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Getting Started in Vancouver: Practical Information




Updated November 20, 2021 by Thiago Khoury

Vancouver is part of British Columbia, the Canadian playground: the place is so beautiful that Queen Victoria herself, in 1858, felt at home and called it “British Columbia” – one of the few places where you can ski and play golf. in the same day.

Vancouver welcomes thousands of tourists every yearand most of them come from the province itself and from other regions of the country, but Brazilians have conquered more and more space: language schools, language and winter sports have made Vancouver the ideal place for those who arrived in Canada and wants to hit the road.

Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver

To start shooting in Vancouver

This post has practical information about Vancouver, including weather, money and public transport, but first I want to leave you three essential posts to help anyone planning a trip to Canada:

+ Essential questions about Canada

+ What is the best travel insurance for Canada?

+ What is the best travel chip for Canada?

How is the weather in Vancouver?

Vancouver is insistently called “raincouver”: whether it’s snow or rain, it’s hard to walk around and not get wet.

Anyone traveling through Canada will soon realize that British Columbia has more homeless people than any other province – and this is a climatic phenomenon and not just a social one: while the summer heat is more tolerable than in other regions of the country, against winter cold there are much more attractive social public policies.

The best months to visit Vancouver are May, June, July and August, when the cold doesn’t get in the way and the probability of rain is much lower.

How much to spend in Vancouver

Unlike Toronto, the purchasing power is lower and therefore there is a smaller supply of stores, but the title of third best city in the world to live in is not by chance: eating, getting around and staying in Vancouver is not cheap.

Never travel with an average of less than $60/day.

It’s worth remembering that Canadians are very generous when it comes to tipping, but you don’t have to go beyond the usual limits: add between 15% and 20% to the restaurant bill, two dollars per bag and one dollar per drink.

The Granville Island Market in Vancouver

The Granville Island Market in Vancouver

Public transport in Vancouver: how does it work?

Downtown is flat and the SkyTrain it’s not very useful for those staying there, so be prepared to use the online planner: go to translink.ca, enter your starting point and destination, then just follow the best route.

Of course, you can do some further outings, like visiting Capilano Bridge or South Granville.

For routes through water, the online planner will likely suggest a third mode of transport: the SeaBusa ferry for thousands of people that works in tandem with the SkyTrain and bus lines.

Remember that for tours far from the starting point you will need a ticket that covers two different zones. There are budget passes, but I don’t believe you need them: the best option is to buy a ticket whenever there is a need.

Good news is that there is already a train line from the airport: just board the new Canada Line towards Waterfront and from there to your final destination by bus or rental car.

It looks like Uber will be introduced in Vancouver any time from November 2019.

Where to stay in Vancouver

Well, let’s start with where you shouldn’t be: West End, the left part of the map, which is extremely residential and unattractive.

North Vancouver, South Granville, Bridgport, Richmond, Kitsilano… All this is very interesting for those who live there, but it is far and out of the way for those who are on a trip.

Granville Downtown is a central option and full of competitive prices: I stayed at the Ramada and I don’t regret it, but those who can spend a little more can look for other options in Yaletown and the Entertainment District.

Vancouver is a safe city

As I said above, you will notice that Vancouver is full of beggars on the streets, but these people are unlikely to bring you any trouble.

Avoid walking in the eastern region of the map after dark, this includes Chinatown, Hastings East and Main Street.

They say that Gastown, next to Chinatown, is also not the safest – I was there only during the day and found the place extremely pleasant, but, anyway, here’s a tip.

One problem in Vancouver, directly linked to drug use, is car break-ins – so if you’re driving, forget for a moment you’re in Canada and never leave anything of value visible when you park it.

Vancouver seen from above

Eat and have fun in Vancouver

Eating well in Vancouver is not complicated at all, the restaurants that pop up along Robson Street are delicious, visiting them is inevitable.

Another fantastic place to dine is along Davie Street, Vancouver’s LGBT street. The funny thing is that the place is all colorful, with pink trash cans and little flags on the poles, but the restaurants and bars are sober, usually in wooden tones.

Be sure to also visit Alberni Street, close to Burrard Street and Robson Street. The restaurants are delicious and have several possibilities of national wine with prices that make you drunk.

And what about tourism in Vancouver?

Downtown Vancouver is a small place, you don’t need to spend more than three days there, so be prepared to explore British Columbia to the fullest!

Traveling to Vancouver is never just about seeing the hypercenter of the city – meet Whistler, meet Victoria, and at worst, hop on a tour and go whale-watching!

Do not miss the attractions closest to the tourist center of Vancouver: be enchanted by Kitsilano, do not miss the Capilano Bridge, go up a little further and arrive at Grouse Mountain.

You will be treated well by the locals, by the way, remember that the locals are all of us: Vancouver is extremely Canadian in terms of miscegenation.

Welcome to Vancouver!

Other blog tips for planning your trip:

Already know where to stay in Vancouver? I selected the best options from Granville Street and Robson Street. A cheap and well located hotel tip that I always give is the Ramada on Granville Street.

Have you already purchased travel insurance? Insurance is essential especially in times of covid! The Insurance Promo comparator offers at least 10% off for blog readers and even pay on the card!

Can you travel without a cell phone? Do not forget to leave Brazil with your international SIM card with real unlimited internet – and through the blog link you will take at least 15% off!

For rent a car in canada for the lowest price search all rental companies at once on Rentcars. They have an office in Brazil with service in Portuguese!

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