vancouver panorama view

Vancouver, British Columbia, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, thanks to its spectacular location. It’s always a treat to fly there from any direction. The plane window views of Vancouver, surrounded by the ocean and snow-capped mountains, are absolutely stunning. On a recent flight from Amsterdam to Vancouver, the plane approached the city from the northwest, then flew directly above the city in a southerly direction. I sat on the right side of the plane and while I initially missed the city and mountain views, I got a bird’s eye view of Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and the borough of Richmond.

Vancouver International Airport and the borough of Richmond behind it.

Plane window views of Vancouver

Located on an island, Vancouver International Airport is often voted as one of the best airports in the world. The plane continued in a southerly direction, flying above the boroughs of Burnaby and New Westminster (part of the Greater Vancouver Metropolitan area) before banking to the right.

The views across Burnaby and New Westminster.

As the plane made a 180 degree turn, we were treated to a view of the grid of streets in the borough of New Westminster, the Fraser River (and Annacis Island) and the snow-capped mountains of Vancouver Island in the distance.

A grand view of Greater Vancouver.

Panoramic views of Downtown Vancouver

The plane continued its half-circle and the views of Greater Vancouver were breathtaking. In the photo above, the boroughs of New Westminster and Burnaby are visible in the foreground. The Coastal Mountain range is on the upper right. In the upper left/middle section of the photo, the cluster of skyscrapers is Downtown Vancouver. The green expanse of Stanley Park and Coal Harbour are on the right.

A plane window view of downtown Vancouver.

I took one more shot (photo above) as the plane made its final approach into Vancouver Airport. The shimmering white roof of BC Place Stadium (where the 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony was held) can clearly be seen. Downtown Vancouver stretches from the left to the right, with the stadium in the middle. On the right, you can catch a glimpse of the white sails of the Vancouver Cruise Terminal – you can spot a cruise ship moored there. Stanley Park, one of the largest urban parks in the world lies behind the downtown area.

You can imagine how thrilled I was to be able to capture these fantastic plane window views of Vancouver! If you’re flying into Vancouver, make sure you book a window seat! You’ll be rewarded for sure, if the weather is good.

vancouver panorama view
I was treated to this phenomenal view of downtown Vancouver on my way home!

Read more about things to do in Vancouver, where to eat in downtown Vancouver, seaplane tours from Vancouver or see other Plane Views.



6 Responses

  • All I can say is you are lucky you got a sunny day. While you are correct in that Vancouver is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, it also rains like a tropical forest for 10 months of the year and is overcast so often you were lucky to get the shots you did. Notwithstanding my previous statement, the sun does come out in the city at least once a day, however briefly. But in summer it can last for a few weeks.
    As far as the airport goes, it is a well designed and very comfortable experience to land and or take off from Vancouver, they’ve done a marvelous job in renovating that facility over the last ten years.
    I like your from the air photography, it’s a bit different than the run of the mill “here I am standing beside the fountain” photos we often see.

  • I love your ‘plane views’ posts, you’re the only blog that publishes them as far as I’ve found! Cities look so different from up high, and you can always tell that it’s a different place even from the sky – I know I’ve arrived to California when I look out the window and see loads of blue spots that are people’s swimming pools, not a sight you see when you arrive back over the UK!

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