Planning a solo trip to Saint John, Canada? Here’s everything you need to know for your visit:
- Largest city in the province of New Brunswick, with approximately 110,000 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.
- 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 $20-30 (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.
- Saint John’s bus network services most of the city. Fares are $2.75 a ride. See the official site here.
- Decent taxi companies operating in Saint John include: Vet’s Taxi (506 658 2020) and Carleton Cab (506 672-0222).
SAINT JOHN NIGHTLIFE
- Drinking age is 19, and last call is 2 AM (3 AM on weekends).
- Great bars to start your night: O’Leary’s (Irish pub), Britt’s Pub, Hopscotch Whisky bar, and Kakuteru (cocktails).
- Looking for live music and/or dancing? Head to McGill’s (1 Market Square) or Five and Dime.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Looking for amazing coffee? Stop by Epoch Chemistry.
- Great restaurants to try: Cask & Kettle Irish Gastropub ($$), Italian by Night ($$$ – make reservations), East Coast Bistro ($$$), Britt’s Pub and Eatery (great for breakfast/lunch), Taste of Egypt, and Royal King – Taste of India.
- Where to find good cheap eats: check out Market Square, Rothesay Avenue, Lancaster Avenue, and Prince William Street for good food at great prices. Budget pick: Kim’s Koreans Food and Slocum & Ferris.
- 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 trip duration: 1-2 days