Canada is the second largest country in the world; with so much space comes a wide range of diverse places to see and explore, and countless Canadian cities to visit. Here you will find big cities, coastal gems, snow-capped mountains, historical landmarks, natural wonders, and more, with something for every traveler!
It is the perfect country to visit to see and discover a diverse selection of cities, all with their own unique charm. With so many Canadian cities to visit, it can be hard to pick which to see and which you’re better off skipping.
Here are 12 of the best cities to visit in Canada to add to your bucket list itinerary. Discover the best Canadian cities to visit for the ultimate Canadian experience!
Best Canadian Cities to Visit
1. Banff, Alberta
Banff is a stunning resort town in Alberta famous for its jagged mountains and bright blue water lakes. As one of the world’s most photogenic mountain destinations, it is easily one of the best Canadian cities to visit. In Banff, you can enjoy winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, ice skating, and more.
While in the summer, you can hike, swim, canoe, and more!
2. Ottawa, Ontario
Ottawa is Canada’s capital city and the country’s political center. The ornate parliament buildings attract people from around the world, but the charming Byward Market and surrounding sights and attractions are what make visitors fall in love with the city.
Ottawa is one of the best cities to visit in Canada for the perfect mix of a big city and a small town feel.
3. Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Heading to the territories of Canada is not something everyone is up for, but those who make the adventure never regret it. Yellowknife is one of the best cities to visit in Canada to learn about and experience Canada’s rich and essential indigenous history and culture.
The Northwest Territories have some of the most stunning natural beauty, with mountain ranges and frozen lakes. You can even see the Northern Lights in Yellowknife!
Heading here requires a little more work since tourism isn’t as prevalent as in other parts of the country, but it is a truly exceptional city that is unlike any other.
4. Montréal, Quebec
Montréal is a beautiful and charming city in the Canadian province of Quebec. It is a french speaking city, but don’t worry – most people speak English. Montréal is often referred to as the cultural capital of Canada.
Here you can see and experience the unique Québécois side of Canada that is super different from other cities. Explore Montreal and see the cobblestone streets, old buildings, and vibrant people.
Complete a trip to Quebec by visiting the quaint villages in the Eastern Townships – they’re filled with charm and easily some of the most beautiful spots in the province!
5. Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver is one of Canada’s most ethically diverse cities, with one of the most beautiful settings. Nestled within the stunning Rocky Mountains, Vancouver’s skyscraper city is surrounded by snowcapped mountains, giving it a unique look and feel.
This is one of the best cities to visit in Canada not only because it’s one of the most beautiful cities in Canada but also for its thriving arts and culture environment.
Plus, the stunning islands in the area make for an excellent excursion. You don’t need much to pack for Vancouver Island, as the proximity to the city means you’ll be near plenty of amenities.
6. Quebec City, Quebec
Traveling to Quebec City feels like you’ve left Canada and entered Europe! The narrow cobblestone streets and stone architecture are unlike any other city in the country, so Quebec City is one of the best cities to visit in Canada for a unique getaway. The inspiration for plenty of quotes about Canada, this charming city is well worth a visit!
7. Victoria, British Columbia
Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia and is a peaceful yet exciting city to visit during your Canada adventures. It is full of heritage architecture, hidden gems, and many attractions. Victoria is also a great place to visit for outdoor adventures!
It is just a 4-hour drive from the famous Tofino, British Columbia, a popular spot for surfers.
8. Toronto, Ontario
When most people think of Canada, the first Canadian city that comes to mind is Toronto. This famous and vibrant city is a must-visit in Canada if you love the hustle and bustle, art, and culture and want to see if Toronto lives up to the hype of Canada’s most famous metropolis.
From skyscrapers to waterfronts to parks and beyond, Toronto has plenty to do and see, making it the ideal place to visit for travelers of all kinds.
Plus, within a close distance, you’ll have plenty of lovely small towns to visit along the water, which make for particularly nice day trips in the summer. Consider visiting the St. Lawrence River, quaint towns along Lake Ontario, or even towns along Lake Huron, like Bayfield, Ontario.
Itching to see Niagara Falls? With the best views of the falls from the Canadian side, it’s an excellent destination even if you don’t plan on crossing the border. There are several easy ways to get from Toronto to Niagara Falls, making it an easy day trip whether you have your own transportation or not.
9. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Charlottetown is the capital of Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island. This coastal city is the perfect place to experience Canada’s unique East Coast is known for its fishing villages, warm hospitality, natural beauty, and culture.
Spend some time exploring this small city as a gateway to the rest of the Prince Edward Islands to experience one of the most beautiful and quaint Canadian cities.
10. Calgary, Alberta
Calgary is one of the best places to visit in Canada for so many reasons. It is conveniently located close to the Rocky Mountains, so making a quick trip to some of Canada’s most magnetic natural wonders is a breeze, with Calgary as your gateway.
It is also very unique in its Western Canadian culture, which has resulted in the nickname “Cowtown.” Heading here for the famous Calgary Stampede is a must to experience the true excitement of this city.
11. Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax is a beautiful coastal city where you can find plenty of unique cultural experiences, fantastic beaches, art, and more. It is also home to one of Canada’s most famous landmarks, the iconic Peggy’s Cove! This lighthouse is one of the most photographed in the world and welcomes visitors year-round, eager to see it themselves.
Don’t consider visiting Nova Scotia without heading to Cape Breton Island in the province’s rugged northeast. You’ll find great hiking trails, ocean views, and plenty to see and do.
12. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Venturing to Saskatoon to see and experience the flatlands of Canada will show you a completely different side of the country. In Saskatoon, you can enjoy the city’s vibrant downtown, while just a few miles away, you can drive into the countryside to see the endless fields that make up the middle of Canada.
Cities in Canada
If you are planning a trip to Canada and want to see and experience the best of the country, make sure to explore some of these best Canadian cities to visit. From bustling capital to remote towns surrounded by Canada’s stunning natural beauty, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for here, no matter your budget.