Backpacking Canada

How about a trip to the land of maple trees? Canada is a truly paradisical place and its incredible landscapes are sure to exceed even the highest of expectations. As a travel destination, Canada is a dream come true, particularly for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. Have fun exploring our ideas for the perfect backpacking route in Canada.


Important Basics

Official language: English/French
EnglishFrench
HelloSalut
ByeAu revoir
ThanksMerci
YesOui
NoNon
Capital city

Ottawa

Form of government

constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy

Best time to travel

There is no one perfect time. The best time to travel to Canada very much depends on the region you are travelling to and whether you are planning a summer vacation or, let’s say a skiing trip

Currency

Canadian dollar

Telephone area code

+1

Fun Facts
  • Are you someone who simply cannot get enough of the outdoors and loves taking trips to nearby lakes? If this is you, then Canada is just the place for you to be. In the country, there are roughly 31,752 larger lakes and many smaller ones. Interestingly, Canada on its own has more lakes to offer than the rest of the world put together.
  • More than 80% of Canada’s land is uninhabited and more than 90% of the Canadian population lives within 150 miles of the United States border.
  • Canada’s coastline is the longest in the world

Cities

Toronto

Toronto is not only the country’s largest city but also the perfect starting point for a trip around Eastern Canada. There are flights available for as low as 200 euros.

The Canadian National Tower, or CN Tower for short, is emblematic of the city. From the observation deck 340 metres above the ground, you have a fantastic panoramic view of the entire city as well as Lake Ontario. Boldly step on the glass floors or take a walk on the wild side and venture out onto the grid platform of the EdgeWalk to stare directly into the abyss.

Generally speaking, Toronto is easy to explore on foot. Visit the Harbourfront neighbourhood, stroll along the promenade or take a boat trip to the Toronto Islands. In the creative areas of Kensington Market and the Distillery District, you’ll find countless second-hand boutiques, organic shops, galleries, hip cafés and plenty of street art. For shopping enthusiasts, Toronto’s Eaton Centre in the downtown area is the place to go. The Art Gallery of Ontario, the Hockey Hall of Fame and Canada’s Wonderland amusement park are also well worth a visit.

Niagara Falls

The world-famous Niagara Falls are just a stone’s throw away from Toronto. They are located on the border between Canada and the USA and are a must-see on any trip to Eastern Canada. The Canadian shore is the place where you will get the best view of this awe-inspiring natural spectacle, so take your time and marvel at the enormous falls. The viewing platform of the Table Rock Welcome Centre, for example, is located mere metres away from Horseshoe Falls.

In case you want to come into even closer contact with Niagara Falls, we recommend taking part in a boat trip. To reach the mooring point, you can, of course, simply take the lift. This is what most people do. If you want to minimize waiting time, it is also possible to buy a priority entry ticket and ride the zip line instead. A catamaran will take you up close to Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, which together form Niagara Falls. From the tiered observation decks, you will have an unforgettable 360-degree view of the falls.

Algonquin

Algonquin Provincial Park, located north of Lake Ontario and near Huntsville, is the largest and oldest nature park in Ontario. It covers more than 8,000 square kilometres. If you are travelling with a campervan, this park provides you with the opportunity to explore the beauty of the Canadian landscape on your own. Idyllic deciduous and coniferous forests, mystical marshlands, more than 2,400 lakes and countless rivers await you. There are 15 well-marked hiking trails with numerous vantage points from which you can look out over the seemingly endless expanse of the park. With a bit of luck, you may even spot moose, beavers or black bears.

There are also more than 1,600 kilometres of canoe routes in Algonquin Provincial Park. As such, a canoe tour is clearly a must. Along the main route of the park, you will find numerous canoe rental places. Just walk into one of them and you will discover that they not only offer canoes up for rent but also all of the utensils needed for a multi-day trip. Spending the night in the Canadian wilderness, surrounded by pristine nature, is an experience truly incomparable to any other! If you do not have that much time to spare, a day trip is, of course, also possible.

Ottawa

Moving on to eastern Ontario and Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. Within Canada, Ottawa is the centre of political activity and, thanks to its cosmopolitan charm, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The Canadian Parliament is located on Parliament Hill in the middle of the city.

It was built in the Neo-Gothic style and, during the summer months, offers a free 30-minute sound and light show every evening. In the mornings, you can also watch the changing of the guard. Another highlight is the Rideau Canal, which meanders through the city. You can take idyllic kayak and boat trips on the canal during the summer and, in winter, it is transformed into the largest natural ice rink in the world. Lovers of art and culture will also be thrilled to learn about Ottawa’s numerous museums and galleries like, such as the National Arts Centre.

You should definitely also pay a visit to the ByWard Market, a place where you will find many cosy cafés and restaurants.

Mont-Tremblant

After a few days in the city, it’s time to head back to nature. Mont-Tremblant National Park is the largest and oldest park in Quebec. The name of the park is derived from the mountain of the same name, and it is home to a beautiful lake landscape consisting of more than 400 lakes and rivers. In a park that covers an area of more than 1,500 square kilometres, the possibilities for canoe tours are pretty much limitless and there are also innumerable hiking trails and cycling paths.

Sports enthusiasts can also look forward to the countless climbing spots to be found in Mont-Tremblant National Park. We would particularly recommend visiting this national park in autumn. During the so-called Second Summer, the forests are lit ablaze with the most dazzling colours. In winter, the area around the mountain of Mont Tremblant is also one of Canada’s most popular ski resorts. The charming town of Mont-Tremblant is situated close to the national park. If you decide to visit the town, you can browse small shops or choose to take a break in one of the cosy restaurants and cafés.

Québec City

The next stop on the trip is Québec City, the capital of the province of Québec and the heart of French Canada. The French flair of the city is, in fact, so noticeable and omnipresent that Québec City is widely considered to be the most European city in North America. The picturesque old town (Vieux-Québec) spans two levels and is a World Heritage Site. Québec City is also the only walled city north of Mexico.

With its narrow alleyways, cobbled streets, romantic houses with ornate facades, cosy cafés and little souvenir shops, the city is a real magnet for visitors. One of the major landmarks of Québec City is the imposing luxury hotel Château Frontenac. It sits at the top of the Cape Diamant hill, allowing for a truly magnificent view of the old town and the Saint Lawrence River. Another of Québec City’s many attractions is the Parliament Building. If you want to visit the imposing building, just take part in one of the free guided tours that are given several times a day.

You may also want to check out the cathedral and the chapel, learn more about Québec City’s fascinating history or treat yourself to some delicious salted caramel fudge at La Fudgerie on Rue du Cul de Sac.

Saint Lawrence River

One of the great advantages of a road trip is that you can freely explore the area around the Saint Lawrence River on your own. Located on Canada’s east coast, this area is a very popular whale-watching spot. During peak season, you can see up to 20 different species of whales! It’s not uncommon to see these fascinating animals in the off-season either: You will just have to be a little more patient. Most organised whale watching boat tours depart from the small town of Tadoussac. Are you searching for a good place to watch the whales from land and want an insider’s tip? Head to Bon Desir Park. It’s a great place to stop by and look for whales.

While you do have to pay a small fee to enter the park, going there is still much cheaper than a boat trip and you can spend as much time as you like surrounded by Canada’s beautiful nature. The Thousand Islands are another highlight of any trip to the Saint Lawrence River region. This beautiful archipelago straddles the border between the United States and Canada. It consists of over 1,800 islands, some of which are quite tiny. While the smaller islands are often dotted with red wooden huts, the larger ones are home to magnificent estates such as Boldt Castle.

The most spectacular way of exploring the fascinating natural landscape is by helicopter. Unfortunately, this also happens to be the most expensive way. If you do decide to splurge on the helicopter ride, you will also get to fly over the Thousand Islands International Bridge, a bridge that connects Canada with the USA. A more budget-friendly option would be to take a boat trip across the bright blue Saint Lawrence River.

Montréal

With its more than 1.6 million inhabitants, Montréal is Canada’s second-largest city. The metropolis is named after the 233 metres tall Mont Royal that is situated in the city centre and is surrounded by the spacious Mount Royal Park. As a green oasis amid the bustling city, the park invites you to rest and linger for a while. It is also home to a Roman Catholic basilica, the Saint Joseph's Oratory. Montréal’s beautiful old town is located directly on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River.

Besides countless charming cafés and small boutiques, a visit to the old town will also allow you to come across some of the historic colonial buildings which offer a glimpse into Montréal’s past. The best way of exploring this French-Canadian city is by joining a guided bus tour. Doing so allows you to get to know the old town, the French Quarter, the Financial District and all of Montréal’s sights. Take in the view at Mount Royal Park, stroll through Vieux-Montréal, visit the charming Place Jacques-Cartier and explore both the old and the new city hall.

Further places to visit include the prestigious McGill University, the cultural centre Place des Arts, and Montréal’s Chinatown. With its famous Olympic Stadium and the world’s tallest inclined tower, the Olympic Park is also well worth a visit. The same can be said about Place Ville-Marie, an underground luxury shopping centre that also happens to be the longest shopping street in Canada. A three-and-a-half-hour guided tour costs about 35 euros per person. In Montréal, it is also time to finally drop off the campervan and head back home. Flights to Germany are available for a price as low as 200 euros.


Toronto

Toronto

Toronto is not only the country’s largest city but also the perfect starting point for a trip around Eastern Canada. There are flights available for as low as 200 euros.

The Canadian National Tower, or CN Tower for short, is emblematic of the city. From the observation deck 340 metres above the ground, you have a fantastic panoramic view of the entire city as well as Lake Ontario. Boldly step on the glass floors or take a walk on the wild side and venture out onto the grid platform of the EdgeWalk to stare directly into the abyss.

Generally speaking, Toronto is easy to explore on foot. Visit the Harbourfront neighbourhood, stroll along the promenade or take a boat trip to the Toronto Islands. In the creative areas of Kensington Market and the Distillery District, you’ll find countless second-hand boutiques, organic shops, galleries, hip cafés and plenty of street art. For shopping enthusiasts, Toronto’s Eaton Centre in the downtown area is the place to go. The Art Gallery of Ontario, the Hockey Hall of Fame and Canada’s Wonderland amusement park are also well worth a visit.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

The world-famous Niagara Falls are just a stone’s throw away from Toronto. They are located on the border between Canada and the USA and are a must-see on any trip to Eastern Canada. The Canadian shore is the place where you will get the best view of this awe-inspiring natural spectacle, so take your time and marvel at the enormous falls. The viewing platform of the Table Rock Welcome Centre, for example, is located mere metres away from Horseshoe Falls.

In case you want to come into even closer contact with Niagara Falls, we recommend taking part in a boat trip. To reach the mooring point, you can, of course, simply take the lift. This is what most people do. If you want to minimize waiting time, it is also possible to buy a priority entry ticket and ride the zip line instead. A catamaran will take you up close to Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, which together form Niagara Falls. From the tiered observation decks, you will have an unforgettable 360-degree view of the falls.

Algonquin

Algonquin

Algonquin Provincial Park, located north of Lake Ontario and near Huntsville, is the largest and oldest nature park in Ontario. It covers more than 8,000 square kilometres. If you are travelling with a campervan, this park provides you with the opportunity to explore the beauty of the Canadian landscape on your own. Idyllic deciduous and coniferous forests, mystical marshlands, more than 2,400 lakes and countless rivers await you. There are 15 well-marked hiking trails with numerous vantage points from which you can look out over the seemingly endless expanse of the park. With a bit of luck, you may even spot moose, beavers or black bears.

There are also more than 1,600 kilometres of canoe routes in Algonquin Provincial Park. As such, a canoe tour is clearly a must. Along the main route of the park, you will find numerous canoe rental places. Just walk into one of them and you will discover that they not only offer canoes up for rent but also all of the utensils needed for a multi-day trip. Spending the night in the Canadian wilderness, surrounded by pristine nature, is an experience truly incomparable to any other! If you do not have that much time to spare, a day trip is, of course, also possible.

Ottawa

Ottawa

Moving on to eastern Ontario and Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. Within Canada, Ottawa is the centre of political activity and, thanks to its cosmopolitan charm, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The Canadian Parliament is located on Parliament Hill in the middle of the city.

It was built in the Neo-Gothic style and, during the summer months, offers a free 30-minute sound and light show every evening. In the mornings, you can also watch the changing of the guard. Another highlight is the Rideau Canal, which meanders through the city. You can take idyllic kayak and boat trips on the canal during the summer and, in winter, it is transformed into the largest natural ice rink in the world. Lovers of art and culture will also be thrilled to learn about Ottawa’s numerous museums and galleries like, such as the National Arts Centre.

You should definitely also pay a visit to the ByWard Market, a place where you will find many cosy cafés and restaurants.

Mont-Tremblant

Mont-Tremblant

After a few days in the city, it’s time to head back to nature. Mont-Tremblant National Park is the largest and oldest park in Quebec. The name of the park is derived from the mountain of the same name, and it is home to a beautiful lake landscape consisting of more than 400 lakes and rivers. In a park that covers an area of more than 1,500 square kilometres, the possibilities for canoe tours are pretty much limitless and there are also innumerable hiking trails and cycling paths.

Sports enthusiasts can also look forward to the countless climbing spots to be found in Mont-Tremblant National Park. We would particularly recommend visiting this national park in autumn. During the so-called Second Summer, the forests are lit ablaze with the most dazzling colours. In winter, the area around the mountain of Mont Tremblant is also one of Canada’s most popular ski resorts. The charming town of Mont-Tremblant is situated close to the national park. If you decide to visit the town, you can browse small shops or choose to take a break in one of the cosy restaurants and cafés.

Québec City

Québec City

The next stop on the trip is Québec City, the capital of the province of Québec and the heart of French Canada. The French flair of the city is, in fact, so noticeable and omnipresent that Québec City is widely considered to be the most European city in North America. The picturesque old town (Vieux-Québec) spans two levels and is a World Heritage Site. Québec City is also the only walled city north of Mexico.

With its narrow alleyways, cobbled streets, romantic houses with ornate facades, cosy cafés and little souvenir shops, the city is a real magnet for visitors. One of the major landmarks of Québec City is the imposing luxury hotel Château Frontenac. It sits at the top of the Cape Diamant hill, allowing for a truly magnificent view of the old town and the Saint Lawrence River. Another of Québec City’s many attractions is the Parliament Building. If you want to visit the imposing building, just take part in one of the free guided tours that are given several times a day.

You may also want to check out the cathedral and the chapel, learn more about Québec City’s fascinating history or treat yourself to some delicious salted caramel fudge at La Fudgerie on Rue du Cul de Sac.

Saint Lawrence River

Saint Lawrence River

One of the great advantages of a road trip is that you can freely explore the area around the Saint Lawrence River on your own. Located on Canada’s east coast, this area is a very popular whale-watching spot. During peak season, you can see up to 20 different species of whales! It’s not uncommon to see these fascinating animals in the off-season either: You will just have to be a little more patient. Most organised whale watching boat tours depart from the small town of Tadoussac. Are you searching for a good place to watch the whales from land and want an insider’s tip? Head to Bon Desir Park. It’s a great place to stop by and look for whales.

While you do have to pay a small fee to enter the park, going there is still much cheaper than a boat trip and you can spend as much time as you like surrounded by Canada’s beautiful nature. The Thousand Islands are another highlight of any trip to the Saint Lawrence River region. This beautiful archipelago straddles the border between the United States and Canada. It consists of over 1,800 islands, some of which are quite tiny. While the smaller islands are often dotted with red wooden huts, the larger ones are home to magnificent estates such as Boldt Castle.

The most spectacular way of exploring the fascinating natural landscape is by helicopter. Unfortunately, this also happens to be the most expensive way. If you do decide to splurge on the helicopter ride, you will also get to fly over the Thousand Islands International Bridge, a bridge that connects Canada with the USA. A more budget-friendly option would be to take a boat trip across the bright blue Saint Lawrence River.

Montréal

Montréal

With its more than 1.6 million inhabitants, Montréal is Canada’s second-largest city. The metropolis is named after the 233 metres tall Mont Royal that is situated in the city centre and is surrounded by the spacious Mount Royal Park. As a green oasis amid the bustling city, the park invites you to rest and linger for a while. It is also home to a Roman Catholic basilica, the Saint Joseph's Oratory. Montréal’s beautiful old town is located directly on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River.

Besides countless charming cafés and small boutiques, a visit to the old town will also allow you to come across some of the historic colonial buildings which offer a glimpse into Montréal’s past. The best way of exploring this French-Canadian city is by joining a guided bus tour. Doing so allows you to get to know the old town, the French Quarter, the Financial District and all of Montréal’s sights. Take in the view at Mount Royal Park, stroll through Vieux-Montréal, visit the charming Place Jacques-Cartier and explore both the old and the new city hall.

Further places to visit include the prestigious McGill University, the cultural centre Place des Arts, and Montréal’s Chinatown. With its famous Olympic Stadium and the world’s tallest inclined tower, the Olympic Park is also well worth a visit. The same can be said about Place Ville-Marie, an underground luxury shopping centre that also happens to be the longest shopping street in Canada. A three-and-a-half-hour guided tour costs about 35 euros per person. In Montréal, it is also time to finally drop off the campervan and head back home. Flights to Germany are available for a price as low as 200 euros.

Canada Route Map

Itinerary and Stops.

Tag
Route/Station
Transport
Unterkunft
1. Home - Toronto
Home - Toronto
Flight
Campervan
2. Toronto
Toronto
-
Campervan
3. Toronto – Niagara Falls
Toronto – Niagara Falls
Campervan
500
4. Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls
-
5. Niagara Falls –Algonquin Provincial Park
Niagara Falls –Algonquin Provincial Park
Campervan
6. Algonquin Provincial Park
Algonquin Provincial Park
-
7. Algonquin Provincial Park
Algonquin Provincial Park
-
8. Algonquin Provincial Park – Ottawa
Algonquin Provincial Park – Ottawa
Campervan
9. Ottawa
Ottawa
-
10. Ottawa – Mont-Tremblant National Park
Ottawa – Mont-Tremblant National Park
Campervan
11. Mont-Tremblant National Park
Mont-Tremblant National Park
-
12. Mont-Tremblant National Park
Mont-Tremblant National Park
-
13. Mont-Tremblant National Park – Québec City
Mont-Tremblant National Park – Québec City
Campervan
14. Québec City
Québec City
-
15. Québec City
Québec City
-
16. Québec City – Saint Lawrence River
Québec City – Saint Lawrence River
Campervan
17. Saint Lawrence River
Saint Lawrence River
-
18. Saint Lawrence River
Saint Lawrence River
-
19. Saint Lawrence River – Montreal
Saint Lawrence River – Montreal
Campervan
20. Montreal
Montreal
-
21. Montreal - Home
Montreal - Home
Flight

Total price.

Flights 400,00
Campervan 500,00
Tours 00,00
Accommodations 00,00
Total900,00

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Dos and Donts, Food & Drinks, Costs.

Breakfast

Pancakes: Canadian pancakes are the best possible start to your day. Try them with maple syrup!

Soups

Lumberjack soup: This soup is a speciality of the rural regions and consists of a meat broth with beans and vegetables. This meal is sure to give you the energy necessary for the day ahead!

Main courses

Poutine: Poutine is a Québec speciality and is made up of French fries, cheese and gravy.

Pâté Chinois: This dish consists of beef mixed with mashed potatoes and is served with boiled vegetables. A real feast!

Tim Hortons Donuts: A true Canadian classic.

Chicken Wings: Wait, chicken wings are Canadian? Yes! They are a typically Canadian dish that you don’t want to miss out on.

Drinks and snacks

Maple syrup: Maple syrup is Canada’s national product. You should definitely take a bottle home with you!

Caesar: This is the most popular cocktail in the country. It’s a drink made from vodka and tomato juice – a truly unique and unforgettable taste.

Canada

The exchange rate for 1 Canadian dollar is around 0.70 euros (as of February 2020). See prices for certain products and the cost of living below:

Cost of living

Food

Free time

Personal hygiene

Dos

Kiss people on the cheek: This is the most common greeting, especially in the francophone parts of Canada.

Address new acquaintances by their first name: The Canadians are very open-minded and welcoming people, so feel free to reciprocate and address them casually.

Explore your surroundings: Don’t miss out on Canada’s awe-inspiring scenery!

Don'ts

Don’t eat while you walk: Take your time and enjoy the food in a café or a restaurant instead.

Don’t forget your French: Canada is not just an anglophone country and French is widely spoken in many areas.

Don’t let winter put you off: You can travel to Canada during the winter months? Go right ahead – Canada is a true winter wonderland!

Visa, Visa, Passport & Vaccinations

Passport

Yes

Temporary passport

Yes

National ID

No

Temporary national ID

No

Child’s pass

Yes

Visa

(Not necessary)

Vaccine

Robert-Koch-Instituts

Additional Remarks.

The travelling document needs to be valid at least for the entirety of your stay. We recommend researching the travel document, visa and entry requirements for your home country before your departure. If you travel to Canada, you should consult a health care provider before you leave to discuss vaccination requirements.

The team at Backpacker Trail wishes you lots of fun and an unforgettable trip!

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