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Why visit Canada for your first solo trip? Well, why NOT visit Canada is the more reasonable question.
After all, Canada is an absolutely massive country that is home to diverse landscapes, cities, attractions, people, food, you name it. Canada is the gift that keeps on giving.
So, unless you have a year (or more!) to spare to a road trip, you won’t be able to see everything on a solo trip to Canada. As for me, I personally have traveled to Canada (alone and with family) more times than I can count, and I know I have several beautiful trips in my future.
Canada is easy to love. Really.
However, as solo travelers, we all know this is a blessing and a curse, because most of us don’t have endless time to travel. Since Canada has so many world class cities and national parks, deciding where to go is challenging. Especially if you’re anything like me and want to experience a lot, and feel overwhelmed by the many possibilities.
And if this is your first solo travel, then, of course, you want it to feel extra special. I get it.
Personally, I love solo travel to Canada and truly believe that you’ll have a great trip no matter where you feet land. But I still have a couple suggestion for your first solo trip to Canada.
8 First Time Solo Female Travel Destinations Canada
In this guide, I compiled some of my most memorable solo trips to inspire you for your big adventure. Obviously, this isn’t a comprehensive list, and the more I visit Canada, the more destinations that I will add for your reading pleasure (sorry, I know that doesn’t help you narrow down your choices).
As always, feel to reach out to me for more solo travel guidance. Happy reading!
Banff National Park, Alberta
Banff is one of the most beautiful and famous parks in all of Canada. You can easily spend anywhere from 3 days in Banff to two weeks. Banff’s crystal lakes (seriously, the water looks photoshopped and deceptively warm) and endless mountains make this area an essential part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Furthermore, Banff is an exciting destination year round with plenty of seasonal workers coming from all over the world to add international flair (and fun!) to this national park. In winter, skiing and other winter sports are abundant, whereas in summer, you can go on hikes, kayak in the lakes, practice nature photography, and so much more!
As a solo traveler, you’ll feel safe and welcome in Banff, as long as you exercise normal precautions and respect nature’s power in addition to its beauty.
Where to Stay in Banff
- HI Banff Alpine Centre: Looking for a fun hostel to stay in? Then check out HI Banff Alpine Centre. This is a laid-back, lounge style hostel that is only a five minute drive from the town of Banff. See prices on Booking.com and Expedia.com.
- Moose Hotel and Suites: For travelers who want to splash out and aren’t as concerned with their budget. This hotel offers both comfort and elegance with mountain views. See prices on Booking.com and Expedia.com.
Bay of Fundy Roadtrip, New Brunswick
The Bay of Fundy is an absolutely gorgeous road trip that you can take as a solo traveler in New Brunswick Canada. Seriously, you’ll fall in love with the lush natural beauty and your camera will have quite a work out!
You’ll have to feel comfortable driving your own car if you want to take a Bay of Fundy trip. I know that sounds overwhelming for solo travelers, but I promise that New Brunswick’s roads and traffic are very manageable.
Safety isn’t an issue either. Like, at all. Even alone, you’ll feel very safe kayaking at Hopewell Rocks, stopping at jaw-dropping view points on the Bay of Fundy Parkway, hiking mystical trails at Fundy National Park, eating lobster dinners in small villages, and so much more!
A Bay of Fundy Roadtrip is, without a doubt, one of the best places to visit alone in Canada for the first time.
Where to Stay in the Bay of Fundy
- Alma: In the little village of Alma, Parkland Village Inn is one of the best places to stay due its proximity to Fundy National Park and Cape Enrage.
- St. Martins: Who doesn’t love a cozy “home away from home” feeling on their solo travels? In St. Martins, Beach Street Inn is the perfect option for you. And if you want dinner or breakfast, their restaurant is superb too!
- St. Stephen: One of the most popular resort towns in all of New Brunswick! The Algonquin Resort has all of the bells and whistles, as well as an extensive history. You can even do a ghost tour!
Kingston is the former capital of Canada and an easy weekend trip from Toronto or Ottawa. As a solo traveler, I adored Kingston due to its rich history, social tolerance, thriving university, and many activities such as guided ghost tours and Thousand Island cruise tours.
Since Kingston is a smaller city, everyone was super friendly and welcoming, and even as a woman traveling alone, I never felt unsafe or overwhelmed here!
In addition to being a great place to explore the Thousand Islands, Kingston is also home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a historic (if not slightly terrifying) prison.
If you want to visit a Canadian city that’s a little more “off the beaten path,” then I highly recommend going to Kingston and having a great time! And don’t forget to do a “hop on, hop off” trolley tour! The tourism infrastructure makes it super easy to see the historically significant sites without the burden of your own rental car.
Where to Stay in Kingston
Kingston is a destination where you’re able to “splash out” and indulge as a solo traveler. Why? This city has a ton of classy and beautiful historic inns.
In particular, I absolutely loved Frontenac Club, which is located inside a gorgeous old bank and only a two minute walk from Lake Ontario. God, Frontenac Club’s twenty rooms are so, so, so beautiful and breakfast is well-made and refreshing. Not to be missed. See prices on Expedia.com.
Montreal is a very, very, very fun city. Solo travel in Montreal should actually go on everyone’s bucket list, because of the delicious food, lively sports (go to a hockey game!!), wild nightlife, beautiful natural surroundings, and so much more.
Montreal embodies the perfect combination of “old” and new” in a single city. For example, you can start your trip wandering the ancient cobblestone streets of Vieux-Montréal and pop into the city’s most iconic and historic cathedrals, and then hit up a swanky jazz club or wild music festival.
Lastly, Montreal is a great destination if you want to fly to Europe, but don’t necessarily have the time to take a long flight to France or Belgium. Montreal is the second largest French speaking city after Paris. Cool, huh?
And don’t forget to wander McGill’s campus! This college campus is so gorgeous, and I loved experiencing it all for myself.
Where to Stay in Montreal
- Le Petit Hotel: This boutique hotel is great if you’re a traveler who wants a taste of home. You’ll be based right in Old Montreal close to all the most important sites, too. This hotel is described feeling like a private retreat rather than basic travel accommodation. See prices on Booking.com and Expedia.com.
- M Montreal: This highly rated and social hostel is perfect for younger visitors who want to explore the city with some new international friends! It’s clean and centrally located, and has a good free breakfast for travelers. You can also opt for a private room if you want a little privacy. See prices on Booking.com and Expedia.com.
St. John, New Brunswick
St. John is a unique destination to visit, especially since it is the only city on the Bay of Fundy.
In addition to the Bay of Fundy, St. John is a very cool city to visit in its own right. For example, it is home to the Reversing Falls Rapids, which is the only reversing falls of its kind in North America (I loved seeing the water go backwards).
Furthermore, St. John’s historic buildings have been converted to a wide variety of galleries, microbrews, restaurants, and boutiques. A solo traveler is more than welcome at any bar in the city. Seriously, I talked for hours with the people I met in St. John!
Outdoorsy solo travelers will also love Irving Nature Park, just a short drive from the Uptown area, and will make you feel as if you’re hundreds of miles from the city.
Where to Stay in St. John
For a practical hotel option, check out Hilton Saint John that is located right next to Market Square. You will have plenty of restaurants and shops in walking distance, which is perfect for a solo traveler. You might also have views of the harbor from your room! So pretty!
Quebec City, Quebec
Solo travel in Quebec City is one of a kind. Seriously, Quebec City is one of my favorite cities in the entire world, and I especially recommend it to new solo travelers who might feel nervous venturing on their own for the first time.
As a destination, Quebec City is compact and walkable with many incredible art galleries, cute historic streets, and top-notch restaurants. Seriously, Quebec City is one of the best foodie destinations in all of Canada, and as a result, is very worthy of a solo trip.
Quebec City is also the only walled city in North America and boosts a 400 year history. There is so much to see and do and learn in Quebec City that it won’t take you long to plan your next visit.
Where to Stay in Quebec City
- Auberge Internationale de Quebec: This adorable hostel is located right in the middle of Old Quebec. You’re only a nine minute walk from the Citadelle, which is amazing for visitors who are on a budget. See prices on Booking.com and Expedia.com.
- Hotel Le Priori: If you want to splurge a bit, check out this hotel located on one of the oldest streets in Quebec City. You’ll be surrounded by boutiques and art galleries, so this area is a shoppers’ paradise. And the breakfast? One of the best I’ve ever experienced at a hotel! See prices on Booking.com and Expedia.com.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver is one of my favorite cities in Canada. So, unsurprisingly, Vancouver is also obviously brimming with great things to see and do for solo travelers.
Unlike other parts of Canada, Vancouver has a very temperate climate, and although it rains a lot, sunny days in Vancouver are absolutely glorious, especially for spending an afternoon in Stanley Park.
As a city, Vancouver has a very strong tourism infrastructure, which makes it easy to book yourself on walking tours, super delicious food tours, organized day trips to Vancouver’s surrounding natural beauty, and so much more!
Solo travel in Vancouver is delightful for seeing world-class museums or eating top-notch sushi or hiking in the mountains.
Where to Stay in Vancouver
- Samesun Vancouver Hostel: For younger travelers, you will want to check out Samesun Vancouver. This hostel is only a 20 minute walk from Granville Island and 30 minutes from Stanley Park. You will also enjoy a full bar, because, seriously, who doesn’t love that option?
- L’Hermitage Hotel: Want to enjoy a swanky solo trip to Vancouver? L’Hermitage Hotel has luxurious rooms and travelers can relax in the garden patio. Plus it’s very close to Vancouver City Center’s Sky Train.
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Last but not least, I recommend going to Vancouver Island as another first time solo travel destination in Canada. You will experience coasts, mountains, and rainforest in one gorgeous destination. Vancouver Island offers endless opportunities for hiking, surfing, and kayaking, and as a solo traveler, you’ll be able to find plenty of fun activities to do outdoors; some of them are even free!
Honestly, as a solo traveler, I loved unwinding in the hot springs in the temperate rainforests on Vancouver Island. I felt as if I were worlds away from my problems. Furthermore, Vancouver Island is a great destination for whale watching tours. I saw so many whales, which gave me even more respect for nature’s beauty and power.
Lastly, even if you’re not an experienced outdoorsy traveler, you can still enjoy a city experience in Victoria. Trust me when I say that Vancouver Island has something for literally everyone, making it one of the best destinations for solo travel in Canada, particularly for newer travelers.
Where to Stay on Vancouver Island
- Ocean Island Inn in Victoria: Victoria is the largest city on Vancouver Island and overlooks the water. This city is a great place to base yourself on the island, especially if you want to take guided tours. Ocean Island Inn is an affordable hostel that will connect you with other travelers. See prices on Booking.com and Expedia.com.
- Tofino Motel Harborview: For a quieter experience, go to the surfing town of Tofino and stay at Motel Harborview. Each room has a balcony and features work by local artists. See prices on Booking.com and Expedia.com.
Essentials for First Time Solo Female Travel in Canada
I hope you have some wonderful ideas for your upcoming first time travels to Canada! To wrap things up, I wanted to include a quick list of all the essentials that you ought to bring on your memorable travels here.
- Battery-Power Charger: You don’t want to lose access to phone on your first solo trip, especially if you rely on maps for directions. Have a battery-power charger to keep your phone going all day long. You’ll thank me later.
- Lightweight Day Pack: I love day packs for solo travel. Tumi’s lightweight day pack will allow you to carry everything without feeling like you have a bulky pile of fabric weighing on your shoulders.
- Lonely Planet Canada: Lonely Planet writes my favorite guidebooks of all time. So, if you still aren’t sure where to go, then grab a Lonely Planet Canada guide to determine the best place for you to travel alone in Canada for the first time!
- Microfiber Towel: As a solo traveler, you might opt to stay in hostels. However, not everyone wants to rent their own towels, so I suggest packing a microfiber towel for your trip. You can also use it for picnics in the park and a trip to the beach!
- Mirrorless Camera: If you want a more power camera than your phones, I absolutely recommend investing in a Sony Mirrorless camera. It’s compact and easy to carry, and takes professional photos that you’ll want to share with friends and family.
- Travel Insurance: As an international traveler, it’s always smart to buy travel insurance ahead of time, especially considering that your home country’s health insurance may not cover you in the Canada. Universal healthcare only applies to citizens and permanent residents.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite first time solo female travel destinations in Canada! It’s truly a magnificent country that I will forever hold in my heart! Have a great trip.