Whether you are visiting Vancouver for the first time or are returning to relive past memories, this vibrant seaport on the west coast of Canada never fails to disappoint. From the surrounding mountains, to the entertainment around the downtown peninsula, to historic Gastown in the east end, and the sprawling Stanley Park, you can always discover something new and exciting when you travel to Vancouver.
Peak tourist season in Vancouver is from June to August. So if you want to know the best time for travel in Vancouver minus the crowds, March to May or September to November are ideal. Spring is perfect for kayaking and strolling through parks and gardens, while summer brings tourists from around the world to enjoy swimming, hiking, and numerous outdoor activities.
This coastal city offers a moderate, oceanic climate. The average temperature for Vancouver during summer months ranges from an average 13-15 degrees Celsius in May-June to 17-18 degrees Celsius in July-August and it starts to cool off again in September with an average of 15 degrees Celsius. October offers the crisp, cool air of fall averaging 12-13 degrees Celsius. Winter months are mild, with average temperatures usually remaining above the freezing mark from 4 degrees to 10 degrees Celsius November-March.
From most locations, the cheapest day to fly to Vancouver is Wednesday. Most users found that departing on a Saturday was most expensive.
Typically, cheap prices to Vancouver are most often found for noon flights. Cheap prices are less likely for evening flights.
Domestic flights to Vancouver include Air Canada, WestJet, AirNorth, Air Transat, Central Mountain, and Sunwing Airlines. Vancouver international flights include Korean Air, Japan Airlines, Island Express, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Air New Zealand, Aeromexico, Air France, and British Airways. While there are cheap flights to Vancouver, be cautious about the price and what you get for the price. Many airlines exclude baggage fees and meals.
Vancouver International Airport is 12 kilometres from Downtown Vancouver. International and domestic terminals are served by the YVR-Airport station, which is part of the Canada Line. Canada Line consists of three Skytrain lines that serve metro Vancouver. Trains leave every 7 minutes during peak travel hours and every 15 minutes for non-peak travel times. They run from 5:00 am to 1:00 am and take 26 minutes to reach Vancouver City Centre station. The fare is $9 CAD (discounts available for seniors and children).
The N10 night bus connects domestic and international terminals to Richmond and Downtown Vancouver. Airport south terminals are served by the C92 bus, which connects to the Canada Line at Bridgeport Station.
It will take around 25 to 30 minutes to reach downtown with a $35 CAD flat fee (does not include gratuity).
Private and Rental Cars
Private sedans and limousines are an option, but range from $45 CAD to as much as $81 CAD for the ride and must be arranged ahead of time. You can also find great bargains for car rentals with momondo.
Vancouver is perfect for those who want to get outdoors and get in a few steps walking around the city’s attractions. It is a walkable city and has a compact downtown design. Most likely, you will be just a short walk from your hotel to main attractions in the area. Taxis are available, and they are hailed from the street. Designated taxi stands are found throughout the city too, and you can call one for pickup by paying $5 – $10 CAD for short downtown rides. TransLink is another option that has passes covering the SeaBus and SkyTrain. The transit system has three zones with prices ranging from $2.75 – $5.50 CAD for adults and $1.75 – $3.75 CAD for children. An All-Access Day Pass is $9.75 CAD. After 6:30 pm, as well as on weekends, all trips are classed as a one-zone fare of $1.75 CAD for children and $2.75 CAD for adults. Children under 5 travel for free.
The Aquabus Ferries and False Creek Ferries are affordable ways to bypass the busy bridges. Both are privately operated and a single ride ticket costs anywhere from $3.25 – $5.50 CAD with day passes costing $15 – $16 CAD.
Vancouver has plenty of activities to offer—choose from outdoor biking and hiking to skiing, or visit museums and parks, and much more. Sushi is popular in the area, and Vancouver is home to some of the best sushi houses with excellent pricing. Okada Sushi and Blue Water Café & Raw Bar are two popular establishments to try.
Three skiing areas within a short drive include Cypress Bowl, Grouse Mountain, and Mt. Seymour, which are just 30 minutes from Downtown Vancouver. For the kids in your group, visit the Vancouver Aquarium or entertain young minds at Science World which has numerous hands-on activities and shows. In the summer, the beach scene is always popular, but real summer fun does not start until Canada Day (July 1st), and the temperatures start to cool in October, so plan your visit with this in mind.
Strolling around Downtown Vancouver is an excellent way to get to know the city and explore what it has to offer. Start at Canada Place then walk toward Gastown and Chinatown, which will take a half day on its own. Then, head to Yaletown for dinner.
Plenty to Shop and Bring Home
For gift ideas, stop at First Nations Artwork or bring home smoked and vacuum-sealed salmon. Also, a bottle of wine (or two) from a local vineyard is a great find to bring back.
Canada Line YVR AddFare
All transit users travelling on the Canada Line leaving the airport are subject to the $5 AddFare in addition to their zone fare. It is automatically added to your fee when you buy the fare card.