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Vancouver is the largest city in Western Canada, sitting at the edge of the coastal province of British Columbia. It's known for its spectacular mountain scenery as showcased during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, which were held here, and in the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort within easy reach of the city centre. So flights to Vancouver can mean both a city break as well as time on the slopes if you visit at the right time of year!
Vancouver is known for its diverse group of residents, which has led to a cosmopolitan city with plenty of interesting districts to visit - over half of the citizens don't speak English as their first language. It's definitely worth exploring the city with your stomach when it comes to seeing the diversity - each culture has brought its food along and you can find dishes from all across the world to satisfy your hunger after your flight to Vancouver arrives! Great news for dim sum fans, there is a huge Chinese population and there are countless restaurants across the city, not just in Chinatown.
A flight to Vancouver can certainly challenge your perceptions of what Canada is like when it comes to city living, but it can also get you right out into the wide open spaces that the country is famous for. Cheap Vancouver flights are becoming more widely available in 2017 and we see no change on the horizon for 2018 either!
You can expect to be in the air for at least 10 hours if you splash out on a direct flight to Vancouver, and it's well worth doing with little difference in price and travelling times on indirect flights often increasing by another nine or 10 hours! All flights land at Vancouver International Airport, which is just south of the city centre. For a really cheap options on flights to Vancouver, especially in the summer, it's also worth looking at a flight to Seattle followed by an onward journey across the border from the USA, although you will also need to get a US visa for this trip.
It's all about the great outdoors in this fun-loving city, so expect to spend quite a lot of time outside, whatever reason you have for booking that flight to Vancouver. Top attractions include Stanley Park, Grouse Mountain, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Chinatown, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden, Granville Island and harbour cruises! If you want to get inside for a bit try the Vancouver Lookout, the Vancouver Aquarium and Science World.
For more tips why not head to our Vancouver guide!
Vancouver's airport is Vancouver International Airport. The flight time from the UK is approximately 10 - 11 hours with the vast majority of flights going direct, although on some occasions you may find that an indirect flight works out cheaper. You can also reach Vancouver by boat: there are two ferry terminals serviced by BC Ferries in the area, although neither is within the city of Vancouver itself.
The easiest way to get into Vancouver hotels in the city centre from the airport is to jump on a SkyTrain which will take you there in 25 minutes. Taxis line up just outside the baggage claim areas, and a taxi ride into town should take under half an hour. If you fancy splashing out, you can even get a limousine.
Vancouver's public transport system is a combination of buses, the speedy SkyTrain and passenger ferry in the form of the SeaBus. The bus service covers the widest area and travels along most major streets in the city. You must either buy a ticket or present your ticket immediately upon entering a TransLink bus. SkyTrain is the mostly elevated system that connects Vancouver's Downtown with some suburbs. The Expo line runs out through Burnaby and New Westminster to King George station in Surrey.
There are a number of different bus lines providing service to various cities near and far. You can travel to Toronto by train fairly easily and there are trains travelling to Banff, Calgary and Jasper three times a week from April to October. The roads around Vancouver are good and hiring a car is a fantastic way of travelling further around Canada and the USA.
In contrast to most of the rest of Canada, Vancouver enjoys a temperate climate that shares some of the same qualities as the UK. Winters are rarely very cold and summers are pleasantly warm, but not often overly hot. Rainfall is, however, frequent, especially in the winter months. It's even been known to rain for 29 days without a break, so bring your brolly!
The most pleasant time to visit Vancouver is in the spring months, when the weather is mild and there are fewer tourists. Vancouver is the third most densely populated area in the world, so if you don't like crowds it's probably best to plan your Vancouver holiday for those months that don't fall within peak season!
Vancouver flights are at their most expensive during the summer time. Several airlines offer relatively cheap flights to Vancouver for January/February - the weather isn't as cold as in many other areas in Canada, so you could definitely consider visiting at this time, even if you're a warm weather lover! Watch out for expensive flights aimed at skiiers and snowboarders heading to Whistler Blackcomb though - be flexible on dates and you'll get a better price.
The currency of Vancouver is the Canadian Dollar, which is different from the American Dollar. There are currency exchanges all over the city, and most will offer a reasonable exchange rate; if you're new to the city though, head to Robson Street, where there's a high concentration of Bureau de Changes generally offering a reasonable rate.
English is the main language spoken in Vancouver. Whilst French is spoken in other parts of Canada, it isn't widely spoken in Vancouver. Other languages include Cantonese, Chinese, Mandarin and Punjabi .
Vancouver as a whole is a very safe city, but Downtowns Eastside is generally regarded as the most dangerous part of the city because of its high levels of drug use, prostitution and the high rates of violent crime.
Dial +1 for Canada, then 604 for Vancouver
Visas are not generally required for British Citizens visiting Canada for short periods.