Tourist Guide to Best Budget Friendly places to visit in Canada
Canada is a vast, beautiful nation full of friendly people, exciting cities, and one-of-a-kind scenery. The Great White North is a nation that offers something for everyone, stretching over 9,000 kilometres from the frigid tundra of the Yukon to the rugged shores of the east coast.
Canada is frequently overlooked on many round-the-world itineraries because of its closeness to the United States, inadequate aircraft connections, and limited affordable cross-country travel choices.
Canada is an extensive and diverse country with acres of natural beauty in its purest form, a pleasure for any travel enthusiast. However, a trans-Canadian road trip is a fantasy for many people because of the pristine snow-clad mountains, dazzling glacial lakes, perfect beaches, massive national parks, and incredible historical landmarks.
Most of us are hesitant about travelling to Canada due to the hefty travel expenditures. But the good news is that we can easily travel to Canada on a budget if we do a little planning and study. The country's people are warm and hospitable, and they welcome travellers from all over the world with open arms. But they are missing out on so much. Canada has a lot to offer. It's one of the greatest nations in the world for RVing and road vacations, and it's packed with outdoor activities for people of all skill levels and seasons. Backpacking in Canada is a fantastic experience.
Visiting Canada has never been easier since the Government of Canada has introduced the simplified and streamlined process of obtaining electronic travel authorisation or Canada Visa Online. Canada Visa Online is an electronic travel authorization or travel permit to visit Canada for a period of time less than 6 months. International visitors must have a Canadian eTA to be able to enter Canada and explore this amazing country. Foreign citizens can apply for an Canada Visa Application in a matter of minutes. Canada Visa Application process is automated, simple, and completely online.
When to Go to Canada?
Summers in Canada are gorgeous, but they are also the busiest season. The primary tourist season runs from June until September, with higher costs and enormous crowds. On the other hand, temperatures are pleasant throughout this season, typically reaching the upper 20s°C (70s°F). There are several music festivals, and it's an excellent season to hike, cycle, and explore the Great Lakes.
Although spring (March-June) can be somewhat damp, shoulder season is also a terrific time to visit Canada. Fall (September-October) is a great time to visit since the weather is still pleasant and spectacular autumn foliage. Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces are worth a visit in the autumn. Because Canada is such a vast country, climate and temperature vary significantly from coast to coast. Canada has distinct seasons, and winters may be harsh and lengthy in some areas.
For example, winters in the Northern Territories start early and last late. Snow may fall until late May in places like Newfoundland and Labrador.
On the other hand, the Winter season in the Canadian Rockies is epic, and skiers from all over the world rush to British Columbia and Alberta to hit the slopes at Whistler, Banff, and Revelstoke. However, be prepared for frigid temps. It can be as low as -40°C (40°F) in specific locations, such as the grasslands.
Things to keep in mind for a budget friendly trip
Purchase your plane tickets in advance.
If you want to travel to Canada on a budget, the first thing you'll need is affordable plane tickets. May, June, and September are the ideal months to visit Canada since the weather is still mild and there are fewer tourists. A little ahead planning may save you a lot of money, which is a terrific way to start your vacation to Canada. After you have booked your tickets, you may proceed with the additional requirements of obtaining a visa, which typically takes 15 days to a month to arrive.
For intercity travel, take the Megabus.
Canada provides relatively affordable travel choices in the form of Megabus, which you can use to go to various destinations such as Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, to mention a few. The one drawback is that these buses are not always on time, so it may not be the most efficient alternative if you are on a tight schedule
opt for home-sharing services
After you've figured out how to get about, the next step is to determine where you're staying, which may quickly add up if you choose a standard hotel room. So, if you genuinely want to travel to Canada on a budget, you may employ house-sharing services. They are generally accessible in major cities like Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, and Vancouver. You can save money on daily room leases if you opt for shared homes rather than complete residences. Canadians are very kind and friendly people. They open their houses to travellers and provide sofas to sleep on for a fee. Join local Facebook groups to find such spaces. You'll discover a comfortable couch to relax on for a night or two if you're lucky. This approach is beneficial in small towns or cities.
Eat smart and reasonable.
The most cost-effective strategy to reduce your food prices is to shop at local supermarkets and street sellers. You will save money, but you will also be able to sample the local food. Poutine, a combination of French fries, cheese cream, and gravy, is the country's most famous food.
Almost every street food booth has its variation of this meal. In addition, there are sausages, hot dogs, and veg options in burgers for the hardcore vegetarians. When selecting a food stand or truck, seek for ones with a massive line in front of them. This way, you'll know they're genuine and well-liked.
Some of the oldest castles in Canada date as far back as the 1700s, which create an absolute joyful experience to revisit the times and the ways of living from the industrial era with restored artworks and costumes interpreters ready to welcome its visitors. Learn more at Guide to Top Castles in Canada.
Places to visit
Enjoy the Calgary Stampede
Every July, over 1 million people come to Calgary for this multi-day rodeo, drinking festival, and carnival. Everyone gets to dress up as a cowboy. It's an enjoyable place, and you will meet many interesting individuals from all over the world. It's one of Canada's best events, so make your reservations early – costs soar, and accommodations sell out quickly! If you want to blend in, wear cowboy boots and a hat.
Take to the slopes
During the winter, the mountains of Canada provide excellent skiing and snowboarding. Banff is a well-known alpine town famed for its great hiking paths. During the winter, it's crowded as residents and visitors alike hit the slopes, but it's famous for a reason. While Banff is the most famous location, there are plenty more excellent skiing sites. These resorts extend from British Columbia to Quebec, so plenty to choose from (including Sunshine Village, Whistler Blackcomb, Lake Louise, Kicking Horse, and Mont Tremblant).
Hike in the rainforest.
Hike around Pacific Rim National Park for a spectacular view of Vancouver Island's temperate rain forests. It's one of Canada's most popular parks, home to Western Red Cedars, Pacific Silver Firs, and various animals such as deer, wolves, bears, and cougars. The Long Beach region is one of the more accessible hiking destinations. However, the dunes near Wickaninnish Beach on the South Beach Trail are also worthwhile.
Icefields Parkway, Alberta
Take to the road if you want to visit the Rockies on a budget. Rent an inexpensive vehicle in Edmonton and drive to the breath-taking Icefields Parkway, which runs through the Rockies between Jasper and Banff. Before dropping your car off in Calgary, stay at one of the numerous campsites along the route.
Montreal and Quebec City are both well-known tourist destinations. Still, they head to their younger brother if you're looking for a more affordable French experience. It is situated at the junction of 3 rivers. It boasts cheap accommodation, a growing adventure sports sector (including excellent kayaking), and an abundance of adjacent wildlife.
Prince Edward Island
PEI, another East Coast location, has a lot to offer in a 10-day journey. While you're there, visit some of their fabulous beaches, such as Basin Head Provincial Park, Red Point Provincial Park, and Cavendish Beach. Also, visit the charming coastal villages of Victoria, Georgetown, and Northport!
The Land of the Maple Leaf has many delightful attractions but with these attractions come thousands of tourists. If you are searching for less-frequented quiet but serene locations to visit in Canada, look no further. Learn more at Top 10 Hidden Gemstones of Canada.
To go to any national park in Canada, you must first get a Park Pass (daily or yearly).
• A day pass costs 10.50 CAD per person, while a group/family pass costs 21 CAD.
• A yearly pass costs 72.25 CAD per individual, while a group/family pass costs 145.25 CAD.
The Discovery Pass is available for all National Parks in Canada for one year. You may buy it at the entrance gate to the national park, at the Visitor's Centre, or book it online.
In addition to rest areas with restrooms, paved parking lots with bear-proof waste bins everywhere, and boardwalks or railings on trails where needed, national parks also have wheelchair-accessible areas.
Music, food, and art festivals
Canada is well-known for its numerous festivals, which take place in all major cities and communities throughout the year. It is more prevalent throughout the summer and spring seasons, and most of them are free to enter. While sampling local food and learning about their culture and customs through native handcraft and artistic work, this is an excellent opportunity for learning about their culture and traditions. Even if you are going in the winter, you will not be disappointed because several events are planned precisely for the cold season, such as Montreal's Igloo fest, Toronto's Winter City, Ottawa's Winterlude, etc.
Visit the galleries of Toronto
Spend a day or two exploring Toronto's art since the city has some of the best museums and galleries in the country. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) are two of the most well-known art museums. However, there are other smaller, speciality galleries, such as the Textiles Museum of Canada and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Galleries frequently offer discounts on particular days of the week, so check ahead of time to save money.
Victoria, British Columbia
Want to go on a West Coast vacation but can't afford Vancouver's exorbitant prices? Visit beautiful Victoria, the provincial capital. A hostel room downtown may be had for as low as $30 per night and seeing the city's stunning Inner Harbour and abundant greenspaces, such as Beacon Hill Park and the Butchart Gardens, is quite inexpensive.
Do you believe these islands are genuinely a part of Quebec? It's just off the shore of the Prince Edward Islands, although it's in the province of Quebec. If you enjoy the great outdoors, this tiny archipelago is a must-see. Bring your camping gear, set up a tent on the vast beaches, kayak, or canoe on the ocean, and take in the spectacular view!
Big Muddy Badlands, Saskatchewan
Rent a car, pack a tent, and drive out into this starkly stunning stretch of grassland, home to the majestic Castle Butte, a 70-meter-high piece of rock. Camping can save you money and allow you to explore a terrain that previously housed legendary criminals such as the Sundance Kid.
Take a road trip
This vast land is best visited by automobile or RV. It's the best way to see tiny villages, gorgeous mountains, breath-taking scenery, and many off-the-beaten-path locations. This is the most excellent and affordable way to tour the nation if you have enough time. It is effortless to arrange a road trip along the Trans-Canada Highway since it runs coast to coast. Remember that the weather might be fickle at times (especially in the winter). Of course, you'll need to keep an eye out for animals and be prepared for extended stretches of driving without rest breaks or petrol stations.
It's worth it because the shifting landscapes and magnificent sights are out of this world! You might easily spend weeks or months visiting the nation yet not seeing everything.
If you still think Toronto is too expensive, take a look at its up-and-coming neighbour. Steelstown’s long-disgraced city centre is undergoing a renaissance (in areas) and now includes beautiful restaurants, art galleries, and bars. In addition, the Hammer is home to around 100 waterfalls.
Stroll the nation's capital
On foot, Ottawa is a relatively simple city to explore. It's a beautiful city with museums, art galleries, and plenty of store’s worth spending a couple of days exploring. You may visit Quebec (which has a fantastic Museum of Civilization) or take a tour of Parliament Hill (the ancient buildings where the Canadian government functions). There are two museums in Ottawa that you shouldn't miss: the Canadian War Museum and the National Gallery of Canada. Don't forget to visit the bustling Byward Market and the craft brewers in Westboro. Try a sweet pastry called a beavertail while you're here
You've undoubtedly previously visited Quebec City if you're from Montreal. But, if you haven't already, it's something everyone should do at least once. The city's historic centre is what draws the majority of visitors. With cobblestone lanes, the towering Chateau Frontenac Hotel, and cathedrals to see, this is an ideal 5-day trip.
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
This prairie hamlet is full of low-cost meals and lodging, but the mysterious tunnels beneath its city are its main draw. (They are assumed to have been constructed by bootleggers.) The adjacent Buffalo Pound provincial park is a must-see if you're looking for wildlife.
Canada is a very vast country so exploring everything on a small trip is not possible, this guide will help you travel around Canada on a budget.
The national winter sport of Canada and the most popular sport among all Canadians, Ice Hockey can be dated back to the 19th century when various stick and ball games, both from the United Kingdom and from the indigenous communities of Canada, influenced a new game into existence. Learn about Ice Hockey – Canada’s Favourite Sport.
Check your eligibility for eTA Canada Visa and apply for eTA Canada Visa 72 hours in advance of your flight. British citizens, Italian citizens, Spanish citizens, French citizens, Israeli citizens, South Korean citizens, Portuguese citizens, and Chilean citizens can apply online for eTA Canada Visa. Should you need any help or require any clarifications you should contact our helpdesk for support and guidance.