General & Geography
Short for VAN by abbreviationfinder, Vancouver is not only the most beautiful city in Canada, but also regularly appears in the top ten world cities with a particularly high quality of life.
When the British naval officer, George Vancouver, mapped the west coast of Canada in the 18th century, he saw the ideal location for a seaport at the mouth of the Fraser River. Protected from the mighty surf of the Pacific Ocean by the offshore island of Vancouver Island, the sea is calm and ice-free.
The Coast Mountains fall straight into the sea from over 2,000m. This created a dramatic landscape. With green mountains, wide river valleys, gentle bays, deep fjords and long beaches. The Pacific Ocean is on the doorstep and snow-capped mountains rise in the back of the garden. Where else can you find that in the world?
The urban area has about 600,000 inhabitants. A total of around 2,400,000 people live in the greater Vancouver area, which stretches to the border of the US state of Washington. The rest of the province of British Columbia (BC) is very sparsely populated and therefore offers untouched fauna and flora and sometimes inaccessible wilderness.
Although the official languages in Canada are English and French, the predominant language spoken in BC is English. Vancouver is a multicultural city where people with European, Asian and indigenous ancestors live together peacefully and in a relaxed atmosphere.
Climate in Vancouver
Due to the warm Kuroshio Current (comparable to the Gulf Stream in Northern Europe), the Pacific coast has a moderate rainforest climate. With mild but humid winter months, in which there can be up to 20 days of rainfall. Rain in Vancouver and snow in the mountains. In Whistler (2010 Winter Olympics) there is quickly over 10m of snow. The Rocky Mountains protect the west coast from the low temperatures that are common in the rest of Canada in winter.
The summer months are pleasantly tempered with 20-25 ° C and 4 to 8 rainy days per month. At 15-18 ° C water temperatures, bathing in English Bay is more for die-hard people. Late April to early May, it is possible to take the chairlift up to “Grouse Mountain” in the morning to ski and swim in the Pacific in the afternoon – if you don’t shy away from the temperatures!
Due to the favorable climate, gigantic trees that are 800 years old have grown in the primary forests. With a cedar tree in Stanley Park, it takes five men to hold the trunk. Introduced trees and shrubs, such as palm trees, magnolias, azaleas and rhododendrons, also grow and flourish.
When is the best time to visit Vancouver?
In principle, all four seasons are suitable for a visit. Winter sports enthusiasts have ideal snow conditions in the mountains. The summer months are more suitable for water sports enthusiasts. In between, in spring and autumn, is the season for nature and cultural experiences such as hiking, trekking, cycling and visiting museums.
Even a hike in the rain in Lynn Cayon Park can be balm for the soul. Nevertheless, the absolute best travel time for Vancouver and Vancouver Island starts around mid-May and extends through the entire summer to early October. The midsummer months of July and August are particularly popular.
Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine
|Daytime temperature||8 ° C||9 ° C||11 ° C||15 ° C||17 ° C||21 ° C||23 ° C||23 ° C||20 ° C||16 ° C||10 ° C||8 ° C|
|Night temperature||1 ° C||1 ° C||3 ° C||6 ° C||9 ° C||12 ° C||14 ° C||14 ° C||11 ° C||7 ° C||3 ° C||1 ° C|
|Water temperature||8 ° C||8 ° C||8 ° C||10 ° C||11 ° C||13 ° C||14 ° C||14 ° C||13 ° C||11 ° C||9 ° C||8 ° C|
|Precipitation in mm||186||94||118||92||60||59||39||40||48||127||183||178|
|Hours of sunshine||3||4||4||5||7||8||10||9||7||6||4||4|
The annual average temperature is 10.9 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is July (18.6 ° C), coldest month of January with mean values of 4.1 ° C. The maximum water temperature is 14 ° C. That is hardly suitable for swimming.
The annual precipitation is 1224 mm on 176 days with precipitation. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. The months of January, November and December are considered the rainy season, as more than 175 mm of precipitation can be expected per month. Overall, about 547 mm of precipitation can be expected in the rainy season. In the months of January, February, March, November and December is possible snowfall.
As our climate table shows, July is the sunniest month with an average of 9.8 hours of sunshine per day. On average over the year, the sun shines 5.9 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.
The following major towns are nearby and have similar climates: Surrey, Burnaby, Ladner, British Columbia, Richmond, Coquitlam, and Delta.
Sights and attractions
Vancouver is a modern metropolis with imposing skyscrapers that reflect the creativity and imagination of the architects. One example is Canada Place on Burrad Inlet with its futuristic exterior facade. The big cruise ships for an Alaska expedition also leave here. The charm of the metropolis is the different city quarters with restaurants, craft beer gardens, promenade for strolling, cafés and art galleries of the Musqueam Indians:
Gastown, Kitsilano, Yaletown, University of BC (UBC), Chinatown, and Granville Island. There are quick and easy connections between the city districts with the SeaBus, the False Creek Ferry or the driverless SkyTrain. In Stanley Park alone there is a 200km long, well-maintained network of trails for walking and cycling. A 136m long, free swinging rope bridge, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, spans the Capilano River at a height of 70m. A chairlift ride to the observation deck on Grouse Maintain offers breathtaking views over Vancouver and the surrounding area. In winter, skiers can ski on illuminated slopes until midnight.
The indigenous people of the Pacific coast should not be forgotten. In the Museum of Anthropology on the UBC premises, you can see a lot about the culture, the way of life and the religion of the Indians. Many totem poles and sculptures are erected in honor of the ancient Indian tribes. A ferry trip to “Vancouver Island” is worthwhile. Victoria, the small but fine capital of British Columbia, is worth seeing. For nature lovers, Tofino, in the Pacific Rim National Park, is the place to be. Black bears, wolves, sea lions, whales and the bald eagle, the heraldic animal of the USA, can still be seen in the wild.