As the second largest landmass in the world, there’s plenty to see in Canada. But even with its vast size, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts, it is by no means insurmountable, and is a more than welcoming environment for budget travelers.
In a country so vast, travel is one of the first issues that will concern the budget traveler keen on getting to hostels in Canada on time, but also in the cheapest way possible. Rest assured, though, that when it comes to efficient and competitively priced travel, Canada is on a par with its southern neighbors the US.
As is to be expected, the quickest way of getting from city to city is by airplane, but for those whose finances may not be able to stretch even as far as the budget carrier WestJet, there is the Greyhound Canada coach service that operates between cities.
Of course, an additional bonus of the coach option is that it allows travelers the opportunity to see some of Canada’s awe-inspiring, but often inhospitable countryside on the way.
British or French Canada?
Canada’s rich cultural history has endowed it with both French and English-speaking quarters, each offering a different set of attractions that will separate respective travelers’ different tastes.
In French-speaking Montreal and Quebec, where the French relinquished power to the conquering English in 1759, there is an unmistakable blend of European and North American culture.
Nowhere has this become more evident than in the Montreal Jazz Festival. As the world’s largest jazz festival, it attracts the cream of talent from the distinctly contrasting European and US jazz world on a yearly basis, with some shows attracting audiences in excess of 100,000.
By contrast, English-speaking Toronto has become the epitome of multiculturalism, with established communities from all over the world that not only mean its hugely hospitable, but also offers plenty of cheap accommodation and boasts some of the best Canada hostels.
Highlights include Chinatown, among the largest in North America. But tourists should not miss out on the bohemian Kensington Market, Queen Street West Fashion District and Greektown.
Blessed with more than its fare share of snow and exciting peaks (such as Mount Robson and the Glacier and Revelstoke), reveling in one of Canada’s self-proclaimed sporting pastimes is highly recommended.
For the less energetic, experiencing the landscape can be done on foot, with plenty of cheap tours available of the Glacier and Revelstoke mountain ranges or the Waterton Lakes.