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.

Where to Eat in Nanaimo

If you’re looking for affordable options, The Discovery Room (900 Fifth St) and Original Joe's Restaurant & Bar - Nanaimo (3280 North Island Highway) are great picks.

When to visit Nanaimo

Nanaimo in February
Estimated hotel price
1 night at 3-star hotel
Nanaimo in February
Estimated hotel price
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
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Nanaimo


Nanaimo is served by 2 airports: Nanaimo Harbour (ZNA) and Nanaimo Arpt (YCD). The closest to the city centre of 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.


Amtrak is the most popular train carrier serving Nanaimo, followed by VIA Rail Canada. The train journey from Nanaimo to Seattle takes 2h 45m and costs around $92 for a one-way ticket. When coming by train from Abbotsford, expect to pay about $27 for a 4h 04m trip.


Another option to get to Nanaimo is to pick up a car hire from Vancouver, which is about 61 km from Nanaimo. You’ll find branches of Thrifty and Dollar, among others, in Vancouver.


Several bus lines operate bus routes to Nanaimo, including Quick Shuttle, BC Ferries Connector and Amtrak. From Abbotsford, the bus ride to Nanaimo takes 113 km and will cost you around $111. From Seattle, the ticket costs about $111 for a journey of 378 km.

Airports near Nanaimo

Airlines serving Nanaimo

Good (3,658 reviews)
Good (666 reviews)
British Airways
Good (3,394 reviews)
Good (805 reviews)
Good (4,188 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (2,062 reviews)
Air France
Good (817 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (4,237 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (2,185 reviews)
Excellent (1,796 reviews)
Good (1,405 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (394 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (3,969 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (194 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (725 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (752 reviews)
Good (988 reviews)
Good (959 reviews)
Good (639 reviews)
Cathay Pacific
Good (316 reviews)
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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

Coast Bastion Hotel
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
Best Western Northgate Inn
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
Best Western Dorchester Hotel
Good (7.6, Good reviews)
Days Inn by Wyndham Nanaimo
Good (7.3, Good reviews)
Travelodge by Wyndham Nanaimo
Good (7.1, Good reviews)
Painted Turtle Guesthouse
Good (6.9, Good reviews)

Hiring a car in Nanaimo

Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Budget and National are the agencies with the best reviews in the city. The most popular location to hire a car in Nanaimo is the Budget branch at 33 Terminal Avenue, which is 0 km from the city centre.

Expect to pay $2.36 per litre in Nanaimo (average price from the past 30 days). Depending on the size of your car hire, filling up the tank will cost between $28.24 and $37.65. Compact (Toyota Prius c or similar) is the most popular car type to hire in Nanaimo, while also 51% cheaper than other types, on average.