Fast facts and travel tips
Canada is a vast country – the world's second largest. It is filled with diverse natural wonders and a rich multicultural heritage. Canadians are known to be polite and open, and are proud to welcome visitors. We are thrilled to celebrate the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism!
Here is some basic information to help you plan, pack for and enjoy your trip to Canada.
- Canada's currency is the Canadian dollar, which is worth about 5 yuan/renminbi
- English and French are Canada's official languages, but Mandarin and Cantonese are the third and fourth most-spoken
- You can travel just about anywhere in Canada using only English.
- Major cities in southern Canada, such as Vancouver and Toronto enjoy average summer highs in the 25-26℃ (77-79℉) range. In the winter, the temperature throughout Canada can drop below 0℃C – sometimes well below!
Canada has six time zones:
- Pacific Standard Time
- Mountain Standard Time
- Central Standard Time
- Eastern Standard Time
- Atlantic Standard Time
- Newfoundland Standard Time
Getting to and around Canada
Like any country, we have rules about what you can bring into or take out of Canada. But don't worry, they aren't that complicated.
- You need a passport or an equivalent travel document in order to enter Canada
- For detailed information on more entry requirements, visit the Government of Canada's Visit as a tourist page
- Find out how you can get a visa to travel to or through Canada
- Visit the Canada Border Services Agency's Bring Goods Across the Border page to learn more about Canadian customs regulations
Customs and duty
- For information on bringing in alcohol and tobacco into Canada, including duty-free allowances, please visit Bring Goods Across the Border.
- For information on bringing pets into Canada, visit Importing or Travelling with Pets.
- Guns of all kinds are strictly regulated in Canada. Visit the Canadian Firearms Program for more details about the import of firearms and ammunition.
- Many food and plant products from abroad can't be brought into Canada. For information on bringing agricultural items into Canada, please consult What Can I Bring Into Canada in Terms of Food, Plant, Animal and Related Products.
Getting around while you're here
Via Rail is Canada's main passenger rail service. For best rates, make sure to book your tickets in advance.
Travelling from Vancouver to Victoria? Relax and enjoy the journey on one of British Columbia's many ferries. Ferries also make it easy to travel in the Atlantic region – for example, Marine Atlantic offers a year-round ferry service between the Island of Newfoundland and the province of Nova Scotia.
If you are travelling with your whole family or as a small group, you may wish to rent a car. It is always the most economical to return your rental car to the same place you rented it. Most car rental agencies offer unlimited kilometres, but check with your supplier to see if those rates change should you cross a border.
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