All of the ads featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is a misnomer: BC’s largest airport is not in the city at all. The planes actually land in Richmond, British Columbia, a destination few have heard of, located just across the Fraser River from downtown Vancouver.
With approximately 224,000 residents, Richmond itself is the fourth largest city in British Columbia, although it is not remarkable at first glance with its inconspicuous sprawl surrounded by fishing piers and estuaries. But look a little deeper and Richmond has earned a quiet reputation among cooking enthusiasts for some of the best Asian cuisines on the continent. After all, the Chinese community here has roots dating back to the province’s gold rush days. The area is home to dim sum palaces, Hong Kong-style barbecues, and a night market that draws crowds of everything from fried squid to dessert dumplings.
This night market is a five-minute cab ride from the arrivals gate, and since the city’s other foodie highlights aren’t much further away, Richmond is a delicious place to munch on during a 24-hour layover, while diving in. your toes into other sources of local culture and history.
Here’s how to make the most of a layover at YVR, with tips on where to stay, eat, and explore the minute you land.
Drop off your suitcases at a hotel brimming with art
What makes a good stopover hotel? Seamless airport transfer and local soul. This combination was rare near YVR until the Versante hotel opened in July 2021. Since guests at the 100-room luxury hotel enjoy on-call transfers between the airport and the hotel, you’ll avoid the dreary waits of the usual airport-hotel shuttle. . Drivers will also take you to local destinations such as nearby designer boutiques and the Richmond Olympic experience in a speed skating arena built for the 2010 Winter Olympics.