Vancouver is a picturesque city on Canada's west coast. For its dynamic culture and forward-thinking urban environment it is consistently rated one of the most liveable cities in the world. City planners have taken great care to fill the city with year round attractions and entertainment offerings to occupy tourists and conference attendees alike. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful beaches in summer and skiing local Grouse Mountain in winter.
The Vancouver Convention Centre has won the International Association of Congress Centres' (AIPC) award for being the World’s Best Convention Centre twice and is the only LEED Platinum certified conference centre in the world. It boasts over 466,000 square feet of meeting space.
Regardless of the season, you should try to take the cable-car up to the top of Grouse Mountain. The view from the top provides a spectacular panorama of the city and the Pacific Ocean. Other notable attractions include the Granville Island Public Market and the Stanley Park Seawall.
Vancouver's city planners have taken great care to provide world-class accommodation for visitors. Tourism is big business in Vancouver, and it shows in the city's accommodation options. The city is filled with hotels to suit any budget and taste. Most hotels are centrally located, offering easy access to everything the city has to offer. To help you narrow down your choices, here are a few recommendations from travel professionals:
As with the accommodation options, Vancouver's dining scene is just as varied. Choose from inexpensive local fare, or go all out with gourmet fine dining. The city's proximity to the ocean makes seafood options an excellent choice. Many restaurants in Vancouver emphasise sustainability, offering seasonal, local ingredients in their dishes. Vancouver is a cosmopolitan city with a varied mix of cultural influences, so you can find restaurants specialising in cuisine from all over the world. Check out these recommendations from top travel sites to get you started:
Vancouver's public transit system in downtown is extensive. It can get you to all major tourist attractions. The system is reliable and relatively inexpensive, so this is your best option for getting around the city. A Compass reloadable fare card lets you pre-pay your fares, although city buses still accept cash. Fares are based on zones of the city, with the fare depending on how many zones you must pass through to get to your destination.
Taxis are available at most hotels and tourist spots, but it is often easier to call ahead and have one waiting for you. Vancouver is a relatively small city, so nothing is very far. Taxi fares are a bit pricey per kilometre, but the short distances travelled means you typically won't pay much more than $10.
If you are staying in the downtown area, you likely will not need to hire a car, but it can come in handy if you plan on visiting the outer suburbs. Parking in the city can be a bit difficult to find, so you may spend more time circling while looking for a spot than actually driving to your destination.
Vancouver is an excellent city for biking, with many bike lanes throughout the city. There are bike shops where you can hire a bike all over the city. Keep in mind that you must wear a helmet, and it is illegal to ride a bike on the footpaths. City buses and ferries have bike racks, so you can bring your bike with you when taking these forms of public transport.