Located on Canada’s West Coast, within the province of British Columbia, Vancouver sits between the Pacific Ocean and a Majestic Mountain range, boasting a stunning natural landscape. But it extends much further than its jaw dropping views – it’s a vibrant, diverse and unique city offering so much to explore.
Vancouver Travel Guide 2024
Each year, Vancouver welcomes visitors from across the globe, ensuring that they have a memorable experience. But beyond its world renowned reputation as a tourist hotspot, Vancouver is also a very desirable and popular location for those relocating abroad, whether it’s for personal or professional reasons. So it should come as no surprise it consistently ranks among the world’s best places to live in.
Vancouver is made up of many neighbourhoods and communities, all of which have their own individual personalities. From the buzz of Robson Street to the historic charm of Gastown, each area is unique in its own way.
Here’s just some of them:
Gastown is Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood, founded in 1867 with a single tavern. It retains its historical charm and independent character, with Victorian architecture housing a thriving fashion scene, décor boutiques, galleries, and great cuisine. It’s popular with trendy locals and is perfect for exploring on foot. Located from Richards to Main Street and south to Hastings Street, Gastown is a must-visit spot.
Robson Street, stretching from BC Place Stadium to Stanley Park, is an essential walk for anyone visiting Vancouver. Located in the heart of downtown, you’ll be surrounded by the vibrant urban life. From locals starting work, or students going to college. It’s a great place to experience the excitement of Vancouver.
Yaletown was once the westernmost stop for the Canadian Pacific Railway. The area experienced revitalisation in 1986 when it hosted the World’s Fair. The area has transformed over the years into this chic and sought after place. Today, it’s a trendy neighbourhood home to residential lofts, cafes, restaurants, shops, and parks. Situated on the south side of downtown Vancouver, it’s bordered by Homer Street, Robson Street, and False Creek.
The West End, located just off downtown Vancouver, is a diverse and upscale place with a rich history. Home to a thriving LGBTQ+ community, many historic homes, and a large population in the many high-rise apartment buildings. There are beautiful parks, beaches, and a vibrant dining scene, making it an easily explorable and lively area.
Although it’s downtown, Coal Harbour feels like it’s a world away with it’s quieter waterfront experience. Offering a great choice of cafes and restaurants, it’s a popular area. Many enjoy it by walking along the seawall, as it’s so easily accessible, and it offers great views over the marina.
What’s the Weather Like in Vancouver?
People often draw their own conclusions to what the weather in Vancouver is like, usually thinking it’ll be too cold, it’ll be too wet, etc. In fact, Vancouver generally gets warmer temperatures than the rest of the country. Based on the West Coast of Canada the temperatures don’t tend to drop as much as they would further inland or in the mountain regions.
Vancouver has four seasons, so it will depend on the time of year you visit. There’s no good or bad time to visit Vancouver, it depends on you and what you’re wanting to experience.
Here’s a breakdown of the seasons, along with the average temperature and rainfall. However, it’s only an average, the weather is as volatile here as it would be anywhere else.
What Airports are in Vancouver?
The main airport is Vancouver International Airport (YVR), which is located 25 mins from Downtown Vancouver. The airport serves many international routes including direct flights from Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States, as well as many Domestic services within Canada.
If you are travelling within Canada to a small coastal community, or even to Whistler or Vancouver Island, there are a number of seaplane services operating from the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre which is located in the heart of Vancouver – it certainly would be an adventurous and memorable experience.
There’s also an airport called Abbotsford International Airport (YXX), which is located over an hour from Downtown Vancouver, but they offer an alternative choice of flights within Canada.
How to get around Vancouver?
Vancouver is a very walkable city and quite easy to navigate, making it perfect if you’re happy for a brisk walk. It’s also very bike friendly, with numerous cycling paths throughout the city.
However, if that doesn’t suit, they have an extensive public transport system covering the city, plus, the SkyTrain is also available which also goes to Vancouver International Airport. Hop-on buses more for tourists are also available which remain very popular.
Finally, you can also opt for a Taxi or Uber for a more private mode of transport.
Top things to do in Vancouver
With so much to do and see in Vancouver, it’s hard to mention them all, but here are some of our favourites.
Located near the West End, Stanley Park is widely known as one of the world’s great Urban parks, spreading over 1000 acres. Home to many landmarks including the Hollow Tree, the Lost Lagoon, and the Siwash Rock, as well as numerous scenic trails and many other attractions which is suitable for all ages.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Located a short 15 minute drive from Vancouver, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is home to some amazing attractions. The iconic Suspension Bridge stretches 137 metres and is elevated 70 metres above the Capilano River. Plus, there is a Cliffwalk, a series of bridges and platforms wrapped around a cliff, as well as the Treetop Adventure, providing you with an amazing birds eye view.
Granville Island is one of Vancouver’s neighbourhoods that is full of life, with it’s bustling Public Market as an iconic feature. Located under the Granville Bridge, it’s very popular with locals and visitors, offering a fantastic selection of culinary options and unique experiences.
Whether you love Skiing or Snowboarding, or perhaps you’re a Hiking enthusiast, Grouse Mountain will have something for you. A short distance from Vancouver, visitors can reach the peak by taking the Skyride Gondola, where you’ll be greeted with jaw-dropping views of the surrounding area.
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