St. John's Newfoundland - the capital of the island

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St John's Newfoundland

St. John's Newfoundland

That's how I imagined St. John's Newfoundland, or at least something like that. The capital of Newfoundland With around 100 inhabitants, the largest town on the rock is “the Rock”, as the Newfoundlanders affectionately call their island. St. John's is definitely an exciting travel destination. You will be amazed by the fascinating mixture of culture, history and breathtaking nature. Discover the beautiful coastal landscape and feel the maritime atmosphere that characterizes the city.

Map of St. John's Newfoundland

Trip map created with hiking log, an itinerary planner on iOS and Android

The people of St. John's are extremely hospitable. You will quickly notice that they are proud of their cultural heritage. There are many opportunities to experience the local culture in the city. Visit interesting museums, art galleries and historical sites.

Hotels in St. John's Newfoundland

Hotels in St. John's Newfoundland - Good hotels at Good Prices

If you are visiting St. John's in Newfoundland and looking for a good hotel at an affordable price, here are ten great options for you. Check out this list of the best hotels in St. John's Newfoundland at great prices...
The Quidi Vidi Brewery in St. John, Newfoundland

Iceberg Beer from Newfoundland

The Iceberg Beer from Newfoundland tastes good! I'm usually more of a wine drinker. But in Newfoundland I was proved wrong, because there they have a beer that can't be found anywhere else in the world: the Iceberg Beer of the Quidi Vidi...
Whale watching off St. John's Newfoundland

Whales are watching in front of Newfoundland

Whale watching is one of the top attractions in St. John's, Newfoundland. This whale watching tour departs from St. John Harbor and heads into the waters off Cape Spear. The whales feed on krill in the waters off Newfoundland in July...

St. John's Newfoundland and its nature

St. John's Newfoundland is also a paradise for nature lovers. The city is surrounded by green parks, hiking trails and idyllic lakes. Here you can observe the stunning wildlife and enjoy the fresh sea air. Whether you like shopping or good food and live music, St. John's has something for everyone. In the city center you will find cozy pubs, trendy restaurants and unique shops.

Downtown and George Street

It's a bit bigger than I thought, but downtown, the heart of the city, is just a couple of parallel streets stretching northwest from the docks. There are banks, shops, hotels and the (somewhat hidden) George Street. It is the nightlife area of ​​St. John's, where the bear dances every evening. The selection of pubs, restaurants and music bars here is so large that you can change bars every hour and in the morning there is still a large selection that easily suffices for further nightly forays through the entertainment district.

Residential area close to nature

The residential areas are grouped behind the city centre. From Signal Hill you can see that these are interspersed with a lot of green. In between there are always small lakes like Long Pond, Muddy Pond or Kents Pond: nature is never far away in St. John's. This gives the city a very pleasant atmosphere. You can also experience nature and the outdoors on your own doorstep.


Street in St Johns Newfoundland
Street in St John's Newfoundland

Irish heritage in St. John's Newfoundland

The fact that many Irish people live in this city cannot be overlooked when strolling through the downtown shopping streets. At least, many of the ancestors of St. John's residents are from the Irish Isles. They are proud of their Irish heritage. This is clearly evident when walking through the city.

Gaelic names and brightly colored facades

St. John's is full of shops with brightly colored facades and Gaelic names, a nod to their Irish origins. Strolling through the city, you often come across such shops and Irish surnames. Many of the residents have Irish or English ancestry. One is proud of this and shows it in the traditions of the city.

Typical music

At O'Brien's on Water Street - the oldest shop on the oldest street in the oldest city in North America (as the shop boasts) - we get local music for our trip through the island: for example pub songs, reels, gigs and sea shanties that entice you to sing along. This also shows how connected the residents feel to the culture of the British Isles.

Relaxed atmosphere in the city center

Downtown St. John's is cozy and uncluttered. And no one is in a hurry here. If you are short on time, you should be prepared to be late, because the traffic through the city center is not hectic and stressful and rolls through the city center at walking pace. Pedestrians have the right of way - and they take full advantage of that. There are sidewalks and traffic lights, but people hardly pay attention to car traffic when crossing the street - on the contrary, people are used to cars giving way to pedestrians.


St John's Harbour
St John's Harbour


The harbor and shipping in St. John's Newfoundland

Fishing Boats and Coast Guard

Just down the parallel street, fishing boats, Coast Guard vessels and even a stranded Russian freighter line Harbor Street.

Story of the stranded Russian freighter

Bernadette, our companion, who shows us the city, tells us that a Russian shipping company was the owner of the rather battered ship. She reports that she went bankrupt and her freighter and crew stranded in St. John's.

Newfoundland Solidarity

It took time for the mills of bureaucracy to straighten out the confusion of the bankrupt ship, and during this time the Russian crew stayed on board their ship in the port of St. John's - at least for a few months. The Newfoundlanders took care of the stranded sailors and prepared them a lavish Christmas party, including gifts.


Residential area along the harbor entrance
Residential neighborhoods along the harbor entrance of St. John's Newfoundland


History of the City of St. John's Newfoundland

St. John's was discovered by Giovanni Caboto on June 24, 1497. However, historians disagree about where exactly he first landed. Caboto, also known as John cabot was the first European since the Vikings to reach North America. He called the land "Terra de prima vista" or "New Founde Lande".

There are also reports that the Portuguese navigator João Vaz Corte-Real reached Newfoundland as early as 1473. He called it "Terra do Bacalhau" or "stockfish territory". The name St. John's may come from Caboto's discovery on St. John's Day. Another theory is that Basque fishermen who fished here took the name from their hometown of Pasaia.

On August 5, 1583, Sir Humphrey Gilbert finally took possession of the region for England. St. John's became the oldest British colony. The city changed hands several times between England and France. From 1762 onwards it remained permanently in English hands. St. John's served as a naval base in the American War of Independence and the War of 1812.

Coastal cliffs and fishing villages

The first settlements in Newfoundland were built along the coast, from where the fishermen sailed out into the Atlantic. What is striking in St. John's are the houses that were built on the steep coastal cliffs and seem to cling on there with difficulty.

Many settlers came from the southeast of Ireland. This explains the similarity of the dialects between Newfoundland and this Irish region.

St. John's Newfoundland in the 20th century

On July 8, 1892, St. John's experienced a major fire known as the Great Fire of 1892. On December 21, 1992, another fire broke out, destroying many businesses and homes.

Guglielmo Marconi received the first transatlantic radio transmission in St. John's on December 12, 1901. John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown also took off from here on June 14, 1919 for the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic.

During World War II, the British and Canadian navies used the port to protect convoys. The United States Army also had a large base here, Fort Pepperrell. (Source: Wikipedia)


Parliament of St John's Newfoundland


Nature in St. John's Newfoundland

Parliament in the countryside

The Parliament of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador shows how close nature is to this city. The building is surrounded by greenery.

Moose Story: "Harry"

The residents of the city can also sing a song about it. Bernadette tells us about her sister, who owns a house with a garden in Portugal Cove, a suburb of St. John's. A moose is a permanent guest. He was born nearby and has been coming back every year since he was a child. The family has since christened him "Harry". Harry has his civilizing quirks. He loves spinach. That's why it happens from time to time that freshly bought spinach, which was actually intended for the family table, ends up in the stomach of the large "pet". Also, Harry likes the luxury of the city. When the lawn in the family garden is watered, Harry comes regularly to take his summer shower.



Events and attractions in St. John's Newfoundland

St. John's in Newfoundland offers many exciting events and attractions. For example, start your visit with a walk through the colorful Jellybean Row. The colorful houses are a popular photo subject and a landmark of the city.

Every year in July the George Street Festival It is one of Canada's biggest street parties. Enjoy live music and local specialties in the many pubs and restaurants.

Another highlight is that Signal Hill TattooThis historic military parade features impressive displays from Newfoundland's history. Also visit Signal Hill National Historic Site. From there you have a breathtaking view of the city and the harbor.

For nature lovers, the Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site spectacular views and hiking trails. It is the easternmost point in North America.

If you want to learn more about the history of the region, visit the The RoomsThis museum combines art, history and culture of Newfoundland.

Another must is a boat trip to Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. Watch whales and puffins in their natural habitat.

In winter, St. John's turns into a winter wonderland. Bowring Park is ideal for ice skating and sledding.


Cape Spear Newfoundland
Cape Spear Newfoundland, photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash


Accommodation in St. John's Newfoundland for every budget

St. John's in Newfoundland offers great accommodations for every budget. Whether you're looking for luxury or want to travel on a budget, you'll find what you're looking for here. Please note: : If you book via a link marked with *, we receive a commission with which we operate this blog.

For luxury lovers I recommend the Sheraton Newfoundland Hotel*It is centrally located and offers first-class service and a great view of the harbor. Here you can relax in the wellness area and end the day in the hotel's own restaurant.

If you are looking for a cozy and charming accommodation, this is Gower Guest House* ideal. This historic bed and breakfast is located in a restored building and offers cozy rooms and a delicious breakfast. The location is perfect for exploring the city on foot.

For budget-conscious travelers, the HI St. John's City Hostel* a good choice. The hostel offers clean, simple rooms and a friendly atmosphere. Here you can meet other travelers and exchange valuable tips. The central location makes it easy to reach the city's attractions.

Another recommendation for price-conscious travelers is the DoubleTree by Hilton St. John's Harbourview*This hotel offers comfortable rooms at reasonable prices and beautiful views of the harbor.

More hotels in St. John's we recommend here.


St. John's Newfoundland
St. John's Newfoundland, photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash


A few more practical travel tips for St. John's Newfoundland

The best time to visit St. John's is from June to September. The weather is mild and there are many festivals. Be sure to pack warm clothes as it can get chilly even in summer.

Public transport is well developed. Metrobus takes you quickly and cheaply through the city. For more flexibility, I recommend renting a car. This way you can also explore the surrounding area of ​​St. John's.


Restaurant in St. John's Newfoundland, photo by Erin Minuskin on Unsplash


Hungry? Then check out these restaurants

Would you like to try the local cuisine? Then head to Duke of DuckworthHere you can find the best fish and chips in town. For a delicious breakfast or brunch, the Rocket Bakery & Fresh Food ideal. Enjoy fresh baked goods and good coffee.

Be sure to visit Signal Hill. The view over the city is breathtaking. Cape Spear, the easternmost point of North America, is also worth a trip. Water Street with its many boutiques and cafés is also ideal for a leisurely stroll through the city.

Remember to always have some cash with you. Credit cards are not accepted everywhere.

Bottom Line: This is St. John's Newfoundland

St. John's, the capital of Newfoundland, is cozy and manageable. The Irish heritage can be felt everywhere. The relaxed atmosphere invites you to explore. The harbor areas and steep coastal cliffs bear witness to a long history closely linked to America's fishing and exploration.

People are friendly and helpful, as evidenced by the story of stranded Russian sailors. Nature is omnipresent. You can see that in the residential areas as well as in Parliament.

St. John's is definitely unique and worth seeing. It offers cultural experiences, a relaxed atmosphere and proximity to nature. The city invites you to get to know its history, people and beauty and inspires you to explore Newfoundland.


Activities in St. John's Newfoundland


St. John's Newfoundland Questions and Answers

What are the must-see attractions in St. John's?

St. John's has some amazing sights that you shouldn't miss! The famous Cabot Tower on Signal Hill offers stunning views over the city and harbor. The colorful Jellybean Row, the historic buildings in bright colors, is also a must-see. Also, Quidi Vidi Village is a fishing village with a picturesque setting that you should visit.

Is there good shopping for local produce or souvenirs in St. John's?

Yes, definitely! In downtown St. John's you will find many boutiques, art galleries and gift shops. Visit the Murray Premises and Duckworth and Water Streets to discover local art, handcrafted products and traditional crafts. It is also worth visiting the “St. John's Farmers' Market to shop for fresh local produce and culinary delights.

Which historical sites and museums should I visit in St. John's?

St. John's has a rich history and there are some fascinating historical sites and museums to visit. The Rooms is an award-winning cultural center presenting a variety of exhibits related to the history and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador. The "Johnson Geo Center" offers exciting insights into the geological development of the region. The Commissariat House and Newman Wine Vaults are historic buildings that offer a glimpse into the city's past.

Are there nice parks or beaches around St. John's to relax on?

Yes, there are some beautiful parks and beaches around St. John's that are perfect for relaxing. Bowring Park is a scenic park with lakes, meadows and trails, ideal for walks and picnics. Middle Cove Beach is a popular spot for relaxing on the beach and spotting whales and seabirds along the rocky shoreline.

What special activities are there for the adventurous in St. John's?

For the adventurous, there are some exciting things to do in St. John's! You could join an "Iceberg Watching Tour" to get up close and personal with majestic icebergs. Local operators also offer zip-lining adventures and kayak trips along the coast. If you are a hiking lover, I recommend exploring the spectacular East Coast Trail, which will take you to stunning cliffs and secluded coves.

What weather conditions can I expect in St. John's Newfoundland?

The weather in St. John's is maritime, with mild summers and cool winters. Temperatures range from -1°C in winter to 20°C in summer. It's often windy and foggy, and rain is common, so pack rainproof clothing and a windbreak.

What are the transportation options in St. John's?

St. John's offers public bus services, taxis and bike rentals. However, a rental car is recommended to explore the surrounding areas. St. John's International Airport connects the city to other Canadian cities as well as international destinations.

What regional specialties should I try in St. John's?

Newfoundland cuisine is characterized by both seafood and traditional Irish dishes. Sample fish and chips, Jiggs Dinner (a stew of meat, cabbage and potatoes) and the local delicacy, the Newfie Fries (French fries with dressing and gravy). In Quebec they are as poutine famous.

Are there outdoor activities in St. John's?

St. John's offers numerous outdoor activities such as hiking, boat trips for whale and iceberg watching, and fishing. The east coast trail is a popular hiking trail that runs along the coast and offers breathtaking views.

What events and festivals are held in St. John's Newfoundland?

St. John's hosts various events and festivals. The annual George Street Festival in the summer celebrates local music and culture. In winter finds that Mummer's Festival where the participants wrap themselves in creative disguises and parade through the streets.


St. John's Newfoundland
St. John's Newfoundland, photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash


Travel Arrangements:

Parking at the airport

Here you can reserve your parking space at the airport.

Getting to St. John's Newfoundland:

Compare and book flights here*. Air Canada flies to St.John*s on Newfoundland. So book a flight to first  TorontoMontreal or Halifax. You can then book a domestic flight to St. John's. From there you can then continue your journey by rental car.

Car Rentals:

Cheap car hire - book quickly and easily!

Hotels in St. John's Newfoundland:

Book your hotel in St. John's Newfoundland here*. An Selection of good hotels at good prices you can also find here.

Camper Rentals:

You can book a mobile home here.

Newfoundland Travel Guide:

Order your travel guide for Newfoundland here*.

If you purchase via a link marked *, we receive a commission, which we use to run this blog.



St. John's Newfoundland
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Source: Field research supported by Tourism St. John's, Tourism Newfoundland & Labrador and the Canadian Tourism Commission. However, our opinion remains our own.

Text: © Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Video: © Petar Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

St. John's Newfoundland - the capital of the island

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn

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