Getting Around Vancouver
The best ways to get around Vancouver are on foot and by public transportation. Many major attractions and popular neighborhoods are located within walking distance of one another in this condensed city. However, if you feel your feet growing weary, the Translink system -- which includes the SkyTrain, the SeaBus ferry and numerous bus routes -- is both manageable and affordable. You can also hitch a ride on the trolley to several of the city's best attractions. Getting into town from the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is also easy: an airport shuttle that will take you downtown for about $15 CAD (or $15 USD), or you can use the SkyTrain and Translink buses.
|On Foot or Bike||Because it is so condensed and the streets are aligned on a grid,central Vancouver is very easy to navigate on foot. You could also take a bike to the paths that weave throughout the city. There are plenty of bike rental shops downtown, and prices average between $30 and $40 CAD per day. Just be aware that helmets are mandatory and biking on the sidewalk is illegal.|
Vancouver’s public transportation is both efficient and convenient. The Translink system includes electric buses, the SeaBus ferry and the SkyTrain, all of which are ecologically friendly, reliable and inexpensive. Regular service runs from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day. One-way fares cost between $2.50 and $5 CAD (the Canadian dollar is roughly equivalent to the U.S. dollar), while day passes cost $9 CAD and include unlimited rides on all buses, SeaBus Ferries and the SkyTrain. Keep in mind that you will need exact change in order to purchase a one-way ticket.
If you're looking for a straightforward way to see the sights, you should also consider taking one of the several hop-on hop-off trolley tours that stop at city sites like the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Vancouver Lookout observation deck at Harbour Centre. Rides cost about $38 CAD per day.
|Car||Vancouver is easier to navigate by car than most major cities, but traffic tends to move slowly because there are no major freeways. Keep your eyes peeled for downtown's one-way streets, as they can cause confusion. If you do decide to bring a car, keep in mind that gas is sold by the liter rather than the gallon and tends to be more expensive. The average speed limit is also a little slower; 50 kmph (or roughly 30 mph). You might also want to stock up on Canadian change, as parking meters in the downtown area do not accept American money.|
|Taxi||When you need to get somewhere fast, taxis are a good option. However, you might want to call ahead of time, since it can be difficult to hail a cab from the street. The meter starts at about $2.50 CAD -- roughly the same amount in U.S. dollars -- with each additional kilometer (about 0.6 miles) costing around $1.50 CAD.|
Entry & Exit Requirements
A passport is required for citizens of the United States to travel to Vancouver, and to re-enter the country. If you are planning to drive, you must produce a passport, passport card or NEXUS card that allows expedited border crossings for both private and commercial travelers through Canadian and U.S. border controls. For more information, visit the U.S. State Department website.