3 Days in Toronto: The Perfect Itinerary (First Time Visit)


How to spend 3 Days in Toronto: The Best Itinerary + Where to Stay

You’re planning to spend 3 days in Toronto?

Great idea!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared for you the perfect itinerary to visit Toronto in 3 days.

I will start this guide with my best tips to avoid the long waiting lines in front of the CN Tower and other Toronto must-see attractions.

Then, I will give you my optimized and detailed 3-day itinerary to make the most of your stay in Canada‘s largest city.

In addition to the best places to visit and activities for each stage of your itinerary, I will also give you all my best tips and accommodation suggestions depending on your budget.

So, what are the best things to do in Toronto in 3 days? Where to stay?

Let’s find out!

My best Tips to save time at Toronto’s must-see attractions

Toronto, along with Montreal and Vancouver, is one of Canada’s most significant cities.

Many tourists treat themselves to a quick stay in Ontario’s capital during their Canadian itinerary, even if it’s just to check out the famous Niagara Falls!

Regardless of the time of year, you’re bound to face long lines at major tourist spots like the iconic CN Tower or the Royal Ontario Museum.

But fear not! I’ve got 2 straightforward tricks to skip the queues and get the most out of your 3-day Toronto trip. Let’s dive right into them!

1. The Toronto City Pass

The first solution you should go for to save money and avoid the queues during your 3-day Toronto stay is to purchase the Toronto City Pass.

You just need to click on the green button below to grab it. Simply enter the number of adult or child tickets you need to get your Toronto Pass with all the attraction tickets emailed directly to you.

You can simply show them on your smartphone or have them printed out. It’s hassle-free and convenient! Once activated (when you visit the first included site), the Pass is valid for 30 consecutive days.

When making the reservation, there’s no need to choose a specific date, the Pass just needs to be used in the year of purchase.

The Toronto City Pass includes access to 6 must-see places during your 3 days in Toronto:

  • The CN Tower – Slated for the 1st day!
  • Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada (also on day 1)
  • Casa Loma – Schedule this for day two of your 72-hour Toronto adventure!
  • The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) – Also on day 2
  • Toronto Zoo (for the last day)
  • The Ontario Science Centre (also on the final day’s itinerary).

As you can see, this Pass is truly the best solution to explore Toronto in 3 days!

Book your Toronto City Pass now by clicking the button below:

2. Skip-The-Line tickets for Toronto’s tourist attractions

The second solution to avoid long waits at attractions is to purchase skip-the-line tickets on a case-by-case basis.

You’ll have the flexibility to tailor your selection according to your own 3-day tour program in Toronto. It’s all about making the choices that suit you best!

You also have the option to book guided walking tours or Segway tours, other activities like a cruise or a helicopter ride, as well as a trip to Niagara Falls for instance.

There are loads of super cool things to do in Toronto in 3 days.

To save you the hassle of searching, I’ve already compiled a list of priority access tickets and tours that I recommend in my itinerary.

You just need to click the links to book them, and I’ll also mention them throughout this article:

Voyage Tips - Advice

Feel free to check out all available tickets by clicking here: Book your tickets and guided tours in Toronto.

One Last Tip for a Perfect 3-Day Stay in Toronto

If you already know your travel dates (or as soon as you will have them!), you should really book your accommodation.

As Toronto is one of the most touristic cities in the world, the hotels offering the best value for money are often fully booked months in advance.

As a seasoned traveler, I can assure you that it’s always by planning as far in advance as possible that I’ve found the best hotels or apartments deals.

You agree that it would be a shame to somewhat ruin your stay in Toronto by ending up in a not-so-great hotel that costed you a fortune, right? 😅

So your best bet is to take 5 minutes now to have a look at traveler’s favorite hotels in Toronto.

And if you like one of the hotels you find, book it!

It’s fast, it’s easy and most accommodation offer free cancellation. That’s the best way to protect yourself from the inconvenience of finding nothing but mediocre rooms at exorbitant prices.

To check the best hotels deals in Toronto, simply click on the green button below:

After securing your dream stay, it’s time to continue reading this guide!

Visiting Toronto in 3 days: the best itinerary

It’s time to reveal my 72-hour itinerary for Toronto. All you have to do is follow this day-by-day sightseeing schedule to ensure an awesome time.

When creating this route, I presumed that you’ll be spending a full three days in Toronto and have chosen the Toronto City Pass or skip-the-line tickets to get the most out of your daily visits.

And hey, if you have any questions or need assistance in planning your stay after reading this post, don’t hesitate to seek advice in the comments section!

So, what should you see in Toronto in 3 days?

Toronto Itinerary – Day 1

Day 1 in 3-day visit to Toronto
Toronto in 3 days – Day 1

Day 1 visits:

A. Kensington / Chinatown
B. The Distillery district
C. St. Lawrence Market
D. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
E. CN Tower

A. Kensington Market / Chinatown

I recommend kick-starting your 3-day Toronto itinerary by exploring Kensington Market. This neighborhood holds the distinction of being one of the oldest and most renowned in the city.

It has a super cool vibe, with a hippy and bohemian style. You can browse through the numerous thrift stores and vintage shops, where you’ll find products from all over the world.

There are also plenty of health-oriented restaurants offering organic, vegetarian, and vegan dishes.

Once you reach the intersection of Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street West, continue your leisurely stroll into the vibrant streets of Chinatown that adjoin Kensington. Chinatown is just as cosmopolitan as its neighbour, with its grocery stores selling exotic products and various Asian oddities.

You’ll also find the cheapest souvenirs in the whole city here! It’s time to buy the traditional postcard and fridge magnet to complete your collection.

Also, Chinatown is home to excellent restaurants serving traditional noodles, chicken soups, and dumplings.

While you’re in the area, I suggest you check out Graffiti Alley, a street perpendicular to Spadina Avenue. The walls of this street are completely covered in graffiti for about a hundred meters, some of which are by renowned artists.

Voyage Tips - Advice

To visit Kensington and Chinatown, you should opt for a guided tour. It’s the best way to not miss a thing and enjoy local stories and anecdotes about the two districts.

The tour lasts 2 hours, after which you can continue your day following my itinerary.

You can book this guided tour in Toronto by clicking on the button below:

Kensington Market
Kensington Market – 3-day itinerary in Toronto

B. The Distillery district

Next on your 3-day tour of Toronto is another historic neighborhood: Distillery District.

You’ll find it in Old Toronto, approximately 45 minutes walk from Graffiti Alley, but if you don’t feel like walking, you can also take the tramway there.

The Distillery District consists of several typical red-brick buildings, which once belonged to one of the largest distilleries in the world.

Completely renovated and transformed into a pedestrian zone, the area has kept its tradition as many establishments offer tastings of local beers, but it has also morphed into a trendy zone with hip coffee shops and unique stores.

And if you’ve chosen to spend 3 days in Toronto at the end of the year, you’ll also find the Christmas market there!

Voyage Tips - Advice

To discover all the secrets of this iconic district, nothing beats a guided tour with an engaging guide. Book it using the button:

And for a mix of history with a fun experience, this guided tour is also available on Segway!

The Distillery district
Toronto’s distillery district

C. St. Lawrence Market

After a morning of exploring Toronto, I bet you’re starting to feel a little hungry. Head to the St. Lawrence Market for a delicious lunch break!

From the Distillery District, take “The Esplanade” street which runs along several parks for about a kilometre, and you’ll arrive right at the market.

In this charming covered market, steeped in authenticity for over 200 years, crowned the world’s best market by National Geographic, you’ll discover an array of fantastic local products that you can even sample right on the spot.

If you’re interested in delving deeper into its fascinating history, you can also take part in guided tours that include tastings. You can book this activity by clicking on the button below:

Voyage Tips - Advice

While you’re in the area and en route to your next destination, make sure not to overlook the Gooderham building, also known as the Flatiron Building. This striking red brick structure is an iconic symbol of the city and definitely worth a stop to capture some memorable photos.

St. Lawrence Market
St Lawrence Market – Visit Toronto in 3 days

D. Ripley’s Aquarium

I suggest you continue your afternoon by visiting Ripley’s Aquarium of Toronto. From the market, it’s only a 20-minute walk or a short tramway ride.

If you’ve visiting Canada with your kids, get ready for them to go wild with excitement as they discover a whole bunch of cool animals living in this zoo.

Even if you’re not usually into this kind of stuff, Toronto’s aquarium, which happens to be the biggest one in Canada, is actually pretty awesome. They’ve done a great job with it, and it’s definitely worth checking out.

Plus, the visit is free with the Toronto City Pass!

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you haven’t already purchased your city pass, I highly recommend grabbing your skip-the-line tickets right below to avoid any waiting time at the entrance. Trust me, it’s a game-changer.

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada
Ripley’s Aquarium – Toronto

E. CN Tower

CN Tower, THE must-see attraction of the city, is an essential part of your 3-day Toronto stay!

Luckily, it’s right next to the aquarium.

My tip? Head up there just before sunset to enjoy the daytime view of the city and then soak up the night-time panorama with the buildings all lit up.

At a dizzying 533 meters high, the CN Tower was once the tallest tower in the world. It has since been toppled by the likes of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and Taipei 101 tower located in Taiwan.

But don’t worry, its height is plenty for a clear view of all of Toronto and a little thrill as you walk on its transparent glass floor! Especially since the observation deck at 346 meters high is accessed by a glass elevator!

If you’re still in need of an adrenaline fix, no problem, I suggest you try the Edge Walk attraction. Strap on a harness and take a stroll along the tower’s external ledge.

Just bear in mind, given the price for the 30-minute experience, you’ll want to be sure you’re not going to chicken out!

To end your first day on a high note, you could also dine in the tower’s restaurant where the panoramic platform rotates during your meal, giving you the best view in the house.

Voyage Tips - Advice

A trip up the CN Tower is included in the Toronto City Pass.

You can also buy your tickets in advance on the official website.

CN Tower
The must-see CN Tower during your 72 hours in Toronto!

Day two in Toronto: What to see and do?

Day 2 in 3-day visit to Toronto
3 Days in Toronto – Day 2 itinerary

Day 2 visits:

A. Casa Loma
B. The Royal Ontario Museum
C. The Toronto Islands

A. Casa Loma

For your second day in Toronto, start by visiting Casa Loma.

The easiest way to get there is by taking the subway to Dupont station and walking the rest of the way.

Once there, you’ll be surprised to find that Casa Loma showcases quite unique architecture for Canada. With its turrets and raw stone walls, it looks very much like the medieval-style castles prevalent in Europe.

Built in 1914 by a wealthy industrialist, this magnificent structure took almost three years and required the labor of 300 men at a staggering cost of $3.5 million (equivalent to a hefty sum in today’s currency). Once inside, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the interior, which showcases a hundred lavishly appointed rooms, including an impressive library.

You can also enjoy one of the best views of Toronto from the castle’s turrets.

Next, enjoy a stroll through the 2-hectare park adorned with magnificent sculptures, fountains, and beautiful flower beds.

Entry to Casa Loma is free with the Toronto City Pass, and you’ll also get an audio guide in several languages.

If you don’t have a City Pass, you can buy your Casa Loma entrance ticket by clicking on this green button:

Casa Loma Toronto
Casa Loma in Toronto

B. The Royal Ontario Museum

Next, take the subway from Dupont station to Museum station.

That’ll bring you to Canada’s largest museum: The Royal Ontario Museum, also known as the ROM.

Here too, its exterior architecture is particularly striking and a bit controversial: a modern structure of glass and aluminum embeds itself in the old stone facade. Pretty much impossible to miss!

The ROM exhibits cover world cultures and natural history. Personally, I loved the section on the history of Canada’s First Nations and the impressive collection of dinosaur skeletons.

It’s a great idea for a visit with kids!

Entry is included in the Toronto City Pass.

Otherwise, the only way to skip the line at the entrance is to buy your skip-the-line ticket in advance here:

The Royal Ontario Museum
The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto

C. The Toronto Islands

For the remainder of the day, why not escape the bustling city and indulge in some well-deserved relaxation on the Toronto Islands?

Hop back on the subway at Museum station and get off at Union station.

From there, take the tram to the Queens Quay Ferry Docks Terminal where you can catch the ferry which takes just 10 minutes to reach Ward’s Island or Centre Island.

While you’re on your way, don’t forget to take in the stunning panorama of the skyline and the CN Tower. Trust me, it’s totally worth it! And if you have the opportunity, make sure to do the return trip at night for an even more impressive view.

The Toronto Islands are car-free, so you can walk or cycle around (guided tours are also available, you can find more info by clicking here!).

You’ll find several beaches and charming 1920s-style houses there.

For details on ferry schedules and things to do on the islands, I recommend you check out this website.

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you’ve been busy exploring the city’s museums and don’t have enough time to visit the islands, don’t sweat it! Simply hop on an island boat tour instead.

The guided cruise lasts 1 hour and offers a great opportunity to admire the islands. You can book it by clicking the button below:

Toronto’s Skyline

Day 3 in Toronto: Places to Visit

For the last day of your 3-day trip to Toronto, here are the 2 best options:

  • Stay in the city and finish up visiting the main points of interest
  • Or take a trip to Niagara Falls.

Let me break it down for you!

Day 3 in 3-day visit to Toronto
3 Days in Toronto – Day 3 itinerary

Option 1 – Stroll and sightsee in Toronto

If you’re keen to continue your 72-hour Toronto circuit by staying in the city, here’s the morning itinerary I’d recommend:

  • Visit the Art Gallery of Ontario, which showcases all forms of art: photography, sculpture, and painting.

  • Stop by Nathan Philippe Square to admire Toronto City Hall.
  • Go shopping at Eaton Centre, Toronto’s largest shopping mall that houses all the American brands (Abercrombie, American Eagle Outfitters, etc.).
  • Check out Toronto’s mini Times Square: Dundas Square (located on the north side of the Eaton Centre).
  • Take a harbor cruise with lunch included (book it here!).

For the afternoon, it all depends on what you fancy:

  • For history buffs, head to Fort York, a historic site featuring a variety of period military installations. It’s an easy tram ride from downtown.
  • For a breath of fresh air, I suggest going to High Park, a massive 160-hectare park with a miniature train, playgrounds, and a free mini zoo (access by tram).
  • For an educational yet fun experience, visit the Ontario Science Centre which tackles tons of topics in a super playful way: nature, music, science, astronomy… Entry included with your Toronto City Pass.
  • In the evening, you can opt for a night tour themed around ghosts (book by clicking here!) to uncover the most chilling tales of Toronto!

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you’ve got kids, you can also use this third day to take them to the Toronto Zoo, which is a 30-minute drive from downtown.

Entry is of course included in the Toronto city pass.

City Hall Toronto
City Hall Toronto

Option 2 – Excursion to Niagara Falls

The second option, for those who don’t fancy staying in the city, is to explore the surroundings.

And if there’s one ultra-famous site not to be missed around Toronto on your Canadian trip, it’s Niagara Falls! They’re just a 1.5-hour drive away from the city.

Once there, you’ll get the chance to to (click on the orange links to book your activities):

If you don’t feel like driving all the way, you can also book a day trip. The best one for a stress-free, all-inclusive day is offered by GetYourGuide.

They even pick you up straight from your hotel and drop you back off in the evening.

The day includes:

  • The bus ride
  • A visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • A photo stop along the Niagara Parkway
  • The famous boat cruise to the heart of the Falls
  • 3 hours of free time to wander and make the most of the day
  • Optionally, you can even choose to live an extraordinary experience by flying over Niagara Falls in a helicopter!

To book this excursion, click on the green button below:

Niagara Falls
The Niagara Falls

Where to stay in Toronto


Bisha Hotel - Luxury Hotel in Toronto
Bisha Hotel – Luxury Hotel in Toronto

Visiting Toronto in 3 days with family

If you’ve decided to visit Toronto in 3 days with kids, here’s a recap of the absolute must-do family activities:

I haven’t mentioned it in this post, but you could also take them to the Legoland Discovery Centre, which offers several attractions on the Lego theme and replicas of Toronto monuments in small bricks.

You can book the entry tickets right here:

If you’re on the lookout for a fun family evening activity, you gotta check out the Medieval Times Canada show. You’ll get to enjoy 2 hours of epic medieval tournaments, an incredible bird flight demonstration, and the best part? The ticket also covers your meal and drinks.

Book here:

When it comes to getting around, you can definitely follow the exact itinerary I just laid out for you.

If your kids are tired of walking or too young, the city is superbly served by public transport. You can always take the tram or metro.

More things to do and see in Toronto in 3 days

Want to tweak my 3-day Toronto sightseeing itinerary a bit? Add more activities?

Then I recommend you read my other post, a complete tourist guide listing all the things to do and see in Toronto. With this, you’ll be able to craft your own itinerary for these 3 vacation days in Toronto.

It’s super easy, just click on this link: All the Best things to do in Toronto!

Map of your 3-Day itinerary in Toronto

To help you visualize your itineraries for these 3 days in Toronto, I’ve created a map listing the places to visit day by day.

You can display the map legend by clicking the button with a small arrow located in the top left corner. That will also allow you to visualize the itineraries for each day.

3 Days in Toronto: Flight prices

Flight prices to Toronto vary greatly, so it’s a good idea to compare them as soon as possible. For this, you can use our flight comparison tool, in partnership with Skyscanner. This ensures you get the best price.

Need help organizing your 3-day trip in Toronto? Feel free to drop any questions you have in the comments section—I’ll be more than happy to assist you! Don’t hesitate to reach out, I’m here to help!

Book your trip now and save money!

You’re traveling in Canada? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Canada: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Canada are listed there.

You’re using Pinterest? Here is the picture to pin!

visit Toronto what to do and see
visit Toronto what to do and see

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

Leave A Reply