Tips for Staying in Vancouver
Vancouver is one of the most metropolitan areas in Canada and a major touchstone of British Columbia. The Economist Intelligence Unit has consistently ranked it as one of the best cities to live in, so it's no surprise that its population density is just behind other major cities like New York and San Francisco. If you're thinking of taking a short vacation here or an extended stay, here are some basic tips to help you enjoy life in Vancouver.
What Must You Carry?
Dress for every kind of weather.
Because of the northern climate, the weather in Vancouver can range from warm and sunny to icy cold and rain. It's best to always travel with a reliable jacket and hat and to have a scarf handy during winter.
Get a Daypass for TransLink.
Getting around by bus or on foot will be the easiest way to travel in the city. TransLink is the main authority for public transit in the territory, linking together the bus service, SkyTrain, and the SeaBus ferry. To make getting around simple on a day-by-day basis, it's recommended that travelers purchase a Daypass from TransLink, which is available at all SkyTrain stations.
Visit Kits Beach and Spanish Banks.
Canada isn't exactly known for its beaches, but you can still find plenty of nice spots to lie in the sand and soak up some sun. Kits Beach is the most popular destination and ideal for volleyball games, while Spanish Banks is quieter and more scenic.
Shop at Pacific Centre and Main Street.
Between Robson and Pender Street is the Pacific Centre, an assortment of more than 150 shops and restaurants that stretches above and below ground. You'll find all the major retailers here, with permanent fixtures for H&M, Sears, Holt Renfrew, and Sports Chek. Main Street also has some nice places to shop, including a nice selection of cafés and clothing boutiques.
Around Main and Pender Street is Vancouver's very own Chinatown. Connected to the historic region of Gastown, this section of the city is very large and populated, which makes the Chinese New Year celebrations all the more exciting. Besides all the authentic Chinese cuisine you can enjoy, you'll find some excellent restaurants here covering every other international cuisine. We also recommend a visit to the Chinese Tea Shop on East Pender and the Night Market on Keefer Street, which is styled after modern Asian marketplaces.
Spend some time at the Seawall and Stanley Park.
At the northern tip of South Vancouver is Stanley Park, a large and beautiful stretch of greenery that's almost completely surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Lining the shore of this park is the Seawall, which had stood since 1980. During the Sixties, it was a center for beatniks, hippies, and other Counterculture types, and while the hippies may have moved on, it remains a popular hangout for local youth and a site for hosting festivals and concerts throughout the year.