Travel

Venue & Accommodations

Travel Tips for Vancouver

The city of Vancouver is a world class destination (www.hellobc.com/vancouver) and was recognized as the top city in Canada in the 2014 World's Best Awards and the Top Destination in Canada in TripAdvisor's 2016 Travellers' Choice awards. In the last 15 years it has always ranked in the top 10 of the world's "Most Liveable Cities” and was chosen as the best place to live in North America in Mercer's 2016 Quality of Living survey. The Province of British Columbia is notable for its wonderful recreational activities, from outdoor adventures, to cultural events, to fine dining.

Climate

Warmed by Pacific Ocean currents and protected by a range of mountains, Vancouver's weather is mild year-round. In the winter months, you can expect mild mid 40's Fahrenheit (0º to 5º Celsius). The winters are wet, but it rarely snows, except on the local ski hills.

Accessibility

Vancouver enjoys a reputation as being one of the most accessible cities in the world among travelers with special needs. Vancouver leads the way in making the area a more livable place for people with disabilities through its progressive transportation systems, innovative housing and recreational opportunities.

Languages

English is the predominant language in Vancouver, and is one of Canada’s two official languages, French being the other. Other commonly spoken languages in Vancouver are Punjabi, Cantonese, and Mandarin.

Time Zone

Vancouver is on Pacific Standard Time, three hours behind Eastern Standard Time and eight hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.

Metric Measures

Canada follows the International Metric System. Temperatures, rainfall measures, distance, weights, and velocity are expressed in metric units.

Electricity

Outlets and voltage (120 volts) are the same as in the United States. Small appliances such as hair dryers, irons, razors, etc. can be used in Canada. For those from other countries, adapters are required for electrical appliances. The frequency of electrical current in Canada is 60 Hz.

Personal & Medical Insurance

Individual travelers are strongly advised to obtain their own personal health or travel insurance as desired. Liability insurance is the responsibility of each individual delegate. The Canadian Medical Health Insurance Plan does not cover visitors to Canada and delegates should therefore have their own medical coverage.

Tipping

Tipping in Vancouver is normal and is between 15%-20% of the bill.

Smoking and Alcohol

Smoking is restricted in many places in Vancouver, including public transportation, restaurants, places of work, enclosed public areas, and within 3 meters of any door or air intake, and within 6 meters of any food service areas and patios. The legal drinking age in B.C. is 19 years of age.

Currency/Money Matters

The currency of Canada is the Canadian dollar (sign: $ or C$; code: CAD). It is recommended that all visitors use Canadian currency when traveling within Canada. Visitors can exchange currency at Canadian chartered banks, trust companies, credit unions, or at offices of foreign exchange brokers, but it is advised to have local currency on hand prior to arriving.

Money

Paper bills: $5 (blue), $10 (purple), $20 (green), $50 (red), and $100 (brown) denominations.

Coins include the nickel (5¢), dime (10¢), quarter (25¢), loonie ($1) and toonie ($2).

Electronic transactions

Credit cards, ATMs, and direct-debit cards are commonly used in Canada.

Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are widely accepted in most stores and restaurants.

Banks

YVR offers Currency Exchange Services, and has a Royal Bank of Canada, as well as several ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) throughout the airport.

Sustainability

For the fifth-straight year, Vancouver has been ranked the “most livable city in the world”.  Surrounded by sparkling water on three sides and nestled alongside majestic coastal mountain ranges, Vancouver is situated in an exceptional natural and picturesque environment. In 2010, Vancouver was the host city for the XXI Olympic Winter Games and Paralympics.

Vancouver has the smallest carbon footprint of any major city in North America and is a leader in green building planning and technology. Vancouver is not only rated for tangible infrastructures but has a natural beauty and a rich multicultural heritage. Its beauty, sophistication, people-friendliness makes it a popular meeting place and tourist destination.

Visit the Tourism Vancouver website (https://www.tourismvancouver.com/) for more Vancouver Information.