Canada is a dream destination for backpackers who wish to experience the wilderness and real beauty of North America. It’s a truly pleasant destination for all ages. The people of Canada are very easy going and cities such as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are places well worth a visit. Please take into account that Canada is one of the largest countries in the world. You can’t just hit the road and expect to be in the other end of the country within 24 hours. It usually takes days, so be prepared.
Fast forward to these major cities in Canada:
Most people come to Canada to enjoy the fantastic national parks in the western provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Here you will find stunning national parks such as Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Glacier, located in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. You can also visit Vancouver Island which is known for its unspoiled seashores and British charm in the provincial capital of Victoria. In the middle of Canada there is nothing - indeed there are plenty of populated areas and very nice people - but there really aren't that much to see for travellers since its just prairies for miles and miles. The fun comes back when you reach the eastern provinces of Canada such as Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.
Please bear in mind that Canada is not the US. Do never make that mistake of comparing a Canadian to an American. Canadians really have their own traditions and way of living and they are proud about it. A visit to Canada is often combined with a stay in the US, so you may notice the small differences if you have the time. Canadians are very friendly and enjoy talking to international travellers, so don't hesitate to engage in a little social activity or small talk, whether it is at a fancy high street bar or at the local village diner.
Even though Canadians has plenty of square kilometres per resident, most of the population lives in close proximity to the US border. Up north the roads are scarce and winter hits hard from October to May. No one really bothers going there unless you have a great job or a profound interest in tundra and polar conditions. However, if you are a winter sports enthusiast and enjoy skiing, snowboarding, skating, ice hockey etc. then Canada is a cool place to visit during winter. Banff and Whistler in western Canada are some of the greatest ski resorts in the world and each year thousands of backpackers travel to Canada to enjoy the true meaning of powder snow.
Canada is a lot more than Rocky Mountains and grizzly bears. In the easternmost part of the country you'll find the maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. It's smaller provinces but has a lot of charm and Canadian history to offer. Don't miss out on the heritage site Louisbourg and Cape Bretton Highlands National Park on the very top of Nova Scotia.
When talking about great city experiences in North America, New York, San Francisco and Washington DC always come to mind, but the metropolitans of Canada are often overlooked which is a shame. In the Northwest, Vancouver is far more interesting than Seattle just a couple of hours away and in the province of Ontario you can enjoy a couple of days in Toronto, the largest city in Canada. It is possible to fly directly to Toronto from several European cities which make Toronto a nice starting point for a North American journey. Again, the city is as good as nearby Chicago in the US. Montreal and Ottawa are located in the French-speaking province of Quebec and is a great experience since the culture here I different from the rest of the Continent.
If Canada is your choice of destination, make up your mind if you want to see the western part or the eastern part. Do yourself the favour of renting or buying a car. When you set out for a Canadian road trip, the pace and route is all up to you and your fellow travel mates. It's a lot more comfy and enjoyable than a tour bus or the train.
Did you know that KILROY can also help organise your study tour to Canada? Read on to learn more about how we can plan your study trip with the right academic content and interesting study visits in the city of your choice.
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