One of the first things you need to know when you are planning a trip to British Columbia is likely how to get from Vancouver Airport to downtown Vancouver. Vancouver International Airport is not actually in Vancouver, it is in nearby Richmond, but as distance goes, just a few kilometers from the city of Vancouver
This post will give you all of the options when it comes to traveling from Vancouver Airport to downtown Vancouver. There are several ways to get into the city centre from YVR including renting a car, taking a limo, a taxi, Uber, Lyft or public transit.
How to get from Vancouver Airport to Vancouver
Many major car rental companies have desks at YVR, so hiring and returning your rental car is easy and convenient. You should book your car in advance, gone are the days of choosing a car on arrival. If you are planning on heading outside of downtown Vancouver, a rental car is the easiest way to get around.
If you’re taking a taxi from YVR to Vancouver after arrival, use one of the taxi stands located on Level 2. Taxis operating from the airport are licensed and will use a zoned fare rate that will depend on your destination.
Uber and Lyft
Metro Vancouver has two main ride-hailing apps: Uber and Lyft. However there are more than two in the area. Besides these two, KABU is also authorized to pick up passengers at Vancouver Airport and take them into the city (or anywhere else they want to go).
There are three places to get picked up at YVR, they include: International Arrivals, Level 2, Domestic Arrivals, Level 2 and South Terminal.
When should I request a ride? Ride App drivers have a dedicated waiting area at YVR, which is a short distance from the terminal. Please wait to collect your luggage before requesting a ride.
Limo and Private Car Service
When flying into YVR, many companies offer pre-arranged meet-and-greet services, or simply use YVR’s official licenced limousine company. you can grab a limo on arrival (subject to availability)
Vancouver does not have a subway, but it does have rapid transit, and most of it is the SkyTrain. The Canada Line portion provides rapid rail service linking Vancouver International Airport to downtown Vancouver. Trains leave the airport station approximately every seven minutes during most times of the day. There are 16 stops along the line, with downtown Vancouver stops including Yaletown, Vancouver City Centre and Waterfront. The trip from Vancouver Airport to downtown Vancouver takes less than 30 minutes and costs approx $9.25
More British Columbia Travel Resources
5 Things to Bring with You to Vancouver
A good rain jacket is always a good idea, even in the summer. While you are not likely to get wet in July and August, late august almost always sees a wet day, and May, June and September will also get rain. If you want to read about average rainfall, I have more information on weather in Vancouver. Even if you are coming in the winter, unless you plan on skiing, you can get away with a rain jacket and some good base layers for most of the winter in and around Vancouver.
A good power bank to charge phones and other devices is always a good idea. After a day of videoing, GPS and taking photos, the last thing you want is a dead cell phone. These are inexpensive and come in handy during the day. If you are flying to Vancouver, make sure you keep any power banks in your hand luggage, as security will often remove them from checked bags (I have found that out the hard way before).
A universal adapter is going to be handy for International Visitors. Canada uses the same plugs as the USA but if you are coming from somewhere else abroad, grab yourself one before you arrive.
A good guidebook is something I always get when I am researching a new location. Lonely Planet is the usual go-to, but also check out these.
Reusable shopping bags are available to buy everywhere, but if you want to get a compact one before you arrive, it is a good idea.
Reusable water bottles are also a good idea. You can buy bottled water anywhere that you can get drinks, but Canada does pride itself on recycling as much as possible, and why shell out wasteful dollars when you can drink the tap water all over British Columbia.
Travel Insurance for Canada
There are a few other things to think about when it comes to international travel. The first thing is travel insurance. Whether it is an emergency room visit for something as simple as strep throat, or an emergency appendix surgery, or an unfortunate moped incident things do go wrong when people travel everyday. Canada is a very expensive country for medical care and a doctors visit in an Emergency Room is over $800 to just see the doctor.
I highly suggest travel insurance and a good policy. I personally never travel without it, and I even checked into my policy about care for my children if I am ever in an accident or hospitalized. There are just too many things to think about.
You can find out more information and buy your travel insurance here.
Lindsay Nieminen is the creator of UncoveringBC.com. She grew up and still lives in the suburbs of Vancouver with her family. She aims to inspire inform, and educate others about traveling in her home province of British Columbia. She is also the creator of carpediemourway.com which aims to show parents how to seek out adventure at home or abroad, with their children in tow!