3 Days in Toronto – Local Tour Guide Itinerary & Travel Tips
Toronto is a diverse and multicultural city that offers something for everyone. The beauty of Toronto is that it has plenty to offer for all tourists. Toronto has one of the best live theatre scenes, a vibrant nightlife, an eclectic mix of restaurants, and some of the most breathtaking views. Toronto also has an impressive list of museums, galleries and historic sites. So what are the top attractions to visit if you have 3 days in Toronto? If you only have 3 days to spend exploring this world-class city, these are some of the best things you should do.
How to Spend Day 1 of Your 3 Days in Toronto
Spend the morning at Casa Loma – 2 hours
Built in the early 1900s, Casa Loma is a historical castle located in Toronto. It is one of the more popular attractions for visitors to Canada’s largest city. You’ll be able to tour the museum and dine at the LIberty Caffé restaurant. The castle was architected by E. J. Lennox, as a residence for financier Sir Henry Pellatt. It took three years to build and finished in 1914. Sir Henry was inspired by European castles. He wanted to include a mix of elements of Norman, Gothic, and Romanesque architectural styles.
Casa Loma took 300 men about three years to complete the almost 200,000 square foot castle for a cost of $3,500,000 (at the time). Today, Casa Loma is one of Toronto’s top tourist attractions and hospitality venues. Over 650,000 people visit Casa Loma and the estate gardens each year.
Spend the afternoon at Ripley’s Aquarium – 2.5 hours
Ripley’s Aquarium offers endless amounts of excitement for all ages. There are over 10,000 exotic sea creatures on display including sharks, stingrays, piranhas and more! Ripley’s Aquarium is a must-see attraction in Toronto. Discover new species from around the world, including eels, jellyfish and seahorses. You’ll see it all as you walk through the winding tunnels of this massive aquarium.
The aquarium has 5.7 million litres (1.5 million gallons) of water. It covers a wide range of seas and freshwater locations from across the world. There are 10 galleries at Ripley’s Aquarium. These are Canadian Waters, Rainbow Reef, Dangerous Lagoon, Discovery Centre, The Gallery, Ray Bay, Swarm: Nature by Numbers, Planet Jellies, Life Support Systems and the Shoreline Gallery.
Make sure to book your tickets in advance as it can get quite busy!
Head to The Distillery District for dinner and drinks – 4 hours
The Distillery District is a lively outdoor destination perfect for any occasion. If you’re looking for some of the coolest restaurants, cafés and shops Toronto has to offer, this historic area is a great spot to visit. It’s located in the former Gooderham and Worts distillery buildings on Mill Street. The Distillery District was once one of Canada’s largest industrial areas. Now it’s one of Toronto’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. You’ll find an eclectic mix of residential lofts, warehouses converted into stores, galleries and studios. It’s easy to spend hours wandering through the district admiring its unique architecture, or sitting down at a restaurant patio with friends while enjoying live music from local artists. If you make it there in the winter, you might even make it for the annual Christmas Market.
There are lots of options for where to eat dinner. Google “Distillery District Restaurants” to find an option you like. Plan time to walk around, sit down and eat, and even stop for drinks at 1 or 2 other spots.
Go for a night walk along Lake Shore – 1 Hour
Make your way to Harbourfront Centre around sunset or in the evening. This will take you right to Lakeshore, where you can go for an evening stroll along Lake Ontario. Sometimes you’ll find live music and entertainment here. You’ll also be able to fill a craving for sweets with a BeaverTail (it’s a pastry, not an actual beaver’s tail), churros or other snacks nearby.
When you’re done, pat yourself on the back – you’ve finished one heck of a first day in Toronto!
How to Spend Day 2 of Your 3 Days in Toronto
Spend the morning and afternoon on a Niagara Falls tour from Toronto – 9 hours
Niagara Falls is a natural wonder on the border between Canada and the United States. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Canada, attracting an estimated 13 million people annually. Niagara Falls has been known as “the Eighth Wonder of the World.” It features two main waterfalls, the Horseshoe Falls (in Canada) and the American Falls (in the USA). Both are visible from the Canadian side. The Horseshoe Falls are called that way because its shape looks like that of a horseshoe when viewed from above. The Canadian side of Niagara Falls is very scenic. There are many different activities to do in Niagara Falls and the region. These include the Niagara Cruises boat tour, the Niagara Whirlpool, wine tasting, the smallest chapel in the world and more. One can visit Niagara Falls from Downtown Toronto at any time of the year. The weather is generally hot in the summer and comfortable in the autumn. Winters can be quite cold and snowy, so dress warm and enjoy the stunning view of the frozen waterfalls.
Visiting Niagara Falls is a must-do when you’re in Toronto. The problem is that it’s very hard to plan your visit and see all the main attractions as a tourist. You might feel overwhelmed with too many choices or spending hours on public transportation.
A bus tour to Niagara Falls will solve this problem for you. Queen Tour has a Niagara Falls day trip that includes transportation from Toronto, a guided tour of the falls and stops at scenic locations. These include the Niagara Whirlpool, the Living Water Wayside Chapel, wine tasting and more. Enjoy a complimentary pick-up near all central locations in Downtown Toronto, or from Mississauga or Pearson Airport. There is no need to worry about getting lost or taking multiple buses/trains across town.
Click here to book your Niagara Falls tour and reserve your seat(s). Our tours are with small groups (instead of large coach buses that others use) so we sell out quickly. You’ll have the option to cancel with a full refund if your plans change. Expect to leave around 8:30 AM depending on your location, and to return around 5:00 PM. Larger groups (8+) might be interested in a private tour of Niagara Falls.
Enjoy dinner and a walk along King West – 2.5 hours
King West is a neighbourhood in Toronto that has many different features that make it stand out from other neighbourhoods. You’ll find great food, trendy boutiques, art galleries and more.
If you’re interested in shopping, head a few blocks north to Queen St West to find all kinds of boutiques and little shops. This is worth a stroll through even if you’re just looking.
Once you’re done shopping you can check out one major feature of King West – its restaurants. You will find many cuisines from Thai, Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean and more. Just search on Google for “restaurants King West” or “Thai King West” to find the hottest spots. Indulge in dinner and then take a walk along King West to enjoy the neighbourhood at night.
King West is known for its nightlife, with many clubs and bars lining the streets in the nighttime. Have a walk around after dinner to check out the area in the nighttime, when offices close and bars and clubs start opening.
End your day with drinks at a lounge or a themed bar – 2-3 hours
Whether in the entertainment district, fashion district, or anywhere else in Downtown Toronto – the city is known for its nightlife. Whether you’re looking to sit down and have a drink at a lounge, check out a rooftop with views of the city or dance the night away at a club, King West has many options.
Many people think of King West as an area for young professionals and the nightlife reflects that. The area has many bars and clubs that cater to both young professionals and more mature crowds. There are also tons of cool themed bars to check out. Consider heading over to the Shameless Tiki Room, Black Dice Cafe, Tilt Arcade Bar and many more.
Whatever kind of atmosphere you’re looking for – check the above options out or go to Google and type “themed bar near me” or “lounge near me” to find a spot close to your hotel.
How to Spend Day 3 of Your 3 Days in Toronto
Spend the first part of your morning exploring Kensington Market – 1 hour
Kensington Market is a unique district in the city of Toronto with many interesting characteristics. It’s known for its eclectic mix of restaurants, shops and nightlife venues. There are some great cafes in Kensington Market to grab a coffee and snack. You’ll also find some unique shops In Kensington Market. They sell everything from clothing to antiques. It’s an eclectic mix that feels like it could be straight out of New York City or Paris.
Spend the second part of your morning exploring China town – 1 hour
Just a short walking distance from Kensington Market in Toronto’s China Town. It’s a bustling neighbourhood, full of life and energy. This lively part of town has a distinctly Chinese vibe, with restaurants and grocery stores all along the street. You’ll want to grab a bite here and maybe try some fresh exotic fruits. Toronto’s China Town is a great place for shopping as well. You can pick up all kinds of souvenirs here.
Spend the afternoon at the Royal Ontario Museum – 3.5 hours
The Royal Ontario Museum is one of the most visited museums in Canada and North America, attracting over a million visitors every year. The museum has permanent galleries that explore art from around world cultures. You’ll also find natural history collections like dinosaur bones or indigenous treasures. The café offers coffee and light snacks for visitors who want a break from exploring the exhibitions inside. Don’t forget to take a look at their gift shop. It has lots of great items that you can’t find anywhere else. Purchase your tickets here to skip the line.
Enjoy dinner in the sky with the best Toronto views – 2 hours
One of your coolest experiences in Toronto will be to have dinner at a restaurant that gives you a view of the entire city. Make sure you make a reservation in advance because they tend to fill up quickly. If you can make it by sunset you’ll have an even more special view. You can check out The One Eighty (51st floor), Canoe (54th floor), Kost (44th floor) or the rotating CN Tower restaurant 360 (350 meters high).
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Enjoy your 3 days in Toronto!
Toronto is a huge city with many things to see and do. If you’re only in town for 3 days, we hope this article has provided you with some ideas for what to see and do on your 3-day trip here! Remember, if you need help planning the perfect itinerary or want to know about anything else that’s going on in Toronto, feel free to contact our team of experts at Queen Tour anytime. We’re always happy to chat!
Looking for more? Click here for more ideas on things to do in Toronto in the winter and if you’re a couple, check out these date ideas for couples in Toronto.