Vancouver is a city alive with energy and definitely one of my favorite cities in the world. I love how you can be in the city doing normal urban things one second and then, two minutes later, you’re out in the wilderness hiking beautiful mountains. Vancouver really does have the best of both worlds. From the art scene, food scene, microbrew and markets on Granville Island, incredible urban parts to get lost in, and everything in between, Vancouver is a city you should devote lots of time to visiting. Don’t rush your visit. There are few places I’d live but Vancouver is one of them. I LOVE this place! The city is ripe with history, awesome Japanese food, great music, and a high quality of life. Use the tips in this guide to help plan your visit there. You won’t regret going!
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Vancouver
1. Grouse Mountain
2. Granville Island
3. Stanley Park
4. Capilano Suspension Bridge
5. Go whale watching
Other Things to See and Do
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1. Watch a sporting event
This city is full of sporting events, and no matter your taste there is something here for you. If you like football, try to stop by for a BC Lions game, but watch out — they can get pretty rowdy! However, Canada is hockey country and if you really want to see what Canadians love, visit a hockey game. During the summer, Vancouverites are passionate about the White Caps soccer team.
2. Lynn Canyon Park
This park is not only a good half-day trip, but it’s also free. Consider walking to Lynn Creek to watch the cascading waterfalls.
3. Stroll down Robson Street
This is an amazing street for dining and window shopping. During lunch, it’s also a good place to people watch. Moreover, it’s not too far away from the art gallery, which showcases more than 9,000 works.
4. Wreck Beach
As the only nude beach in the city, Wreck beach has a community vibe with naked folks hanging out, sunbathing, swimming, and playing music. This is one of the last remaining places to embody the free-spiritedness that Vancouver was famous for in the seventies. It lies just beneath university campus.
5. Saturday Farmer’s Market
Vancouver has an active local food scene, and of the best places to dive into that scene is the farmer’s market. The location changes throughout the year, so check Eatlocal.org for times and dates.
6. Richmond Night Market
Between May and September, one of the coolest spots in the city is the Richmond Night Market. Inspired by markets throughout Asia, the Richmond Night Market is a delight of Asian food, culture, and shopping. Snacks ranging from dumplings to meat on a stick, and everything in between, are available from 2-8 CAD.
7. Vancouver Art Gallery
The collection of national and international contemporary artwork here is phenomenal. Spending an entire afternoon here is well worth it.
8. Vancouver Aquarium
Home to over 70,000 creatures, from the Arctic to the Amazon, this aquarium is a fascinating attraction.
9. The Lookout
Located in the downtown Harbour Centre, this building is 430 feet high and the perfect place to check out the city. There is a lot of pleasure to be taken from something as simple as being so high up!
10. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
The first authentic classical Chinese garden built outside of China, this sanctuary is in the heart of the city. Everything about the rocks, water, plants, and architecture is harmonious and peaceful.
This trendy area is filled with lots of souvenir shops and restaurants. Other than wandering around, the steam clock is the main attraction here.
Yaletown is a recently-converted industrial neighborhood that’s now home to some of the city’s best eateries and pubs. It has a hipster vibe and is full of young people. It’s reachable by the metro, or by walking from the downtown core.