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Vancouver Layover

| February 10, 2014

Stuck on a layover at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR)? The airport is located on Sea Island in Richmond, which is roughly 8 miles from Vancouver’s city center, making the city an accessible destination for those on a long layover. If you’re trying to figure out if you can leave the airport during your Vancouver layover, click here for useful tips.
Vancouver Canada LayoverIf you’re stuck in the airport during your layover, you’ll find plenty of activities and services to help keep you occupied on your wait. The airport offers lots of shopping and duty free (listed here by airport location) including an Olympic store with 2010 official licensed merchandise, florist and Lottery Ticket center. There’s also food and beverage (listed here by location and type), banking and currency exchange, and interfaith chapel, postal services as well as dry-cleaning, laundry and alteration services.

The airport also offers a spa – the Absolute Spa and Hair Salon at YVR. There are four locations in the airport – three in the domestic terminal and one in the U.S. Terminal, as well in the airport hotel (more info on this in the following paragraph). There are specialized treatments for anti-fatigue and jet lag. For anything from a shave (for men), haircut and coloring to full spa services, you can drop-in for an appointment or make one in advance (1-877-684-2772 or [email protected]). You can check out packages and deals here.

There’s also the Plaza Premium Lounge located after security between piers A and B where there are showers, food and beverage buffet and business facilities. All passengers, regardless of ticket class, can use the lounge on a pay-per-use basis. For FAQ to the lounge, click here.

If you’re looking for some rest on your layover, you can visit the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel and check in to a room, or spend some time unwinding in their spa that features over 130 treatments. The hotel was listed as one of the World’s Best Business hotels by Travel & Leisure and has been regularly appearing on Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 100 Gold List. For a comprehensive list of Vancouver hotels at varying price points, click here.

If you’re planning on leaving the airport, and are looking to ditch your bags, there is short-term baggage storage located at the CDS Ltd. Baggage Services in the International Terminal before security on Level 2. Rates range from $3.50 to $7.00 per item, based on a 24-hour period.

There are a number of transportation options if you’re looking to leave the airport. Taxis are located outside arrivals and the approximate fare to Vancouver’s city center is between $28-$32. You can also hire sedans or limousines for these pre-determined rates, reserve a rental car from these companies, take a long-distance bus from the airport to Whistler, Victoria and Washington State (click here for more info) or take a courtesy shuttle to one of these locations.

Always remember, especially for international flights, to leave plenty of time for customs and immigration, and pad your return time to the airport for airport security.

Layover Guide’s Suggestions Of Things To Do On A Vancouver Layover:

Vancouver Tour
If you’re in Vancouver for a short period of time and want to see as many sights as possible, try taking a Vancouver Tour. There are many to choose from including day tours, bus and bike tours, night cruises, dinner theater, outdoor activities, and more.

The Peak of Vancouver at Grouse Mountain
As one of Vancouver’s most visited sights, the Peak of Vancouver at Grouse Mountain is just a 15 minutes drive from downtown. Here you can get into the snow with a number of activities including skiing & snowboarding, ice skating, sleigh rides. There’s also a skyride and Vancouver’s only zipline. The activities differ by season, however – summer activites are listed here, winter activities here. For tickets and passes click here.

Capilano Suspension Bridge
Just minutes from downtown you’ll find the Capilano Suspension Bridge. A thrilling experience, the bridge is suspended 230 feet above the Capilano River. There are many great family activities – you can visit the park, Treetops Adventure, take a rainforest tour, and much more.

Metropolis at Metrotown
Looking for some shopping? Metropolis at Metrotown is British Columbia’s largest shopping destination with nearly 500 stores. It also has a little of everything – some of Vancouver’s best restaurants, theatres and courtyards.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
A replica of a 15th century Chinese garden, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden offers a peaceful visit through asymmetrical rocks and plants, stunning architecture, and ponds. For special offers, click here.

None of these interest you? Try the VanDusen Botanical Gardens, Vancouver TheatreSports League or Science World British Columbia.

Have a suggestion or advice for Vancouver layovers? Leave a comment below!

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Category: Canada, layover, North America, things to do

Comments (2)

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  1. Alan says:

    Just thought I’d add —> you can take the skytrain (subway) from YVR all the way downtown 🙂 Only takes about 25 minutes and it’s a lot cheaper than a taxi.

  2. Ian says:

    Grease mountain? That’s Grouse Mountain!