Canada is a kaleidoscopic mixture of dazzling natural beauty, vibrant and eclectic cities and different cultures from French-speaking to the indigenous Inuit people. Stretching from the US in the south right up to the Arctic Circle in its north, you'll find a smorgasbord of landscapes from Canada's famous Rockies, prairies, coniferous forests, and the crystal clear waters of Lake Louise, to craggy coastlines, tundra and vast swathes of wilderness. Nature lovers will love Canada's plethora of moose, elk, bison, polar bears, and more, while it's also a popular destination for winter-sports. But Canada's great outdoors is a veritable playground for adventurers year-round. But its cities are cultural hubs just waiting to entice you, from the Asian night market and noodles in multicultural Vancouver, wild Celtic parties on Cape Breton Island, and evocative French atmosphere in French-speaking Montréal. Canada plays host to the world's second largest theatre festival with Edmoton's International Fringe Theatre Festival, while other world-class festivals include Montréal's Jazz Festival, the star-studded Film Festival in Toronto, and Ontario's Stratford Festival, which is, in fact, the continent's largest classical reportory theatre. There's as much in Canada to entice culture vultures as there is for the thrill seekers and nature lovers.
KEY FACTS BEFORE YOU GO:
- Capital: Ottawa
- Currency: Canadian Dollars
- Time Difference: Canada's capital, Ottawa, is in the Eastern Time Zone, one of Canada's six time zones. Most of Canada observes Daylight Saving Time from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November. During Summer, Ottawa and the Eastern Time Zone is 4 hours BEHIND GMT, and 5 hours BEHIND GMT during Winter. For further information on Canada's time differences, including the various time zones, please read more here.
- Flight time: Flights to Toronto from London take around 7 hours and 45 minutes, while Montreal is from 7 hours and 25 minutes. Further west, Vancouver flights take around 9 hours and 35 minutes, and Calgary is just under 9 hours. All of these routes are direct. Halifax (for Nova Scotia) is an indirect flight, and takes over 11 and a half hours.
- Official language: English and French
- Entry requirements: Visas are not usually required for British citizens visiting Canada for short durations. If you're arriving into Canada by air, you will need to apply for an electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA), which you must have before boarding your flight. If you're arriving into Canada by land or sea, an eTA is not required, but you are required to travel with acceptable travel documents and identification. Your passport must be valid throughout the proposed duration of your stay; no additional validity beyond this duration is required.
- Vaccinations and Health: For up-to-date information, please check this website (as recommended by the Foreign Office): https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/41/canada#Vaccine_recommendations
General information on travel vaccinations can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/travel-vaccinations/
There are no special arrangements for health care for British visitors in Canada, so ensure that you have travel health insurance.
To find out more, and for the most up-to-date advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/canada
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