Visiting Canada or are you traveling to Canada for the first time? Or perhaps want to visit Canada someday? First-time visitors to any country should know how to travel safely and smartly – and travelers to Canada are no exception to this rule.
The foremost crucial thing you need to know for a hassle-free traveling experience to Canada is that you need to get the Electronic Travel Authorization (eta) to enter the country. While some countries are exempted from this requirement, you would want to confirm your country is among the Canada eta eligible countries before taking the leap – more on this later in the article!
Canada has been one of the most popular tourist attractions for decades.
Lively vibrant cities, kind people, breathtaking scenic beauty, and advanced quality of education are some of the main reasons why people from all over the world travel to Canada, at least once in their lifetime.
Here are some tips that will ensure you have a great time in Canada.
Canada Travel Tips
It Is a Huge Country
Canada comes under Russia on the list of world’s largest countries and covers an area of 9.9 million square kilometers. The fact that it is surrounded by three oceans i.e. the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific means that you will require more time and money to travel around the country.
While flying might be an easier and faster option, it is expensive. Hence, the best way to enjoy your time in Canada without breaking your bank is to choose a region or two to explore in advance and spend your time there.
It Is Less Populated
Canada is large if we speak geographically but not many people live there. The population density is only 3.7 people per square kilometer, which explains a lot of empty space around the country.
The majority of people live in big cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. This is why these cities are the top choice of tourists who are traveling to Canada for the first time.
The Requirement of eta
The eta is a must for all visa-free nationals with the exception of Americans. You would want to confirm that your country falls in the category of Canada eta eligible countries before planning your trip.
Once you are sure your country is among the Canada eta eligible countries, you can travel to Canada without a visa. However, if not, you would have to get an eta even if you just plan to pass through Canada on your way to somewhere else.
An eta is a travel authorization and not a visa – hence, it is easy to apply for and faster. With an eta, foreign nationals belonging to visa exempt countries can live in Canada for up to 6 months.
Its validity period is 5 years but if your passport expires before that, it is deemed invalid.
Be Prepared for the Weather
While the natural beauty and wonderful parks of Canada may excite you to your core, you need to be prepared for the cold weather.
Yes, winter never really leaves Canada. Especially if you are visiting between December and March, you should consider packing up many layers of warm clothes.
Even during the summer season, you are likely to feel cold if you are not a native Canadian. With these tips in your mind, your time in Canada will likely be the best time of your life.
It is such a picturesque place, which with the friendly Canadians becomes even more lively and welcoming. It may well be a welcome change from the rural lifestyle you are accustomed to.
So, what are you waiting for? Plan your visit to Canada and brace yourself for a wonderful experience! Just if you are a foreign national from any of the Canada eta eligible countries, make sure you apply for an eta first.
Places to See
We all know that Canada is a land filled with polite and friendly people. As a traveler, we are aware that it’s the people that make our traveling worthwhile and memorable. But if you think this 9.3 million plus kilometer land is all about maples and politeness then think again. They are blessed with magnificent landscape, alluring bodies of water, and exciting activities.
They have most of the terrain you can think of from glaciers to beaches, from rainforest to rocky mountains. A country deserved by seasoned travelers.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by the vastness of must-sees in Canada then let me help you out. I’ll discuss four of my hand-picked destination in the beautiful Great White North.
Around 50km or a 45-minute drive from the great city of Toronto, Lake Simcoe is a place to be when you think about water-related activities.
Known for its beautiful shores, clear water, and abundant fish, this lake needs to be on your must-see and visit list. The lake covers about 52km of shoreline, perfect for swimming, boat riding, watersports, and fishing.
It is the perfect spot for anglers, from Canada even in the United States, due to its close proximity to nearby main cities and richness in variety of fish.
Only a handful of lakes in Canada have the same amount of abundance of fish species so remember to bring your trusty fishing gear if you want to encounter some trout, whitefish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, bowfin, northern pike and many more.
If you think experiencing a winter wonderland is all about visiting malls with white winter decorations or visiting a skating rink in downtown, then you need to know about Banff.
Banff National Park is the oldest national park in Canada, located in the province of Alberta. It offers the most surreal winter wonderland experience anyone can wish for.
It’s known for its icy landscape, breathtaking lakes, picturesque pine forest. This national park has the best of the best the winter season can provide.
You can chill in the backcountry lodges and indulge yourself with some magnificent snowy mountain views or experience adrenaline in the chilling weather by playing activities such as hockey, skiing, ice skating or even dogsledding.
Remember to book your accommodation early because this park is considered one of the most visited national parks in North America with around three million visitors every year.
It should be no surprise that the Niagara Falls fall into this list. With its majestic height, powerful might and beautifully epic plunge, failing to miss this spot is like failing to see Canada at all.
Niagara Falls is actually composed of three falls and divides the border between Canada and USA. One of the falls and its biggest and most renowned is called Horseshoes Falls, also known as Canadian falls. Majority of this fall is located in the Canadian border.
Seeing, living and breathing from a distance to appreciate this God-given nature may be enough but you can actually explore it a little bit more intimately by hopping in on a boat tour that will take you underneath its plunging waters.
In addition to that thrilling experience, there are many nearby child-friendly activities around and some impressive light show at night.
Niagara Falls at Night ~ 5 Things to Do After Dark
Victoria and Vancouver Island
You will probably be tired by the time you are done with Lake Simcoe, Banff and Niagara Falls. Now it’s time for you to chill, relax and get your piece of mind.
Thankfully, there is a place in Canada called the Garden City, the city of Victoria in Vancouver Island. Around 76 miles in the southwest of the bustling city of Vancouver, Victoria and Vancouver island is a getaway from all the noise, hustle and stress of modern life.
Going to the island leaves you with a number of good options, you can take a 4-hour trip by car or bus and ferry; or a 35-minute flight.
This place is filled with colonial architecture, glorious heritage buildings, mesmerizing gardens, and scenic harbor. The streets in this city are teeming with street vendors, cafes, and restaurants. Perfect for a relaxing but interesting walk. The best way to get around and do sightseeing on the island is by bicycle.
The city of Victoria prides itself with plenty of cycle routes that any city in the country. Canada is a charming country no matter the season. They have great population diversity, friendly and warm people, amazing nature and exhilarating outdoor activities. It’s a true haven for seasoned travelers.