Separated from the low-lying Burrard Peninsula to the North and bounded by the delta of the Fraser River to the South, the exquisite port city of Vancouver has justifiably acquired the stature of being one of the most picturesque cities in the world. The equable climate further makes it one of the most visited and liveable cities in the world, internationally being regarded as an ideal tourist spot. Further, it is a paradise for outdoor activities and adventures.
What are the Best Places to Visit in Vancouver?
Located on a peninsula in the Strait of Georgia, Vancouver, the largest city of British Columbia has everything from extensive parks and urban beaches to a mountainous backdrop. This exact surrealism, however, becomes the sole problem one may face while visiting the beauteous city of Vancouver- the difficulty to work out what to see. The following is therefore, an ultimate prospectus, listing the best places to visit in Vancouver, BC.
Situated to the North of Downtown Vancouver, and almost wholly surrounded by the Sea, Stanley Park is the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path. It is a lush and thriving park and tourists can either explore it on foot or by bicycle. One of the best places to visit in Vancouver, you will find different things to see in and around the park – like the west coast sea life at the Vancouver Aquarium and its beaches, lagoon and lake.
The Aquarium is one of the most popular local attractions of Vancouver. A few of the animals within the Aquarium include sea otters, reef sharks, sea lions and dolphins. To know more about the Aquarium, click here.
Also located within the park is the famous recreational spot- the Seawall, which is divided into two separate sections- one for cyclists and the other for joggers. It is the ideal spot for spending quality time with friends and family.
CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE
To the North of Stanley Park is the majestic Capilano Suspension Bridge. Apart from the bridge that spans a 70m deep river canyon, there’s also a transparent platform or Cliff-walk, a collection of totem poles, a story centre and other foot bridges.
One of the most popular and rejuvenating experiences at Capilano Suspension Bridge is the Tree-Tops Adventure which is essentially a series of seven suspension bridges designed to allow tourists to venture from one tree to another, making it one of the best places to visit in Vancouver BC.
Situated verbatim to the South of Downtown Vancouver and connected to it by ferry is the breathtaking site of Granville Island. Not veritably an island, Granville is a thriving hub of artists and retailers who have migrated into converted warehouses; it is home to numerous craft studios, artisan workshops, galleries and theaters. Situated at the heart of the region is the Granville Island Public Market which is an ideal spot to buy ecstatic souvenirs and delicious treats from.
Offering an unparalleled view, Grouse Mountain is one among the three major mountains in North Vancouver. It has a cable car that ensures its accessibility in winter and summer alike. In winter, it becomes a paradise for adventurers to engage in outdoor activities like snowboarding, skiing, skating and snowshoeing.
Similarly, in summer, it is a haven for hikers trekking across the Grouse Grind, often referred to as Mother Nature’s Stairmaster. Reaching the mountain-top, the visitors can enjoy the Lumberjack Show. Further, the Grouse Mountain houses North America’s largest aerial tramway- the Skyride (3,700 ft). It’s consistently ranked as one of the best places to visit in Vancouver BC. Click here to buy tickets and passes to the Grouse Mountain.
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
On the strikingly beautiful campus of British Columbia, are situated two of the most popular tourist attractions of Vancouver- the Museum of Anthropology and the sprawling UBC Botanical Garden. While the former designed by Canadian architect Arthur Erickson, houses the world’s most exquisite collections of British Columbia First Nations art, the latter too inhabits numerous interesting plantings and a graceful Japanese Garden.
To know more about the Museum of Anthropology, visit the official website.
Its vast coastline and splendid mountainous backdrop make Kitsilano Beach the most favoured hang-out spot for locals and tourists alike. It houses the only saltwater swimming pool in Vancouver.
The areas is also popular for walking trails and eateries making it an ideal spot for picnics and gatherings. The placid atmosphere of the beach further makes it ethereal. Affectionately called the Kits Beach by the local people, the beach offers outdoors activities as well. These include- windsurfing, skimboarding and standup paddling.
Plus, did you know that it’s where Prince Harry and Wife Meghan Markle are rumored to be looking for a home in Canada?
Being the oldest part of the city, Gastown is considered as Vancouver’s most historic neighbourhood. Meticulously revived Victorian buildings and Heritage structures essentially mark the highlights of this place.
The extremely famed Steam Clock, the cobblestone streets and innumerable vintage lamp posts further give the neighbourhood an exceptionally distinctive ambience making one feel the essence of going back in time!
Another ferry terminal, Canada Place is the bustling centre of many events taking place in and around the city. Located in the heart of Downtown Vancouver, for most tourists, this place marks the commencement of their trip. This where the largest Canada Day celebration is hosted, outside of Ottawa.
Moreover, it houses some of the most important centers in Vancouver including the virtual flight ride FlyOver Canada, World Trade Centre Office tower and the cruise ship terminal of Port Metro Vancouver. The highlight of this place, however, is an interactive walking trail, known locally as the Canadian Trail where tourists are allowed to walk past and explore representations of different areas in Canada.
To stay updated with the events at Canada Place, click here.
The most bizarre yet alluring part of Vancouver is Chinatown. Annually, this region is marked by the celebration of Chinese New Year with an exotic procession. It is home to the narrowest office place in the world- Sam Kee building which is barely two meters in size.
Inspired by a traditional garden from the Ming Dynasty, the highlight of this place is Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. This is where the Chinese culture can best be explored. Click here to know more. Adjacent to the garden is a lush park where one can find peace among the unique rock forms and water-lilies.
Situated at the end of West End’s Denman Street, English Bay is an array of exclusive eateries and shopping complexes. It hosts the biggest event in summer- the Celebration of Lights festival, where the crowd gathers to watch three nights of magical fireworks set to impeccable music.
In winter, the most popular event is the New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim where swimmers dip into the freezing Pacific Waters. It is also a popular area for outdoor activities like rollerblading, kayaking, rafting and biking.
QUEEN ELIZABETH PARK
Hidden in the shadows of Stanley Park and famous for its recreational activities, this majestic park offers an impeccable view of the city and the ravishing mountains surrounding it.
130 acres long, it has ample amount of space for sports like tennis, disc golf, pitch and putt golf and structures like the huge outdoor arboretum and the popular enclosed Bloedel Conservatory. Further, to the west of the park is VanDusen Botanical Garden where numerous regions and various plants and flowers are exhibited which makes the region an ideal tourist spot for every season.
Most notably known for shopping, the stores at Robson Street go back to the post WWII era. To the West of the Street, is the coliseum-like library called Vancouver Public Library which is the central library of the region. Further west is the famous Vancouver Art Gallery.
Facing Robson Square which is also designed by the local architect Arthur Erickson, the gallery is home to the exclusive artwork of Emily Carr and is internationally proclaimed.
MUSEUM OF VANCOUVER
Close to Burrard Bridge and conveniently accessible from Downtown Vancouver, this Museum is concerned with everything Vancouver. It exhibits a rabid collection of artwork ranging from the history and lifestyle of the first Coast Salish communities to contemporary times.
Covering the cultures of the Haida and Musqueam people as well, the tourists get an opportunity to explore all the things about the city. Within a short reach, the area also includes other famous museums like the waterfront Maritime Museum.
To know more, click here.
A paradise for Science enthusiasts and now officially known as the Telus World of Science, this pioneering institution displays hundreds of hands-on exhibits covering various themes like air, motion, invention and water. The institution is also home to various permanent as well as transitory displays.
It also has an impressive IMAX screen theatre which has the ability to fascinate anybody with even the slightest niche for Science. More recreational events inside the institution include live science shows and puzzles. The demonstrations are also kid-friendly and thus, a treat to the inquisitive mind- attracting the largest number of tourists in the region.
Visit the official website to know more.
Situated two miles to the south-east of Stanley Park, Yaletown is considered to be Vancouver’s most popular late night hotspot. It is home to a number of hotels and restaurants offering a wide array of options and price ranges to choose from.
The top hotels include Pierre’s Lounge, Bar None, OPUS Vancouver, and Yaletown Brewing Co. This area is often equated with New York City’s SoHo neighbourhood.
Which are the best places to visit in Vancouver? How many of these places have you already been to? Let us know below.