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Avoid These Tourist Traps in Major Canadian Cities

Avoid These Tourist Traps in Major Canadian Cities

Canada is a beautiful country that attracts millions of tourists every year. From vibrant cities to stunning natural landscapes, there’s plenty to explore. But with tourist hotspots come tourist traps, and it’s important for visitors to be savvy about where they spend their time and money. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the biggest tourist traps to avoid in major Canadian cities. Whether you’re planning a trip or live in Canada, this information will help you make the most of your time and avoid being taken advantage of. So let’s dive in and discover some of the hidden gems in Canada’s urban landscape.

1. Vancouver’s Gastown Steam Clock

The biggest tourist traps to avoid in major Canadian cities 1. Vancouver's Gastown Steam Clock
Source: www.vmcdn.ca

The Gastown Steam Clock in Vancouver is a popular tourist attraction, but it may not live up to visitors’ expectations. Though it looks antique, the clock was actually built in 1977 and incorporates a steam engine and electric motors. While the clock blows steam at the top of every hour and plays the Westminster Quarters every 15 minutes, it may not be worth the crowds of disappointed-looking tourists. Instead, visitors can enjoy the charm of cobblestoned Gastown and grab lunch on a patio for a more authentic Vancouver experience.

2. West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton

The biggest tourist traps to avoid in major Canadian cities 2. West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton
Source: media-cdn.tripadvisor.com

West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton is North America’s biggest shopping mall, attracting tens of millions of visitors annually. It’s a one-stop-shop with numerous activities to partake in, such as the World Waterpark, where visitors can have fun in aquatic adventures, and Galaxyland, an indoor theme park. While the Fantasyland Hotel adds just a bit of magic to visitors’ stay, visitors need to keep an eye on their wallet as the mall is full of cash-grabbing restaurants and establishments, making it quite expensive. However, if visitors keep their expectations in check, the memories made here can be priceless. 

3. Cross Iron Mills in Calgary

The biggest tourist traps to avoid in major Canadian cities 3. Cross Iron Mills in Calgary
Source: cdn.cheapism.com

Cross Iron Mills in Calgary is North America’s largest mall, attracting tens of millions of tourists every year. While it offers a wide range of shopping options, visitors should be prepared to spend a lot of money. Many reviewers note that the mall is conveniently located near nothing else, creating an extra hassle for those who want to explore other areas of the city. Additionally, some shoppers suggest that the mall’s offerings aren’t particularly unique, with sales and stores similar to those found in other malls in Calgary. Despite this, the mall’s layout is well-organized, and the food court offers a great selection of options.

4. King West in Toronto

The biggest tourist traps to avoid in major Canadian cities 4. King West in Toronto
Source: www.narcity.com

Visitors hoping to have a memorable night on the town in Toronto usually turn to King West. This bustling strip has one of the highest concentrations of bars and nightclubs in the city. However, these amenities come at a price tag. As part of the Entertainment District, restaurants are expensive and clubs are even pricier. Expect to pay a hefty amount for a couple of drinks, and good luck getting a reservation. King West is definitely a convenient option for club hopping, but visitors should be prepared to spend more than their daily budget if they want to have a good time.

5. Place Jacques-Cartier in Montreal

The biggest tourist traps to avoid in major Canadian cities 5. Place Jacques-Cartier in Montreal
Source: img.theculturetrip.com

Place Jacques-Cartier, a historic square located in Old Montreal, is a popular tourist destination. However, Daily Hive Montreal Editor suggests that visitors should avoid the vendors offering overpriced BeaverTails for almost $20 and restaurants close to the square that overcharge for an underwhelming meal. It is recommended to take pictures and enjoy the scenery but avoid purchasing anything from this tourist trap. With so many other exciting and interesting things to do in Montreal, it’s best to spend time and money elsewhere.

6. Niagara Falls deemed Canada’s biggest tourist trap

Avoid These Tourist Traps in Major Canadian Cities

According to a recent report by vacation rental company Casago, Niagara Falls has been deemed Canada’s biggest tourist trap. The report searched thousands of TripAdvisor reviews for the phrase “tourist trap” to see which global tourist attractions featured it the most frequently. Niagara Falls had 475 mentions of the phrase, making it the biggest tourist trap in Canada. Despite this, it failed to crack the top 10 tourist traps in the world. The report also urged visitors to shop around for discounts, research when the quietest times to visit are, and to avoid crowded areas and gift shops.

Criteria for determining tourist traps

When it comes to determining tourist traps, there are certain criteria that can be used to make the distinction. One of the main factors is overpricing. If a destination or activity seems to be charging significantly more than what it’s worth, it could be a trap set for unsuspecting tourists. Another factor is overcrowding. If a place is consistently packed with tourists, it is likely because it is marketed to visitors rather than locals, and may not provide an authentic experience. Finally, if a destination seems to be solely catered to tourists, with little to no local presence or culture, it could also be labeled as a trap.

San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf tops global list

The biggest tourist traps to avoid in major Canadian cities 8. San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf tops global list
Source: www.visitcalifornia.com

San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf has been named the biggest tourist trap in the world, according to a survey conducted by vacation rental company, Casago. With over 1,000 mentions of the phrase “tourist trap” in reviews on TripAdvisor, the popular waterfront neighborhood attracts around 12 million visitors annually. While it boasts souvenir shops and restaurants, many reviewers criticize the overpriced and tacky tourist offerings. The neighborhood’s notoriety led SFGate to dub it “the most universally derided neighborhood in all of San Francisco”.

Tips to avoid falling into tourist traps

The Casago report on the biggest tourist traps in the world provides some useful tips on how to avoid these overpriced experiences and souvenirs. One of the main tips is to research the quietest times of the year to visit, as prices and tickets may be cheaper for off-peak periods. It is also recommended to avoid crowded areas with long lines and gift shops, as well as attractions that are popular on Instagram and have their own hashtag. Instead, dining where locals do and opting for locally made crafts rather than generic souvenirs can provide a more authentic and enjoyable experience.

The biggest tourist traps to avoid in major Canadian cities 10. Opting for locally made crafts instead of souvenirs
Source: bestlifeonline.com

Opting for locally made crafts instead of souvenirs

When visiting major Canadian cities, it’s tempting to buy souvenirs to remember your trip. However, many souvenir shops in tourist areas offer overpriced and generic items. Instead of falling for these traps, opt for locally made crafts that not only support small businesses but also offer unique and authentic mementos. Look for artisan markets, craft fairs or specialty stores that sell handmade items such as pottery, jewelry, or clothing. These types of souvenirs not only make for great gifts but also offer a glimpse into the local culture and traditions.

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