Stuck in Vancouver during the holidays? Enjoy it!

Travel Tips — By Natasha John on November 3, 2010 at 4:18 am

We have all experienced the painful experience of delays, layovers and overbooked flights during the holidays. At times, it can be rather unpleasant if you don’t know what resources are at your fingertips. Our fingers are crossed that you have smooth sailings this year, but if you find yourself stuck in Vancouver for a few hours or so, here are a few tips to make it an enjoyable experience.

The Vancouver Art Gallery is also a great place to spend a few hours.

YVR has plenty of coffee shops, places to grab something to eat (or some liquid holiday cheer) and duty free shops to buy last minute presents for those who have been good boys and girls. Many airports make you pay to use the internet, but not YVR and you’re free to access their network for as long as you like. Pretty awesome, huh?

If you’ve had a stressful travel day, Absolute Spa (located in the U.S.A and domestic terminal) can help ease the stress with a massage, manicure and/or pedicure. I sometimes get to the airport early just so I can indulge in a quick chair massage before a long flight. If you are looking for a more thorough spa experience and plan on going downtown, there’s an Absolute Spa downtown that can take all of your aches and pains away.

The best part about Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is that downtown Vancouver is accessible by a 25 minute ride on the Canada Line (our cost efficient subway-like system). The Canada Line costs $8.75 to go from YVR to downtown and a taxi costs about $30. One of the Canada Line stops is in Yaletown and that station is right across from the Opus Hotel where you can book a room and rest your weary head. There are also a number of nice boutiques that have everything from clothing, shoes, make-up, furniture, books, art work and beautiful Native American jewelry.

Take a ride around Stanley Park and check out this view of Lost Lagoon

The stop right after Yaletown Roundhouse will bring you right into the core of downtown Vancouver and the last one stops in Gastown at Waterfront Station. If the weather outside is blustery, you don’t have to face the cold to go shopping because the Pacific Centre and Holt Renfrew are conveniently attached to the Canada Line and Skytrain stations downtown. Robson Street is also just a quick walk away if you are into an outdoor shopping experience. While you’re strolling around Robson, why not stop at Joe Fortes for some fresh local BC oysters and delicious seafood. When in Rome…right?  Or, head over to Robson and Thurlow to the Corner Suite Bistro de Luxe for something yummy; the French onion soup and beef tenderloin are wonderfully delicious!

There’s plenty of shopping and eating to be done while in Vancouver, but there are also many must-see attractions too! Science World is a great way to spend an afternoon and is right beside a Skytrain station, which makes getting to it very easy. If your time is endless, make sure to catch one of the IMAX movies they play there.

The Vancouver Aquarium is one of Vancouver’s most fun attractions for all ages. Jacque Cousteau has said that British Columbia has some of the world’s best scuba diving and at the aquarium you can see for yourself what he’s talking about because they have displays of sea life from all over British Columbia.

Vancouver, you sure look lovely over the holidays.

Downtown Vancouver is easily accessible from YVR and the core is very walkable, which makes it an ideal spot to kill a few hours if you find yourself twiddling your thumbs during the dreaded holiday travel madness.

Safe and happy travels!

Tags: Christmas, Corner Suite Bistro de Luxe, flight delays, Holiday layovers, Joe Fortes, Stanley Park, Vancouver, Vancouver Art Gallery


  • Jurgan Turner says:

    Great article about things to do in Vancouver for those who have a layover. Maybe on your way downtown from the airport stop in at the Rover Rock Casino Resort, It’s the first skytrain stop from the airport and the hotel has over 400 rooms. If you stay at the renowned Opus hotel, take a stroll along the seawall and through Stanley Park. There si plenty of wildlife in the park and a lake. At 9:00pm, hit up the nine oclock gun, a 50 LB cannon that goes off at 9 every night to let us all know that the harbour is safe!


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