Vancouver is Canada’s third largest city. As one of the most ethnically diverse population in Canada, it’s home to a wide array of delicious ethnic cuisines. If you’re an art lover, you’ll find a thriving art scene with something for every art lovers to discover. With walkable neighborhoods, endless food scenes, adventurous outdoor activities; it’s a city you should definitely put on your bucket list!
Let’s explore the 10 best places to go when you’re in Vancouver:
1. Stanley Park (FREE)
Stanley Park is one of Vancouver’s main attraction. It’s recognized as one of the greatest urban parks in the world with a 1,000 acre loop that features views of the entire downtown, beaches, and a vista of mountains behind. Life can be hectic sometimes so be sure to stop to take in the views and breathe in the incredibly fresh and sea-salted air. This tranquil oasis makes it the perfect first stop to your itinerary for the day.
Transportation: Rent a bike at Spokes or a tandem bike if you don’t know how to bike like myself. The rates start at $23 for 3 hours. Inside the park, you’ll come across many gorgeous gardens, landmarks, monuments and sculptures, wildlife, and totem poles!
Address: 1166 Stanley Park Drive Vancouver, BC V6G Canada
2. Capilano Suspension Bridge
(~$33 adults, $20-$11 kids, $4 parking per vehicle)
One of Vancouver’s most iconic travel destination is the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The suspension bridge hangs 450 feet across and 230 feet above the Capilano River. It’s panoramic views of the rainforest and canyon is simply breathtaking.
Similar to the Grand Canyon Skywalk, the park offers an attraction called Cliffwalk which they describe as a “heart-stopping cliffside journey…through rainforest vegetation on…suspended walkways jutting out from the granite cliff face above Capilano River…” If you’re a thrill seeker, this would be an adventure you wouldn’t want to miss out on!
Transportation: Only 15 minutes away by car or 30 minutes by bus from downtown, it’s conveniently located and easily accessible.
Address: 3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4J1, Canada
3. Gastown (FREE)
Gastown is a historic neighborhood filled with beautiful cobble stone walkways and Victorian-style architecture. It’s known to be one of the best shopping and dining experience in Vancouver. Grab a mid-day cocktail and head over to eat at one of the many restaurants here for lunch. Or check out the art scene where there’s a number of art galleries and shops made by local artists selling anything from jewelry to carvings.
Lastly, don’t forget to check out the steam clock! At every quarter hour, it whistle chimes and lets off a steam show.
Transportation: The district historic charm is a gathering place for many who are looking to shop and dine making it perfect to explore on foot or bike!
Address: 318 Homer Street Vancouver, BC V6B 1E8 Canada
4. Vancouver Lookout
(~$18 adults, $15 students, $13-free for kids)
Located in downtown, the Vancouver Lookout is an observation deck where you can get a bird’s eye view of the area which rises 553 feet above Vancouver giving you the ultimate 360 degree panorama of the city.
Transportation: It’s 2 mins away by car or 6 min walk from downtown. Personally, I always prefer a nice walk to see more of the surrounding local neighborhood. Upon entering the observation deck, you’ll be riding a 40 second glass elevator to get up to the observation deck.
Address: 555 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 4N6, Canada
5. Granville Island/Public Market (FREE)
Granville Island is a locals and tourists favorite that’s open 7 days a week. It’s a peninsula and shopping district located across False Creek from Downtown Vancouver under the Granville Street Bridge. Once you’re there, you’ll be greeted by the Public Market where there is fresh produce, baked goods, seafood, and handcrafted goods. A taste of their smoked salmon is a must! Outside, you can catch a theater show, view an art gallery, kayak, or paddle board.
Transportation: You can get here 9 mins by car or 21 mins by bus or 32 mins by walking from downtown. If you plan to drive there by car, parking is $3.50/hr and $15/day. Probably of all the options, the best way is by the rainbow colored mini-tugboat ferries called the Aquabus. It’s a one of a kind experience you can only get in Canada. If you’re coming from downtown, it would be most ideal to get on the Hornby Street dock to head over to Granville Island. The price for a round trip ticket would be $6.
Address: 1669 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada
6. Canada Place (FREE)
Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver’s waterfront, the white billowing ‘sails’ are an iconic part of the cityscape. You can walk along the Canada Trail to get spectacular views of the Port of Vancouver, Stanley Park, Burrad Inlet, Coal Harbour, and North Shore mountains.
Transportation: Take a romantic stroll in Canada Place with your date in an even sweeter ride with a luxurious limo to get there to really set the tone. Give your date a memorable ride to remember with a clean limousine and top-class drivers providing you quality service.
Address: 999 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 3T4, Canada
7. Grouse Mountain (FREE-$45)
Grouse Mountain is a four-season destination so you can enjoy this view anytime of the year and it’s just as majestic. You can ski in the winter and paraglide in the summer, the options are endless.
I recommend getting the Mountain Admission Ticket if you plan to spend most of your day here exploring. The ticket includes a round trip Skyride, access to Peak of Christmas activities, Light Walk, Sliding Zone, and more. The tickets for adult costs $56, children $29, and seniors $49.
The Red Skyride is an 8 minute ride that gives visitors an opportunity to see breathtaking views of Vancouver. You’ll be able to see the cityscape, mountain peaks, and the Pacific Ocean. A round trip lift ticket is $45 for adults (19-64 years), $42 for seniors (65+ years), $26 for youth (13-18 years), $16 for children (5-12 years), and free for toddlers (4 and under). If you plan to summit the Grouse Grind trail, the cost to enter is free. From the top, the cost to get down with the Red Skyride is $15.00.
Another ride that’s open in the summer is the Screaming Eagle Chairlift Rides that takes visitors to The Cut which is a famous slope and iconic vantage point of the metropolis.
Visit the Eye of the Wind where it is a large wind turbine that allows you elevator access observation area suspended directly below 125 foot long blades and 20 stories up. It’s said to give you a “similar sensation to flying in the clear Plexiglas nose bubble of a jet helicopter, but this bubble is a lot larger.”
If you’re feeling more adventurous, try zip-lining on the mountain to see stunning views of the Blue Grouse Lake at top speeds of 50mph!
Transportation: Just 15 minutes away from downtown, you can get here by car. Parking for an hour is $8, for a day is $10.
Address: 6400 Nancy Greene Way North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9
8. Yaletown (FREE)
Historic meets modern would best describe the small district of Yaletown. It’s home to many of Vancouver’s trendiest restaurants and bars, as well as shopping boutiques and parks.
One of the main attractions at Yaletown is Engine 374 Pavilion where they house a steam engine from 1887 that was the first trans-continental train to arrive in Vancouver. The pavilion is open 7 days a week with free admission so you can learn a little bit more about Vancouver’s history.
Yaletown is also known to be one of the more prominent art district featuring a handful of art galleries and the David Lam Park. The park embodies the town’s culture: art, fitness, and nature. You’ll see various art pieces surrounding the park making it a great art walk.
Transportation: It’s 5 mins by car, 7 mins by bus from downtown. The metro takes only 4 minutes through the Yaletown Roundhouse Canada Line.
Address: Hamilton and Mainland Street
9. Fritz European Fry House (~$10)
You’re not doing Canada right if you didn’t try poutine at least once! Poutine is a dish consisting of fries and cheese curds covered in gravy with toppings of your choice. This is among one of the go-to poutine spots for locals so it’s definitely worth a try.
Transportation: From the center of downtown, it’s a 6 min drive to get here by car, 8 mins by bus, and 13 mins by walking.
Address: 718 Davie Street Vancouver, BC V6Z 1B6 Canada
10. A+W Root Beer (~$2 for a root beer)
Yes, your favorite childhood root beer actually has a brick and mortar store! Everyone always says to go to Tim Hortons when you arrive in Canada but no, it’s this place! Live your root beer float dreams here. They also serve burgers and fries if you’re hungry too.
Transportation: From the center of downtown, it’s 3 min by car, 3 mins by bus, and 7 mins by walking.
Address: 601 W Cordova Street Vancouver, BC V6B 1G1 Canada
BONUS: Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley Shrine (FREE)
If you’re a fan of Jimi Hendrix or Bob Marley, you’ll be able to find all types of memorabilia of the icons. My boyfriend and I kind of just stumbled upon this hidden gem while exploring downtown. It definitely was one of the more memorable parts of our trip mainly for its spontaneity and the people we met! The owner shared us a story that in the 60s and 70s, how he would live freely and rebel against racial segregation. He told us how he would always sneak into backstage to hang out with artists at festivals by bringing a bucket of KFC. He was filled with so much passion and liveliness in his eyes, it made us feel so happy that he lived such a vibrant life and an even more beautiful story to share.
Transportation: It’s a 4 min drive by car and 7 min walk from downtown.
Address: 432 Homer St, Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 2V5, Canada
Did you like the article? Leave me a comment below and let me know what places you’d love to explore in Vancouver 😀