Welcome to Vancouver

Here you will find all of the necessary information to make the best of your time in Vancouver. From arrival and departure information, daily tour pick up times, and general information about the city.

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About Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver is a coastal city surrounded by mountains, sandy beaches and old growth forests. Due to its natural beauty and temperate climate, this is a city where people love to get outside. From beautiful walking trails to immaculate gardens and the Pacific Ocean lapping at the warm shores there’s no shortage of ways to experience the staggering amount of natural beauty. You may also wish to head down to historic Gastown, home to cobblestone streets and Victorian architecture and known for its impeccable dining and numerous photo opportunities.

Arrival Information:

When arriving in Vancouver, please make your way to the arrivals exit. Immediately to the left outside the exit door is a taxi stand.As of 2021, airport to downtown Vancouver hotel fares will oscillate between CAD $30-40 per taxi depending on time of service and traffic conditions. Taxis accept all major credit cards, CAD and USD.

If we have arranged your hotel transfer, you will find your driver holding a sign with your name right at the passenger exit.

Uber and Lyft are also available in Vancouver, depending on the type of service/vehicle the trip from the airport to your hotel will cost between CAD $28 – 45.

If you are going to be in the airport for a long duration and require services to freshen up, the Plaza Premium Lounge offers comfortable furnishings, showers, and nap rooms. There are four locations conveniently located throughout the airport, please ask for directions.

Light rail transit from the airport to downtown Vancouver is available aboard the SkyTrain (Canada Line). Upon arriving and making your way through customs, please looks for signs to the SkyTrain. It’s an approximate 10 minute walk to the airport pick up stop, and will cost roughly CAD $10.00. All major credit cards and CAD are accepted. The airport stop is the last stop on the Canada Line, it is impossible to get on traveling the wrong way. Before arriving it will be best to determine which of the three downtown Vancouver stops is closest to your hotel. Note, the stops are called Yaletown-Roundhouse, Vancouver City Centre and Waterfront. It takes approximately 30 minutes to reach downtown stops, and it will likely take 5-10 minutes to walk from station to hotel.  For more information, see here: SkyTrain

If you are a visitor to Canada and you are not a citizen of the USA, you may be required to purchase an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This document can be purchased for CAD $7.00 and most applications are approved within minutes of applying.  Please visit the following government site for information and to purchase this eTA: Electronic Travel Authorization.

Departure Information:

When departing from Vancouver, you can schedule a taxi from your downtown hotel. As of 2021, downtown Vancouver hotel to Vancouver International airport fares will oscillate between CAD $30-40 per taxi depending on time of service and traffic conditions. Taxis accept all major credit cards, CAD and USD.

If we have arranged your hotel transfer, you will find your driver waiting for you at the hotel lobby at the scheduled time.

Uber and Lyft are also available in Vancouver, depending on the type of service/vehicle the trip from your hotel to the airport will cost between CAD $28 – 45.

If you are going to be in the airport for a long duration and require services to freshen up, the Plaza Premium Lounge offers comfortable furnishings, showers, and nap rooms. There are four locations conveniently located throughout the airport, please ask for directions.

Light rail transit from downtown Vancouver hotels to the airport is available aboard the SkyTrain (Canada Line). It’s an approximate 5-10 minute walk to the train stop, depending on your hotel location and will cost roughly CAD $10.00. All major credit cards and CAD are accepted. The airport stop is the last stop on the Canada Line, it is impossible to miss that stop. Before departing from your hotel it will be best to determine which of the three downtown Vancouver stops is closest to you. Note, the stops are called Yaletown-Roundhouse, Vancouver City Centre and Waterfront. It takes approximately 30 minutes to reach the airport from downtown Vancouver. For more information, see here: SkyTrain

Restaurant Recommendations:

The city of Vancouver offers a wide array of options for dining including most international cuisines. Some of our favorite Restaurant Recommendations are:

The Sandbar ~ A seafood hot spot under the Granville Bridge with sushi made to order and live music nightly. Casual attire.
Address: 1535 Johnston Street

Hapa Izakaya ~ Fantastic Japanese fusion food and a fun, energetic environment. Casual attire.
Address: 1193 Hamilton Street

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House ~ Upscale, one-of-a-kind Vancouver restaurant with great ambience. Smart Casual Attire.
Address: 777 Thurlow Street

Nightingale ~ Modern Canadian cuisine with seasonal sharing plates for the foodies. Vegetarian friendly. Smart Casual Attire.
Address: 1017 West Hastings Street

Bao Bei ~ Chinese food brasserie, routinely voted for making the best Chinese food in Vancouver. Casual attire.
Address:163 Keefer Street

The Flying Pig ~ A Canadian Bistro with an excellent menu. Casual, upbeat environment. Three locations.
Address: 102 Water Street, 1168 Hamilton St., 127 West 2nd Ave

Sightseeing Recommendations:

Our team at Canada Rail Vacations has put together a list of our favorite spots to check out,  whether you are exploring the city on your own or you are riding the Hop on Hop off tour bus.
Vancouver celebrated its 130th birthday in 2016 and the city has undergone some pretty big changes to become the vibrant metropolitan city it is today. There’s something for everyone.

Westcoast Sightseeing TourHop on Hop off Bus Tour Tips
The Hop on Hop off tour bus is a fantastic way to see the sights of Vancouver and get acquainted with the city. As you tour around, consider exploring a few of the following attractions and bus stops:

Gastown – (stop C1/P1) – This was Vancouver’s original downtown and is named after ‘Gassy’ Jack Deighton, who opened the area’s first saloon. Today, the city maintains the integrity of most of its original buildings and you can view some of Vancouver’s oldest architecture by strolling up and down Water Street, between Cordova and Carrall Street. Don’t forget to stop at the historic Gastown Steam Clock, a must see at the corner of Cambie and Water Street. If you’re a fan of pubs, The Irish Heather on Carrall Street is in a beautiful old building and has a great selection of whisky and scotch. It offers a nice menu for a light snack or meal.

Granville Island – (stop C6/P14) – Vancouver was originally named Granville and didn’t take on its current name until 1886. Today, Granville Island is a fantastic little shopping district rife with west coast charm, an open air market, and plenty of local artisan shops to wander in and out of. It’s a great place to grab a coffee and walk around. We suggest scheduling your day to end up at Granville Island later in the afternoon so that you can enjoy The Sandbar Restaurant for dinner. Insist on sitting on the upstairs patio where they have heat lamps and blankets. Be sure to bring something warm to wear. You won’t be disappointed.

Stanley Park – (stops P6 – P12) – This is arguably Vancouver’s best attraction. It’s our version of New York’s Central Park (but bigger). Highlights along the route include: The Totem Poles (stop P8) – a great way to learn about the Indigenous history of western Canada; the Vancouver Aquarium (stop P7); and Prospect Point (stop P9) – offering great views of the Lions Gate Bridge, the North Shore and the Burrard Inlet.

False Creek Ferries – (stop P13) – Instead of touring around by bus, why not enjoy a ferry ride? False Creek Ferries is a fun, unique alternative to get to places like Granville Island, Science World and the Maritime Museum. Step off the bus at stop P13 and follow the signs down to the Ferry Dock. There is a small cost for this, but it is well worth the ride. Instead of following the bus route to Granville Island, we suggest this option for those wanting to hop off the bus for an hour or two and change up the pace of their transport. If you have the time to stay on the ferry for the full circle route, you will be rewarded with some awesome photo opportunities.

Robson Street (stop P4 or C4) – If you like to shop, this is the place to be. Starting at Burrard  Street, head west on Robson and you will find shops galore.

Rent a Bike
If you’re feeling spry, one of the best things to do in Vancouver is to rent a pedal bike from one of the many bike rental companies in Vancouver (ask your hotel concierge for the closest location). Go for a pedal along the Vancouver Seawall and you won’t be disappointed. The paths are flat the entire way, the views are spectacular, and there are plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars along the way to fuel up with a snack or beverage.

Rainy Days
Vancouver is well known for its fruitful rain and has a lot to offer indoors too, if you’d prefer to stay warm and dry. Depending on your interests, the Vancouver Art Gallery (stop C2) or Museum of Anthropology (a short taxi ride from downtown) are great options, or sports fans can combine a visit to the BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum with a tour of the BC Place stadium (stop C7).