When is the season. When is the best time to go to Vancouver?

The average temperature in the winter months is +3 ° С, in the summer about + 19-20 ° С. Once every few years there are cold winters when the thermometer drops to -5 ° C, or even to -10 ° C (Oh, horror!). However, most often the most necessary thing for a Vancouver from October to May is an umbrella. Due to the huge amount of precipitation that falls on the city, it has a second, playful name Raincouver (from rain – “rain”). If it rains in Vancouver, then it can go without stopping for weeks. It is characteristic that somehow the city always remains clean, and practically no puddles form. If the rain still stopped, in an hour and a half the roads will be completely dry.

Vancouver is beautiful at any time of the year! Well, except, perhaps, late autumn: the end of October and November are most often especially gloomy and rainy. However, already at the end of November — in December the ski season begins. Vancouver, the capital of the 2010 Winter Olympics, has a large selection of venues for winter sports – from snowshoeing along the beautiful forest trails for dummies to snowboarding and downhill skiing for amateurs and super professionals.

What are the prices for vacation?

Prices for everything (from coffee to a hotel room) in Vancouver depend on a dozen different factors, ranging from season and area of residence to your habits. In this section, I will give you very approximate cost limits that will help you determine the minimum amount needed for a vacation in Vancouver.

Food (per serving):

  • budget option – 8-12 USD (10-15 CAD)
  • the average option is 15-20 USD (18-25 CAD)
  • expensive option – 25-50 USD (30-60 CAD)

Supermarkets in Vancouver are expensive. If you stay in the city not for long, it makes sense to eat out. Eating in a budget or mid-range restaurant will be easier, faster and cheaper.

Accommodation (double room):

  • budget option —45-120 USD (60-150 CAD)
  • the average option is 120-230 USD (150-300 CAD)
  • expensive option – from 230 USD (from 300 CAD)

Cultural program: Museum visit – from 8 USD (from 10 CAD)

  • pensioners, students and children receive discounts;
  • almost everywhere a family subscription is offered for a family of two adults with two or more children;
  • in some museums one day the by donation system operates, when you pay the amount you can afford.
Vancouver city view
Vancouver city view

The main attractions. What to see in Vancouver

I will say right away that there is practically nothing for lovers of historical monuments and museums in Vancouver. Again, because of its infant (by European standards) age, Vancouver has little to offer to lovers of historical tourism. There are no art galleries such as the Louvre, iconic architectural monuments such as the Acropolis, or such famous theaters as our Bolshoi.

The value of Vancouver in its youth, freshness, dissimilarity, cultural and ethnic diversity, its openness to the world. The few places associated with the short-lived history of the city are carefully guarded and protected and, in time, may gain significance and weight.

I like to walk along the small streets of the city away from the center. There you can find curious old houses, shops, meet talkative and not very old-timers. In such places, it’s easy to mentally go back to the beginning of the last century, when immigrants from Europe equipped their life here, slowly crowding the natives.

The few places in the city remind of how the first capitalist enterprises were created there – fishing cooperatives, fish processing plants, canneries, and timber companies. The history of the city holds evidence of the ruthless exploitation of the first immigrants from China and Japan, the brutal policy of the white colonialists in relation to local tribes.

You won’t know all this at once, but only upon closer examination. Most likely, when you first visit the city, nothing from the historical past of Vancouver will catch your eye. This is probably not necessary. Let this wonderful city remain in your memory as young, beautiful and not fully known.

Vancouver is an ideal place for traveling alone or for families. Be prepared to walk a lot, bring practical and comfortable clothes and shoes with you.

Useful advice: Few people know about it, but in Vancouver you can go on a walking study tour of the city for free! Local volunteers with liveliness, sharp thinking and a great sense of humor conduct one of four thematic tours almost every day. Check the time and place on the site and join. In the end, do not forget to thank your guide for a small tip. Please note that for such an excursion you need excellent command of spoken English.

skyscrapers along the road
skyscrapers along the road

Top 5

Vancouver Aquarium is a great place for a family vacation. Permanent exposure of the Aquarium includes hundreds of species of marine and river living creatures and plants. In addition, it is actually a scientific laboratory, where serious scientists study the aquatic ecosystem, observe marine animals and give interesting lectures to the public.

During the holidays, the Aquarium organizes informative and entertaining events for children, during which they not only passively listen to lecturers, but actively participate in various scientific projects specially designed for their age.

Ticket prices, the schedule of the Aquarium as well as information about special programs for children can be found here. Address: Located in Downtown Aquarium, on the territory of Stanley Park (845 Avison Way).

Stanley Park No matter what time of year you come to Vancouver, be sure to go for a walk in Stanley Park. Like New York Central Park, this is one of the city’s most famous attractions. Huge in territory – over 400 hectares – Stanley Park for the most part remained a virgin, almost impenetrable rainforest, in which not only harmless hedgehogs, hares and squirrels live, but also wild raccoons, skunks and even coyotes. More information about Stanley Park can be found in the “What to see in 1 day” section.

Granville Island. Another favorite place for Vancouver residents and visitors is Granville Island. Once it was an exclusively industrial area, but when the entire production gradually died out, the island turned into a mecca for creative people, as well as a popular place for collectors and art lovers. Here is the prestigious Emily Carr Institute of Arts and Design, several private art galleries and studios of artists of all kinds and stripes, where you can order or purchase paintings, ceramics, precious metals and stones. Restaurants on the island are not cheap, but with a gorgeous view of the bay. A lot of cafes and public gardens with benches, a large playground. At the very heart of Granville Island is a market – just a celebration of color, aroma and taste.

Gastast. In order to familiarize yourself with the history of Vancouver, get acquainted with the work of the indigenous peoples of the West Coast, watch the life of the city from the inside and choose gifts for relatives, go to Gastown. There are dozens of shops and galleries here, where you can purchase both cheap souvenirs and expensive unique pieces of art created by local artists and woodcarvers. At the intersection of Cambie Str. and Water Str. You will find another attraction in Vancouver – the unique steam clock Steam clock. You definitely won’t pass by, there are always crowds of tourists. The watch emits puffs of steam and buzzes every 15 minutes. Taking pictures next to the watch is really possible only at night, the rest of the time you will have too many unfamiliar people in the frame, and later you will hardly remember exactly what you tried to take the picture.

Queen Elizabeth Park and Van Dusen Botanical Garden. For lovers of beautifully maintained English parks, I advise you to visit Queen Elizabeth Park and the Van Dusen Botanical Garden. Moreover, the second is especially interesting during the Christmas holidays, when after dark the whole park turns into a fairy tale. Read more about this in the “Parks” section.

road to Banff national park
road to Banff national park

Queen Elizabeth Park

In a short review article, it is simply impossible to list all the sights of Vancouver, but, as you probably noticed, most of them are somehow related to nature, environmental activities and simply a competent approach to modern urbanism. The city is perfectly adapted for hiking and outdoor recreation.

“How to get to the beach?” – This question will put any Vancouver into a dead end, because no matter which way you go, sooner or later you will certainly go ashore. There are dozens of beaches in Vancouver! Yes, it’s not everywhere you can swim – the water in the ocean is too cold for most vacationers – but everywhere you can sit on the sand or lean against specially designed logs, eat ice cream and enjoy a wonderful view.

The beaches of Vancouver.

Kitsilano Beach and Jericho Beach are located in close proximity to each other in the Kitsilano area, some 15-20 minutes drive from downtown. (And if you go further along the coast, you will reach Spanish Banks Beach Park, Acadia Beach, etc. Both beaches are very popular among those who like to sunbathe and swim, play beach volleyball, practice windsurfing. There are picnic tables on the beaches and stalls with all kinds of burgers, french fries and ice cream A great place for families! How to get there: you can get there from downtown by buses 22 or 2. Get out at the intersection of Carnwall and Yew streets.

English Bay and Sunset Beach. Just a 5-minute walk from Downtown, there are two beautiful sandy beaches, English Bay and Sunset Beach. They are located right in the urban area, so people come there to relieve stress directly from the offices (the benefit is that there are locker rooms and souls). You can get here by buses No. 5, C21, C23, but it is better to walk. There are special tracks for sunset skating enthusiasts at Sunset Beach. You can watch fireworks from both beaches, held every summer in July in Vancouver as part of the Celebration of Light program.

Second and Third Beach. Along the Seawall in Stanley Park are the so-called Second and Third Beaches. If you, like me, need warmer water, opt for Kitsilano or Second Beach – there are outdoor heated pools. Unfortunately, for obvious reasons, it is too crowded there. You can get to Stanley Park by bus number 19, and then walk about 20 minutes on the western side of Seawall.

apartment houses and yachts
apartment houses and yachts

Wreck Beach. If you are a person without complexes, go to Wreck Beach (7), which stretches for seven kilometers along the coast in the western part of the city. This Canada’s largest nudist beach is just 15 minutes from Downtown, en route to the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus. Take any bus to UBC (No. 4, No. 44, No. 99, etc), get off at the final stop and walk for about 10 minutes towards the streets of Northwest Marine Drive and University Blvd. There you will see a descent with steps leading down to the beach.

Features of Vancouver beaches

In summary, I want to give some more useful information:

  • Entrance to all the beaches of Vancouver is completely free.
  • All beaches have a free dressing room toilet.
  • On all beaches there is a small stall (Concession), where you can get a sandwich, hot dog, french fries, ice cream and soft drinks.
  • Parking is paid and it is not always easy to find a free spot.
  • Please note that the beaches are not equipped with trestle beds or umbrellas – here they prefer to lean on huge logs specially laid out along the shore or bring their own beach blankets, umbrellas and awnings.
  • In parks, on beaches and in other public places alcohol is strictly prohibited! (Beer is also alcohol). Special rangers, park staff, can charge you a significant fine for drinking alcohol in the wrong place.
  • But while relaxing on the beach, you can often catch the sweetish aroma of marijuana: it is impossible by law, but a remark is unlikely to follow.

Museums in Vancouver. Which are worth a visit

Of the interesting museums it is worth noting the Museum of Anthropology, the Museum of Science World, Vancouver Police Museum. The city has a lot of private galleries of modern art, where you can see the creations of local artists and those who would like to be considered as such.

Science world. If you travel with children, be sure to go to the Science World Museum and take at least 3 to 5 hours to it. Different departments of the museum are devoted to a specific topic, ranging from the structure of the human body to environmental protection. Children get incredible pleasure, because here it’s not just possible, but you need to touch, pull, push, disassemble and fold everything. In the summer and during school holidays, the museum has cognitive camps where children perform scientific experiments and learn the world around them in the form of a game. How to get there: the museum is located in Downtown Vancouver (1455 Quebec St.). Metro Stop – Main Street – Science World.

Vancouver Art Gallery. The “main” gallery of Vancouver (well, at least according to its curators) Vancouver Art Gallery, which occupies a historic neoclassical building in the heart of Downtown, I personally was extremely disappointed.

Most of the halls of the museum are dedicated to temporary exhibitions of various contemporary artists, sometimes of very dubious quality. Go to the museum website and check its exposure at the time of your trip. If something catches your attention, go ahead, but if you decide not to include Vancouver Art Gallery in your program, you won’t lose much. VAG is located in downtown Vancouver at 750 Hornby St.

Museum of Anthropology. I am more attracted to the artistry of the local indigenous people, which is best seen in small private galleries located in the historic Gastown area, or in the magnificent Museum of Anthropology MOA. The museum has collected a rich collection of works of art by craftsmen from the tribes who inhabited Vancouver before the arrival of the white colonialists. These are examples of painting, carving, jewelry, textiles and examples of other types of creative human activity.

bridges leading to the city
bridges leading to the city

In addition to maintaining permanent exhibitions, museum curators are constantly looking for fresh ideas and organize new exhibitions one more interesting than the other. How to get there: the museum is located on the picturesque campus of the University of British Columbia, UBC, some 20 minutes from Downtown (6393 NW Marine Dr). Detailed information on opening hours, ticket prices and current exhibits on the site.

Vancouver Police Museum. Interesting walks in Vancouver are organized by the oldest Police Museum in all of North America (Vancouver Police Museum), located in a historic building at 240 East Cordova Street. The museum itself is very small, and there are always too many people, but their thematic city tours are something extraordinary! Museum staff have developed a whole program “Sins of the City” / Sins of the City, which includes tours to various places of interest: former brothels, underground casinos and drug traffickers of the early 20th century. It is better to book an excursion in advance, as they take place only in the summer, once a week on Saturdays and, of course, are very in demand. You can do this on the museum website.

Parks in Vancouver

Vancouver is a very green city. There are many large and small parks, squares, lawns where you can go for a morning run, walk along the picturesque paths, lie on the grass, organize a picnic or play outdoor games. So, let’s go:

The largest and most famous Vancouver Park and perhaps one of its most important attractions is Stanley Park. This place is so interesting that it is worth it to devote a whole day, which I talk about in more detail in the section “What to see in 1 day”.

The luxurious English-style park Queen Elizabeth Park was named after Elizabeth I, the mother of the current ruling queen, who, incidentally, herself personally visited the park during her visit to Vancouver in 1939. The park was laid out in a quiet part of the city, on Cambie Str., And covers an area of 130 acres (about 52 hectares). Since it is elevated in relation to the rest of the city, a magnificent view of downtown, the bay and mountains on the horizon opens from its observation deck. Entrance to the park is free, it is open to visitors at any time of the year. If you find yourself in Queen Elizabeth Park on a rainy day, and walking along its wet tracks will not bring much pleasure, do not despair. Check out the Bloedel Conservatory, a tropical oasis with over 150 species of rare birds and 500 species of exotic plants and flowers. The greenhouse is open year round, 7 days a week.

Just a 30-minute walk from Queen Elizabeth Park, another beautiful park is located – this is Van Dusen Botanical Garden.

The Van Dusen Botanical Garden is proud of its collection of plants from around the world. It will be interesting not only to botanists – those who, like me, can hardly distinguish aspen from ash, will enjoy the riot of colors and aromas, the unusual appearance of plants, and the bizarre shape of the leaves. Children will go crazy from the green maze!

On the territory there is a restaurant and a shop with souvenirs and goods for gardeners. On Christmas Day, Van Dusen Botanical Garden invites visitors to the Festival of Lights. All paths, trees, fences are decorated with multi-colored garlands. Here and there you can meet figures of some animals or fairy-tale characters. And after twilight near the lake in the very center of the park, a light and musical performance is played every half hour. This is a fantastic sight! Please note that holiday rates are applicable at this time. Schedule, ticket prices and special programs check on the site.

Small but very picturesque Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is located in Chinatown (578 Carrall Street), in the heart of downtown Vancouver. In addition to well-groomed paths, artfully designed trees and a beautiful pond with live fish, there is also a very interesting souvenir shop with traditional Chinese things. Cons: you will pay approximately the same entrance fee as in the Van Dusen Botanical Garden, but the Chinese Garden is much less in territory. It will take you a maximum of 30-40 minutes to examine it, while in Van Dusen you can spend half a day.

There are dozens of different parks in Vancouver and its suburbs: large and small, with picnic tables and without, with playgrounds for children and without, with special lawns for dogs and without. Finding a park in this city is easy for you. Entrance to ordinary walking parks is free, almost everywhere there is something to eat and there is always (!) A free public toilet.

mountain road along the lake
mountain road along the lake

Tourist streets in Vancouver

Vancouver began with the Gestown area. It was there, according to legend, that the first inn appeared, and accordingly some kind of social life. Here, under the sprawling maple tree, “city fathers” gathered to meet with the population and discuss pressing problems. These important historical milestones were immortalized in the form of a monument to the owner of the inn, Jack Dayton, (better known as Gassie Jack), installed on the site of that same maple in Maple Tree Square, at the intersection of Alexander, Water, Powell and CarrallThe Gastown area, in particular, Water Str. – One of the few surviving historic areas of Downtown. Walking around the city, be sure to walk from the Waterfront station subway station to Maple Tree Square. Pay attention to the architecture of buildings on both sides of the street, read the signs telling their story. Visit restaurants, drink coffee in local cafes. Visit souvenir shops and art galleries of local Aboriginal people. Entrance to any store-museum in Gastown is absolutely free. They allow everyone to touch and take pictures and you can even leave without buying anything, and no one will look at you askance. Gestown is the right place to buy souvenirs. Just do not rush to buy in the first store, go further – you will see more. Prices are the same everywhere, but the assortment here and there is somewhat different.

Granville Str. – one of the oldest streets of the city (number 3 on the map). Once upon a time, where downtown is today spread in all its glory, impenetrable forests stood. In these forests, a road was cut along which carts loaded with wood went. Thus began Granville Street, which later became one of the central business and commercial streets of the city. Today it is a very modern street with shops, coffee houses, restaurants, bars, clubs and other realities of the big city. There are still preserved historical buildings of the Orpheum Theater, Commodore Ballroom, Vogue Theater. In summer, this street is often blocked for bright street festivals.

Robson Street is best suited for shopping, and the most fashionable and expensive boutiques can be found at the intersection of Burrard and Alberni (Burrard Str. & Alberni Str.).You can see the whole city from a bird’s eye view from the Harbor Center tower at 555 W Hastings Str.

What to see in 1 day

suspension bridges on trees
suspension bridges on trees

If you have just one day for everything about everything in Vancouver, take it to visit Stanley Park. This park is a symbolic place for the city, it has its own curious story, which is quite worthy of a separate article. It will take you all day to walk around the park with an inspection of all the interesting points, and you will certainly want to come back here again. Another big plus – the entrance to the park is free.Getting there: Stanley Park occupies an entire peninsula, separated from Downtown by a small isthmus. You can get to the park by bus number 19 or just walk along the shore, admiring the beautiful yachts and beautiful people.So, having arrived in Vancouver for one day, for convenience and time saving, stay at one of the hotels in the western part of Downtown, closer to Stanley Park. After having breakfast at the hotel or having coffee in one of the many coffee houses, go directly to the bike rental and take a great one for the whole day.Only on one Denman Str. rental stations are located literally on top of each other.Prices will not run very high: competition forces them to adapt. They can differ in the choice of bicycles and the quality of service. 

The whole procedure for choosing a bicycle and making a rental transaction will take you 15-20 minutes. The rental price will depend on the bike you choose, and there is plenty to choose from. Count on an average of 12 USD (15 CAD) per hour and you won’t be mistaken. This cost necessarily includes the rental of a protective helmet (do not even try to refuse!) And the lock. You pay the first hour, pay the balance on your return, depending on how many hours you run. The time is usually rounded up to a quarter of an hour, so you do not have to overpay the excess.Once you have your own vehicle, head straight to West Georgia St. Look for a pointer to Stanley Park and drive there.Important note: not all people like to ride a bike, not everyone allows health. All the same, which I will talk about below, can be done on foot.If you come to the park by car, be prepared to pay for parking:

  • from April 1 to September 30 – 2.60 USD (3.50 CAD) per hour or 8.00 USD (13 CAD) for the whole day
  • from October 1 to March 31 —1.80 USD (2.50 CAD) per hour or 5.50 USD (7 CAD) for the whole day

It is usually not difficult to find a suitable parking spot, but you may have to ride first during the peak season and during the holidays.

What to see in the surroundings

  • Waterfalls (20-25 km)
  • In the vicinity of Vancouver, you can count about 20 beautiful waterfalls.
  • I will mention only a few of them:
  • Norvan Falls and Twin Falls are located 40 minutes by car from Vancouver in the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park Nature Reserve. You can get to the park by SeaBus river bus and then by bus
  • Kennedy Falls. Just half an hour by car from Downtown on Mountain Highway. You can get on the bus number 210.
  • Cypress Falls. Cypress Falls Park, 30 minutes by car from Downtown or Caufield Bus.
  • Kanaka Creek Cliff Falls. Hour from Downtown: Cliff Park – 251 Street, Maple Ridge.
  • Shannon Falls – 58 km north of Vancouver, about an hour away by car along the beautiful Sea to Sky Hwy.

Suspension bridges (8 km)

Picturesque suspension bridges in the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park hang between the trees and over the natural crevices in the mountains, creating a great attraction. Bridges are quite safe for both adults and children, but be prudent if you do not feel comfortable at height.

In summer, the park is open for visitors from 08:00 to 20:00, on winter days it closes earlier. It is worth going here at any time of the year, but in the winter months, with the help of the same illumination and illumination, the park gains additional attractiveness.Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is located some 15-20 minutes from Downtown (3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver). From four points of downtown, a free shuttle bus runs to the park, and you can use regular public transport. Detailed information on how to get there, how much the ticket costs and what are the opening hours can be found on the website. On the territory of the park you can eat and buy souvenirs in a special shop.

road in a residential area
road in a residential area

Food in Vancouver. What to try

Vancouver people love to eat, and they are also extraordinary gourmets. And this is no accident, because in addition to a wide selection of the freshest seafood, immigrants from all over the world offer the townspeople delicious dishes of their national cuisine.

Helpful hints:

  • Do not hesitate to warn the waiter in cases if you suffer from allergies or avoid some products for other reasons – these things are respected here and try to offer alternatives.
  • Do not forget about the tip! The standard tip size in Vancouver restaurants is 15-20%. If you pay in cash and give an amount slightly higher than the order amount (for example, 20 USD with an account of 15 USD), then you can politely ask if you want a change. This is such a subtle hint. If the bill is much larger, then you will clearly count the change, but it is understood that, as a good grateful visitor, leaving, you will leave a tip to lie peacefully on the table. In the case when you pay by card, the machine will give you a choice of% – the amount in dollars or skip the option.
  • If you smoke and just can not do without cigarettes, then it is better to bring them with you. Firstly, they are expensive here – there is nothing cheaper than 8 USD (11 CAD) per pack. Secondly, on the shelves of Vancouver stores you will not find either tobacco or alcohol. Cigarettes should be asked in Customer Service departments or at the cashier, but the problem is that you must clearly know the brand name, because no one will show you the full range. Oh yes! They will also ask you for a document confirming that you are already 19 years old.
  • Alcohol is bought in special Liquor Store stores. State stores are closed after 18-19: 00 and on weekends. Private ones are almost always open, but the choice is poorer and prices are higher. Again, it is better for minors not to meddle there.
stanley park beach
Stanley park beach

Restaurants in Vancouver

The main nutritional recommendation in Vancouver – don’t be afraid to experiment! Vancouver provides you with a completely unique opportunity to try the cuisine of almost all the peoples of the world in one place. Come into small private restaurants, look in the House Special menu. This is always something special, made according to the original recipe from the chef.

Budgetary

  • Meat & Bread – the freshest multi-story sandwiches, light soups, decent coffee.
  • Japadog is a Japanese-style hot dog.
  • Delicious Pho – the same soup and other inexpensive and nutritious Vietnamese dishes.
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill – tacos, burritos, margaritas and other Mexican exotic at reasonable prices.
  • Nat’s New York Pizzaria – Well, where to go without pizza! Whole or sliced, meat and vegetarian, ready-made and to order – forever pizza.

Mid level

  • Cafe Medina is the best brunch in Vancouver. A brunch is a brunch or an early lunch, that is, the main meal of a tourist. Light but nutritious food, decent servings, good coffee at affordable prices.
  • Salmon n ‘Bannock is Vancouver’s first restaurant, opened by local Aboriginal people from the West Coast. Pay attention to the choice of salmon dishes!
  • Forage is my favorite downtown restaurant. Whatever they do is always original, tasty, beautifully served. I love Forage soups.
  • Cactus Club Cafe is a chain restaurant, their branches you will find in many (very picturesque) areas of the city. In the Cactus Club you can have a tasty meal and enjoy the views of the city.

Expensive

  • Blue Water Cafe is a restaurant serving exclusive fresh seafood dishes with an outdoor area heated in cold weather and private rooms.
  • Bauhaus Restaurant is the owner of this restaurant specializing in German cuisine in its modernized form – German film director and producer Uwe Boll. It’s funny, but Ball’s restaurant is far more successful than his films.
  • Minami – exquisite Japanese cuisine at its best. Stylish, tasty, comfortable.
  • Seasons in the Park – a restaurant located in Queen Elizabeth Park, on a hilltop with a wonderful view of the city, bay and mountains. A fantastic sight combined with delicious food – at any time of the year.
night Vancouver
night Vancouver

Security in Vancouver. What to watch out for

Vancouver is a very safe place. It is an ideal city for traveling alone, as a family, as a company – but whatever! You will not be deceived on the street, they will not pester you in a cafe, you will not get your wallet out of your bag. Be sure to return for the forgotten thing, most likely it will be given to the duty administrator at the registry or the lost property office, wherever you are. I could give dozens of examples when people were returned to everything, from umbrellas to bank cards.

I would advise being careful at night in Downtown, especially in the East Hastings area. This place is widely known for its huge number of homeless people. Most of these comrades prefer drugs to bread, and yet, more often than not, they are not aggressive. They willingly talk with you “for life”, sell you something unnecessary, complain about your fate, but I have not heard of a single case when these people attacked or robbed someone. Hastings Street is very dirty, and there is an incredible stench that can only appear from descending people.Otherwise, Vancouver is very clean, well maintained and safe. On the beach or in the park, people freely leave backpacks and bags unattended, it is understood that no one will take them in the absence of the owner. (Better, of course, not to do this).

Bars in Vancouver. Where to go

  • The Keefer Bar in Chinatown – exotic cocktails with spices, live music.
  • Guilt & Co is perhaps the most popular place among indie music lovers.
  • The Narrow Lounge – the feature of this bar is that it is difficult to find. The sign is a red lamp.
  • Lift is an elegant rooftop bar overlooking the bay and yachts. Romance with a glass of wine.
  • Usually bars in Vancouver close at two in the morning.

Clubs and nightlife in Vancouver

In search of nightlife, head to the heart of downtown, on Granville Street, which is called little Vegas (well, very small). Brightly lit by neon lights, it boils with energy well past midnight. Pubs with drinks, clubs with dancing and live music – all this you will find on one of the oldest streets of the city, famous for its entertainment industry.If student youth hangs out on Granville, then Yaletown attracts thirty-year-olds. In Yaletown bars and pubs, you will often find couples spending a romantic evening there or companies of young people who want to not only drink and jump, but also to chat slowly.

If you want something completely unusual, then head to one of the bars in the Kitsilano beach area. There you can taste some exclusive cocktail, have a snack with exotic shellfish and enjoy the sunset.Gambling people can get rid of extra dollars at the chic Edgewater Casino (750 South Pacific Blvd), right on the shores of False Creek.In Vancouver, you can hardly find a bar or club where you can sit until the morning. If you intend to walk around the clock, then this can only be done in casinos that are open 24 hours.

queen Elizabeth park
queen Elizabeth park

Souvenirs from Vancouver. What to bring as a gift

If it’s important for you to show that you have visited Vancouver but don’t want to spend a lot of money and especially bother, buy key chains / lighters / magnets / caps and T-shirts with Canadian and Vancouver symbols, such as maple leaf, beaver, moose and all kinds of humorous phrases and images . Make sure that you understand everything that is written there so that there are no unpleasant incidents. If you need a status gift that has some historical and cultural significance, then it is better not to rush and go around the souvenir shops of museums and the same Gestown.An important symbol of Canada in general and its West Coast in particular is the inukshuk figurine. Local craftsmen make such figures of different sizes by hand from wood, stone, hard rubber, and other materials.Another iconic souvenir typical of Vancouver is, of course, the totem pole. Miniature totem poles with all their inherent symbols are quite affordable for any tourist, and with the fact that they are life-size, they are unlikely to let you in the plane.Maple syrup in a beautiful bottle in the form of a maple leaf is symbolic and useful. 

You can put on a shelf and blow off dust, or you can use houses with pancakes.If you already want something completely exclusive, take a look at the silver jewelry made by Aboriginal craftsmen. Designs created by them take as a basis traditional symbols, for example, images of birds and animals. Such a unique souvenir will keep your trip overseas in mind for a long time.How to get around the cityVancouver loves cyclists and creates all the conditions for them. Buses are equipped with special stands for bicycles, in the subway cars entire platforms are reserved for them.

The city is proud of its more than 300 kilometers of special paths, signs, traffic lights, parking lots and other infrastructure.Nevertheless, accidents involving cyclists are not uncommon, and therefore one of the main rules is the mandatory wearing of a protective helmet. The police can make a remark to you if you move around the city on a bicycle without taking the necessary safety measures. By the way, it’s better not to leave bicycles unattended – stole. Of course, the bike is not the only mode of transport. In addition, it is unlikely that a walk on it will give you pleasure on a rainy day.

Public transport in Vancouver

Vancouver’s Translink transportation infrastructure consists of an extensive SkyTrain metro network, buses, trolleybuses and river trams.This is a single provincial system, and accordingly, as in any state-owned company, it has its advantages and disadvantages. The first and biggest minus is that there is completely no competition, and accordingly the system is inactive, not prone to making quick decisions, any changes require lengthy discussions, their financing is difficult. As a result: urban transport does not at all satisfy the needs of a huge metropolis.A West Coast Express commuter train connects Vancouver with such suburbs as Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Mapple Ridge, and others.The SeaBus River Ferry will come in handy to get to the northern part of North Vancouver. SeaBus leaves every 15 minutes from the Waterfront Station (601 W Cordova St.).

Lynn canyon park
Lynn canyon park

Payment system

A huge advantage of a single transport system is a single payment system. To travel by public transport in Vancouver in any direction, you will need a single Compass card.There are two types of cards – regular and student. You can buy a one-time card for a day or a permanent automatically replenished card. They are sold almost everywhere: at metro stations, in a number of shops (for example, Seven Eleven, Save On Foods, Safeway), online on the site.The city is conditionally divided into three transport zones. The fare depends on how many zones you cross.

Taxi in Vancouver. What features exist

Nothing special exists in a taxi service in Vancouver, well, maybe, in addition, there are bigger special cars for people with disabilities traveling with a wheelchair.Standard rates for taxi services are as follows:taxi at the address – 2.65 USD (3.50 CAD);every kilometer – 1.20 USD (1.50 CAD);per hour of waiting you will be charged a standard rate of 25 USD (33 CAD).Taxi drivers charge you on the meter and expect to get some tips from above. The amount of tips is at your discretion. You can pay by cash or by card.To figure out how much it will cost you to get from the airport to some area of the city, this card will help:

  • Please note that map prices are in Canadian dollars.
  • Never try to catch a private trader – this does not work in Vancouver.

Metro in Vancouver

Skytrain is a fully automated high-speed metro system operated by Translink. Fully automated – it means that it does not need train drivers: all trains and branches are coordinated from a single center and controlled by computers.

The Expo and Millennium lines are responsible for passenger traffic from the city center (Downtown) to the suburbs of Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey and Coquitlam. Before the 2010 Olympics, a new Canada Line branch was launched into the Richmond suburb, as well as to the airport (YVR).

Buses in Vancouver

Although buses run on schedule, there are serious “holes” in it, and sometimes it’s easier to get somewhere by car than waiting for a bus, which, according to the schedule, will arrive in 20 minutes. In downtown – the opposite. It is better to leave the car and rely entirely on public transport.By the way, each bus stop is assigned a number. By sending an SMS message with a stop number to your free number 33333 (five triples) from your phone, you will receive an answer with the schedule of the nearest buses within a few seconds. It is very comfortable! Knowing the schedule, you can always either choose an alternative route or just walk.All the necessary information with maps, routes, timetables, is also available on the website of Translinka. 

Translink will give you a ready-made route with transfers and alternative route options.With empty stops, drivers are not required to stop, so you should let them know if you intend to get out. To do this, you don’t have to yell at the top of the name of the stop, you just need to pull on the special cord stretched along the windows, or click on the Stop button on the handrails. The driver does not open the doors of the cabin, you need to push the handle yourself. If this is not done, the driver will decide that you change your mind to go out and go on.Interestingly, in Vancouver, it is customary to thank the driver. Often you will hear from passengers leaving the “Thank you” bus, and often the drivers answer not just “You are welcome” (Please), but also “Have a nice day”.

on the streets of the city
on the streets of the city

Vehicle rental in Vancouver

Bike In the summer of 2016, Vancouver launched a special municipal program and in different places of the city suddenly appeared neat parking of blue bicycles with the inscription Mobi. In order to use one of them, you need to download a special mobile application, buy a subscription and go.

The program is designed specifically for short transfers from point A to point B, that is, it seems to be an alternative to a car or public transport. If you need a bike for the whole day, it is better to contact the companies that rent bikes.

Car There are also a number of car rental companies. This can be done right at the airport and later in the city. Hotel receptionists, information services or Google will always help you find the best option. However, if you do not plan trips out of town, I would not advise you to spend extra money (parking will be especially expensive !.In addition to the usual rental, for short interurban trips, you can use the car sharing service – that is, short-term rental with a per-minute or hourly rate. Just download the mobile app, find the parking lot closest to you, grab a car and drive. Payment usually includes the cost of gasoline, insurance and even parking.

  • EVO car share
  • Car2go
  • Zipcar

As far as I understand, these companies are not very different from each other, and which one to choose will depend on your personal preferences and requirements for the car brand.

Stanley park view
Stanley park view

Tips for motorists

Be careful with parking! Read carefully what days, what hours and who exactly can park in certain places. If parking in this place is prohibited or you need to pay for it – do not rely on chance and either find another place or pay. Otherwise, they will rip off a considerable fine from you or drive the car to a fine site.

Vancouver – Holidays with children

You can and should go to Vancouver with children, and starting with the smallest. Public transport is equipped in such a way that there is always a place for a stroller. In any, even the smallest restaurant, you will be offered a high chair to seat the child. In public toilets in shopping centers, in parks and even on beaches there are changing tables where you can easily replace your baby’s diaper.As for entertainment, I tried to mention programs for children when describing all the places that are important to visit.With good planning, the time spent in Vancouver will be remembered by all your family members for a long time.