I hate to sound like a tourist board ad, but Canada really is a beautiful country. You’re never too far away from a massive expanse of forest, or an intriguing store or restaurant drawn from its diverse population. Aside from that, the people are among the friendliest you’ll ever meet! My first piece of advice on visiting Canada is to definitely, definitely do it! Here are a few more practical tips I can offer.
We’ll get some of the technicalities out of the way first. Unless you’re using Google Translate to read this article, you shouldn’t have any problems with the language. The large majority of the country speaks English, albeit with “eh” used to end every sentence. However, if you’re visiting French Canada (mainly Quebec) you may find things a little harder. English is still widely spoken in these areas, but you’ll probably run into the odd shop assistant or bar staff who only speaks French. Aside from that, they use the metric system, the currency is Canadian dollars, and tipping is nearly as compulsory as it is in the States. You’ll also need a passport with Electronic Travel Authorization. You can apply for one here: www.official-canada-eta.com .
The next big thing is the weather. If you’ve planned your trip in the winter, looking for lower flight and accommodation prices, you may want to reconsider. Canada is famous for its snow, and this reputation didn’t just appear out of the blue. It gets cold, I mean seriously cold. Go walking around in the peak of winter without all the right thermals, and you’ll quickly discover just how intense the cold weather is. If you’re going for the skiing, then no problem! However, if you really want to get a taste for the country, I highly recommend going in the summer. Despite the cold in the winter, the summers in Canada are usually gorgeous. You’ll enjoy the outdoors a lot more, and be able to see more generally.
Finally, the sheer diversity of the country. Like the rest of north America, the whole of Canada was populated by immigrants. This has continued to bloom throughout the country’s history, and it shows in the day-to-day way of life. Walk down any strip in a Canadian city, and you’ll see stores and restaurants which stem from countless different nationalities and cultures. Some 41 members of the Canadian parliament were born in other countries, just to give you an idea.
You might leave your accommodation looking to immerse yourself in the Canadian culture. The truth is, it doesn’t really have one! Instead, I recommend trying to visit a different country every night! You’ll be able to find countless cultural restaurants, venues and exhibitions. You’ll probably be near enough some kind of indigenous museum or cultural spot too, so check that out! The whole country’s a melting pot; make the most of it!
Take these tips on board, and I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic time in Canada. Even if you came there totally unprepared, their world-famous hospitality would probably see you through!