1 week in Canada: Epic 6-7-8 Day Itinerary (First Time Visit)


One week in Canada: Which Itinerary for 6, 7 or 8 Days?

You’re planning a 1 week 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 a week in Canada. You will discover some of the best places to visit in the country!

Get ready for cities like Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, and famous tourist attractions such as the Thousand Islands and the iconic Niagara Falls.

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 in Canada in a week? Where to stay?

1) Montreal (1 Day)

To visit eastern Canada in a week, you’ll start in Montreal, the perfect place to kick off your road trip.

Depending on when your flight lands and how tired you are, you can either:

  • Pick up your rental car and head straight to bed to be well-rested for the start of your adventure the next day
  • Or drop your bags at the hotel and start exploring Montreal!

For car rental, you should use Booking.com Cars for three reasons:

  • Their website lets you compare prices between different rental companies. This will definitely help you save some cash!
  • They offer a “full coverage” insurance option that’s much cheaper than those of the rental companies. Perfect for traveling worry-free.
  • Cancellations are often free, which is handy if you change your mind.

Planning to rent a car? If you know your travel dates, I suggest you compare rates and rent your car as soon as possible for the best deal. Click here to compare prices!

If you want to do some sightseeing in Montreal, discover the main points of interest and tourist attractions, I recommend starting with a visit to Old Montreal.

You’ll get to see the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal the Bonsecours Market, the Clock Tower Quay and Jacques-Cartier Square.

Then, continue with a stroll along the Old Port by the St. Lawrence River. It’s a fantastic place for a walk!

For the end of the day, head over to Mount Royal Lookout located in the park of the same name. You’ll have a breathtaking view of all of Montreal!

Mount Royal - The best view of Montreal
Mount Royal – The best view of Montreal

And for dinner, immerse yourself in Canadian culture by tasting the typical dish: poutine!

Make your way to La Banquise, a restaurant completely devoted to this beloved national dish, offering an extensive and delectable selection. La Banquise is nestled in the heart of the Mount Royal district, providing you with the perfect chance to explore this charming neighborhood, adorned with spiral-staircased houses and vibrant facades.

If you want to organize your own itinerary to visit Montreal in one day, have a look at my article: Top 33 Must-Do Activities in Montreal!

There, you’ll find all the things to do and see in the city. All you’ll need to do is pick based on your interests (Cultural tours, parks, shopping..).

Voyage Tips - Advice

You can also add a few activities to this itinerary. All you have to do is click on the orange links for more information:

Where to stay in Montreal

  • M Montreal: A youth hostel just a 5-minute walk away from Berri Uquam metro station on Sainte Catherine street. You can grab a bed in a modern, cozy dorm for just 25€ a night, breakfast included. You can also book a double room if you prefer. Strong points: Super friendly staff, modern facilities, basement bar with occasional live performances. A fantastic choice for budget-friendly accommodations in Montreal!
  • Best Western Plus Hotel Montreal: Located in the bustling Quartier des Spectacles. You can book a warm, spacious double room starting from €150 per night. Strong points: Perfect location for exploring Montreal, clean and comfy beds.
  • Le Dauphin Montréal Centre-Ville:: Just 200 meters away from the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal and a 5-minute walk from the Old Port. Double rooms starting from €170, breakfast included. Strong points: Great location, spacious rooms, and large beds.
  • Le Petit Hotel Montreal:: Located in the historical center of Montreal. Rooms with character (think stone walls and exposed brick) starting from €250, breakfast included. Strong points: Excellent service, a delicious breakfast, and the charming ambiance of the hotel.
  • Le St-Martin Hotel Centre-ville – Hotel Particulier:: Just 50 meters away from Saint Catherine West Street. Stylish, cozy double rooms starting from €290. Strong points: An enchanting pool with waterfalls and jets, delightful staff, prime location, and comfort. My recommendation for a high-end stay in Montreal!
  • Hôtel Birks Montréal: Located in the city center, this 5-star hotel offers beautifully decorated rooms starting from €500, with breakfast at an additional €19. Strong points: Prime location, beautiful architecture, friendly staff, and a luxurious spa. The best hotel in Montreal for a luxury stay!

2) The Thousand Islands (1 day)

The next day, things start getting serious on this one-week journey through Canada. Head to the Thousand Islands, located halfway between Montreal and Toronto! It’s the perfect pit stop to break up the drive and also enjoy the beautiful natural landscapes of Canada.

To get to the Thousand Islands from Montreal, it’s about a 3-hour drive.

The must-do tourist activity at the Thousand Islands is to take a boat cruise (around the Thousand Islands, of course!). Cruises depart from the towns of Rockport, Gananoque, or Kingston.

Cruises are available from May to October.

In any case, the boats can carry around 50 people. If you’re looking for a more intimate experience, you can also book a private boat just for you. Yep, as expected, it’s a bit more expensive. But trust me, the experience is totally worth it!

During the cruise, you’ll navigate among some of the 1,865 islands! All of them are different: varying in size, inhabited or not; cabins, luxury houses, and even a castle have been built on them.

Thousand Islands
The Thousand Islands

The castle located on Boldt Island has a unique story. Billionaire George Boldt had it built for his wife, but she died before it was completed. For over 70 years the castle was abandoned until the Thousand Islands Corporation bought it for a token euro. Nowadays, it’s a tourist attraction that you can visit.

The landscapes are truly breathtaking, and the cruise is very enjoyable. A true moment of relaxation during a 7-8 day stay in Eastern Canada.

To book your 3-hour cruise around the Thousand Islands, just click the button below:

The same cruise also comes in a shorter 1.5-hour version:

If your budget is a little higher, you also have the option to fly over the Thousand Islands in a helicopter!

You can book this activity by clicking on the button below:

Accommodation in the Thousand Islands

  • Howard Johnson Gananoque: A motel located 1.5 km from the cruise departure point. Spacious and comfortable double room starting from €70 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: location, outdoor swimming pool, cleanliness, comfortable bedding, good breakfast, free parking. It’s my favorite for its excellent value for money!
  • Comfort Inn & Suites Thousand Islands Harbour District: Located a 5-minute walk from the boat departure point. Comfortable double room starting from €100 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: indoor swimming pool, free parking, breakfast, quality of service, location.
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites 1000 Islands: Located 2 km from the cruise departure point. Modern and cozy double room starting from €150 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: indoor swimming pool, sauna, room comfort, good breakfast, tranquility.

3) Toronto (3 days)

Our third stop in this one-week itinerary through Canada takes us onward to Toronto. From the Thousand Islands, it’s a smooth 2.5-hour drive.

Once you hit Toronto, kickstart your exploration with a dive into the city’s main neighbourhoods:

  • Kensington Market, the bohemian district and one of the oldest in Toronto. This place is a massive hit with Street Art enthusiasts.
  • Chinatown, Toronto’s Chinese neighborhood, is your best bet for the city’s most affordable souvenirs. So, time to stock up on those magnets and mugs!
  • The Distillery District, a historical area transformed into a vast pedestrian zone. Filled with unique shops, art galleries, and hip cafés, it’s Toronto’s trendiest neighborhood.

When lunchtime rolls around, make your way to the St. Lawrence Market. This indoor market, over 200 years old, offers the chance to savor amazing local products. You can eat right there at the available tables. It’s a particularly welcoming and warm spot you have to check out.

For the afternoon, we’re off to meet the marine mammals at Ripley’s Aquarium. This is a must-visit in Toronto, being Canada’s largest aquarium home to over 16,000 creatures. Here, you’ll get to walk through an underwater tunnel, and touch rays and even sharks.

I must confess, I’m usually not the biggest fan of such activities, but this one is interactive and well-put-together. If you’re visiting Toronto with family, your kids are sure to love it, too!

To dodge the lines, I’d recommend booking your tickets in advance by clicking on the button below:

As the day winds down, I suggest heading up the CN Tower, Toronto’s iconic attraction. A panoramic elevator will whisk you up to 346 meters in a mere 58 seconds!

Here, you can walk on a transparent glass floor and marvel at the breathtaking panoramic views of the entire city. The experience is truly awe-inspiring! The best time to go up is at sunset.

For adrenaline junkies and thrill-seekers, why not try out the EdgeWalk? Safely harnessed, you’ll get to walk along the tower’s outer edge, just a mere 1.5 meters wide! Just a heads up, this little scare will cost you a pretty penny – $225 (even the price is scary)! 😝 )

Finally, to end your day on a romantic note, consider dining at the CN Tower’s restaurant. The restaurant actually rotates during your meal, so you’ll enjoy a full 360-degree view of Toronto.

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you want to dig deeper into the city’s history, consider booking a guided tour of Toronto. Tours are available for all the major neighborhoods I just mentioned:

CN Tower
The CN Tower

For the following day in Toronto on this week-long Canadian trip, we’re heading to a rather unusual place: Casa Loma.

Casa Loma is an authentic medieval-style castle, an uncommon sight in Canada! Back in the day, a wealthy industrialist went all out with a whimsical $3.5 million splurge. Talk about living large! It should be noted that he quickly went bankrupt and didn’t get to enjoy it for long (poor chap…).

You can explore the many rooms of the castle, but the highlight is the view it offers from the top of the towers, simply one of Toronto’s finest.

The 2-hectare garden of Casa Loma is also a delight to stroll around, with its fountains, sculptures, and floral arrangements.

You can purchase your Casa Loma ticket right here:

The rest of the day in Toronto calls for a cultural expedition to the Royal Ontario Museum, the country’s largest museum. With its part old-stone architecture and glass and aluminum structure, you can’t miss it. Entrance tickets available by clicking here!

The museum covers various subjects from First Nations history to world cultures and natural history. They’ve got a whole area just for dinosaur fossils! And as the big kid that I am, I have to say, it’s the absolute best part of the museum!

Next, to escape the city bustle and enjoy some greenery, I suggest you spend the afternoon on Toronto’s islands.

You’ll need to catch a ferry from Queens Quay, which takes just about 10 minutes. The ride gives you one of the best views of Toronto’s skyline. You’ve got to see it at night when it’s all lit up – even more stunning!

As the islands are car-free, I’d recommend renting a bike to explore. It’s peaceful and serene, with plenty of beaches to swim or relax and a lovely collection of 1920s holiday homes that are quite a sight.

If you’d rather, you could also go for a boat tour to see all the islands:

Not bad for a two-day itinerary in Toronto, right?

Don’t hesitate to check out my dedicated article on Toronto for more details on the city’s must-visit spots: Top 17 things to do in Toronto!

Voyage Tips - Advice
To visit Toronto, purchase the City Pass Toronto right here. It covers entry to CN Tower, the Royal Museum, Ripley’s Aquarium, Casa Loma and even more attractions. Plus, it means skipping those pesky queues!
Casa Loma Toronto
Casa Loma in Toronto

As you continue your 6, 7, or 8-day adventure in Canada, don’t miss Ontario’s iconic attraction, the Niagara Falls! They’re just a 1.5-hour drive from Toronto.

Niagara Falls are truly magnificent, a must-see when in Canada! The best and certainly most spectacular way to view them is by taking a cruise at the foot of the Falls. Dressed in your stunning poncho, you’ll get up close and personal with Niagara Falls and end up thoroughly soaked (but all in good fun).

Remember to book your tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line:

After the cruise, you could also go up the Skylon Tower and take in the falls from the panoramic terrace. Tickets can be booked right here!

The “Journey Behind The Falls” activity (click here to book your tickets) also allows you to reach an observation deck, but this time it’s located at the foot of the falls, via tunnels, 40 meters underground.

And if you want to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I recommend flying over the falls in a helicopter. If ever there was a place worth breaking the bank for, this is it. It’s a splurge you’ll remember forever, trust me!

When it comes to the city of Niagara Falls itself, don’t sweat about hanging around there too long. If you’re up for it, take a stroll down Clifton Hill, a street chock-full of attractions ranging from a wax museum to a haunted house. It’s worth a peek just to appreciate the cheesiness of it all!

For the rest of the day, hop onto the Niagara Parkway, a road hugging the Niagara River, stretching between Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The region is famous for its vineyards and the road offers gorgeous river views. You’ll eventually land in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a quaint and utterly charming village with its blooming narrow streets and period houses. What a day!

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you’d rather not bother driving in the big city, consider opting for a day-long organized tour.

I’d point you towards GetYourGuide. It’s the easiest way to enjoy the day without any stress – everything’s sorted. 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!

Book in advance by clicking on the green button below:

Where to stay in Toronto

It’s not so easy to find a hotel that offers good value for money in Toronto. To help you out, I’ve prepared a list of the best hotels depending on your budget.

One last tip: If the place you’re attracted to is available, book it right away. Demand is very high in the city, and the best accommodations disappear (very) quickly!

  • The Clarence Park: This youth hostel is located a 10-minute walk from the CN Tower. Dormitory bed from €35 per night. Strong points: the location, the conviviality, curtains for dormitory beds, modernity. An excellent choice for budget accommodation in Toronto!
  • Margie Townhome Suites: This guesthouse is located a 5-minute walk from the Eaton Centre. Cozy and pleasant rooms starting from €110. Strong points: the location, the calm, proximity to the metro.
  • The Novotel Toronto Centre: Located right next to St. Lawrence Market. Contemporary and very spacious double rooms starting from €150. Strong points: indoor pool, location, excellent breakfast.
  • One King West Hotel and Residence: Nestled in Old Toronto, a mere 5-minute walk from the St. Lawrence Market. This joint boasts modern, spacious and elegant suites, complete with stunning city views, starting from €190, with a breakfast option at €17. Strong points: Prime downtown location, top-notch bedding, and the breathtaking views.
  • The Omni King Edward Hotel: For anyone looking to treat themselves during their Toronto escapade. This upscale hotel resides in the financial district, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Eaton Centre. Cosy double rooms with tasteful décor start from €300, with breakfast at an extra €23. Strong points: prime location, attentive staff, room décor, and comfort, as well as an excellent breakfast. A perfect choice for a luxury stay in Toronto or a romantic night with your partner!
  • Bisha Hotel Toronto: A 5-star hotel just 500m from the CN Tower. This establishment boasts superb rooms designed by none other than star Lenny Kravitz’s designer studio. Starting at a cool €390. Strong points: the infinity pool on the rooftop with views of the CN Tower, the hotel’s excellent restaurants, and an ideal location. The best hotel in Toronto for a luxury stay!

You may have noticed, staying in downtown Toronto isn’t exactly cheap, but that’s to be expected given it’s a bustling Canadian tourist hub.

If you’re looking to save a bit and don’t mind staying a bit further out, hotels near the Toronto Airport (about 17km from downtown) generally offer lower rates.

Here are a few suggestions:

Niagara Falls
The Niagara Falls

4) Ottawa (1 day)

After spending three days exploring Toronto and the Niagara Falls, continue your week-long Canadian road trip by heading towards Ottawa. Can you imagine touring Canada in a week and skipping its capital? Unthinkable!

Be prepared for a full morning of driving, roughly 4 hours and 15 minutes. It’s the longest leg of the trip, so I’d advise you to head out early in the morning so you can make it to Ottawa by lunchtime.

Speaking of lunch, make your way to the Byward Market. Here you can grab a quick bite from the delectable local produce, or sit down at one of the many restaurants in the area. For dessert, try the Beaver Tail, a traditional Canadian pastry that’ll rock your world.

Since the market is right next to Parliament Hill, the city’s main tourist attraction, you can continue your day by admiring the stunning site. All the Canadian Parliament buildings are nestled on this hill.

Next, I’d highly recommend a visit to one of the best and most fascinating museums in Canada, the Canadian Museum of History. To me, it’s the ultimate must-do cultural activity in Ottawa . Don’t forget to grab your tickets ahead of time by clicking here!

The museum details the history of Canada from the First Nations onwards. This is where you’ll find the world’s largest collection of totem poles! It’s a well-curated and fascinating museum. To fully explore and appreciate its grandeur, you’ll need at least 3 hours.

As the day winds down, head to the Rideau Canal for a stroll along the banks of this UNESCO World Heritage site. And if you’re visiting Ottawa in winter, grab your skates! The Rideau Canal transforms into the world’s largest natural ice rink!

To uncover all the places of interest in Ottawa, check out my article: Best things to do and see in Ottawa!

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you’re not up for walking, there are several ways to discover Ottawa (click the orange links to book):

Where to stay in Ottawa

While Ottawa may be the capital of Canada, it’s still a small city.

So, the selection of accommodations is somewhat limited. You should book a room from my selection in advance and not to dally too long.

  • HI Ottawa Jail Hostel : This youth hostel is housed in a restored old jail. You’ll be sleeping in upgraded cells (I assure you!) Dorm bed from €30, breakfast included. Strong points: the uniqueness of the place, excellent location, and delicious breakfast. A great affordable choice for lodging in Ottawa!
  • The Business Inn: Hotel located 1.3km from Parliament Hill. Well-equipped studio with a kitchen starting from €100 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: prime location, spacious rooms, an in-room computer with printer, and the ability to cook for yourself. My absolute favorite for its unbeatable value for money in Ottawa!
  • Andaz Ottawa Byward Market-a concept by Hyatt: Located in the Byward Market neighborhood. Double room with modern and sleek decor from €190 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: great location, friendly staff, rooftop terrace, and an extensive and varied breakfast buffet.
  • Fairmont Château Laurier: 5-star hotel (the only one in Ottawa) located a 10-minute walk from Parliament Hill. Spacious and comfortable double room from €365 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: high-quality services, room comfort, indoor swimming pool, attentive and helpful staff. The best hotel in Ottawa for a luxury stay!
Colline du Parlement - Ottawa
Parliament-Hill – Ottawa

5) Mont-Tremblant (1 day)

For the fifth and penultimate stop on your week-long journey through Eastern Canada, head over to Mont-Tremblant. The drive from Ottawa takes roughly 1 hour and 50 minutes.

On the way, I’d recommend making a pit stop to explore Omega Park, located in Montebello, about 50 minutes from Ottawa. Got kids with you? Here’s the perfect family activity! At Omega Park, you can discover Canadian wildlife from the comfort of your car. It’s amazing! The animals roam freely, so you can feed and observe them up close. A fantastic experience!

By early afternoon, you should be reaching Mont-Tremblant. The best way to discover Mont-Tremblant is to go hiking in the park. One of the most accessible trails is La Roche and La Corniche.

You can also take part in water sports on the lake (in summer) or skiing (in winter). If you’re lucky enough to take this week-long Canadian road trip in the fall, you’ll be dazzled by the vibrant colors of the trees! And don’t forget to take a walk around the cute pedestrian village.

Voyage Tips - Advice

There are also 3 other super cool activities that I’d recommend trying out at Mont-Tremblant (depending on the season):

Where to stay in Mont-Tremblant

  • Auberge Manitonga Mont-Tremblant: This cozy youth hostel is only a 5-minute drive from Mont-Tremblant village and a 10-minute bus ride. Dormitory bed from €30 per night. Strong points: Great value for money, nearby lake, warm welcome, and pleasant surroundings. A fantastic budget-friendly choice in Mont-Tremblant!
  • Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Mont Tremblant: Located a 5-minute drive from the village center. Spacious and inviting double rooms from €100 per night, including breakfast. Strong points: Indoor pool, room size and comfort, free parking, friendly staff. It’s my favorite for its value for money in Mont-Tremblant!
  • Château Beauvallon: Situated 10 min away from Mont-Tremblant. Well-equipped suite with balcony and kitchenette from €125 per night. Strong points: Indoor and heated outdoor pools, tranquility, shuttle service to Mont-Tremblant.
  • Le Grand Lodge Mont-Tremblant: This hotel is located on the shores of Lake Ouimet.
    Comfortable and spacious double rooms from €170 per night, breakfast at €17. Strong points: Stunning lake views, location, indoor pool, spa, the all-wood hotel style with fireplace in the rooms.
  • Fairmont Tremblant Hotel: This luxury hotel is nestled at the foot of Mont-Tremblant, right next door to the pedestrian village. Comfy double rooms starting at €300 per night, with breakfast for €30. Strong points: all the perks of a 5*, the location, heated pools, top-notch service, stunning facilities. The best hotel in Mont-Tremblant for a luxury stay!
Canadian fall at Mont Tremblant

6) Back to Montreal (1 day)

All good things must come to an end, and today’s final leg of your 7-8 day Eastern Canadian journey brings you back to your starting point: Montreal.

The drive from Mont-Tremblant will take about an hour and a half. Depending on your return flight, you can head straight to the airport or choose to explore Montreal a bit more!

Don’t hesitate to check out my article for more ideas on what to do and see in Montreal: Top 33 places to visit in Montreal!

Voyage Tips - Advice

7 days in Canada

If you’ve only got 7 days in Eastern Canada, you can adapt this itinerary and skip the 5th stop at Mont-Tremblant. The 7th day will be dedicated to driving from Ottawa to Montreal: a 2 hour and 10 minute ride.

If you need help to plan your one week itinerary in Canada, don’t hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments section below.

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.

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Canada 6 7 8 days itinerary
Canada 6 7 8 days itinerary

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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