A trip to the beautiful British Columbia always comes with a question about what to do in Vancouver. We hope that this travel guide helps you figure out that one!
Vancouver, one of the most beautiful cities you will ever travel to, is surrounded by water, parks, and mountains. Vancouver’s north shore, Granville island, English bay, Vancouver convention center, and many more are significant contributors to Vancouver’s natural beauty.
Tourism is a significant contributor to Vancouver’s economy. Vancouver is the second most visited city in Canada after Toronto. Tourist attractions in Vancouver include Capilano Suspension Bridge, Dr. Sun Yat Sen, Vancouver aquarium, Vandusen Botanical Garden, to name a few.
Food In Vancouver
If you are a foodie, the food tour in Vancouver will not disappoint you due to the wide variety of scrumptious food options Vancouver has, and you will not find it hard to find an answer to what to do in Vancouver. The most loved and popular foods include Japanese hotdog, dim sum, ice cream, fried chicken, pasta, poutine, the list goes on and on. So if you are worried about lunch scenes, Vancouver has got you covered. Enjoying a comforting meal at the Prospect Point in Stanley Park doesn’t sound like a bad idea.
While visiting Vancouver, one of the common questions that arise in the mind of travelers is what to do in Vancouver? Below are some of the activities you can go for to enjoy the Vancouver experience fully:
Activities To Do While In Vancouver:
1. Skiing And Snowboarding
Vancouver, BC, offers a good range of ski resorts choices, where you can spend your weekends and savor your passion for skiing and snowboarding; whether a beginner or a pro, Vancouver has something for everyone.
Vancouver, BC, has a significant number of trails where you can safely go skiing. Grouse Mountain is one such location where you can ski; it has many parks where beginners, intermediates, and advanced skiers can have the time of their lives.
2. Visiting Art Galleries And Museums
If there’s a creative worm in you or you are interested in knowing about Vancouver’s history, then stopping by the famous art galleries and museums will be no less of a delight.
Vancouver Art Gallery, Bill Reid Gallery, and Audein art museum are a few out of the many options you can choose from. The Museum Of Vancouver, Museum Of Anthropology, among others, should be your go-to options.
Photo by Stan Swinnen from Pexels
If you love outdoor activities, hiking in Vancouver should be your cup of tea. Vancouver has a good number of hiking trails. The mountain’s lush forests make the hiking experience a lot more pleasant and venturesome while also providing breathtaking, spectacular views at the same time. Grouse Mountain, Stanley Park, Capilano Canyon are a few examples of places in Vancouver that can provide you with a great hiking adventure.
Exploring the city while riding a bike sounds like a plan you’ll enjoy. Vancouver has numerous paths and routes for bikers. The perfect destination for a great cycling experience would be the infamous Stanley Park and other parks like Queen Elizabeth Park and other Vancouver parks.
One popular water sport, kayaking, is significantly enjoyed by those who love adventure; it is considered a fun activity wherein you have to paddle your way through the water.
You can enjoy kayaking in Vancouver at various spots like False Creek, Alice Lake, Port Moody, and different other places.
By Martin Monroe/Flickr.Copyright2021
The benefits of kayaking include weight loss, increased stamina, cardiovascular benefits, and the fun factor. If you are in the mood for a full-body workout but want to do it in style, then kayaking should be your pick.
6. Shop Till You Drop
Downtown Vancouver provides you with various options for the shopaholic in you, with well-known brands to one-of-a-kind vintage pieces Downtown Vancouver has it all.
Whether luxury or affordable finds, you will find it all here. CF Pacific Centre, the largest mall in Downtown Vancouver, Oakridge Centre, and many public markets will ensure your shopping list is all ticked.
7. Whale Watching
Whales from March to October migrate through the waters of Vancouver; this is also the time when guided tours are offered for whale watching in Vancouver.
A variety of whales come around the Vancouver region, where you can savor the fun of watching these mystical water creatures enjoying and playing in the waters of Vancouver.
By Bernard Spragg. NZ/Flickr.Copyright2021
Whales are social creatures, and people enjoy watching them swim here and there in the water and making the famous whale noises which a lot of people find attractive. You can choose to see the whales outdoors or even indoors depending upon the guided tour company you choose.
8. Visit Parks
An affordable yet straightforward answer to the question; what to do in Vancouver is visit parks. Stanley Park, Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, Lynn Canyon Park are some parks you can choose for your next picnic or a family outing. Stanley Park is the most popular and largest one in Vancouver, named after the Governor-General; this urban park plays a significant role in Vancouver’s history.
9. Attend a Vancouver Canucks game
The Vancouver Canucks are a professional NHL ice hockey club based in Vancouver that plays their home games at Rogers Arena.
These were some of the activities you can participate in while in Vancouver. Now let us look at some famous tourist attraction spots you can visit while in Vancouver city:
Places To Visit While In Vancouver:
1. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
This marvelous classical Chinese garden is in the center of the famous Chinatown; you can come to Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s Chinese garden and your family and friends and learn more about Chinatown’s history by partaking in various tours, exhibitions, and travel trade along with this Chinese garden.
While in Chinatown, you can also enjoy the famous dim sum; here, you can enjoy a piece of China without going to China and looking at beautiful plants, flowers, bridges, and ponds.
2. Vancouver Convention Center
The Vancouver convention center hosts public and private events; whether you want to attend a show or host an event, the Vancouver convention center should be your go-to option.
3. Granville Island
If you love having delicious food, shopping, art, culture, history, and architecture, you would love to visit Granville Island in Downtown Vancouver.
Photo by Sean Driscoll on Unsplash
Known for its food, Granville Island has an abundance of markets, food stalls, restaurants, and lounge bars. The Granville Island public market is one of the famous spots in Granville Island and is one such place where you can buy fresh produce, seafood, baked goods, unique gifts, and a lot more.
4. The Vancouver Aquarium
The Vancouver aquarium is a good option for fun with your companions. Situated in Stanley Park, this aquarium has animals from all around the world and has been deemed one of the best aquariums in North America. It also has been successful in rescuing animals in need throughout the years. Therefore you cannot go wrong with it.
By Nick and Dana Blizzard/Flickr.Copyright2021
5. The Richmond Night Market
Richmond night market is an annual summer market that you can find in Richmond, specifically at night.
It is also the largest market in North America, open only on weekends; at Richmond night market, you can get a variety of scrumptious food predominantly from Asian cuisine. What better way than to spend your summer weekends and to enjoy fantastic food.
6. Sea To Sky Gondola
What better than enjoying a spectacular view while sliding over it? Sitting in this four-walled glass box, you will have the experience of your lifetime.
With maximum safety precautions taken into care, here you will not only have a tour of the city through the sliding carrier, but you can also indulge in many activities, including hiking, yoga, and of course, having a great meal while enjoying a great view of the sunset, on the Summit Lodge Deck.
The Gastown neighborhood is your one-stop destination for the perfect Instagram-worthy pictures; the famous Steam Clock, various art galleries, impeccable eateries are some of the exciting places of many that you will find in the Gastown neighborhood.
This region has some unique restaurants, which will give you pleasure after walking and exploring the neighborhood all day.
And if you want to stock up on some souvenirs, then Gastown has many gift shops and galleries to offer unique pieces. You will find that Gastown has also played a significant role in the history of Vancouver; therefore, walking instead of taking a ride will allow you to soak in all the facts about the history of this area.
8. Stanley Park
Stanley Park, located in Downtown Vancouver is one of the most famous tourist spots. This park is not your standard park; it encompasses the famous Vancouver Aquarium and also an outdoor pool; if this wasn’t enough, the park’s beauty, thanks to the beautiful flowers and plants, will leave your mind blown.
If you have arrived in Vancouver, Stanley Park is one place you cannot miss visiting; this park includes various tourist attractions.
9. Capilano Suspension Bridge
Right above the Capilano River, the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver is just a few minutes away from Downtown Vancouver.
The Capilano suspension bridge will give you a lot to enjoy, not only the Capilano suspension bridge but over the years, many new exciting attractions have been added to this place like the cliff walk, the Capilano river story center, guided tours, treetops adventure, and the beautiful Canyon lights in December which you have to witness at all costs while visiting Vancouver.
10. False Creek
If you are a fan of breathtaking views, then False Creek is the one for you. You can walk or cycle your way to Sunset Beach along the False Creek Seawall. You can also enjoy the various restaurants, cafes, pubs, and other places to visit while in False Creek. It is also within walking distance from the Science World and Granville Island, and also the Museum of Vancouver is not too far from False Creek.
By Jay Huang/Flickr.Copyright2021
11. Rose Garden
Who doesn’t like flowers? Enjoying a garden full of roses is everyone’s cup of tea, whether for clicking aesthetic pictures or just enjoying mother nature. The beautiful rose garden weather in UBC or Stanley park is worth your time.
The UBC garden comes with a spectacular view of the mountains and the ocean, where you can have a lunch date with your loved ones or have a family picnic.
The Stanley Park features forests, large lawns, beaches, lakes, and a lot more. If you are a photographer looking to capture some fantastic shots, your search is over; these gardens should be your next chosen spot.
12. Grouse Mountain
What to do in Vancouver? one of the suggestions is hiking; you cannot leave hiking while in Vancouver. One of the most popular hiking trails in North Vancouver, famous for its adventurous and steep trail, is Grouse Grind in the Grouse mountain. Here within the Grouse mountain, you can go hiking, zipline adventures, Skyride, and a lot more.
Hiking in Grouse Grind is the most loved activity by all; there are also wooden stairs in Grouse Grind mountain; the wooden stairs are meant to protect the land in Grouse Grind from erosion as a large number of people use it for exercising and hiking.
13. Lynn Canyon Park
If you don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket and still want to enjoy your visit to North Vancouver, then you should consider Lynn Canyon Park, the activities here are free, and your adventure will not be compromised due to it being free of cost.
You can hike, enjoy a walk on the suspension bridge, eat great food at cafes, and do a lot more.
14. Pam Rocks
The Pam rocks are a group of stones of varying sizes; this area is known explicitly for marine life, especially for the seals and birds, easily visible from the pam rocks.
Looking at cute seals is the perfect solution to boredom and what to do in Vancouver. You can sit for hours watching the seals play with each other, splashing in the water and enjoying. Diving enthusiasts can also have a good time exploring marine life, and if you are a non-diver but want to explore the area, a pleasant boat ride should satisfy you.
15. Museum Of Anthropology
If you are the kind of person who likes to know about the past and visit museums and art galleries of every country you visit, then, of course, you wouldn’t want to miss the famous museums in Vancouver.
One of the most famous museums in Vancouver is the Museum of anthropology, located within the University of British Columbia, which is renowned for its collection of artifacts and relics from different parts of the world.
Various exhibitions and events are consistently held in the Museum of anthropology, showcasing marvelous carvings, weavings, and other historical objects.
16. Science World
The jaw-dropping architectural structure of the famous Science world will surely make your visit worth the travel, with various events like exhibitions, galleries, theatres and so much more. The Science World amazes many tourists and people from all age groups visit this location.
The whole event is held indoors. Therefore you need not worry about the weather while visiting Science World. Not only this, but an additional benefit includes getting the membership of Science World if you see it more than three times a year.
17. Spanish Banks
A sunny day well spent at the beach is what you need to find the solution to what to do in Vancouver; playing beach volleyball, flying kites, running carefree on the sand, and building sandcastles sounds like the perfect plan. For that, the Spanish Banks is one such beach that offers you an excellent view and safety for the little ones due to the low tides.
18. Wreck Beach
Another University of British Columbia attraction, this famous beach in Vancouver, is the Wreck Beach; unlike the Spanish Banks beaches, clothing here is optional; you heard it suitable if you want to be all-natural. This beach is the answer to what to do in Vancouver for the daring ones out there. This is the beach for you.
Click aesthetic pictures on one of the best nude beaches globally; however, remember to respect others’ privacy and keep in mind not to take other people’s photos without any consent. It is the number one rule at Wreck Beach. Several local vendors are present on this beach, plus frequent events are also held.
19. The North Shore Mountains
The North Shore Mountains are famous for the two suspension bridge and various activities, including hiking, biking, skiing, and other attractions, a paradise for adventure sports enthusiasts. If you love shopping, then North shore has got you covered; with various malls and community shopping districts, you will be sorted for a good day of shopping.
20. Christ Church Cathedral
Known as the oldest church in Vancouver, the Christ Church Cathedral, an Anglican cathedral, is situated at 690 Burrard Street. The church is known for its beauty and welcoming environment; you will also be astonished by the well synced 35 member choir; if you are religious or just into beautiful architectural structures, then Christ Church Cathedral is the answer to the question, what to do in Vancouver.
21. Lions Gate Bridge
Back when it was completed, it was the longest suspension bridge in the entire British empire; as the name suggests, there are concrete lions on either side of the bridge, and it connects the central Vancouver city to north Vancouver and West Vancouver; it is also a three-lane suspension bridge. This suspension bridge is also known for its immaculate beauty at night.
22. Stanley Park Totem Poles
The first Totem Poles of the nation in Stanley Park are the most visited sight in Vancouver, British Columbia, and maybe all of Canada! In Stanley Park, there are a lot of stunning totem poles located in two distinct areas of the park.
Except for three totem poles and three Welcome Gateways, all of the totem poles and Welcome Gateways are placed in a magnificent meadow setting near Brockton Point in Stanley Park.
At Stanley Park Junction, where the Miniature Train runs, just one totem pole is Children of the World. Two more totem poles on the Miniature Train route can only be viewed by taking the train journey during the day.
23. Bloedel Conservatory
Bloedel Conservatory is a domed green paradise located in Queen Elizabeth Park on the highest point in Vancouver. Within its temperature-controlled habitat, more than 100 exotic birds, koi fish, and 500 exotic plants and flowers thrive.
This was the list of various tourist spots where you can go for great food, beautiful pictures, shopping, adventures, exploration, spectacular views, and a lot more while visiting Vancouver city.
Vancouver has an enormous amount of activities for tourists to enjoy like hiking, sightseeing, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, cycling, among many others, as well as several tourist spots like Parks, suspension bridges, the famous China town, museums, beaches, and a lot more.
24. Vancouver Public Library
If you’re a book worm, this haven would be your ideal go-to place. The Vancouver Public Library houses a vast collection of books and digital information. The library offers community information, activities for children, teens, adults, and homebound delivery. Furthermore, the library provides access to information and reference services, text databases, and interlibrary loan services.
25. English Bay Beach
English Bay is bounded to the north by West Vancouver, east by the City of Vancouver, and south by the region from Kitsilano to Point Grey.
It is a breathtakingly gorgeous harbour with breathtaking vistas in every way. There isn’t a terrible position in West Vancouver, whether you’re at the western portion of the Stanley Park seawall or everywhere from Ambleside to Dundarave and Lighthouse Park. In the south, the vistas from Kitsilano, Jericho, and Spanish Banks beaches are similarly breathtaking.
There are excellent riding and walking paths along the sea from English Bay. In one route, they go all the way to Stanley Park, while in the other, they go all the way to Point Grey through Science World, Granville Island, and Kitsilano Beach.
26. Butchart Gardens
Butchart Gardens is officially a National Historic Site of Canada. As you go around The Gardens, you’ll see relics of the old cement plant as well as millions of bedding plants in over 900 types.
The Butchart Gardens, a beautiful 55-acre complex, brims with five central gardens, magnificent fountains, exciting sculptures, trickling streams, and erupts with wave upon wave of colour throughout most of the year. Whichever year you wish to visit, you will undoubtedly discover something new.
27. Lonsdale Quay Market
The Lonsdale Quay Public Market is a well-known landmark in North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay and Lower Lonsdale Districts. Visitors may discover anything from fresh food to local artisan crafts at the market, home to 60 or so locally-owned and run enterprises.
The Lonsdale Quay Public Market was built in 1986 as a carnival-style marketplace attraction for Expo ’86. Expo ’86 was Vancouver’s World’s Fair in 1986. Since then, the market has kept most of its historic architecture and is a must-see on the North Shore.
The market is also well-known for the famous Q tower. People can access the tower by exiting the building onto the patio and climbing 77 steps to the summit. It appears to be a lengthy process, but the view makes it worth it.
28. Main Street
Main Street is one of Vancouver’s most visible and well-known thoroughfares. There are intriguing stores, cafés, and restaurants along with select blocks.
Main Street is not a tourist destination in the same way that Robson Street and Granville Street are. However, it has many sights worth seeing and is popular with residents. The route connects Gastown and Crab Park in the north to the Fraser River in the south.
29. Maritime Museum
The Vancouver Maritime Museum is an excellent location for families to explore and learn about the sea and the ships that sail it.
Climb aboard the famous St. Roch, the first ship to transit the Northwest Passage from west to east. Explore the decks and imagine yourself as a crew member that worked onboard the ship in the 1940s.
The underwater world allows children to fantasize, create, and play. At the same time, the entire family may visit galleries and exhibits that document the rich nautical heritage of the Pacific Northwest and the Arctic.
Take through exhibitions on shipwrecks, lighthouses, early fur trade, fireboats, battleships, deep-ocean exploration, ship models, the Arctic, and more.
Want To Spend Less?
By Denys Mikhalevych/Pexels
If you want to spend less but still have the whole tourist experience, you will love the public parks in Vancouver city; some very famous parks include Stanley Park, Lynn Canyon, Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, and many more.
Other public places that are free of cost include visiting various Churches like the very popular Christ Church Cathedral and other places like the Grouse Mountain where you can hike, due to the presence of great hiking trails, and visiting Granville Island where you can experience the chaos of the local markets.
Stanley Park has to be on your list while finding out what to do in Vancouver. And you don’t have to pay for the work of nature. Therefore you can choose to enjoy the marvelous views Vancouver city has in almost all corners of the city, you can opt for bus rides, cycling but the old-fashioned way of exploring the city on foot is the best.
You can also take a look at the creative art created by talented local artists on the streets of Vancouver; few museums in Vancouver do not charge any fee; therefore, you can spend your day visiting a museum; the beaches are as everywhere free of cost where you get tanned and absorb all the Vitamin D and of course how can you forget to take a stroll on the University of British Columbia.
Explore The City
If you decide to visit Vancouver, you cannot go back without a sightseeing trip to the city, where you will be able to see the famous spots in Vancouver, either known for their historical value or due to its beauty aspect, you will be amazed at the number of places, Vancouver has to offer to you.
This sightseeing tour will be guided and will cost you a bit; however, if you are an experienced traveler, you can explore the city and find new exciting places.
Visit Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island exemplifies everything that Western Canada has to offer. Raging oceans, rugged mountains, lush rainforest? Tick, tick, tick.
It’s a terrific spot to visit at any time of year, thanks to the limitless outdoor leisure possibilities and enormous wildlife opportunities (orcas and bears, anyone?).
There’s scuba diving, surfing, swimming, and fishing to attempt, as well as other activities and many other Islands (large and little!) to visit that are only a short ferry or paddle away. If ocean water isn’t your thing, drive inland, and you’ll soon come across a mountain-framed lake.
Biking and golfing can be seemingly done all year. If you’re prepared to put in the time and effort, you can surf and ski on the same day. On Vancouver Island, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Strathcona Provincial Park, as well as the Pacific Rim National Park, are located on Vancouver Island. The two excellently illustrate the landscape’s variety; gorgeous beaches and rainforest on the coast and calm lakes and mountains in the interior.
Smaller Provincial Parks, including Cape Scott (rugged coastal wilderness), Cathedral Grove (giant trees! ), Sproat Lake (the heart of lake region), and Goldstream (even more enormous trees!), round out the image.
By Alex Johnson/Flickr.Copyright2021
Vancouver will provide you with value for your buck since public transportation will allow you to reach places without spending a lot. Therefore you can save extra on travel and enjoy later while on the spot you need to explore. Thus the question of what to do in Vancouver has been answered above.
Going through this brief guide of the things to do in Vancouver city, you will indeed find your favorite activity or sport you want to savor while visiting Vancouver.
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