The best things to do in Vancouver center on the beauty of the surrounding mountains and the charm of nature. The time for circling the wagons is over; let’s get started. The top things to do in Vancouver, one of the most livable cities in the world, are listed here.
The western Canadian metropolis is an example of urban architecture constructed on the pillars of a town, and it checks off box after box. The top things to do in Vancouver and attractions in Vancouver are influenced by both its past and its present, with futuristic museums tucked beside famous neighborhoods and mountains in every direction.
The list goes on and on and includes parks, beaches, eateries, pubs, and spas, but we’ve grown to expect that from Vancouver. Using my guide to Vancouver’s sights and things to do in Vancouver, you can navigate the city.
15 Amazing Things to do in Vancouver:
1. Stanley Park
Stanley Park, Vancouver’s most notable park, with 405 hectares, is a blend of the urban and natural worlds. It is located close to commercial and office towers at the westernmost point of a peninsula Downtown. Stanley Park’s massive Douglas fir and red cedar trees are centuries old and are made even more beautiful by their proximity to the city. Visiting this park is one of the top things to do in Vancouver.
When they were initially meant for repairs to British navy sailing ships, these gigantic trees eluded the woodcutter’s axe and were preserved as part of the park in 1888. Today, the park is a popular destination in Vancouver.
The park is traversed by routes through the woods that lead to eateries and attractions. The Seawall, a seaside walking, running, and biking trail that circles Stanley Park, is unquestionably the most well-liked route, though. Before visiting the park, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place. The best thing to do in Vancouver is to start with the top Stanley Park activities on my list.
1.1. Bike or Stroll Along the Seawall
The Seawall is a popular biking route that allows tourists to get around the expansive and beautiful park quickly. It is a roughly ten-kilometer loop that leaves Coal Harbour and travels via Brockton Point, the Lions Gate Bridge, Third Beach, Second Beach, and Lost Lagoon before returning to Coal Harbour.
The Seawall is a popular biking route that allows tourists to get around the expansive and beautiful park quickly. The loop starts in Coal Harbour and passes through Lions Gate Point, Brockton Point, Third Beach, Second Beach, and Lost Lagoon before coming back to Coal Harbour.
1.2. Vancouver Aquarium
The world-famous Vancouver Aquarium, located in the center of Stanley Park, is home to approximately 50,000 animals, many of which are Pacific marine species.
Other water creatures, including dolphins, jellyfish, belugas, and sea lions, draw sizable crowds in addition to the lively sea otters.
1.3. Stunning Drive
A fantastic option to get a brief perspective of Stanley Park is to take the one-way scenic drive that circles the park, which starts at West Georgia Street. All sites, including the totem poles at Brockton Point and the lookout at Prospect Point, have pullouts and parking areas.
1.4. Beaver Lake
The hike to picturesque Beaver Lake, one of the best things to do in Vancouver, which received its name from the fact that it formerly housed a beaver colony, is well worth the effort and reveals another aspect of the park.
1.5. Pavilion at Stanley Park
The wooden pavilion at Stanley Park served as the park’s administrative building when it was constructed a century ago. Nowadays, it functions as a wedding venue and provides West Coast cuisine at Stanley’s restaurant. The Malkin Bowl outdoor concert venue, a magnificent rose garden, and park pathways are close to the pavilion.
The First Nations cultural display exhibits in Klahowya Village are yet another visitor destination in this region of the park.
2. Downtown Vancouver, Canada
The most cosmopolitan city in Canada’s West Coast region, Vancouver, is known for its beauty. It is encircled by mountains and beaches, and the forest in Stanley Park adds to the area’s natural splendor. Of all the things to do in Vancouver, visiting this site will be a mesmerizing experience.
While tourists seeking adventure may favor the great outdoors, Downtown Vancouver is a must-see for anybody visiting the area. It is filled with sights, shopping, and restaurants.
The downtown peninsula of Vancouver is home to Gastown/Chinatown, Yaletown, the West End, and Coal Harbour. Most of the neighborhoods in Vancouver are compact and simple to navigate, and the SkyTrain Canada Line rapid transit system (Vancouver’s metro) makes getting around the city center simple. Additionally, there are walking tours and hop-on, hop-off sightseeing excursions that will take you to all of the main landmarks in downtown Vancouver, as well as Stanley Park and Gastown.
3. Grouse Mountain
Grouse Mountain, a magnificent alpine playground, rises 1,250 meters (4,100 feet) above Vancouver and is only 15 minutes from the city’s center.
During the 8-minute trip from the Valley Station to the summit, the renowned Red Skyride offers both tourists and residents the chance to witness the breathtakingly spectacular nature of British Columbia in action. The most visited location in Vancouver, Grouse Mountain is the only place in the lower mainland that is four seasons, offering a wildlife sanctuary, an abundance of culinary options, exhilarating outdoor adventures, summer activities galore, the best in regional snow sports, and much more. This is one of the top things to do in Vancouver. There is no spot exactly like the Peak of Vancouver. That much is certain!
4. Vancouver’s False Creek
From English Bay to Science World to Granville Island and beyond, False Creek is a lovely body of water with a seawall for biking and walking. One of Vancouver’s most well-liked metropolitan neighborhoods to explore is False Creek.
There is a lot to do and see in the neighborhood, whether traveling on foot, on a bicycle, or on a little ferry boat. Along the False Creek Seawall, there are parks, tourist destinations, bars, coffee shops, and restaurants. Additionally, there are breathtaking vistas of Vancouver in all directions.
Granville Island, the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, the Museum of Vancouver, and Vanier Park are just a few of the attractions along False Creek (which is home to the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival in the summer). Fishermen’s Wharf is another location close to Granville Island.
The Olympic Athletes Village, the False Creek Seawall, and Yaletown (with all of its eateries) are also located in False Creek (where you can walk, jog and cycle along from one end of the waterfront to the other).
False Creek’s north and south sides make for wonderful walking areas. Little miniature Harbour Ferries run up and down the waterway, dropping off passengers at most of the tourist attractions, which is convenient (and a lot of fun).
4.1. Seawall at False Creek
The neighborhood’s Seawall connects False Creek’s two sides. It’s a great location for a stroll or bike ride where you can take in the city and water views.
4.2. Bridges over False Creek
The Cambie Street Bridge, Burrard Street Bridge, and Granville Street Bridge all span the coastline of False Creek. If you have the opportunity, stroll over to one of them. The view is stunning on a clear day.
5. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
The famous Capilano Suspension Bridge is a Vancouver icon and is within a 15-minute drive from the city’s center. One of Canada’s most visited sites since 1889, the renowned swinging bridge over Capilano Canyon draws both tourists and locals. The basic answer is that there is a ton to see and do. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is Canadian in character and has a global appeal. It is dedicated to protecting and showcasing its history, culture, and wildlife in distinctive and exhilarating ways. One of the greatest things to do in Vancouver is here, so you should go.
In 1889, the Capilano Suspension Bridge’s first hemp iteration was constructed. It now measures 137 meters (450 feet) broad and is 70 meters (230 feet) above the Capilano River. Since then, it has been replaced several times.
The bridge was initially the primary point of interest, but over time, the region was enhanced to include several other elements for guests to enjoy inside the 11-ha (27 acres) park.
6. North Vancouver
North Vancouver is located north of the city of Vancouver and is situated along the north coast of Burrard Inlet. It is regarded as a suburb of the major metropolis yet maintains a distinctly urban character. It is a beachfront town that has undergone urbanization and has been that way since 1907; today, parts of it are home to contemporary apartment buildings.
North Vancouver is a fantastic vacation spot since it has so much to offer. You should pay a visit as it is a popular tourist destination and one of the coolest things to do in Vancouver. Visit North Vancouver as a side trip from the main city of Vancouver or go there alone and enjoy the many outdoor activities available all year. The city has many attractions: mountains, canyons, parks, and the quay.
7. Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
You can explore Lynn Canyon Park for free and learn a lot about North Vancouver’s ecosystem there. The suspension bridge is the main draw, although visitors also like to hike the boardwalks and trails nearby. In July and August, rangers are on-site to provide walking tours and details about the local flora and animals. It is one of the best things to do in Vancouver. Therefore you should go there.
The Lynn Canyon suspension bridge, which is 40 meters (130 feet) long and gives a more unique experience than its companion, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, offers a rustic and jiggling trip. Originally constructed in 1912, the narrow wooden plank bridge allows two persons to cross each other.
The Suspension Bridge spans a 616-acre tropical rainforest and hangs about 50 meters (167 feet) over Lynn Creek’s stunning rivers and pools of clear water. This neighborhood gem is a public park run by the District of North Vancouver that is accessible all year long.
8. Vancouver’s Granville Island
The setup on Granville Island is intriguing. The area consists of industrial activity (such as a cement mill) and parking streets with dispersed shops, art studios, dining options, and theaters. One of the most well-liked tourist sites in the Lower Mainland is this unique neighborhood. Visit this place, as it is one of the best things to do in Vancouver by far.
You’ll adore Granville Island if you enjoy shopping, especially for unusual presents and handcrafted artisan goods. Restaurants, live theater, and waterfront views of the Vancouver skyline may all be found here.
A lot of people visit Granville Island all year long. The area is extremely lively in the summer, and live entertainment can frequently be found outside. Festive lights can be seen during Christmas, and there are performances, festivals, and restaurants to visit all year long. Every day of the year, there are breathtaking views of the city across the lake.
A renowned indoor Public Market with merchants offering everything from fresh fruit and fish to cheese, croissants, and maple syrup is located on Granville Island. Railspur Alley, the Net Loft, and other parts of the neighborhood are also filled with shops that sell lovely and distinctive handmade goods. Additionally, there are many different types of art studios, galleries, eateries, and theaters on Granville Island.
9. Vancouver’s Richmond Night Market
The largest night market in North America is located in Richmond, a Canadian city close to Vancouver, British Columbia. Its diverse selection of Asian food and goods attracts over 1 million people each year. You’ll adore this night market if you like Asian street cuisine!
One of the top things to do in Vancouver, this location is a major draw for travelers, so you should pay a visit.
At least a hundred merchants selling various foods, beverages, desserts, and knickknacks may be in the market. Midway games, nonstop entertainment, and lots of people-watching are available.
The Richmond Night Market features all the sights and noises you would expect from a night market but is about a fifth the size of some of the night markets we visited in Asia.
The fragrance of cooking permeates the evening air, and you must elbow your way through the crowd. There isn’t anything else close by that compares. I adore how I may essentially lose track of my location for the evening. Despite being a mirage, it has a sense of being in Japan, China, or Thailand.
As soon as you enter the vast, dusty grounds where the Richmond Night Market sets up shop each summer, the sights and sounds are overpowering. The enormous rubber duck welcomes you at the door.
We make the annual journey to Canada at least once every summer to attend the market, which is one of our favorite things to do in Vancouver.
10. Sea to Sky Gondola
The Sea to Sky Gondola is a gorgeous 45-minute journey from downtown Vancouver, situated on Highway 99 just south of Squamish. By taking a 10-minute gondola trip to the top, you can get to a truly stunning spot with some of the most amazing views you will ever see and activities for all ages.
As you ascend from the valley floor near the lake, you can see the imposing Stawamus Chief, the magnificently blue waters of Howe Sound, dotted with lush islands, and a bird’s eye perspective of the town of Squamish with the rocky, snow-capped mountains to the north.
The journey continues once you get to the Summit Lodge. The 100-meter Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge is a well-liked location for breathtaking photographs.
Our activities are completely accessible to everyone, whether you desire a backcountry adventure or a stroller/wheelchair-friendly interpretive walk. If you would like to explore more, there are several walking and hiking routes for all ages and abilities.
The Via Ferrata (Italian for the “iron way”) is a fantastic choice for those seeking a little more excitement; a permanent system of ropes and ladders will allow you to ascend the rocks safely with a guide.
You can have supper with a view at the Summit Lodge after your adventure. Enjoy the views on the Summit Lodge deck while watching the sun go down.
The Sea to Sky Gondola hosts activities all year long. There aren’t many other locations with such an amazing setting where you may enjoy exquisite wines, live music, or practice yoga.
11. Vancouver Whale Watching
One of the top places in the world for whale watching in Vancouver. Numerous pods of orcas reside here year-round, and thousands more whales pass through the area’s waters during migration. From March through October, Vancouver has a whale-watching season. There is no “ideal” month or time of day to visit during the season because the whales migrate unpredictable routes across the region in pursuit of their prey.
The primary objective of whale-watching excursions in Vancouver is to spot killer whales, sometimes referred to as orcas. Three pods of resident fish-eating orcas live in the Salish Sea off the coast of Vancouver. Orcas that feed on small animals pass through the area frequently as well.
However, whales other than killer whales can also be seen close to Vancouver. The black body and white belly of humpback whales make them easily identifiable as they move across the Salish Sea. They hunt krill and small fish for food, occasionally casting a bubble net to trap their prey. The greatest times to watch humpback whales are in the spring when they are migrating to Alaska and in the fall when they are migrating to Mexico. However, some humpback whales remain.
The occasional sightings of grey whales, minke whales, and Pacific white-sided dolphins are also made by whale watchers in Vancouver. These species often stay in the wide ocean, but they occasionally venture into the safer seas close to Vancouver.
On whale-watching excursions, numerous other marine mammals can also be seen. Porpoises, river otters, sea lions, and harbor seals are frequent. On whale-watching cruises, it’s also simple to spot birds. Look for wildlife such as ducks, cormorants, surf scoters, bald eagles, and great blue herons.
12. Rogers Arena
Rogers Arena is the home of the Vancouver Canucks hockey team (that Stanley Cup has to arrive soon, surely), and it often hosts important concerts and events. One of the nicest things to do in Vancouver is to go to this location, which is a top tourist attraction.
Attending a Canucks game during hockey season is a requirement. Canadians love hockey, and Vancouver is passionate about their Canucks, no matter how fantastic or annoying they may be. From October to April, May, or June, depending on how the team is going, get in the spirit.
13. Vancouver Island
Learn about a land that the ocean created out of the extremes of pleasant to wild, sophisticated to life-affirmingly raw. Trek through magnificent wilderness parks. Be in awe at orcas, black bears, and the wide variety of wildlife with fur, feathers, and fins.
Splash barefoot around delicately curved beaches while seeing distant snow-capped mountains. You can unwind, renew, and refresh in the region’s urban hubs, rural communities, and cozy harbors. That’s Vancouver Island.
This vast island, home to British Columbia’s historic capital, ancient rainforests, and carefree surf towns is peppered with unique neighborhoods that scream to be discovered. You should pay a visit as it is a popular tourist destination and one of the greatest things to do in Vancouver.
The 460-kilometer-long island spans from the opulent colonial city of Victoria in the south to the wind-whipped beaches and rugged headlands of Cape Scott in the north. This untamed paradise, along with the Gulf Islands, is home to one of the planet’s most diversified ecosystems thanks to its old-growth forests, snow-capped mountains, and untamed shorelines. You can go whale watching, bird watching, and fishing, or you can just relax and let your cares float away in the Pacific.
14. Vancouver Convention Center
One of Canada’s largest conference centers is the Vancouver Convention Center, previously the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Center (VCEC), located in Vancouver, British Columbia. The conference space now measures 43,340 square meters (466,500 square feet) thanks to the 2009 inauguration of the new West Building.
The British Columbia Pavilion Company, a Crown corporation controlled by the British Columbian government, is the owner of it. For the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Center served as both the primary press center and the international broadcast center.
15. Sun Yat Sen Park
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park, one of the best-kept secrets in the heart of bustling China Town, is situated at 578 Carroll Street and is a reproduction of a traditional Chinese garden.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park, one of the best-kept secrets in the heart of bustling China Town, is situated at 578 Carroll Street and is a reproduction of a traditional Chinese garden.
The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens are immediately next to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park, which is a lovely area to visit any time of the year for a brief stroll, leisurely lunch, or fast catnap. However, unlike the Gardens, the Park is free.
There are trails to walk through forests of bamboo and different trees and flowers, as well as a pagoda to sit under if it’s raining. The area is built around a small lagoon that is home to fish, turtles, and birds. It is one of the nicest things to do in Vancouver, and I strongly encourage everyone to go there since it perfectly illustrates how nature and the city can coexist.
We truly hope that reading about the fascinating, enjoyable, and unique things to do in Vancouver was enjoyable for you.
Vancouver is home to a wealth of amazing tourist sites and fascinating historical details. Excellent chances can be found in Vancouver’s parks, mountains, and other areas. Make travel plans to Vancouver as soon as you can!