the gap year of a lifetime. You should definately visit Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Whistler, Jasper, Banf or the Rockies.
Canada is a very easy country to navigate and local people speak English so booking transport and getting around the country is very easy. If you are just looking to travel then ideally you'll need at least a month to see as much as possible, it might be an idea to hire a car or meet people at a hostel to travel with if you are looking to get off the beaten track.
On most trips you will be with experienced guide who know the best places to visit. They will be able to tell you lots of information you might not otherwise find out and can really improve your experience.