The basics
Canada: Once you arrive - Must read

5 Places to visit in Canada

Where do you HAVE to visit when you’re in Canada? Read our guide to the destinations which should be on your To Visit list...

Rocky Mountains

Niagara Falls

The Niagara Falls are comprised of three waterfalls which sit on the Canadian-American border, split between Ontario and New York. The Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls attract over 30 million visitors each year who come to take in the awesome views of what were once the most powerful


Numerous individuals have attempted to jump over the top of the waterfalls over the years, and several have even survived the plunge – that’s a vertical drop of over 165ft! Of course we would strongly recommend you take in the views from the Table Rock Welcome Centre or one of the daily cruises or helicopter trips instead. The Falls aren’t just for show either; they actually have a function too! Presently they are still the largest producer of electricity for New York State: up to 375,000 gallons of water are diverted from the Niagara River per second!


Find out more about visiting the Falls



The Rocky Mountains

Over 76 million years old, you might be surprised to learn just how far The Rockies stretch! This vast mountain range of 100 different mountain ranges stretches from the north of British Columbia through Alberta, all the way south to the US state of New Mexico, though their peak is Mount Elbert in Colorado (US).


Fortunately much of the Rockies are protected due to their National Park status which means they can’t be built on or compromised in anyway. This leaves them open to visitors to fish, cycle, hike and perform winter sports on. Canadian National Parks which cover the Rockies include Banff, Kootenay, Yoho and Jasper National Parks.



Calgary Stampede

While you might think of Texas when you think cowboys, Calgary should be your go-to destination in Canada if you want a taste of spurs and horses. The Calgary Stampede is an annual combined rodeo, festival and exhibition held every July in Calgary, Alberta. The Stampede has been taking place in some form since the late 19th century and rouses the whole city as visitors from around the world descend on Calgary for the festival. Activities include chuckwagon racing, parades, fairground amusements, live performances and of course, the rodeo itself.



The Stampede is integral to Calgary’s identity and reputation across the country and around the world (which is no surprise given the amount of tourism it attracts). The local football team are the Calgary Stampeders while the city has various nicknames relating to the rodeo including ‘Cowtown’ and ‘Stampede Town’. But Calgary’s culture is more than just rodeos and cowboys. The city hosts the Honens International Piano Competition each year and is home to the country’s 3rd largest dance company, several theatre companies, a healthy choral music community and various festivals throughout the year.


Learn more about the Calgary Stampede



Banff National Park

While you’re in the area, check out Banff National Park which is just over 100 miles west of Calgary. Spanning over 6 ½ thousand square kilometres, Banff is the oldest national park in the country. The Park’s origins lie in the late 19th century and the discovery of a cave of hot springs on the slopes of the Rocky Mountains by a group of construction workers.


Just check out this video which highlights the beauty of Banff National Park:



There are various lakes which you can take in, including Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, Johnston Canyon and Banff Legacy Trail. There are also the usual outdoor sporting activities such as skiing, hiking and other outdoor activities. Meanwhile keep an eye out for the wildlife which includes black bears, lynx and wolverines.


Learn more about Banff including activities you can do there




Quebec is a special gem in North America and Canada, unlike any other city you’ll find on the continent. Quebec is the largest province in Canada and the only one where their first language is French, not English, hence why it is referred to as the ‘Europe of North America’. In fact, Montreal in Quebec is the country’s second largest city and the second largest French-speaking city in the entire world.


Quebec is incredibly proud of its French heritage which stretches back to the 16th century when it was one of the first areas explored by Europeans. While French is the predominant influence, the city is known for its varied multiculturalism, having welcomed immigrants from all over the world. This multiculturalism is evident in the festivities and events which take place throughout the year, though you can also see attractions such as the Just for Laughs comedy festival and Canadian Grand Prix.


While you’re there, you can try some poutine (chips with gravy and cheese); and then work off the calories by exploring the province’s rambling hills and forests.

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About Author

Rocky Mountains

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.