One of the best things about traveling across Canada by train is being able to get off and explore a multitude of diverse cities and natural wonders. You spend time on the Via Rail Train relaxing, eating, and sleeping, and the next day you arrive at a wonderful new place just waiting to be discovered. From the fishing villages in Atlantic Canada to the majestic Rocky Mountains, you will be in awe of Canada’s beauty at each and every stop. Make sure to check out our Canadian train packing list so you are dressed appropriately for the experience. Although the train across Canada makes many stops, these are the ones you shouldn’t miss.
You Can See The Best Of Canada By Train At These Breathtaking Stops
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Halifax is located in Atlantic Canada and has deep roots as a fishing village. The maritime city is quaint, cute, affordable, scenic, and easy to get to when seeing Canada by train. If you decide to add it to your list of places to see, make sure you stroll along the Halifax Waterfront, visit Peggy’s Cove, and pay homage to Canadian immigration ancestors at Pier 21. For more information on what to do, where to stay, and what to see in Halifax, check out our full destination guide.
Stepping off the train in Montreal will make you feel like you have stepped right into France itself. Montreal is right in the heart of French Canada and the predominant language of the city is French. The Via Rail Station is well connected to the city by metro so seeing Montreal by public transportation has never been easier. If you have time, be sure to climb to the top of “Mount Royal” for sweeping views of the city below! There is plenty to see and do in Montreal and it is a wonderful city to explore! We spent three days in Montreal on our Via Rail stopover but you can plan as little or as many days as you like! Three days was a great amount of time to explore, but it also depends on your train schedule too!
Toronto is easily one of the most diverse cities you will see when traveling Canada by train. From food tours, giant castles, and the CN Tower, there is plenty to see and do in Toronto for the day. The train station is located in the heart of downtown, just steps away from the base of the CN Tower and is also well connected by metro. Spend the day experiencing culture in Chinatown or visiting the quirky Kensington Market before boarding the train once again.
Niagara Falls, Ontario
If you have never visited Niagara Falls and you are traveling across Canada by train, this world wonder is not to be missed! Just a four-hour round-trip train journey from Toronto, Niagara Falls Canada is the perfect day trip. “Journey Behind The Falls” on the Canadian side is one of the best spots to photograph Niagara Falls and a really neat experience. You pay the small fee and are transported into a series of tunnels that run behind and alongside Horseshoe Falls for views like you have never seen before.
Jasper National Park, Alberta
Jasper is one of the most anticipated stops on the journey across Canada by train because it is home to the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Via Rail stops in Jasper for a few hours, which gives you enough time to explore the town and marvel at the views. Alternatively, plan to rent a car and stopover in the city for a few days because there are plenty of unique things to do in Jasper National Park. From walking on ice at Maligne Canyon in winter to driving the famous Icefields Parkway anytime of the year, Jasper is a favorite stop for people traveling Canada by train.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Nestled between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver is a magical city to explore. The city is so focused on the outdoors that they have multiple large parks in the heart of the city. These parks are bigger than New York City’s Central Park and come complete with ancient trees, suspension bridges, hiking trails, and more. Vancouver is the perfect place to discover before you embark on an eastern bound train trip or after you arrive on a west-bound train. Vancouver is a very friendly city and there is plenty to do for first-time visitors. Like many of the stops highlighted here, the train station is well connected by the Vancouver Sky Train so getting around the city is very easy.
Which stop would you be most excited to visit if you were to travel Canada by train? If you have taken the train across Canada, what was your favorite place to visit? Let us know in the comments!
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