Find out how to travel with ease through rugged Canada.
My personal list of handy Canada travel tips. All first hand knowledge - written during my travels in Canada.
All the tips have been categorised into sections. Just click on each tab to open fully and start reading.
BANKING AND CURRENCY
- Exchange rates are better and fees lower in city centres compared to the airport.
- Better still, withdraw cash from ATMs using your credit card, debit card or Travel Money Card. Its becoming harder to find money exchange booths.
TRAVEL BY AIR
- If you're travelling on an Australian passport with an US ESTA visa, you can clear through US Customs at Vancouver airport - ie. before you arrive in the US. This is very handy if you are flying from Vancouver to a US destination via another US city. As a result, you avoid any need to collect bags and go through customs at the first US transfer city. Be aware though that US Customs at Vancouver airport have set opening hours. If your flight departs outside these hours, then you will need to go through customs at the first US transfer city. More information here
- When travelling from Canada through Toronto Pearson International airport to a US destination, there is a clever little tool that you can use. It shows you exactly what you need to do at Toronto airport during the transfer process. All you need to to do is select your departure & arrival cities and the airlines you will be travelling with. Then the step by step instructions appear on your phone screen. Click here for the Connecting Guide.
Canada travel tips - Cities
- Cross the inlet and visit the shops, food markets and restaurants at North Vancouver. Seabus offers a frequent ferry service from downtown Vancouver. The Seabus ferry is included in your SkyTrain ticket (Vancouver’s metro system).
- Travel cheaply on the entire metro system - after 6.30pm on weekdays and all day Saturday, Sunday and public holidays. You only need to purchase a one-zone fare no matter where you start.
- I really enjoyed spending some time on Granville Island. It contains an array of artisan boutique stores, public markets and restaurants. Loved the local art work. Take bus #50 from downtown Vancouver.
- Do you want to shop in exclusive stores or dine in trendy bars and restaurants? Then make your way northwards of downtown Toronto to Bloor-Yorkville (subway stops Bloor-Yonge or Bay). This is definitely the up-market area of town.
- Take a break from the big city and visit the majestic castle of Casa Loma. It’s like stepping back in time in pure European elegance. Take the metro to St Claire West (Spadina-University Line) and then it’s a 15 minute walk to the castle.
- On a clear day, its definitely worth going up Skylon Tower for a birds eye views of the falls.
- Don’t just view the falls. Take a walk along the White Water Walk. It's a beautiful stroll through nature and great views of the rapids further downstream.
- For shopping in Montreal, you can spend a day or two walking down Rue Sainte Catherine. This is Montreal’s main shopping artery. I found very reasonable prices in Simons department store. Afterwards, if you still have the stamina, check out the cool artisan shops, independent boutiques, cafes and restaurants on St Laurent Boulevard.
- Best time to shop in Montreal is during the summer season at one of the many Sidewalk Sales. A street is closed off to traffic and the local shops place their specials on racks on the sidewalk. Just Google for the next Sidewalk Sale. They occur on different dates on different shopping streets.
- Walking through the old port of Montreal has a definite French feel about it. Place Jacques –Cartier is a lovely cobble stone street lined with restaurants that have small balconies and local artists displaying their works. Rue St Paul is a street of old Victorian styled buildings housing souvenier shops and local indian art.