Our Whistler Travel Essentials lays out the essential information you need to help planning your trip to one of the most popular destinations in Canada. No matter how frequently you travel, some questions will always need answers: What’s the weather like? How can I get from the airport to my hotel? What currency and type of plug do I need? We have all these answers plus other basic info about the best time to go, getting there, getting around, and a few useful travel tips.

    It’s all compiled in this Whistler Travel Essentials. After reading this short and easy-to-read guide, you will be a little more prepared to start your trip in Whistler, British Columbia.


    Best time to travel to Whistler (weather-wise)

    Whistler has a humid continental climate, with average temperatures ranging from -2ºC in winter to 17ºC in summer.

    • The rainiest time of the year is between October and May, with an average of 16 rainy days per month.
    • Snowfall can be expected between September and April.
    • June-August and December-March are the best time to visit Whistler, yet these periods are peak tourist seasons, with hotel prices rising accordingly.

    Whistler basics

    • Primary languages: English
    • Plug types: A and B
    • Electricity: 120 V
    • Currency: Canadian Dollar (C$)
    • International dialling codes: +1 604
    • Emergency telephone number: 911

    Getting into the city

    Vancouver International Airport

    Vancouver International Airport is the primary airport serving Whistler. It’s one of the largest airports in Canada. It’s located on Sea Island in Richmond, roughly 100 km south of Whistler. Vancouver Airport features 3 passenger terminals in which you’ll find a good choice of dining and shopping options as well as facilities including banking and currency exchange services. There are several transfer options to reach Whistler resort town:

    • A taxicab takes around 2 hours and costs roughly C$250-300. Taxi ranks can be found on Level 2 of the Domestic and International Arrivals Area.
    • The YVR-Whistler Skylynx bus takes around 2 hours and half and cost roughly C$60-70. You can purchase your ticket in International Terminal, Arrivals Level 2.
    • Shared shuttle vans take around 2 hours and cost roughly C$60-80. You can purchase your ticket in International Terminal, Arrivals Level 2.
    • Car rental agencies can be found on the ground floor of the multi-storey parking a short walk from the terminals.

    If you come by bus to Whistler

    You can get to Whistler by bus from central Vancouver. Snowbus services depart from Richmond, West and Metro Vancouver. Greyhound Canada buses depart from Pacific Central Station in Vancouver. Prices start from C$40-60 for a 1-way ticket.

    photo by Szymon Sieciński (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Getting around Whistler

    Travel tips

    The Whistler Village Stroll is a pedestrian-only area which hosts a great choice of dining, shopping and nightlife entertainment options. Besides the Village Stroll, you can explore most of Whistler on foot as the resort town covers only a 3-sq km area. For longer journeys, a good choice of public and private transport services is at hand. See below…

    photo by GoToVan (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Whistler bus networks

    • BC Transit operates bus lines connecting the Village, Creekside and neighbourhoods north and south.
    • The price of a single local fare is C$2.50.
    • A 1-Day Pass costs C$7.
    • Tickets and passes can be purchased in various locations in Whistler including the Visitor Centre, the Municipal Hall and the Grocery Store, just to name a few.
    • BC Transit also runs free seasonal shuttle services to destinations such as Lost Lake.
    • The Province of British Columbia's Resort Municipality Initiative operates year-round free shuttle services to Blackcomb Mountain Base Lodge and the Benchlands.

    Taking a taxi

    • You can directly call one of the 2 taxi companies available in Whistler: Whistler Resort Cabs (604-938-1515) or Whistler Taxi (604-932-3333).
    • Taxi fares are regulated by the British Columbia Transportation Board. The standard average drop charge is C$3.32, then it’s C$2.03 per kilometre.
    • Most taxis accept the payment of the fare by credit card, but it’s better to ask the driver before you get in.
    • It’s common to give a 10-20% tip to the taxi driver.

    photo by John Luton (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Annual events to look out for

    Outdoor Summer Concert Series

    • What: Free outdoor concerts are held every weekend at the Whistler Olympic Park from June to September. From classical music to modern beats to folk music, it offers a fun way to spend the night dancing and meeting with people.
    • When: From June to September 
    • Where: Whistler Olympic Plaza

    Whistler Village Beer Festival

    • What: 6 days of beer celebration held from 12pm to 5pm at Whistler Olympic Plaza. You’ll discover locally brewed beers, sample food and listen to live music in a very convivial atmosphere.
    • When: September
    • Where:  Whistler Olympic Plaza

    World Ski and Snowboard Festival

    • What: Often called the snow-sport industry's version of Burning Man, the World Ski and Snowboard Festival is a very energetic 6-day event which blends mountain culture, music, ski and snowboard competitions and non-stop nightlife.
    • When: April
    • Where: Various locations in Whistler

    Start planning your trip

    COVID-19 Travel Alert

    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

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