Last updated April 7th, 2023.
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Vancouver is high on the bucket list of many people, and it’s easy to see why. Here you can find countless hiking trails, Indigenous history, diverse culture, a delectable food scene, and countless breweries. Vancouver is a vibrant city with something to entice anyone. So when exactly is the best time to visit Vancouver? When should you plan your trip to this city with a mountainous backdrop? As someone who has lived in Vancouver for 8 years, let me fill you in!
Vancouver welcomes 11 million visitors yearly, so that is your proof that this city is worth your time. From being home to North America’s third largest Chinatown, or for the beautiful beach views, to the events always going on in the city, you really could visit any time of year and find something worth doing.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Vancouver?
The time of year you visit somewhere can make or break the trip. If you’re wanting to spend majority of your time outside, chances are you aren’t looking to get rained out. Vancouver does get a high amount of precipitation yearly; in fact, rainy season lasts 6 months of the year at least. We have increasingly cold, damp winters, and hot, humid summers. Spring and autumn have lovely weather, making those seasons my personal favorite time to be in Vancouver.
Where Exactly Is Vancouver?
You’ve definitely heard of Vancouver but where exactly is it?
Located in the lower mainland of Canadian province British Columbia, Vancouver is a West Coast city sheltered from the Pacific Ocean by the Strait of Georgia. On the other side of the Strait is Vancouver Island and South of Vancouver about 230 kilometers is Seattle. It is the largest city in British Columbia, and is surrounded by water and mountains, making it a stunning place to visit or live.
However, don’t forget that there are cons to every place one can live.
With a large International Airport, it is easy to come and go from this city.
As a Vancouver local, I think that if you can time your trip right and visit during cherry blossom season, that would be the best time to visit Vancouver. In the 1930’s Japan gifted Vancouver cherry blossom trees as a thank you to the city for Vancouver honouring Japanese Canadian soldiers in WWI. Then again in 1958 the Japanese consul donated another 300 trees. Now every spring the roads swim in pink and we have a Cherry Blossom Festival!
Spring is special here because you can still ski up in the mountains, but you can also play golf or begin to spend time outside with a light jacket. However, March is still usually quite chilly, so aim for April or May.
As is with everywhere in spring there can be periods of rain during April, but when the rain isn’t coming down on us the weather is beautiful.
The average spring temperature in Vancouver is 12 degrees to 20 degrees Celsius.
You may also like – 10 of The Best Free Things To Do in Vancouver.
The most popular times to visit Vancouver is summertime, late June to early September. The weather is hot (sometimes a bit too hot), and there are countless things to do, from beaches to outdoor pools, hiking, brewery hopping, kayaking, and biking along the seawall. However, everyone wants to visit Vancouver in summertime, so you can expect large crowds and higher accommodation prices.
Some fun activities to check out in Vancouver in the summertime would be the Celebration of Light (firework displays from different Countries in a competition to have the best show), Vancouver Pride, The Richmond Night Market, wandering the seawall, Bard on the Beach, checking out Stanley Park, going on one or more of the endless hiking trails, or relax at Kits Beach.
Average summer temperatures in Vancouver are 24 degrees Celsius to 31 degrees, however the last several years we’ve had intense heatwaves, so check the forecast!
Vancouverites and visitors alike are still out and about in the fall. The beaches are still nice enough to spend time at, there are pumpkin patches and apple orchards to visit, the leaves change colour, you can still be outside with only a sweater or light jacket and a scarf.
I will say though, I call fall spider season in Vancouver because you have to watch out for giant spider webs all over! Seriously, you see huge spiders on giant webs all over the place. I can’t even begin to tell you just how many I have walked into…
There are plenty of ghost tours to go on, exploring the fall foliage in the many green spaces throughout the city, Vancouver’s International Film Festival, the Halloween Parade. I personally love being in Vancouver the best in fall. I love the crunch of leaves on sidewalks and usually sunny days.
One event that I find fun and unique would have to be Movies in the Morgue. Beginning in October each year the Vancouver Police Museum puts on a series of movies that you watch in the city’s old morgue. I can honestly say I’ve never seen this anywhere else.
Average fall temperatures in Vancouver are 9 degrees to 17 degrees, depending on the month.
Being a city on the West Coast our winters don’t get too cold. For a Canadian winter, we usually don’t suffer! Not only does it typically not get freezing, we can spend quite a bit of time outside. There is plenty of skiing, snowboarding and sledding to be had, Christmas markets, Dine Out Festival, Canyon Lights at Capilano, you can ride the Stanley Park train, or just walk around and look at decorations.
Keep in mind that while it is rare for snow in Vancouver, the rain more than makes up for the lack of snow. It rains A LOT.
Average winter temperatures are 1 degree Celsius to 7 degrees.
Things To Do In Vancouver
There is something to do in Vancouver no matter the season. With temperatures that don’t get too cold, it’s easy to be outside year-round, providing you bring an umbrella!
I also have a post of 10 Best Free Things To Do In Vancouver, as the city does get quite pricey!
When Is The Cheapest Time To Visit Vancouver?
Winter is the cheapest time to visit, as it is rainy season. If you’re visiting in winter, you will find the cheapest hotel rooms as well as the best deals on attractions.
The Best Time To Visit Vancouver Overall
I would say the best time to visit Vancouver would have to be either April and June, or mid September to October. The weather is perfect, all you would need is a light jacket, and you could find lower accommodation prices than in busy summertime.
If you are planning a trip and wondering when the best time to visit Vancouver would be, I hope this post helped you in deciding the best time for you and the trip you are after!