The City of Vancouver is a coastal, seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia. Located on the western half of the Burrard Peninsula, Vancouver is bounded to the north by English Bay and the Burrard Inlet and to the south by the Fraser River.
If you’re arriving by air, you’ll most likely be flying into Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Located just 25 minutes from downtown, YVR is consistently rated one of the best airports in North America. There are more than a dozen international flights in and out of YVR every day, with 22 bound for the United States. For an estimate of how long it might take to fly to Vancouver, see a international flying times map here.
Air Canada is your best choice to Vancouver with the most non-stop flights and access from over 190 cities worldwide.
See Getting to/from the Airport for additional information if departing via Vancouver International Airport.
However, if you’re flying into Vancouver from a short-haul, domestic destination such as Victoria or other parts of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands or Whistler, you can also travel via scheduled floatplane or helicopter services. Both offer departures from downtown Vancouver, or from Richmond close to YVR.
If you want the flexibility to take your time, stopping along the way to enjoy the view, driving your own vehicle is the way to go! Renting a car lets you establish your own timetable for sightseeing and getting around Vancouver. If you’re traveling further afield, especially to more remote regions, a Recreational Vehicle (RV) is a good choice, allowing you to skip hotels while still enjoying comfortable accommodations.
Highway 1, the Trans-Canada Highway, accesses Vancouver from points east. If planning a driving tour, allow 4 hours from Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley, 12 hours from Calgary, and five days from Montreal. If you’re arriving in Vancouver from Victoria or Vancouver Island, you’ll need to take your car on a BC Ferries vessel across the Strait of Georgia to the mainland. Vancouver is only three hours north of Seattle. Take the Interstate 5, which becomes Highway 99 at the United States-Canada border.
For information on road conditions within BC, contact BC Ministry of Transportation at 604.660.9770 (Vancouver) or visit
Leave the driving to someone else, and take a scheduled bus service into Vancouver. Our coach line partners offer regular service to Vancouver from destinations including Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver Island, Whistler and the Okanagan Valley.
Whether traveling to Vancouver Island, cruising to Alaska, or simply enjoying the views and fresh air, sailing on the spectacular Pacific Ocean is a highlight of visiting Vancouver!
BC Ferries provides regularly scheduled passenger and vehicle service between Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and other parts of coastal British Columbia. Reservations can be made on some routes. Find out more by visiting their website or calling 1.888.223.3779 or 1 250.386.3431 (outside North America).
The cruise ship facilities at Canada Place serve as a departure point for major cruise lines travelling to Alaska. There are more than 22 different ships offering a total of 250 cruises each year, primarily between mid-May and early October.
Make the journey part of the adventure by taking the train to Vancouver! Riding the rails offers sightseeing at its finest, allowing you to watch the beauty of B.C. from the comfort of the observation lounge or dining car. Travel across Canada on VIA Rail’s transcontinental service running from Vancouver to Toronto, via Jasper, three times per week, year-round. Or take in the best of BC and Alberta with a Rocky Mountaineer two-day rail tour, offered from April through October. If you’re heading to Vancouver from the U.S., consider the Amtrak Cascades route between Eugene, Oregon and Vancouver, via Portland and Seattle.
Pacific Central Station is the terminus for both VIA Rail and Amtrak trains, and is located just east downtown Vancouver at Main and Terminal streets. Rocky Mountaineer trains operate out of their own facilities, with stations in East Vancouver (close to Pacific Central Station) and North Vancouver.
Rapid transit refers to the automated trains that run above and below ground. SkyTrain consists of the Expo Line and the Millennium Line. A third system called the Canada Line provides the travel from the airport to Downtown Vancouver. Plan your SkyTrain/Canada Line trip
TransLink provides a vast network of bus services and smaller community shuttles that carry fewer passengers to specific areas of the city throughout the day. RapidBus routes provide faster service with fewer stops. Plan your bus trip
HandyDART is a door-to-door shared-ride service for people with physical or cognitive disabilities who need assistance to use public transit. Find eligibility requirements and more
The SeaBus crosses the Burrard Inlet to provide travel between Waterfront Station in Downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver.
The West Coast Express is a driver-led train that connects Waterfront Station in Downtown Vancouver to Mission, with select stops along the way. On weekdays, five trains travel into Vancouver in the morning, and leave Vancouver in the afternoon.
With its mountain backdrop and urban beaches, Vancouver has the rightly earned reputation of being one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Downtown Vancouver is picturesquely situated on a peninsula in the Strait of Georgia, with the often snow-covered ranges of the Coast Mountains rising in behind. The setting is one of the city’s main attractions.