Canada is often thought of as simply a place of natural beauty. A place for hiking and camping, snowy mountains and crashing seas. However, the bustling cities of Canada might just change your mind.
I would be the last person to deny the splendour of mother nature in Canada. It is the ideal destination for wildlife lovers and for those who think a holiday isn’t complete without an eight-hour hike. However, Canada’s vibrant, modern cities should not be forgotten. These busy metropolises make great bases for longer stays in the country, and are perfect city break locations.
Each with a distinctive character, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver are some of Canada’s most exciting places to visit. Let’s take a look at them!
Montreal has something to offer to everyone. Culture lovers should head straight to Old Montreal and drink in the charming heritage architecture in this part of the city. Picture cobbled streets and buildings with hundreds of years of character in every brick. Don’t miss the Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours Chaple with its unique ceiling artwork, or the Montreal Town Hall, whose architects took inspiration from the Tours Hôtel de Ville near Paris.
Spend time in the Place d’Armes, an ancient public square in the centre of the district, the perfect place to have a drink and watch the world go by.
Also in Montreal:
- Cuisine to make your mouth water
- Fabulous festivals celebrating the city’s amazing arts scene
- Impressive examples of contemporary design
If Montreal is Canada’s cultural capital, Toronto is where the modern heart of the country beats. Perhaps avoid the city in winter and head there in spring or summer, which is when it comes alive with a striking vibrancy. This is the place to experience modern city living. Head to the CN Tower and Edgewalk for a dizzying view over the city. At 1,815 feet tall, you’ll need a head for height to conquer this Wonder of the Modern World. If you can make it up, eating at the astounding 360 Restaurant, with its slowly revolving panoramic views, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Another incredible attraction in Toronto is the Royal Ontario Museum. One of the largest museums in North America, the ROM showcases art, archaeology, world cultures and natural history.
Also in Toronto:
- The huge Toronto Zoo with over 5,000 animals
- World-class shopping
- Helicopter tours of the Niagara Falls
Vancouver is undeniably cool. More laidback than Toronto, its neighbourhoods are easy to explore on foot and the cultural action here is just getting started. Visitors can experience some exciting and innovative local theatre, art shows and festivals.
Vancouver is also the perfect destination for lovers of fine dining and street food alike. It is known for its excellent Asian restaurants, as well as for its influence on the farm-to-table movement, resulting in fresh, delicious and local dishes. If you’re partial to a pint, the city’s craft beer scene is also second to none.
What’s more, Vancouver is great for shopping, especially for those who love browsing vintage shops in the hope of finding a hidden gem. From leather jackets worn soft with age to 1960s mini-dresses, you’ll find it here.
Also in Vancouver:
- Snow-tipped peaks just a short car journey away
- The endlessly fascinating Museum of Vancouver
- Great bars for pre- and post-dinner drinks