Canada’s largest city and the capital of Ontario, Toronto has so much to offer that it deserves a second visit. A cosmopolitan melting pot, the city’s dining, arts and culture scenes are a rich and spicy ragout peppered with international influences. With dozens of neighborhoods, such as Queen Street West, Harbourfront and the Distillery Historic District, to explore, you’ll want to return often. The city is also home to some top-rated hotels offering an authentic Toronto experience. Here’s where to stay in Toronto to experience the city like a local, bookable with Culture Trip.
Close to Queen’s Park, the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, Canada Suites offers apartment-style units with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, fully equipped for long or short stays. Culture buffs will appreciate the short walk to the Royal Ontario Museum, with its stunning galleries full of international exhibitions and natural history displays. Walk a few blocks east to colorful Church-Wellesley Village, an LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood with indie shops, DJs and drag shows on offer.
A sophisticated take on executive suite living, with attention to details such as high-thread-count linens and goose-down duvets, Cambridge Suites will shelter you from cold Canadian winters. Keep to the 19mi (30km) underground PATH system, lined with shops, restaurants and entrances to all of the major sports facilities in the city, or pop above ground to the designer furniture district of King East. Explore the finest in contemporary European and Canadian design, then take your pick of an array of dining options in the area – from all-day Belgian waffles to pad thai.
To say the Drake is a passionate supporter of the arts would be an understatement. Every floor is adorned with paintings, installations and sculptures, which may be why it’s found a place in the heart of Queen Street West. Crowded with cafes, galleries – including one hidden in a basement – unique shops and everyone’s favorite local bookstore, Type Books, this area is a tight-knit artistic community.
An outpost of the famous Library Hotel Collection that includes Hotel Elysee in New York City, Hotel X laid claim to a prestigious site in the Harbourfront district when it opened in 2018. Expansive views of Lake Ontario and the CN Tower beckon from every room and the three-level rooftop bar. Sports lovers can take advantage of the 90,000sqft (8,361sqm) athletic center with nine indoor tennis courts, squash courts, yoga, pilates and cycle classes, surrounded by panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows. If the weather cooperates, go for a run along Remembrance Drive, or take in a live show or fireworks at the Echo Beach pavilion.
This four-story former textile factory has repurposed exposed beams and brick walls into contemporary loft-style rooms in the heart of Chinatown. Take your pick from dozens of Asian restaurants in the neighborhood, but leave room for a trip to Mother’s Dumplings. These puffy pillows of goodness are highly rated by locals in the know.
This hotel knows how to work in the spotlight. A favorite with film crews, the hotel has hosted many actors, including Kate Hudson and Kevin Costner. Take a short walk to the Distillery Historic District, filled with beautiful architecture and vintage shops, and try the gin and vodka at Spirit of York Distillery, made from Canadian spring water. When you return, expansive windows and subdued decor make the Executive Hotel Cosmopolitan Toronto the perfect place to unwind.
Part of a group of family-owned hotels that has been expanding across Canada, Le Germain provides European service in well-appointed surroundings. Every detail has been personally curated to offer a perfect blend of beauty and functionality. Steps away in the Entertainment District, enjoy live comedy at the Second City. Alumni include Joan Rivers, Bill Murray and many original Saturday Night Live cast members. Music lovers can attend performances by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall. The Toronto International Film Festival rolls out the red carpet annually at TIFF Bell Lightbox just a block away and screens films year-round.
Looking for more places to stay in Toronto? Explore the city in style from the comfort of one of these chic, boutique hotels in Toronto or bring your animal pal along for the ride with a stay at one of these pet-friendly Toronto hotels — all bookable with Culture Trip,
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.