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One of North America's oldest cities, St. John's is an unforgettable destination. Explore it and Newfoundland in a rental car from St John's Airport and compare the latest deals with DriveNow.
Steeped in history and surrounded by stunning coastal scenery, St John's Newfoundland is Canada’s oldest and most easterly city and as it’s provincial name reflects it was one of the first landfalls for European settlers.
For many visitors, the gateway to Newfoundland is St John’s Airport. During the warmer months, May through September, visitor numbers ramp up so for those looking to secure car hire at St John’s Airport booking ahead is a great idea. Not only does this bring peace of mind, it avoids the stress of walk-up booking vehicle availability and gives you a better deal. In most cases booking car hire in advance is cheaper.
With history dating back to visits from the Viking times, Newfoundland is one of the most historically fascinating provinces in Canada. St. John's itself is the oldest city in North America and was claimed as the first permanent North American British settlement in 1583. Nowadays, St. John's is known for its windswept scenery and fascinating historical sites.
Equally important to its residents as its history is Newfoundland's incredibly unique culture. As a result of its combined Irish, English, French and Aboriginal heritage and isolated location, Newfoundland and Labrador boasts more varieties of English than found anywhere else in the world, along with a legacy of famous art and music.
To fully appreciate St. John's historical importance, be sure to visit Signal Hill. The spot was once a strategic location fought over by both the French and English from the 17th century. Its name comes from the landmark event that took place here in 1901 when Guglielmo Marconi received the first ever transatlantic wireless signal. Even if you're not too keen on history, Signal Hill is worth a trip for its sweeping panoramic views of the coast below.
If you're craving more ocean views, combine them with some culture for a visit to The Rooms. At this art gallery and museum, you'll get a fascinating look at how St. John's intriguing culture came to be and how it intersects with the area's natural history. Don't miss having lunch or a snack at the onsite cafe, which offers superb views of the city and ocean.
Finally, you won't want to skip a visit to the city's magnificent St. John the Baptist Basilica. In 1834, the then Bishop proposed the building of the basilica to replace the wooden chapel, which provided little protection for parishioners against heavy rain, wind and snow. After years of difficult negotiations, Queen Victoria granted land for the new church in 1838 and the men, women and children of St. John all worked together to build the basilica that we see today.