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A Guide to Vancouver
Know Before You Go
- Don't feed the bears. It's impossible to get an animal to return to the wilderness after it's discovered garbage and other scraps of food in the city.
- Canada has a tipping culture. It's expected to leave a 15%-20% tip for wait staff, bartenders housekeeping, porters and other service staff.
- Try the city's food truck scene. The prices are lower than restaurants but the food is still delicious, and there are a variety of cuisines to choose from.
- Save money by skiing at night. The lift tickets between 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. are 20% cheaper.
- Download the app "Pay By Phone". You'll be able to refill your parking meter by credit card. All you need is your license plate and the parking meter number.
Getting Around Vancouver
- Vancouver is a walkable city, but if you get tired, there are a variety of ways to get around the city.
- Take the bus. From 5:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. you can use the city's extensive public bus service. There is also a limited Night Bus service to help you get back to your hotel safely after an evening out on the town.
- Hop on the SkyTrain. If you're in a rush, it's one of the quickest ways to get around the city. The trains leave from their stations every five minutes during peak hours, and they operate from 5:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
- Take the SeaBus. The 12-minute ferry ride will give you a unique view of the city, mountains and the sea. The boats leave every 15 to 30 minutes with the last service departing from the Lonsdale Quay at 1:00 a.m.
- Call ahead for a taxi. Ride-sharing services like Uber are not allowed in the city. If you need a cab, you'll have to phone as you'll have a hard time hailing from the curb.
When is The Best Time to Visit Vancouver?
The best time to visit Vancouver is during its two shoulder seasons. From March to May and September to November, you'll find lower accommodation prices, mild weather and fewer crowds at the city's top attractions.
If you want to do a lot of outdoor activities, plan your trip for Vancouver's summer months. The warm weather means there will be plenty to do as well as a jam-packed events calendar to keep you busy.
For winter sports enthusiasts, the months of December to February are ideal. While the city isn't empty, you'll still be able to find a few hotel deals, giving you more room in your budget to hit the slopes.
Airports in Vancouver
Vancouver International Airport
Vancouver International Airport is the second busiest airport in the country. It's one of the top 10 airports in the world and is a hub for Air Canada, Westjet and Pacific Coastal Airlines. It's also a focus city for Air North and Sunwing Airlines.
Getting to and from Vancouver International Airport
The best way to get from the airport is with the Canada Line train. A single trip only costs CAD 13 to get to downtown Vancouver.
For metered taxis, you'll find the drivers waiting outside of the arrivals terminal. A ride into the city should cost you CAD 35, and there are wheelchair-friendly vehicles available.
If you're staying at select hotels, you can use the airport shuttle service. The pickup points are located outside of the international and domestic arrivals terminals.
For travellers that want more freedom getting around, you can hire a car. Keep in mind that you will need to book your vehicle at least 48 hours in advance, especially during high season.