Travel Guide

Visiting Vancouver


Planning a trip to Canada? This Vancouver travel guide is your one-stop-shop for what to expect when exploring this beautiful city! Vancouver is one of the few big cities in Canada and one that we highly recommend putting on your bucket list. Located on the west coast seaport in British Colombia, this culturally diverse city has everything from mountains and lakes to skyscrapers, art, and more. And our favorite part about it is the weather! While you may associated Canada with snowy, cold conditions, Vancouver actually has some of the most temperate, year-round weather in the entire country. We break down all the best food spots, places to stay, things to do, and more in this Vancouver travel guide!

Quick Tips


The Canadian Dollar (CAD), also known as “loonie” is the official currency of Canada & in favor to those traveling from the USA.


The best times to visit is from March-May and from Sept-Nov, when the weather is mild & hotels are cheap


The time zone in Vancouver is Pacific Standard Time, BC (GMT-8), or three hours behind New York City.

Getting There

For those of you living in Seattle, we envy you! Seattle is only a short drive and an even shorter flight away from Vancouver. But for those of us travelling from the East Coast, get ready for a long day of travel. Thankfully, there are a ton of daily flight options and airline options in and out of the Vancouver International Airport (YVR). The airport is located on Sea Island in Richmond, British Colombia, about 6 miles or 25 minutes southwest of the city center. Once at the airport there are a few methods of transportation to get downtown. One of the easiest is the Skytrain’s Canada Line, which is accessible right at the airport and goes all the way to the Vancouver Waterfront. Another easy, but more expensive option to get downtown is through taxi or Uber, which costs around $30.

What To Expect



Like everywhere else in the world, COVID is popping back up in Canada like that unwanted ex you just can’t get rid of. Although things were looking up, the Omicron variant has led to the return of numerous travel restrictions. If you are entering Canada through the U.S., you are required to be vaccinated. Additionally, you are required to show proof of a negative molecular test (PCR) taken within 72 hours of your scheduled flight to Canada. At this time, rapid antigen tests are not accepted. With new COVID variants and the ever-changing regulations around it, we always recommend reviewing the latest updates from the Government of Canada.



Vancouver is considered one of the safest cities in the world. Like any major city, we did see a fair amount of homelessness, but nothing to worry about as a long as you stay alert and keeping your belongings close.


Vancouver has one of the best public transits! You can easily get around the city by car, bus, bike, trains, walking, and even ferries connecting downtown Vancouver with the North Shore. We took advantage of Vancouver SkyTrain for longer transits, but spent most of our time walking outside and exploring the city from one destination to the next.


If you have the room, go for it! For clothing we recommend packing whatever you are comfortable with. Vancouver is a very fashionable and artistic city, but it is also outdoorsy. Therefore, you will fit right in wearing anything from street fashion to athletic wear. You’ll also want to have a few layers as options, depending on when you are traveling. Given there is so much to do outdoors, be sure to pack sneakers for hiking, or boots for the snow.


Similar to the U.S., a 15% – 20% tip is expected for services such as dinning, transportation, and accommodation services.

Neighborhood Guide



This is one of the most desirable areas to live! The neighborhood offers great views, lots of greenery and outdoor space, and is conveniently located on the border of Vancouver’s most famous beaches. The neighborhood is home to Lululemon and surrounded by the West 4th Avenue shops. Being from New York City, we think of this neighborhood as the Tribeca of Vancouver.


For lovers of historic areas, the cobblestoned streets of Gastown is the place to be! The neighborhood dates back to 1867 and features buildings with classic Victorian architecture, and restaurants that are a foodie’s dream. Instagrammers might want to take a picture in front of Gastown’s most famous landmark, an antique clock that’s partially powered by steam.


Vancouver is home to Canada’s largest Chinatown! It was established back in 1890 and is considered to be a historic neighborhood in the city. Vancouver’s Chinatown is bursting with history, as well as an impeccable & authentic food scene! It is a must-not-miss while visiting Vancouver.


Yaletown is one of the chicest areas of Vancouver and home to some of the best coffee shops, boutique shopping, five star dining, and most importantly, aesthetic outdoor patios.


Nestled within The West End, this incredibly diverse and lively neighborhood is thriving with the LGBTQ+ community. Walking through this buzzing neighborhood you’ll be surrounded by rainbow pride flags and great vibes!


Situated on the waterfront and bordering Stanley Park, this neighborhood provides peaceful, calming, and relaxing vibes. One of the main attractions is the waterfront, bringing crowds for casual strolls and coffee walks on sunny days.

Where We Stayed



This luxurious hotel is located in the heart of central downtown Vancouver. It possesses a mix of zen-like energy and tranquil ambiance, making it the perfect urban escape.

One of nearly 100 worldwide Shangri-La Luxury hotels, this one sits nestled between the sea and city alongside the beautiful Vancouver skyline. Guests can enjoy a full service spa, rooftop jacuzzi, peaceful rooms, and five star dinning. Prices start around $300 making it a bit on the pricey side, but worth it for a quick weekend stay.

Things To Do



City Cycle Tours offer some amazing guided bike rides around Vancouver. Whether visiting in the winter or summer, you can take advantage of exploring the city by bike given the mild weather throughout the year. This is also a great way to explore all the different neighborhoods in a short morning or afternoon.


Stanley Park is a massive 1,000-acre outdoor area bordering downtown Vancouver, Burrad Inlet, and English Bay. Given how large the park is, we weren’t able to explore all of it, but spent the afternoon walking around and taking in the views. There’s everything from tennis, to ice rinks, golf ranges, swimming pools & more across this massive green space.


Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is one of the most iconic spots in Vancouver. Stretching 450-feet-long and standing 230-feet-high above the Capilano River, this breathtaking view is not for those who scare easily at heights. The bridge is about 15 minutes from downtown and costs $42 CAD to enter.


Granville Island, under the Granville Street Bridge, is one of Vancouver’s top tourist attractions. The big thing to do here is walk around the Public Market and see all the vendors. But even just getting to the island is enjoyable! The quick ferry from downtown Vancouver is super cute, and who doesn’t love a good boat ride?! If you have a morning or afternoon to kill, we definitely recommend adding this into your itinerary.


Grouse Mountain is the perfect place to see mesmerizing views of Vancouver and participate in a plethora of activities! Located a quick 15 minutes from the city center, this mountain is the perfect day trip for a quick city escape. The mountain is home to winter sports, like skiing and snowboarding, to summer sports, like hiking and zip-lining, and even a gondola that reaches 4,1000 feet!

Restaurants And Bars

When first traveling to Vancouver, we were not expecting to be so blown away by the food. After leaving Vancouver, we can easily say they have some of the freshest and most flavorful food! We’re excited to share our favorite spots in our Vancouver travel guide below, including some of the best street foods and markets!


With a mix of West Coast Canadian, Korean, and Barbecue, this spot has mastered a variety of flavors, with innovative dishes that will blow your mind. 

The Boathouse

This simple yet delicious spot offers great seafood options, ranging from fish and chips to salmon burgers. There are two locations, one at Kitsilano Beach and another at English Bay.


This French influenced restaurant is truly Michelin worthy! Located in Gastown in an industrial style space, we recommend indulging here for a fancy five-star meal while in town. 


If you aren’t a sushi fan, you haven’t had Miku. This sustainable spot has some of the best sushi in Vancouver. With waterfront views, it’s one of the best spots for lunch or dinner.

Kokoro Tokyo Mazesoba

If you are looking for real Japanese, this is a must! Some of the best food we had was at this small, delicious, authentic spot, including the most flavorful handmade ramen noodles.

Di Beppe Restaurant

Located in Gastown, this quaint and comfy spot serves delicious pizza, pastries, coffee and more. From an Italian chef living abroad, the food is as authentic as it gets. 

Additional Recommendations

Vancouver is one of those cities that you could spend a month in and still not have enough time. Trust us when we say that a long weekend was not long enough! We were lucky enough to spend a few days in Whistler, Canada following our long weekend in Vancouver to go skiing! Check out our Whistler Travel Guide for all the details!

Thanks for reading our Vancouver Travel Guide and stay tuned for more Canada guides, and head over to our Destinations Page for many more worldwide comprehensive travel guides!

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