Categories > Guides and Tips
- Toronto, Ontario
- Old Montreal, Quebec
- Vancouver, British Columbia
- Ottawa, Ontario
- Churchill, Manitoba
- St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
- Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Peggy’s Cove
- Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
- Victoria, British Columbia
- Banff, Alberta
- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
- Jasper, Alberta
- Whitehorse, Yukon
- Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
- FAQs about the Best Places to Visit in Canada without a Car
Exploring Canada without a car is actually easier than you think! With a reliable and extensive public transportation system, you can visit the most beautiful and culturally rich destinations that Canada has to offer.
Whether you prefer natural wonders, historical landmarks, or a mix of both, you can experience it all without the hassle and expense of renting a car. So keep on reading as we go together through places you can travel in Canada—car-free!
First off, you can’t miss Toronto’s iconic CN Tower. Take a short stroll from Union Station and behold the stunning view from the top!
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, try the EdgeWalk where you can walk around the outside of the tower. Another must-visit is the newly revitalised Waterfront, which offers a variety of restaurants, galleries, and scenic walks along the lakefront.
The cherry on top? You don’t need a car to see all these, as Toronto’s public transportation system is stellar, with a broad network of subway lines, bus routes, and even streetcars to help you zip across town.
There’s also the city-wide bike-share system if you fancy a brisk ride; it’s an excellent way to explore Toronto while keeping the environment green!
Local tip: Take a stroll around the historic Distillery District, which has transformed from its industrial roots into a pedestrian-only cultural hotspot brimming with boutiques, restaurants, and live music venues.
Old Montreal, Quebec
Old Montreal is a historic district known for its cobblestone streets, stunning architecture, and charming European-style cafes. One of the best things is that you get to experience the beauty of this picturesque neighbourhood by foot.
You can head to Place Jacques-Cartier, a bustling square that’s always alive with street performers, vendors, and local artists. From here, you can take a stroll through the beautiful Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.
Indeed, getting around Old Montreal is a breeze, even without a car. There’s an excellent public transit system in place, with the nearest Metro station—Place-d’Armes —just a stone’s throw away from most tourist spots.
Plus, the numerous bike rental stations make it easy and enjoyable to pedal your way through the enchanting streets, taking in the historical charm at your own pace.
Local tip: Catch a fireworks display at La Ronde, an amusement park situated on the island of Île Sainte-Hélène in the middle of the Saint Lawrence River.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver boasts so many parks, and one of them is the stunning Stanley Park. It’s like a giant outdoor playground that offers everything you need for a perfect day out.
If you’re a foodie like me, then you can head over to Granville Island Public Market and indulge in some fresh and delicious local produce, seafood, and artisan goods. And don’t forget to try the city’s popular dish, the Japadog,” a fusion of Japanese flavours.
Worried about getting around? Fear not! Vancouver’s exceptional public transportation system, TransLink, offers an extensive network of buses, SkyTrain lines, and SeaBuses, ensuring you’re never far from your destination.
You can even rent a bike and cruise along the seawall, taking in the breathtaking views of the ocean and mountains.
Local tip: Make sure to grab a coffee from one of the many local coffee shops in Vancouver. The city takes its coffee seriously, so don’t settle for a plain old cup of joe.
One of the must-see attractions in Ottawa is the majestic Rideau Canal. During the summer, you can walk or bike alongside the canal, and during the winter, you can go ice-skating on the world’s largest skating rink!
Navigating around Ottawa is a breeze with the OC Transpo, the local public transportation that includes a comprehensive bus network and the O-Train Trillium Line.
You can also take a scenic boat tour and see some of the city’s popular sights, including the Parliament Buildings, the National Arts Centre, and many more.
Talking about the Parliament Buildings, a visit to Ottawa wouldn’t be complete without visiting them!
Local tip: Don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes and a good map. Ottawa is a city that’s best explored on foot, and there’s always a good chance of discovering hidden gems in the city that you wouldn’t be able to find otherwise!
Churchill is known as the “Polar Bear Capital of the World,” and trust me when I say that you won’t find an experience like this anywhere else. Take a guided tour to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
It’s a no-brainer—just hop on a specialised Tundra Buggy and get ready to be awestruck by these majestic polar bears roaming freely on the tundra.
Although the remote location of Churchill means there are no road connections to the rest of Canada, the town is easily accessible by train or plane.
Once you’re in Churchill, getting around is hassle-free, as most tour operators provide transportation services for wildlife encounters and Northern Lights expeditions, ensuring remarkable experiences without the need for a car.
Local tip: Churchill is a remote place, so it’s essential to plan your accommodations and activities in advance.
Since it’s a small town, availability can be limited, especially during peak seasons when polar bears and the Northern Lights attract visitors from all over the world.
St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
In St. John, you can easily stroll through the picturesque streets and discover colourful row houses, and quaint cafes. Don’t forget to wander along Water Street, the oldest street in North America, where you’ll find an array of lively pubs.
This place offers beautiful hiking trails within walking distance of downtown. The famous Signal Hill is an absolute must; climb to the top and be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the stunning coastline.
Getting around St. John’s is convenient with the Metrobus Transit System, which covers most of the city and makes it easy to access the main attractions.
Additionally, taxis and ride-sharing services are readily available, or you can choose to explore the compact downtown area on foot or by renting a bike for a more immersive experience.
Local tip: Make sure to catch the breathtaking sunset from the top of Signal Hill. It’s a magical experience you won’t want to miss!
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax’s downtown area is very compact and walkable. You can easily stroll and explore its numerous attractions, including the picturesque waterfront area and the historic citadel.
For those who love to shop, there are plenty of stores around Spring Garden Road and Barrington Street. The city also has an efficient public transportation system, so having no car is still easy-peasy..
For instance, taking the No. 1 A bus from downtown will take you to the iconic Peggy’s Cove in about an hour. Halifax even has several bike rental options available!
You can tour around the city and nearby areas, like the beautiful Lunenburg, on a bicycle. You may also want to visit local breweries, sample delicious seafood, and check out the music scene.
Local tip: Don’t miss out on the discounts! It’s a local dish, and it’s absolutely delicious. Try it at least once; you won’t regret it!
Situated on the shores of Nova Scotia, Peggy’s Cove offers a delightful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. As you wander around, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the rugged coastline, with its iconic lighthouse perched on a granite outcrop.
Getting to Peggy’s Cove without a car is totally doable. You can take a scenic bus ride from Halifax, which is just a short distance away. Once you arrive, you can easily navigate the village on foot.
One of the highlights of Peggy’s Cove is, of course, the iconic Peggy’s Point Lighthouse. Climb up to the top to soak in the panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the rugged granite coastline. Oh, and did I mention the freshly caught lobsters? They’re to die for!
Local tip: Make sure to visit Peggy’s Cove early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the crowds. This way, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the village in all its peaceful glory.
And don’t forget to bring a jacket, as it can get quite windy by the coast.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Charlottetown is a super walkable city, making it easy to explore on foot. Start off by taking a stroll along the waterfront, where you’ll be greeted by picturesque views of the harbour and the iconic Confederation Landing Park.
One of the highlights of Charlottetown is the Confederation Centre of the Arts. This cultural hub hosts a variety of theatrical performances, art exhibitions, and musical events.
You can just take a short bike ride or hop on a bus to explore the stunning beauty of Prince Edward Island National Park. This coastal paradise features beautiful sandy beaches, sand dunes, and scenic trails that are perfect for hiking or biking.
Local tip: Don’t miss out on the Charlottetown Farmers Market, held every Saturday. This bustling market is a foodie’s paradise, showcasing an array of fresh produce, culinary delights, local crafts, and live music.
Victoria, British Columbia
The city of Victoria itself is super pedestrian-friendly. You’ll find everything you need within walking distance, from beautiful parks to charming shops and restaurants.
Take a stroll along the Inner Harbour and be mesmerised by the views of the water, or wander through the historic streets of Old Town. And when you need a break, hop on one of the adorable horse-drawn carriages and have a scenic tour of the city.
But it’s not just the city centre that’s accessible without a car. Victoria is surrounded by natural beauty that’s just waiting to be explored.
You can easily take a ferry to the nearby Gulf Islands, where you can hike, bike, or simply relax on the pristine beaches. And if you’re up for a little adventure, head to the breathtaking Butchart Gardens, which offers shuttle services from downtown Victoria.
Local tip: If you’re looking to explore beyond Victoria, consider renting a bike. The city has a well-developed cycling infrastructure, and there are several bike rental shops where you can easily find a set of wheels.
The Banff Roam Transit system in Banff, Alberta, is an absolute lifesaver. It’s cheap, reliable, and covers all the major attractions in the region. You can hop on a bus and be whisked away to places like Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and Johnston Canyon.
If you’re feeling a bit more active, renting a bike is a fantastic way to explore Banff. Now, let’s not forget about the incredible hiking opportunities in Banff like the Tunnel Mountain Trail.
Last but not least, you can always join guided tours and day trips to fully experience Banff. There are plenty of tour operators that offer organised excursions to popular destinations like the Columbia Icefield,and even the stunning Yoho National Park.
Local tip: Make sure to visit the Banff Visitor Center when you arrive. The staff there is incredibly helpful and can provide you with up-to-date information on the best transportation options, hiking trails, and must-see attractions in the area.
Saskatoon is a vibrant and friendly city nestled in the heart of beautiful Saskatchewan. Now, let’s talk about the stunning South Saskatchewan River.
A local favourite is strolling along the Meewasin Valley Trail, a pathway that stretches for kilometres, offering breathtaking views of the river and the surrounding nature.
The Forestry Farm Park & Zoo is also a perfect spot for a picnic and a chance to see some adorable animals. You can rent a bike or simply go for a leisurely walk and take in the serene atmosphere.
Saskatoon’s public transportation, Saskatoon Transit, offers comprehensive bus routes covering major areas of the city, providing you with a convenient means to explore its attractions.
Local tip: Don’t forget to try the local specialty: Saskatoon berry pie! It’s a must and will leave your taste buds begging for more.
Jasper is home to an incredible array of animals, and spotting them is part of the thrill. Take a hike along the trails in the park, and you might just run into some friendly elk or even a majestic bear.
One of the best ways to experience Jasper’s beauty is by hopping on a bike. You can rent one in town and pedal your way through the picturesque trails, taking in the jaw-dropping views at your own pace.
While Jasper is a pedestrian-friendly town, you can also rely on the local public transportation, the Jasper SkyTram, to shuttle you between the main attractions within the park.
Additionally, there are various guided tour companies that operate mini-buses and shuttle services for popular attractions, ensuring a comfortable and convenient experience while exploring Jasper’s natural beauty.
Local tip: Don’t forget to take a soak in the Miette Hot Springs. After a long day of exploring, there’s nothing better than relaxing in these natural hot springs, surrounded by stunning mountain vistas.
Whitehorse is nestled in the heart of the Yukon Territory, offering breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and vast forests. The city is a hub of arts and culture with its eclectic mix of galleries, small theatres, and live music venues.
One of the best ways to experience this natural wonderland is through outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or even horseback riding.
Moreover, Whitehorse also has an efficient public transportation system with Whitehorse Transit providing a comprehensive bus network around the city.
Additionally, taxi services, bike rentals, and guided tour operators are also available, offering various ways to discover the beauty of Whitehorse.
Local tip: Don’t forget to try some of the famous Yukon gold rush-era sourdough bread—it’s a local specialty!
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Cape Breton Island is home to the Cabot Trail, one of the most scenic drives in the world. But don’t worry, you don’t need a car to experience the beauty of the island!
Cape Breton offers various transportation options such as local bus services and guided tours. These options allow visitors to experience the stunning landscapes and rich culture while connecting with fellow travellers.
You can also hike or bike the trail, taking in the rugged cliffs, picturesque fishing villages, and the vast expanse of the ocean. Don’t forget to pause at the lookouts for some perfect Instagram photos.
Local tip: Get up early and head to Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The sunrise views along the Coastal Trail are truly unforgettable, and you might even spot some whales or seals playing in the waters below.