Traveling to Richmond, BC?
Discover important travel information about Richmond, British Columbia, Canada!
Richmond has a population of approximately 216,000, with 65% of its citizens of Asian descent. Although English and French are Canada’s official languages, you’ll also find many Mandarin and Cantonese speakers in Richmond, and hear Japanese, Korean and other languages in a number of different areas.
Richmond is in the Pacific Time Zone and adheres to Daylight Savings Time. The city is on average 1-metre (approximately 3 feet) above sea level, and consists of 13,000 hectares (32,000 acres) of land area spread out across 17 islands in the Fraser River delta. Like other parts of Metro Vancouver, Richmond enjoys a mild, coastal climate year-round. You might be surprised to learn that it rarely snows here!
British Columbians celebrate 10 statutory holidays each year. It’s important to note that businesses may be closed on these days or on the subsequent Monday, if the holiday should fall on a weekend; or simply have limited operating hours. Holiday hours for our Visitor Centre are updated regularly.
Entry into Canada
Make sure you are aware of the entry rules when coming to Canada, since they vary from country to country! Canada has introduced a new entry requirement known as the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to Canada by air. Exceptions include US citizens and travelers with a valid Canadian visa. Learn more about passport requirements, entry info and Canadian customs here.
Getting to Richmond
As the gateway to British Columbia, Richmond is easily accessible from just about anywhere in the world. You can get to Richmond by air via the Vancouver International Airport or by car –it’s a 20-minute drive from Vancouver or a 3-hour drive north of Seattle. Learn more about getting to Richmond here.
Richmond stores, restaurants, attractions, and hotels make accessibility a priority for people with mobility challenges, including seniors and those with disabilities. Fortunately the city’s terrain is flat, meaning that Richmond’s 80 km (50 miles) of trails make exploring the outdoors a little easier!
Central Richmond is flat, with lots of directional signs posted and is laid out like a grid, making it easy to navigate your way around. Plus, it is served by Metro Vancouver’s TransLink public transportation system of buses and light rapid transit, which includes the Canada Line skytrain. Taxis, car rentals and other modes of transportation are also available.
Currency, Taxes & Tipping
Canada’s currency is the Canadian dollar, and is based on dollars and cents. It’s advisable to have Canadian currency on hand prior to your arrival, but you can exchange your money at a bank or foreign currency outlet. Visa and Mastercard are accepted at most places of business – but keep in mind that many small restaurants in Richmond accept cash only! Canadian currency is also readily available from bank machines or automatic teller machines (ATMs).
In terms of taxes, a federal goods and services tax (GST) of 5% and a provincial sales tax (PST) of 7% are applicable to most purchased goods and services. A hotel tax is also collected in Richmond, and will appear on your hotel bill. In restaurants, a liquor tax of 10% is added to your bill for alcoholic beverage purchases.
As for tipping, it is customary to tip between 15% and 20% (before taxes) at bars and restaurants. Tips are also given to tour guides and for taxi service, spa treatments and haircuts. Porters at airports and hotels generally expect $1 - $2 per item of luggage.