Nanaimo travel guide

Nanaimo Tourism | Nanaimo Guide

You're Going to Love Nanaimo

With a population of 84,905, Nanaimo is a must-see destination in British Columbia, Canada. It is one of the most popular cities to visit in the country. Nanaimo deserves at least 2 full days for you to see its main sights.

Where to Eat in Nanaimo

If you’re looking for affordable options, The Discovery Room (900 Fifth St) and Bin 4 Burger Lounge - Nanaimo (102A-6750 Island Hwy N) are great picks.

When to visit Nanaimo

Nanaimo in October
Estimated hotel price
C$ 154
1 night at 3-star hotel
Nanaimo in October
Estimated hotel price
C$ 154
1 night at 3-star hotel

Looking for warm weather? Then head to Nanaimo in July, when the average temperature is 17 °C, and the highest can go up to 22 °C. The coldest month, on the other hand, is January, when it can get as cold as 0 °C, with an average temperature of 2 °C. You’re likely to see more rain in November, when precipitation is around 160 mm. In contrast, July is usually the driest month of the year in Nanaimo, with an average rainfall of 20 mm.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Nanaimo

Plane

Nanaimo is served by 2 airports: Nanaimo Harbour (ZNA) and Nanaimo Arpt (YCD). The closest to downtown Nanaimo is Nanaimo Harbour, which is located 0 km from the city centre. Further away is Nanaimo Arpt, 14 km from the centre of Nanaimo.

Train

VIA Rail Canada is the most popular train carrier serving Nanaimo, followed by Amtrak. The train journey from Nanaimo to Bellingham takes 1h 53m and costs around C$ 22 for a one-way ticket. When coming by train from Everett, expect to pay about C$ 46 for a 3h 09m trip.

Car

Another option to get to Nanaimo is to pick up a car rental from Vancouver, which is about 61 km from Nanaimo. You’ll find branches of Hertz and Routes Car & Truck Rentals, among others, in Vancouver.

Bus

Several bus lines operate bus routes to Nanaimo, including Rider Express, Amtrak and BC Ferries Connector. From Abbotsford, the bus ride to Nanaimo takes 113 km and will cost you around C$ 86. From Seattle, the ticket costs about C$ 136 for a journey of 266 km.

Plane

Nanaimo is served by 2 airports: Nanaimo Harbour (ZNA) and Nanaimo Arpt (YCD). The closest to downtown Nanaimo is Nanaimo Harbour, which is located 0 km from the city centre. Further away is Nanaimo Arpt, 14 km from the centre of Nanaimo.

Train

VIA Rail Canada is the most popular train carrier serving Nanaimo, followed by Amtrak. The train journey from Nanaimo to Bellingham takes 1h 53m and costs around C$ 22 for a one-way ticket. When coming by train from Everett, expect to pay about C$ 46 for a 3h 09m trip.

Car

Another option to get to Nanaimo is to pick up a car rental from Vancouver, which is about 61 km from Nanaimo. You’ll find branches of Hertz and Routes Car & Truck Rentals, among others, in Vancouver.

Bus

Several bus lines operate bus routes to Nanaimo, including Rider Express, Amtrak and BC Ferries Connector. From Abbotsford, the bus ride to Nanaimo takes 113 km and will cost you around C$ 86. From Seattle, the ticket costs about C$ 136 for a journey of 266 km.

Airports near Nanaimo

Airlines serving Nanaimo

Lufthansa
Good (4,684 reviews)
KLM
Good (849 reviews)
SWISS
Good (945 reviews)
British Airways
Good (4,551 reviews)
Delta
Good (4,620 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (2,301 reviews)
Air France
Good (983 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (489 reviews)
Iberia
Good (1,592 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (4,966 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (2,121 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (2,456 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (5,887 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (230 reviews)
Finnair
Good (872 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (925 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (1,180 reviews)
LOT
Good (683 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (820 reviews)
Alaska Airlines
Excellent (5,684 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Nanaimo

If you’re on a budget, well-reviewed accommodations include Harbour Light Motel and Painted Turtle Guesthouse.

Where to stay in popular areas of Nanaimo

Most booked hotels in Nanaimo

Courtyard by Marriott Nanaimo
3 stars
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
C$ 208+
Coast Bastion Hotel
3 stars
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
C$ 179+
Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Oyster Bay
2 stars
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
C$ 173+
Best Western Northgate Inn
3 stars
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
C$ 206+
Days Inn by Wyndham Nanaimo
2 stars
Good (7.3, Good reviews)
C$ 187+
Harbour Light Motel
2 stars
Good (7.3, Good reviews)
C$ 119+

Renting a car in Nanaimo

Renting a car in Nanaimo costs C$ 68 per day, on average, or C$ 136 if you want to rent it for 2 days. Budget, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National are the agencies with the best reviews in the city. The most popular location to rent a car in Nanaimo is the Budget branch at 33 Terminal Avenue, which is 0 km from the downtown.

You’re likely to save money by renting your car at the airport: locations in the city are, on average, 4% more expensive than at Vancouver Intl.

Expect to pay C$ 1.90 per litre in Nanaimo (average price from the past 30 days). Depending on the size of your rental car, filling up the tank will cost between C$ 22.75 and C$ 30.34. Compact (Ford Focus or similar) is the most popular car type to rent in Nanaimo, while also 51% cheaper than other types, on average.

Renting a car in Nanaimo costs C$ 68 per day, on average, or C$ 136 if you want to rent it for 2 days. Budget, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National are the agencies with the best reviews in the city. The most popular location to rent a car in Nanaimo is the Budget branch at 33 Terminal Avenue, which is 0 km from the downtown.

You’re likely to save money by renting your car at the airport: locations in the city are, on average, 4% more expensive than at Vancouver Intl.

Expect to pay C$ 1.90 per litre in Nanaimo (average price from the past 30 days). Depending on the size of your rental car, filling up the tank will cost between C$ 22.75 and C$ 30.34. Compact (Ford Focus or similar) is the most popular car type to rent in Nanaimo, while also 51% cheaper than other types, on average.