When to visit Vancouver

by SmarterTravel Staff

Vancouver experiences four temperate seasons, with few fluctuations in weather. The most popular time to visit is during the summer when there is less rain and an array of outdoor activities and events.

Autumn brings changing leaves and cooler temperatures. The spring has pleasant weather for skiing and golfing. Winters can be mild and wet, but January and February are ideal times to save money and avoid crowds.

  • high season: June to August
  • low season: September to March
  • shoulder season: April to May

Weather Information

Summers see daytime temperatures in the upper 60s and lower 70s, while the nights can be a bit cooler, especially in the surrounding mountains. Winters can bring rain and cooler weather, with daytime temperatures averaging around 45 degrees from November through February. Snow is rare in the city, but falls frequently at the local ski hills. Spring and fall warm up the coast with highs averaging in the mid-50s in April and October. November through January can be the least desirable times to visit due to heavy rains, while July through August is considered ideal because of less rainfall and pleasantly warm weather.

Crowd Information

Vancouver hosts many festivals during July and August that attract large crowds, including the annual HSBC Celebration of Light fireworks show at English Bay, where hundreds of thousands of viewers gather on the beach to witness the competition; and Festival Vancouver, which celebrates music with nearly 50 classical, jazz, and world concerts in August. The least crowded time is April and May.

Closure Information

Most hotels, restaurants, and attractions remain open year-round, though some may close for major holidays such as Christmas and New Year's Day.

When to Save

January and February are the least expensive times to visit since there are fewer crowds and events. The most expensive times to visit are June through August. For skiing in the nearby mountains, prices are higher in February and March and during the December holidays.

When to Book

For airfare, flexible travel plans may make it possible to take advantage of low last-minute fares. However, those with a set schedule should book flights at least three weeks in advance to obtain lower prices and ensure availability, especially for travel during the high season.

For hotels, last-minute lodging can typically be found, but it's a good idea to book at least one month in advance. Book at least three months in advance for visitation during the high season or popular events to ensure availability.

Information provided by Tourism Vancouver.

Read comments or add your own insight!