Before you arrive
Vancouver frequently tops most liveable city lists – and it’s easy to see why. A Liberal, multicultural and friendly place to visit: Where else can you ski and surf in the same 24 hours? The Pacific borders one side, mountains soar on the other and creeks and inlets cut right through it.
The City takes its name from British naval officer George Vancouver, who explored here in the late 18th century, but it was saloon owner Jack ‘Gassy’ Deighton who really founded the city.
An Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) is required by all visa-free foreign nationals prior to arrival. It costs around £4 and is valid for up to 5 years; apply at Canada.ca.
Direct flights to Vancouver take around 9½ hours and returns with Air Canada cost around £554 (aircanada.com).
The SkyTrain Canada line links the airport to City Centre station; trains run from 5am to 1am (costing about £5.50 for one way) and take around 20 minutes (trainslink.ca); taxis are readily available to the city centre and cost around 21 – 25 pounds.
Tip Top – The Fairmont Pacific Rim is a prime location, which sits on the harbour looking out at the north Shore Mountains.
Mid Range – The Metropolitan Hotel, based downtown, is only a two-minute walk from the City Centre.
On a budget – Sylvia Hotel is a hidden gem and a comfortable place to stay.
What to see
Explore the city’s cultural heritage, and its more than 150 ethnicities. Explore the night market (visitrichmondbc.com). Visit the magical islands of Haida Gwaii and, if you are looking for seafood, shopping and art, travel to Granville Island.
So what are the stats?
Languages: English & French
International dialling code +1
Visas: UK nationals do not require a visa but you will need to apply for an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation).
Health Issues: Canada is a safe place to be, pretty low in crime and there is no requirement for any vaccinations Climate: High summer (July – August) is warmest. Winters are mild (Rarely snows in the city) but wet.