Vancouver International Airport - YVR

Vancouver, Canada (CA)

Getting around the airport

Two terminals with four levels

Vancouver International Airport lies around 12km south of Downtown Vancouver. It's a world-leading airport, ranked best airport in North America for five years in a row, and in the top 10 in the world in 2013 and 2014 in the Skytrax World Airport Awards. It is known for its excellence in accessibility and sustainability and for its efficiency, good dining options, plentiful seating and natural light. That said, some travellers have reported delays in receiving baggage, and long waits in customs at peak times. 

It has two terminals: 

  • Main Terminal: Handling most flights. Split into the Domestic Terminal (Concourses A, B and C) and International Terminal (Concourses D and E). The International Arrivals hall is notable for its large waterfall and eye-catching artwork.
  • South Terminal: Handling domestic flights, helicopters, chartered flights 'floatplanes'. A free shuttle bus runs to the ground floor of the Departures level from the Arrivals level of the International Terminal.

The Main Terminal has four floors and is easily walkable (although distances can be long):

  • Level 1: Airport Services Plaza
  • Level 2: Arrivals
  • Level 3: Departures
  • Level 4: Train station for the SkyTrain to the city, accessible from both International and Domestic Terminals 

Useful for those flying on to the US, the airport has US Border Preclearance facilities so you can clear security in Canada, and save time when you land in the US.

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Getting into Vancouver

Take the Canada Line

The easiest and most cost-effective way into Vancouver is by train, taking you downtown straight from your terminal.


The Canada Line of TransLink's driverless rapid transit SkyTrain takes you to downtown Vancouver in 26 minutes and downtown Richmond in 18 minutes. It runs to Waterfront station, via Vancouver City Centre station, every 6-7 minutes at peak times, and 12-20 minutes at off-peak times, from 05:07-00:56 daily.

If you're coming back to the airport, when you get off the train turn left for domestic flights and right for US and international flights.

Location: Main Terminal, before security, arrivals, level 4, YVR-Airport Station, follow the Canada Line signs from both International and Domestic Terminals
CAD 4.20 for a two-zone ticket, plus a CAD 5 'Canada Line YVR AddFare' when leaving the airport


Taxis to Vancouver have a fixed rate. Journey time is around 20-30 minutes.

Location: Main Terminal, before security, arrivals, level 2, ranks outside Domestic and International Terminals
approximatelyCAD 35 flat-rate to downtown (plus tip)

Arriving late at night?

You'll need to take the night bus after the trains have stopped running. From the Main Terminal, take the N10 to downtown Vancouver or Richmond. 

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International Terminal

The airport has a large, 114,000-litre aquarium showcasing 850 indigenous sea animals. This is a great place to take the kids and kill a bit of time whilst you wait for your flight.

Location: International Terminal, Departures Level

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Dining past security

Early closure

If you have a late flight beware that most food places after security close at 22:00.

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Health Club day passes and day rooms

At the Fairmont Hotel

If you’ve got some extra time and would like to burn off a little steam, you can get a day pass to the Fairmont Hotel’s gym, pool, sauna, and showers for CAD 18 per person. The Health Club is situated directly above the US departures terminal and the health club is open daily from 06:30 to 23:00.

You can also book day-use rooms from CAD 119 (4 hours).

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Power outlets

Plentiful throughout the airport

There are over 100 charging stations throughout the terminals, located between the seats at the gates. Each station offers six 120V outlets and two USB ports.

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Absolute Spa

Pool, workout and showers

The Absolute Spa, is a perfect place to freshen up. Access is CAD 15 plus taxes, including access to the pool, healthclub (workout facilities) and showers.

Main Terminal, before security, lobby level
US Terminal, after security, near Gate E85

Hours: 08:30-21:00 daily

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Car rental

Lowest Price Guaranteed

Car rental companies offer cars right beside the terminals buildings, on the ground floor of the car parking area. You can rent from these companies:

  • Alamo/National
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Hertz
  • Dollar/Thrifty 

In addition, Enterprise offers cars a short distance from the airport. To ask for a shuttle bus, use the direct-dial phone in the car rental bus shelter in the Economy Parking Lot.

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Children’s play areas and self-guided tours

Stay Entertained

There are several Children’s Play Areas located throughout the airport, which are a great place to let kids run around or watch interactive videos to learn about airplanes. The Play Areas are located in Concourse A near Gate 13, Concourse C near Gate 46, and Concourse D near Gate 54, right next to the TV Entertainment Centres (international gates only).

You can also take yourself on a self-guided walking tour with the family (details can be found on the airport's website. The tours follow a number of different themes to help you discover art and architecture, family fun, or sustainability.

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Great views

Observation Area

This is a great place to meet your friends or watch the activity on the tarmac at the airport's observation area. There are telescopes, interactive kiosks and an interactive model of Sea Island.

Location: Domestic Terminal, Level 4 (Landside)

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In the lounges

There are no public showers, but you can freshen up here:

  • Plaza Premium Lounges: Airside, International and Domestic Terminals. Cost: USD 32 for 2hrs, USD 40 for 3hrs, USD 56 for 6hrs.
  • Air Canada Maple Leaf Clubs: Airside, Domestic and US Terminals. Cost USD 50 for non-members.
  • Fairmont Vancouver Aiport Hotel Heatlh Club: Directly above the US Departures terminal. Hours: 06:30-23:00. Cost: USD 18 for entry to health club, sauna and showers. 
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Baggage storage

International arrivals

Prices for up to 24 hours vary from CAD 5.50 for small items such as coats and envelopes to CAD 9.90 for oversized items such as large trunks or sports equipment. 

International arrivals, landside, level 2, opposite Hudson news
Hours: 05:00-1:00 daily 

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Long Layover

Visit Chester Johnson Park

Chester Johnson Park is a great outdoor space which offers a calm respite from the action of the airport. 

Nestled in the shadow of the Control Tower, the park features the three ‘Ksan Totems, carved by Earl Muldoe and Walter Harris from the Skeena River Valley in Northwestern British Columbia. 

In the park you’ll also find a small pond, benches, and a tree-lined pathway to explore with the kids. 

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Buy access to Plaza Premium Lounge (Domestic Gate C29)

Domestic Terminal. Domestic Departures, Pier C, Level 3, near Gate C29.

A space this relaxing and comfortable, with ample seating and power ports everywhere, certainly doesn’t come easily. Delight in a collection of freshly prepared food. Let your taste buds loose on the signature clubhouse sandwich, mini-burgers, and pulled pork sliders. NOTE: This lounge is accessible for passengers departing on domestic flights only. NOTE: Alcohol is offered starting from 11:00 am daily. NOTE: Children under 2 years old are admitted free with an adult. NOTE: A sample of the items offered (subject to change) include the clubhouse sandwich, mini-burgers, and pulled pork sliders.
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Buy access to Plaza Premium Lounge (Domestic Gate B15)

Domestic Terminal. Domestic Departures, Level 3, near Gate B15.

A space this relaxing and comfortable, with ample seating and power ports everywhere, certainly doesn’t come easily. Delight in a collection of freshly prepared foods. Let your taste buds loose on the signature clubhouse sandwich, mini-burgers, and pulled pork sliders. Live cooking pasta stands and Canada’s famous poutine with confit excite. NOTE: This lounge is only accessible for passengers departing on domestic flights. NOTE: Alcohol is offered starting from 11:00 am daily. NOTE: Children under 2 years old are admitted free with an adult.
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Further information about Vancouver International Airport

Popular airlines at Vancouver International Airport