Surrounded by water on three sides, downtown Vancouver is the place to go for sea views, bright lights, and action. The city’s commercial core, it encompasses several distinct areas including shop-lined Robson Street, the green expanse of Stanley Park, historic Gastown, and one of the largest Chinatowns in North America.
With so much to see here, many visitors to Vancouver devote the majority of their time to downtown. Join sightseeing tours of downtown, or delve deeper with walking tours of specific downtown neighborhoods, such as Victorian-era Gastown or the hip waterfront enclave of Yaletown. Downtown biking tours typically follow routes around Stanley Park’s scenic seawall, while many boat tours cruise around Vancouver Harbour, False Creek, and English Bay, offering front-row views of the downtown skyline.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Downtown Vancouver is a must for first-time visitors.
- You’ll never be far from a restaurant in downtown Vancouver, with lots of dining options at all price points, including an abundance of Asian eateries.
- Navigating downtown Vancouver is easy, with an interlinked transit network that includes the SkyTrain, buses, and the SeaBus passenger ferry.
How to Get There
From the airport, take the Canada Line SkyTrain to Yaletown–Roundhouse, Vancouver City Centre, or Waterfront station. Cruise ship passengers disembark at Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal, on downtown Vancouver’s waterfront .
When to Get There
Downtown Vancouver sees the warmest weather from mid-June through mid-September, and this is the best time for outdoor activities such as biking around Stanley Park or kayaking in False Creek. Avoid driving into or out of downtown during rush hours (7am–10am and 4pm–7pm).
Top Sights in Downtown Vancouver
Many of Vancouver’s most recognizable landmarks and well-known attractions are situated in the downtown area. View the city from on high at the Vancouver Lookout observation deck, admire the sail-shaped forms of Canada Place, hear the Gastown steam clock chime, and explore Stanley Park, home to the Brockton Point Totem Poles and the Vancouver Aquarium.