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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Vancouver

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Vancouver each year. The main ones are listed below:

January 1: New Years (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!

February : Family Day (local)

‘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.

September : Labour Day (national)

Labour Day is celebrated annually the 1st of September. Numerous festivals and activities are held on this occasion around Vancouver.

October : Thanksgiving (national)

Canadian Thanksgiving is held on the 2nd Monday of October. It is a family holiday to give thanks for the harvest and 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.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Vancouver

Located between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver has one of the mildest and sunniest climates in Canada, in stark contrast with the cold everywhere east of the Rockies. Its clement temperatures, even in winter, rarely drop below 0 °C / 32 °F.

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 Good period to go
July 13 / 55.4 24 / 75.2 30 / 1.2 Good period to go Good period to go
August 13 / 55.4 24/75,2 Good period to go 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
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Vancouver International Airport

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)

  • Domestic Terminal
  • International Terminal (Air France)
  • Terminal Transfrontalier

Getting from the airport to Vancouver and back:
  • By car:
    Access via Grant McConachie Way, Arthur Laing Bridge, and Granville St, roughly 25 minutes to reach city centre.
    4 parking lots at the airport. Count around 8 CAD an hour and between 28 and 30 CAD per day.Car rental agencies are located a short walk from the main terminal on the first level of the parking garage.
  • Taxi:
    The taxi rank is located opposite the International Arrivals Hall on Level 2 (about CAD 30 for the journey to the city centre, which takes about 25 minutes).
  • Shuttles :
    There are free shuttle buses to hotels located within the airport area.
  • Train: Canada Line takes you to the city centre-in 26 minutes. The station is located between the domestic and international terminals. Tickets cost CAD 8.75.
  • Services:Bars and restaurants, boutiques, free Wi-Fi access, luggage storage.
  • Website:www.yvr.ca
  • Telephone: +1 604 207 7077

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GETTING AROUND Vancouver

The city of Vancouver is large (115 km2) 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.

By car

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.

Public transport: SkyTrain and bus

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 2.75 (zone 1); CAD 4 (Zone 2); CAD 5.50 (zone 3).

Preferably buy tickets in books of ten (CAD 21 per book).

Tickets and books are on sale in supermarkets.

Taxi

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.

Bicycle

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

Ferry

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.

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Visitor information

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.).

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Canada is the Canadian Dollar (CAD).

EUR 1 = CAD 1,51

CAD 1 = EUR 0,66

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. Vancouver counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists. It is recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip.

Vaccinations

No obligatory vaccinations.

For more information, contact your Air France centre for international vaccinations:

DRINKING WATER

Tap water is safe to drink in Vancouver.

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dministrative formalities

Conditions for entering Canadian territory

Citizens of the European Union 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.

www.cic.gc.ca

For more information, visit the Canada Border Services Agency website:

www.cbsa.gc.ca

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Good to know

00 1 604
+ phone number
-8 : 00
of time difference with
Dublin
Start of daylight saving time: second Sunday in March

End of daylight saving time: first Sunday in November

Banks

Generally open from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Government offices

Generally open from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
120 V / 60 Hz

Tipping

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.

Air France reveals...