Six Exciting Canadian City Breaks to Put on Your Bucket List

Just across the US border – you can walk, drive, fly, or take a train – and you’ll find yourself in Canada. If you thought the United States was fun, this legendary location promises a huge amount of amazing and memorable things to see and do, not to mention stunning natural beauty you’ll never forget. 

Located in between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, you’ll find the gorgeous west coast province of British Columbia, with Victoria and Vancouver always proving to be top choices if you’re looking for an interesting, enjoyable city break. 

Or, switch sides and opt for a more sophisticated, European-like approach to city life in the east, with Toronto and Montreal offering everything you could wish for. 

Canada is a top choice for gorgeous scenery and incredible wildlife for many, but it’s also a fantastic choice for destination for a vibrant city break – and that’s before you even get to the waffles smothered in maple syrup.

If you’re interested to find out more about what the cities of Canada have to offer, read on for our top six city breaks in Canada. 

Ottawa:

The capital of Canada; you can find a huge range of impressive architecture here. Galleries, museums and towers decorate the banks of the River Ottawa, making it an excellent choice for a city break of any length. And getting around is easy; the superb public transport system features a light railway that makes getting from one side of the city to the other a breeze. If you prefer to cycle, the city is extremely cyclist-friendly with plenty of safe cycle lanes to use. 

Once you’ve spent some time exploring, you’ll begin to understand just how important the Ottawa River is. The series of canals and bridges give Ottawa a stunning, relaxed European city feel. And during the winter months, the river becomes the largest ice rink on the planet. 

The range of museums here has something for everybody, whether you’re interested in learning more about the natural heritage and history of Canada, are a keen photographer, or an aviation buff. 

Flights to Ottawa leave from most major and minor airports in the US. You can find details here if you’re looking for a flight leaving your nearest airport. Porter Airlines is an ideal choice for travelling to Ottawa, offering a range of both domestic flights and flights from the United States. 

Niagara Falls:

The stunning, tumbling waterfall is pretty much the main reason why most visitors end up in Niagara Falls. But once you’ve gotten your fill of the tumbling water, what else can you do on a city break here?

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You’ll be glad to hear that there’s quite a lot on offer. Thanks to the main attraction of the waterfalls, this city has flourished over time, and is now home to an endless array of restaurants, entertainment centers and more, to keep the inevitable crowds happy. 

If you’re hoping for a city break where you can enjoy the hustle and bustle but also get closer to nature, Niagara Falls is the perfect choice. Butterfly houses, botanical gardens, and aviaries are abundant, and you can explore numerous gorgeous trails and walks that are not only decorated with natural beauty but also a great way to learn more about the history and heritage of the local area. 

And there’s plenty of fun; Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, Marine Land Aqua Park, and the massive iMAX cinema are just some of the firm favorites. 

Toronto:

Ontario’s capital comes complete with a stunning shoreline that rivals coastal cities, and thanks to the 30 miles’ worth of Lake Ontario running along the edge of the city, it makes the perfect choice of urban break with a difference. 

For a great day out from the city, be sure to take a ferry ride to the car-free islands found offshore. If you have no plans of escaping the city, there’s an awesome selection of things to see and do – you will struggle to decide where to start! 

Head downtown to explore the city’s historical hub and be sure to visit Kensington Market, which is rumored to be one of the most-loved, most-photographed places in the entire country. If you enjoy a multicultural experience, this is the perfect place to be, along with Little India, Little Italy, Greek Town and Chinatown all offering a vibrant, diverse experience for different cultural customs and cuisines. 

There are plenty of museums to choose from, too – you can explore modern art, natural history, ceramics, sports and more. If you want to shop ‘til you drop, head to the Eaton Centre Mall where you can lose a few hours browsing through over three hundred stores across five floors. 

Montreal:

If a trip to France isn’t in your budget right now, Montreal is the next-best option. It’s one of the most famous locations for a city break in Quebec, and there’s nowhere else in North America where you’ll feel quite as close to France

This UNESCO City of Design is a sophisticated, stylish hub where you’ll quickly notice the many expressions of European grandeur in both the architecture and the people. Head to the Old Town where you can find most of the city’s most notable structures including the Place d’Armes, City Hall, Bonsecours Market and the Old Port. 

After taking in all the architectural beauty and elegance of the city, head to Mont Royal Park where you can relax, admire the view from afar, and take in the many gorgeous woodlands, lakes and a stunning sculpture garden. 

Victoria:

If you’re looking for a city break that’s coupled with a bit of relaxing by the Ocean, look no further than Victoria. Any visit to British Columbia on the west coast of Canada will be centered around the imposing landscape of the stupendous Rocky Mountains, but head a short distance offshore for the swells and marine life of the Pacific Ocean. 

Vancouver Island is an excellent spot if you want to be close to the sea; here the ocean can be seen in all its glory, and there are many options for getting out onto the ocean too. Head downtown to explore numerous pubs, restaurants and clubs and you’ll quickly see why Victoria is such a huge hit with tourists. Explore the Old Town, Market Square and China Town, or head to the Bay Centre Mall for some retail therapy. 

Edmonton:

Edmonton is home to North America’s longest connected city park area thanks to the untouchable north Saskatchewan River banks. If you’re looking for a city break with some great places to picnic, Edmonton is a fantastic choice. 

Thanks to the Alberta location, Edmonton gets more than its fair share of sunlight, which certainly keeps the locals active and happy all year round, and is one of the reasons why it’s so popular for tourists. If you are a fan of pro sports, it’s the perfect choice, with skiing, golf, lacrosse and hockey all on offer, whether you want to take part or watch. 

Known as Festival City, you can find many events happening throughout the year, and it’s worth picking your visit time depending on what’s on the local events calendar. 

Whether you’re looking to explore architectural delights, go shopping, visit museums or get closer to nature, there’s something for everyone in these Canadian cities.

12 thoughts on “Six Exciting Canadian City Breaks to Put on Your Bucket List

  1. The only place I’ve been to on the list is Niagara Falls. In fact, I lived on the US side for a few months back in the day. It’s COLD in winter and winter is LONG there.

    Thanks for posting!

  2. I remember going to Niagara Falls with my family when I was a little girl and everyone was so nice. I didn’t want to leave and they had to promise to take me to one my favorite parks to swim to want to come home.

  3. Canada is an awesome place to go. When you go you shold go on the Ottawa Canon Trail. It’s a spectacular 4 1/2 one way, train ride up into the hills. You can watch people come run out to wave at the people on the train. The train is the only way in or out other than a plane to land on the near by lakes. It is just breath taking.

  4. These areas do sound fascinating! I’ve been to Nova Scotia, and that was nice, although it is a very rural vacation. This sounds fun, and makes me want to get up and go!

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