St. John's locals pride themselves on their city's artistic flair and the stunning natural attractions that surround them. The city was first settled by Europeans around the beginning of the 16th century. Fertile fishing grounds and a pivotal trading location has meant that St. John's has grown to a population of around 100,000 inhabitants today.
Begin your sightseeing with a stroll along Water Street in downtown St. John’s. This thoroughfare, believed to be one of the oldest in North America, has the city’s Visitor Information Centre and plenty of places to dine and shop. At the southern end of the street, you’ll find the Railway Coastal Museum. Browse its exhibits that tell the story of Newfoundland's century-old railway and shipping services.
Head north along Water Street and turn into Duckworth Street to reach The Rooms, an important cultural space that brings together a museum, gallery and archives. Just a few minutes’ walk from here is the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. The city’s other major religious building is the Roman Catholic Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
See where some of the stone that was used to build the basilica came from at Signal Hill. Admire sweeping views from this landmark of communications and military history. Nearby, learn about the geology of the area at the Johnson GEO Centre. Find out what native flora and fauna grows and lives in this part of the world at the Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) Botanical Garden.
Experience nature in a more wild setting as you tour the waters on a boat trip. Spot humpback whales swimming between dramatic icebergs. You can also look for whales on land at the Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site, located at the most easterly point of land in North America. The Visitor Centre at the restored lighthouse has exhibits on the history and traditions of lighthouse keeping.
Venture farther afield with a visit to the village of Quidi Vidi, a quaint fishing settlement. You can reach Quidi Vidi via the Grand Concourse, 75 miles (120 kilometers) of walking trails that links St. John’s to surrounding villages and attractions.
St John's city center is a 10-minute drive from its international airport. Get around town using taxis or the local metro bus service.