- Capital: Ottawa
- Form of government: Parliamentary monarchy
- Population: 36,503,097
- Emergency call: 911
- Country code: +1
- Electrical voltage: 120 V
Canada is located on the North American continent. With an area of 9,984,670 km², it is the second largest country in the world , which means that it falls into 6 different time zones. The country is characterized by its vast uninhabited natural areas, which take up almost 70% of the area. The biggest attractions include Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains and Niagara Falls on the border with the United States.
The culture is shaped by the European immigrants , most of them came from Great Britain, France and Ireland. In the last few decades there have also been large flows of immigrants from Asia, the Caribbean and Africa. The immigrants brought their traditions with them to their new homeland and kept them, including food, language, stories, holidays and sports. For example, the Chinese New Year festival is celebrated in Vancouer and the Caribana parade in Toronto.
The largest cities in Canada are, besides the capital, Ottawa , Toronto, Vancouver, Montréal and Quebec. There are also eighteen UNESCO World Heritage Sites. To make your trip to Canada an unforgettable experience, we have summarized the most important information in our travel guide.
General information about Canada
Canada is the second largest country in the world and has an area of 9,984,670 km². The country stretches on the North American continent between the Atlantic in the east, the Pacific in the west and northwards to the Arctic Ocean. It borders the United States in the south and northwest.
Canada has 6 different time zones. Depending on where you are, the time difference can be 4½ hours or up to 9 hours. The time difference to Ottawa, Toronto and Montréal is 6 hours, to Calgary 8 hours and to Vancouver and Victoria even 9 hours.
Climate and travel times
Since Canada is very large, it has a variety of different climates. There is a polar climate, a maritime climate, a continental climate and a cool, temperate climate with correspondingly very different amounts of precipitation and average temperatures.
The best travel time for Canada is difficult to define due to the different climates. In the north of Canada it can be as cold as -40 degrees Celsius in winter. In summer, however, temperatures of up to 30 degrees are to be expected. The Okanagan Wine Valley is one of the warmest regions in all of Canada, located in the state of British Columbia.
- Climate table (Ottawa)
- Climate table (Vancouver)
|Maximum temperature||-4 °||-2 °||3 °||12 °||20 °||26 °||27 °||27 °||22 °||15 °||7 °||-1 °|
|Minimum temperature||-14 °||-13 °||-8 °||1 °||7 °||13 °||15 °||14 °||9 °||3 °||-3 °||-10 °|
|Hours of sunshine||2h||1h||3h||4h||5h||5h||6h||6h||5h||3h||4h||1h|
Travel preparations for Canada
All travelers without a visa requirement must apply for an online-based travel permit, the “eTA” (Electronic Travel Authorization) , before starting their journey . We recommend completing the application up to 72 hours before departure. In the case of later registrations, timely processing of the application by the Canadian authorities can no longer be guaranteed. The cost is 7 CAD per person. The “eTA” is valid for 5 years.
A valid passport, an email address and a credit card (Mastercard, Visa, American Express) are required to pay the fee. The online form is currently only available in English or French. However, there is a German manual.
The currency in Canada is the Canadian dollar (CAD, symbol: $).
One Canadian dollar is 100 cents. There are 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 dollar bills and 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 cents and 1 and 2 dollar coins. There used to be a $ 1,000 bill, but it was withdrawn, but is still an official means of payment.
How much you get for one euro depends on the current exchange rate and can fluctuate a bit from time to time. Click here for the currency converter .
Canada has a very good health system with adequate medical facilities and trained specialists. The supply of medicines is good. Special drugs from Germany can also be taken into the country on presentation of the prescription.
The hospital fees for foreign visitors are calculated either according to daily rates or according to illness and the length of the hospital stay, but are very high. Before you travel, you should therefore clarify whether your health insurance cover also covers non-European countries or whether you should take out appropriate travel health insurance.
TIP: Pay by credit card, take the bill with you and later hand it in to the insurance company at home. Saves you and the hospital staff a lot of time and stress!
The West Nile fever season begins in June. This flu-like virus disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. Since the disease can lead to serious complications, special protection against mosquitoes is recommended during this time. Otherwise, the standard vaccinations are sufficient for a trip to Canada. With the exception of meningitis vaccination (vaccination against meningitis). This is one of the standard vaccinations in Canada and is also recommended.
Interesting facts about Canada
If you plan to camp in Canada, be aware that wild camping is forbidden in the national parks and not so popular in more densely populated areas. You should also watch out for wild bears. All food should be stowed in the car so that it is odor-proof or hung at least 4 m high on a tree.
Canada has a sales tax of 5%, plus regional taxes of up to 8%. All products are priced without taxes, these are only added when they are sold. All prices on menus are also without taxes!
The purchase and consumption of alcohol is from 19 years of age (exception: 18 years in Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec). Drinking alcohol in public is strictly prohibited. Alcohol may only be consumed in the licensed restaurants or at home.
Tips + tricks
Just like in the USA, tips are not included in Canada, so around 15 percent of the invoice amount is given as a “tip”.
You can get a coffee for € 1.50-2.00 and a beer for € 3.00-5.00. So don’t get ripped off!