It’s time to plan your visit to Montréal! Here’s what you need to know

The information below was last updated on September 25, 2023.

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Welcome back to the city you know and love

Following a thorough, thoughtful and determined response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Montréal is back in action on its many cultural and commercial fronts. The city has opened its arms to all in a manner that is mindful of health and well-being while remaining accessible and exciting in all the ways visitors have come to know and love.

Indeed, the province of Québec prides itself on being one of the safest destinations anywhere in the world. And now is the time to take full advantage of that legendary hospitality as we get back to making the most of what Montréal has to offer!

Basic rules and tips for optimizing your trip

While Montréal is open for business (and, of course, pleasure), there are still a few essential things visitors need to know to ensure a smooth, stress-free travel experience.

Travelling to Montréal

  • Good news! All   COVID-19 border measures have been lifted, and a ll international travellers are now eligible to enter Canada, regardless of citizenship
  • If you’re planning a road trip to Montréal from the US, be sure to read our  comprehensive guide to making a great drive even greater .
  • If you’re planning to drive from the Toronto region, don’t load the car before reading these  essential road trip pro tips .

Once you’ve arrived in Montréal

  • If the lively Montréal that visitors discover on arrival seems almost exactly like the vibrant, pre-pandemic version of itself, that’s because it is.

Official information sources

For specific questions regarding guidelines and government regulations, or about travel to and within Montréal, we recommend consulting these sites for official, up-to-date information.    

  • Government of Canada:  travel and borders   
  • YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport:  guidelines for arrivals and departures   
  • Canada Border Services Agency:  travel advisories, border measures   
  • Ville de Montréal:  current situation in Montréal   
  • Société de transport de Montréal (STM):  guidelines for public transit   
  • VIA Rail: train travel, service status   

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Here's what you need to know about the latest Quebec curfew and other restrictions

New restrictions are now in place in Quebec to curb the spread of COVID-19 including a curfew that goes from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The tough health restrictions imposed Thursday by the Quebec government to curb the outbreak of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 are now in effect.

An emergency alert was sent to Quebecers cell phones and TVs Friday evening regarding the curfew.

montreal canada travel restrictions

Some opposition MNAs were unimpressed with the use of the alert.

"Yeah, we know," wrote Liberal MNA Gregory Kelley on Twitter. "Thanks for the reminder after being reminded all day."

Yeah, we know. Thanks for the reminder after being reminded all day. pic.twitter.com/WJRYFcAIzC

"The panicky Amber Alert from the government on our telephones and televisions, to remind us of a curfew that we already know, is disrespectful to Quebecers," wrote PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon. "No need to add to the widespread angst with an alarm intended for kidnappings."

En ce 31 décembre au soir, l’alerte Amber paniquante du gvt sur nos téléphones et téléviseurs, pour nous rappeler un couvre-feu qu’on connait déjà, est irrespectueuse des Québécoises et Québécois. Inutile d’ajouter à l’angoisse généralisée avec une alarme destinée aux enlèvements pic.twitter.com/3Nkz73j2cO

In addition to not being allowed to roam the streets at night, restaurant dining rooms in the province will be closed and indoor sports and gatherings in homes will be prohibited, except for single people who can join another family bubble.

Premier Francois Legault announced the measure Thursday night as new COVID-19 cases continued to break prior record increases.

The curfew will be in effect for an indefinite period of time, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next day.

The following are exceptions to the rule:

  • Anyone who needs to be at work or who is transporting products for business.
  • Those heading to the pharmacy to pick up medication or pharmaceutical, hygienic or sanitary products.
  • Those heading to or returning from a vaccination centre.
  • Students attending in-class evening courses or labs.
  • A parent accompanying a child to the home of their other parent.
  • A person complying with a court judgement or summons to court or to exercise custody rights as a parent.
  • Anyone accompanying someone else to a medical appointment or another essential service.
  • A parent taking their sick child to the hospital.
  • A person going to give blood under Hema-Quebec supervision.
  • A parent accompanying an adolescent child to work.
  • Those experiencing homelessness.

The current list does not include those needing to walk their dogs after curfew, as it did during the curfew imposed in early 2021.

The Montreal police (SPVM) said it is deploying officers to ensure no festivities

"We will check the situation tonight," said SPVM spokesperson Veronique Comtois, adding that officers are ready if any protests should form in response to the curfew order.

Comtois could not say how the force would enforce the rule, as the SPVM has not received the written decree yet.

"When the decree is transmitted to the SPVM, it will be analyzed by the legal affairs department in order to specify the scope of police powers in relation to these new provisions," an SPVM news release reads. "The SPVM wishes to emphasize that a preventive and adapted approach will be favoured for people in vulnerable situations, given the limits associated with legal action in certain circumstances."

The Quebec government said officers can issue fines ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 to those outside after 10 p.m., while youth 14 and under can be fined $500.

BACK-TO-SCHOOL PUSHED BACK

Elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities will remain closed until at least Jan. 17; school daycare services will be open only to the children of workers providing essential services. Places of worship will only hold funerals, with a maximum of 25 participants.

Non-essential commercial establishments will be closed on Sundays, Jan. 2, 9 and 16. 

-- With files from The Canadian Press.

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Latest border and travel measures

This news release may not reflect the current border and travel measures. Check COVID-19: Travel, testing and borders for the latest requirements to enter Canada.

Important notice

Note that information and resources on the coronavirus (COVID-19) are available on Canada.ca. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

Government of Canada introduces further restrictions on international travel

From: Transport Canada

News release

The Government of Canada continues to take unprecedented action to protect the health and safety of Canadians by introducing measures to prevent further introduction and transmission of COVID-19 and new variants of the virus into Canada.

January 29, 2021                    Ottawa             Government of Canada

Today, the Government of Canada announced new rules on international travel, in addition to the multi-layered approach on COVID-19 already in place. The government and Canada’s airlines have agreed to suspend all flights to and from Mexico and Caribbean countries until April 30, 2021. This will be in effect as of January 31, 2021.

Further, effective midnight (11:59 PM EST) February 3, 2021, in addition to proof of a negative pre-departure test, Transport Canada will expand the existing international flight restrictions which funnel scheduled international commercial passenger flights into four Canadian airports: Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport. The new restrictions will include scheduled commercial passenger flights arriving from the United States, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America, which were exempted from the previous restriction. Private/Business and charter flights from all countries will also be required to land at the four airports. Flights from Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and cargo-only flights will remain exempt.

As soon as possible in the coming weeks, all air travellers arriving in Canada, with very limited exceptions, must reserve a room in a Government of Canada-approved hotel for three nights at their own cost, and take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival at their own cost. More details will be available in the coming days.

The Government of Canada will introduce a 72-hour pre-arrival testing requirement (molecular test) for travellers seeking entry in land mode, with limited exceptions such as commercial truckers. In addition, we continue to collaborate with partners in the United States to strengthen our border measures and keep our countries safe.

To ensure travellers’ awareness and compliance with quarantine requirements, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is working with security companies to help complete compliance checks for travellers arriving in Canada. Employees of these companies were trained by PHAC and authorized as Screening Officers under the Quarantine Act . These Screening Officers will visit travellers’ quarantine locations to establish contact, confirm identity and confirm that travellers are at the place of quarantine they identified upon entry into Canada. These new officers will conduct visits in 35 cities across the country, starting in Montréal and Toronto.

“The safety of the travelling public and the transportation industry are top priorities. Our government continues to strongly advise against non-essential travel outside Canada, and has implemented many measures to protect the health of Canadians in our transportation system. The expansion of the flight restrictions is based on decisive, public health rationale from the Public Health Agency of Canada to further protect Canadians from the health impacts of COVID-19.” The Honourable Omar Alghabra Minister of Transport  
“No one should be travelling right now. Each of us has a part in keeping our communities safe, and that means avoiding non-essential travel, which can put you, your loved ones, and your community at risk. The new measures announced today will be an important tool for protecting our communities, and increasing our compliance and enforcement capacity will help us keep all Canadians safe from COVID-19.” The Honourable Patty Hajdu Minister of Health  
“We continue to enhance the already very strong border measures that were put in place since March 2020. Today’s announcement further strengthens these measures and will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are working with provinces, territories and the United States to explore ways to keep us safe while ensuring the flow of essential goods and services remains uninterrupted.” The Honourable Bill Blair Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness  
“As new variants emerge, now more than ever, Canadians should be staying home. For their health and that of their loved ones, Canadians should only be considering travel if it is absolutely essential. With school breaks around the corner, I take this opportunity to remind Canadians that under no circumstance should anyone be planning travel for leisure.” The Honourable Marc Garneau Minister of Foreign Affairs  

Quick facts

Travellers entering Canada have a responsibility to make suitable arrangements for mandatory quarantine, which begins on the day they enter Canada. They are also required to submit COVID-19 related information electronically daily.

Failure to provide accurate information is an offence under the Quarantine Act . In addition, violating any quarantine or isolation instructions provided to travellers by a Screening Officer or quarantine officer when entering Canada is also an offence under the Quarantine Act and could lead to serious penalties, including six months in prison and/or $750,000 in fines.

PHAC currently contacts more than 6,500 travellers each day through phone calls, which verify their compliance with the mandatory isolation order.

As of January 26, 2021, 99% of the 48,682 interventions by law enforcement have resulted in compliance by travellers. However, in a minority of cases, verbal warnings, written warnings, tickets, and charges have been issued.

The Government of Canada is working directly with Aéroports de Montréal to offer voluntary testing on-site at the Montréal-Trudeau International Airport for arriving international travellers who wish to take a test before leaving the airport. This testing pilot project is in addition to those at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and the Calgary International Airport.

Associated links

  • Backgrounder – Transport Canada Expansion of international flight restrictions
  • Backgrounder – New testing and quarantine measures for non-essential international air travel
  • COVID-19 measures, updates, and guidance issued by Transport Canada
  • Travel.gc.ca

For members of the public, questions and information, including general information related to cross-border travel, the Canada Border Services Agency’s (CBSA) Border Information Service (BIS) is available from 6 am to 10 pm (eastern daylight time), 7 days a week. Please visit: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/contact/bis-sif-eng.html for contact information.

For media only:

Allison St-Jean Press Secretary Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra Minister of Transport, Ottawa [email protected] Media Relations Transport Canada, Ottawa 613-993-0055 [email protected] Cole Davidson Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu Minister of Health 613-957-0200

Media Relations Public Health Agency of Canada 613-957-2983 [email protected] Mary-Liz Power Press Secretary Office of the Honourable Bill Blair Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness [email protected] Media Relations Canada Border Services Agency 613-957-6500 [email protected]  

Page details

COVID-19 in Quebec: What you need to know Friday

New covid-19 restrictions, including 10 p.m. curfew, come into effect today.

montreal canada travel restrictions

Social Sharing

  • Quebec reported 16,461 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and 13 new deaths.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 603,068  confirmed cases and 11,724 people have died.
  • There are 1063 people in hospital (an increase of 124 from the previous day), including 151 in intensive care (an increase of 13). 
  • The province has administered 15,277,424 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Friday.
  • 89 per cent of the eligible population in the province (ages five and up) has received one dose of vaccine, 82 per cent has received two doses, and 16 per cent have received three doses.

*Quebec's Health Ministry does not publish the number of vaccines administered on weekends.

Quebec is once again imposing a curfew in an effort to curb the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant, as well as closing restaurant dining rooms, delaying the reopening of schools and closing non-essential businesses on Sundays. 

Indoor gatherings involving more than one household bubble will also be prohibited. The new restrictions will take effect Friday at 5 p.m. 

Premier François Legault also said his government is looking into the possibility of expanding the reach of its vaccine passport so it is required to access more places and stores.

The goal is to protect the unvaccinated against themselves, Legault explained, as they account for only about 10 per cent of the population, but half of hospitalizations. "I understand that there is a certain anger in the population toward the unvaccinated," said Legault, but added there is no question of ceasing their treatment if they end up in hospital.

  • Quebec imposes curfew, closes restaurant dining rooms and further delays return to school

Record number of kids in hospital with COVID-19 

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Quebec, the number of children in hospital with the virus has gone up as well.

But experts are urging parents not to panic, as children are not necessarily in hospital due to a severe case of the virus. 

"A lot of children who are being admitted for other reasons are testing positive for COVID-19 by PCR test at the time of their admission, even though COVID-19 is not the actual cause or reason for them being hospitalized," said Dr. Jesse Papenburg, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Montreal Children's Hospital.

Papenburg attributes the rise in numbers to rampant community transmission of Omicron, and he says it's important to continue to encourage parents and their children to get vaccinated for "protection against severe disease."

As Omicron often presents as a typical winter cold or the flu, experts are advising parents to get their child tested if they have symptoms such as a runny nose or cough, and keep them isolated pending a negative rapid or PCR test. 

Experts are asking parents to use their judgment about the use of emergency departments and are encouraging young people to follow public measures. 

  • Experts urge testing, vaccination as Quebec sees record number of kids in hospital with COVID-19

Total hospitalizations could double within 3 weeks

The province's health-care institute released its latest hospitalization projections Thursday. Models based on data collected between Dec. 18 and 24 show that both the number intensive-care patients and total hospitalizations could double within three weeks. 

Of the new cases confirmed this week, 643 are at high risk of hospitalization, including 191 needing intensive care. Most patients (64 per cent) live in the greater Montreal area, and people age 70 and over represent 49 per cent of hospitalizations.

The number of cases in the province continues to spike, with a 172 per cent increase compared to the previous week. The spike in cases is most noticeable among 18- to 39- year-olds (+298 per cent). 

The strain on the health-care system has led Quebec to create a four-level system determining when health-care workers who have tested positive for the disease can return to work.

  • Here's how Quebec plans to keep some COVID-infected, exposed essential workers on the job

No more rapid tests in Quebec pharmacies

Quebec pharmacies have run out of rapid tests, according to a group representing pharmacist-owners, the Association québécoise des pharmaciens propriétaires . 

The association's president told Radio-Canada that more rapid tests likely won't be available until next week, and when those tests will be delivered has yet to be confirmed. 

"It does not help to contact us to try to get some," said Benoit Morin. "There are none at the moment."

Montreal hotel for homeless population

The city of Montreal has requisitioned a hotel to help alleviate pressure on the health-care network and support community organizations accommodating COVID-19 patients who are experiencing homelessness.  The hotel, run by the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal and the Old Brewery Mission, will offer 111 places to those living with homelessness who have tested positive for COVID-19 and do not need to be hospitalized, as well as those awaiting test results and those in need of a place to self-isolate. 

  • How Montreal is helping its homeless population during fierce Omicron wave

Top COVID-19 stories

  • Quebec's new restrictions have been met with mixed reactions
  • Experts warn outbreaks in Quebec's long-term care homes could get worse before they improve
  • Several Montreal hospitals restrict visitors amid soaring COVID-19 cases
  • What to do if you think you have the Omicron variant

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

  • New or worsening cough. 
  • Difficulty breathing. 
  • Sudden loss of smell without a stuffy nose.
  • Gastrointestinal issues (such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting).
  • Sore throat
  • Generalized muscle pain.
  • Loss of appetite.

If you think you may have COVID-19, the government asks that you call 1‑877‑644‑4545 to schedule an appointment at a screening clinic.  

To reserve an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine, you can go on the online portal quebec.ca/covidvaccine. You can also call 1-877-644-4545.

You can find information on COVID-19 in the province  here  and information on the situation in Montreal  here . 

With files from The Canadian Press and Radio-Canada

Related Stories

  • Quebec shuts down schools, bars, gyms and more as COVID-19 case counts soar
  • Think you have COVID-19 during the Omicron wave? Here's what to do
  • Montreal reinstates state of emergency due to rising cases, Omicron variant
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Travel Advisory July 17, 2023

Canada - level 1: exercise normal precautions.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise normal precautions in Canada.

Read the Country Information page for additional information on travel to Canada.

If you decide to travel to Canada: 

  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook and Twitter .
  • Review the Country Security Report for Canada.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the Traveler’s Checklist .
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.  Exercise normal precautions in Canada.

Embassy Messages

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Not required for stays under 180 days

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Ottawa

490 Sussex Drive Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1G8 Canada Telephone:  +1 (613) 688-5335 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  +1 (613) 238-5335 Fax:  +1 (613) 688-3082 Email:   [email protected]

The Ottawa consular district includes the counties of Kingston, Lanark, Leeds, Prescott, Refrew, Russell, and Stormont in Eastern Ontario, and those parts of the Québec regions of Outaouais and Abitibi-Témiscamingue near Ottawa.

U.S. Consulate General Montreal

1134 Rue Ste- Catherine West Montréal, Quebec H3B 1H4 Canada Telephone:  +1 (514) 398-9695 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  +1 (416) 645-9124 Fax:  +1 (514) 398-9748 Email:  [email protected]

The Montreal consular district includes Greater Montreal and the regions of Southern Quebec Province (Laurentides, Lanaudiere, Laval, Montreal, Montregie, Estrie, and the southern parts of Centre-du-Quebec), including Joliete, Drummondville, and Sherbrooke.

U.S. Consulate General Toronto

360 University Ave Toronto, Ontario M5G 1S4 Canada Telephone:  +1 (416) 595-1700 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  +1 (416) 201-4056 Fax:  +1 (416) 595-5466 Email:  [email protected]

The consular district includes the province of Ontario except for the counties of Kingston, Lanark, Leeds, Prescott, Refrew, Russell, and Stormont, which are served by the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.

U.S. Consulate General Vancouver

1075 West Pender Street Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 2M6 Canada Telephone:  +1 (604) 685-4311 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  +1 (604) 685-4311 Fax:  +1 (604) 685-7175 Email:  [email protected]

The consular district includes British Columbia and the Yukon Territory.

U.S. Consulate General Halifax

Purdy's Wharf Tower II 1969 Upper Water Street, Suite 904 Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3R7 Canada Telephone:  +1 (902) 429-2480 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  +1 (902) 429-2480, Press 1 Email:  [email protected]

The Halifax consular district includes New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and the French islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

U.S. Consulate Winnipeg

201 Portage Avenue, Suite 860 Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 3K6 Canada Telephone:  +1 (204) 940-1800 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  +1 (403) 266-8962 and press "0" for assistance (Consulate General Calgary) Fax:  +1 (204) 940-1809

The Consulate in Winnipeg provides only emergency services for U.S. citizens. Routine services such as visas, passports and notarials are handled at other U.S. Consulates General, primarily Calgary.

U.S. Consulate General Quebec  2, rue de la Terrasse Dufferin (Vieux Quebec, behind Chateau Frontenac) Quebec, Quebec G1R 4T9 Canada Telephone:  +1 (418) 692-2095 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  +1 (418) 692-2096 Fax:  +1 (418) 692-4640 Email:   [email protected]

The consular district includes Quebec City and those regions of Quebec Province to the North and East of the Montreal and Ottawa Districts (indicated above) – to include the area around Saguenay/Lac Saint-Jean, Rimouski and the Gaspé Peninsula – as well as the Territory of Nunavut.

U.S. Consulate General Calgary  615 Macleod Trail S.E., 10th Floor Calgary, Alberta T2G 4T8 Canada Telephone:  +1 (403) 266-8962 Fax:  +1 (403) 264-6630 Email:   [email protected] The consular district includes Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories, excluding Nunavut.

Destination Description

Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

For tourist visits to Canada of less than 180 days, U.S. citizens do not need visas. Other types of travel generally require visas. Visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for current information.

If you have a criminal record, you may be unable to enter Canada. To determine whether you are criminally inadmissible and get information about how to overcome this finding, refer to the  IRCC website .  Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials determine if you can enter Canada in accordance with Canadian law.  

Travel Programs:  Both the U.S. and Canadian governments urge frequent travelers to join the  NEXUS trusted traveler program .

Entry into Canada:  Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada carry proof of citizenship and identity. A valid U.S. passport, passport card, or NEXUS card satisfies these requirements for U.S. citizens.

Children under 16 only need proof of U.S. citizenship.

Entry into the United States:  When traveling by air from Canada, U.S. citizens must present a U.S. passport book or other approved identification document. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website provides a full list of allowable documents.

Travel with Minors:  If you plan to travel to Canada with a minor for whom you do not have full legal custody, CBSA may require a letter of authorization from the minor’s parents or legal guardian(s). Please refer to the  CBSA website  for more details.

Private Boaters Entering Canada:  Canadian law requires all foreign private boaters, including recreational vessels, to present themselves upon their arrival in Canada to the CBSA. See the  CBSA website  for relevant reporting requirements.

Private Boaters Exiting Canada: Boaters may report their arrival to the United States or apply for a registered boater program using the CBP Reporting Offsite Arrival – Mobile (CBP ROAM) app. Please visit the  CBP ROAM webpage for more information.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to Canada. For information on restrictions for HIV positive foreign residents of Canada visit the IRCC website .

Find information on dual nationality , prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

911 is the emergency telephone number in Canada.

Crime: Although Canada generally has a lower crime rate than the United States, violent crimes occur throughout the country, especially in urban areas. Criminals may target parked cars, especially in large cities and popular tourist destination, for opportunistic smash-and-grab thefts. Do not leave unattended possessions in a vehicle, even in the trunk. Some jurisdictions such as Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver may fine you for leaving your car doors unlocked or for leaving valuables in view. Pickpockets may target you, especially in popular tourist areas. Exercise caution. Safeguard yourself and your property.

Demonstrations  occur frequently. They may take place in response to political or economic issues, on politically significant holidays, and during international events. 

  • Demonstrations can be unpredictable, avoid areas around protests and demonstrations. 
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.

While there is a very small likelihood of violence at a political gathering in Canada, we strongly encourage U.S. citizens to avoid all protests and demonstrations and maintain a high level of vigilance and practice good situational awareness when traveling abroad.

International Financial Scams:  See the  Department of State  and the  FBI   pages for information.

Victims of Crime:  U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.  Report crimes to the local police at 911 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +1(613) 688-5335. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .

•    Help you find appropriate medical care

•    Assist you in reporting a crime to the police

•    Contact relatives or friends with your written consent

•    Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion

•    Provide a list of local attorneys

•    Provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.

•    Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution

•    Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home

•    Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulates for assistance.

Tourism: The tourism industry is generally regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. 

Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. If you are considering travel outside of populated areas, particularly in the northern Arctic territories, you need to know that search and rescue capabilities are limited because of extreme isolation and the harsh climate. You must be prepared for significant delays in receiving emergency assistance in these areas and plan accordingly.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance .  

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:  You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Controlled Substances:  Canadian law prohibits possession and trafficking of controlled substances and narcotics, including some substances that may be legal to possess under the law of certain U.S. states. Canada has legalized the personal consumption of recreational cannabis, but Canadian law prohibits taking cannabis across Canada’s national borders . Drug smugglers risk substantial fines, a permanent bar from Canada, and imprisonment.

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See the following webpages for details:

  • Faith-Based Travel Information
  • International Religious Freedom Report – see country reports
  • Human Rights Report – see country reports
  • Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
  • Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad  

Firearms : Canada controls firearms more strictly than the United States. Violation of firearms restrictions may result in prosecution and imprisonment.

Visitors bringing any firearms or ammunition into Canada must declare the firearms in writing using a Non-Resident Firearm Declaration form. If you plan to borrow and use a firearm in Canada, you must obtain a Temporary Firearms Borrowing License in advance. You must present these forms in triplicate and sign them in front of a CBSA officer at the border. (It is not possible to make photocopies at the border). Full details and downloadable forms are available at the Canadian Firearms Program website .

Canadian law requires officials to confiscate firearms, ammunition, and other weapons from persons crossing the border who do not declare having the items in their possession. Officials will not return confiscated firearms, ammunition, and weapons and possession of any of these items may result in your arrest and imprisonment. You should inspect all belongings thoroughly before traveling to Canada to avoid the accidentally importing firearms, ammunition, or other weapons.

LGBTQI+ Travelers:  There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTQI+ events in Canada. See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Pornography: Canada has strict laws concerning child pornography, and in recent years there has been an increase in random checks of electronic media of travelers entering Canada.

Canadian officials may search your computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices without a warrant at the border and illegal content can result in the seizure of the device as well as detention, arrest, and prosecution of the bearer.

Tax Issues:  For information on U.S. Federal tax issues, please refer to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website for international taxpayers .

  • Refer to this link for reporting requirements regarding Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) .
  • Refer to this link for information on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) .
  • Refer to this link for information about the Voluntary Disclosure Practice .

Travelers with Disabilities:  The law in Canada prohibitsdiscrimination against persons with physical or mental disabilities and the law is enforced.  Social acceptance of persons with disabilities in public is as prevalent as in the United States. For more information, visit the Accessibility Standards Canada website .

Students:  See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips .

Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for Women Travelers .

For emergency services in Canada, dial 911 . Ambulance services are widely available.

We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with Health Canada to ensure the medication is legal in Canada.

Healthcare in Canada : The level of public health and sanitation in Canada is high. Adequate health facilities are available throughout Canada.  Canada’s medical care is of a high standard but is government controlled. Access to ongoing medical care is difficult for temporary visitors who are not members of a Canadian province’s government-run health care plan. Many physicians will not take new patients. Specialist care is only by referral and may take months to obtain. Although trauma-care is on par with that in the United States, emergency room waits for non-life threatening problems can be very long. Some health care professionals in the Quebec may only speak French.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals . We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all CDC-recommended vaccinations .

Further health information:

World Health Organization U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Air Quality:  Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery: We strongly recommend supplemental insurance  to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications.

Pharmaceuticals:  U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy:  If you are considering traveling to Canada to have a child through use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) or surrogacy, please see our ART and Surrogacy Abroad page .

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  As in the United States, all emergency assistance in Canada can be reached by dialing 911.

For detailed information on road conditions throughout Canada, as well as links to provincial government websites, please see the Transport Canada website or the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) website. The CAA honors American Automobile Association memberships. Automobile warranties of vehicles purchased in the United States may not be valid in Canada.

Winter travel can be dangerous due to heavy snowfalls and hazardous icy conditions. Some provinces require snow tires. CAA has tips for winter driving . Both winter conditions and wildfires may prompt the sudden closure of highways. Provincial ministries of transport typically post closures and other alerts about road conditions on their websites.

Traffic Laws:  Driving in Canada is similar to driving in many parts of the United States. Distances and speeds, however, are posted in kilometers per hour and some signs, particularly in Québec, may only be in French. U.S. driver’s licenses are valid for visitors in Canada. Proof of auto insurance is required. U.S. auto insurance is accepted  for tourists in Canada. For specific information concerning Canadian driving permits, mandatory insurance, and entry regulations, please contact the Canadian National Tourist Organization .

Some provinces require drivers to keep their vehicles’ headlights on during the day and some have banned driving while using a hand-held cell phone. Motorcycles cannot share a lane, and safety helmets for motorcycle riders and passengers are mandatory.

It is illegal to take automobile radar detectors into Québec, Ontario, Manitoba, the Yukon, or the Northwest Territories, regardless of whether they are used. Police may confiscate radar detectors and impose substantial fines.

Drivers approaching border crossings into the United States may encounter traffic backups. Drivers should be alert, as lane restrictions at border approaches exist for drivers in NEXUS and FAST expedited inspection programs.

Public Transportation: Public transportation options vary across Canada, but all cities and most major towns have a public transit system .

Aviation Safety Oversight:   The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Canada’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Canada’s air carrier operations.  Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page .

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Canada should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts . Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website , and the NGA broadcast warnings .

For additional travel information

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Canada .  For additional IPCA-related information, please see the  International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act ( ICAPRA )  report.

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Check passport expiration dates carefully for all travelers! Children’s passports are issued for 5 years, adult passports for 10 years.

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  • Québec City: Travel Restrictions and COVID-19 Update

Équipe édito

There are no travel restrictions for visitors wishing to explore Québec City and area. We recommend to look for the opening hours of the different establishments before traveling and to book ahead when possible to prepare your stay.

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions in Québec City 

What is open in québec city now .

All the businesses are now open : the attractions , restaurants ,  accommodations and shops are open and ready to receive visitors. Québec City is a safe destination and we look forward to welcoming you!

What is closed in Québec City now? 

All businesses are open. 

What Are the Travel Restrictions in Canada?

Government of Canada has announced the removal of all COVID-19 restrictions for anyone entering Canada, since October 1, 2022.

Please visit the official websites to have the most up to date information. The information on these websites prevails at all times:

  • Information for the province of Québec: Government of Québec’s website  
  • Information for Canada: Government of Canada's website  and its travel section

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No refund for travellers who cancelled flight already scrapped by airline: regulator

In the first months of COVID-19, grounded planes and slashed schedules prompted most carriers to grant passengers travel credit.

Author of the article:

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Four years on, the controversy over whether airlines owed refunds to passengers after cancelling hundreds of thousands of flights during the pandemic continues to simmer, aggravated by a sluggish, opaque complaints process.

In the first months of COVID-19, grounded planes and slashed schedules prompted most carriers to grant passengers travel credit. The airlines claimed they were not obliged to reimburse customers, citing a March 2020 statement from the Canadian Transportation Agency.

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Now, even after regulatory changes that mandate refunds for flights scrapped due to a reason outside airlines’ control — whether it’s a pandemic or a snowstorm — some Canadians still face rejection of long-standing reimbursement requests.

A recent ruling from the regulator found that one couple was not entitled to a refund because they chose to cancel their 2020 booking — for a flight the airline had already cancelled.

In a confidential decision obtained by The Canadian Press, a complaints resolution officer at the agency said the two passengers qualified for no more than a voucher because they cancelled their reservation with WestJet. The officer pointed to the conditions of their ticket.

“Although WestJet announced a route suspension, this does not change the terms and conditions of the ticket when the passenger initiates the cancellation first,” the officer wrote on Dec. 28.

But those conditions — laid out in the company’s policies and posted on its website — stated that in the event of flight disruptions outside the carrier’s control, the customer “will be refunded” in the original form of payment if they turn down an alternate travel route.

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Moreover, then-WestJet CEO Ed Sims had announced a day before the couple called off their late-March trip that the airline would cancel all flights for at least 30 days starting on March 22, 2020, for reasons related to COVID-19.

The couple, who asked to remain unnamed due to legal concerns _ any decision from the agency’s complaint officers is confidential unless both parties agree to its release — described the situation as a “nightmare.”

“How can you cancel a flight that’s cancelled?” one asked.

They are still about $4,000 out of pocket, they said. “To us, that’s no small amount.”

WestJet did not respond to questions about that case.

A drawn-out complaints process has added to travellers’ frustrations.

The couple filed their complaint with the regulator in March 2022, and said they received the decision in January of this year _ a 22-month wait.

The complaints backlog at the transportation agency had grown to about 71,000 as of late April, its highest tally yet.

Withholding refunds was common in the first year or more of the pandemic, a move that garnered backlash from customers. The number of battles still playing out over the issue is tough to discern, since the regulator’s complaint rulings are not public, advocates say.

“It does create a chilling effect of people being afraid to speak openly,” said Gabor Lukacs, president of the Air Passenger Rights advocacy group.

He also accused the agency and the airline of ignoring the facts of the couple’s case.

Refund obligations at the time came down to the conditions attached to the ticket, since airlines were not required to reimburse in force majeure situations until an update to the passenger rights charter in 2022, said transportation agency spokesman Jadrino Huot.

At the outset of the pandemic, regulations “only require that the airline ensure passengers can complete their itineraries,” states an agency post from March 25, 2020. “Some airlines’ tariffs provide for refunds in certain cases, but may have clauses that airlines believe relieve them of such obligations in force majeure situations.”

Several older decisions by the federal agency itself appear to contravene the post, with at least three rulings since 2013 affirming air travellers’ right to a refund regardless of tariff conditions or whether a flight cancellation is beyond the airline’s control.

A 2013 ruling concerning Porter Airlines found that “it is unreasonable for Porter to refuse to refund the fare paid by a passenger because of its cancellation of a flight, even if the cause is an event beyond Porter’s control.” That finding came despite the fact that Porter’s tariff — the airline-passenger contract _ stipulated a no-refund policy for force majeure delays and cancellations.

“Breaching those decisions would be like contempt of court,” Lukacs claimed. Either way, WestJet’s tariff included no such provision, he said.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre said in April 2020 it had received “many complaints from consumers about future cancelled flights and the lack of refunds for these flights.”

To hold on to millions of dollars in fares amounted to a seizure, argued John Lawford, who heads the consumer rights organization.

“When airlines take large sums from consumers for future flights, and do not segregate those funds in trust but instead use them as operating funds, they have effectively taken consumer money for nothing,” he wrote in 2020.

Vouchers are not tantamount to reimbursement, he added. Lawford pointed to older Canadians unlikely to use store credit down the line “for health or financial reasons, or simply due to the uncertainty of future air travel.”

After holding out for more than a year, most airlines began to offer refunds for flights cancelled due to the pandemic as a condition of federal aid packages.

“As the situation evolved, we opened refunds to travellers who were issued a credit due to COVID, whether the booking was cancelled by us or the passenger,” said Andrean Gagne, a spokeswoman for Transat A.T. Inc.

WestJet, which never fell back on federal support, was the first carrier to offer refunds to some passengers in October 2020. But it said those refunds would not apply to customers who cancelled their own trips or who purchased non-refundable basic fares, “in line with its regulatory tariff and booking conditions that were in place pre-COVID” — and in spite of tribunal precedent.

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Are these Canada's best restaurants? Annual top 100 list revealed

montreal canada travel restrictions

From a restaurant offering delightfully surprising dishes with countless twists in its presentation to another being hailed as a culinary oasis with imaginative and exquisite fare, here are Canada's 100 Best Restaurants in 2024.

Canada's 100 Best magazine released its annual list Monday of the top restaurants in the country.

A record-high of 150 voting judges, with 20 new to the magazine, determined what restaurant made the cut. The panel was made up of food-service professionals, culinary fans, restaurateurs, including chefs, and food writers and critics.

Judges assessed restaurants based on the complete dining experience, primarily on food quality, as well as service, décor, and the depth of the wine cellar. Each judge was required to vote for a minimum of three restaurants outside of their home region.

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Montreal's Mon Lapin was the top restaurant out of the 100 in the rankings, while Edulis was the top Toronto restaurant, ranking second overall.

Ottawa failed to crack the top 10, but Riviera was the top in the city at No. 28. River Café was Calgary's highest-ranking restaurant at No. 23.

In Vancouver, Published on Main had the highest spot among the city's restaurants at No. 7.

Halifax saw its eatery Bar Kismet snag the ninth spot.

Here are the top 100 restaurants:

  • No 1: Mon Lapin (Montreal)
  • No. 2: Edulis (Toronto)
  • No. 3: Alo (Toronto)
  • No. 4: 20 Victoria (Toronto)
  • No. 5: Langdon Hall (Cambridge)
  • No. 6: Restaurant Pearl Morisette (Jordan Station)
  • No. 7: Published on Main (Vancouver)
  • No. 8: Beba (Verdun)
  • No. 9: Bar Kismet (Halifax)
  • No. 10: Kissa Tanto (Vancouver)
  • No. 11: Monarque (Montreal)
  • No. 12: Quetzal (Toronto)
  • No. 13: Montréal Plaza (Montreal)
  • No. 14: St. Lawrence (Vancouver)
  • No. 15: Dreyfus (Toronto)
  • No. 16: L'Abattoir (Vancouver)
  • No. 17: Osteria Giulia (Toronto)
  • No. 18: Prime Seafood Palace (Toronto)
  • No. 19: Toque (Montreal)
  • No. 20: AnnaLena (Vancouver)
  • No. 21: Cabaret l’Enfer (Montreal)
  • No. 22: Boulevard (Vancouver)
  • No. 23: River Café (Calgary)
  • No. 24: Canoe (Toronto)
  • No. 25: Eight (Calgary)
  • No. 26: Hexagon (Oakville)
  • No. 27: Marilena (Victoria)
  • No. 28: Riviera (Ottawa)
  • No. 29: Taverne Bernhardt's (Toronto)
  • No. 30: Sushi Masaki Saito (Toronto)
  • No. 31: Wild Blue (Whistler)
  • No. 32: La Cabane d’à Côté (Saint-Benoît de Mirabel)
  • No. 33: Aburi Hana (Toronto)
  • No. 34: Casa Paco (Toronto)
  • No. 35: Mimi Chinese (Toronto)
  • No. 36: Portage (St John's)
  • No. 37: Botanist (Vancouver)
  • No. 38: Sunnys Chinese (Toronto)
  • No. 39: Deer + Almond (Winnipeg)
  • No. 40: The Pine (Creemore)
  • No. 41: Joe Beef (Montreal)
  • No. 42: Maenam (Vancouver)
  • No. 43: Atelier (Ottawa)
  • No. 44: Bar Isabel (Toronto)
  • No. 45: Famiglia Baldassarre (Toronto)
  • No. 46: D.O.P (Calgary)
  • No. 47: Mott 32 (Vancouver)
  • No. 48: La Quercia (Vancouver)
  • No. 49: Sushi Yūgen (Toronto)
  • No. 50: Salle Climatisée (Montreal)
  • No. 51: Au Pied de Cochon (Montreal)
  • No. 52: Major Tom (Calgary)
  • No. 53: L’Express (Montreal)
  • No. 54: Kitano Shokudo (Montreal)
  • No. 55: Paloma (Montreal)
  • No. 56: Nora Gray (Montreal)
  • No. 57: Fogo Island Inn ( Joe Batts Arm)
  • No. 58: Auberge St-Mathieu (St-Mathieu Du Park)
  • No. 59: Masayoshi (Vancouver)
  • No. 60: Tanière3 (Quebec City)
  • No. 61: Lawrence (Montreal)
  • No. 62: Burdock & Co. (Vancouver)
  • No. 63: Bar-St-Denis (Montreal)
  • No. 64: Cioppino’s (Vancouver)
  • No. 65: Pompette (Toronto)
  • No. 66: Giulietta (Toronto)
  • No. 67: Hawksworth (Vancouver)
  • No. 68: Pichai (Montreal)
  • No. 69: Bouillon Bilk (Montreal)
  • No. 70: Actinolite (Toronto)
  • No. 71: Arlo Wine & Restaurant (Ottawa)
  • No. 72: Alma (Montreal)
  • No. 73: Mastard (Montreal)
  • No. 74: Clementine (Winnipeg)
  • No. 75: Supply and Demand (Ottawa)
  • No. 76: Änkôr (Canmore)
  • No. 77: Bar Prima (Toronto)
  • No. 78: Tetsu Sushi Bar (Vancouver)
  • No. 79: Sabayon (Montreal)
  • No. 80: Le Vin Papillon (Montreal)
  • No. 81: Don Alfonso 1890 (Toronto)
  • No. 82: Savio Volpe (Vancouver)
  • No. 83: Foxy (Montreal)
  • No. 84: Gia Vin & Grill (Montreal)
  • No. 85: Oddbird (St. Catharines)
  • No. 86: Elephant (Vancouver)
  • No. 87: Casavant (Montreal)
  • No. 88: Hearth (Saskatoon)
  • No. 89: Arvi (Quebec City)
  • No. 90: Sushi Hil (Vancouver)
  • No. 91: Espace Old Mill (Stanbridge East)
  • No. 92: Yujiro (Winnipeg)
  • No. 93: Liverpool House (Montreal)
  • No. 94: Barberian's (Toronto)
  • No. 95: North & Navy (Ottawa)
  • No. 96: Hoogan et Beaufort (Montreal)
  • No. 97: Buvette Daphnée (Ottawa)
  • No. 98: Le Mousso (Montreal)
  • No. 99: Dailo (Toronto)
  • No. 100: Park (Montreal)

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Best Places to Travel Solo | Money

Traveling exposes us to new places, cultures and people. For many, it’s one of the great joys of life. If you’re an independent spirit looking for safe places to travel by yourself, our guide can be an excellent place to start your research.

Keep reading to learn about our top picks for the best places to travel alone and how to make the most of your trip.

Our Top Picks for Best Places to Travel Solo

  • Barcelona, Spain: Best for first-time solo travelers
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Best for solo backpacking
  • Montreal, Canada: Best for solo female travelers
  • Chicago, Illinois: Best for going on solo travel tours
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia: Best budget solo travel destination

Best Places to Travel Solo Reviews

Best for first-time solo travelers: barcelona, spain.

  • Offers many travel experiences in a single city
  • Easy to get around town without a car
  • Year-round good weather means you can visit in any season
  • More expensive than other options on our list
  • Can get very busy during popular travel times

Why we chose it : Barcelona is a beautiful and historic European city with something for everyone to enjoy. It boasts stunning gothic architecture, sandy beaches, a bustling nightlife and prices that will help you stretch your budget.

Spain is considerably affordable compared to other European countries, and Barcelona is its crown jewel. The city has roots tracing back to the end of the 1st century BCE and beautiful architecture throughout its winding streets, such as Gaudí’s Casa Batlló and his world-famous unfinished church, La Sagrada Familia.

If you tire of exploring Barcelona’s impressive history, gorgeous Barceloneta Beach is just a few minutes away from the city center. And at night, you’ll find plenty of entertainment options, from rooftop bars and clubs to concert venues and flamenco shows.

Barcelona is excellent for first-time solo travelers because its compact layout, wide sidewalks and excellent public transportation makes getting around town without a car a breeze. U.S. travelers can also visit for up to 90 days without a visa . However, Barcelona is more expensive than other options on our list and can be very busy during popular travel times.

Best for solo backpacking: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • Very affordable accommodations, food and attractions
  • Is easy to navigate, with a developed transportation system
  • Has a vibrant expat community
  • U.S. citizens need a tourist visa to visit Vietnam

Why we chose it : Ho Chi Minh City is a bustling and affordable city that offers a wide range of attractions for solo travelers, from inexpensive food and accommodations to an abundance of cultural and historical sites.

Visiting Ho Chi Minh City has become something of a bucket-list item for many backpackers. Its vibrant culture, friendly people and amazing food attract millions of tourists annually. And it’s also one of Vietnam’s safest cities .

Try some of the mouth-watering street food available in pretty much every corner of the city (especially Districts 1, 3 and 5), do some shopping at the Ben Thanh Market, visit the Notre Dame Cathedral or book a tour of the Mekong Delta to learn more about the local flora and fauna.

Getting around is also pretty easy, with many transportation options, from the new metro to buses, taxis and motorbikes. However, one thing to keep in mind is that U.S. citizens need to apply for a Visa before they can be granted entry into Vietnam.

Best for solo female travelers: Montreal, Canada

  • Very safe and walkable city
  • Visitors can stay for up to six months without a Visa
  • Toronto is only five hours away by direct train
  • Not a great option for budget travelers
  • The winter weather can be harsh

Why we chose it : Montreal is one of the safest cities in Canada, and it is only a short flight away for travelers from the U.S. The city has a vibrant art scene, a diverse population and plenty of old-world charm with its mix of classic and modern architecture.

Traveling solo as a woman might cause your loved ones some anxiety. But Montreal is a great place for women to travel alone. The city is safe and offers much to do, from beautiful architecture, such as Notre-Dame Basilica, to artisanal shopping in Old Montreal. And while the population is predominantly French-speaking, many residents also speak English, so you should have no problem communicating.

Visitors from the United States can stay in Montreal for up to six months without a visa. It’s also a good point of departure for exploring the rest of Canada. Trains depart for Toronto several times a day, and the trip is about five hours.

Accommodations in Montreal can be more expensive than in other international destinations, but enrolling in the best hotel rewards programs may help.

Best for going on solo travel tours: Chicago, Illinois

  • You can find many different types of guided tours
  • Has an excellent public transportation system
  • One of the best culinary destinations in the U.S.
  • Weather can be unpleasant if you visit at the wrong time

Why we chose it : Chicago is home to some of the best travel tours in the country. From river cruises to walking food and drink excursions, you’ll have no problem filling your time in the Windy City.

Chicago is one of the best places to travel in the U.S. It’s home to a wide variety of guided tours, covering everything from the city’s mob history to its architecture and natural landmarks. And if you love Chicago dogs or deep-dish pizza, you can take a walking food tour to enjoy some of the city’s best restaurants in a single day.

Chicago is also home to inspiring architecture, such as Willis Tower and Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. The city is a more affordable place to visit than other U.S. cities of its size, including San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. And if you visit in summer, you’ll have perfect weather for relaxing on the beaches of Lake Michigan, located in the heart of the city.

Depending on what you’re looking for, visiting the city between May and October could be your best bet, as winters can be very cold, with average temperatures ranging between 22 F and 37 F.

Best budget solo travel destination: Ljubljana, Slovenia

  • A highly affordable travel destination
  • Easy entrance requirements for U.S. citizens
  • Classic European architecture and dining options
  • Plenty of green spaces to lounge and relax
  • Doesn't have a strong nightlife culture
  • Crowds can be overwhelming during peak travel seasons

Why we chose it : Slovenia is one of the most affordable European countries, and Ljubljana is one of the country’s most beautiful destinations. It’s home to classic European cobblestone streets and its stunning architecture and exhibits can keep you busy for weeks without breaking your budget.

Ljubljana is an affordable European destination with beautiful green spaces and incredible architecture, including the Ljubljana Castle and the Robba Fountain. It’s also highly walkable and pedestrian-friendly, as car traffic is banned in the city center.

Hotels are cheaper here than in more popular destinations such as France or Italy, which is a big reason why Ljubljana is one of the best international places to travel . There are also many great affordable restaurants and open-air cafes.

U.S. citizens can remain in Slovenia for up to 90 days without a visa, making it easy to extend their stay with the money they save.

However, Ljubljana is not known for its nightlife, as many bars close earlier than elsewhere in Europe. Plus, it has become more popular in recent years, and crowds are abundant during peak seasons, especially the summer.

Other places to travel solo we considered

We compiled our list of the best places to travel alone by evaluating global destinations based on safety, affordability, cultural and historical sites and convenience, among other factors.

Although the following destinations didn’t make it into our top list, they’re still worth considering as you plan your travels.

Reykjavik, Iceland

  • Close to beautiful natural landmarks
  • It's possible to see the Northern Lights when conditions allow
  • Home to many museums and several Michelin-starred restaurants
  • More expensive than other popular travel destinations
  • The region's weather can be bleak
  • Long periods of darkness and sunlight can interfere with your sleep schedule

Reykjavik is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with stunning mountains and beaches everywhere you look. However, it’s an expensive destination and experiences prolonged periods of darkness and sunlight that may be difficult to adjust to.

  • Some of the best food in South America
  • Miles of beautiful coastline to explore
  • Friendly locals - many of whom speak at least some English
  • Travelers can suffer from altitude sickness in some popular attractions
  • The city is sprawling, which can increase travel times and make traffic worse

Lima is a beautiful South American destination with picturesque beaches and affordable accommodations. It’s also a foodie’s dream, with a wide variety of tasty local and international restaurants available at budget-friendly prices.

Just remember that traffic congestions are common and can make it hard to get around. Additionally, some travelers may experience altitude sickness in high-altitude locations like Cusco and Machu Picchu.

Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Has beautiful outdoor settings
  • Minimal traffic
  • Moderate prices for accommodations
  • There isn't as much to do in Knoxville as in other travel destinations
  • Public transportation options are limited

Knoxville is the third-largest city in Tennessee, but it maintains a small-town feel. It’s home to beautiful attractions, such as the Great Smoky Mountains and the World’s Fair Park, and has enough cultural exhibits and museums to keep you busy.

Nevertheless, there isn’t quite as much to do here as in other cities, and public transportation is comparatively limited.

Places to Travel Solo Guide

Traveling alone can be intimidating, but a little preparation can go a long way. This guide covers some of the best travel tips to help you plan your next solo trip.

Why travel solo?

As with everything, there are pros and cons to traveling alone.

Some of the benefits of solo travel include:

  • The ability to plan trips according to your schedule
  • Paying less for dining and experiences
  • Stepping out of your comfort zone and getting to know yourself better
  • Having more time to reflect and relax in peace

Of course, to enjoy your solo vacation to the fullest, practice general safety precautions. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, do some proper research before visiting new places and consider hiring a guide if you’re doing outdoor activities in remote locations.

How to travel alone

Traveling alone can be a wonderful experience. But it often requires more planning and initiative than group trips. The following tips for traveling alone should help you make the most of your next solo trip.

Research your travel destination extensively

The more research you do before visiting a destination, the more prepared you will be to enjoy it. Pay close attention to the following:

  • Climate : Be aware of the weather conditions at your destination to avoid potential hazards, pack the right gear and plan appropriate activities.
  • Top attractions : Plan your itinerary by mapping out the attractions you want to visit and checking their distance from your accommodations. This will help you create a realistic schedule and determine if you need to book transportation for any day trips.
  • Cost : Consider the average cost of accommodations, meals and attractions to create a realistic budget.
  • Public transportation : This is an important consideration, as visiting a destination with insufficient or unreliable public transportation translates into additional expenses.
  • Language barrier : Consider downloading translation apps or learning basic phrases in your destination’s native language if English isn’t widely spoken there.
  • Food : If you have any dietary restrictions, check the availability of suitable food options at your destination and plan your meals.

Stay connected with your friends and family

When traveling alone, keep your loved ones informed of where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing. That way, your family can call for help if they don’t hear back from you in a reasonable timeframe.

Depending on your destination, you may consider purchasing an international SIM card or an international phone plan with your existing carrier to text and call your people back home.

Finally, you can register your trip with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) through the U.S. State Department. STEP is a free service that allows you to receive automatic safety and travel updates from the U.S. embassy in the country you’re visiting. It also makes it easier for friends and family to reach you in an emergency.

Consider travel insurance

If you’ve spent quite a bit of money on non-refundable travel expenses and it hasn’t been that long since you made your initial trip deposit, consider travel insurance to safeguard your investment. A travel insurance policy can help you recoup a portion of pre-paid travel expenses if you cancel or interrupt your trip for a covered reason.

Travel medical insurance could also be worthwhile if you’re going on an extended trip, as it would cover some of your medical expenses in an emergency, including medical evacuation and repatriation. And some plans even include additional services like language support, which could be helpful if English isn’t widely spoken where you’re visiting.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, check out our guide to the best travel insurance companies .

Try new things

Now that we’ve covered some of the most important things to do before leaving for a solo trip, let’s explore how to get as much enjoyment out of your travels as possible while you’re there. The best advice we can give you is to get out of your comfort zone and try new things.

If you genuinely want to experience everything other cultures have to offer, you can’t spend your days doing the same things you do at home. So take a chance and live as the locals do. You’ll be happy you did.

Interact with the locals

The best way to forget you’re traveling alone is to befriend the locals. Your new friends can keep you company, guide you to the best places in town (the ones that aren’t in any tourist guides) and help to make your trip more enjoyable overall.

Meeting locals is much easier to do now than before the Internet. A wide variety of online resources can connect you to local events and groups where you can meet people. Some of the best options for this include:

  • Facebook expat groups for the destination you’re visiting
  • The subreddit for your destination (such as r/Paris and r/Chicago)

Some professional and religious groups may have international meetups as well. This can be a fantastic way to meet locals with whom you already have something in common.

Take plenty of pictures (with you in them)

Last but not least, make sure you take plenty of pictures to share with your people back home. Landmarks can be great, but you should also be in some of the photos. Most people will happily snap pictures of you if you ask nicely.

What to do when traveling alone

Traveling alone can be one of the best experiences of your life or a challenge that quickly loses its appeal. To give yourself the best chance of having an ideal trip, remember the following strategies during your travels:

  • Be flexible : Flexibility is a must for solo travelers. You’ll have more fun if you take advantage of chance encounters and throw away your schedule when necessary.
  • Take group tours and classes : Just because you arrive at your destination alone doesn’t mean you must spend every minute there alone. Group tours and classes will help you meet people and give you a chance to socialize when you’re feeling lonely.
  • Stay in places that encourage talking : If you’re concerned about feeling lonely, consider staying at a hostel or bed and breakfast. Shared accommodations like these are more affordable than the best hotels and can be a great way to meet people.
  • Gather first-hand advice : You can use Reddit and other resources to read about the experiences other solo travelers have had at your destination. These firsthand accounts can alert you to problems you may not have considered otherwise and new opportunities for fun.
  • Sign up for free rewards programs : Airlines , hotel chains and third-party booking sites often have reward programs that help you save money if you’re a frequent traveler. You may also want to look into the best airline credit cards and best travel credit cards if you plan on traveling alone regularly.
  • Prioritize your safety : Traveling alone can make you a target, so prioritizing safety is important. Be proactive about telling others where you’ll be and take yourself out of situations you feel unsure about to enjoy your trip without incident.

Staying safe is a critical consideration for solo travelers. One way to do that is by avoiding reckless behavior, such as drinking excessively and venturing alone into places locals deem unsafe.

Take the time to thoroughly research your destination, share your travel plans with friends and family and prepare an emergency plan.

Finally, consider travel insurance. If something does happen while you’re traveling alone, it will provide financial support so you can go to the hospital without worrying about breaking your budget.

You could save up enough money to make the cost of travel insurance negligible by signing up for one of the best airline rewards programs .

Places to Travel Solo FAQ

What are the safest places to travel alone, is solo female travel safe, how old do you have to be to travel alone, how we chose the best places to travel solo.

We evaluated the best places to travel solo based on the following criteria:

  • Cost of accommodations, experiences and meals
  • Crime rates
  • Reviews and guides from experienced solo travelers
  • Natural and cultural attractions
  • Strictness of entry criteria

Summary of Money’s Best Places to Travel Solo

© Copyright 2023 Money Group, LLC . All Rights Reserved.

This article originally appeared on Money.com and may contain affiliate links for which Money receives compensation. Opinions expressed in this article are the author's alone, not those of a third-party entity, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed. Offers may be subject to change without notice. For more information, read Money’s full disclaimer .

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This summer’s travel trends: Shorter, cheaper trips and more driving — unless you’re rich

Photo Illustration: A collage of travel imagery, including a ticket to Barcelona, a vintage image of a woman reading a map, a sedan, and a postcard from the Great Redwood Forest

If you sat out last summer’s overcrowded, overpriced, booked-solid travel season in hope of cheaper and easier getaways this year, you may be out of luck.

Sixty-three percent of U.S. adults plan to travel this summer, up from 61% this time last year, according to a recent survey by Bankrate, a consumer-finance data provider. Airlines are bracing for high demand, and aviation authorities are warning of another season of flight disruptions .

The expectations come as inflation eased to 4.9% in April after having peaked at 9.1% last June and as the Biden administration’s ending of the pandemic emergency officially concludes the era of Covid-related travel restrictions, which have largely evaporated anyhow.

Clients are just willing to pay whatever it costs to do what they have been waiting to do for three years.

— Sandy Staples, owner of Artistico Travel

This summer, wealthier people increasingly plan to shell out for trips while lower earners pull back, industry analysts and travel experts say.

“Clients are just willing to pay whatever it costs to do what they have been waiting to do for three years,” said Sandy Staples, owner of the luxury travel agency Artistico Travel in Granite Bay, California.

“We have clients doing a massive cruise,” she said, “and the round-trip business class airfare to Iceland was over $11,000 per person. They paid it.”

Passengers check in at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in January.

Among households earning over $100,000 annually, 81% are likely to take summer vacations, Bankrate found, up from 75% last year. At the other end of the spectrum, just 54% of households making under $50,000 said the same, down from 56% a year ago.

Many travel costs are still rising faster than headline inflation, said Sally French, a travel expert at the personal finance company NerdWallet. “Because inflation is already high as is, this summer is set to be rough for people seeking to travel affordably,” she said.

But rather than shelve summer getaway plans entirely, 80% of travelers told Bankrate that they’re looking for ways to economize.

While airline ticket prices have fallen by just 0.9% from a year ago, gasoline prices have plunged by more than 12%, inflation figures show. The airfare tracker Hopper predicts domestic round-trip costs to climb as high as $328 by June — $72 shy of last summer’s record peak but still 4% higher than pre-pandemic. So travelers like Terri Johnson, of Ocala, Florida, are choosing road trips over flying.

“I’m going to a wedding in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and then to Raleigh to visit cousins I’ve never met” after having found them on an ancestry platform, Johnson said.

“Flying costs more with multiple destinations, so I’m driving,” she said, adding that she’s limiting her hotel stays and taking her own vehicle to avoid high rental car prices.

She’ll have plenty of company on the roads.

To save money, 26% of vacationers plan to drive rather than fly to their destinations this summer, up from 16% last year , according to Bankrate. The national average price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.54 , down from $4.42 a year ago, AAA data shows, and rental car prices fell by more than 11% last month from the year before.

Bankrate also found that 29% of summer travelers will be choosing cheaper accommodations or destinations, a bigger share than 22% last year. And 26% — up from 19% — will be traveling fewer days.

Travelers stand in line to pass through a security checkpoint at Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in Newark, N.J. on Jan. 12, 2023.

“We’re taking every opportunity to get away from home but making adjustments for inflation,” said Michael Huntsberger, of McMinnville, Oregon. For this summer’s getaways, his family trimmed two days off a planned trip to California wine country, and they decided to vacation in eastern Canada because it was more affordable than New England.

“We couldn’t find a hotel for less than $450 in Portland, Maine, and the cost of traveling from there to Montreal was prohibitive,” he said, “so Ottawa, here we come!”

More travelers are also turning to loyalty points and rewards programs to help cut costs, with 34% doing so this year , up from 28% last July, according to research Morning Consult released in March.

Cashing in travel points rather than stashing them away not only frees up money for other expenses, but it can also be a good inflation-fighting tactic, said French of NerdWallet.

“Just like inflation, points inflation is real,” she said. “Airlines and hotels regularly raise the number of points or miles [required] to book travel,” which means rewards can lose value if you sit on them too long.

An overwhelming 85% of travelers told NerdWallet that they plan to put the costs of their summer trips on credit cards, and nearly three-quarters of them said they’ll pay off those charges as soon as a billing statement arrives to avoid interest fees.

But, thanks to rising rates, the remaining 26% who said they expect to carry travel-related balances could end up paying a lot more for their trips than they’d planned.

The Federal Reserve’s recent quarter-point interest-rate hike “won’t move the needle much” on credit card rates, said Ted Rossman, a senior industry analyst for Bankrate, but after 10 consecutive increases, “the cumulative effect is significant,” he said. 

I still make travel a priority and don’t mind using a little more of my savings to maintain the level of experiences.

— Marcy Schackne, Hollywood, Florida

“The typical credit card holder should soon see a rate that’s 5 percentage points higher than it was in early 2022,” Rossman said. “That makes a big difference if you’re carrying debt from month to month, especially if you’re only making minimum payments.”

While 55% of American travelers told the industry research firm Destinations Analysts in March that travel would be a high priority in their spending over the next three months, that was 6 percentage points lower than those who said the same last spring. The group also found a nearly 8-point drop in travelers saying it’s a good time to take a trip, to just 30%.

Some travelers are taking the expenses in stride.

“It’s more of a mental adjustment that everything will cost more,” said Marcy Schackne, of Hollywood, Florida. “I still make travel a priority and don’t mind using a little more of my savings to maintain the level of experiences.”

While Morning Consult found wealthier consumers were more likely than others to ditch their travel plans, Staples said she’s seeing lots of demand: “Summer travel requests have been coming in to the point that my team and I have had to make the decision to not take any additional requests.”

“We are definitely seeing the continuation of the ‘revenge travel’ post-pandemic,” she said.

Harriet Baskas is an NBC News contributor who writes about travel and the arts.

COMMENTS

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