St John's climate
Regardless of the time of year, sunseekers do not generally have cheap flights to St. John's at the top of their lists. However, the local climate is far from extreme and although the winter high is just below freezing at -1 degree Celsius, the summer sees temperatures rise to a comfortable 20 degrees Celsius.The St. John's climate is also known for a few outstanding characteristics within Canada, making it the cloudiest, foggiest, windiest, snowiest and wettest city in the country. It is also considerably warmer than much of the country, regardless of the time of year.
When to fly to St John's
The summer months tend to make up the local high season with many local events scheduled to take place in July and August including the Royal St. John's Regatta, George Street Festival, Shakespeare by the Sea Festival, Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival and the Discovery Days celebration marking the city's founding.
The winter when the area is at its wettest, windiest and coldest is the time when fewest visitors make their way to St. John's, making it an ideal time to secure the best hotel rates (but beware that many of the local attraction may operate on reduced schedules if not close altogether through this period).
Getting around St John's
By car: Depending on one's point of view, St. John's is the start or finish of the Trans-Canada Highway with the other end in Victoria, British Columbia so it can serve as a starting point for a very long journey. Local roads, albeit smaller, are well maintained and getting around St. John's is a relatively straightforward affair. Renting a car is likewise easy and can be done at the airport or in the city.
By foot: While the weather may suggest a different approach, walking is encouraged in St. John's, where a walking network has been developed to match any in Canada. It is called the Grand Concourse or a series of walkways connecting parks, rivers, ponds and lakes throughout St John's and nearby towns of Mount Pearl and Paradise – more than 100km in total.
By bus: Metrobus operates the local bus network which is made up of 18 local routes which cover all of the attractions in St. John's.
St John's insider information
- After landing on cheap flights to St. John’s, a wander through the narrow streets of the city will give you a flavour of the place and its unique atmosphere. You will stumble across countless shops, boutiques, restaurants and galleries but there are two streets that should not be missed on your tour. The first is Water Street, one of the oldest commercial thoroughfares in North America that is today lined with restaurants and eateries offering a wide array of foods from the area and the world.
- The other avenue of note is George Street, which is the perfect place to unwind after a busy day. This cobblestone street is home to many of the local, bars, clubs and pubs and comes to life once the sun has gone down. The George Street Festival is a must-see for anyone visiting St. John's in early August.
- The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist enjoys several claims to fame including that of being Canada's first parish (1699) and standing as an excellent example of ecclesiastical Gothic architecture – perhaps the finest on the continent. It also features a gargoyle from the 12th
- century that was a gift from the Diocese of Bristol in the UK.
- For a complete cultural immersion be sure to seek out The Rooms, which houses the Provincial Museum, the Provincial Art Gallery and the Provincial Archives under one roof. Named after and based loosely on the concept behind the fishing rooms that once featured large in the area as the place where families gathered to process their catch, The Rooms is likewise a place for people to come together – though in a setting that most people would agree smells a lot better.
- Finally there is nothing like a thirst-quenching pint to conclude a busy day of sightseeing and that's where Quidi Vidi Brewing comes in. The microbrewery is housed in a former fish-processing plant on a tiny wharf on the outskirts of town. Well-worth seeking out for anyone fond of a pint or two.