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Canada Travel Guide

Canada Travel Guide

Canada is a diverse and beautiful country boasting some of the most stunning and unique natural beauty.  It is a true haven for those who love the outdoors anytime of the year!  Known as one of the most livable countries in the world, Canada offers a wide variety of experiences which will truly make for a memorable experience.

Before you visit ‘The Great White North’, read up on all the essential details in our Canada travel guide.

Canada travel guide
Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
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Visa application

Visa and Entry

Foreign visitors to Canada will need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) to enter the country. For US citizens, a visa is not necessary if you are visiting as a tourist and your journey is less than 180 days.

Canadian Dollars - Canada Travel Guide

Cash and Currency

The official currency of Canada is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). For the current rate of exchange between US and Canadian dollars, click here.

Major credit and debit cards are widely accepted everywhere in Canada except perhaps the remotest parts of the country. You can use your MasterCard or VISA everywhere while AMEX cards are slightly less popular.

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Language

Although the vast majority of Canadians speak English as a first language, around 20% of the population, most of who reside in the province of Quebec, are bilingual and speak both English and French.  It is important to note, that some smaller towns outside the big metropolis cities or tourism areas in Quebec only speak French.

There are also a number of indigenous languages such as Cree, Inuktitut, and Ojibwa. However, these languages are largely only spoken in First Nation or Native American communities and visitors aren’t expected to know them.

Medicines

Health info including emergency contacts

Visitors to Canada are highly recommended to purchase travel insurance from their home country in case of any emergencies while abroad.If you require emergency assistance, dial 911, which will put you in touch with the fire services, ambulance, or the police. For non-emergencies, 311 is the suggested number as the operator will be able to provide you with information about local services no matter where you are.

Getting Around

Given Canada’s immense size, most visitors and Canadians alike, choose to fly when travelling across the country. For those taking smaller trips or want to experience the natural splendour of Canada from the comfort of a train carriage or at their own pace, you have the option to rent a car or travel by train operated by VIA Rail.  Train travel can be an enjoyable and affordable option, however for the longer haul experiences travel can spread over many days. 

Every major city in Canada has its own intricate public transportation network such as the subway, buses, and streetcars, although it is a good idea to check beforehand what is available in the city or area you will visit. Tickets are usually available in convenience stores or stations. If you expect to use public transportation frequently, then you might find it more affordable to buy a transit pass that will give you unlimited use of public transportation for a set amount of time.

There are also a range of private companies offering transportation in Canada such as hiring a taxi, or using Uber or Lyft (you will need to double check the region you are in that Uber and Lyft are available as these ride hauling services are newer to some cities and not available in others).

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Tipping/Gratuities

While tipping in Canada is generally optional, it is recommended in restaurants or cafes where some of the service staff may rely on tips. Typically, tipping 10-20% of the bill is considered sufficient; however this greatly depends on the service you have received and what you are comfortable with. Bear in mind that some restaurants may automatically add gratuity to your bill for larger groups (ie. 8 people or more).

Do you have more questions about travelling in Canada? Get in touch with us for expert tips and customized travel advice.

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