I'm from YVR
and I live just 5 minutes from the airport. I go there every week just for fun, as its a really entertaining place! YVR
is located on an island. Are you staying at the Vancouver Fairmont Hotel in the airport? Thats a great choice, hope you have fun. Anyways, when do you have time to kill, morning or evening? 4 hours doesn't seem like that much time. If you're staying in the Fairmont Hotel there's a nice restaurant and a bar.
If you have time to kill in the morning, I recommend you have a nice leisurely breakfast in the restaurant. From the restaurant you can see the US departures area. Usually you can see planes departing from that area from the glass windows of the restaurant.
If you have time to kill the evening on the day before, I recommend you have a drink and dinner at the Fairmont Hotel.
There are many restaurants to go to in YVR
. Lots of pubs (like cheers in the domestic terminal or elephants pub in the arrival hall). There's a really interesting store called Cupcakes, which is a kiosk in the US departures area, but its not always open.
Some things I like to do is sit and have a coffee in the domestic terminal food court and see the planes outside. You can go into the arrivals hall and look at people arrive (I know its a weird thing that I like to do).
If you want to go plane spotting, there are a few good spots I know of. If the north runway is being used for landings (it isn't really at this time of year) you can see the planes land at a spot. You can get to this spot by exiting the highway via Grant Machonachie Way and making a left at the intersection of Templeton Road (I think thats the name of the road) and Grant Machonacie Way. But the runway thats more used is the south runway. To get there, just exit the airport through Grant Machonacie Way, get onto Miller Road (the road parallel to grant machonachie) and turn right on Russ Baker Way. Go down all the way until you see a spotting area to your right. If you're spotting in the morning you can see the heavies come from Asia. Other than that, spotting at YVR
is boring because I mostly see AC
, westjet, or ZIP.
I recommend that you enter security early, so you can walk around the terminal and see planes at the gate. There you can get closest to planes.
Where are you flying anyways? Hope you have a safe trip! I've given what I recommend, but go to www.yvr.ca
and on the menu click "things to do in YVR