Vancouver Layover Guide (YVR)

What are you looking for in YVR?
Tours/To do | Relax/Sleep | Internet/SIM | Transport | Storage | Money

Vancouver Airport (YVR) is an international airport located in Richmond, British Columbia. It’s located about 12 km (7.5 miles) from downtown Vancouver. The airport first opened officially in 1931. Vancouver is the third-largest metropolis in Canada and it is considered one of the best cities to work and live. It’s also known for its gorgeous landscapes and for its varied offer of activities of leisure.

Can you leave Vancouver Airport (YVR) airport during a layover? Do you need a visa?
It's possible to leave Vancouver Airport (YVR) during a layover. You will pass through immigration and customs control. You would need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) depending on your nationality. (more info).

Tours, Things to do, Sightseeing

Canada Organized Tours

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Self-Guided Tour

This is one of the most popular and exciting attractions of the city. It gives you the opportunity to explore the beautiful nature that surrounds Vancouver and it takes you to cross a world-famous suspension bridge, with stunning panorama views above the Capilano River and the rainforests. » book this tour

Vancouver City Highlights: 4-Hour Tour

Are you ready to explore Vancouver? This 4-hour excursion would show you the main touristic spots of the city, including Stanley Park, Gastown, Chinatown Granville Island, Robson street and more. You would follow the steps of an award-winning guide and tour along the historic and artistic streets of Vancouver. Pick-up from your hotel is also included. » book this tour

2.5 hour Gastown Walking Food Tour

Gastown is Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood and probably the most visited part of the city for tourists too. If you would like to know what is so special, then this tour would explain you the reason in the best way possible: while enjoying a local beer, tasting local wine, and eating delicious cheese, chicken or some local and fresh seafood. You would visit nine remarkable restaurants and shops and learn about Gastown’s history. » book this tour

Canada Things to do / Sightseeing

Vancouver Aquarium

Plan an educational plan for your spare waiting time at Vancouver airport and learn about the pacific life in its marvellous aquarium. This is Canada’s largest aquarium and one of the largest in North America, so you should not miss it. It has plenty of exhibitions, about 50,000 different types of aquatic animals and special events from time to time.

Time required: You could stay as long as you want, but 2-3 hours are recommended to explore everything the aquarium has to offer. A small queue to enter depending on the day.

Airport to here: By private car or taxi (30+/- mins). By public transportation, take the Canada Line to Waterfront Station and then the bus to Westbound Stanley Park (60+/- mins).

Stanley Park

Take a walk or bike along Stanley Park, an emblem of Vancouver that shows the love of the city for nature and outdoor spaces. It has 405 hectare (1,001 acre) and it is located right next to the downtown center. Discover this green oasis and its aquarium, its monuments and its famous landmarks. Relax on its beach or have lunch in one of its restaurants.

Time required: You could spend here a whole day, a half day or just stay for a while. There is no waiting time to get in.

Airport to here: The fastest way to get to Stanley Park is by car or taxi (30+/- mins), but you could take the Canada Line to Vancouver City Centre Station and then a bus to the downtown (50+/- mins).

Granville Island

This is a very touristic spot and one of the shopping districts of the city. It homes a fabulous public market where you can easily taste some local flavours, but it also has great restaurants that offer the best seafood you could ever imagine. Besides, this is the perfect place to buy some souvenirs for back home.

Time required: You could spend at least one hour and up to a lot more if you eat in there or if you like to browse. There is no waiting time.

Airport to here: By car or taxi you can reach Granville Island very quickly (30+/- mins), but if you rather go by public transportation, you need to take the Canada Line to Broadway-City Hall and then a bus (60+/- mins).

Steveston village

This small and charming town is worth a visit, particularly if you want to experience an authentic fishing community. It has museums, pubs, restaurants, gift stores and a fish market. If you have enough time, you could also go aboard a whale watching expedition or bike along the dykes.

Time required: It would be recommended to stay at least a couple of hours, so you would have time to get some lunch and visit the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site.

Airport to here: Take a taxi or a private car to get into the village (20+/- mins) or the Canada Line to Bridgeport Station Bay and then a bus (50+/- mins).


This is one of the biggest Chinatown in North America and it has a lot of attractions you could see: the Millennium Gate, the Shanghai Alley, the Chinese Cultural Centre (dedicated to Chinese history and culture) and the world’s narrowest building. You could also stop by to do some shopping or to eat in a classic Chinese restaurant.

Time required: At least half an hour to enjoy the neighborhood and see all its interesting monuments and attractions. There is no waiting time.

Airport to here: Taxi or private car (30 +/- mins) or the Canada Line to Yaletown-Roundhouse Station and then a bus to Eastbound Keefer Place (40 +/- mins).

McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Mall

If you enjoy shopping, then you should seriously consider a visit to this luxury mall, which is located just outside the airport. It features premium and lifestyle brands such as Armani, Hugo Boss, Guess and many more, with saving of up to 70 per cent less all year round.

Time required: In this outdoor mall you could stay as long as you want.

Airport to here: Take the Canada Line Templeton Station and then walk ten minutes (10 +/- mins).By taxi (10 +/- mins).

Things to Do in Vancouver Airport (YVR)

Relaxing and Sleeping

Airport Lounges and Relaxing
There are airport lounges in Vancouver airport in both Domestic and International terminals » view all lounges or buy a lounge pass or membership online

Hotel and Sleeping
There is one hotel inside and few more near Vancouver airport » view all or book an airport hotel online

Rest Area and Sleeping in Airport
There are several areas in the International Departures terminal with sleep-friendly seating.

WIFI/Internet and SIM Card

WIFI/Internet: Free WiFi is available at Vancouver airport. Connect to the "@yvrairport” network.

SIM Card: SIM card is available at Vancouver airport. You can buy SIM card in the Domestic Terminal. » buy a global sim card for Canada, Vancouver that you can use for other countries as well!

Transportation to/from airport

Taxi: Taxis are available 24/7 and located on Level 2 of the Domestic and International Arrivals Area.

Train: If you need to take the train, the Canada Line is located between the International and the Domestic Terminals an it operates every day until midnight (more info).

Bus: There are long distance buses that depart from the International and Domestic Terminals (more info).

Shuttle: Hotels that offer shuttle services can be found at the green canopy outside of Arrivals Level 2 in the International Terminal and outside the Arrivals Level 1 in the Domestic Terminal.

Car rentals: You will find rental facilities on the ground floor. » view available cars or rent a car now online

Parking: Parking option in Vancouver airport include include valet, long-term and terminal parkades near both terminals.

Luggage Storage & Lockers

Short and long term luggage storage is available in both Domestic and International terminals on level 2. » book a luggage storage or locker at Vancouver Airport (YVR) online (subject to availability).

Money Exchange and Withdrawal

- Vancouver Airport (YVR) ATMs, currency exchanges and banks