Complete with diverse geographical locations, modern and vibrant cities, picturesque landscapes, exciting outdoor activities, interesting events and a cosmopolitan culture. Canada offers a lot of fascinating places to see. However, the downside of travelling in Canada is that it is expensive. Nevertheless, you can easily find free things to do. Here, we offer the best ideas to keep you on the move for free.
by Priya – Italy visa
• Head to Stanley Park, an oasis that covers 8.8 km area in the city of Vancouver. There are a host of indoor and outdoor activities to take part in, the majority of which are free. You can walk, bike, jog or even rollerblade in this amazing park.
• Queen Elizabeth Park is a haven for nature lovers. Complete with two quarry gardens, dancing fountains, mini waterfalls, bridges, pathways, etc. This park is a horticultural delight.
• There is no dearth of beaches in Vancouver. Boasting of soft white sands and blue waters with a view of the city, not to mention enormous mountains in the background, the beaches of Vancouver are a perfect place to spend time with family and friends. Most beaches also offer the opportunity to indulge in water adventures and outdoor sports.
• Do not forget to pack your hiking shoes as Vancouver offers a lot of interesting hiking trails. Right from nature walks which are great for kids to challenging ones; hiking in Vancouver is absolutely free.
• Vancouver’s Chinatown has several historic sites and the best part is that most of them do not have an entry fee. You can spend an entire day checking out places like the Millennium Gate, Dr Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden & Park (only the free portion), etc.
• Art lovers can have a great time at the Vancouver Art Gallery without spending money on the entrance. While the exhibits at the gallery are spectacular, the gallery building itself is an important landmark and worth seeing.
• Apart from all this, Vancouver hosts a free event or festival every month. For instance, a visit in January would give you the chance to take part in a Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival, while a visit in June is when you can be a part of the International Jazz Festival. Whichever month you choose to visit, Vancouver would surely have something interesting for you to indulge in.
• Toronto offers a lot of free walking tours which would familiarize you with the neighbourhood. Get an insight of the history and architecture of the city’s neighbourhood with these tours
• The best free thing to do in Toronto would be to visit one of the local parks. There are more than 1500 local parks in the city, so finding one would not be difficult. The activities at these parks change as per the season; in short, every season offers a new surprise.
• If you are in Toronto during the month of May, you should definitely check out Doors Open Toronto during which several of the landmarks of the city open their doors for the general public. It is a great way to check out behind the scenes activities of the significant buildings of Toronto.
• Whenever you are tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, you can escape into the numerous ravines that the city possesses. It is a great way to spend time amidst the beautiful ravines which transform according to seasonal changes.
• You can also visit the beaches of Toronto for cost-free. Be it Hanlan’s Point, Balmy Beach, Cherry Beach or Bluffer’s Park Beach, you are sure to have a lot of fun. Check whether the beach is clothing-optional or clothing-mandatory before you visit.
• If you love food, Montreal is your haven. The city has some of the best public markets where you can have a culinary experience that would tantalize your taste buds. Get ready to devour different types of bread, cheese and meats at Maisonneuve, Jean Talon Market, Atwater Market, etc.
• You can visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts cost-free throughout the year while the Museum of Contemporary Art offers free entry only on Wednesdays from 6 to 9 PM. Most of the museums in the city offer free entry at least once in the week. All you need to do is check out their website before visiting.
• If you are visiting Montreal during the summer-time, you can not only take part in Festival International de Jazz de Montreal but also enjoy the free outdoor concerts held every year.
• The best way to explore the Old City of Montreal is by foot. To make it easy for you, you can download walking tours – see 4 free ebooks – from various websites. With a print out in your hand, you are free to the roads of the city and to enjoy the scenes at your own pace.
• The City Hall of Montreal opens its doors for visitors from May till October. The 45 minute guided tour is free and will give you a glimpse of the entire place excluding the Mayor’s Office.
• Love to dance? Head to Parc Jean Drapeau for free ballroom dancing lessons along with your partner, every Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday evenings during the months of summer. Apart from this, several dancing companies and institutes offer free demo dance classes during summer.
Ottawa• Ottawa has some of the best museums in the world where you get to learn about the history and culture of the place. Before you shell out Canadian dollars at every museum, know that most museums offer free entry on Thursday evenings. Some of the must-visit museums in Canada include the Museum of Nature, Bytown Museum, Canadian War Museum, Canadian Museum of Civilization, etc.
• When in Ottawa, take the opportunity to visit the Supreme Court of Canada for free. The guided tours are conducted by law students and give you an insight to the judicial system of Canada. You are also free to attend appeal hearings if the court is in session.
• The Parliament Buildings of Ottawa can be explored free of cost. You can visit the Peace Tower, Memorial Chamber, Centre Block, etc, without paying any money. You can also listen to live debates and stroll on the Parliament Hill grounds to explore the place like you wish.
• If you want to spend a lazy day with your partner or even by yourself, head to Andrew Hayden Park. You can not only have a picnic or stroll along the beautiful waters of the park but also enjoy an amazing sunset.
• Ottawa hosts several annual events and festivals throughout the year. The ethnicity festivals include Lebanese Festival, Festival of India, Ukrainian Festival, Turkish Festival, etc. Some other popular festivals of Ottawa are Tulip Festival, Winterlude, Rideau Canal Festival, etc.
• The best thing to do when in Niagara Falls is to see the world-famous Niagara Falls itself. The waterfalls are nothing less than amazing and it is free unless you want to ride a boat and take a close look at the waterfalls. The best time to visit Niagara Falls is after sunset if you do not want to miss the look of the waterfalls when illuminated by the bright lights of the city.
• The fireworks at Niagara Falls are something you should check out when in the city. The combination of the waterfalls with the amazing fireworks in the background is truly breathtaking.
• Learn about the history of Niagara Falls while touring the Niagara Falls History Museum. To avoid shelling out money for the entry fee, visit the museum on Thursdays from 5 PM to 8 PM.
• Stroll across Niagara Park’s Botanical Gardens where you will find a variety of flowers across the 100-acre land. Get ready to be welcomed with the sight of a variety of roses, shrubs, trees, herbs, perennials, etc.
• Love hiking? The Niagara Gorge Discovery Centre is the perfect place to go on a hiking trip. The Niagara River, massive rock formations and greenery are what await you while you find your way through the rough trails.
• The Hershey’s Chocolate World in Niagara Falls can be visited free of cost. Get lost in the world of chocolate, right from the 4 storey high chocolate bar entrance to Hershey’ Kisses Statue. While you do not have to spend money to visit the factory, you definitely cannot return without buying some chocolate goodies.
While we have mentioned the free things to do only in certain cities of Canada, you would surely find free or inexpensive things to do wherever you go in the country. So after you book your tickets and fulfil the Canada visa requirements, begin your research so that you can enjoy the beautiful places of Canada without hurting your bank account too much.
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