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Vancouver

Vancouver’s waterfront

Practical Info about Vancouver

Time

GMT -8 (GMT -7 from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November).

Electricity

Electrical current is 110 volts, 60Hz. American-style flat two-pin plugs and a plug with a third round grounding pin are standard.

Currency

The currency used is the Canadian Dollar (CAD), which is divided into 100 cents. Banks and bureaux de change will change cash, as will some hotels. Major credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are widespread. US Dollars are largely accepted.

Communication

The international access code for Canada is +1. The outgoing code is 011 followed by the relevant country code. The outgoing code is not necessary for calls to the US and the Caribbean. Internet cafes are widely available. Most international mobile phone companies have roaming agreements with Canadian operators, however it will be cheaper to buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card if visiting the country for long periods.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 911

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
Good Friday 18 Apr 3 Apr
Easter Monday 21 Apr 6 Apr
Victoria Day 19 May 18 May
Canada Day 1 Jul 1 Jul
Labour Day 1 Sep 1 Sep
Thanksgiving Day 13 Oct 12 Oct
Remembrance Day 11 Nov 11 Nov
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec
Boxing Day 26 Dec 26 Dec

Climate

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The temperate Vancouver climate is classified as oceanic, with warm, dry summer weather (June to August) and cold, rainy winters (December to February). Summer temperatures reach an average high of 72°F (22°C), while winter temperatures can fall below 32°F (0°C).

Getting around the city

The integrated Translink public transport system is both highly efficient and good value. The computerised SkyTrain (light rail) has six underground downtown stops as well as an elevated track. Its latest addition, the Canada Line, now connects downtown to Vancouver International Airport. The Translink system also includes buses; electric trolley buses; West Coast Express trains (weekdays only) and SeaBus passenger ferries that connect downtown to North Vancouver. The network reaches every part of the city, including the beaches and ski slopes. After midnight the regular bus system is replaced by a limited 'Owl' night bus service on main routes. Fares are based on a zone system and tickets are valid for buses, the SkyTrain and SeaBus with transfers valid for 90 minutes from the time they are validated. Taxis are easy to come by at taxi stands, hotels or by telephone, but can be difficult to hail outside of the downtown area. Vancouver's traffic and road network is fairly well-ordered, but hiring a car is not necessary in the city because the public transport is more than sufficient.

Vancouver International Airport

www.yvr.ca

Getting to the city

The Canada Line, part of the city's AirLink network, connects the airport to downtown Vancouver in about 25 minutes. The service runs every 8-20 minutes and costs roughly C$10 to downtown. Scheduled buses are available to downtown Vancouver, Whistler, Vancouver Island and Washington State. Courtesy shuttles transport passengers to the Long-Term Parking Lot, South Terminal, local hotels and other destinations near the airport. Public bus services to Vancouver, Richmond and further afield are available at the Airport Station Bus Terminal, near the Delta Hotel; information on schedules and fares is available at TransLink, Tourism InfoCentres and Customer Service counters in both terminals.

Car rental

Car hire companies Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National and Thrifty are represented next to the terminal building on the ground floor.

Airport taxi's

Metered taxis are available around the clock outside the terminals. Look for the green signs which indicate taxi pick-up points. Taxis charge around C$36 for the 30-minute journey downtown. Price and journey time is higher during rush hour. A tip of 10-15 percent is expected.

Transfer between terminals

The two terminals are within walking distance of each other, but a courtesy shuttle is available.

Facilities

Both terminals have ATMs, bureaux de change and a bank. There is a selection of bars, restaurants and fast food outlets scattered throughout the airport, as well as a variety of shops, including duty-free, baggage storage and a medical centre. Children's play areas and a nursery are also available.

Parking

Vancouver International Airport offers a range of parking options in the parkade directly opposite the terminals. Hourly parking starts at C$8 per hour, but reduced daily and weekly rates are also available. The cheaper economy lot is within short walking distance from the terminal, while the long-term parking lot is conveniently connected to the terminals via a shuttle bus.

Internet

Wifi is available free of charge throughout the airport.