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!
WHEN TO VISIT
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
COVID REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTERING THE COUNTRY?
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.
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
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.
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.
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!