Language: The main language is English and French but we found the majority spoke English so getting around is easy.
Currency: CAD $ Canadian dollar. We found the easiest way to exchange was a bank or simply using our debit/credit card. The UK has a number of cards that do not charge (See Money matters in Port)
Time difference: During our visit in September the time was - 8hrs the UK time which can be a problem with jetlag
Visa's: See our Visa Section for more info
Airport transfer: It is roughly 15km to the cruise terminal from the airport and ways of getting there vary. Taxis offer a fare zone system and the cost to the cruise port is approx $35 CAD. If you fancy driving there is Hertz and Enterprise at the airport. There is also a direct rail link which takes less than 30 mins and are as frequent as every few minutes. We tend to book with Hoppa.com or Rideways.com before we leave the UK. They give you a price and thats what you pay for either a single or return journey and it is worth checking out. The driver's are punctual and curteous and will be waiting for you at the airport.
Tipping: Tipping is voluntary although some restaurants add it on to the bill. Normally people tend to tip 15% - 20% on top of the bill for good service
The Hop on Hop Off bus is a great way to see the city and most cities have them. You can pre-book these before you leave home and usually get a better price but either way it is a fairly inexpensive way of seeing snapshots of places. We use them to get about and then return to the places we preferred to spend more time there.. These buses always provide a map of stops and can be picked up and used to navigate your way around the city. It also serves as a great way to discover places you may not be aware off! Places to see Capilano Bridge, English Bay, Gastown,Chinatown,Canada Flyover and much more.
Buses: The offer a very frequent service with buses but if you have not paid for a day pass ensure you have te correct change as drivers do not give change.
Vancouver offers all forms of transport and I have to say it was the most reliable service I have seen. Buses, Trains, Sky Trains, Seabus you will never be stuck for transport. Buying a day pass for transport is the easiest way to avoid finding the correct change and paying every time.
Hotels: Vancouver is an expensive City to stay in I looked on Booking.com and Hotels.com and ended up with a great deal at the Four Seasons as it was a special trip but this is high end and it is possible to get some less expensive depending on the time of the year or try for an AirBnB to reduce the costs further. We went in September and the prices were high. The most popular hotels are the near the cruise port such as Pan Pacific, Ramada, Pinnacle and many more
A must to visit this old Gas Clock (see pic) and the nearby statue of "Gassy Jack" John Deighton Bronze perched on top of a whisky barrel on Maple Street Square he was believed to have opened a pub here in the 1800's and this area eventually became Vancouver as it is today. Lots of shops and restaurants surround this cobblestoned street together with souvenir shops and well worth a wander.
We took a subway from near our hotel at a cost of £2 or £3 and takes about 8 min although if your feeling energetic you can walk the 2 1/2 miles. Depending on the time of year the market here is open daily form 9am to 7 pm and I would say you need a good 2 hours to look around the market which sells everything food and drink to gifts to take home. There really is a an eclectic mix of arts, culture,history and architecture and we found there website very helpful in choosing what to do https://granvilleisland.com.
Vancouver's Jewel in the Crown! 405 Hectare Public park. A beautiful place to spend time, have a picnic and sunbathe.You can cycle over 27km of forest trails, take a guided tour or shuttle trolley or even a horse drawn carriage. You can download the app iParks which is full of info on the finest open spaces in and around Vancouver. A great source of what trips are available is Viator.com where you can book almost any activity in Vancouver.
A highlight if you fancy a birds eye view in a sea plane. Take to the skies with a guided tour as your pilot points out places of interest whilst souring high in the sky. These trips start from about £140 pp depending on type of excursion. There is also a helicopter sightseeing tour which started at £400
A great way to spend an evening with a dinner cruise along the inner harbour taking in the bright lights of the City, Canada Place and North Shore Mountains. Live entertainment and buffet style food is all included. The food was really good and there was plenty of deck space to wander around and take photos Prices started at £60 and again can be booked through Viator.com
Vancouver lookout where you can see views from the Harbour Centres observation deck and prices were from £11
This is a simulated ride suitable for all ages located at Canada Place Cruise Port. It is a fun ride although a little expensive at £21
This British Columbia experience is one of Pacific Northwest's most popular attractions. Visitors are drawn to the park to walk 450 ft suspension bridge as it sways between the Capilano River and the Rain forest below