Saint John, New Brunswick Travel Guide

Canada  #15 in Best Family Vacations in Canada

Courtesy of Laszlo Podor/Getty Images

Getting Around Saint John, New Brunswick

The best ways to get around Saint John are on foot and by car. Many of the city's most popular attractions can be found within its concentrated downtown and are within walking distance of one another. But if you are planning to visit sites outside of the city proper -- like Fundy National Park -- you will need your own set of wheels. You can find major rental agencies in town and at the Saint John Airport (YSJ), which is located about 10 miles northeast of town. If you don't want to spend money on a rental car, you can rely on the city's bus system to get around.

On Foot

Downtown Saint John is located on a rather small peninsula and can easily be explored on foot. This neighborhood is home to many of the city's attractions, including the Loyalist House and the Saint John City Market. And when the weather gets chilly, you can traverse the downtown area via The Inside Connection, a series of indoor walkways that connect a variety of restaurants and even a few hotels.

Public Transportation

Saint John Transit operates bus routes throughout the city. If you're planning to rely on public transport as your primary means of getting around, there are four key routes you should know: Routes 1 and 2 run east to west, while routes 3 and 4 run from the north side of town to the east side. All four of these routes pass through downtown, stopping at King Square and the Saint John City Market. These main lines operate at regular intervals Monday through Saturday from roughly 6 a.m. to midnight. One-way rides are $2.75 CAD (roughly $2.75 USD) for adults and $2.50 CAD for children. You can also purchase a Transcard -- good for either 10 or 20 rides -- for $23 CAD or $45 CAD, depending on the number or rides you choose.  

Car Having a car comes in handy if you're planning to visit sites outside of downtown Saint John, like Fundy National Park. You can rent a car at Saint John Airport (YSJ), or you can wait until you get to town. Just note that parking in central Saint John can be expensive, especially if you're looking for spaces on major streets like King Street. Instead, turn onto one of the many side streets where you can find parking for free. You should also be aware that gas in Canada is sold by the liter, not the gallon, and is generally more expensive than in the States.

Ferries between downtown Saint John and Digby, Nova Scotia operate daily. Digby -- a quiet harbor town -- makes a great daytrip for those looking to escape Saint John's industrial atmosphere. But the main reason to cross the Bay of Fundy is to enjoy the views (you might even catch a glimpse of a whale or two). However, these are costly vistas: Round-trip tickets cost between $51 and $61 CAD (roughly $51 to $61 USD) depending on the season.

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