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Toronto is one of the most popular cities to visit in Canada. Its streets are clean, the people are friendly, and it boasts fantastic attractions. It is easy to spend a week here and experience new things every day, but if you only have 72 hours in Toronto, you’re going to want a good mix of things to see and do. You might be wondering what to do in Toronto in three days. Well, this Toronto itinerary will share all the top sights and attractions to make sure you see the best of Toronto!
Best Time to Visit Toronto
There is never a bad time to visit Toronto, as each season brings new events and activities. In summer, the amusement parks and the beaches open, and the temperatures stay warm, with an average high of 27°C. Fall sees the city transform into beautiful colors, and the parks show off their foliage. The temperatures are still nice in the early part of the season, roughly around 18°C, but come November, it drops down to about 8°C, so don’t forget to pack a jacket. In winter, the snow begins to fall, and outdoor skating rinks and Christmas markets open up. Nearby ski hills open as well, and outside the city, there are plenty of fun winter activities to check out. Springtime brings warmer weather and the opening of popular attractions like the cherry blossoms at High Park and the Kensington Market. The best time to visit Toronto really comes down to what you plan on doing when you’re there!
How to Get Around Toronto
There is absolutely no need to rent a car when visiting Toronto unless you plan on taking a day trip. The city has fantastic public transit, from GO Trains and subways to streetcars and buses. The subway is connected to Toronto Pearson Airport, which allows easier travel to the downtown area. If you are planning on using public transit in Toronto, you can buy day passes or just pay as you go for tickets; it really depends on how much you plan on traveling.
If the weather is nice, tourists can also sign up for Bike Share Toronto to explore the city. Uber, Lyft, and taxis are also an option for getting around. Now, if you are planning on leaving the city, first check the GO Trains to see if you can get to your destination by train. If not, then rent a car. We recommend using RentalCars.com for all your car booking needs as it filters through hundreds of sites to make sure you get the best prices!
Just be aware that the traffic in Toronto is known to be very bad, especially during rush hour. It’s best to plan your departure and arrival by car around these times so that you don’t get stuck. One thing to note about driving on major highways near Toronto is that there are two different sections of lanes. The first is the express lane, found in the middle of the highway, which spans two to four lanes. This is for people traveling longer distances who won’t be using any of the three to four upcoming exits. The second is the collector lanes, which are for those traveling shorter distances. Keep an eye on road signs or listen to 680FM news to keep up to date on the traffic because if you’re riding in the express lane and an accident has shut it down, you’ll be stuck on the highway for hours.
Best Places to Stay in Toronto
There are plenty of top-notch accommodations in the city, but if you want to be within walking distance of some of the most popular attractions, then the downtown area is where to stay in Toronto. The Radisson Blu Downtown Toronto in the Harbourfront neighborhood features incredible views of the CN Tower and an outdoor pool, and is only a three-minute walk from the beach. Another hotel with breathtaking views of the city is the Bisha Hotel Toronto, which boasts a stunning rooftop pool with panoramic views. Staying in Downtown Toronto means you’re never further than a 20-minute walk from attractions. Airbnb also has plenty of accommodation options available. For recommendations, check out our list of the best Airbnbs in Toronto.
For even more accommodation options in Toronto check out Booking.com. They continuously offer the best rates and their custom service is on point.
The Perfect Three-Day Weekend in Toronto Itinerary
Toronto is one of the largest cities in Canada, and it offers a plethora of activities, museums, parks, and beaches. If you are planning to experience all of Toronto in a weekend, you might be wondering how to fit everything in. Well, the answer is this itinerary! It will show you the best places to visit in Toronto and how to pack them all in without missing anything.
Toronto Itinerary: Day 1
On the first day of your three days in Toronto, get a good breakfast into you, then spend the rest of the morning at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Here, you will find an extensive collection of Canadian artworks, like pieces from the Group of Seven and by indigenous artists. With over 95,000 works, the museum also houses paintings by notable European artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, as well as African art and modern pieces.
After strolling through the museum, it’s time to get something to eat, and there is no better place to get your grub on than at the Kensington Market. Located only a 10-minute walk from the museum, this vibrant neighborhood is the most diverse in all of Toronto. There are numerous unique restaurants and authentic food stands serving everything from empanadas and German street food to Jamaican-Italian fusion and Native American-inspired dishes. If you can’t decide where to eat, then take a food tour of the neighborhood with this five-star rated tour from GetYourGuide, during which you will get to sample international cuisine from six different countries! After a bite to eat, tourists can peruse the vintage clothing stores and check out the local street art, stands, and live entertainment.
Once you’ve explored the neighborhood, it’s time to head to the most famous of all the buildings in Toronto, the CN Tower. There are three ways you can experience it. If you are an adrenaline junkie, then book a ticket with EdgeWalk at the CN Tower. This experience sees tourists strapped in with harnesses and suits at the very top of the tower while they hang over the side and get 360° views of the city! Now, if hanging 116 stories above the city doesn’t sound like your type of fun, don’t sweat it. There are two observation decks: the Skypod, which is the highest part, and the Main Observation Deck, which has a glass floor. It is recommended you buy your tickets in advance as the line in the summer months can get quite long. If you want to enjoy incredible views of the city while enjoying a meal, that is a possibility at the 360, a restaurant located above the Main Observation Deck. The restaurant boasts the world’s highest wine cellar and has an excellent menu. Just make sure to make a reservation in advance.
If you want to eat dinner on the ground, there are plenty of fantastic restaurants all around the CN Tower, like Taverna Mercata and the Sportsnet Grill. Afterward, make your way to the Rec Room for a night of craft beer, arcade games, pool, and live entertainment.
Make sure to get a good night’s rest, as day two is packed full of fun!
Toronto Itinerary: Day 2
Grab yourself some breakfast and head to a museum of your choice for the morning. If you’re a sports fan, consider visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame, which the Stanley Cup calls home. For those looking to go to a more interactive museum, check out the Museum of Illusions, or if you want to learn more about world cultures and natural history, head to the Royal Ontario Museum.
After a stroll through one of the museums, take public transit or walk through the city to the Distillery Historic District. This neighborhood was once the home of a large whisky distillery but is now home to an arts and entertainment district that features 19th-century buildings and lovely cobblestone streets, along with live performances. It is a must-see for those only visiting Toronto in three days. Today, visitors can peruse boutique shops and galleries, sample beers at the Millstreet Brewpub, or get a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants. In December, the area transforms into the Toronto Christmas Market, with lights and decorations everywhere. Visitors can browse for gifts, listen to carolers, and meet Santa! Just make sure to purchase your ticket in advance at the Toronto Christmas Markets webpage.
Once you’ve finished, make your way to the Roof at SOCO for some afternoon cocktails. Visitors here can enjoy a modern atmosphere with stunning city views. It’s a 30-minute walk from the Distillery District, but the walk takes you past some of Toronto’s iconic landmarks, such as the Gooderham Building, the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, and Union Station. Make a pit stop at the St. Lawrence Market and browse through over 100 vendors offering freshly baked goods, artisans, antiques, and more. If cocktails aren’t your thing or if the weather isn’t ideal for a rooftop, then consider heading to CRAFT Beer Market Toronto for a refreshing pint instead.
Come nightfall, it’s time to put on your best outfit and hit the town. There are plenty of outstanding nightlife areas in Toronto. From dance clubs to country bars, live rock bands, and upscale lounges, there is something for everyone on a night out! If you’re looking to hit up a club, check out Rebel or Century Toronto. For live music, check out the Horseshoe Tavern, the Bovine Sex Club (NOT an actual sex club, don’t worry), or El Mocambo. For those looking for a fun bar or activities-based setting, check out the ping-pong bar SPIN Toronto or the City Pool Toronto. If you are looking to spend the night in an LGBTQ+-friendly area, head to Church-Wellesley Village, also known as the Toronto Gay Village. The area is packed with bars, clubs, restaurants, and stores.
Toronto Itinerary: Day 3
We have some options for you on day three of your Toronto travel itinerary. These options obviously depend on which season you plan to visit and, of course, your personal interests.
Option 1: Canada’s Wonderland
If you like thrill rides and roller coasters or you’re looking for something to entertain the kids, then head to Canada’s number one amusement park just north of Toronto! The park features 16 roller coasters, live shows, a waterpark, and younger kid-themed areas and rides. Visitors can easily spend a whole day here. The park is open from May to October and is located in Vaughan, about a 45-minute drive or 1.5 hours by transit from Downtown Toronto.
Option 2: Centre Island/Toronto Islands
Right across from the Toronto Harbourfront is Centre Island, an area packed with fun. Visitors can spend the day at one of the beaches, hike the island, enjoy lunch and a beer at Toronto Island BBQ & Beer Co, or rent canoes and kayaks at the Boat House. The island is most famous for its theme park aimed at younger children, Centreville Amusement Park, which features over 30 rides, a hobby farm, and a splash pad. To get to the island, take the ferry from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal in Harbourfront.
Book a harbor and islands sightseeing cruise here!
Option 3: Casa Loma & Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Spend the day touring two of Toronto’s biggest attractions. In the morning, make your way to Casa Loma, an incredible castle with pristine gardens located in midtown Toronto. Casa Loma was built in 1914 by businessman Sir Henry Pellatt, which was inspired by his travels to Europe. Today, tourists can tour the castle and wander through exhibits and award-winning gardens. Enjoy lunch al fresco in the Gardens at Casa Loma restaurant or a cup of tea at the Liberty Caffé. Entry tickets to Casa Loma can be pre-booked here.
Once you’ve finished at the castle and gotten some lunch, make your way back to Downtown Toronto to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. This enormous modern aquarium boasts North America’s longest underwater viewing tunnel, as well as over 20,000 sea creatures and plenty of interactive experiences! This is a fantastic attraction for tourists of all ages.
Toronto Itinerary: Alternative Options
We know everyone travels differently, so we have added some extra attractions to help you make the most of your weekend in Toronto.
- Cabana Poolbar: High-end outdoor bar with a pool, DJs, and food.
- Scotiabank Arena: Catch a Toronto Maple Leaf hockey game or a Toronto Raptors basketball game.
- Rogers Centre: Watch a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game.
- Monkey Paw: A unique bookshop featuring rare 20th-century books and uncommon prints, along with a randomized book vending machine.
- Budweiser Stage: Get tickets to see your favorite artists play at an amphitheater beside the water.
- Toronto Zoo: Spend a day with the lions and monkeys.
- Ontario Science Centre: Interactive science museum for kids.
- High Park: Stroll through beautiful gardens and enjoy a picnic at this popular park with a zoo.
- Woodbine Beach: A popular beach with over 90 beach volleyball courts and restaurants.
- Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament: Interactive dinner theater with a medieval-themed four-course meal, jousting, falconry, and knights.
- Nathan Phillips Square: Square with big Toronto lettering that features an outdoor ice-skating rink in winter.
- Yonge-Dundas Square: Hub for outdoor events and concerts.
- Toronto Eaton Centre: Massive multilevel mall with familiar stores like GUESS, Coach, Zara, and Ray-Ban.
And there you have them, the best things to do in Toronto and how to fit them in just a weekend trip to Toronto. Just make sure not to skip out on the local cuisine like poutine, peameal on a bun and, of course, maple syrup!