With more people across Canada accessing COVID-19 vaccines and provincial governments introducing proof of vaccination measures in certain settings, travel is still top-of-mind for many Canadians.
According to information from Expedia provided to Yahoo Canada, domestic travel trends are showing an increase in interest in city centres, after there was significantly more demand for destinations closer to the great outdoors over the past 18 months.
Based on hotel searches on Expedia for travel dates until Nov. 30, these are the top five Canadian cities to visit:
This Ontario city is a well-established tourism destination for both domestic and international travellers.
One of the most popular, well-known attractions is “Journey Behind The Falls,” where you descend 125 feet and explore 130-year-old tunnels through the bedrock. You can stand on the observation deck to experience the 2,800 cubic metres of water that pours over the brink of the Horseshoe Falls every second, traveling 65 kilometres per hour.
There is also a new light show that started on Sept. 3 at the Niagara Parks Power Station, just south of Horseshoe Falls, called “Currents: Niagara’s Power Transformed,” with 3D projections. The power station itself is the region’s newest visitor experience with tours and workshops.
Vancouver has always been praised for a visitor’s ability to easily move from a city stay to outdoor, nature adventures, so it’s really not a surprise that the destination is very popular while travellers are still trying to balance their desire for urban and more rural destinations.
For food lovers, Vancouver is known as the birthplace of the Ocean Wise initiative for sustainable seafood. Try out some of the many local breweries, like Main St. Brewing, tour the Vancouver Art Gallery, take a stroll in Stanley Park and shop up a storm on Robson Street. Just 15 minutes away from downtown Vancouver, visitors can head to Grouse Mountain for outdoor adventures like hiking, the Skyride, ziplines and the “World-Famous Lumberjack Show.”
As a bonus, Vancouver International Airport was named the best airport in North America in the 2021 Skytrax World Airport Awards.
If you’re looking to splurge on a hotel stay, Vancouver’s iconic Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel is a luxurious choice, but other great options, based on Expedia guest ratings, include the Wedgewood Hotel & Spa, Loden Hotel, L'Hermitage Hotel or Hotel Blu Vancouver.
Canada’s biggest city is not only easily accessible, but it has a lot to offer for people looking for that true city travel experience.
Of course there are the classic attractions like the CN Tower and the EdgeWalk or Ripley’s Aquarium, and grabbing a peameal bacon sandwich at Carousel Bakery at the St. Lawrence Market. But also take the time to walk or bike along the water, and explore the different neighbourhoods of Toronto, from Leslieville to The Junction, Chinatown, Little India, the Danforth and Bloor-Yorkville (specifically if you're a fashion lover).
Highly rated Toronto hotels include Le Germain Hotel Toronto Maple Leaf Square or Delta Hotels Toronto, if you want to be very close to the main tourist attractions, or The Omni King Edward Hotel, Cambridge Suites Hotel, the ultra luxury The Hazelton Hotel, or The Broadview, for a more boutique hotel experience.
A lot of people tend to liken cities in Quebec to European destinations. If you’re a Canadian and you’re not ready to get on a flight to another continent, maybe Quebec is your best choice right now, particularly walking around the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal and the Old Port.
The food scene in Montreal is truly some of the best in the country, so definitely travel hungry, but walking up the steep hills in the city will certainly help you digest your food. Don’t forget to get your hands on some sweet and dense (in the best way) Montreal-style bagels and Fairmount Bagel or St-Viateur Bagel Shop (we’ll let you settle the debate on which one is better).
Popular and highly-rated Montreal hotels on Expedia include Le Square Phillips Hôtel & Suites, Hotel Bonaparte, Hotel Le Dauphin Montreal Centre Ville and the more expensive option, Four Seasons Montreal.
Keeping with the Quebec theme, Quebec City is another beautiful city in the province, particularly if you’re looking for somewhere a bit smaller in size than Montreal.
With even more cobblestone streets, the Historic District of Old Québec has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, with the Upper Town home to monuments like the Dauphine Redoubt, the Citadel and Château Frontenac, and the Lower Town described as a “well-preserved integrated urban ensemble” around the Place Royale and the harbour.
Walk along Dufferin Terrace for a view of the St. Lawrence River and Château Frontenac and check out the unique shopping experience at Petit-Champlain.
In terms of where to stay, actually booking a room at the historic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac will give you the most quintessential Quebec City experience, but you can still take a tour of the iconic property, even if you’re not staying there. Other highly-rated hotels are the Hôtel Le Germain Québec, Auberge Saint-Antoine by Relais & Chateaux, Hôtel du Vieux-Québec and Le Manoir d'Auteuil.