Budget for a trip to Canada
rates vary greatly from one city to another. On average, you will pay between 16€ and 20€ for a dormitory bed and around 45€ for a basic hotel.
Food can be cheap by cooking yourself or eating in pubs. On the other hand, a meal in a restaurant will cost you between 15€ and 20€! A sandwich or meal in a fast food restaurant will cost you about 6€ and if you cook your own meals, you will pay between 40€ and 55€ per week.
it’s a vast country that can be difficult to visit without a car. In the city, you will find excellent public transport networks. However, to travel between provinces, you will either have to travel by car or take the bus. You can also fly, but the country has only two main airlines (WestJet and Air Canada) and prices are often excessive. There is also a train (VIA Rail) that crosses Canada from coast to coast, the landscapes crossed are superb but it is not cheap either. Companies such as Greyhound or Red Arrow offer trips across the country. The prices are reasonable but the conditions are not optimal. There’s been a lot of theft on these lines so keep an eye on your business.
No matter where you are, Canada is ideal for trying new activities. Rates vary from 15€ to 75€ depending on what you want to do and whether you need a guide.
Tips to save money in Canada
USE PROMOTION SITES
If you already know the places you are going to visit, visit sites like Groupon or Living Social to find promotions on local attractions and restaurants.
Canadians spend all winter at home and therefore take advantage of summer to attend as many festivals as possible. Most of these festivals are free, such as Heritage Days in Edmonton, Kits Day in Vancouver or Caribana in Toronto. Check out the cultural calendar of each city you visit.
Such a large country with so few inhabitants is the ideal place to do activities. Rent a pair of skis in winter to go down public trails (ski resorts are extremely expensive), bike, hike or kayak in summer. Most of the equipment is rented for less than 45€ per day and allows you to explore the whole region.
Things to do
THE CALGARY STAMPEDE
In July, thousands of people travel to Calgary to attend this multi-day rodeo, watch the carnival and drink. During these few days, everyone thinks they’re a cowboy. It is one of Canada’s major events and an excellent opportunity to meet tons of people from all over the world.
DOWN THE SLOPES
In winter, the Canadian mountains are ideal for skiing or snowboarding. You can go to Banff to enjoy a pleasant city and excellent ski slopes. Banff is Canada’s most popular winter destination, but there are many other ski resorts across the country.
It is one of my favorite cities in the world and, for me, the best in Canada (sorry for the others!). I love being able to be in the city centre, and 10 minutes later walking in the mountains. Vancouver is a clever blend of nature and civilization. Add to that a pleasant weather, excellent Asian food, adorable people and many concerts, and Vancouver becomes a must-see in Canada. In addition, the city is located in British Columbia, one of Canada’s most beautiful regions.
Get away from the city for a few days and explore the West Island. Taste seafood, go hiking, watch whales, go shopping and rest on the beach. Vancouver Island is the ideal place to relax. It is located just next to the city and is therefore not badly frequented by its inhabitants in summer.
TREKKING IN THE RAINFOREST
Hike to Pacific Rim National Park, one of Canada’s most popular parks. If you can’t go, there are other forests in British Columbia that are just waiting to be explored.
VISIT TORONTO’S GALLERIES
Toronto has some of the most beautiful exhibitions in the country, so book a day or two to admire them. Gallery rates are reduced on Wednesdays, so take advantage of them!
This beautiful city in Quebec offers a beautiful glimpse of the French side of the country. Beautiful streets, an underground shopping centre, jazz clubs and excellent cuisine make Montreal the most romantic and trendy city in the country. Montreal is, after Vancouver, my second favorite city in Canada.
MAKE A ROADTRIP
It is easier to explore this immense country by car. You can visit small villages, walk in the mountains, admire the countryside and travel off the beaten track. If you have a lot of time, this is the easiest and most economical way to visit Canada.
Montreal is not the only city in Quebec and Quebec’s old quarters offer superb walks to admire 17th century architecture, cafés and the only North American fortress still standing.
THE ATLANTIC PROVINCES
Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia are great places to explore, especially in the summer. If you want to spend your days hiking, kayaking, relaxing by the ocean or watching whales, this is the place to go. It is also where you will find the best seafood and the most welcoming people in Canada.
This is where Canadians go on vacation to enjoy one of the best climates in the country. Temperatures are warm in summer and mild in winter. Kelowna has a harbour and many golf courses.
This small town lost in the middle of nowhere is the world capital of the polar bear and beluga whale and is the ideal place to observe the northern lights. Mother Nature is sovereign here and unveils a fabulous spectacle.
It is one of the most visited sites on the continent. It is impossible to imagine how huge the falls are before they reach the site. I loved seeing them even though the city is too touristy for my taste.
The Yukon is a condensed version of the raw state. Most visitors focus on the cities and do not take the time to visit the region. However, this deserted place is magnificent for those who love nature, bears, moose and deer.
JASPER AND THE COLOMBIA ICE FIELD
If you are in Alberta and take the road to Calgary or Banff, why not take a short detour to the north? These mountains are among the most beautiful landscapes in Canada. Stop at the Icefields, a huge expanse connected to 8 glaciers. Once in Jasper, hike through the Maligne Canyon to see some beautiful frozen waterfalls or go skiing in Marmot Basin.