Canada is a country that has seen a significant spike in tourism over the past few decades. The country is vast and diverse, offering holidaymakers a plethora of sights, activities and food to indulge in. Canada is renowned for its natural beauty, friendly locals and vibrant culture. It boasts several incredible cities that beckon travellers from all corners of the globe.
Each of Canada’s main cities has its distinct charm and attractions, making them perfect for anyone seeking an unforgettable Canadian adventure.
Cities to explore in Canada
Luckily, travelling to Canada is easier than ever before. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines offers quick and easy travel to many Canadian cities and shares why they have become major tourist hotspots.
Toronto: The melting pot of cultures and architecture
As Canada’s largest city, Toronto embraces a multicultural identity and has cemented itself as the centre point of Canadian business, entertainment and culture so it’s not surprising that this city is the most popular with tourists. As Canada’s largest city, Toronto embraces a multicultural identity and boasts an impressive blend of architectural styles, reflecting its history and evolution.
Popular attractions include the iconic CN Tower and the historic Distillery District, both incredibly beautiful buildings that will have tourists marvel at their beauty. When visiting Toronto, a trip to Kensington Market, a popular, walkable bohemian neighbourhood, is a must. The area celebrates diversity through its eclectic shops, art spaces and international cuisine. Additionally, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario showcase a captivating collection of art and artefacts from around the world.
Montreal: A fusion of old-world charm and modern flair
Nestled in the province of Quebec, Montreal is a dynamic city that beautifully blends its rich history with modern sensibilities, making it a popular hotspot for tourists from around the globe. The city is best known for its French-Canadian culture. Besides its large French-speaking population, Montreal’s French flair is evident in the charming cobblestone streets of Old Montreal and the striking architecture of the Notre-Dame Basilica.
The city is also known for its lively local markets, offering delectable treats like poutine, smoked meats and maple-infused delicacies. Festivals are also a big part of the city’s identity. The Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival are just two of the many world-class events that take place here.
Vancouver: where nature and urban life intersect
Vancouver is a city that is a haven for nature enthusiasts and city dwellers alike, mostly since it is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountains. For those looking to get close to nature, Vancouver is home to a stunning waterfront, lush parks and magnificent mountain views. Visitors can explore Stanley Park, an urban oasis boasting kilometres of scenic trails, gardens and a renowned seawall perfect for biking or strolling.
Vancouver comes alive in winter when snow covers the city, making it the perfect destination for those wanting to take part in some snow sports. However, the city also has a lot to offer for those looking for a city break. Vancouver offers tourists an array of culinary delights, shopping districts and cultural attractions. Granville Island’s public market is a must-visit for foodies, while the Museum of Anthropology showcases fascinating indigenous art and artefacts. Vancouver’s inviting combination of natural beauty and urban amenities makes it a top destination for travellers seeking diverse experiences.
Calgary: Where the Wild West meets urban sophistication
While Calgary isn’t as popular a destination with tourists visiting Canada as hotspots like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, the city is one travellers should be adding to their travel bucket list. Calgary exudes a unique blend of Western heritage and modern urban living. The city is renowned for its famous Calgary Stampede, a rodeo and exhibition that attracts visitors from far and wide, offering a glimpse into the region’s rich cowboy culture.
Calgary also boasts a thriving arts scene, with numerous galleries, theatres and live music venues around the city. Geographically, the city is close to the popular Rocky Mountains, which makes it an ideal starting point for outdoor adventures, such as hiking, skiing and snowboarding. This gives travellers a balanced mix of nature and city exploration when visiting.
Canada is rising in popularity amongst travellers, and its cities hold unique treasures waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast or food connoisseur, these four cities offer something for everyone, promising an unforgettable holiday for anyone visiting. Luckily, for South Africans who are planning to travel to Canada, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines offers easy flight options from both Johannesburg and Cape Town with a connection at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.