10 Days in Canada: The Ultimate Itinerary (First Time Visit)


Itinerary: How to Visit Canada in 10 Days

You’re planning a 10-day trip to Canada and you’re looking for the best Itinerary?

You’re at the right place!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared this recommended Itinerary for 9, 10 or 11 days in Canada. You will discover some of the best places to visit in the Western part of the country!

If you’re more interested in visiting Eastern Canada (Montreal, Toronto, etc..), you should rather check out my other article: A Week in Eastern Canada. You can easily adapt it for a 10-day trip!

This itinerary features the region’s most famous cities, such as Vancouver and Calgary, as well as the world famous Jasper and Banff National Parks.

For this itinerary, in addition to the best things to do and must-see attractions, I will also give you all my best tips as well as my list of the best accommodations depending on your budget.

So, what are the best things to do during your 10 days in Canada? Where to stay?

Let’s find out!

1) Vancouver (2 days)

To kick off your 10-day Canadian adventure, I suggest you land in Vancouver, British Columbia. Let’s clarify right away, considering the vastness of western Canada, the most viable option for this itinerary is to have your return flight from Calgary. In 10 days, if you want to see the maximum, this is your best bet.

As you may have guessed, renting a car is also essential to traverse the vast expanses between cities and parks. You should trust me and go through Booking.com Cars, the site I use for all my foreign car rentals.


  • The site is super handy for comparing car rentals in Canada and finding the best deal.
  • Thanks to their full coverage (don’t forget to opt for it when booking!), you’ll be swiftly reimbursed in case of damages or accidents.
  • If you change your mind or need to cancel your trip, cancellation is free!

To score the best deal and if you’ve already got your vacation dates locked in, I highly recommend reserving your car now. And here’s the best part: it doesn’t require any commitment on your part, Click here to compare prices!

After these practical considerations, you can kick off your 10-day visit to Canada with exploring Vancouver.

I recommend starting with a stroll through Vancouver’s historic Gastown district.

It’s the perfect place to soak up the city’s vibe and see the area’s characteristic Victorian buildings. Don’t miss Gastown’s unique attraction, the famous Steam Clock!

A stone’s throw away, make a detour to Chinatown to visit Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s Chinese Garden, the first authentic classical Chinese garden ever built outside China. The place is truly beautiful, and the atmosphere is incredibly serene – perfect for recovering from long flight hours.

Next, head over to Canada Place and its waterfront. The spot offers a splendid view of the surrounding mountains and Stanley Park. Don’t forget to snap a picture of Canada Place’s most famous feature, the Digital Orca, a giant pixel art killer whale. One of Vancouver’s must-sees!

Canada Place
Canada Place, a must-see in Vancouver

I’d also suggest trying out one of Vancouver’s top attractions, FlyOver Canada, which takes you on a 4D tour of Canada (not in 10 days but in 8 minutes!), comfortably seated in dynamic chairs. It’s a fantastic experience!

To ensure your spot, it’s essential to book your session for FlyOver Canada in advance. Don’t wait, secure your experience by clicking the green button below:

For lunch, you’ll easily find something to satisfy your palate, be it street food or restaurants. Why not try out the Japadog, a Japanese-style hot dog?

For the afternoon, enjoy some downtime at Stanley Park, Vancouver’s largest park. You can either walk or cycle around it (guided tours are also available by clicking here!), a 9 km trail that goes around it. Either way, don’t miss the native American totem poles and the viewpoint to admire the Lions Gate Bridge.

In the evening, the best spot in Vancouver to catch the sunset is on top of the Vancouver Lookout. Similar to Toronto’s CN Tower, the building features a viewing platform 170 meters high, offering a 360° panorama over the entire city.

Book your tickets by clicking the button below:

To wrap up this first day in Vancouver in style, head to the Yaletown district, where you’ll find the city’s best restaurants.

The next day, to continue exploring Vancouver, let me introduce you to a slightly more unusual experience for this Canadian tour: a seaplane tour over Vancouver!

If you want to fly over the city, beaches, and parks, make sure to book your excursion in advance with one of the most reliable providers right here:

Since all that excitement is bound to work up an appetite, continue the morning at Granville Island where you’ll find plenty of vintage boutiques and local crafts and, above all, a vast covered market!

For lunch, I’d recommend assembling a picnic with local products or sampling the food-court with dishes from around the world! Best enjoyed with a good beer by the water.

Vancouver view from Granville Island
View from Granville Island, Vancouver

In the afternoon, make a cultural visit to the Museum of Anthropology to learn about the history of the First Nations. Especially worth checking out is its collection of totems. If you’ve already visited the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa, it’s a similar vibe.

Exiting the museum, swing by Wreck Beach. It’s right next door.

In search of some greenery in Vancouver, your next stop should be the VanDusen Botanical Garden. Considered one of the most beautiful gardens in North America, it boasts over 7,500 plant and tree species. Wooden bridges, waterfalls, fountains – the garden is quite a sight and super enjoyable.

To wrap up the day, there’s nothing like a bit of shopping on Vancouver’s main commercial strip, Robson Street. You’ve just arrived – you’re bound to be missing a t-shirt or a little dress in your suitcase! 🙂

All my tips for visiting Vancouver are in my detailed article: Top 25 things you absolutely must do in Vancouver!

There, you’ll find more ideas for activities and tours to do in Vancouver. For example:

Voyage Tips - Advice

To visit Vancouver in 2 days, you won’t need your car. You can easily walk around or use public transportation, which, like in any major tourist city, is highly developed and convenient.

So, I recommend renting a car starting from the 2nd stage of this 10-day trip in Canada.

Where to stay in Vancouver

  • Samesun Vancouver: This funky youth hostel is right in the middle of the city, a stone’s throw away from Yaletown district. Bunk in a dorm from €40, breakfast included. Strong points: location in the city centre, the vibrant atmosphere, comfy beds, and a cracking breakfast with muffins and bagels. A top-notch pick for budget-friendly accommodations in Vancouver!
  • The Sylvia Hotel: Located just a two-minute stroll from Stanley Park and a minute from the beach. Spacious and bright double rooms starting at €120 per night. Strong points: prime location, friendly staff, and the authentic charm of the place.
  • Blue Horizon Hotel: This gem is on Robson Street, the main shopping artery of Vancouver. Super spacious, comfy double room with a killer view from €170. Strong points: fantastic location to explore Vancouver by foot, the view, plenty of shops and restaurants close by, room comfort. My favorite for its value for money In my opinion, the best hotel in Vancouver.
  • The St Regis Hotel: Nestled right in downtown, a hop, skip, and a jump away from Vancouver Lookout. Spacious and cozy double rooms from €240 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: optimal location, helpful and warm staff, room comfort, and a scrumptious and plentiful breakfast.
  • Rosewood Hotel Georgia: A splendid 5-star hotel in downtown Vancouver offering beautifully decorated rooms from €350 per night. Strong points: indoor swimming pool, spa, and top-notch services. The best hotel in Vancouver for a luxury stay!


2) Whistler (1 day)

The second leg of this 10-day itinerary in Canada takes you to Whistler. From Vancouver, it’s about a 2-hour drive to Whistler.

Whistler is mainly known as a ski resort with slopes ranked among the best in the world. So if you’re traveling in this part of Canada during winter, it’s the ideal spot to indulge in Canadian winter sports. You can also enjoy a sled dog ride or some snowmobiling.

In the village, you can indulge in shopping and eat at some fantastic restaurants.

A full day’s program, isn’t it?

Don’t worry, if you’re not into skiing or if it’s not winter, Whistler offers plenty of other activities throughout the year.

Here are some activities I recommend in Whistler:

  • Link up the two highest peaks of Whistler in just 10 minutes via the Peak to Peak gondola. Famous for its length of over 4.4 km! You’ll be treated to a superb panorama of the valley and glaciers.
  • Go for a hike. Numerous trails start from Lost Lake. Pack a picnic, there are some really nice spots to relax.
  • Try out mountain biking. Rental shops in Whistler offer them, and it’s a great way to explore the trails and experience some new sensations.
  • Relax in one of the high-end hotel SPAs in Whistler.
  • Speed down the longest zip line in Canada at over 100 km/h! Book this activity by clicking here!
  • Fly over Whistler’s glacier in a seaplane.

Where to stay in Whistler

Whistler is the ultimate famed ski resort in Western Canada. Even if you book as early as possible, expect somewhat hefty prices. In the peak winter season, the rates I’m about to give you could likely double.

  • Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel Whistler: Located a 10-minute walk from the slopes. A cozy, modern studio equipped with a kitchenette. Starts at €170 per night. Strong points: the comfort and decor of the rooms, super-friendly staff, pool, and hot tub. It’s my favorite for its value for money in Whistler!
  • Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside: Only 150 meters from the gondola departure. Spacious studio, very well equipped with oven, microwave, dishwasher – handy for cooking up your own meals. Starts from €200 per night. Strong points: location, amenities, friendly staff.
  • Four Seasons Resort Whistler: Upscale hotel located in the upper part of Whistler. This 5* hotel offers very comfortable, cozy double rooms with mountain views, starting from €400 per night, breakfast at €37. Strong points: heated outdoor pool, SPA, hot tubs, complimentary shuttle service. The best hotel in Whistler for a luxury stay!

For a slightly more economical alternative and if you’re okay with bunking in a dormitory, I recommend staying at the Hi Whistler Hostel. Dormitory bed from €40 per night.


3) Wells Gray Provincial Park (2 days)

The third leg of this 10-day Canadian road trip is Wells Gray Provincial Park. Today is truly a major driving day, as the journey between Whistler and the park takes about 5 hours and 30 minutes.

I know, it’s long, but this stop is mandatory on all itineraries in western Canada. The park is practically midway between Whistler and Jasper (the next stop).

It’s a fantastic option that lets you break up the drive and experience the wonders of western Canada at a respectable pace. The park is untamed and far less crowded with tourists compared to Jasper and Banff.

You have two options:

  • Rise and shine early to arrive in the early afternoon at the park and start exploring leisurely.
  • Take a full day for a road trip, taking your time on the route to admire the landscapes and snap some photos. The road connecting Whistler to Wells Gray, Highway 99, is considered one of the most beautiful roads in Canada and it’s worth taking the time to appreciate it!

The next day, depending on your preferences, here’s a list of activities you can try out in Wells Gray Park:

  • Visit Helmcken Falls: They’re the most famous and among the most beautiful in western Canada. Easily accessible in 10 minutes on foot from the parking area and located in a stunning natural setting, this is a must-visit spot in Wells Gray.
  • Check out the other waterfalls not to miss: Bailey’s Chute where you can watch salmon swim upstream; Spahat Falls, and Dawson Falls . Wells Gray is famous as “the waterfalls park” for a reason!
  • Take a dip or canoe on Clearwater Lake
  • Hike one of the many trails. The Trophy Mountain trail takes you to Sheila Lake through stunning landscapes and beautiful flowery meadows.
  • Observe the local black bears.

Voyage Tips - Advice

When you arrive in Clearwater, swing by the Visitor Center to get a park map. It’s super handy for planning your day.

To reach Clearwater Lake, it’s highly recommended to rent an SUV since there’s no proper road, only a 26 km trail. Using a regular rental car might be a bit of a hassle and could take much longer. An SUV will ensure a smoother and more enjoyable journey to this stunning destination!

Where to stay in Wells Gray Park

Just a heads up – the park’s hotels aren’t necessarily the most up-to-date and some may have slightly dated decor or facilities. But for a brief stopover, they’ll do just fine.

And in any case, there aren’t many other solutions.

  • Wells Gray Inn: Located at the park entrance. Basic but clean double rooms from €60 per night, breakfast at €10. Strong points: location, outdoor hot tub, friendly reception. An economical and convenient hotel for a night in the park.
  • Ace Western Motel: Located 4 km from the park. Double rooms from €120 per night. Strong points: friendly staff, parking space, close to restaurants.
  • Best Western Plus Gateway to the Falls: Brand new hotel situated in the heart of Clearwater. Modern, spacious, and comfortable rooms starting at €180, breakfast included. Strong points: great location, comfort, free parking.
Wells Gray Park Helmcken Falls
Wells Gray Park Helmcken Falls

4) Jasper National Park (2 days)

Exploring Canada in 10 days means making sure you stop by the famous Jasper National Park, an iconic spot in western Canada and a proud part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

From Wells Gray Park, prepare yourself for a solid 4-hour drive to get there. Just before arriving in Jasper, take a breather at Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.

You’ll probably arrive by early afternoon, and for the rest of the day, I suggest you check out Jasper’s two most beautiful lakes.

Maligne Lake is about an hour’s drive from Jasper town. It’s the largest lake in the Rockies and Spirit Island in the middle is one of the most photographed in the world. You can stroll around the lake or take advantage of the opportunity to go on a cruise on the lake.

I highly recommend booking this boat trip in advance to ensure a spot (this applies to all Jasper activities). Just hit that green button below:

On the way back between Maligne Lake and Jasper, you’ll find Medicine Lake, the second must-see lake in Jasper National Park.

Spend the night in Jasper, the only “town” in the park where you’ll find shops, restaurants, and hotels.

The following day, dedicate a full day to exploring the national park on foot. After spending yesterday in the car and with another driving day coming up, I recommend you get in a bit of hiking! Jasper is the perfect spot for this, offering a plethora of trails suitable for all levels. Visit the visitor center to grab a map.

Among the most popular hikes, I recommend:

  • The Maligne Canyon Trail: round-trip distance is 4.4 km with moderate difficulty
  • The Cavell Meadows Trail in the Mount Edith Cavell area: round-trip distance of 7 km, moderate difficulty
  • The Sulphur Skyline: 8 km round-trip with a hard level because it’s a steep climb of 700 m. And to top it all off, prepare to be blown away by the breathtaking 360° view of the Rockies!
  • The Old Fort Point Loop offers superb panoramas of the Athabasca River: distance of 3.8 km with medium difficulty
  • The Valley of the Five Lakes: 4.5 km distance and medium difficulty.

And to wrap up the day and relax, there’s nothing like a trip to another must-see spot in Jasper, Miette Hotsprings. In other words, outdoor hot springs! A perfect way to unwind while enjoying a magnificent view of the mountains and the park.

Voyage Tips - Advice

For your second day in the national park, you can also choose other activities (provided you book in advance by clicking the orange links):

Where to Stay in Jasper

Here’s a tip: book your Jasper accommodation ASAP! Most places are fully booked months in advance, even the campgrounds.

Also, prices can fluctuate wildly from week to week: a room that costs 120€ one week could skyrocket to 350€ the next. So, the hotel prices I’m suggesting are more or less ballpark figures.

  • Chateau Jasper: This hotel offers spacious, well-equipped double rooms starting from €110 a night. Strong points: the pool and SPA area, room comfort, value for money.
  • Mount Robson Inn: A hotel close to downtown Jasper, just a two-minute drive away. Super quiet double room with mountain views starting from €200 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: tranquility, the two hot tubs.
  • Best Western Jasper Inn & Suites: The hotel offers various types of suites with a living area, some with a kitchenette. They’re all super cozy and spacious. Prices start at €230 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: sauna, steam room, pool, good location, warm welcome.
  • Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge: Situated 7 km from Jasper, on the shores of Beauvert Lake. Cozy, comfortable double room starting from €400 per night. Strong points: the stunning lakeside location, the heated outdoor pool, the dedicated and attentive staff.

If you’re on a tight budget for sleeping in Jasper National Park, I recommend the Jasper Downtown Hostel. This hostel offers dormitory beds from 30€ a night. Everything is super clean and modern.

Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park

5) Banff National Park (2 days)

For this 5th step of your 10-day journey in Canada, take the legendary western Canadian route, the Icefield Parkway.

The Icefield Parkway (Highway 93) is known to be one of Canada’s most beautiful scenic routes. It allows you to connect Jasper and Banff over nearly 230 km through the two national parks.

I advise you to allocate a full day for the journey. There are indeed plenty of spots and viewpoints to admire along the way. Parking lots and belvederes are conveniently located for easy stops.

The must-sees during your journey on the Icefield Parkway:

  • Visit the Athabasca Falls, which are over 20 meters high
  • Stop at Sunwapta Falls
  • Discover the Athabasca Glacier and the Columbia Icefield.

If you can only make one stop on the Icefield Parkway, make it this one. You’ll be able to hop on a giant tire-equipped bus called the Ice Explorer, which will take you onto the glacier.

The visit also includes access to the glass walkway that overlooks the glacier from 279 meters high.

It’s one of the most popular activities in the region and good news, you can book it by clicking on the button below:

If you don’t wish to take the glacier bus tour, you can also directly access the observation walkway. Tickets can be booked by clicking here!

Last stop on the road: Lake Peyto, accessible via a 15-minute stroll. You’ll be amazed by its turquoise waters, a result of glacier melt.

To ensure you don’t miss any points of interest, check out the Icefield Parkway website.

Icefields Parkway
The Icefields Parkway

As the day comes to a close, you’ve reached the end of Route 93. For tonight and the next, I recommend you stay at Lake Louise, the town closest to the lake that gives it its name: Lake Louise. This lake is in Banff National Park and is among the most photographed lakes in the world. With its intense turquoise blue, the lake is simply stunning and ultra-photogenic.

On tomorrow’s agenda, you can engage in the most common activity in the park, hiking! Many hiking trails start from Lake Louise and also from Moraine Lake, Banff’s other famous lake. You can get the leaflet of all the hikes at the visitor center located in the Lake Louise village.

Among the list of easy trails, I highly recommend the one that takes you around Lake Louise in about an hour. It’s a perfect opportunity to stretch your legs and immerse yourself in the scenic beauty of this iconic lake. You can also hike up to the Fairview lookout, in only 45 minutes to admire the lake and the iconic hotel in the background. Following the same principle, you can also circle Moraine Lake in 45 minutes.

When it comes to medium difficulty hikes, the most beautiful one undoubtedly is that of the Plain of Six Glaciers. This roughly 4-hour hike lets you discover a series of impressive glaciers and peaks.

To check the trail conditions and see all the possible hikes, visit Parks Canada’s website.

The park also offers most of these hikes guided and in small groups. You’ll have a choice of 4 trails of varying difficulties such as Stanley Glacier or the Plain of Six Glaciers.

To book a guided hike in Banff Park, click here:

During this day, you can also:

Voyage Tips - Advice

My tips and tricks for best organizing your hiking day in Banff Park:

1) Both Lake Louise and Moraine Lake have parking lots. However, spots are limited and during the tourist season (June to September), it’s advised to get there before 9 AM if you want your spot.

2) Once the parking spots at Moraine Lake are filled, the road is blocked off and you won’t be able to access it anymore. Remember, it’s only open from May to October.

3) Starting from Lake Louise (the village), a free shuttle takes you to Lake Louise (the actual lake). Shuttles rotate roughly every 20 minutes until 6 p.m. for the return trip.

4) Bears are quite common in Banff Park, so always carry bear spray and make noise when walking so they can hear you coming. It’s always better to move in groups.

To avoid these minor traffic or parking issues, you can also choose the hop-on, hop-off bus that stops at Johnston Canyon, Lake Louise, and Moraine Lake. Hop on and off whenever you want!

The guides will be happy to help you plan your day according to the schedule.

Staying in Lake Louise / Banff National Park

Here, I’m going to echo my advice for Jasper National Park: book early! And, similarly, brace yourself for the high prices.

  • Baker Creek Mountain Resort: Located a breezy 20-minute drive from Lake Louise. This resort offers suites and chalets bedecked in classic mountain style, complete with wood paneling and fireplaces, starting from €280 a night.
    Strong points: the riverside location, the natural setting, the charm of the chalets. My recommandation for a romantic stay in Banff Park!
  • Paradise Lodge and Bungalows: Situated 1 km from Lake Louise village. Wooden suites and bungalows that are both typical and cozy, starting from €300 a night. Strong points: the ideal location, the beautiful setting, and the outstanding welcome.
  • Fairmont Château Lake Louise: This is the renowned hotel located by Lake Louise! Elegant and well-decorated double rooms with views of the lake or the chateau park starting from €470 a night. Strong points: the panoramic terrace for lake viewing, the location, the warm staff. The best hotel in Banff National Park for a luxury stay!

For a much more budget-friendly option, consider a night in a hostel. I’d recommend the HI-Lake Louise Alpine Centre. Dormitory beds start at €40 a night – you’ll be hard-pressed to find cheaper! They also offer double rooms starting from €100 a night.

Fairmont Hotel Lake Louise
Fairmont Hotel Lake Louise – The best hotel in Banff

6) Calgary (1 day)

You’re now at the last stop of this 10-day journey through Canada. Today, you’ll be leaving Banff National Park to head to Calgary. A roughly 2-hour drive from Lake Louise awaits you.

Calgary is often a stopover city at the start or end of a road trip in western Canada. However, it’s worth taking a detour to check out the main points of interest.

To explore Calgary in 1 day, I suggest you visit the Glenbow Museum. This is the perfect way to learn more about the history of the city and Alberta region. With its 33,000 works, the Glenbow is nothing less than the largest art museum in Western Canada. The visit is genuinely fascinating.

Next, head over to the Calgary Tower, the city’s iconic landmark. The tower provides a 360° view of the entire city and a section of the Canadian Rockies. With a glass floor, you’re in for quite a thrill nearly 190 meters high! Just like its iconic counterparts in Toronto or Vancouver, you can indulge in a scrumptious lunch at the revolving restaurant situated at the top.

To skip the queue, I recommend purchasing your Calgary Tower ticket online by clicking the green button below:

Calgary Canada
The city of Calgary by night

In the afternoon, I recommend you visit Heritage Park Village. Walk around a typical western Canadian village from the last century. Embark on a journey to explore the shops, the blacksmith’s, the bakery, and uncover the fascinating ways of life from times gone by. Take a ride on a genuine steam train or embark on a cruise on a paddle steamer.

If you’re spending 10 days in Canada with family, this is a fantastic activity to do in Calgary!

Here too, tickets are available directly online by clicking here!

In the late afternoon, head to Calgary’s coolest neighborhood: Kensington Village. Take the opportunity to do some shopping and pick up last-minute souvenirs. This is also where I recommend having your evening meal, as it’s home to some of Calgary’s best restaurants.

To organize your day in Calgary, take a look at my article: Visiting Calgary: the top 10 must-sees!

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you’re lucky enough to have an extra day and are visiting Canada for 11 days:

  • You can add an extra day around Vancouver to go whale watching or visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge, the most famous attraction near Vancouver.
  • Another option: if you prefer nature over city, add an extra day in Jasper or Banff Park for hiking.

Where to stay in Calgary

  • Wicked Hostels: This youth hostel is located opposite the Calgary Stampede. Bunk in a dorm from €25, breakfast included. Strong points: the central location, the full breakfast, the warm atmosphere, and free laundry. This is a fantastic budget-friendly accommodation choice in Calgary!
  • Coast Calgary Downtown Hotel & Suites by APA: Located right in the city center, 900m from Calgary Tower. Cozy and comfortable studio with kitchen from €130 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the central location, the full breakfast, the cleanliness. It’s my favorite for its value for money in Calgary!
  • Grey Eagle Resort: Located a 10-minute drive from the city center. Modern and comfortable double room starting at €160 per night. Strong points: the indoor swimming pool, the room size, the hospitality.
  • Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown/Beltline District: Located 800m from the tower. Modern, spacious, and fully decorated studio with kitchen, from €210, breakfast included. Strong points: the abundant breakfast, the view from the rooms, the location.
  • Hôtel Le Germain: The hotel is located right opposite the Calgary Tower, ideal for exploring the city on foot. Modern and spacious double room from €250 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: exceptional hotel with attentive staff, delicious breakfast, comfortable rooms, the size of the bathrooms. The best hotel in Calgary for a luxury stay!

Feel free to give me your feedback and suggestions on my 10-day itinerary in Canada! And if you need help planning your trip, simply ask me your questions in the comments section below.

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Canada itinerary 10 days
Canada itinerary 10 days

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

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