hike the tablelands

Budget Guide to Newfoundland: How to Visit Without Going Broke

UPDATED: This post was updated October 2019

If you’re the kind of person who loves historical cities, unbelievably EPIC hiking trails and natural scenery, and really cool people who know how to handle their beer… well, you’ll love Newfoundland. I mean, you’re home. Forever. Don’t leave.

But here’s the thing: Newfoundland can be quite an expensive place to travel around — it’s certainly not cheap to live here.

Newfoundland isn’t really built for budget travellers, unfortunately. Most businesses seem to target the retiree traveller, and there’s little development put into making Newfoundland accessible to young folks looking to travel on the cheap – which angers me to no end, believe me. (I once pitched a budget travel group to a local business development organization and they basically laughed in my face.)

BUT with that being said, there ARE ways to do it. There really are.

So here’s a beginner’s Budget Guide to Newfoundland. Let’s talk about everything from getting here, getting around, where to stay, eat, and hang out so you can have an amazing time traveling Newfoundland without going broke.

 

Change Islands, NL

Home!

 

Flights to Newfoundland

Flying into Newfoundland can be expensive no matter where you are in the world, but really, really excellent sales do pop up every now and then (mostly within Canada). I’ve flown return to Calgary, for example, for about $400CAD. Same for Toronto. Halifax? $150CAD. WestJet and Air Canada tend to have the best seat sales, but at Porter has free dranks.

Unfortunately, there are no longer any direct flights between St. John’s and Dublin, or St. John’s and London (although the latter route should be up and running again soon). If you’re American, you’ll likely be flying through Toronto or Montreal.

If you’re flying from outside of Canada, your best bet is to:

  • Piggyback off another trip to Canada, like flying from Halifax or Toronto
  • Fly during the off-season or shoulder season
  • Book way, way in advance
  • Be flexible with your dates

I use Momondo to research my routes first, and then Skyscanner to confirm whether or not it’s the best deal. They rarely steer me wrong.

PRO TIP: When you’re researching flights, DON’T JUST SEARCH FOR FLIGHTS IN AND OUT OF ST. JOHN’S. You might be surprised what routes are available to and from Deer Lake International or Gander International. Last year I met a couple in St. Anthony who saved hundreds of dollars by flying in and out of Deer Lake.

Finally, keep in mind that Newfoundland isn’t quite the hotspot destination that certain other cities are like (like Barcelona, New York…you get the point). You’re unlikely to find surprise pop-up sales. If you see a good price that fits your budget, I’d snatch that baby up.

I also follow YYT Deals for alerts on cheap flights. I mean, technically it’s for getting me off the island, but you never know when you might find a cheap St. John’s flight near you.

Getting Around When You’re Visiting Newfoundland

Unfortunately, it is actually easier for me to get around developing countries in South America than it is for me to get around Newfoundland. It’s a sad reality. Try to think of it as a positive, maybe – you’re pioneering some territory here, folks. Impress your friends.

There is ONE bus that takes you across the province. It’s the DRL, and it is terrible. You pay too much for a slow ride and it doesn’t even go to Gros Morne National Park – you’d have to get dropped off in Deer Lake. The route from St. John’s to Deer Lake, for example, costs $97 and it is a painfully slow ride. Also, they only take cash.

As an alternative, there are several smaller taxi companies operating between communities (with buses) but they’re generally overpriced as well. My friends at the HI Trinity Skerwink Hostel have put together an impressive list of private taxi bus services. While these are helpful when you need them, and more reliable than the public transit, I tend to avoid these, as they’re generally overpriced as well.

 

The Tablelands, Gros Morne National Park

Tablelands, Gros Morne National Park.

 

The best option, really, is to rent a car, or find other travellers to share a car rental with. THAT way you can get into all the tiny little communities along the way, like Bonavista and Trinity and Twillingate. You’ll travel at your own pace. In the summer months, you’re looking at about $85CAD per day for a teeny tiny rental car.

Tip: Book your car rental as early as you can — like, six months in advance. Those things book up FAST.

You can also hitchhike, which is very much common and safe to do in Newfoundland (although I know it’s not for everyone).

Getting Around Gros Morne on a Budget

Gros Morne National Park itself is a beast. There’s no real public transportation within the park, so getting from one community to another can take an hour or more sometimes. Rental car is the way to go.

In the summer months you can take the boat across Bonne Bay, between Woody Point and Norris Point. The cost is $14 round-trip, or $8 each way. You’ll still have to figure out how to get around once you’re onshore, though.

You can also rent a bike from Cycle Solutions. They have all sorts, from mountain bikes to fat tire bikes, starting from about $35CAD for the whole day. If you’re a customer, you can also take advantage of their shuttle service. For example, they’ll pick you up in Deer Lake for $75CAD each way. (Yeah, not cheap, but still cheaper than a rental.)

The Western Environment Centre also has an electric bikeshare program starting from just $20CAD a day.

Martin’s Transportation in Woody Point runs a daily bus shuttle between Woody Point and Corner Brook, and does shuttle services around the south side of Bonne Bay. People often use these folks to get to the Tablelands if they’re taking the Bonne Bay water taxi. Their number is (709) 453-2207.

FINALLY, Deer Lake Taxi will take you from the airport straight to Gros Morne. You’ll have to ask about their rates by calling (709) 635-2521. Pittman’s Taxi in Norris Point will also run this route. Their number is (709) 458-2486.

Short of that, hitchhiking is very safe in this region. I’d never do it, but plenty of people do.

Getting Around St. John’s on a Budget

Within St. John’s, the public MetroBus has improved in recent years, but most tourist attractions are within walking distance anyway. You’re better off situating yourself downtown for the duration of your stay so you can get everywhere on foot.

St. John’s recently launched a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus service which will take you anywhere you want to go outside the city core, including Cape Spear and Quidi Vidi! It’s a MUCH needed addition and I’m really grateful it exists. Tickets are $34CAD, but check the website for hours — routes are limited in the shoulder season.

Taxis within the city (not including Airport Heights) are reasonable compared to big cities. For example, a taxi from the St. John’s International Airport to downtown St. John’s is about $25.

Uber is not yet available in St. John’s! Don’t worry, we’re just behind Canada by about 10 years.

Where to Stay in Newfoundland on a Budget

Couchsurfing in Newfoundland

The cheapest option, of course, is Couchsurfing.

I love hosting Couchsurfers and I love Couchsurfing. And when you find that right Couchsurfing host, you’ll have the best experience in St. John’s EVER.

It’s a close community, so having that insider perspective is a huge advantage. You may find several opportunities for Couchsurfing in the more touristy areas, like Corner Brook and Gros Morne, but the smaller towns might be more difficult.

Camping in Newfoundland

In THAT case, you can always camp. In the summer, at least. In the winter/early spring, it’ll be COLD — even until June (but it’s not unmanageable).

But there are absolutely tons of camping options if you’re into that, with some very well facilitated sites. Some are right on the highway, like Terra Nova National Park. This park is incredible. Heated bathrooms, well laid-out tent sites and oTENTik “glamping” cabins, plentiful access to water, and MORE.

Look beyond the national parks, too. Smaller provincial campgrounds or local campgrounds also have fantastic park facilities.

Some other places where I’ve camped or visited:

  • Pippy Park (smack dab in the middle of St. John’s)
  • Butterpot Park (Holyrood)
  • Northern Bay Sands
  • Bellevue Beach
  • Lockston Path Provincial Park (Bonavista Peninsula)
  • Dildo Run Provincial Park (Twillingate area)
  • Jipujijkuei Kuespem Provincial Park (Conne River – south coast)
  • Gros Morne / Norris Point KOA
  • Gros Morne Green Point
  • Pistolet Bay Provincial Park (Northern Peninsula)

Always check about park fees first, or else you’ll be faced with a fine.

Woody Point, Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland

Woody Point, Gros Morne National Park.

 

Hostels in Newfoundland

Some communities have hostels. Not all of them are listed on big sites like Hostelworld, so do a quick search first. Imagine that.

Here’s the very not extensive list of hostels:

  • HI St. John’s
  • HI Trinity Skerwink
  • HI Bonavista
  • HI Tides Twillingate
  • The Pink House (Change Islands)
  • Norris Point International Hostel (Gros Morne National Park)

Using Airbnb in Newfoundland

Lately, I rely on Airbnb for longer stays, and you’ll find the prices around Newfoundland extremely fair. If you use my code to book a room, you’ll get a discount.

My general rule of thumb before booking with an Airbnb host is to check their reviews and make sure there are at least five positive reviews (especially from women reviewers).

As for St. John’s, me and my roommate have our own Airbnb listing. You’re welcome to it.

Local B&Bs in Newfoundland

What else? You can find some no-frills bed and breakfasts owned by wonderful locals. One of my favourites is Hillside B&B in Twillingate, and Seven Oakes Island Inn in Change Islands (although the latter definitely has frills, its rooms are still affordable).

Here are some other fantastic budget B&Bs/small accommodations I’ve stayed in over the years:

Keep in mind that a lot of the people who run these bed and breakfasts do not often have their accommodations listed on sites like Booking.com or whatever. Best to search for listings on Google, and then call them.

I realize having to call people is a nuisance, but it’s just how things are done here for now. One of my friends who runs a popular inn told me that people should always call to inquire about prices rather than booking directly through Booking.com — often they’ll cut you a deal, or offer something like free breakfast.

 

Eating and Drinking in Newfoundland

Eating out in Newfoundland can be EXPENSIVE but honestly it’s one of my favourite things about living here, especially in St. John’s. The food scene is great.

If you’re gonna splurge on one thing, make it the food.

Especially in St. John’s (but I’ve had excellent meals all over the place). Try Adelaide Oyster House for their incredible raw bar, or The Merchant Tavern. If you wanna drop big bucks, make it Raymond’s. It’s continuously voted the best restaurant in Canada. It’s not hard to see why.

Eating affordably? There are many smaller restaurants scattered around St. John’s that do the job. Pubs like The Duke of Duckworth and The Ship offer great lunches, although beer tends to be on the pricier side. If you want fish and chips, definitely go to The Duke.

Mallard Cottage offers a little high-end dining with really, really good prices (think brunch for under $20). Same goes with brunch at The Merchant Tavern and Blue On Water.

Eating on a budget when visiting Newfoundland

In the smaller communities outside of St. John’s, even the higher end restaurants are affordable, like the Bonavista Social Club and The Boreal Dinner. At least in terms of Canadian prices.

Java Jack’s Café in Rocky Harbour (Gros Morne National Park) is one of my favourite cafes ever.

Otherwise, do your grocery shopping. I urge you.

Drinking in Newfoundland is INSAAAANELY expensive — especially in St. John’s. There are quite a few Happy Hours floating around though with excellent prices. For more details on this, check out my blog post about cheap places to eat and drink for every night of the week in St. John’s.

Otherwise, keep the drinks with dinner minimal. A pint of mediocre beer will easily cost you $9CAD. A cocktail? $14CAD.

In fact, craft beers are cheaper than domestic beers. Go to Bannerman Brewing for a pint less than $8CAD, paired with the best damned nachos you’ll ever have for $14CAD (share with a friend). Yellowbelly Brewery’s happy hour between 4-6PM has $5 PINTS! YES. (And if you move on to the Underbelly afterwards, the happy hour stays on ‘til 7PM.)

Things to Do in Newfoundland on a Budget

Here’s the best news yet – there’s plenty to do for free! Especially if you’re an outdoorsy nature lover. This helps balance out the dollars you spend on food and drink!

Hiking & Outdoor Activities Around Newfoundland

If you’ve come for icebergs and whales, while I highly recommend a tour (Iceberg Quest is my favourite company), they can be pricey and you can often see both from the coast during peak season. Twillingate especially is an ideal spot. The icebergs here come very close to shore, and you can usually find chunks of bergy bits floating within touching distance.

(Truthfully though, I wouldn’t skimp on the boat tour. A zodiac tour with Iceberg Quest or Trinity Eco-Tours is NEVER disappointing.)

The major sites around St. John’s, like Signal Hill and Cape Spear, do not charge entrance fees unless you wanna access Cabot Tower or the lighthouse.

On the East Coast we have the famous East Coast Trail, with hundreds of kilometres of hiking. Some of it is easily accessible from St. John’s, including the hike to Signal Hill and the Sugar Loaf Trail from Quidi Vidi.

The Battery in St. John's, Newfoundland

View of The Battery in St. John’s.

The same goes for elsewhere around the island. The hiking is exceptional, and I mean that. The Northern Rim Hike in Gros Morne is beloved by even Nat Geo. Mountains, coastline, boggy marshlands, you name it. We have it.

Then there’s Quidi Vidi. This tiny fishing village is a quick trot from downtown St. John’s and is like a little taste of rural living in Newfoundland. Every Friday evenings there are traditional music sessions at the Quidi Vidi Brewery, and the price of pints is surprisingly affordable. Things generally are much cheaper the further you move away from St. John’s.

View of Cabot Tower outside of St. John's

Hello. I am Signal Hill.

 

Nightlife & Culture in St. John’s

If you want to experience the famous nightlife in St. John’s without paying huge cover prices, stay off George Street (for the most part – bars like Trinity Pub will often have live music without cover).

Shamrock City has traditional Newfoundland music throughout the week, often without cover (especially if you show up early).

If you’re looking for a pint, there are plenty of pubs poked into alleyways, my favourites being The Duke, The Republic, and The Grapevine. Oh, and The Black Sheep.

If you do explore George Street, I love Christian’s. There’s no cover charge there, and even if you don’t want to participate in a Screech In ($20CAD), watching it is always the most fun you can have on a random night.

Recently I showed up at O’Reilly’s Pub (the most popular bar downtown for live Newfoundland music) on a Sunday night and avoided the $15CAD cover charge — AND I managed to grab a seat for some amazing live music! I often have bizarrely entertaining nights out on Sundays or Mondays. (Ok, not often. I am in my 30s.)

Rocket Bakery also hosts a fantastic Newfoundland traditional music session every Tuesday at noon for free, as does Erin’s Pub on Sunday evenings.

Dance clubs? Screw those. Prices at the bars for a pint of beer average between $7-9. They’re not cheap, which is why most people drink at home before going out, and the nightlife doesn’t really get started until beyond 11 PM.

For culture: the Rooms Art Gallery & Museum is an exceptional spot with free admissions on Wednesday evenings.

 

Best Times to Visit Newfoundland

If you’re not much interested in seeing whales and icebergs, I recommend coming during the shoulder seasons — especially in September and October. Autumn is one of the absolute loveliest times to be in Newfoundland. The weather is consistently lovely, prices are lower, and the fall colours are dreamy.

Winter? It can be harsh in St. John’s during the winter months. The western end of the island is more suited for outdoor winter adventure, especially in Corner Brook where you can go skiing, snowboarding, dog-sledding, etc. But this is definitely when you’ll find the lowest car rental prices and room rates.

Visiting Newfoundland on a Budget: The Bottom Line

Accommodations and transportation are going to be the biggest bulk of your expenses while travelling around Newfoundland. It’s CRAZY EASY to spend over $100CAD a night on food and drinks alone. Hell, I’ve had casual nights out that have amounted to that much.

If you have any questions about your itinerary, send me a message. I may take awhile to respond, but I will.

And if you’re interested in reading more about travelling around Newfoundland, check out my guides!

  • June 24 2015
    Shy

    Every year we try to knock of a new to me part of Newfoundland since I’m from Alberta. This year I want to try out st. pierre and miquelon ( I know not really a part of NFLD). Since we are getting married in Placentia it would be like a honeymoon to “France” but cheaper ;) I couldn’t even imagine getting around without a car. It would seem impossible! Also thanks for the restaurant tips. I am going to send this to my friends and family who are all coming for the wedding. No one from my side has ever been to Newfoundland and so many people were so exciting to be booking a trip there!I have to say I wasn’t sure how many people would travel all the way out East just for a wedding but everyone made 2 or 3 week trips out of it with plans to explore the whole island!

    • July 04 2015

      Aww, that’s awesome, thank you! AND CONGRATS and your upcoming wedding! I can’t imagine a more beautiful place to celebrate it. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to St. Pierre et Miquelon but it is DEFINITELY well worth the journey, and very much like taking a honeymoon in France. ;) Haha.

    • September 08 2019
      Roseann Gezmish

      It being France..they do close for 2 hrs in the after noon.
      On Saturday at 12noon just about everything was closed until Monday. And they use Euros.

  • June 26 2015

    “In the winter/early spring you’ll die.” I’m dying – this is so true. Great post! When we lived away, we used to come home 2x every year, and would always rent a car. If you are renting a car in the summer, BOOK EARLY! They book up really quick and it gets super expensive at the last minute.

    • July 04 2015

      Hahaha. That’s an excellent tip, yes! I’ve often wondered why car rentals are so hard to come by here sometimes…

  • June 26 2015

    Yes. Thanks for this. I don’t know when or how (maybe I’ll score a $400 roundtrip flight) but somehow I’m going to Newfoundland. It’s been on my destination dream list for a while.

    One question that I can think of, assuming you have a car, do you think taking the ferry (I’m assuming from Nova Scotia) is worth it, or is it just better to fly in and rent a car?

    • July 04 2015

      You’d have to take the ferry from Cape Breton, so it depends on how much time you have! If you have a few weeks, a great trip would be flying into Halifax, seeing some of NS and Cape Breton, and then driving on to Newfoundland. There’s a ferry from Sydney to Port aux Basques, or a much longer ferry from Sydney to Argentia (eastern NFLD). From Port aux Basques you have easier access to the west coast, including Gros Morne National Park and the Northern Peninsula, but then it’s a good 12 hour drive to St. John’s. Argentia is fairly close to St. John’s, but on the opposite side of the island from Gros Morne. Hahaha. I’d probably advise doing NFLD as its own separate trip, honestly! It’s easy to misjudge distances and such, and NFLD is BIG!

  • June 30 2015

    It looks absolutely gorgeous, but I found the logistics of trying to travel around without a car (not much of a driver) really off-putting. As I live in Toronto, I’m usually able to get fairly cheap flights to Europe and usually end up going to London or Paris.

    • July 04 2015

      That seems to be the case with most Canadians, honestly! Myself included. If it’s so hard to explore our own Canada, we’ll naturally go across the pond. I’m not much of a driver either, which makes travelling difficult for me. If you ever do get a chance to visit though, maybe with someone who enjoys driving, I promise you won’t regret it!

  • July 05 2015
    Terry Randell

    If you’re travelling and using Corner Brook or St. John’s as your “home base” in the summer, the university is a pretty inexpensive place to stay. You can get a room at Grenfell in Corner Brook for like $27 a night (It is a residence bed though, but it is just a place to lay your head. But there is a kitchen where you can make food). I assume the St. John’s campus has similar prices but less of an ability to make food.

    • July 06 2015

      Yes, that’s a good one! I believe they rent out the chalets as well, which are beautiful. I lived in that residence for two years, haha.

    • June 21 2019
      Donna Steinbuch

      Is there a way to follow you? I’m planning a trip Last week of July 2020 & so much info to gather. Thank you for the info shared.

      • October 23 2019
        Judy Urbanek

        Hi, Donna! My husband and I are also planning a trip to Newfoundland in mid July. If Candice gets back to you with a way to follow her, please let me know. She has a wealth of info!
        Thanks!

      • October 30 2019
        Candice

        Hello! You can refer to all the content on my website, as I am regularly updating and fact-checking my articles about travelling around Newfoundland. You can also follow me on Facebook (facebook.com/FreeCandieBlog

        Hopefully by then my guidebook will be out :)

  • July 09 2015
    hikebiketravel

    If you’re visiting St. John’s on a weekend & you have no car but you want to hike a section of the East Coast Trail – no problem. Join one of the guided hikes (check out the ECT website), sign their waiver and carpool with some locals to the trailhead. Throw in a few bucks to help with gas. It’s a great way to get to know a few locals and get to a pretty part of the world you probably wouldn’t normally visit.

  • July 17 2015
    Sarah

    I’m thinking of planning a trip to Newfoundland in September but can only get away for 10 days or so. Other than St. John’s, where should we hit to make the best use of our time? I’m thinking maybe fly into St. John’s and out of Deer Lake unless the car rental kills us doing that.

    • July 20 2015

      That’s a great plan, actually! I’d do 3 nights in St. John’s, a stop in either the Bonavista Bay area (Trinity and Elliston are gorgeous) or Twillingate/Fogo area, and then spend the rest of the time in Gros Morne National Park. It’s about 45 mins from Deer Lake. Don’t try to cram too much in it. NL is BIG!

  • July 20 2015
    Wadanna Westerhof

    I might be relocating to St. John’s for work — do you have any apartment buildings you could recommend? I am really enjoying your blog; you have made me so excited to be there.

    • July 20 2015

      That’s awesome!! There’s not a great deal of good apartment rentals in buildings, TBH, but check out Kijiji.ca for rental listings. That’s basically to go-to source for renters

  • January 26 2016
    Ashley

    So glad I found this post! My friend and I are traveling to Newfoundland this summer. She’s located in Halifax, so I’m going to fly in to there, spend a day or two in the city, and then we were thinking of renting a car from Halifax and taking the ferry to the east side of the island, checking out Gros Morne for a few days and then making out way to St. John’s, ditch the rental car and fly back to Halifax. (assuming we can leave the car at a different airport than we rented from…). Trouble is we’ll only have about a week in Newfoundland itself – does that seem like enough time? We’re both graduate students, poor in both time and money! :(

    • January 28 2016
      Candice

      I hear ya! Haha. With a week, I’d recommend just covering Gros Morne and St. John’s. You can do St. John’s pretty thoroughly in two days, and you’ll want more time in Gros Morne. Better than stretching yourself thin over a larger area!

  • January 28 2016
    Bruce Simms

    I am surprised that the Viking site at the northern tip of the Island was not mentioned. It is a world heritage site also. Strange to leave that out but every word written is great. I am a Newfoundlander and live now in St. John’s

    • January 30 2016
      Candice

      Thanks, Bruce! I haven’t actually been to L’Anse aux Meadows, and usually I don’t like writing about places I’m unfamiliar with when it comes to something specific, like budgets. But I have to get there soon.

  • May 21 2016
    Candice Hansen

    Ahoy! I really enjoyed reading this intro to NL- especially as a) you have an awesome name ;) and b) I am coming to visit your buddy Melissa in July! I can’t wait to see all NL has to offer. Thanks for the foodie tips, I prefer to eat and drink than to hike!

    • June 01 2016
      Candice

      That’s awesome! Melissa has talked about you often! Perhaps our paths will cross

  • May 31 2016
    Audrey

    Hi Candice,
    Indeed, some Europeans do travel to NL ! We are flying out from London with WestJet in 3 weeks ! Cheap ! But I can tell you people around me are more like “NL ?? Why ?? There’s nothing there !” and others were like “only you can find these places for a holiday”. It is not the obvious choice for a European (french actually) when thinking about Canada. I came across this when I was looking into Quebec… but there was something missing to make this holiday much more exciting… then I literally found a new land :) it was obvious. Tickets/car were bought in the next minute. Now all I think about is this trip. 2 weeks away from the London craziness. Your tips will be helpful as there is not much info available. Any info on Fogo island ? Spending our last day there.

    • June 01 2016
      Candice

      I’m so happy to hear that, Audrey! That’s awesome! I’m so happy more Europeans are coming over for a visit. :) There are some great hiking trails around Fogo, including one of the Four Corners of the Earth. If you get a chance, a tour of the Fogo Island Inn is supposed to be amazing as well!

  • July 27 2016

    I take it that you haven’t rented a car in NL. It’s nearly impossible……

    • July 27 2016
      Candice

      I have, but way, way in advance. Probably worth mentioning here…

  • August 19 2016

    GREAT post Candace. The idea of hiking Newfoundland would be right up my alley. What struck me is how close rural Newfoundland is to St. John’s. Literally ten minutes out of town and we were in delightful little fishing villages. I want to rent a saltbox cottage at some point and just soak up a local scene for awhile. Wonder if there’s any in Tors Cove… I have a winter watercolour scene from there.

    • August 23 2016
      Candice

      Right?! The fact that you can even hike up Signal Hill from downtown in the city blows my mind. Every time I get out there on the hill and look back at the city, I’m amazed. Never gets old.

  • May 21 2017
    Katherine

    Going to NFL for the first time next month with my partner (I am west coast Canadian, living in South Africa) and it was decided kind of on a whim, and I am SO excited now. Spending a week hitchhiking from Port Aux Basques and then three weeks WWOOFing in Bonavista. Honestly it doesn’t seem like nearly enough time! Seems like Gros Morne is something we should try and fit in.

    • May 22 2017
      Candice

      Oh you’re going to love it SO MUCH! Bonavista is my new favourite part of the island! Haha. I want to live out there!

  • June 05 2017
    Molly

    I wish I had read this post sooner – I may have taken you up on your offer to couch surf. You’re too generous. St. John’s is not a cheap place to stay… I am coming to St. John’s on Wednesday (June 7th) for a conference. I am staying until the 11th. I’m hoping to tour around on the 7th/11th as I have those days free from the conference. I’ve booked a whale watching/ iceberg tour for the one day, but I’m thinking about booking a walking tour of St. Johns for the other. Do you think this is necessary, or would I be able to tour around without a guide? Looking to save money wherever I can! I won’t have a car, and I do want to make the most of my trip since I don’t anticipate being able to come back for a while!

  • January 23 2018
    Sonia

    I, I’m thinking about going to Newfoundland in June, do you think it can be possible to camp or it’s still too much freezing ?

    • January 23 2018
      Candice

      It’s definitely possible to camp! But the temperatures can plummet in the evenings, so I’d make sure you have some solid gear, including thermals.

  • September 24 2018
    Arja

    Hi,
    So glad I found your blog before my visit in Aug. Was touring the Eastern Canada for two weeks. Dedicated to spend 3 nights in St John’s before flying to Halifax.
    Due to time limit I haf not so many things on my to do & see list. Signal Hill, Quidi Vidi & Cape Spear with a touring company since I did not rent a car. Booked a boat tour wuth pick-up service from Bulls Bay and saw a hump back whale, eagle and puffins. Check, bonus and check :)
    There were no Icebergs in Aug, but had few Iceberg beers instead.
    You can definately see a lot in short time and without renting a car. Definately a place worth visiting.
    Hope you blog inspires mote people from Europe to visit NL. Good luck with your book. Greetings from Finland!

    • October 12 2018
      Candice

      Thanks, Arja! SO glad you enjoyed your time here!

  • November 21 2018
    Brad

    We normally fly direct non-stop from Ottawa on Westjet but as of this past summer they do not offer this flight any longer. We have always liked Westjet so ended up on AC and the flight was fine. Hope Westjet comes back with direct non-stop from Ottawa. Our plan for next summer is stay at an AirBnb and see how that goes.

  • December 27 2018

    OOH. So glad I found this post. You’re going to think I’m bonkers, but I am itching to run away to Newfoundland in the dead of winter (for a writing project – long story!) – I’m super intrigued by mummering, so the festival in St. John’s is on the list; other than that, any thoughts on particularly iconic seasonal landscapes or destinations I should take in?

    • January 11 2019
      Candice

      Hey Amelinda! I don’t think you’re bonkers at all — it’s a good way to get to know a place that few other travellers get to know during this time of year, haha. Trust me, it’ll have a unique set of challenges…like closed businesses and severe weather, but it keeps things interesting. The western side of the province is the best place to be during the winter, especially around Humber Valley and the Marble Mountain ski resort area. There’s a lot of great stuff going on out there

  • March 27 2019
    christine daly sullivan

    I love your blog…..I visited Newfoundland in 1962 when my niece was born and have always wanted to travel back. Next year I am hoping for this to happen! Thank you for all of the information-!!

  • May 08 2019
    Bobbi Storey Reeves

    How do I order your book?

  • May 13 2019

    This guide is very very authentic and interesting for budget travelers. Thanks

  • July 06 2019
    Alex

    Great article! Maybe you can answer a question I’ve been stuck on. My friend and I are coming up in August to through hike the East Coast Trail. We’re driving up from the States and I’m trying to find a shuttle service to drive the car from the starting point down to Cappahayden so it’s there when we arrive. Maybe I’m just biased since that’s a totally common thing where I live near the AT, but I haven’t been able to find any place so far that does this. And while as a last resort we could probably park it somewhere and get taxis to and from the trail, I’m bringing my fairly large dog which would really complicate that. Do you happen to know of any service that will shuttle the car from one end to the other?

    • July 10 2019
      Candice

      There’s no shuttle service, unfortunately! You’re better off parking at one end of the trail and then taking a taxi back to the other side. BUT — it kinda depends on how you’re doing this. Are you planning on hiking the entire thing in one go, or in sections? Will you be camping out on the trail or staying overnight in B&Bs, etc? I was recently informed that some of the bed and breakfasts in the area are offering a service that will help shuttle you between trails and accommodations. No idea how much it costs, but if you’re staying locally in a bed and breakfast, I’d inquire with your host (they are excellently hospitable!). You COULD also hitchhike, which is very safe to do here. NL isn’t the easiest place to get around, but the people will be MORE than happy to help you out :)

  • September 21 2019
    Michel

    Candice,
    I cannot believe I came across your blog. I am saving it so I can comb through it thoroughly. I would love to plan a trip for the summer of 2020 and since I work in education in the US I can plan the trip for whatever length I want to be away. As a female traveler it was extra special to find your nuggets of tips! I can easy be a couch surfer, stay at the university, camp, but regardless I’m on a budget. I will take several days and enjoy the drive up the east coast from Pennsylvania. I love the outdoors- although I’d never hike for days but love a good leisure walk to gorgeous views through beautiful scenery. I am desperate to learn more about NF so I can plan the best trip possible. I’m also going to check out your Airbnb. I believe the best trip anywhere is the one where you find locals so you can really experience a place. I’m not a big fan of tours or touristy things. I was born in Alberta and have what they call dual citizenship. I was 2yrs old when my parents moved back to the states but I have this magnetic connection to Canada and when I started searching for the best place to visit NF came up and I was sold!!! Then I came across your blog when I was trying to figure out how to do it without spending a fortune. If you have any tips or connections I can make I’d be sincerely grateful. I’m also open to helping others get around once I’m there because I would have a car. Thanks again for all the amazing information!!! Maybe I will get to run into you next summer.

    • September 21 2019
      Michel

      Apologies- I meant NL and not NF (Newbie mistake- it won’t happen again:) ha

    • September 23 2019
      Candice

      Hey Michel! So glad you’re coming to visit! I’m in the process of updating this guide so I’ll have some new tips and things for ya soon. I’m also going to write a post about getting around NL without a car (spoiler alert: it isn’t easy, haha). But hopefully that will help. :) I don’t actually live at that house with the Airbnb anymore but my friend does! She’d be happy to have ya!

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