Canada Travel Tips & Useful Info

Lake Louise in winter - Canada
Your guide to exploring Canada!

What vaccinations do I need for Canada?

You should seek medical advice before travelling to Canada from your local health practitioner to ensure you receive all of the appropriate vaccinations. As a guide Tetanus and routine vaccinations are recommended. Emergency health care in Canada can be expensive therefore it is important to ensure you have invested in good travel insurance.

For detailed information, visit the CDC Traveler's Health page.

Is it safe to drink the tap water in Canada?

The water quality in Canada is good and tap water is always drinkable. Embrace sustainability by using a reusable water bottle during your travels to reduce environmental impact and save money on your trip!

What's the food & drink like in Canada?

While it may prove hard to get your taste buds past the iconic sweet maple syrup and salty savoury bacon, Canadian cuisine has so much more to offer travel foodies. The variety of fare differs across the nation making it difficult to define one particular cuisine; instead it has been inspired and adapted by the many different cultures that have passed through here, as well as what can be sourced from the land. On the west coast fresh seafood – salmon in particular, is incredibly popular; while in the more remote northern reaches seal meat is eaten, and across the country caribou is a real favourite.

Other common Canadian treats include poutine – French fries slathered with gravy and topped with cheese curds; a hunk of deep fried dough covered with sugar and cinnamon known as a Beaver Tail; a flaky sweet Butter Tar pastry; a unique assortment of flavoured crisps, from ketchup to pickle; and peppery slices of spiced beef served between two slices of thick rye bread.

Is it standard to tip in Canada?

In Canada, tipping is customary in restaurants, bars, and for various services. The standard tip is typically 15-20% of the total bill in restaurants. For bartenders, a tip of $1-2 per drink is common. Taxi drivers, hairdressers, and hotel staff also appreciate tips, usually around 10-15%. While not mandatory, tipping is a way to acknowledge good service and is generally expected in the service industry.

What is good to shop for in Canada?

Shopping in Canada offers a diverse array of options, from high-end fashion to unique local goods. Popular items include Canadian maple syrup, ice wine, and artisanal cheeses, all reflecting the country’s rich culinary heritage. Indigenous arts and crafts, such as carvings and beadwork, make for unique and meaningful souvenirs. High-quality outdoor gear from brands like Arc'teryx and Canada Goose is also a great buy, given Canada’s expertise in winter apparel.

In major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, you'll find a blend of international luxury brands and Canadian designers. Local markets and boutiques often showcase handcrafted jewelry, pottery, and other artisan products.

Is bargaining acceptable in Canada?

Bargaining is generally not a common practice in Canada, especially in established retail stores and shopping malls. Prices are usually fixed, and haggling is not customary. However, in some local markets or when purchasing directly from artisans, polite negotiation might be acceptable.

Vancouver - Canada
Canada is a safe destination, but always keep your wits about you when exploring large cities like Vancouver

Is Canada safe for solo female travellers?

Canada is widely regarded as a safe destination for solo female travellers. The country boasts low crime rates, friendly locals, and a strong emphasis on social equality. Major cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal are known for their well-developed infrastructure, reliable public transportation, and welcoming atmosphere. While Canada is generally safe, it is still important to exercise common travel precautions. Staying in well-reviewed accommodations, avoiding poorly lit or deserted areas at night, and keeping personal belongings secure are advisable practices. Additionally, Canada's emergency services are efficient and accessible, ensuring help is readily available if needed.

What is the currency in Canada

The official currency in Canada is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). Check OANDA for the latest exchange rates.

Euro, British Pounds, US Dollars and other major currencies can be exchanged locally or before you travel. While exchange facilities will be available at most airports they can incur substantial fees, therefore it is recommended to change money at a bureau de change or bank. Cash can also be withdrawn from ATMs and debit/credit cards are accepted at most establishments. It’s advisable to request bank notes in a mix of denominations, as smaller notes are handy for cheaper purchases and gratuities.

What sort of plugs do I need for Canada and what is the voltage?

Standard voltage is between 110 and 120 volts, you may need a voltage converter if your device is not compatible with this voltage. Primary sockets generally require the 2 flat-pin variety. We recommend you pack a universal travel adaptor and you will need a voltage converter to use non-US/Canada appliances.

Is Wi-Fi widely available in Canada?

Wi-Fi is widely available in Canada, especially in urban areas. Most restaurants, bars, and hotels will offer connectivity.

What time zone is Canada in?

Canada is split across six different time zones. Moving from GMT-2:30 in the east of the country to GMT-7 in the west.

Vancouver: GMT-7

Banff: GMT-6

Toronto: GMT-4

See also

For further information to help plan your trip to Canada, see the following:

Best Time to Visit - climate and seasons in Canada
Best Places to Visit - the top sites to visit in Canada

Canada Trip Styles