There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Vancouver each year. The main ones are listed below:January 1: New Year's Day (national)
The Polar Bear Swim is THE New Year's Day event in Vancouver, organised on the beach of English Bay to bring in the new year.January/February : Chinese New Year Festival (local)
Vancouver celebrates the Chinese New Year annually.
On the programme: Chinese New Year Parade, New Year's lunch, traditional dance and music, calligraphy workshops, meditation… And also one of the biggest Dragon Boat races in Canada!
‘Family Day' takes place the 3rd Monday of February each year.May 24: Victoria Day (national)
Victoria Day celebrates Queen Victoria. This holiday is also recognised as marking the beginning of summer in Canada.July 1: Canada Day (national)
Canada Day celebrates the union of 3 provinces marking the country's first step towards independence, obtained July 1st 1867. Parades, spectacles and fireworks are organised around the country.First Monday of September: Labour Day (national)
Labour Day is celebrated annually on the 1st Monday of September. Numerous festivals and activities are held on this occasion around Vancouver.Second Monday of October : Canadian Thanksgiving (national)
Canadian Thanksgiving is a family holiday celebrated to give thanks for the harvest. It generally includes a feast of seasonal foods and a diversity of family-oriented activities.November 11: Remembrance Day (national)
Veterans Day or Remembrance Day celebrates the armistice, which put an end to WWI, but is also an occasion for observance of the sacrifices made in all wars.December 25: Christmas (national)
Christmas is a very important holiday. From the beginning of December through till the New Year, all events turn around Christmas.
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||1 / 33.8||6 / 42.8||217 / 8.5||Not the best period to go|
|February||2 / 35.6||8 / 46.4||146 / 5.7||Not the best period to go|
|March||4 / 39.2||11 / 51.8||126 / 4.9||Not the best period to go|
|April||5 / 41||15 / 59||83 / 3.3||Not the best period to go|
|May||9 / 48.2||19 / 66.2||70 / 2.8||Not the best period to go|
|June||12 / 53.6||22 / 71.6||63 / 2.5||Good period to go|
|July||13 / 55.4||24 / 75.2||30 / 1.2||Good period to go|
|August||13 / 55.4||24/75,2||Good period to go|
|September||10 / 50||19 / 66.2||90 / 3.5||Not the best period to go|
|October||8 / 46.4||15 / 59||146 / 5.7||Not the best period to go|
|November||5 / 41||10 / 50||210 / 8.3||Not the best period to go|
|December||3 / 37.4||5 / 41||223 / 8.8||Not the best period to go|
The Vancouver International airport is located 13 kilometres (8 miles) from downtown.
3 terminals, with the Main Terminal housing the two main terminals (domestic and international)
The city of Vancouver is large (115 sq km) but the transport network is well developed. You can get everywhere by bus and neighbouring cities (Richmond, Burnaby, Surrey) are easily accessible by Skytrain or ferry.
Holders of French car driving licenses are allowed to drive in Canada for a period of 90 days. After this time, you must have an international license.
Vancouver's road network is good. Though you do not need a car for sightseeing in the city centre, having a car simplifies your life if you want to explore the mountains and the surrounding communities: the farther you move away from the centre, the more public transport becomes limited.
Many parking lots are available all over town for about CAD 4 /hour.
Translink operates the bus and SkyTrain (BTS). One ticket gives access to all modes of transport. It allows an unlimited number of transfers for 90 minutes from validation.
Single ticket: CAD 2.95 (zone 1); CAD 4.20 (Zone 2); CAD 5.70 (zone 3).
Preferably buy tickets in books of ten (CAD 21 per book).
Tickets and books are on sale in supermarkets.
Taxis are an affordable and efficient means of transport to Vancouver. You should generally count CAD 2 / km with CAD 3.50 on the metre to begin.
300 kilometres of bike paths criss-cross the region. You can rent bikes in many city agencies, including on Denman Street near Stanley Park. Warning: the use of helmets is mandatory.
You can plan your bike route: www.translink.ca
SeaBus ferries make the connection between the centre and the north of Vancouver. They run all day and take 12 minutes to cross the Burrard Inlet from Waterfront Station to Lonsdale Quay.
Once in Vancouver, do not hesitate to connect with tourism professionals to advise you and organise your stay.Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre
Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).
The currency used in Canada is the Canadian Dollar (CAD).
ZAR 1 = CAD 0.08
CAD 1 = ZAR 12.50
The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.
See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Vancouver counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.Vaccinations
There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Canada.
For more information, contact your Air France centre for international vaccinations:
There are no food safety risks in Vancouver.Water
Tap water is safe to drink in Vancouver.
Citizens of the European Union as well as nationals of a certain number of countries need an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) to travel to Canada. However, acceptable travel documents and identification must also be presented at the border.
Neither visas nor Electronic Travel Authorizations (ETA) are required for U.S. citizens.
For more information, visit the Canada Border Services Agency website:
In Vancouver and across Canada, tipping is customary because service is not usually included in the bill. Allow 15 to 20% in restaurants and bars, 15% for taxis, a few dollars for porters and attendants... Not tipping would look very bad. Nevertheless, check that the amount payable does not include the service.