Canada was built for the intrepid. And planning a holiday here is no small feat either – which is why our experts have put together this handy guide. Whether you're bear-spotting in Alberta, searching for whales off the coast of British Columbia, strolling the cobbled streets of Quebec, or feeling the spray of Ontario's mighty Niagara Falls, there's an adventure with your name on it. Best of all, you can feel like a pioneer when you plan and book your Canada holiday with Flight Centre. In fact, our lovely consultants know the Great White North like it's their own – from road tripping the Icefields Parkway and kayaking on Lake Erie, to chasing the elusive Northern Lights in the Yukon. Kick-start your Canada holiday research here, then have a chat with our lovely humans, in-store or over the phone. Let us help you plan and take the hassle out of your trip – that's what we mean when we say we'll tailor-make it easy.
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Discover Your Canada
Find your perfect Canada holiday with a little help from our interactive quiz...
Canada by Holiday Type
Whether by car or rail, into the wild or a city break, there’s a holiday for all seasons and all travellers in Canada. Browse our favourite Canada holiday types below...
Canada Holiday Ideas & Advice
Ready for some serious wanderlust-fuelled inspiration? Check out the best tips, advice and photos from some of our favourite travel writers below:
Canada Holiday Planning Guide
This is where you can get your creative juices flowing! When you're ready to book, pop in-store, give us a call or chat to us online, and let us tailor-make it easy.
Things to Do in Canada
- Ride the Rocky Mountaineer
- Drive the Icefields Parkway
- Feel the thunder of Niagara Falls
- See the Northern Lights
- Take in some of the stunning wildlife of British Columbia
- Visit the CN Tower
- Cruise on the Ontario Lakes
- Take in the views from Grouse Mountain
- Go whale watching
- Visit the Arctic wilderness
- Tick off the top 10 instagram spots in Canada.
A heady mix of vast wilderness, soaring mountains and hip or historical cities, Canada was made for the intrepid. You can’t possibly see the highlights of this huge country in one trip, but at least this list – hand-picked by our Travel Experts – will give you a place to start. Here are 10 things you just have to do in Canada:
Quite possibly the most magical stretch of tarmac on the planet, the 144-mile Highway 93 – otherwise known as the Icefields Parkway – has such a high concentration of breathtaking natural scenes that it is blissfully overwhelming. Whether you’re driving from Jasper to Banff or the other way round, you’ll find it difficult not to make regular pit stops at the abundant pull-ins and spend more than just one day exploring them. Not to be missed are Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls, the Columbia Icefields, Peyto Lake and Bow Lake. Our favourite though is Hector Lake; if you’re lucky you’ll have this secluded spot all to yourself.
How to do it: Visit Jasper and Banff (and the iconic highway in-between) on our Western Canada Peaks & Cliffs Journey.
You can hear the roar of the Falls before you even reach your hotel. That’s the beauty of Niagara. This crashing behemoth of a cascade likes to make its presence known – and who could blame it? The Canadian ‘Horseshoe’ Falls (the biggest of the three that make up Niagara) sees 2.2 million litres of water crash over its ledge every second, creating a mist that simultaneously soaks and enchants. Naturally tourists flock here, but that doesn’t detract from the sheer might of this flagship Canadian attraction.
How to do it: Our Toronto and Niagara Journey will get you up-close to the Falls on a Hornblower Cruise.
For a light display like nothing you’ve ever seen before (and may well never see again), head to Whitehorse, in the Yukon. From September to March this is prime Northern Lights territory. Patience and a willingness to move around and sit in the cold are crucial but, hopefully, in doing so you’ll be rewarded with emerald lights swirling and dancing across the inky-black sky above. There aren’t many experiences quite like it.
How to do it: Go aurora hunting on our Winter, Whistler and the Northern Lights tour.
British Columbia is home to the Great Bear Rainforest. Stretching along the coast for 250 miles, it is not just a verdant, pristine wonderland, but it’s also home to the elusive Kermode (spirit) bear – a sub-species of the black bear, but born with a snow-coloured coat. Seeing one in the wild is a really rare experience, and starting your search here offers the best chance of a sighting.
How to do it: Spend several days at the Spirit Bear Lodge when you book our Vancouver and the Bears holiday.
…or at least go up it. Once the world’s tallest tower, Toronto’s CN Tower soars over the city, its spire dominating the skyline no matter where you are. Visitors who ascend to its 114th floor LookOut Level will be rewarded with views of Canada and beyond, while those who want to feel really at one with the skyline can take the EdgeWalk – a harnessed stroll around the circumference of the observation deck roof; the highest full circle hands-free walk on the planet. Terrifying, but incredible. GULP.
How to do it: Discover Toronto, Niagara, Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal when you take our Eastern Canada Highlights holiday.
With a gourmet meal in front of you, your worries behind you, and the might of the Rocky Mountains all around you, cruising through Canada on the Rocky Mountaineer is simply one of the best ways to travel. You’ll get to see landscapes not accessible on foot or in a car, while comparing the different topography – from the dusty, semi-arid Kamloops to the lush humidity of Jasper. Way more than just a restaurant on wheels, this experience promises to be an unforgettable one.
Most think of Ontario and immediately head for Toronto, but in reality there’s plenty to do in this eastern state beyond the city. With 250,000+ lakes to kayak, canoe and stroll around, not to mention moose to find, it pays to get under the skin of the region. Blue Mountain, Algonquin Provincial Park and 19th-century Kingston are particular highlights.
How to do it: Go canoeing in Algonquin and more when you embark on our Forests and Lake of Ontario Journey.
At 1,231m, North Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain isn’t the tallest peak on the planet – not by a long stretch. But what it does have is a gruelling hike to the summit, which will undoubtedly make you feel like it is the tallest peak on the planet. We’re not trying to put you off, far from it in fact. This arduous climb may be steep and a tough slog at times, but it only makes the reward of reaching its busy top all the more worthwhile. Because, once you’ve completed the task, you can stuff your face with a beer and a burger at the café before watching a lumberjack show, taking a beehive tour, and meeting the mountain’s two resident grizzlies. Take the gondola back to the bottom for unmatched views of the city skyline.
How to do it: Our West Coast Wonders holiday gives you time to tackle the Grouse Grind and cross the nearby Capilano Suspension Bridge.
That moment when a tailfin emerges from the water, fluking just metres from your boat, is something you’ll remember forever. No doubt a hush will fall across the vessel, you’ll hold your breath for a few seconds and you’ll be overcome with emotion when seeing such an incredible creature in the wild. And when you have a chance to spot fin, humpback, minke, blue and northern right whales, the likelihood of you making incredible whale-watching memories is even higher.
If it’s an adventure you’re craving – look no further than Arctic Canada. Here you can spot Polar bears, beluga whales and gaze out across the gloriously-blue saltwater of Hudson Bay. Expect freezing temperatures, lots of snow and holiday snaps that no one else is likely to have.
How to do it: Our aptly-named Arctic Adventure itinerary will take you to Winnipeg, Churchill and the Lazy Bear Lodge
When to Go to Canada
Canada may be huge but, luckily for us, its weather is fairly consistent across the country. The coastal regions are typically a bit milder and the interior is chillier/snowier, but generally speaking you can pick a month and expect the outlook to be similar no matter which destination you go for. There are four distinct seasons to choose from. Each one has its magic too: think wildflower blooms in spring; sun-soaked cities in summer; brown, red and yellow leaves in the autumn; and Champagne powder snow in the winter. Narrow down which season suits you with our when to go to Canada guide:
Spring is a beautiful time to visit Canada. The mountains are still snow-capped, but at ground level there’s an explosion of colour; Ottawa hosts a city-wide tulip festival to celebrate the arrival of the flower. Be prepared to enjoy late spring flurries of snow in high-altitude spots like Jasper and Banff, but equally expect warm, temperate days. Average temperatures hover around 13-16ᵒC in the west and 2-19ᵒC in the east.
Best places to visit in spring:
- Ottawa for the Canadian Tulip Festival
- Vancouver for the cherry blossom season
- Whistler for skiing
With great weather, come great crowds: summer in Canada is a buzzing time, with tourists arriving from all over the world. And who could blame them? The sun barely dips below the horizon in the Arctic regions, while both east and west are equally blessed with blissful temperatures. High altitude routes and highways that are shut throughout the rest of the year; now open their barriers to motorists now that the snow has melted, simultaneously opening up new opportunities for exploration.
Best places to visit in summer:
- The forests and lakes of Ontario
- Prince Edward Island for unbeatable shellfish
- Nova Scotia for maritime culture
Autumn is one of the most laid-back, beautiful times to discover Canada. The summer crowds have dissipated – and thus the prices have dropped – while the temperatures remain pleasant. If that’s not enough, the fall colours are in full swing: check out the changing maple trees in Algonquin Provincial Park or Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains in particular.
Best places to visit in autumn:
- New Brunswick for the Fundy Coastal Drive
- Lake Louise for stunning autumnal sunrise and sunset vistas
- Niagara for autumn leaves, wine and the falls
Winters in Canada can be fierce, but they’re also beautiful and the locals really know how to make the most of them. Eastern Canada, Montreal and Toronto in particular, see several inches of thick snowfall, bringing a real magical feel to the region. The Rockies are transformed into a winter playground of horse-sleigh rides, ice climbing and snowshoeing.
Best places to visit in winter:
- Yellowknife for the Northern Lights
- Johnston Canyon, Banff, walking amid vast walls of ice
- Practically anywhere with a hill or mountain for skiing
More About Canada
Capital city: Ottawa
Currency: Canadian Dollar
Vaccinations: Extra vaccinations are not required.
Visas: British Citizens require a tourist eTA visa, which you can apply for online.
Why Book Your Canada Holiday with Flight Centre
We know Canada: Many of our Travel Experts have visited, lived in or are from Canada, and can easily craft a tailor-made trip to suit your needs and budget.
Local knowledge: Flight Centre has stores and offices throughout Canada, giving us access to fantastic local knowledge. With a team on the ground in Canada, we’ll not only ensure you have a fantastic experience, but also offer you insider information and tips that only locals will know.
Flexibility: We offer flexible deposits, the opportunity to pay the balance of your holiday just 10 weeks before departure and fixed change and cancellation fees.
Flight Centre concierge and 24/7 Emergency Assistance Service: When you book a holiday to Canada from our range of tailor-made Journeys, you’ll also enjoy access to our inclusive concierge and 24/7 Emergency Assistance services.
We know our stuff when it comes to holidays all around the world and – most importantly – with a little bit of information, our Travel Experts can tailor make a trip to suit you. So what are you waiting for?