Vancouver Travel Guide
Cosmopolitan and dynamic, Vancouver combines urbanism and nature to perfection. Therefore, during a stay in the city it is possible to combine activities such as shopping and other urban leisure activities with the practice of various outdoor sports.
There are adventure parks in the city that take your breath away, and great golf courses like Fraserview and Langara, among many others. In addition, the city’s coasts invite visitors to rest on the beach and practice various water sports.
Vancouver’s culinary scene is also outstanding. Taste the best sushi in Japanese restaurants like Miku Vancouver or Toshi Sushi, and beer accompanied by delicious dishes made with local products, in places like Craft Beer Market.
- Top 5 reasons to visit Vancouver
- Things to do in Vancouver
- When to visit Vancouver
- How to get to Vancouver
- Where to stay in Vancouver
- Getting Around Vancouver
- Cost of living in Vancouver
- Where to Eat in Vancouver
Top 5 reasons to visit Vancouver
Art and culture
From the four fascinating floors of the Vancouver Art Gallery, to the many plays and musical performances, Vancouver’s cultural scene is one of the best in Canada. Highlights include performances by the British Columbia Ballet, or simply BC, symphony concerts at the Orpheum Theatre and shows at the Stanley Theatre, the Vancouver Performing Arts Centre and the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
The city’s calendar is full of festivals. Amongst the many others are the Trust Vancouver International Jazz Festival and the Vancouver Regional Music Festival.
The beaches of Jericho and Kitsilano are quiet and safe for swimming and enjoying the sun. In Kitsilano, there is also a huge heated saltwater swimming pool, suitable for adults and children. From this place you can appreciate beautiful panoramic views of the city, the ocean and the mountains.
From the snowy slopes of the Rocky Mountains to the dramatic valleys surrounding Vancouver, the region’s landscapes are fantastic for adventurers and photographers. Its beauty harmonizes with the coastal landscape and the lush forests nearby.
Ice hockey is the king of sports in Vancouver. It’s almost compulsory to watch a Vancouver Canucks game at Rogers Arena. If you prefer to watch football, then head over to watch a BC Lions or Vancouver Whitecaps game at the CFL Stadiums.
Things to do in Vancouver
Enjoy Stanley Park
This park is a haven of peace and beauty. It houses several species of trees and is surrounded by the landscapes of the bay, the port, the promenade and the peculiar fjord of the city. A picturesque train allows you to tour the park and, when you feel like resting, go to the peaceful Laguna Perdida, home to herons and swans.
Raise the adrenaline level in the park of the Capilano Suspension Bridge
Crossing the Capilano Suspension Bridge is a breathtaking experience. In the vast park there are other attractions, such as the Treetop Adventure, the Totem Park, the Indigenous Cultural Center and an interpretation center. If you wish, you can also take part in a guided tour of the forest and buy souvenirs.
Visit the Grouse mountain
This adventure begins with a formidable 8-minute ride on the Skyride cable car to the top of the mountain. There is a wildlife refuge, several restaurants and different proposals for activities in nature throughout the year, from hiking to snow sports.
Visit the Vancouver Aquarium
Located in Stanley Park, this aquarium is home to penguins, otters and a variety of marine species. There is also the Amazon Forest sector, dolphin shows are presented, you can feed the otters and attend the 4D Experience Theatre, which shows 3D movies in high definition. General admission costs C$ 38.
Be amazed at the Science World
The Peter Brown Family Centre Stage is located in this centre, where interactive exhibits and scientific demonstrations are presented that leave the public speechless. In addition, IMAX films are shown in the Omnimax Theatre.
When to visit Vancouver
Vancouver’s climate is pleasant and mild all year round. However, the region is quite rainy. The wettest month is November, and the driest season is between July and August, though temperatures can reach 33°C.
Keep in mind that the Pacific National Exhibition takes place between late August and early September at Playland Amusement Park; that in winter there’s an ice skating rink in Robson Square; and that in the fall the city hosts the International Film Festival.
How to get to Vancouver
Most visitors arrive in the city via Vancouver International Airport (YVR), which is located 15 kilometres from the city. The easiest way to get to the center is to take the SkyTrain Canada Line which completes the journey in 25 minutes and costs C$9.20. A taxi from the air terminal to downtown can cost between C$ 40 and 50, and the trip takes about 30 minutes.
Vancouver can be reached by train from Canada or the northwest United States, through landscapes of immense beauty. Those departing from Oregon and Washington can use the Amtrak Cascades route to reach Vancouver’s Central Pacific Station. A trip from Seattle to Vancouver has an average price of $75. VIA Rail operates the rail link to Toronto, while Rocky Mountaineer service connects Vancouver to inland cities such as Edmonton and Calgary.
From Eastern Canada, Vancouver can be reached by following Canadian Highway 1. Those driving from the West Coast of the United States should take I-5, which in Canadian territory becomes Highway 99.
The Greyhound Company connects Vancouver with several cities in the United States, such as Seattle and San Francisco, and also with Canadian cities, such as Whitehorse and Edmonton. The price of the ticket from Seattle, for example, costs between $ 18 and 25, depending on the day of the week. Also, Quick Coach offers express bus services from Seattle Tacoma Airport; BoltBus provides connections to Seattle and Portland; and Pacific Coach Lines operates buses connecting Vancouver to Victoria Island.
Airports near Vancouver
YVR Vancouver Intl
CXH Vancouver Coal Harbour
Where to stay in Vancouver
Vancouver offers a great set of accommodation options. The Holiday Inn Vancouver Downtown & Suites offers rooms for about C$ 204 per night, while the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s 4-star nightly rates are around C$ 310. Inexpensive and enjoyable options include The Cambie Hostels, where you can relax for less than C$ 75 per night.
Popular neighborhoods in Vancouver
Downtown – Granville Street. Granville Street is the heart of Vancouver, and concentrates multiple entertainment options. It is home to numerous restaurants, bars and nightclubs, as well as the Orpheum Theatre.
Gastown is Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood. It grew out of a tavern founded by John “Gassy Jack” Deighton in 1867. In this district, Victorian architecture alternates with elegant fashion boutiques, attractive galleries and some of the best restaurants in the city, including Bauhaus and Blue Water Cafe.
Coal Harbour. This centrally located district is noted for its tranquil atmosphere, and is situated by the sea. Here you’ll find the Vancouver Convention Centre, as well as the waterfront, flanked by charming restaurants and cafes.
Getting Around Vancouver
The TransLink public transportation system, which includes buses, trains, and ferries, covers the entire city. Depending on the zone, a single ticket in any medium costs between C$2.95 and C$5.70, while the single price of a day pass is C$10.25. To make payment easier for you, it is advisable to purchase a Compass card.
Taxis are relatively expensive in Vancouver. The cost of a taxi is C$3.50 for a drop-off, and C$1.90 for each additional kilometre travelled.
Renting a car is a good option if you want to move around the city and surroundings with agility. At the airport and at various locations around Vancouver there are car rental agencies such as Routes Car Rental and Avis which offer cars for 4-5 people for about C$30 per day.
Cost of living in Vancouver
Vancouver is a great shopping center. If you’re looking for branded clothing, head to the shops on Robson Street, and if you like handcrafted products, head to Granville Island Market or the Punjabi, where you’ll find everything from food to handcrafted clothing and jewelry.
Supermarkets and groceries
In Vancouver there are supermarket chains such as T&T, Safeway and IGA. If you’re in the mood for fresh fruit and vegetables, head over to Granville Island Market. You’ll also find organic stores, such as Whole Foods, scattered throughout the city. As a guideline, consider that a dozen eggs costs about C$4; and a bottle of medium quality wine, C$18.50.
Where to Eat in Vancouver
Vancouver is one of the best places to eat in North America. The Japadog centre offers an original fusion of Japanese flavours and traditional sausages, while Kalypso specializes in Greek food. Banana Leaf in Kitsilano makes dishes of Malaysian cuisine, while Vij’s on Granville Island boasts the best Indian restaurant in town. An elegant lunch or dinner for two can cost between C$70 and C$200, although you can eat well for about C$15 per diner in many restaurants.