Toronto welcomes millions of travelers from around the globe each year. It’s an eclectic city where visitors can take in historic landmarks and world-famous attractions by day, and experience an ever-evolving and diverse food scene by night. Bursting with activity year-round, Toronto should be on everyone’s list for a fun-filled vacation.
In a city so large, it can be difficult to know where to start. To help, we’ve narrowed it down to some of the best things to do and places to eat, so you can plan the perfect itinerary. Whether you choose a modern apartment downtown or a charming rental on the outskirts is up to you, but your trip to Toronto won’t be complete without a visit to the following places…
Where to eat in Toronto:
Canada’s largest city, and one of the world’s most diverse, is home to an enviable restaurant scene; a melting pot of cuisines from countries near and far. Mexican, Nepalese, Ethiopian, Greek, Jamaican, Polish, Korean, Thai, Sri Lankan…it’s all here and more. FlipKey recommends:
Boralia: See for yourself why travelers have described Boralia’s food as “one of the best meals of my life.” The menu is inspired by century-old dishes from Canada’s early settlers and immigrants, as well as traditional First Nations fare. Snack on red fife levain bread before splitting small plates of venison liver, cured trout and pigeon pie.
Campagnolo: Campagnolo is known for serving comfort food with an upscale flair. Small groups can pull up a seat at the bar to witness the chefs cooking up-close-and-personal. If you’re with a larger party, reserve the Chef’s Table and feast on a five-course meal handpicked just for you.
Colette Grand Cafe: Decadent French cuisine, impeccable style and an unparalleled dining experience is what you can expect at Colette Grand Cafe. Order the signature Tour de Colette to start and sample a variety of fish and shellfish, or jump straight to the mouthwatering duck confit for your main course.
El Catrin: If you’re craving something spicy, El Catrin is the place for you. Serving up authentic Mexican cuisine for brunch (weekends), lunch and dinner, this trendy spot is always a fabulous choice. From tacos and burritos to ceviches and small plates, El Catrin has something for everyone. Authentic Mexican food, an amazing atmosphere and attentive service are just some of the reasons travelers return again and again.
St. Lawrence Market: Crowds of people fill the aisles of the St. Lawrence Market each week to shop and sample the local fare. The market features over 120 specialty vendors offering everything from fresh produce to delicious baked goods. Whether you’re looking for a light snack or a quick meal, you’re sure to find it here.
What to see in Toronto:
From renowned museums to hip breweries, a trip to Toronto is always full of surprises. Explore the city on foot to get the lay of the land and make sure to look out for the following top attractions.
Casa Loma: Situated on a hilltop overlooking the Toronto skyline, this majestic castle has served as the setting for a variety of film, TV and commercial shoots. Today, more than 350,000 people visit each year to tour the magnificent landmark. The $25 admission fee includes a self-guided audio tour and access to the castle’s spectacular suites, secret passages, 5-acre gardens and more.
Royal Ontario Museum: Set aside several hours to explore the halls of the Royal Ontario Museum. It contains a permanent collection of over six million objects and is packed with exhibits featuring incredible art, world cultures and natural history. Highlights include notable dinosaur collections and galleries that tell the story of Canada’s earliest societies.
Steam Whistle: Steam Whistle prides itself in brewing only one beer: an award-winning Pilsner. Visit the brewery for a tour and a taste of “Canada’s Premium Pilsner,” which pairs perfectly with a fresh-baked pretzel from the bar. Book a tour during the week or drop in on the weekend and learn the ins and outs of brewing from some of Canada’s best.
CN Tower: You can’t miss the CN Tower…literally. At more than 1,800 feet tall, it’s one of the tallest buildings in the world and features prominently in Toronto’s skyline. Take the elevator to the top for unparalleled views from the observation deck or take in the sights over dinner at 360 The Restaurant. If you’re feeling daring, buy a ticket to walk along the tower’s edge.
Hockey Hall of Fame: Test your prowess as a hockey fan at the Hockey Hall of Fame. The museum and half of fame offers fun for all ages. Learn about the sport’s legendary players, go one-on-one with animated versions of today’s players and view an unrivaled collection of photos, statistics, memorabilia and more.
What to experience in Toronto:
If you’d rather experience a new city than simply observe it then these activities are for you. and sail around the lake, or retreat to the spa—the choice is yours!
CityPASS: With Toronto’s CityPASS, you’ll gain access to some of the city’s best attractions while saving time and money. It’ll even allow you to skip the main lines at some places! The pass is valid for nine consecutive days from your first day of use, giving you plenty of time to explore at your own pace.
Elmwood Spa: From soothing massages to tranquil water treatments, Elmwood Spa is the place to go to escape the whir of city life. It’s located in downtown Toronto and offers an immaculate setting for utter relaxation. Book a lavish spa treatment and indulge yourself.
Tasty Tours Toronto: Steer clear of tourist traps, and uncover the best local spots in Toronto. With Tasty Tours, you can choose to discover the city’s top chocolate shops or make the rounds at Kensington Market. Your mouth will water as you sample sweet and savory treats over the course of three hours. Tours typically aren’t offered during the winter months, so plan ahead and look forward to experiencing Toronto with your own personal guide.
Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival: Whether you’re a filmmaker or just love a good movie, the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival is a must-see every spring. This year, the event takes place from April 27 through May 7 and over 200 films will be shown. It’s the largest documentary film festival in North America and totally worth the trip to Toronto.
Pirate Life Toronto: Join the crew and become a buccaneer for a day with Pirate Life Toronto! From May until October, the sailing adventure takes people on a hunt for sunken treasure around Centre Island. It’s an ideal outdoor activity for families with young children.
Catch a game: Root, root, root for the home team. Cheer on the Blue Jays play at Rogers Centre, or get rowdy at the Air Canada Centre during a Maple Leafs home game. Whether you prefer hockey or baseball, Toronto has a phenomenal sports scene and some of the most loyal fans.
Attend a Food Festival: Think a weekend isn’t enough time to sample all of Toronto’s cuisine? Think again. Attending a food festival is a great way to get a taste of all things Toronto. Set in Woodbine Park, the annual Toronto Food Truck Festival offers fabulous food, cold beer, live entertainment and exciting eating challenges. Admission is free, so you can save your money for the food samples. In June, buy a ticket to Taste of Toronto to have access to four days of exquisite eating and drinking. Time your trip wisely to attend one of the city’s popular festivals.