Vancouver Travel Guide & Information

Vancouver, a coastal city located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia was named after British Captain George Vancouver, who explored the area in the 1790s. Surrounded by water on three sides, and crowned by the North Shore mountains, Vancouver is a great destination, as well a great starting point for discovering the area's many outdoor activities. Vancouver is frequently ranked as one of the "best cities to live in" and is certainly a beautiful destination to visit.

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Travel to Vancouver, a city well known on the travel circuit for its scenic beauty and the vast amount of opportunities. Whether you choose to ski on the mountains or windsurf in the ocean, Vancouver won't disappoint. Flights to Vancouver are your ticket to a city that enjoys the mildest climate of any major city in Canada.

The city has many urban amenities that you’d find in a major metropolis, as well as easy access to the Pacific Ocean and the mountains of the Pacific Coast Range. Vancouver is a bustling, cosmopolitan city that offers many things to do, both indoors and outdoors. Outdoor activities include hiking, cycling, boating and skiing, to name a few. The host for 2010 Winter Olympics and 2010 Winter Paralympics, Vancouver is a "Must Visit" for any traveler looking for a memorable vacation.


Things to do in Vancouver


Vancouver has some excellent museums that are home to exhibits on a wide range of topics.

Museum of Vancouver: is a local museum located in Vanier Park. The museum includes artifacts collected from around the world by Vancouver residents, taxidermy of local game and wildlife, popular culture artifacts collected locally from the late 19th and 20th centuries and journals written by local middle and upper class women chronicling their travels throughout the British Empire.

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Vancouver Maritime Museum: is devoted to presenting the maritime history of Vancouver. The main exhibit is the St. Roch, a historic arctic exploration vessel used by the Royal Canadian Police. The museum also has extensive galleries of model ships. In fact, the museum houses a workshop where visitors can watch craftsmen build models.

Vancouver Art Gallery: The art gallery houses a permanent collection of over 9,100 items that includes more than 200 major works by Emily Carr, the Group of Seven, and illustrations by Marc Chagall. Established in 1931 with the founding of the Gallery, the collection has grown by several hundred works annually. It is a principal repository of works produced in this region, as well as related works by other Canadian and international artists.

Prominent Attractions:

Vancouver offers several world class attractions that are a “Must See”.

Kitsilano Beach: is one of the most popular beaches in Vancouver, especially during the warm summer months. The beach is home to the longest swimming pool in Canada, the salt-water outdoor Kitsilano Pool, operated by the Vancouver Park Board and open during the summer. Those interested in beach volleyball can check out the northern edge of the beachm which has a playground and a number of beach volleyball courts.

Capilano Suspension Bridge: is Vancouver's premier visitor destination. It is a simple suspension bridge crossing the Capilano River. The bridge gives visitors access to parks featuring rainforest ecotours, award-winning gardens, nature trails, North America's largest private collection of the First Nations totem poles, period decor and costumes, as well as exhibits highlighting the park's history and the surrounding rainforest.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden: Located in Chinatown, in Vancouver, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is the first full-size "scholars" garden built outside of China. The gardens employ philosophical principles of Feng Shui and Taoism, striving to achieve harmony and a balance of opposites. Fish and turtles live in the garden and also serve a symbolic purpose. Numerous large rocks are strategically placed and are intended to represent mountains.


Where to Stay in Vancouver

The variety of accommodations ranging from cheap hotels, 4-Star Hotels Under $99, youth hostels, extended stay hotels and budget Inns, are numerous.

Downtown: The downtown area has a number of larger hotel chains and landmark hotels. Major shops, services, restaurants and attractions are located in the heart of downtown. Budget conscious travelers who wish to stay downtown will have a choice of many establishments with affordable rates. However, the premier hotel chains like Hyatt, the Four Seasons and the Fairmont, as well as other top brand hotels dominate downtown. The area is perfect choice for travelers who wish to stay close to all the attractions. Business travelers can also choose to stay in this area.

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West End: West End is still downtown, but located west of Burrard Street, towards Stanley Park, stretching between English Bay and Coal Harbor. The area is teeming with diverse restaurants, bars, lounges, nightclubs and shops. The choice of accommodations in this area ranges from extended stay apartments, to bed & breakfast hotels. The area is close to beaches, Stanley Park and several other world class attractions.


Passport & Visa Requirements

For US Citizens:

As per the latest travel information available to Vancouver, here are the following passport and visa guidelines to assist you further.

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* Entry into Vancouver is solely determined by Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials in accordance with Canadian law. Please see the CBSA’s website for details.

* Canadian law requires that all persons entering Vancouver carry both proof of citizenship and proof of identity. A valid U.S. passport, passport card or NEXUS card satisfies these requirements for U.S. citizens.

* U.S. citizens entering Vancouver from a third country must have a valid U.S. passport.

For Canadian Citizens:

* A valid identification in order to board the plane.

This requirement applies to all travelers, regardless of age, including children.

We recommend that you check the latest travel alerts, various airlines baggage policies and travel safety tips, so that you do not miss out on any of the fun while visiting Vancouver .

*Kindly note that we take the utmost care in providing you with correct information at all times. However, the passport and visa regulations are subject to change and we strongly urge you to check the requirements directly with the US passport office and, or the Canadian Passport Office before traveling.


When to visit Vancouver

Vancouver has four distinct seasons and fewer fluctuations in weather make it an ideal destination for travelers year round. The most popular time to visit is during the summer when there is less rain and an array of outdoor activities and events.

However, budget travelers prefer to visit during the winters, though the weather is cold, cheap airfares and discount hotel rates are more readily available.

Planning your Visit:

High season: (June to August)

Low season: (September to March)

Vancouver Weather

Vancouver's climate is temperate by Canadian standards and is usually classified as Oceanic. It is also less windy than other Canadian cities.

* Vancouver has one of the wettest and foggiest climates of Canada's cities.

* Vancouver usually enjoys excellent summer weather characterized by pleasant, warm days with abundant sunshine.

Currency and Language:


ATMs are available throughout Vancouver - ensure you inform your bank before travelling abroad and find out what the cost for ATM withdraws are.


* French and English are the two most widely spoken languages in Vancouver.