Planning to explore the Great White North this year? According to Condé Nast Traveler, you should skip the big city and set your sights on these underrated cities in Canada instead.

CNT has released its ranking of “the coolest cities in Canada that don’t always get the limelight they deserve,” as well as some bigger cities “that have a whole lot more to offer than what’s written in the guidebooks.”

You may be surprised by what’s included on the list. In fact, you may have written them off entirely when it comes to vacation destinations worth visiting.

But, this list might make you reconsider your plans and give these underrated cities a second look.



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According to Condé Nast Traveler, Halifax is in the midst of a “renaissance,” and is a leader in Atlantic Canada when it comes to sophistication, with new five-star accommodations, world-class dining, and a thriving arts scene.

Plus, the downtown Queen’s Marque district recently got a $2 million facelift.


Described as a “former flyover city,” Winnipeg is an up-and-coming contender when it comes to must-visit destinations, with an impressive collection of museums and pop-up art exhibits.

The city is especially known for its one-of-a-kind galleries in the Indigenous space.



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We need not explain what makes Banff a premier attraction for Canadian and international visitors alike.

However, according to CNT, there is a whole lot more to Banff than meets the eye, including vintage-inspired attractions dating back to the 1930s, including the historic Willow Stream Spa and the old-school open-top touring buses.

Quebec City


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Home to one of the best hotels in the world and often considered one of the best cities to visit in Canada, Quebec City is a major contender when it comes to bucket list-worthy travel.

“The only fortified city in North America, with its castles and cobble-stoned streets, instantly transports visitors back in time to seventeenth-century Europe,” says CNT.

However, its dining, shopping, arts, and culture scene is far from outdated and is in fact among the best that our country has to offer.



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The best small city in Canada is also the most beautiful — just ask anyone who’s ever visited. Its small-town feel and metropolitan influence give you the best of both worlds, not to mention its close proximity to world-class wildlife destinations.

Victoria is also undergoing a “wellness-focused renaissance,” with a new Scandinavian spa to complement its classic attractions like the Fairmont Empress and Butchart Gardens.


This ” small but sophisticated city” is not only full of fascinating history and stunning landmarks but a newly-revitalized downtown core too, with exciting new wine and dining destinations like Arlo Wine & Restaurant and Le Poisson Bleu, according to CNT.


Despite its location in the sleepy province of New Brunswick, Moncton is not to be underestimated.

It may be a fraction of the size of Halifax, but it’s giving the city “a run for its money when it comes to its lively downtown core and craft beer scene,” says CNT.

From high-end to casual fare, Moncton’s restaurant scene is small but mighty, with over 30 restaurants and breweries within minutes of the main part of town.