Vancouver | The Ultimate Travel Guide

When to do, where to stay and what to do in this Pacific coast city.

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Concrete jungle meets thick forest in this city that never fails to surprise. Its heady arts scene makes it ideal for culture vultures while its neighbouring Vancouver Island and its wealth of fishing opportunities, garden walks and forest hikes makes it a mecca for adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Flights from Australia's major hubs depart for Vancouver regularly, with many choosing to extend their trip further into Canada with side-trips to Banff and Whistler.

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Getting around in Vancouver

Vancouver is an extremely walkable city and is great for those who love the outdoors.

Most major tourist attractions are within walking distance of one another. For those who wish to get to the hot spots quicker, the public transportation system provides an affordable and easy way to get close to all the top locations.

There is also the hop-on hop-off trolley that takes guests to all of the city's main attractions.

Vancouver public transport

  • Types of transport: Public transportation in Vancouver is serviced by TransLink and uses SkyTrains, buses and seabuses.
  • Paying for transport: For SkyTrains and seabuses a Compass card or ticket must be used. They are available for purchase at Compass vending machines that are located at every entrance. On buses Compass cards, tickets or exact cash can be used. Fares range in price depending on which zones you are travelling in.
  • Getting to and from the airport: The Canada Line is the rapid transit train that connects Vancouver Airport to downtown Vancouver in 30 minutes. It is located between the international and domestic terminals.
  • Best apps for getting around: ezRide Vancouver is a free app that gives real-time predictions of bus arrival, helps to plan trips, allows you to see where the bus is and view itineraries and schedules offline.

Taxis and rideshare

  • Taxi: Taxis can be hailed from the curb, called or pre-booked.
  • Rideshare: You can catch a ride with Lyft or Uber in Vancouver.

Vancouver car hire rental companies

There are options to hire a car from Vancouver International Airport and drive one-way to Whistler. This is a popular option as a car can be rented both ways with 24-hours to get from Vancouver to Whistler and vice versa. This saves money as you won't have to pay for the car rental while in Whistler, which is small and very walkable.

Avis, Budget, Hertz, National, Alamo, Dollar Thrifty and Zipcar service the Vancouver International Airport. Use DriveNow to compare prices and find the best deal.

Read more about hiring a car in Vancouver, compare prices and get the latest deals

Airport transfers to the city

If you're looking to avoid public transport with luggage and aren't hiring a car, booking an airport transfer can get your to the city centre quickly and with ease.

Private transfer from downtown Vancouver to Vancouver International Airport
Private transfer from downtown Vancouver to Vancouver International Airport


Private arrival transfer to Downtown Vancouver
Private arrival transfer to Downtown Vancouver


Catching the Vancouver island ferry

BC Ferries connects mainland British Columbia to Vancouver Island. The ferries depart from Tsawwassen Terminal in Vancouver and arrive at the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal on Vancouver Island.

Transfers from Vancouver Airport to Whistler

For a stress-free option to get to Whistler, book a transfer directly from Vancouver International Airport.

Private transfer from Vancouver International Airport to Whistler
Private transfer from Vancouver International Airport to Whistler


Coach transfer from Vancouver International Airport to Whistler
Coach transfer from Vancouver International Airport to Whistler


Whistler public transport

  • Types of transport: BC Transit serves Whistler and the surrounding areas by bus.
  • Paying for transport: Fares are CAD$2.50 per trip and must be paid for in exact cash when boarding. A day pass can be purchased for CAD$7 at ticket vendors across the town.
  • Getting to and from the airport: Direct shuttle services are available to and from Vancouver International Airport. The cost is CAD$64 one-way. Car rentals, direct private transfers and helicopter transfers are also available.
  • Best apps for getting around: There are currently no apps for public transportation in Whistler.

Frequently asked questions about Vancouver

Does Vancouver have beaches?

Vancouver has public beaches with waterfront access. It has a total of nine beaches, eight of which are by the ocean, and one is set by a freshwater lake. The beaches total approximately 18km of beautiful outdoor space to lounge in the sun, swim in the water, indulge in sports and picnic with friends and family.

Is Vancouver cold?

The climate in Vancouver is classed as moderate oceanic climate that borders a warm-summer Mediterranean climate. The summer months are typically dry, which commonly results in moderate drought conditions. This usually occurs in July and August. The rest of the year sees plenty of rainfall especially between October and March.

Temperatures in winter (December to March) hover between 3-7 degrees Celsius, while summer temperatures tend to range between 14-22 degrees Celsius.

Does Vancouver have snow?

Yes. Vancouver does get snow annually. However, the temperatures in Vancouver tend to be warmer than most of Canada so the snow that falls in the city doesn't stick around for long.

The first snowfall of winter usually arrives in December, but can arrive as early as October. The season's last snowfall typically happens in February or March, although it has been known to snow as late as April. Vancouver is normally snow free every year between May and September.

Is Vancouver safe?

Vancouver is considered to be fairly safe, and crime rates are low. There are still some hazards that you'd need to be aware of to keep you safe.

  • Wildlife. Vancouver is a short distance from a multitude of hiking trails ready for the explorers. Whilst indulging in the beautiful natural surrounding, be aware that predators such as bears, cougars and bald eagles are in abundance in this area of the world.
  • Crime. Whilst crime rates are low, crime is not unheard of, and so, within the city, keep your personal belongings close. It's also not unheard of for thieves to target cars. As you would at home, always lock your car before you walk away.

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    DavidNovember 30, 2017

    Do you have cruises Japan to Vancouver in May 2019 want to be in Vancouver on or about May 21?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RenchNovember 30, 2017Staff

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      You can have a look at Cruises from Vancouver. It covers the 2017-2018 season. You may contact the provider of the cruise directly to inquire about their cruises for 2019.

      Best regards,

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