How to spend 3 Days in Toronto: The Best Itinerary + Where to Stay
You’re planning to spend 3 days in Toronto?
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!
- How to spend 3 Days in Toronto: The Best Itinerary + Where to Stay
- My best Tips to save time at Toronto’s must-see attractions
- One Last Tip for a Perfect 3-Day Stay in Toronto
- Visiting Toronto in 3 days: the best itinerary
- Toronto Itinerary – Day 1
- Day two in Toronto: What to see and do?
- Day 3 in Toronto: Places to Visit
- Where to stay in Toronto
- Visiting Toronto in 3 days with family
- More things to do and see in Toronto in 3 days
- Map of your 3-Day itinerary in Toronto
- 3 Days in Toronto: Flight prices
- You’re traveling in Canada? These articles will help you!
My best Tips to save time at Toronto’s must-see attractions
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:
- The Royal Ontario Museum
- Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
- Guided walking tour of the Distillery District
- Segway tour of the Distillery District
- Gourmet tour at the St. Lawrence Market
- The Art Gallery of Ontario
- Guided tour of Kensington Market and Chinatown
- Casa Loma
- 3-hour bike tour of Toronto
- Cruise around Toronto Islands
- A helicopter flight over Toronto
- Excursion to Niagara Falls
- Helicopter ride over Niagara Falls
- Skylon Tower observation deck
- Journey Behind The Falls
- Zip-lining at Niagara Falls
- BATA Shoe Museum
- Little Canada
- Hop-on, hop-off bus tour
- A harbor cruise with lunch, brunch, or dinner included
- Private guided walking tour with a local
- A night tour themed on ghosts
- Guided beer-themed tour
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.
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 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.
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!
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:
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!
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.
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.
Day two in Toronto: What to see and do?
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:
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:
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.
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!
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!
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):
- Take the traditional cruise at the foot of the falls donning your best poncho!
- Take a thrilling helicopter flight over the falls for an absolutely extraordinary experience!
- Climb to the top of the Skylon Tower to admire the falls from the panoramic terrace
- Take a unique gondola suspended above the rapids of the falls.
- Stand at the foot of the falls with the Journey Behind the Falls attraction
- Take a zip-line descent over the falls
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:
Where to stay 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:
- Ripley’s Aquarium
- CN Tower
- The Royal Ontario Museum
- Boat tour of Toronto Islands
- Bike or walk on the Toronto Islands
- Toronto’s Ontario Science Centre
- Toronto Zoo
- Little Canada
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.
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!
🚗 Rent a car
🗽 Book entrance tickets and guided visits
🏄 Book your sports activities
🚤 Book your rental boat
🌍 Take a travel insurance
🙎 Book a tour
🚅 Book your train tickets
✈️ Book your flight
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.
- 20 Best Things to do in Canada
- 20 Best Things to do in Quebec – All best places to visit in the French-speaking province!
- Itinerary: One week in Canada: The perfect itinerary to visit Canada in 6, 7 or 8 days!
- Itinerary: 10 days in Canada: All my best tips for organizing your 10-day trip to Canada
- Itinerary: 2 weeks in Canada: How to visit Western Canada in 15 days.
- Itinerary: 3 weeks in Canada: My epic itinerary to visit Western and Eastern Canada in 21 days
- Itinerary: 1 month in Canada: How to visit Eastern Canada in a month!
- Itinerary: One week in Quebec: How to visit Quebec in 6, 7 or 8 days, with all my best tips!
- Itinerary: 10 days in Quebec: An amazing 10-day itinerary in Quebec
- Itinerary: 2 weeks in Quebec: All my best tips to visit Quebec in 14, 15 or 16 days
- Itinerary: 3 weeks in Quebec: the perfect 3-week road trip in Quebec!
- Road trip in Canada: The best itineraries for 7, 10, 15, 21 days and 1 month
- Road trip in Quebec: The best itineraries for 7, 10, 15 and 21 days
- Calgary: Top 11 things to do during your visit
- Montreal: 33 best things to see and do
- Ottawa: 15 epic places to visit
- Quebec City: Top 17 things to do and see
- Toronto: The 17 things to do during your stay
- Vancouver: Top 25 places to visit and activities
- Toronto in 3 days – The perfect itinerary to visit the city in 72 hours!