If you fly from Europe to Vancouver make sure you get a day flight, the landscapes you will pass over are immense. Flying over the white meets black rocky landscape of Iceland to the pristine white tundra of Greenland and the Northern Canadian Territories is a sight to be seen. Sod paying for the Westjet inflight entertainment, just book a window seat!
Where to get your Social Insurance Number (SIN) in Vancouver
This is essentially the first thing you should do when you arrive if you are new to Canada or travelling on a Work Visa. Without a SIN you can do pretty much nada work wise. If you are a Canadian Citizen arriving for the first time make sure you bring your Citizen Certificate. They will not accept your Canadian Passport as ID. These guys follow the rule book by the letter and won’t budge!
Top Tip: Arrive early at 8:30 am to avoid a long wait, it gets busy here!
For a quick few days Downtown has everything at your finger tips, possibly also including a Walt Disney movie production going on right outside your front door #granvillestreet .
Somewhere to stay
This hostel has a bit of a funky smell to it, but its cheap, it has its own bar, kitchen, the breakfast is ok and is essentially perfectly fine for a few nights. Location is A1!
Somewhere to drink
This place is about as standard as a typical North American Sports bar diner can get. A decent beer will set you back around $6. Check out the Chestnut Ale, it’s the doozy!
Somewhere to eat
This Japanese restaurant is just awesome!! Open front kitchen, super fresh food together with excellent speedy service.
Friends have also recommend Gastown as an excellent place to go.
You need some TLC after a long flight?
Head here. Steam room and full body soap scrub included in the pre massage ritual!
Something cheaper for a quick massage? Expect to pay $80-120 for 60 minutes. On West Broadway there are many massage therapy places to choose from. Most are by appointment only, but if like me you walk around enough you’ll find one that will take you in at short notice.
A walk to the beach
Vancouver has many beaches and if you are staying in Downtown this one is only a stones throw away, well worth a visit!
You’ll see posters for this place everywhere
Head over in the direction of the Harbour Flight Centre and pick up the coastal path that heads to Stanley Park. There are numerous bike hire companies there so you can easily pick up a day ride.
In quick summery Vancouver is an open liberal bustle of city meets nature. Surrounded by jaw dropping mountains that will inspire you out, but with plenty of beach and park life to keep you in.