St John's Harbour at sunset, Newfoundland

Known for its colourful houses, rich history and abounding whale-watching opportunities, St John’s – the provincial capital of Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador – is a postcard-perfect city. It maintains its charming, small-town feel, flung out to the country’s most easterly point, but don’t be tricked into thinking you’ll be bored here – in fact, there is plenty to discover. When visiting St John’s for the first time, start with these six things to do:

Visit Cape Spear

This is the most easterly point in North America. The Cape Spear Lighthouse is perched on a rugged cliff, seemingly jutting out to sea but undeterred by wave erosion. Indeed, it is the oldest surviving lighthouse in the province and has earnt its place as a National Historic Site, as well as being an iconic symbol of Newfoundland and Labrador's marine history.

Go whale watching

Hop onboard a whale-watching boat tour and keep your eyes peeled for the 10,000 humpback whales that migrate past Eastern Canada's coastline between May and September. For an even more immersive experience, you can also take a tour to sea kayak or snorkel alongside these gentle giants.

Hike up Signal Hill

Signal Hill is one of the most famous landmarks in Newfoundland and a National Historic Site. Take in the scenic views over the city and the harbour, as well as breathtaking vistas over the Atlantic Ocean. Time your visit right, and you might even see 10,000-year-old icebergs floating past...

Visit picture-perfect Quidi Vidi Village

This wonderful fishing village is just a 45-minute walk from Downtown St John's and is home to Quidi Vidi Brewery. Sample their seven brands of award-winning ales and beers on a tour and tasting. The beers here are unique in that they’re brewed using the water from icebergs. Finish your day with a bit of retail therapy, in particular shopping for gifts at the Quidi Vidi Village Plantation – home to many artist studios and artisan shops.

Admire the vibrant houses

Meander around the city's streets and admire the perfectly painted multi-coloured houses that are often referred to as Jellybean Rows. These are a huge part of what give the city its unique character and the rainbow scenes attract many a tourist.

Try the seafood

Dine at a local restaurant and sample cod tongues, mussels and lobster. Be sure to try a dish of fish and brewis (pictured) too, a traditional Newfoundland meal, as well as other native culinary delights before venturing over to George Street. Here you can enjoy the welcoming and warm Newfoundland hospitality, coupled with live music over a beer or two in one of the many pubs and cocktail bars.


DO IT NOW… Want to arrange some of these experiences for your Newfoundland holiday? Chat to one of our Canada Experts to find out more.