Locals wear a smile around Vancouver, and for good reason - it's been consistently ranked as one of the best cities to live in the world. Catering for everyone from culture vultures to outdoor enthusiasts, and high rollers to backpackers on a shoestring budget, Vancouver is a true gem and one hell of a holiday destination. To get the most out of your Vancouver holiday, read on.
Australian passport holders are eligible to holiday in Canada for up to 6 months without a visa. In order to travel under these terms, you must hold a valid passport for the dates you are travelling. If you're between the ages of 18 and 30, Aussies may also be eligible to work and stay in Canada for up to 2 years with a temporary work permit as part of International Experience Canada. Please be aware that these details are only a guideline. For up-to-the-minute visa information, contact your local embassy or consulate of Canada.
The currency used in Canada is the Canadian Dollar. The exchange rate between the Australian Dollar and the Canadian Dollar changes regularly, so keep a close eye on the exchange rate to ensure you get the best deal. While overseas, spend safely through the use of a credit card or travel money card. Cash Passports are ideal for international travel as they can hold a range of currencies, including Canadian Dollars, and can be used like credit cards wherever MasterCard is accepted.
Canadian cuisine has been influenced by many cultures and as a result, many say that it is still being defined. The national food of Canada is poutine - a dish of thick-cut hot chips covered in cheese curds and warm peppery gravy. Vancouver celebrates this dish every year with the Vancouver Poutine Challenge, which is part of the Vancouver Poutine Festival. While you can find poutine all over Vancouver, Fritz European Fry House is one of the best places to try the Canuck national dish. Another place to try is the world-famous food cart Japadog - testament to the strong multicultural mix within Canadian cuisine. Japadog was started by a couple of Japanese immigrants, who put a unique Japanese spin on the humble American hotdog. The dense Asian population in Vancouver means there's a variety of cuisines on offer here. Quick tasty noodle stops and fresh sushi are an excellent light lunch option. Many Asian nations are represented in eateries in Vancouver, so dive in and take a chance on one that appeals to you.
Most of Vancouver's nightlife and bars are concentrated in 5 nightlife districts, each with their own unique vibe and appeal. These districts include Vancouver's Granville Street, Gastown, Yaletown, Davie Street and Main Street. If clubbing and partying hard is what you seek, then head on down to the neon-lit and full-throttle strip on Granville Street, which is packed with pulsating bars and clubs, like the popular Cellar Nightclub, for seasoned frenetic revellers. Yaletown offers a more cosmopolitan and sophisticated style of nightlife with the opportunity for celebrity spotting at the prestigious Opus and Glowbal Bar. For something a little more diverse, head over to historic Gastown where you'll find cobblestone streets and Victorian buildings that have been transformed into edgy hangouts, Irish pubs, cocktail bars and constantly evolving clubs. The nightlife on Davie Street is a gay-friendly, fun home to a diverse selection of bars, while Main Street is Vancouver's official hipster hangout, thanks to the numerous live music venues.