Vancouver, located in British Columbia, is a cultural hub that offers plenty of actives. As a port city, its waterfront allows for outdoor exploring on ferries and boat services. From urban city living, to adventures in the mountains, Vancouver is a host for lots of opportunities.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 911
- Language: English
- Currency: Canadian Dollar
- Country Code: CA
- Travel Visa: eTA (click for more info)
- Population: 2,556,000
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- Many of Vancouver's attractions are high above the trees. To get the best pictures, bring along a selfie stick to get the amazing views in every photo!
- To get a glimpse of the best sunset, visit English Bay. This is one of Vancouver's beaches at the heart of the city. Bring a picnic and see some amazing sights.
For the Emergency services just dial 911 from any phone.
Hospitals in Vancouver
Vancouver offers many affordable and efficient modes of transport. The city is great for cycling, with dedicated bike lanes throughout the city. Bike rentals and cycle routes are available. Travelling by boat is also common in Vancouver. Ferries provide transport to neighbouring waterfronts and attractions. The SeaBus shuttle operates throughout the day, taking 15 minutes to cross the waterfront. Vancouver’s TransLink provides bus networks that hold space for bicycles, making connections easier.
How do I keep up with the local news?
What are some safety tips I should know?
If you’re visiting bars and clubs late at night, it’s a good idea to take a taxi home and avoid any dark alleys and quiet side streets.
Park your car in well-lit areas with a lot of pedestrian movement. Do not leave anything unattended in your car when you are out. This especially means not leaving anything visible, even if you deem it worthless.
If you choose to go along some of the more isolated areas, bring a friend with you. There are a lot of areas that you can choose that have many people around.
If you leave any item of yours unattended, you are risking it being stolen, even if you are gone for less than a minute.
What are the common crimes?
Pick-pocketing is one of the most common crimes affecting tourists and visitors. Please keep your belongings safe and secure at all times and take extra care in the city centre and other tourist areas.
Thefts from cars can be a frequent occurrence so keep your belongings out of sight or take them with you.
Are there any places I should avoid?
As a large city, Vancouver can be a place for incidents to occur. When visiting areas, travel in groups and avoid going after dark. Keep yourself safe and visit in the day.
Vancouver does have the highest crime rate in Canada.
East End and Upper end of Granville Street are areas to avoid after dark.
Improve Your Personal Safety
Knowledge – the more you have the better equipped you are.
Awareness – the more you see the safer you become.
Response – the right reaction can change a situation.
Every culture has its customs and traditions, they have been handed down the generations and are always held in high regards by the local residents.
Discovery Of Gold
For thousands of years the Coast Salish people have called the area now known as Vancouver home. Their history and cultural traditions, upholding a deep respect for nature and humanity, are tightly woven into the city’s cultural fabric. It was the discovery of gold that drew substantial European settlements to the region. By 1858, the gold rush on the Fraser River brought thousands of prospectors to the area.
Canadian Pacific Railway
Today, Vancouver’s cosmopolitan appeal can be attributed to its international population of citizens. From British descendants, Chinese, Japanese, German, Indo-Pakistani, French, Italian, Dutch, Scandinavian, Ukrainian, Filipino to Greek. Important developments like the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880’s greatly boosted the growing area, and meant a substantial influx of Chinese workers. It was the promise of this coast-to-coast connection that led the province into Confederation in 1871.
Celebration of Thanksgiving
Visiting Canada in the fall, will give you the opportunity to take part in a tradition that is shared with their neighbours, the USA. This is the celebration of Thanksgiving, which is held on the first Monday of October! This can be traced back to the early Settlers, who arrived in this fertile land and were so pleased with their harvest that they celebrated their good fortune!
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
Chinese New Year Parade
A signature event of Vancouver’s Chinatown is always the Chinese New Year Parade. This will feature dances, cultural troupes, marching bands, performances and much more! If you are visiting Vancouver at this time of year, come and see the lights and hear the sounds of the festivities.
Celebration of Christmas
The celebration of Christmas is experienced in most Canadian homes. Some children however, do not open their presents until New Years Day. Different Provinces have their own celebratory time scale and manner in which to celebrate. For instance in Nova Scotia, the celebrations last for twelve days and a feature is the appearance of masked people called “Belsnicklers”. These characters make their way through the streets, ringing bells and demanding treats!
This is a huge celebration in Vancouver and neighbourhoods will show their love of this tradition by decorating their houses, both inside and out. There are lots of events and attractions around this time of year in Vancouver such as the Stanley Park Ghost Train and the popular Fright Nights at the PNE.
Are there any cultural attractions?
Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden
A sanctuary in the heart of the city, these incredibly manicured gardens were the first authentic classical Chinese gardens ever built outside of China. Walk along the peaceful paths and admire the harmonious elements designed in rock, water, plants and architecture.
Vancouver Art Gallery
This highly acclaimed collection of national and international contemporary art is worth spending at least an afternoon exploring. Don’t miss the collection of work by the well-known British Columbian artist Emily Carr. Stop in at the Satellite Visitor Centre on the southwest side of the gallery for great information and tips. Located just off the famous Robson Street, this is a perfect location for a day of culture and leisure.
Harbour Cruises and Events
This is Vancouver’s leading boat sightseeing company, providing unparalleled views of Vancouver and offering a unique and delightful way to experience the city. Harbour Cruises Ltd. is the only boat sightseeing company in Vancouver to offer regularly scheduled daily and nightly public cruises.
Where else is good to visit?
A must for lovers of the sea! The Vancouver Aquarium is home to over 70,000 fascinating creatures from the Arctic to the Amazon. Be sure to catch daily beluga whale, dolphin and sea otter shows, and for an unforgettable extra try a hands-on animal encounter.
Located in the downtown Harbour Centre, the Vancouver Lookout, at a height of 130 metres (430 feet). It is the perfect place to survey the city and reflect upon your day. A ticket will allow you access up to the 360 degrees ‘Lookout’ as many times as you like that day, so plan to visit during the day, and then again to see the sunset. There is also a revolving restaurant at the very top, a picture perfect way to see the city!
Whatever time of year you visit Grouse Mountain the view of the city is spectacular. Just 15 minutes from downtown, Vancouver’s premier attraction offers the perfect destination for a truly rewarding and memorable experience. A popular spot for lovers of the outdoors, especially those who like skiing and snowboarding.
What are the main attractions?
Capilano Suspension Bridge
Not for the faint hearted! Make your way across the swaying suspension bridge, which stretches 137 metres (450 feet) across a canyon and the striking Capilano River 70 metres (230 feet) below. Then explore the beautifully lush fir- and fern-carpeted forests via a series of elevated suspension bridges in the Treetops Adventure!
Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours
Try one of the old-fashioned horse-drawn vehicles and meander in comfort through the natural beauty of Stanley Park, Vancouver’s #1 attraction. Just one of the many ways of travelling around an idyllic park setting within the hustle and bustle of this modern city.
A charming public market overflowing with fresh produce, breads, seafood and a bounty of other goods is reason enough to visit Granville Island. Be sure to also stroll the narrow lanes of the island to check out its unique shops and photo-worthy views of downtown across False Creek.