Winter-capped mountains, lush evergreen forests full of wildlife, and deep blue coastlines with small towns are some of Canada’s most beautiful sights.
Canada has 6 time zones, 10 provinces, and 3 territories. The west-to-east distance is over 5000km.
Before booking flights, make sure your passport is valid for six months after travel. How come this is first? Because renewal takes 10 weeks and requires document preparation. Our team at iVisa.com can help you get your new passport and answer questions like Canadian passport renewal fee. Please read on for prices, deadlines, and instructions.
Canada’s new budget airlines, national train service, and many car rental options make traveling the world’s second largest country easier than ever.
Due to Canada’s size and diversity, public ferries serve British Columbia, Québec, and the Maritimes, while trains serve densely populated areas like the Toronto–Montréal corridor.
Regional and national carriers save days and reach roadless northern towns.
Subways, streetcars, buses, and bike routes are expanding in all major Canadian cities.
Canadian city-hopping by plane, train, and ferry is possible without a car.
Driving is one of the most effective ways to explore the country.
Trains and flights are expensive and can’t get you to remote areas, so driving is best across Canada.
The Trans-Canada Highway connects all of Canada except the north, so Vancouver to St. John’s is 76 hours without traffic.
Cars make it easy to travel between towns, visit national parks, and stop at interesting places, unlike other modes.
Even though Toronto and Montreal have great public transit and terrible traffic, they were built for cars.
How easy is Canadian car rental?
Most provinces let visitors drive with their home license for three months. BC has six months.
Consider a one-year International Driving Permit (IDP) if you’re in Canada often. Your home auto association can issue one for a small fee. Bring your home license and IDP.
For Canadian car rentals, you must be 25 years old, have a valid driver’s license (an international one may be needed if you’re not from an English- or French-speaking country), and have a major credit card.
Major international car-rental companies have airport, train station, and city center branches. Most Canadian on-demand rentals cost more than pre-booked packages. Canadian Zipcar and Turo (think Airbnb for cars) offer cheaper rentals.
The train offers stunning views of Canada.
Canadian trains traverse mountain valleys and rivers, making them a luxury bucket list item.
Most intercity and transcontinental passenger trains in Canada are operated by VIA Rail, covering 14,000km. Remote areas like Churchill, Manitoba, are only accessible by rail.
Trains are most efficient between Québec City and Windsor, Ontario, especially between Montréal and Toronto, major hubs. Rail does not reach Newfoundland, PEI, or NWT.
Train travel is more expensive than the bus and comparable to flying, but most people like it. June–mid-October is peak season, 40% more expensive. Tickets purchased five days in advance are cheaper.
VIA Rail offers classic sightseeing trains like Canadian (Toronto to Vancouver), Hudson Bay (Winnipeg to Churchill), Ocean (Montréal to Halifax), and Jasper to Prince Rupert.
Private regional trains like the Rocky Mountaineer offer more rail-touring options.
Bus travel saves money.
Shuttles connect most major cities. Megabus serves many Ontario and Quebec routes despite Greyhound Canada’s drastic service cuts (only US routes remain). Regional companies run other province-to-province routes.
Most buses are reliable, comfortable, and clean. Toilets, air-conditioning (bring a sweater), reclining seats, free wi-fi, and movies may be available. Smoking is forbidden. Highway service stations serve meals every few hours for long-distance buses.
Other modes are faster and more expensive than buses. Early online ticket purchases save money, but waiting can cost $250 and the same to fly.
Fly when time is short.
New airlines Swoop, Flair, and Lynx have improved Canadian travel. WestJet and Air Canada no longer dominate Canadian skies with expensive inter-province flights; Toronto to Halifax costs CAD$49 and Vancouver to Montreal $60.
One-way fares around $45 make carry-on baggage unnecessary. Flying to Canada is cheaper than ever if you’re thrifty and bring a small backpack (check dimensions before booking).
Star Alliance members can book 16 discounted flights through their “Round the World” trip planner.
Enjoy Canada’s backroads by bike.
Much of Canada is bikeable. Long-distance bike routes on quiet back roads are available in Edmonton, Montréal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria.
Biking across Canada is a three-month marathon, but there is a large community of support if you need help or want to team up.
Buying and selling bikes before leaving is easy. Sports stores may be cheaper, but bike shops have the best selection and advice. Some bike shops and rentals sell used bikes. Deals are available at flea markets, garage sales, thrift shops, Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, and university and hostel noticeboards. These are top bike-selling spots.
Explore Canadian islands by boat.
Ferrying around Canada is fun but inefficient for getting to Victoria, BC or St. John’s, Newfoundland. Catch one of Toronto’s best sunsets on the ferry to the islands.
British Columbia and Atlantic provinces have many ferries. Walkers and cyclists can board anytime, but call ahead for vehicle or cabin reservations. This is crucial during summer peak and holidays.