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Sights in Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is the beautiful capital of Portugal that has a history of great exploration, seafaring, and culture. It is a great place to explore with several museums, Europe’s largest indoor aquarium, and art galleries.

  • Aqueduto Das Aguas Livres—formerly the water source for the city, this aqueduct stretches for more than 11 miles with 35 arches that cross the Alcantara river valley beyond the Amoreiras shopping complex and the largest arch is said to be the highest pointed arch in the world; Praca des Amoreiras 10
  • Arco da Rua Augusta—a triumphal arch that provides a view of the buildings built after a terrible earthquake with elevator access and two flights of stairs to the top where visitors can ring a bell and admire the panoramic views over Praca do Comercio and the River Tejo in one direction and look at the streets below along Rua Augusta; Rua Augusta 2
  • Basilica da Estrela—a white basilica located at the top of one of Lisbon’s seven hills with scenic views from its dome that was built at the end of the 18th century under the rule of Queen Maria I and has black and white marble walls and floors and an elaborate nativity scene; Praca da Estrela
  • Casa dos Bicos—an Italianate former residence built in 1523 for Bras de Albuquerque, the son of Afonso, the viceroy of India and conqueror of Goa and Malacca, with a façade studded with pointed white diamond-shaped stones and the top two floors dedicated to Jose Saramago, the only Portuguese-language winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature; Rua dos Bacalhoeiros
  • Casa-Museu Medeiros e Almeida—a museum located within a 19th century mansion where the collector that gave his name to the museum once lived and amassed a collection of furniture, porcelain, clocks, paintings, gold, and jewelry; Rua Rosa Araujo 41
  • Castelo de Sao Jorge (St. George’s Castle)—a castle built by the Moors and previously fortified by Romans and Visigoths with a statue at the main entrance of Dom Alfonso Henriques whose forces invaded the castle and drove the Moors out of Lisbon and ramparts that provide scenic views of the layout of the city, a snack bar, a museum with archaeological finds, and a formal restaurant; Rua de Santa Cruz do Castelo
  • Elevador de Santa Justa—the Santa Justa Elevator was built in 1902 by Raul Mesnier who studied under Eiffel (architect of the Eiffel Tower) and provides views of the Baixa district and beyond; Rua do Ouro
  • Fundacao Arpad Szenes-Vieira da Silva—a former royal silk factory that has artwork from the museum’s collection and exhibitions featuring pieces by Picasso, Chagall, and other artists; Praca das Amoreiras 58
  • Igreja E Museu de Sao Roque—a church completed in 1574 that was one of the world’s earliest Jesuit buildings with a plain austere exterior and an interior with gold and marble, eight side chapels that have statues and art dating back to the early 17th century, and a chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist that was designed and built in Rome and reassembled in Lisbon in 1747 with rare stones and mosaics resembling oil paintings; Largo Trinidade Coelho
  • Jardim Botanico—a botanical garden laid out in 1874 with 10 acres of paths, benches, and 15,000 species of subtropical plants; Rua da Escola Politecnica 58
  • Jardim Botanico da Ajuda—Portugal’s oldest botanical garden that was laid out in 1768 by an Italian botanist with ornate fountains, four acres of greenhouses filled with a variety of plant species, and a tropical garden with plants from the Azores, Madeira, and other former Portuguese colonies; Calcada da Ajuda
  • Jardim Zoologico—a major attraction with more than 3,000 animals from over 330 species including a Tigers’ Valley, gorilla house, petting zoo, and animal shows as well as cafes and picnic areas; Praca Marechal Humberto Delgado
  • Lisboa Story Centre—an interactive museum that has multimedia exhibits illustrating the history of Lisbon with a central focus on Portuguese maritime discoveries and a theater with a reenactment of the 1755 earthquake that ravaged the city; Praco do Comercio 78-81
  • Lisbon Cathedral (Se De Lisboa)—the main cathedral in Lisbon that was founded in 1150 to memorialize the defeat of the Moors on the site of the former Moorish mosque with a rose window, 13th century cloister, and a sacristy with treasures such as the relics of St. Vincent the Martyr who is the official patron saint of Lisbon; Largo da Se
  • Monserrate Park and Palace—an estate west of Sintra that was laid out by Scottish gardeners in the mid-19th-century at the request of Sir Francis Cook with the central building being a Moorish three-domed palace that was home to Gothic novelist William Beckford and other feature include gardens with streams, waterfalls, and Etruscan tombs; Estrada da Monserrate
  • Mosteiro dos Jeronimos—a UNESCO World Heritage site that is an example of the Manueline architectural style named after King Dom Manuel I with elaborately sculpted details with a maritime theme and a large spacious interior with six nave columns and a latticework ceiling, the building is the resting place of Vasco da Gama and the Portuguese national poet Luis de Camoes; Praca do Imperio
  • Museu Berardo—a museum located within the Belem Cultural Center that has a significant private collection of modern art by artists such as Picasso, Warhol, and Portuguese artist Paula Rego, visiting exhibitions, a restaurant, several cafes, and rooftop gardens with a large terrace that has jets of water spray from the ground; Praca do Imperio
  • Museu Calouste Gulbenkian—the museum of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation set within gardens filled with walkways, flowers, and ducks that is home to the collection of Armenian oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian which features Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Islamic, and Asian art and European acquisitions as well as a modern collection of 9,000 pieces from the 20th and 21st centuries including sculptures, paintings, and photographs; Av. De Berna 45
  • Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga—a large art museum housed within a 17th century palace once owned by the courts of Alvor that has a nicely displayed collection of Portuguese art from the 15th-19th centuries, Flemish art pieces that were influential to Portuguese artists, and other European artists; Rua das Janelas Verdes
  • Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporanea—a museum on the site of a monastery that focuses on Portuguese art from 1850 to the present covering movements such as Romanticism, Naturalism, and Modernism; Rua Serpa Pinto 4
  • Museu Nacional do Azulejo—a stately museum dedicated to Portuguese tilework that is housed within the 16th century Madre de Deus convent and cloister with displays of glazed tiles, pictorial panels, and large tile pieces; Rua da Madre de Deus 4
  • Museu Nacional Dos Coches (National Coach Museum)—a museum with a great collection of gilded horse-drawn carriages with the oldest on display made for Philip II of Spain in the late 1500s and three carriages created in Rome for King John V in 1716; Av. Da India 136
  • Museu da Farmacia—a museum in an old palace that covers over 5,000 year of pharmaceutical history from prehistory to fictitious potions with ancient objects related to pharmaceutical science and art and pharmacies shipped intact from other parts of Portugal and a 19th century Chinese pharmacy from Macau; Rua Marechal Saldanha 1
  • Museu da Marioneta—a museum with displays of puppets from Portugal and other countries with frequent puppet shows; Convento das Bernardas, Rua da Esperanca 146
  • Museu de Marinha—one of the city’s oldest museums founded in 1853 that illustrates the significance of seafaring to the country through maps and maritime codes, navigational equipment, full-size and model ships, uniforms, and weapons; Praca do Imperio
  • Museu do Oriente—a museum located in a former fish store that opened in 2008 that illustrates the story of the Portuguese presence in Asia and an overview of Asian cultures through maps and charts from Portuguese maritime exploration and painted screens from China and Japan; Av. Brasilia, Doca de Alcantara
  • Museu do Teatro Romano—a small museum that occupies a space that once was a Roman amphitheater and features artifacts such as columns; Rua de Sao Mamede
  • Museu-Escola de Artes Decorativas—this museum located within the 17th century Azurara Palace has objects dating from the 15th to the 19th centuries such as hand-embroidered Portuguese carpets based on Arabic designs, silverwork, ceramics, paintings, and jewelry; Largo das Portas do Sol 2
  • Oceanario de Lisboa—Europe’s largest indoor aquarium that features a large saltwater tank featuring a variety of fish including several types of sharks, habitats resembling the North Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans with puffins, penguins, sea otters, and tropical birds; Esplanada D. Carlos I (Doca dos Olivais)
  • Padrao dos Descobrimentos—a large monument built in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator that was built on the site that was a departure point for many voyages of discovery including Vasco da Gama for India and the Spanish Armada for England in 1588; Av. Brasilia
  • Palacio Nacional de Sintra (Sintra Palace)—one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks known for its conical twin white chimneys that dates back to the late 14th century and is the only surviving palace in Portugal from the Middle Ages designed in a Moorish, Gothic, and Manueline style; the chapel has Moorish-inspired azulejos from the 15th and 16th centuries and the ceiling has the coats of arms of 72 noble families; Largo Rainha D. Amelia
  • Palacio da Ajuda—a royal residence since converted into a museum that had its last royal resident, Queen Maria, die there in 1911 with fixtures preserved in their original state and overviews of how Portuguese monarchs lived, 18th and 19th century paintings, furniture, and tapestries; Largo da Ajuda
  • Palacio da Pena—a castle that is a mixture of pastel turrets and domes that was originally a monastery but was converted into a castle by Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg who had the castle designed by a German architect in a variety of styles from Arabian to Victorian; the castle is surrounded by a park filled with trees and flowers from throughout the former Portuguese empire, hidden temples, grottoes, and a swan lake and inside the castle is Victorian and Edwardian furniture, ornaments, and paintings; Estrada da Pena
  • Panteao de Santa Engracia—a former church that serves as Portugal’s National Pantheon with the tombs of former Portuguese presidents and monuments to famous explorers and writers; Campo de Santa Clara
  • Parque Eduardo VII—Lisbon’s version of Central Park that was named in honor of Edward VII of England after his visit in 1902 that has lakes, waterfalls, statues, and vibrant plants and on the west side features a 1930s greenhouse garden with habitats arranged around a nice pool
  • Pavilhao do Conhecimento—the Knowledge Pavilion or Living Science Centre that has permanent and temporary interactive exhibits related to math, science, and technology, a café, a media library, a gift shop, and a bookstore; Alamada dos Oceanos
  • Quinta da Regaleira—a privately owned mansion in Lisbon that was built in the early 20th century for a Brazilian mining magnate and has gardens with statues, water features, grottoes, lookout towers, and an underground tower; Rua Barbosa do Bocage 5
  • Torre de Belem—a UNESCO World Heritage site with openwork balconies and domed turrets that was built between 1514 and 1520 on an island in the middle of the Rio Tagus to defend the entrance to the port and was dedicated to St. Vincent, the patron saint of Lisbon, and inside are cannons, dungeons, and a tower-top birds-eye view across the Tagus and the city; Av. Brasilia
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Venturing into Europe…stop 1: Vienna!

The next stop on this tour of the world is the wonderfully diverse Europe. The first place we’ll be exploring is Vienna, the capital of Austria and a very historic and interesting city. There is a wealth of museums, gardens, parks, and tourist attractions to check out in this city. Here is a good handful of the attractions worth checking out.

  • Schonbrunn Palace—a cultural world heritage site and Austria’s most frequently visited tourist attraction with state and residential rooms with traditional furniture and decorations along with a park and gardens surrounding the palace; Schlosstrasse 47
  • Kunsthistorisches Museum—an art museum with works from five millennia from Ancient Egypt to the present day including the world’s largest collection of Bruegel paintings; Maria-Theresien-Platz
  • Zoo Vienna—the oldest existing zoo in the world founded in 1752 and featuring more than 700 species of animals including giant pandas, tigers, orangutans, koalas, and elephants; Vienna 1130
  • Natural History Museum—a natural history museum that includes a large collection of dinosaur skeletons, meteorites, and insects from around the world; Burgring 7
  • Technisches Museum—a museum that depicts Austria’s contributions to the birth of modern technology with multimedia shows and exhibits illustrating our dependence on technology in our daily lives; Mariahilfer Strasse 212
  • Heeresgeschichtliches Museum—a military history museum situated in the center of the Arsenal depicting 500 years of Austrian and European history including the history of the Hapsburg Empire from the 16th century until 1918; Ghegastrasse
  • Austrian Museum of Applied Arts and Contemporary Art—founded in 1863 as the Royal Austrian Museum of Art and Industry, this museum is considered an important art museum featuring art from around the world and from various fields of art; Stubenring 5
  • Imperial Treasury—an elegant building home to 1,000 years of treasures including the Holy Lance, the Imperial Crown, the sable of Charlemagne, and the Burgundian treasures; Scheweizer Hof
  • 21er Haus—Vienna’s newest museum of modern art housed in a building that was built for the 1958 World Expo that was renovated and reopened in 2011 to highlight Austria’s best modern art including the largest collection and archive of Austrian sculptor Fritz Wotruba; Arsenalstrasse 1
  • Belvedere Palace—a magnificent example of Baroque architecture that was originally the summer palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy and later the home of Archduke Franz Ferdinand with 17th century salons, frescoes, and museums dedicated to Austrian painting with the primary attraction a collection of 19th and 20th century Austrian paintings by early 20th century artists such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Oskar Kokoschka; Prinz-Eugen Strasse 27
  • Freud Haus—Sigmund Freud’s residence from 1891 to 1938 with five rooms of memorabilia including documents, photographs, telegrams, and waiting-room furniture; Berggasse 19
  • Haus der Muzik (House of Music)—a high-tech music museum located on several floors of an early 19th century palace that features rooms dedicated to great Viennese composers such as Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Strauss among others as well as exhibits that trace the development of sound and illustrate how the ear works and interactive computer games including one that allows you to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic; Seilerstatte 30
  • Albertina Museum—an art museum home to almost 65,000 paintings and almost a million prints include works by Leonardo Da Vinci, Durer, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Rembrandt; Augustinerstrasse 1
  • Architekturzentrum Wien (Vienna Architecture Center)—an architectural exhibition with exhibits on Austrian architecture in the 20th and 21st centuries; MuseumsQuartier, Museumsplatz 1
  • Burggarten—a garden oasis with a statue of Franz Josef and a statue of Mozart as well as a butterfly house with tropical trees, waterfalls, a butterfly nursery, and over 150 species on display; Opernring
  • Collection of Arms and Armor—one of the most extensive arms and armor collections in the world with a triumphal arch entrance; Neue Burg, Heldenplatz
  • Collection of Historical Musical Instruments—a collection of musical instruments such as pianos once owned by Brahms, Schumann, and Mahler; Neue Berg, Heldenplatz
  • Ephesus Museum—a museum in the Neue Berg with Roman antiquities discovered by Austrian archaeologists; Neue Berg, Heldenplatz
  • Falschermuseum (Museum of Art Fakes)—a unique museum with forged pieces including Chagall and Rembrandt paintings and a fake diary written by Adolf Hitler; Lowengasse 28
  • Globe Museum—a museum featuring a collection of over 400 terrestrial and celestial globes with the oldest an earth globe from 1536 and a ground floor level exhibit on the history of Esperanto; Herrengasse 9
  • Hofbibliotek (National Library)—a majestic baroque library with a grand hall featuring treasured books and biannual special exhibits in the hall displaying some of the rare books in German and English; Josefsplatz 1
  • Hofmobiliendepot (Furniture Museum)—a museum that displays the furniture of the royal court and re-created rooms that illustrate the history of furniture making in Vienna; Mariahilferstrasse 88
  • Judenplatz Museum—formerly the Jewish ghetto and the remains of a 13th-century synagogue that is dedicated to Austrian Jews who died during World War II; inside are three exhibition rooms that describe medieval Jewish life and excavations of the synagogue; Judenplatz 8
  • Judisches Museum der Stadt Wien—situated within the former Eskeles Palace is the Jewish Museum of Vienna that features permanent exhibits that illustrate the role Viennese Jews played in their professions from philosophy to music as well as a café and bookstore; Dorotheergasse 11
  • Kaiserappartements (Imperial Apartments)—a suite of eighteen rooms that can be reached by climbing up the marble Emperor’s Staircase that includes the rooms where the ruling family of the Hapsburg Empire conducted their affairs such as the room where Emperor Franz Josef in 1889 was told that his only son, Crown Prince Rudolf, had killed himself and his soulmate; Emperor Franz Josef’s simple iron bed; and Empress Elizabeth’s gymnastics equipment as well as five rooms devoted to Elizabeth’s most valued possessions; Hofburg, Schweizer Hof
  • Karlskirche—a church dedicated to St. Charles Borromeo whose exterior columns portray scenes from Borromeo’s life and the rights of the Hapsburgs to their Spanish territories and interior has fine vault frescoes and a panoramic elevator that takes visitors to the sphere of the dome where they can view the heart of Vienna; Karlsplatz
  • Kunsthaus Wien—an art museum with international exhibitions as well as displays of the artwork of Friedensreich Hundertwasser; Untere Weissgerberstrasse 13
  • Leopold Museum—a museum that features the collection of Rudolf and Elizabeth Leopold including one of the world’s best collections of Austrian painter Egon Schiele’s works and works of art by Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoshka, and Richard Gerstl; MuseumsQuartier, Museumsplatz 1
  • Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig (Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation)—Austria’s collection of 20th century art that has eight floors filled with American pop art, Rene Magritte works, Max Ernst, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and Cy Twombly; MuseumsQuartier, Museumsplat 1
  • Prater—a public park with amusement park rides such as a restored Ferris wheel, a planetarium, and a museum that elaborates on the Prater’s history; Riesenradplatz
  • Romermuseum—a museum with the ruins of a Roman military camp that dates back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries including fragments of buildings, pieces of pottery, children’s toys, statues, idols, and ornaments as well as interactive games for children; Hoher Markt 3
  • Schonbrunn Schlosspark (Palace Park)—on the grounds of the Schonbrunn Palace is this park with a zoo, carriage museum, panoramic views of the city and palace complex, a playground, and maze; Schonbrunner-Schloss-Strasse
  • Uhrenmuseum (Clock Museum)—a clock museum with three floors of clocks and watches dating from the 15th century to the present; Schulhof 2
  • Volksgarten—a park with a rose garden, a Greek temple, and a monument to Empress Elisabeth, Franz Josef’s wife, who was assassinated by an Italian anarchist in 1898; Burgring 1
  • Wien Museums Karlsplatz—a museum with Viennese historical artifacts such as 16th century armor, paintings by Schiele and Klimt, and the preserved façade of Otto Wagner’s Die Zeit offices; Karlsplatz
  • Zoom Kinder Museum (Zoom Children’s Museum)—a children’s museum with a lab where children can explore virtual reality, make screenplays come alive, and play in the imaginary ocean with underwater creatures; MuseumsQuartier, Museumsplatz 1

 

Sights in Edmonton

Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta and is home to interesting museums, parks, and natural attractions.

  • Fort Edmonton Park—a park that has re-creations of Edmonton throughout its history with a stable, general store, wooden sidewalks, a steam train, horses, gravel roads, and rides; On Whitemud Drive
  • Art Gallery of Alberta—a modern art museum that opened in 2010 and has over 6000 pieces of historic and contemporary art veering towards Canadian art; 2 Sir Winston Churchill Square
  • Muttart Conservatory—a botanical garden with four pyramids that have plants from different climates and an onsite café; 9626 96A Street
  • Royal Alberta Museum—a newly renovated museum in the downtown area with a large collection that showcases Alberta’s natural and cultural history with the world’s largest collection of insects, a display about Alberta’s aboriginal culture, and a gallery where the province is divided into sections based on geography with plants and animals native to each area featured in their respective zones; 103A Avenue
  • Alberta Railway Museum—a museum that has over 75 train cars including steam and diesel locomotives; 24215 34th Street
  • Telus World of Science—an interactive science museum that allows visitors to use crime-solving technology to solve crimes, learn about living in space, practice being a paleontologist, and learn more about the human body; 11211 142nd Street
  • Valley Zoo—a zoo with over 100 exotic, endangered, and Canadian native animals as well as a petting zoo, camel and pony rides, a miniature train, carousel, and paddleboats; 13315 Buena Vista Road
  • Alberta Legislature—the former location of Fort Edmonton that is now Alberta’s legislative seat with a majestic dome and marble interior and offers visitors 45-minute tours and an interpretive center that describes the building’s architectural and political history; corner of 97th Avenue and 107th Street
  • Alberta Government House—a mansion that was once the home of the lieutenant governor but is now used for conferences and receptions and is well-preserved with artwork by Canadian artists; 12845 102nd Avenue
  • Galaxy Land—the world’s largest indoor amusement park with over 27 rides; West Edmonton Mall, 170th Street
  • Alberta Aviation Museum—a museum located in the last double-long double-wide hangar from WWII that has educational programs and shares the stories of aviators; 11410 Kingsway NW
  • University of Alberta Botanic Garden—a 240-acre garden with indoor greenhouses, a Japanese garden, a tropical greenhouse with exotic butterflies, a Native Peoples garden, and experimental garden beds; 51227 Highway 60
  • Rutherford House Provincial Historic Site—once the home of the first Premier of Alberta, Alexander Cameron Rutherford, this brick mansion has been restored with period furniture; 11153 Saskatchewan Drive NW
  • John Janzen Nature Centre—a newly renovated nature center with interactive exhibits, programs, events, and an indoor play area; 7000-143 Street, Whitemud Drive and Fox Drive

Sights in Vancouver

Vancouver is the major city of British Columbia and is home to botanical gardens, world-class museums, an aquarium, and several parks and beaches. It certainly appears to be a place worth checking out.

  • Ambleside Park and Beach—West Vancouver’s most popular beach with tennis courts, volleyball nets, and a water park in the summer as well as a large off-leash area for dogs; Argyle Avenue at 13th Street
  • BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum—a museum inside the BC Place Stadium complex that honors British Columbia’s top athletes through historical displays and galleries that commemorate the 2010 Winter Olympics and another honoring aboriginal artists; other galleries allow you to test your sprinting, climbing, and throwing abilities in a participation gallery and the Terry Fox Memorial pays tribute to a student who ran across Canada after losing his leg to cancer and raised millions of dollars for cancer research; BC Place, 777 Pacific Boulevard, South Gate A, at Beatty and Robson streets
  • Beaty Biodiversity Museum—a museum on the campus of the University of British Columbia that showcases over 2 million specimens from the university’s collections including an 82-foot-long blue whale skeleton (the largest in Canada), bones, fossils, preserved lizards, animal skulls, stuffed birds, and other animal specimens as well as a Discovery Lab for children to examine animal refuse under a microscope and compare claws of different birds; 2212 Main Mall
  • Bill Reid Gallery—a small Aboriginal art gallery that showcases Bill Reid’s works and the works of contemporary aboriginal artists including wood carvings, jewelry, and sculptures; 639 Hornby Street
  • Canada Place—a four city-block long complex designed with Teflon-coated fiberglass that is home to Vancouver’s cruise-ship terminal and a simulated flight attraction that takes passengers on a trip around the country, the Canadian Trail that has displays about each province and territory, and the Port of Vancouver Discovery Centre which has a history wall with artifacts, images, and interactive displays; 999 Canada Place Way
  • Capilano River Regional Park—a park with 16 miles of hiking trails and footbridges over the Capilano River, the Capilano Salmon Hatchery where salmon can be viewed and visitors can learn about the life cycle of salmon, and the Cleveland Dam which dams the Capilano River to create the 3.5-mile-long Capilano Reservoir; Capilano Road
  • Capilano Suspension Bridge—Vancouver’s oldest attraction was built in 1889 and allows visitors to see rainforest scenery and walk across the 450-foot cedar plank suspension bridge hanging 230 feet above the Capilano River to the Treetops Adventure which lets you walk along 650 feet of cable bridges hung among the trees; besides crossing the bridge there are also viewing decks, nature trails, a totem park, and a carving center as well as history and forestry exhibits, a large gift shop in the original 1911 teahouse, and a restaurant; 3735 Capilano Road
  • Chinese Cultural Centre Museum and Archives—a museum that illustrates the roles Chinese Canadians played in World War I and II and has an upstairs art gallery with traveling exhibits by Chinese and Canadian artists; across the street is the Chinatown Memorial Monument that memorializes the Chinese-Canadian community’s contribution to British Columbia, Canada, and Vancouver; 555 Columbia Street
  • Christ Church Cathedral—the oldest church in Vancouver that was built between 1889 and 1895 and built in a Gothic style with a sandstone and Douglas fir exterior and has 32 stained-glass windows depicting Old and New Testament scenes; 690 Burrard Street
  • Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden—the first Ming Dynasty-style garden outside China that was built in 1986 by 52 Chinese artisans from Suzhou and used design elements and materials from private gardens in Suzhou and guided tours are available during the summer and off-season during specified times; 578 Carrall Street
  • Equinox Gallery—housed in a former tractor company building, this is a 14,000-square-foot gallery that features artwork by modern Canadian and international artists; 525 Great Northern Way
  • Granville Island Public Market—a 50,000-square-foot building that sells locally grown fruits and vegetables; crafts; chocolates; artisanal cheeses and pastas; fish; meat; flowers; and exotic foods; 1689 Johnston Street
  • Granville Island Water Park—North America’s largest free public water park that has slides, pipes, and sprinklers and a grass patch for picnicking; 1318 Cartwright Street
  • R. Macmillan Space Centre—a space-themed museum with interactive exhibits, a flight simulator, an exhibit about Canada’s accomplishments in space, and a hands-on area with exhibits that feature a moon rock and a computer program that enables visitors to see what they would look like as an alien; Vanier Park, 1100 Chestnut Street
  • Kids Market—a child-friendly warehouse market with an indoor play area and two floors of shops that sell toys and books; 1496 Cartwright Street
  • Library Square—a library building in the shape of a spiral that has open plazas and a high atrium that includes a high-tech library, cafes, and fast food restaurants; 350 West Georgia Street
  • Lynn Canyon Park—a 616-acre park with a canyon landscape, a rain forest with waterfalls, and a suspension bridge that is 166 ½ feet above Lynn Creek as well as hiking trails, an ecology center that has maps of hiking trails, waterfalls, and pools, a gift shop, and a café; 3663 Park Road
  • Museum of Anthropology—this museum part of the University of British Columbia has one of the world’s top collections of Northwest Coast First Nations art including canoes, bentwood boxes, tools, textiles, masks, and artifacts from around the world as well as a ceramics gallery with 600 pieces from 15th to 19th century Europe; University of British Columbia, 6393 Northwest Marine Drive
  • Museum of Vancouver—a small seaside museum with a gallery that depicts Japanese internment during World War II and the local war effort, a 1950s gallery with a 1955 Ford Fairlane Victoria and a Seeburg jukebox, and a 1960s-themed revolution gallery that highlights Vancouver’s countercultural past; Vanier Park, 1100 Chestnut Street
  • Nitobe Memorial Garden—opened in 1960 in memory of Japanese scholar and diplomat Dr. Inazo Nitobe, this is a 2.5-acre walled garden with a pond, a stream with a small waterfall, and a teahouse and is considered to be one of the most authentic Japanese tea and walking gardens outside of Japan; University of British Columbia, 1895 Lower Mall
  • Old Hastings Mill Store Museum—the only remaining building from the 1886 fire in Vancouver and has existed since 1865 making it Vancouver’s first store and oldest building with displays of First Nations artifacts and pioneer era household products; 1575 Alma Street
  • Queen Elizabeth Park—a 130-acre park that has spacious sunken gardens; a rose garden; picnic areas; 18 tennis courts; an 18-hole putting green; and a restaurant; Cambie Street at 33rd Avenue
  • Roedde House Museum—an 1893 historic home set amid Victorian-era gardens with a restored interior that has antique furniture; 1415 Barclay Street
  • Science World—an interactive science museum with exhibits and demonstrations on the natural world, biology, anatomy, and other topics and next door is an outdoor science park which focuses on environmental issues; 1455 Quebec Street
  • Stanley Park Beaches—two beaches accessible from Stanley Park with a playground, heated pool with slides, and long stretches of sand; 7495 Stanley Park Drive
  • Stanley Park Miniature Train—a child-size steam train that takes children and adults through the woods of Stanley Park; off Pipeline Road
  • Stanley Park Nature House—Vancouver’s ecology center that has information, special programs, and guided tours; Stanley Park, Alberni Street
  • Stanley Park Seawall—a seawall path that includes a 5.5-mile shoreline section extending past marinas, cafes, and condos to downtown Canada Place
  • University of British Columbia Botanical Garden—a 70-acre botanical garden with 10,000 trees, shrubs, and rare plants from around the world including an Asian garden; a medicinal plants garden; an alpine garden with rare plants; and 1,010-foot-long Greenheart Canopy Walkway which is a network of suspension bridges between cedar and hemlock trees that takes visitors to eight platforms in the trees and a two-story viewing platform; 6804 Southwest Marine Drive
  • Vancouver Aquarium—a research and educational site home to sea otters, dolphins, sea lions, and harbor seals; an Amazon Gallery with a rainforest jungle with piranhas, caimans, and tropical birds; the Tropic Zone with clownfish, moray eels, and black-tip reef sharks; and hands-on displays; 845 Avison Way
  • Vancouver Art Gallery—western Canada’s largest art gallery featuring Canadian painter Emily Carr’s wilderness paintings and rotating historical and modern exhibitions; 750 Hornby Street
  • Vancouver Lookout Tower—a 553-foot-high observation deck with great views of Vancouver, a glass elevator, and a top-floor restaurant; 555 West Hastings Street
  • Vancouver Maritime Museum—a museum home to the RCMP Arctic St. Roch, the first ship to sail in both directions through the Northwest Passage and the first to circumnavigate North America; a maritime discovery center with hands-on activities and interactive touch displays; a large collection of model ships; and the Ben Franklin submersible that was built in 1968 as a marine research tool; Vanier Park, 1905 Ogden Avenue
  • Vandusen Botanical Garden—a 55-acre botanical garden with an Elizabethan maze, a formal rose garden, a meditation garden, and a collection of Canadian plants as well as a garden with hybrid water lilies and carnivorous plants, five lakes, a garden shop, a library, and a café; 5251 Oak Street

Sights in Victoria

Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and is home to many natural attractions such as Butchart Gardens and Abkhazi Garden and Teahouse as well as interesting museums and historic sites.

  • Abkhazi Garden and Teahouse—a beautiful one-acre garden that was formerly a private garden and is known for its design that has plants such as Garry Oak trees, Japanese maples, and rhododendrons; 1964 Fairfield Road
  • Art Gallery of Greater Victoria—attached to an 1889 mansion, this art gallery is home to one of Canada’s largest collections of Asian art with a Japanese garden in between that features the only real Shinto shrine in North America; 1044 Moss Street
  • Beacon Hill Park—a 154-acre park that connects the downtown area to the waterfront with sprawling lawns that provide views of the Pacific Ocean, Olympic Mountains, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca and ponds, walking paths, flowers and gardens, a cricket pitch, and a petting zoo; Bordered by Douglas Street, Southgate Street, and Cook Street
  • Butchart Gardens—a 55-acre garden and National Historic site that has been frequented since 1904 and has the 70-foot Ross Fountain, a formal Japanese garden, an Italian garden with a gelato stand, an old-fashioned carousel, a plant identification center, seed and gift shop, two restaurants, and a coffee shop; 800 Benvenuto Avenue
  • Craigdarroch Castle—a turreted mansion with Gothic rooflines that was the home of one of British Columbia’s richest men, Robert Dunsmuir, who died a few months before the castle was completed in 1889, and is now a museum that depicts life in the late 19th century with 39 rooms that have Victorian furniture, stained glass windows, carved woodwork, and a painted ceiling in the drawing room; 1050 Joan Crescent
  • Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites of Canada—the world’s best preserved coastal artillery fort dating back to 1895 and Canada’s oldest West Coast lighthouse that includes a lighthouse keeper’s house, guardhouses, and a fortress plotting room; 603 Fort Rodd Hill Road
  • Goldstream Provincial Park—a 1,180-acre wilderness park located 10 miles north of downtown Victoria with eagles, bears, and three salmon species as well as picnic areas, walking paths, and a skills-development trail for mountain bikers; Hwy. 1 at Finlayson Arm Road, Langford, Victoria
  • Government House Gardens—the residence of British Columbia’s lieutenant governor, Queen Elizabeth II’s representative in British Columbia, which has 35 acres of formal gardens and the 19th century Cary Castle Mews which includes an interpretive center, costume museum, and tearoom; 1401 Rockland Avenue
  • Hatley Park National Historic Site—a 40-room ivy-covered manor conceived by James Dunsmuir, a former premier of British Columbia and the son of Robert Dunsmuir from Craigdarroch Castle, that was built in only 18 months and is now part of Royal Roads University so only guided tours are allowed; there are also Italian, Japanese, and English rose gardens; 2005 Sooke Road, Colwood, Victoria
  • Legacy Art Gallery Downtown—a downtown art gallery with rotating exhibits from the University of Victoria’s art collection and Canadian art shows; 630 Yates Street
  • Maritime Museum of British Columbia—situated in Victoria’s original courthouse, this museum has two floors of model ships, weaponry, ships’ wheels, and photographs as well as handmade boats like the Tilikum that sailed from Victoria to England between 1901 and 1904; 28 Bastion Square
  • Market Square—a pedestrian square with cafes and boutiques that sell gifts, jewelry, and local art and feature open-air art shows, flea markets, and street entertainers in the summer; 560 Johnson Street
  • Miniature World—an attraction with over 85 miniature dioramas including space, castle and fairy tale scenes and one of the world’s largest model railways as well as dollhouses and animated models; Fairmont Empress Hotel, 649 Humboldt Street
  • Mount Douglas Regional Park—a park with a path and a road that lead to the 758-foot summit of Mount Douglas giving you a view of Victoria and the Saanich Peninsula as well as the Gulf and San Juan Islands; there is also a long beach, evergreen forests, hiking trails, and wildflower meadows; Off Cedar Hill Road
  • Parliament Buildings—designed by 25-year-old Francis Rattenbury who also designed the Fairmont Empress Hotel and completed in 1897, the stone buildings have a central dome with a gilded statue of Captain George Vancouver, the first European to sail around Vancouver Island, and a statue in the front of Queen Victoria; inside are stained-glass windows, moldings, and historic photographs as well as a public gallery for when the legislature is in session; 501 Belleville Street
  • Royal British Columbia Museum—one of the top sights in Victoria, this museum depicts several thousand years of British Columbian history with a First Peoples Gallery that has a real native house, an exhibit on First Nations languages, and a collection of masks and other artifacts; a Natural History Gallery that shows the landscapes of British Columbia from prehistory to the present and has an “Ocean Station” exhibit that allows children to run a submarine; a History Gallery with a replica of Captain Vancouver’s HMS Discovery and a re-created frontier town; and an IMAX theater; 675 Belleville Street
  • Shaw Centre from the Salish Sea—a marine interpretive center where you are able to go on a simulated ride underwater in a deep-sea elevator and see jellyfish, starfish, wolf eels, rockfish, and octopi as well as children’s activities and touch tanks; 9811 Seaport Place, Sydney, Victoria
  • The Robert Bateman Centre—opened in 2013, this small art gallery has over 100 works from etchings to paintings that span 70 years of Canada’s most well-known wildlife artist with one gallery featuring paintings matched to bird songs; 470 Belleville Street
  • Victoria Bug Zoo—this small zoo is home to the largest collection in North America of live tropical insects including walking sticks, scorpions, millipedes, and a pharnacia (the world’s longest insect at 22 inches); 631 Courtney Street
  • Victoria Butterfly Gardens—an indoor garden with thousands of butterflies including 70 different species and also is home to orchids and carnivorous plants, tropical fish, flamingoes, tortoises, geckos, poison dart frogs, and 30 types of free-flying tropical birds; 1461 Benvenuto Avenue

Shopping in Toronto

Shopping in Toronto seems to be an expensive pastime but some of the stores seem interesting enough even if you can only afford to browse the racks and shelves. There are internationally renowned stores and brands that are certainly worth checking out.

 

  • 401 Richmond—a refurbished industrial building with a photography and art gallery, an artist collective, a music store, a café, and a design book store; 401 Richmond Avenue
  • Annie Aime—a clothing store with street style pieces by Canadian and French designers; 42 Ossington Avenue
  • Any Direct Flight—a contemporary and retro-inspired designer clothing store with hats, sweaters, dresses, boots, and clogs; 1382 Queen Street East
  • Aritizia—a clothing store with trendy pieces by TNA, Wilfred, and Talula; 280 Queen Street West
  • Bergstrom Originals—a designer clothing store with bold and bright designs by Christina Bergstrom including dresses and tunics; 781 Queen Street East
  • Big Carrot Natural Food Market—a health-food market with organic produce, health and beauty products, vitamins, a vegetarian café, and freshly prepared foods; 348 Danforth Avenue
  • Black Market—a basement clothing store with band T-shirts, faded jeans, shoes, and biker jackets, and inexpensive sunglasses; 256A Queen Street West
  • Bungalow—a vintage shop with Hawaiian and secondhand T-shirts, dresses, and jeans; 273 Augusta Avenue
  • Corktown Designs—an affordable jewelry shop with several Canadian-designed pieces that are unique and handmade; 5 Trinity Street
  • Courage My Love—a vintage store in Kensington Market with pieces such as sunglasses, sundresses, cowboy boots, Indian-inspired clothing, costume jewelry, and buttons; 14 Kensington Avenue
  • Davids Tea—a tea shop with 150 stainless steel containers of categorized and color-coded easily identifiable teas and tea accessories; 2010 Queen Street East
  • Doll Factory by Damzels—a 1950s-inspired designer clothing store by designers Damzels in this Dress who have gingham and sailor-inspired pieces, shoes, high-waisted bikinis, parasols, and totem mugs; 1122 Queen Street East
  • Durumi and Chocolate Shoes—two adjacent boutiques—one sells Korean-inspired pieces such as floral hair pieces, socks, pocket watches on chains, blouses, and capris and the other sells baseball caps and ballet flats; 416 Queen Street West
  • Eaton Centre—a block-long shopping complex with industrial ceilings with Sears and H&M as anchors as well as The Bay, a Canadian department store; and three floors of merchandise arranged by price (first floor is the most affordable while the third floor is the most expensive); 220 Yonge Street
  • Feheley Fine Arts—an art gallery with modern and unique Canadian Inuit art; 65 George Street
  • Fred Perry—a brand developed by a 1940s Wimbledon champ, Fred Perry, that has been a staple of British youth for years; 964 Queen Street West
  • Gadabout—an antique shop with housewares, handbags, costume jewelry, blankets, and vintage clothing that ranges from the 1800s to the 1970s with a large men’s section along with curio display cases and miscellaneous items; 1300 Queen Street East
  • George C—a three-story Victorian-style refurbished store with shoes, bags, and clothes from French, Italian, American, and Australian designers—shoes can even be custom ordered in a preferred color and material; 21 Hazelton Avenue
  • Getoutside—a shoe store with top brands such as Hunter, Birkenstock, Converse, Vans, Sperry, and Minnetonka; 437 Queen Street West
  • Gotstyle—a clothing store for men and women with stylish business clothes for men and dresses and outerwear for women; 21 Trinity Street
  • Gravity Pope—a Canadian designer clothing chain with designers such as Paul Smith and Reigning Champ and more than 2,000 pairs of shoes; 1010 Queen Street West
  • Harry Rosen—a designer men’s clothing store with casual and formal apparel by designers such as Hugo Boss, Armani, and Zegna; 82 Bloor Street West
  • Hatley—a children’s boutique with nature-inspired clothing; 2648 Yonge Street
  • Heel Boy—a shoe store with special styles by brands like Camper, Ugg, TOMS, Colcci, and Dolce Vita as well as environmentally friendly bags by a Canadian brand, Matt and Nat; 773 Queen Street West
  • Holt Renfrew—a large specialty department store that is known for its stylish clothes by Burberry, Canali, Chanel, Donna Karan, Armani, and Gucci as well as European cosmetics and fragrances; 50 Bloor Street West
  • I Miss You Boutique—a high-end consignment shop with designer clothing by Pucci, Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent; 63 Ossington Avenue
  • IQ Living—a housewares store with ceramic cookware, dinnerware, nesting bowls, utensils, insulated lunch boxes and bags, and popsicle molds; 542 Danforth Avenue
  • James Perse—a California-based brand with neutral colored cotton clothing such as T-shirts, fatigues, fleece, button-downs, striped sundresses, and long-sleeved shirts for women; 18 Hazelton Avenue
  • Kid Icarus—a unique printing store with retro designs, screen-printed postcards, art supplies, niche-oriented books, and crafts; 205 Augusta Avenue
  • Lady Mosquito—a Peruvian accessories store with chunky necklaces, brooches, dangly earrings, and embroidered handbags; 1022 Queen Street West
  • Lululemon Athletica—a popular Canadian athletic brand with yoga-specific apparel such as sports bras and yoga mats; 342 Queen Street West
  • M0851—an industrial-type shop with leather jackets, weather-proof coats, leather bags, accessories, and twill jackets; 38 Avenue Road
  • Mephisto—an established brand of walking shoes made from natural materials; 1177 Yonge Street
  • Morba—a Scandinavian furniture store with furniture and light fixtures as well as vintage and retro pieces; 665 Queen Street West
  • Motion—a boutique with stylish apparel made of cottons, linens, and wool along with accessories; 106 Cumberland Street
  • New Era Cap Company—an athletic cap store with caps from several major league baseball, NFL, Canadian football league, NBA, and NHL teams; 202A Queen Street West
  • Pink Tartan—Canadian designer Kimberly Newport-Mimran’s flagship store selling tailored oxford shirts, little black dresses, fitted trousers, shoes, and accessories; 77 Yorkville Avenue
  • Putti—an early 20th century furniture store with reproduced furniture, home accessories, and French toiletries; 1104 Yonge Street
  • Roots—a two-story flagship store with perennial favorite leather jackets, bags, and basic apparel; 100 Bloor Street West
  • Rotate This—a music store selling indie and underground music from around the world as well as magazines, concert tickets, and other items; 801 Queen Street West
  • Lawrence Market Complex—an indoor market with almost 70 vendors selling fish, meats, produce, caviar, and crafts and has a Saturday morning farmers’ market; 91 Front Street East
  • Swipe Design Books and Objects—a bookstore with books on advertising, art, and architecture as well as modern gifts such as toy blocks and high-rise vases; Ste. 121, 401 Richmond Street West