Updated: Mar 6, 2019
Vancouver is one of the most gorgeous and visited cities in the world. It is situated in the west coast seaport in British Columbia, Canada. When you travel to Vancouver, you will notice a multicultural city and art enthusiast place. Below is an “Insiders” guide to travelling Vancouver!
1. Weather and When to Go
January to February - Quiet after holiday season. Still chilly but changes. Sometimes rainy or cold. March - The arrival of Spring in Vancouver. Cherry blossoms also a great attraction in the end of the month. April – Bring your umbrella and expect a lot of rain! Vancouverites live for the rain (they have to). Make sure to bring some waterproof boots and you’ll fit right in! May- The start of tourist season... it is warming up! May long weekend is a great time to visit Vancouver June- Many festivals and the Annual Dragon Boat Festival is one of the highlights! Grab some popcorn and watch the races along the sea wall. July-You can expect sunny and warm weather, this is the month that Vancouver really shows off it’s grand beauty! August-Vancouver’s LGBTQ community Pride Festival and parade brings many people to the city. Many families come out from their apartments to line the streets of Vancouver for the pride parade. September- One of the most under rated months in Vancouver, sometimes it is still warm and hot! The fall colors start coming in and Vancouver once again shows off it’s beauty. October-Slower season, but still some great fall days! November- Expect a lot of greyness (cloudy weather) and dampness! December- High Season for tourism in Vancouver. The city knows how to celebrate Christmas! So many great festivals and parties this time of year to enjoy around the city.
2. Getting There and Around
YVR or Vancouver International Airport is the main International and domestic airport in West Coast Canada. You can rent a car while you’re in Vancouver right from the airport, or take the skytrain right to the city! Getting around downtown is very easy. Downtown is very cyclist friendly with bike lanes in every neighbourhood and on all major bridges. You can also roam around by foot and check out nice attractions or shops. The Vancouver SkyTrain is a great way to get around. Load up some money on your compass card for the durationof your trip. These can be purchased at any SkyTrain, SeaBus, and West Coast Express station.
3. Eat and Drink
There are plenty of choices when it comes to food and drink. You can try many restaurants like Farmer's Apprentice Restaurant which serves organic food. Hokkaido Ramen Santouka is a must try if you like ramen soup and Japanese cuisines. Bao Bei offers modern and stylish Chinese food and cocktails. Wildebeest restaurant is serving locally sourced Pacific Northwest plates & cocktails in a hip setup. Canadian Tuc Craft Kitchen is Chic site for modern tavern fare, such as parsnip fries & house-cured bacon, plus beers & cocktails. Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar is for seafood lovers. Vij's restaurant is an Indian restaurant offering inventive cuisine & a lively atmosphere. I suggest you also add in your list the Vancouver Foodie Tours if you are a food enthusiast. There are so many more places to eat in Vancouver...check out Nestaide’s guidebooks to the city.
4. Free Things to do
Vancouver is an awesome city and also you don’t need a large budget to explore the city. You can visit Vancouver Art Gallery, entrance is by-donation on Tuesdays. Also try the popular “Wander Around Lynn Canyon” for free. You can watch the Cruise Ships go by at Dundarave Pier. Another free attraction is free museums, The Observatory (beside the Space Centre in Vanier Park) is by-donation; and the Burnaby Village Museum offers complimentary admission year-round.
5. Window Shopping or Splurge
Travel and vacation can't be complete without shopping or looking around for great souvenirs or gifts. You will love Vancouver if you're a shopaholic or love nice things. There are so many places to shop....! You can start at Main Street, if you are looking for unique and trendy styles Main Street--from 20th Avenue to 22nd Avenue--is the place to
go. Metropolis at Metrotown is the biggest mall in B.C. It has over 450 stores. Gastown is another premiere location for local boutiques and souvenir items. Kerrisdale Village--located in southwest Vancouver--has all its shops on one street. West Fourth Ave in Kitsilano also offers a variety of shopping as well!
6. Relax and Stay
Staying in a vacation rental house is becoming a popular choice for many travelers. Many tourists are opting to look for variety of houses on websites like Airbnb, Homeaway and VRBO that offer luxurious and complete amenities compared to a hotel room. You can book your next Vancouver visit and stay in this lovely place: CENTRALLY Located 3BR Vancouver Home w Sunny Patio
7. Skin Tan at Kitsilano Beach
One of the famous beaches in Vancouver is “Kit's Beach.” It offers a lot of activities for families and people who just love beaches. There are sports activities (like beach volleyball and soccer), jogging routes and Kitslano Pool is a good alternative to ocean swimming if you prefer not getting salty. A famous outdoors Shakespeare festival that is held in Vancouver at the Kitsilano Beach every summer is also fun to attend. You can rent kayaks, stand up paddle boards and try your hand at wind surfing all at Kits Beach if you’d like!
8. Celebrity Spotting
We guide you to easy way to spot your favorite celebrities who loves to eat or hang around within these bars and restaurants. If you like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds they frequently seen at Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe for brunch. Cafe Medina also a popular place to hunt for Riverdale cast. Gotham Steakhouse & Bar has hosted big names in Hollywood, George Clooney and The Rock. Twilight casts also dined and stopped here.
9. Spas in the City
Who doesn't want a spa and pampering? We recommend The Miraj Hammam Spa - South Granville as well as Spa Utopia at the Pan Pacific Hotel - Downtown Vancouver. The Sense : A Rosewood Spa in the hotel Georgia and the Fairmont Downtown Willow Stream Spa in Coal Harbour are all good choices.
10. Park and Save
You can park for free at West End in Vancouver which is home to some of the best sights in Vancouver (sunset beach and English Bay). You can search for free parking all along Thurlow and Beach Avenue and Bidwell and Cardero on Beach Avenue. At the West End Community Centre present your ID at the Parking Permit Desk (open daily 9:00am to 5:00pm) as proof that you’re visiting, they will issue you a guest temporary parking pass.