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Learning English in Vancouver: Your Survival Guide

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getting around vancouver

There’s the best place to learn English abroad? With so many amazing destinations available at EC, it’s hard to choose just one – but we’ll try! Today, we’re going to take a look at the basic facts about one of our favourite cities: incredible Vancouver in Canada.

Getting To Vancouver

Vancouver is considered to have one the best international airports in the world. You will find that every major airline flies to Vancouver, and it’s particularly convenient for flights to and from the west coast of the USA (including Air Canada, British Airways, Air France, United Airlines, among many others). There are three terminals at the airport: the International Terminal, the Domestic Terminal, and the South Terminal. The South Terminal provides access to the seaplane facilities, helicopter operations and a display of small plane airlines that serve destinations in and around Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, as well as mainland British Columbia.

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Getting Around Vancouver

Vancouver has an excellent public transportation system. Their transit system, called TransLink, is a network of buses and other services such as SeaBus and SkyTrain. Translink provides transit services covering over 1800 square kilometers of the Greater Mainland of Vancouver. Honestly, getting around the city is convenient and easily accessible. You can buy a day, month, or student pass which provides use on all buses, SkyTrains and Seabus. If you are a student, you can also apply for the GoCard, which reduces ticket prices.

Another way to enjoy the city is to cycle. The streets are very safe, and it’s probably the fastest way. Visit the TransLink page for the cycling maps of the city.

Walking is another great option. Vancouver is very safe and is easily accessible on foot. There’s no better way to discover new places and get to know the city of Vancouver better.


Vancouver Trasnport

Useful tip: The benefit of the Vancouver`s SkyTrain being above ground is that you get to see all of Vancouver’s beauty while travelling. Start your journey at the Waterfront Station on the Expo Line and you can go all the way to Surrey Central while enjoying all the sights in between.

Useful and Fun Info about Vancouver

  • Locals keep umbrellas with them all the time. Better safe than sorry when rain is a frequent visitor.
  • If you wish to rent a car in Vancouver, know that there is a gas station very close to Vancouver airport. Convenient!
  • Tax on almost everything except food is 12%. Some things like gasoline have tax on tax.
  • Vancouver is a very liberal city and proud to be so. Their Pride Parade is huge, attracting over 500,000 people all around the world. It’s easy to see colorful rainbows all around Davie Street and West End, where the LGBTQ+ has inclusive nightclubs, events and festivities.
  • If you plan to drive in Vancouver, be aware that the city is one of the few places in North America with no freeways. One more reason to walk!
  • Hidekazu Tojo, a British Columbia Hall of Fame Chef, invented the famous California Roll. You wouldn’t eat this popular food anywhere else if it wasn’t for him.
  • Greenpeace, one of the main organizations for environmental campaigns, was born in Vancouver and you can see why. Residents are extremely concerned with the environment here, and it was ranked the 10th cleanest city in the world, so remember to recycle and never throw any trash on the ground.
  • Vancouver has the mildest climate in Canada, along with Victoria and Abbotsford, both also in British Columbia.
  • You cannot buy alcohol in a grocery store in Vancouver. Alcohol beverages have to be purchased in a Government Liquor store or a few private ones. Beer and wine can be purchased in licensed beer and wine stores. Furthermore, not all restaurants are allowed to serve liquor and its taxes are quite high in Canada.
  • You cannot smoke in restaurants and bars and other indoor locations. There are, however, some restaurants and bars that might have outdoor patios where it is allowed.


Useful Links

Final Tips

 Don’t leave Vancouver without:

  1. Kayaking, hiking, skiing, sailing or doing any fun outdoors activity. Take advantage of the natural landscapes around you!
  2. Visit the Telus Science World. Locals love it and it’s a beautiful place to learn and explore.
  3. Walk around Yaletown, Gastown, and Granville Street. They are all unique and fun, each one adding their special own charm to the city.
  4. Watch a hockey game at Rogers Arena.
  5. Attend one of the big music and film festivals in Vancouver. Special attention should be given to the Folk Music Festival and the Vancouver International Film Festival.
  6. Go to a vegan restaurant. There are tons to choose from in the city and there are very good options. You will feel satisfied and healthy.
  7. Eat a JapaDog. Have a poutine. Enough said.
  8. Go to a theater event. People love it, especially the Shakespeare Festival and the Theater Under the Stars.
  9. Go to an Asian restaurant. With the incredible number of Asian citizens in the city, that’s another safe bet. You will have plenty options to choose from.
  10. Be happy and enjoy Vancouver!

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