Vancouver sits on the western coast of Canada in British Columbia and is known for its natural beauty, mountains, parks, modern architecture, and laid-back lifestyle. Just under 10 million tourists visited in 2016, making it one of the most visited cities in Canada. Here are a few essentials to help you plan your perfect holiday to Vancouver.
How to Get to Vancouver:
The easiest way is to fly in to Vancouver on one of the many daily flights from the UK or Europe. Expect a long flight and to suffer from jet lag when you arrive as Canada’s time zone is GMT-8. Many international tourists choose to spend at least a week or two in Canada to factor in the travelling time and readjusting the body clock.
If time isn’t an issue, other options include flying into other parts of Canada such as Ottawa or Toronto and taking the multi-day train to Vancouver. The Canadian Route (Toronto to Vancouver) is a 4500 kilometers, four-day journey from coast to coast. Anticipate some of best landscapes in Canada as you pass through several cities, changing backgrounds and the Canadian Rockies.
A final option is to visit Canada as a part of a larger North American adventure. Daily trains and buses connect Vancouver with Seattle in neighboring Washington State in the US.
What to Do and See in Vancouver:
The city itself sits along the Pacific coastline juxtaposed against mountains that are often snow-capped in the near distance. Tourists can access the mountains and experience the natural beauty of British Columbia in 30 minutes by car from most parts of the city. As such, Vancouver is famed for its natural beauty including the Gulf Islands, Grouse Mountain, Shannon and Whistler Falls, and the steep fjords at Indian Arm.
A number of attractions fill the city center ranging from the famous Stanley Park, the iconic Capilano Suspension Bridge and the historical district of Gastown. Visitors enjoy the local culture by marveling at the largest collection of art in Western Canada at the Vancouver Art Gallery or learn about the First Nation settlers in the Museum of Vancouver. Science World and Vancouver Aquarium also make for a fun day with the family.
For something a little more unique, visit the architectural wonders of the city. Vancouver Convention Center, completed in 2009, hugs the harbor and has a six-acre roof covered in grass. The Evergreen Building, which is a 10 storied building with exterior gardens in the shape of a pyramid.
One of the strangest experiences is to watch a movie in a former morgue at the Vancouver Police Museum. Dramas, thrillers, and comedies are played for the public surrounded by the equipment of the morgue. Another unique thing to do is camp overnight at the zoo with their Night in the Wild Package. Guides take you around to see the animals in their nocturnal habitat before you set up camp. And to satisfy your culinary urges, sample the JAPADOG, a Japanese style hotdog, at one of the food stands.
Having the Perfect Holiday in Vancouver:
If natural beauty, a range of cultural and educational activities mixed with modern architectural wonders and historical districts sound fun to you, Vancouver might make the perfect holiday destination.