Sponsored blog post in collaboration with e-visa.
Canada is a stunning country, spanning over 9.9km² – making it the second-largest country in the world after Russia! For size-perspective, the UK could fit into Canada over 40 times -so it’s no surprise that the country is hugely popular for its diverse cities, landscapes, activities and local delicacies to try. From rainforests and deserts to huge mountains and tundras, you could spend months travelling from end to end to get just a glimpse of the stunning country.
If you are planning on travelling to Canada in 2020 or 2021, and you do not possess a Canadian or US passport, you are required to apply for an eTA beforehand. A Canada eTA is mandatory travel authorisation for Canada; the eTA (electronic travel authorisation) can be applied for online in just five minutes at a cost of £19.95 per person.
Requirements for the eTA Canada
There are a number of requirements to be accepted for the eTA Canada application, including:
- You are travelling to Canada by plane
- You are staying in Canada for less than six months
- Your trip to Canada has a business or tourist purpose
- You are not a registered Canadian citizen
- You possess a passport from a Visa exempt country (including the UK)
Where is the best place to go in Canada?
Canada is the second biggest country on the planet, so as you can imagine, there are a lot of things to do in this country!
The best place to start would be to choose one or two regions you’d be interested in visiting. From there, you can then narrow down the kind of scenery and activities you’d like to see and do, and map out a route on how you plan on visiting the different places.
If you’re stuck with where to start, here are the main regions broken down, and the reasons why they are so popular to visit:
The West Coast is a popular region for first-time visitors to Canada, thanks to its quintessential wildlife and scenery. Mountainous scenery and mountain-based activities, like the famous Canadian Rockies, can be found in the West Coast. You’ll also find snow covered mountains and glacial lakes, ever popular with skiers and mountain sport lovers.
The region is home to some of the most beautiful and accessible nature, with ocean views, towering forestry and Canadian wildlife, including bears, mooses, beavers and elks.
The North of Canada is hard to get to, but it’s worth every effort and penny. In the North you will find Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
The North of Canada has the most accessible places for spotting the Northern Lights, and it’s perfect for epic road tripping around the remote landscapes. You’ll also find remote national parks here, where you can camp or stay in log cabins!
The Prairies is said to be one of the country’s lesser visited regions – but don’t let this put you off. Here you’ll find the prairies, which harvests a large supply of the world’s wheat, and you’ll also find a ton of exciting things to do including polar bear spotting, enjoying mountain ranges and national parks and visiting the world’s oldest and biggest dinosaur fossils at the Alberta Badlands.
In the Prairies region, you’ll also find the freshest steak in the country; it’s an area that produces nearly 3% of the world’s beef so it’s the perfect place to enjoy the best steak in the world!
In Central Canada, you’ll find some of the nation’s biggest cities and a range of stunning national and provincial parks. The terrain in Central Canada is much flatter with no towering mountains, but you’ll find incredible lakes and forests throughout the region.
If you’re interested in historical sites and parliamentary buildings, trendy cities and buzzing nightlife, then Central Canada is the region that you need to visit. In Central Canada, you’ll also find the world-famous Niagara Falls – where you’ll see thousands of tonnes of water spilling over Niagara’s cliffs every second.
The East Coast of Canada is home to red-sand beaches, fresh seafood and classic Canadian wildlife in their natural habitat including moose and deer.
There are many things to do on this side of the country for everyone to enjoy! You’ll find the world’s highest tidal change here, where during each 12 hour tidal change, a 56ft tidal change will take place. It’s a great natural phenomena to see, and it’s an ideal location for spotting whales in!
You’ll also be able to find genuine Viking settlements and 10,000 year old ice bergs bobble and crash in the sea – so it’s a region with plenty of things to see and do. The Fjord and waterfall filled national parks are also popular tourist destinations for stretches of fields, cliffs and stunning sea landscaping.
When is the best time to go to Canada?
As Canada is such a big country, the climate and temperature varies drastically from coast to coast. The county has very defined seasons; the winter for example can be very harsh and long in some places getting to temperatures as cold as -40°C, whereas the summer is the main tourist season, with comfortable temperatures hitting the 20s°C.
How do I get to Canada?
There are several different ways to get to Canada, including:
- Flying in
Flights aren’t cheap but you will be able to find good deals on sites such as Skyscanner.
British Airways, WestJet and Air Canada all operate direct flights from London to various locations in Canada including Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa. Air Transat also operate direct flights from Manchester Airport and Glasgow International Airport to Toronto.
- Domestic flights
If you are flying within Canada, there are many well connected “budget” airlines including Porter, Flair and Air Canada’s Jazz, although “bargain” fares are said to be very rare.
- Campervan rental
Canada is one of the best places to explore by car. So, if you’re planning a road trip, take the time to arrange driving times and creating an itinerary. You’ll spend a lot of time on the road but there are many scenic stops to enjoy along the route.
The rental of cars in Canada varies depending on the season, but you can expect to pay upwards of $25 USD per day.
What local delicacies should I try?
Canada is renowned for a number of delicious dishes, snacks and drinks, including:
- Poutine – Authentic Canadian poutine is a dish that includes french fries and cheese curds topped with a brown gravy. The dish originated in the Canadian province of Quebec in the late 1950’s, and has since long been associated with Quebec cuisine.
- Bannock – Bannock is a variety of flatbread or any large round product cooked from grain. The dough product is usually cut into sections before serving, and can be served with a sweet or savoury dip.
- Saskatoon berry pie – Saskatoon berry pie originated in Canada. The pie is packed with Saskatoon berries and is often served with vanilla ice cream as a dessert.
- Montreal-style smoked meat – Montreal-style smoked meat is a Canadian delicacy, consisting of kosher-style deli meat made by salting and curing beef brisket with spices. The meat will then absorb the flavours for over a week, and will then be hot smoked to cook through, and then steamed to completion. You’ll often find it served in a rye bread sandwich, with lashings of mustard!
- Caesar cocktail – The Caesar is Canada’s national cocktail – and it’s a bit of an odd one! Made of voda, clamato juice, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce – it’s the Canadian’s take on the Bloody Mary.
It’s time to plan your trip to Canada!
So there you have it – a bumper guide to Canada on what to see, do and eat!
Don’t forget that if you are planning on travelling to Canada in 2020 or 2021, and you do not possess a Canadian or US passport, you will need to apply for an eTA beforehand. It costs just £19.95 per person and takes just five minutes to fill out the online application.