Canada is the second largest country in the world, with beautiful landscapes and unique tourist attractions. From coast to coast, this country is home to vibrant and culturally rich cities, as well as incredible natural wonders. In Western Canada, the Rocky Mountains and cities like Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary dominate most itineraries. In central Canada, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City are some of the most popular possibilities. For those venturing into the eastern Canadian Maritimes, the beautiful Gros Morne National Park, along with the cities of Halifax and St. John’s, offers its own unique character. Off the beaten track, just as impressive is Canada’s North, with the chance to see polar bears in the wild and explore the remote beauty of Nahanni National Park and cities like Whitehorse and Yellowknife.
1 Niagara Falls
Waterfall is Canada’s most famous natural attraction, attracting millions of tourists every year. Just over an hour’s drive from Toronto, along the U.S. border, these massive waterfalls drop about 57 meters. Visitors can see the waterfall very close to the top edge. Niagara Falls and the Niagara Gorge have been attracting tourists and adventurers for more than a century. From the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, attempts were made to fall in various types of homemade boats and barrels. This, along with tightrope walks and other glasses, led to the development of a carnival-like atmosphere in neighboring Niagara Falls that still exists today. Families will enjoy walking down Niagara’s outrageous Clifton Hill to the canyon and waterfalls.
2 Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains
Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains
Located in the heart of Alberta’s majestic Rocky Mountains, Banff National Park showcases some of the most beautiful scenery in Canada. Lush green lakes, snow-capped peaks and glaciers are all within easy reach of this stunning park. The jewel of the park is the green waters of Lake Louise that reflect the surrounding mountains, and visitors can easily stroll along the shore. The Icefields Parkway’s route from Lake Louise to Jasper is an unforgettable one, another must-see in Banff. At the southern end of the park is the lovely town of Banff, which offers a variety of lodging, shopping, and dining options.
In winter, Banff is also a major winter sports area and home to Lake Louise Ski Resort and Sunshine Village, two of Canada’s most famous ski resorts.
3 CN Tower in Toronto
Toronto skyline with CN Tower
On the shores of Lake Ontario, Canada’s largest city, is the iconic CN Tower, one of Canada’s most famous landmarks. The tower is one of the tallest buildings in the world at 553 meters high. Food is served in the revolving restaurant. 360 visitors can enjoy a meal while admiring the city and lake. There are also Caution and glass floors with beautiful views of the city and beyond. Even those who choose not to climb the tower will find themselves stopping and staring at the building, which is visible from almost all parts of the city. At night, the towers light up in different colors.
4 Old Quebec (Vieux-Quebec)
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old Quebec is located throughout Upper and Lower Quebec and is home to some of the city’s most historic buildings. The Lower Town, along the St. Lawrence River, is home to the original settlement, the outstanding Château Frontenac, and many other treasures. Located on a 100-meter-high cliff, the Upper Town is home to the Fort, the Plain of Abraham, the Place d’Armes, and the Parque Historique de l’Artillerie. The area is one of Canada’s most popular historic districts and one with a strong tourism industry. In addition to the historical sites, visitors will also find the artist Ruedu Trésor displaying his work, interesting museums including the Musée de la Civilization, and a variety of shops and restaurants.
Just a two-hour drive from Vancouver is the famous ski resort and the village of Whistler. While Whistler has always been an important winter sports area, it has also grown into a popular summer destination with year-round golf, mountain biking, and a lively small-town vibe. In 2010, the village became one of the venues for the 2010 Winter Olympics, which attracted widespread attention from the international community. The area offers world-class skiing, hotels and dining, as well as a variety of other outdoor recreational opportunities and beautiful mountain views.
6 Ottawa Parliament Hill
Ottawa’s Parliament Hill stands above the Ottawa River, built in the second half of the 19th century as a neo-Gothic Parliament Building. The most prominent feature is the Peace Tower which separates the House of Commons and the Senate. In front of the parliament building is the Centennial Flame, lit in 1966 to commemorate the centenary of Canada’s Confederation, and behind the building is a sculpture garden. In summer, the Changing of the Guard can take place on the front lawn of the Parliament Buildings, weather permitting. Below Parliament Hill, lovely walks along the Ottawa River.
7 St. John’s Signal Hill National Historic Site
Signal Hill National Historic Site is located at the entrance to Port St. John’s, overlooking the city and the ocean. It was in 1901 that the first wireless transatlantic signal was received. It also played a strategic role in the Seven Years’ War with France, although the current fortifications were built during the hostilities of 1812.
The Cabot Tower is one of the important sites in Signal Hill. It was built in 1897 to commemorate the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of Newfoundland. It also now commemorates the first transatlantic wireless telegraph signal received here in 1901 by Guglielmo Marconi, which was transmitted 2,700 kilometers from Poldhu, England. Inside the tower are exhibits on the history of Signal Hill and the history of communications (a special section on Marconi). From the top, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city and coast all the way to Cape Spear – the easternmost point in North America.