3 Weeks In Canada Itinerary

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When I decided to go on a vacation in Canada, the planning was quite overwhelming. It’s such a big country and the places I wanted to see are so far apart from one another.

I mean, people who holiday in Canada probably just go for a week or two, but an entire 3 weeks is kind of a lot and sounds expensive. But my mind was set on it. What I learnt from my planning was really interesting. I even found out about places I’d never heard of but was really curious to visit.

Did you know that 77% of the world’s maple syrup is also being produced in Canada, particularly Quebec? That’s why this place will seem like a haven for maple syrup lovers. You bet they have a wide variety of maple syrup-flavoured treats.

Aside from that, Canada has around 2,000,000 lakes, which is why this country is perfect for people fond of bodies of water. So, what else could we see in Canada? It has rainforests, rocky mountains, fjords, crystalline glaciers and sweeping prairies – not to mention the spectacular Northern Lights.

Some exceptional sceneries in Canada include Cavendish Beach, which is well-known because of Anne of Green Gables. In these Queen Charlotte islands, travellers can experience summer festivals from June to August. You will also find totem poles and argillite carvings here.

Banff National Park also has glacier-fed waters that sparkle and an alpine backdrop. This place looks so picture-perfect that it is a shot straight out of a movie. These are only the tip of the iceberg in the areas you could visit in Canada.

While I only had 3 weeks in Canada, I actually managed to see so much. I visited a bit around late summer and managed to get up in the north where winter starts early.

ALTERNATIVE: 3 weeks in USA Itineraries


4 images - Lake Louise by day and Lake Louise by night, Toronto skylight during sunset, and Quebec Old Town - 3 WEEKS IN CANADA ITINERARY

Canada is the second-largest country in the world by area, second to Russia. That’s why it would take a lot of time to visit and experience everything the country has to offer.

If you stay for three weeks in Canada, make sure that you choose the places you want to see the most and do the things you want to do to make the most out of your 3 weeks in Canada. It would also be helpful if the places are near each other.

Book your flight and accommodation early if you want to spend less. Here are other things you need to know before going to Canada.

Best time to go to Canada

Naturally, summer is the best time to go to Canada because you can go hiking, swim in glaciers and lakes, see fjords, lounge around on beaches, and have road trips.

This season is also better for people who aren’t used to the cold because it would hinder your travelling if you are sensitive to cold temperatures. 

However, many activities could be done during the winter, including dog sledging, sleigh rides, skiing, ice hiking, ice hockey, fat biking, curling, and ice skating.

Who would forget hot springs, of course? This feels very relaxing and rewarding after being out in the cold for a long time. If hiking is in your travel plan, late spring or early autumn is a great time to do it in Canada.

Are 3 weeks enough for Canada

Canada is a massive country. Although there is a good railway system in most parts of the country, it’s not good enough to travel across different provinces in just 20 days

However, if you have three weeks to spend in Canada, with good planning, you will be able to visit 3-4 cities in 2-3 different provinces.

If you like it, then you have more reasons to come back next time. Perhaps a winter trip or a stunning spring adventure.

If you choose cities that are near one another, you can even rent a car and make your vacation a road trip.

Cost of a 3-week trip to Canada

Canada is not a cheap destination for a holiday, but it can be done if you know where to go, when to go, and where to stay. Accommodation will cost the most. Food and transportation are reasonable, while there are free walking tours (tip-based) that you can book. Here’s a budget idea:

For an affordable three-week trip to Canada, budget travellers can expect to spend around $80-$120 CAD per day on accommodation in hostels or budget hotels, meals at inexpensive restaurants or groceries, and local transportation, totalling approximately $1,600-$2,400 CAD for the entire trip.

Mid-range travellers may allocate $150-$250 CAD per day for comfortable hotels or vacation rentals, dining at mid-range restaurants, and occasional tours or activities, amounting to roughly $3,000-$5,000 CAD for three weeks.

For a luxury experience, travellers can budget $250-$500 CAD or more per day for upscale accommodations, fine dining, private transportation, and exclusive experiences, totalling $5,000-$10,500 CAD or higher for the entire trip.

Prices may vary depending on the specific destinations visited, season, and personal preferences. You should also remember that the main flight to and from Canada is not included in these estimations.

How to get around

In Canada, getting around as a tourist varies based on the region. In urban areas like Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, public transportation including buses, subways, and trams is efficient and affordable.

For longer distances between cities, domestic flights are the fastest option, although they can be pricey. Train travel via VIA Rail is available in certain regions (not all), offering scenic routes but may not be the fastest or cheapest option.

There are also buses- which are the cheapest, but it’s only worth taking if the ride is no more than 8 hours.

Renting a car is ideal for exploring remote areas or national parks, providing flexibility and convenience, but it may not be necessary in cities with good public transit.

For exploring the cities, you can use the local metro, buses or ride-hailing apps such as Uber, Lyft, Facedrive, and TappCar.


Canada has one of the strictest visa policies. The government offers free visas to limited nationalities. This included anyone from North America, some parts of Latin America (Brazil, Chile, French Guiana), most parts of Europe, Japan, South Korea, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand.

The visa is valid for up to 180 days. Visitors must get an eTA (electronic travel authorization). If you have a valid US tourist visa, you can also apply for an eTA if you’re from these countries, but you must arrive by air only.

Package tours

Avoid the hassle of planning transportation and booking hotels and tours by opting for a package tour. The tour company will handle everything for you. All you need to do is pack your luggage, book your flight to Canada, and show up.

In this way, you can actually focus on exploring Canada, soaking up the beauty, and relaxing. Take a look at each itinerary and see if it’s something that suits you.

Other basic travel tips

Just a quick blurb of tools I usually use when travelling anywhere in the world; car rentals, sites for hotels and accommodations, travel insurance (which is now required by many countries where COVID-19 should be covered), and tour booking sites.


You may click the top-right icon to enlarge the map. Credit: map data: Google


The first portion that we would tackle in this itinerary for 3 weeks in Canada is the Western part. Since Canada is so big, we divided the areas into east and west. We even have a bonus portion wherein we discuss where you could go during the fall and winter. 

Itinerary #1: West Canada

Western Canada has four provinces: Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Manitoba. British Columbia is the most distinct in cultural, economic, and political matters among the four.

Some of the things you could do or places you could visit during your 3 weeks in western Canada include visiting the following:

  • Summit of Mount Norquay
  • Banff Gondola and National Park
  • River rafting at Thompson River
  • Vancouver Island
  • Soak in Banff Upper Hot Springs
  • camp or hike at Glacier National Park
  • Camp at stunning Lake Louise or stay in a houseboat – here are the best things to do in Lake Louise
  • Fairview Lookout
  • Devil’s Thumb

If you want to have a road trip in Canada, you can drive through the Trans-Canada highway because you can pass by most of the places indicated here.

Vancouver for 4 days (BC)

You seriously wouldn’t run out of things to do in your 3 weeks in Canada because there’s just so much to explore. In Vancouver, for instance, you could visit the following:

If you want to slow down and truly feel like you’re having a vacation, you can have dim sum and find your zen in Chinatown. They have tons of Chinese gardens which incorporate Confucian and Buddhist traditions.

You can also visit Granville island via aqua buses. You can sip on premium teas, sample fine chocolates, hear buskers, and shop for organic produce on this peninsula. 

4 images: top left is the Niagara Falls, mid left Ottawa. Right side is the CN Tower in Toronto - 3 weeks in Canada Itinerary

Glacier National Park for 3 days (BC)

Speaking of parks, another park you could visit is Glacier National Park. You could avail of guided tours in this place or do a mini-DIY hike.

Aside from that, you could also participate in ranger-led programs, backcountry camping, hiking, biking, fishing, cross-country skiing and boating. Make sure to not miss to experience Ice Explorer and Skywalk.

Banff National Park & Canadian Rockies for 4 days (CB/Alberta)

There are tons of things to do in Banff National Park. It is the oldest national park in Canada, and you would see diverse species there, including lynx, moose, bighorn sheep, cougar, grizzly, and black bear.

You can also do horseback riding, hiking, climbing and skiing, and for those who like to wind down a bit, you can watch wildlife. Make sure to get your ticket and ride the Gondola and sleigh rides during winter.

Lake Louise is the most popular body of water in this area and is worth the visit and a must-visit. However, there are so many other lakes in Banff to explore and offer amazing scenery and fun activities.

Banff National Park is located in the Canadian Rockies. They were declared a UNESCO heritage site in 1984, along with three British Columbia provincial parks.

Still, there are other parks, including Kootenay, Jasper, Yoho and Waterton, which are not adjacent to the other parks.

Calgary for 4 days (Alberta)

Calgary is only a 2-hour train ride or a 1.5-hour drive from Banff. It easily should be the next stop on your itinerary for Canada. Four days in this city is plenty.

It’s an ideal spot to take a break from heavy sightseeing, reflect on the places you just saw, and take it a little bit on the down low.

While in Calgary, you can still visit ample places and things to do, such as visiting the Calgary Zoo, getting on top of the Calgary Tower, going on a picnic at Prince’s Island Park if it’s warm enough, and exploring the Heritage Park Historical Village.

A few places to eat that are worth a visit are Cage Beano, Weeds Cafe, Holy Grill, NOtaBLE Restaurant, and Bridgette Bar for some drinks.

Winnipeg or Churchill for 4 days (Manitoba)

If you are visiting during winter, you have to go to Churchill. It is the world’s polar bear capital; more than 1,200 polar bears migrate through the area each year. This period only lasts from October to November, but aside from that, you could do many other things here.

During the winter season, you could avail yourself of dog sledge tours and chase for the Northern lights, while during autumn, you can enjoy the Beluga Whaleboat tours and bird watching.

On the other hand, Winnipeg is a good-sized city known as the “cultural cradle of Canada”, this is a fantastic spot to visit for people who love history and want to get to know the country more.

A few places you might want to check out:

  • Canadian Museum of Human Rights
  • Manitoba Museum
  • Manitoba Legislative Building
  • Royal Canadian Mint
  • The Forks National Historic Site

For other fun things:

  • Children’s Museum
  • Assiniboine Park Zoo
  • The Forks Market
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Qaumajuq
  • Journey to Churchill

Winnipeg’s international airport makes it a perfect place to finish your trip. However, if you are heading to a less prominent city or country, there might be a connection in Toronto or even Vancouver, depending on where you are going.

3 images - on the elft is the glacier Lake Louise. Bottom right is the Glacier National Park

Itinerary #2: East Canada

If you tell people that you’re going to visit Canada, they’ll most likely assume that you will see the West Coast because the scenery and landmarks are more well-known there. However, the East Coast also has its own charms.

It has twinkly lakes, thick forests, and log cabins, and the essential factor is there are way fewer people than on the West Coast.

You can also find Niagra Falls and Quebec in this region of Canada. Visit Quebec, a well-known city for producing maple syrup. There are tours that you can book to do some maple farm visits and tastings.

Toronto for 4 days

If you aren’t afraid of heights, you could try climbing up Toronto’s CN Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere:

  • Try out EdgeWalk, an activity in which you’ll circle the CN tower while in a harness 
  • Visit the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, which is located at the base level of CN Tower
  • Royal Ontario Museum
  • AGO – an art gallery in Ontario for museum and art enthusiasts
  • Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Shopping at St Lawrence Market consists of numerous flea and street markets
  • Toronto Railway Museum
  • Harbourfront Centre
  • Queen’s Quay Terminal


Niagara Falls for 2 days

There are also a lot of things to do in Niagra Falls aside from appreciating the majestic view:


Ottawa for 4 days

Calling all ice skaters out there, you might want to consider going to Ottawa because it has the world’s largest skating rink, stretching for nearly eight kilometres – Canada’s Rideau Canal.

Canada has a famous delicacy there called Beaver Tail, a deep-fried dough sold at kiosks along with the ice rink. Don’t forget to visit Petrie Island Beach if it’s warm enough. It is a must-try for travellers.

You can visit their numerous museums, watch sports matches and even visit the residence of the Canadian monarch. Rideau Hall is basically the equivalent of Buckingham Palace and is open to the public throughout the year.

They conduct free tours, which last for 45 minutes. It’s easier to get around if you have a hop-on-hop-off Ottawa bus pass.

Make sure you ride the famous Amphibious bus and join a night walking tour to learn more about the city.


Old Montreal for 3 days

Old Montreal is a Parisian-style quarter that has been restored in recent decades. There are tons of narrow streets and winding alleyways where you can find interesting shops and lovely restaurants.

For those who loves exploring downtowns, there are plenty of trendy cafes around Old Montreal that will make you feel like you’re in Europe.

Some of their attractions include:

  • Clock Tower reminiscent of Big Ben
  • Montreal Science Centre
  • La Grande Roue de Montréal or Giant Ferris Wheel
  • Notre Dame Basilica and the gardens of Place Jaques-Cartier
  • Montreal half-day bus tour
  • Take a walk at Rue Saint Paul, which is their oldest street, completed in March 1672
  • Don’t miss out on the Traditional Ghost Walk
  • Ride the MTL zipline

Quebec City (Vieux-Quebec) for 2 days

Quebec City is a super vibrant place. However, Old Quebec is quite charming. Old Quebec is interesting in its own right. With 400 years of history, you can walk through many exciting sites in the birthplace of French North America.

One of which is Chateau Frontenac, which is the world’s most photographed hotel in person. The best way to explore this area is through a 2-hour grand walking tour with a local guide.

You can visit Forts-et-Châteaux-Saint-Louis as well, the governors’ residence from 1620 to 1834. Walk along the street of Petit-Champlain, filled with one-of-a-kind boutiques, Quebec City artists and artisans. Last but not least is Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral, which is the continent’s first catholic parish church.

While exploring Quebec City, visit Montmorency Falls with ride the Cable Car. There is also a famous Ice Hotel which you can visit without staying there. And, of course, visit Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac.

Nova Scotia for 2 days

One of the smallest provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia has a lot to offer. If you have a few days left before leaving Canada, visiting this area will be worth visiting. So far, there haven’t been big “outdoor activities” listed on this itinerary, and Nova Scotia will amend that.

The name of it literally means “New Scotland”. Compared to many parts of East Canada, people in Nova Scotia mostly speak English.

The province is filled with national parks that are worth a visit. If it’s warm enough (and you are brave enough), you might try dipping in the lake and the ocean (no one will blame you if you don’t though).

A few places to explore:

BONUS: Fall and Winter in Canada in British Columbia

Fall is an excellent time to visit Canada because the pleasant weather and miscellaneous prices are cheaper than in summer. The fall foliage in Canada is also quite spectacular. Aside from that, you can do tons of activities such as:

  • swimming
  • whale watching
  • hiking and camping

However, that doesn’t mean winter isn’t a good time to visit. 3 weeks in Canada during winter are perfect for those fond of various ice sports such as skiing, sleighs and sledging. Some plan on spending their winter holiday in Canada. Without further ado, here are some things that you could do during fall and winter in Canada.

4 images - top right is a lake in Banff National Park. Bottom left is the Northern Lights. Middle is a helicopter in Whistler Canada. Right is dog sleding in Manitoba


During the fall season, you can enjoy the:

  • Various colours of leaves at VanDusen Botanical Garden,
  • Immerse yourself in art at the Vancouver Art Gallery
  • Ride the ghost train or attend fright nights at the Pacific National Exhibition
  • Festivals such as the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Vancouver Fringe Festival
  • Watch a Canucks game
  • Visit the Vancouver Aquarium
  • Ski and snowboard
  • Ride the Bright Nights Christmas train located at Stanley Park
  • Walk the seawall
  • Shop at Riley Park winter farmer’s markets


British Columbia is quite different during the winter from summer. While in general, it is more laidback, British Columbia is filled with activities that would surely give you an adrenaline rush. Some of these include:

  • Winter ziplining
  • Heli-skiing
  • Sky Gandola
  • Snowmobiling and snowshoeing

There are tons of things to do in British Columbia during the fall season. These include visiting their waterfalls, hiking, buying seasonal vegetables at their farmer’s market, taking a tour of the rainforests, and bald eagle-watching, among others. You could ride the 2-peak gondola if you prefer a less active activity.


Whether you want to see natural sceneries and historical sites, try out different foods, cross out a bunch of activities on your bucket list or learn more about their culture – there will always be a place in Canada that would excellently match your preferences. It is a vast country with tons of UNESCO World Heritage sites. 

I hope that you found this guide on how to spend 3 weeks in Canada helpful.


Experience Canada in three weeks: marvel at the Rockies, explore vibrant cities like Toronto and Vancouver, and witness Niagara Falls. Enjoy diverse landscapes, wildlife, and cultural experiences from coast to coast in this vast, welcoming country. via @threeweektraveller