Reduce stress during your trip by forgoing public transportation and instead choosing to be in control of where you go and when. There are a number of car rental services at the Vancouver airport and the Pacific Central train station, such as Hertz, Avis, and Enterprise. Hertz has seven more locations scattered throughout Vancouver, and Avis has locations throughout British Columbia.
Skyscanner compares the prices of variety of cars, from convertibles for a couple or a hatchback for a family, from all of these companies and many more. Make transportation one less thing to worry about on your vacation. Step off the plane into a rented car that takes you anywhere and don't stress about waiting for a taxi to take you back to the airport.
Driving in Vancouver
Canada uses the metric system, so speeds are measured in kilometers per hour (km/h) and distances are measured in kilometers and meters. Gas prices are in cents per liter and taxes are high. Parking can be expensive, with $3 getting you an hour in many places. Some hotels offer free parking and most free parking in the city is limited to 2-3 hours.
Within the city there are no highways, mostly two lane streets with frequent traffic lights and speed limits of 50 km/h. The signage can be confusing so mapping out trips ahead of time is best.
U-turns are illegal on most streets and in most situations, and it is always illegal to use your cell phone while driving anywhere in British Columbia. Be wary of bike lanes which are sometimes located between traffic lanes and street parking. Green paint at an intersection means the presence of a bike lane. Within the city, be careful of the abundance of pedestrians and yield to buses turning into your lane.
What to Do in Vancouver
Vancouver has several spectacular outdoor attractions that are best reached by car. Forget city traffic — the time spent in a car driving to Stanley Park is a pleasure in itself. This 1,000-acre park has playgrounds, the Vancouver Aquarium, and the First Nations totem pole display.
With all its rain, Vancouver boasts of lush gardens. The VanDusen Botanical Garden covers 55 acres in the center of the city. Spend an hour getting lost in the famous hedge maze, or stroll through yellow hanging blooms in the Laburnum Walk.
Spanish Banks Beach is a quiet spot with a view of downtown Vancouver. There are a variety of activities, such as swimming, skimboarding, beach volleyball, and kite flying. Parking is free. Pack up a picnic or barbeque on the wild ocean beach or kept park areas.
All of Vancouver can be seen from Grouse Mountain on a clear day. There is skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. Check out wildlife exhibits and eat at The Observatory, a formal dining room with a 360-degree mountaintop view.