9 Spectacular Places In Canada That Will Make You Feel Like You’re Experiencing Winter In Europe
Talk about magical! 🎄💫
If you've been dreaming of leaving this country behind for a whimsical winter trip overseas, look no further. These places in Canada look just like Europe and they'll transport you to iconic international destinations like Paris, Iceland and Ireland — no long-haul flight required!
Whether you want to sip hot chocolate in Switzerland, take in the magnificent glacial fjords of Norway or experience the holidays in England Love Actually-style, a little slice of authentic European paradise is truly never too far away.
So, pack your bags and gather your family, call your besties, or get ready to convince your lover, because a dreamy international adventure has never felt so close to home.
Address: Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Go: Head to Montreal this winter for a little taste of Paris around every corner.
The French language, greystone architecture, authentic bistros, cobbled streets and iconic cathedrals will easily convince you that you're in France, especially during the festive period.
To really get lost in this magical Parisian dreamland, check out the city's Euro-inspired Christmas markets, sip on rich hot chocolate, and indulge in every French-inspired pastry you can get your hands on.
Address: Victoria, BC
Why You Need To Go: For a little bit of Britain this winter, how about a trip to Victoria, B.C.?
You can spot elements of England everywhere you look here, from the historic museums and classic architecture to the horse-drawn carriages and Christmas cocktails inside warm, cozy pubs.
The best part is, you don't even need to catch a long-haul flight to the U.K. to experience a taste of British life.
Gros Morne, Newfoundland and Labrador
Address: Gros Morne National Park, NL
Why You Need To Go: A visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site feels like a trip to Iceland or Norway, thanks to its steep, towering mountains and deep, glacial fjords.
The winding waterways, waterfalls, glacial valleys and even crystal clear lakes means this spot has vistas to rival those of its European counterparts — without the need for an expensive plane ticket. Just don't forget your camera!
Address: Churchill, MB
Why You Need To Go: Could anything be as magical as spending the holidays in Norway? If you can't get halfway across the world to see the real deal, how about the next best thing — Churchill, in Manitoba?
Both spots are considered among the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights and the Canadian option is even known as the "polar bear capital of the world."
If you're a lover of all things nature-inspired and whimsical, add this to your holiday bucket list ASAP.
Quebec City, Quebec
Address: Quebec City, QC
Why You Need To Go: Quebec City's distinct French identity, authentic cuisine, cobblestone streets and gorgeous, historic buildings make it a wintry slice of European paradise, located right here at home in Canada.
Seeing the Notre-Dame de Québec and the Château Frontenac during the holidays will surely be a memorable experience, and the city's iconic German Christmas Market will add even more Euro-inspired charm to your trip.
Address: Banff, Banff National Park, AB
Why You Need To Go: If there is one place that may just be more dreamy than Switzerland at Christmas, it could be Banff, Alberta.
This tiny Canadian town pretty much explodes with festive magic every year and features a holiday market, horse-drawn carriages, countless sparkling lights and decorations, and even a hot chocolate trail.
Banff National Park's snow-capped peaks, endless hiking trails and teeny-tiny mountainside towns will give you enough Swiss vibes to transport you overseas instantly — no passport required.
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
Address: St. John's, NL
Why You Need To Go: The dark and cozy winter season in the colourful fishing village of St. John's will make you feel like you're celebrating the holidays all the way across the Atlantic, in Ireland.
Here, you'll find ocean views, countless seafood restaurants and even terrible weather, just like its European counterpart!
Celebrate Christmas here by observing the 20-year-old tradition of lighting up the harbour in Port de Grave. During this unique and memorable event, local fishers decorate their boats with many thousands of colourful lights, while the community sings Silent Night and other festive tunes. Sounds pretty bucket list-worthy, right?
Address: Whistler, BC
Why You Need To Go: The dreamy B.C. town of Whistler wouldn't be out of place across the Atlantic in Europe, especially during the winter season.
This quaint and tourist-friendly spot has a likeness of ski resorts in places like France, Switzerland and Austria, and is a hotspot for visitors — both local and international — all year round.
That said, it's especially wonderful during the holidays as you can enjoy world-renowned slopes, snowy mountain vistas, ice skating, horse-drawn sleigh rides and luxurious spas. What more could anybody wish for at Christmas?
Mont Tremblant, Quebec
Address: Mont Tremblant, QC
Why You Need To Go: If you're looking for a sparkling slice of snowy paradise, look no further than Quebec's Mont Tremblant.
Considered by some to be the best place in Eastern Canada to ski and snowboard, this spot will instantly transport you to resorts in Switzerland, Italy and France ...all at once.
Amping up the European vibes even more, the nearby Nordic spa will make sure you don't miss out on any relaxation time, either.
What are you waiting for?
This story has been updated since it was originally published in November 2021.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.