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Best View of City from Airport

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Ottawa, Canada
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Best View of City from Airport

Hello...

I will be flying through Vancouver Airport in August (San Francisco to Ottawa) with my teens (never seen Vancouver) and will have 3 hours between flights in the airport.

So my question... assuming weather is clear (yeah.. I know), and very specifically, is there anywhere I can go within that timeframe (airport property or not) to get a city / mountain view ???

I can't tell you how much I would like to spend more time there, but it just ain't possible on this trip :)

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Best View of City from Airport

If you don't mind having to go back through security, there is a second level, with telescopes, to the seating area for the public food fair in the domestic terminal. The view faces north, i.e., to the city and mountains. You'll see the stairs/escalator/elevator going up just in front of the A&W.

Edited: 21 June 2011, 00:58
Vancouver, B.C.
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2. Re: Best View of City from Airport

Assuming the weather is clear and your luggage is checked through, I would take the train from the airport to Waterfront station. Walk over to Canada Place and snap some photos there. Then take a taxi from there to Stanley Park, have the driver take you around the park, stopping at the totem poles, Prospect Point and at English Bay. Then have him drop you off at either City Center or Yale Town Roundhouse for the train ride back to airport.

You might be able to even squeeze a sea bus ride across the inlet.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Best View of City from Airport

To clarify, do you have 3 hours between flights to spend, meaning you've factored in going back through security etc or just 3 hours total. If it's the latter then I'm guessing you only have 2 hours and I would think Canada Line to Waterfront, quick look around and no time for much else.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Best View of City from Airport

You would have to allow 1.5 hours to go back through security if you came out street side. However, the Canada Line to Waterfront is 26 minutes. The walk to Canada Place outdoor promenade walk is another 5-10.

Vancouver, B.C.
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5. Re: Best View of City from Airport

Even with 2 hours the ride to/from airport is 70 minutes max. That still leaves 50 minutes, more than enough time for a taxi ride around Stanley Park. You only need 1 hour to clear security for a domestic flight.

Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Best View of City from Airport

Thanks everybody!

It's 3 hours total... we've already got Canada Customs to go through... I don't mind going landside through security (with an eye on the line-ups), but I figured the train stations up to Bridgeport would be the maximum distance I would consider going from the airport given the very tight timeframes.

ITCHYFEET090.. thank you very much... I guess now the question is it even worth getting on the train?? or is there somewhere to walk to ?? or is the foodcourt view the best we will get (and I'm sure it will be great with telescopes :) in that area? I'm very happy with that option!

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Best View of City from Airport

From the airport with or without telescopes you will see mountains weather permitting. You won't see downtown though.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Best View of City from Airport

It's the rise around 41st Avenue, isn't it Rustproof, that would prevent being able to see downtown from the airport, even with the telescopes. So, TravelinMan, you would see mountains, but not downtown. (I have to confess that I am more familiar with the workings of the elevator and escalator to the second floor viewing area, than the actual view from the telescopes, the former being a source of endless entertainment for the toddlers in the family while at YVR.)

Edited: 21 June 2011, 02:24
Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Best View of City from Airport

You'll see Vancouver as you fly in... but you won't be able to see Vancouver's downtown skyline from the airport, unfortunately. There's a hill, as itchyfeed090's saying, that blocks the view.

Technically speaking that hill is in Vancouver, so yes, you'll see Vancouver... and you'll still see the mountains which are in North Vancouver. But you wont' be able to see downtown Vancouver unless you head north along Granville Street. You could always do a quick taxi tour down Granville Street into downtown and back to the airport... if you have $60 to spare.

Edited: 21 June 2011, 03:00
Ottawa, Canada
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10. Re: Best View of City from Airport

I'm just looking for anything approaching the "postcard" Vancouver view, even it it's from a distance, and without straying too far from the airport.

There's no chance to make it to Canada Place or anything like that.

Thanks for all the tips!!