Posted March 2, 2011 by Adam Toren in City Guides

Essential Visitor Information

Before you arrive in Vancouver it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with a few things about the city. Vancouver is a busy city and just by knowing a few essentials beforehand you will be one step ahead. Find out where you can access the Internet, how to make a call, where to find tourist information, and much more!

Tourist Information

If you are driving to Vancouver you can find Visitor Information Centres just past the USA/BC Peace Arch border crossing, located in Surrey, BC on Highway 99.  If you want to find maps, city information, tours and accommodation advice, it would be best to take a walk, bus or taxi to the Tourism Vancouver Tourist Information Centre located at 200 Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver.

Email and Internet

If you left your laptop at home and you need to get in touch with someone via internet or email, there are many internet cafés around Vancouver. Find a few internet cafés on popular Davie Street in the West End or in the trendy neighbourhood of Yaletown on Homer Street. Check out the Cyber Madness Café on Denman Street or the Nicola and Robson internet cafés on Robson Street. In downtown Vancouver many hotels offer wireless or in-room services for business travelers and tourists. At Vancouver International Airport you can also find numerous internet stands that offer internet access to incoming and outgoing travelers.

Making Calls

If you need to call the city of Vancouver and you are outside North America in areas like New Zealand, Ireland and the United Kingdom, you can dial the country code ‘00.’ If you are calling from the United States just dial ‘1′ before the area code and number. Australia can use the country code ‘001′ to dial into Canada. Sometimes it is smarter to use prepaid phone cards when you are visiting and traveling around Vancouver. You can find phone cards all over the city in places like 7 Eleven, Mac’s convenience stores and Safeway supermarkets. You can also rent cell phones from Vancouver International Airport for your stay in Vancouver.


If you need to do some banking while visiting you can go to one of the many branches around the city. Banks are usually open from 9:30am to 4:30pm, depending on the company. You can exchange money at most banks, but it might be better to find a foreign exchange kiosk within the city or just use an ATM for cash withdrawal. There are many foreign exchange kiosks around Burrard Street and Robson Street where the main shopping strip lies.


Most hotels offer hairdryers and irons, but if you need to bring your own devices, such as razors and chargers, it is good to know that the voltage in Canada is 110 volts. If you’re staying at a budget hotel then it might be good to bring your own essentials for business or grooming. Many of the regular and luxury hotels have hairdryers available in their rooms.


While smoking is still permitted in other parts of the world, Vancouver does not tolerate smoking in public areas, nightclubs, bars, casinos, malls, or public transit. Fines can be pretty hefty if you break any of these laws, so be wary of where you are when you light up.

Dining and Food

When it comes to dining or buying food and drinks, Vancouver offers a wide selection of restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, deli’s, and grocery stores, as well as liquor and wine stores. There are quite a few BC Government liquor stores around the downtown core and different corners of the city, while the fine wine stores and breweries are hidden in specific neighborhoods of the city such as Yaletown and the West End. Check out Marquis Wine Store on Davie Street or the Yaletown Brewery in Yaletown. Tip: In most Vancouver restaurants, tipping is usually around 15 percent.


Adam Toren

Adam Toren
Adam Toren is born and raised in Vancouver BC and loves everything Vancouver BC has to offer. He loves traveling and exploring new and unique restaurants and places around the world.