Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada: Skyline and bridge
Bridge over the city (Photo credit: David Mark)

Saint John Travel Guide

QUICK FACTS

  • Largest city in the province of New Brunswick, with approximately 70,000 people.
  • Considered to be humid continental – winters are fairly mild (by Canadian standards) and summers never see temperatures over 25 degrees Celsius.
  • Saint John is the oldest incorporated city in Canada. The city name is not abbreviated, so as to differentiate itself from St. John’s (capital of Newfoundland and Labrador).
  • Nicknames: Fundy City, Loyalist City, Port City, Original City.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

  • Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD).
  • Spoken languages: predominantly English.
  • Best time to visit: from May to October. Summers are mild and can be chilly (with plenty of snow).
  • Arriving via airport: Saint John’s Transit to downtown by bus costs $3.50, taxi to downtown is between $12.50 – $30.00 (depending on your destination).

WHERE TO STAY

The entire downtown core of Saint John is great to stay in. The Market Square area has great shopping and scenery, as well as a boardwalk. For the best views of the ocean, look for accommodation by the Bay of Fundy. 

GETTING AROUND

  • Saint John’s bus network services most of the city. Fares range from $2.50 to $3.50 a ride, depending on the length of the route.
  • Taxi companies operating in Saint John include: Green Hybrid Taxi (506) 631-1000, Diamond Taxi (506) 648-8888 and Coastal Taxi (506) 635-1144.

SAINT JOHN NIGHTLIFE

  • Drinking age is 19, and last call is 2 AM (3 AM on weekends).
  • Main nightlife areas: Water Street, Torbay Road, and George Street.
  • Upscale restaurants: check out Market Square, Princess Street, Prince William Street, and Charlotte Street.

UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT

  • At the Fundy Trail Parkway, visitors are treated to beautiful views of the Bay of Fundy. Witness some of the highest tides in the world. This is a bike and walking trail.
  • Check out a performance at the Imperial Theatre, which features both local and visiting artists. 
  • Market Square – the perfect shopping experience and dining venue. Market Square hosts festivals, and features a gorgeous boardwalk (perfect for an evening stroll).
  • Reversing Falls – an interesting and beautiful attraction, right in the heart of the city.

INTERESTING WALKS

  • Prince William’s Walk takes visitors through charming streets within the 20 block Trinity Royal Preservation Area. This historical area has gorgeous buildings and rich history, making for a perfect day trip.
  • The Loyalist Trail features all the areas where the Loyalists landed on May 18, 1783. There are 21 stops along the trail, taking visitors through historical and modern day areas.
  • Originally planned to be used in the War of 1812, the Careton Martello Tower served as a detention centre for deserters during World War One. This fantastic historical landmark makes for a great walking tour.

LOCAL WISDOM

  • The province of New Brunswick is rich with Acadian culture, and you will find evidence of the 17th century French colonial influence all over Saint John.
  • Where to find good cheap eats: check out Market Square, Rothesay Avenue, Lancaster Avenue, and Prince William Street for good food at great prices.
  • Dangerous areas: while Saint John is a safe city, there is a high occurrence rate for sexual assault. It is best to avoid Bridge Street and the South End (next to downtown).

RECOMMENDED SAINT JOHN GUIDE BOOKS

We couldn’t find any amazing guidebooks specifically on Saint John. This is the top recommendation:

Recommended trip duration: 1-2 days


SEE ALSO:
Saint John Travel Guide was last modified: September 22nd, 2016 by Nick
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