Vancover tourist guide

Vancover tourist guide - Destination Overview
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  • Nearest Airport: Fly into Vancouver International Airport on Sea Island, 23 km south of the city centre. Buses, both city buses as well as airport express ones are available for the city. You can hire a car from car-rental firms at the airport.
  • How to reach: By Flight
  • Season to Visit: Vancouver is ideal to visit during its end spring, summer and autumn months, ranging from April to October

Vancouver Travel Guide

Picture-postcard perfect, Vancouver lodged between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountains range is perhaps one of the most scenic cities in the world. Vibrantly multicultural, cosmopolitan Vancouver is a city of a thousand tongues as more immigrants from all over the globe arrive to make their homes here. Often called the California of Canada, Vancouver is major centre for arts, sports and fashion, and hosts a substantial gay and lesbian population. Apart from its spectacular setting, what is attractive about Vancouver is its laid-back is to be savoured here, not consumed in haste. Endowed with first-class recreational facilities, stunning natural attractions and interesting ethnic neighbourhods, Vancouver issues an invitation you won't be able to refuse.

How to Get to Vancouver

  • How to Get to Vancouver by Air

Fly into Vancouver International Airport on Sea Island, 23 km south of the city centre. Buses, both city buses as well as airport express ones are available for the city. You can hire a car from car-rental firms at the airport.

  • How to Get to Vancouver by Rail

VIA Rail connects Vancouver to Toronto via Kamloops, Jasper and Edmonton. Amtrak links Vancouver with Bellingham and Seattle. BC Rails has a service to North Vancouver from towns such as Whistler, Squamish, and other places in the north. The private Rocky Mountaineer connects Vancouver to Banff and Calgary.

  • How to Get to Vancouver by Bus

Drive in from any neighbouring town or city or come across the US border from Seattle.There are several bus services which connect to Vancouver: Greyhound buses have a service form Seattle and Calgary, Pacific Coach Lines links up with Victoria, Quick Coach Lines to the USA, Bigfoot Adventure Tours to Banff and Calgary. The main bus station is at the train station Pacific Central Station, 1150 Station Street.

Where to Stay in Vancouver

If you are visiting Vancouver, one thing you can be certain of is that you will never have a problem of places to stay in this beautiful city of British Columbia in Canada. The city with its wide range of accommodations has something for every pocket.

  • Vancouver Downtown 

Vancouver Downtown or Vancouver’s City Centre is on the peninsula of the city and is basically the south eastern portion of the peninsula of the Vancouver city. The Downtown is the place for city’s entertainment, business, commercial, cultural, financial and government sectors and thus offers accommodations to suit every budget and pocket

  • The first hotel under the super luxury is the Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver.
  • The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is Vancouver’s landmark hotel and is the castle in the centre of the downtown Vancouver
  • This supreme luxury hotel is in close proximity to all the shopping and various cultural activities in the city. Relax and rejuvenate at the spas like Absolute Spa or at Vancouver day spa.

Best Time to Visit Vancouver

Vancouver is ideal to visit during its end spring, summer and autumn months, ranging from April to October, with each season having its own advantage.Spring comes early to Vancouver and spans the months of end-March to May .Summer time, between June to August, is the peak tourist season and is amongst the best times to visit. Summer in Vancouver is warm, but not hot or humid, and is considered the best time to indulge in various outdoor activities including hiking, water sports, sightseeing, biking and more.

Sightseeing in Vancouver

  • The Vancouver Art Gallery with a comprehensive collection of paintings, especially those by Canada's foremost artist, Emily Carr.
  • Canadian Crafts Museum is worth a glimpse, both for its exhibits and to pick up some unique gifts.
  • The Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a visual treat as is the Sam kee, the world's narrowest office building which appears both in Ripley's Believe It or Not and the Guinness Book of World Records. 
  • Steveston, an old fishing village was where most Japanese immigrants settled initially. However, during WW II, they were interned in inland camps and their homes and boats sold off -learn more about this at the Steveston Museum.
  • Vanier Park is a treasure trove of museums -spend hours entranced by the Vancouver Museum, the HR MacMillan Planetarium and Pacific Space Centre, the Vancouver Maritime Museum, the Vancouver Archives, and the Academy of Music.
  • Vancouver Aquarium, home to over 8000 creatures. Located at the eastern edge of Stanley Park, it is the largest in Canada. 

Shopping in Vancouver

You can shop till you drop in Vancouver -- the best part is that you will be picking up some pretty unusual stuff. Robson Street is the main drag -you can get everything here -from fashion to food. For some great gifts, check out the craft stores selling Native Indian crafts in Water Street. Yaletown is great for picking up things for your house. Check out the Granville Island Market, bursting with goodies, fresh and preserved for your table.

Activities in Vancouver

  • Ski and snowboarding
  •  Rock climbing 
  • Golf players will have a plethora of scenic golf courses to choose from – the Fraser view Golf course is one of the best public courses in Canada. 
  • Sailing is another sport the outdoor enthusiast can indulge in – Vancouver Island is just 20 nautical miles away and the coastline is wonderful for sailing and cruising.

Places Near Vancouver

  • Top Local Beaches on Vancouver Island

  • Pachena Bay

This unspoiled natural beach can only be reached by travelling along an unpaved gravel logging road making it a desolate location with very few tourists. At Pachena Bay you will find a rustic camp ground run by the local natives. It perfect for a natural weekend getaway as there is running water, but no cell phone service

  • Cox Bay

Located just outside the small surf town of Tofino, this long sandy beach is only accessible by a twenty minute foot trail from the main road. The beach is set within the Pacific Rim National Park, so it is fully protected from development with the surrounding coast line being thickly forested in . Locals are mainly attracted to Cox Bay because of the year round swell that rolls in making it a perfect surf spot. 

  • Blueback Beach 

Situated in the suburbs of North Nanaimo, this beach is ever changing with the tide. At low tide the beach gives way to miles of smooth sand that is ideal for local skim boarders. When the tide comes back in, all that is left of the beach is a narrow strip of rocky shore line backed up against a steep treed cliff. 

  • Lantzville Beach

During the summer months this beach is one of the busier beaches due to its easy accessibility, and protection from the wind. It is a great spot for swimming as you have the choice to either wade into the water slowly or dive off the rocks into a deep swimming hole. 

Eating Out in Vancouver

You get some of the best Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Italian and Thai food in Canada in this very city. Restaurants are spread all over the city and are generally reasonably priced.

Festivals and Events in Vancouver
In February, join the Chinese New year celebrations, full of fun and food, and come again in June for the visually compelling Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival. July brings the Vancouver Folk Music Festival while August is extremely busy -it is time for the Abbotsford International Air Show, Gay Pride Day and the pacific National Exhibition. Get involved in the Vancouver Fringe Festival in September.

What to Pack

Some rain-protection gear, good comfortable waterproof shoes, camera.