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Things to do in Vancouver

Things to do in  Vancouver

Welcome to Vancouver

While exploring this western seaport city in Canada’s British Columbia, don’t be surprised if you stumble onto a film set. Nicknamed Hollywood North, Vancouver has become the backdrop for countless films and television shows. For observation of a different kind, the Museum of Anthropology houses exhibits featuring First Nations artifacts, while bay views are best seen from the urban rain forest of Stanley Park. And for those seeking the slopes, venture north to Whistler, home to one of the largest ski resorts in North America.

Top 10 attractions in Vancouver

#1

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

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As you walk gingerly out on to the world's longest (140m/460ft) and highest (70m/230ft) suspension bridge, swaying gently over the roiling waters of tree-lined Capilano Canyon, remember that the thick steel cables you are gripping are safely embedded in huge concrete blocks on either side. That should steady your feet - unless the teenagers are stamping across to scare the oldsters... The region's most popular attraction - hence the summertime crowds and relentless tour buses - the grounds here also include rainforest walks, totem poles, and a swinging network of smaller bridges strung between the trees, called Treetops Adventure. This series of open-ended suspension bridges link eight towering Douglass fir trees. At heights of up to 25m/80ft above the forest floor, the bridges have viewing platforms where Capilano’s naturalist hold court on the area’s ecological attributes.More
#2

Stanley Park

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The magnificent Stanley Park certainly enjoys one of the world’s most breathtaking settings: the park is surrounded on three sides by the ocean and loomed over by the snow-capped North Shore mountains. The park’s perimeter seawall stroll is one of the best ways to spend your time. Stanley Park is big enough to have quiet parts whenever you’re seeking seclusion, while wildlife lovers can always spot raccoons on the ground or eagles high in the trees. Within its 1,000 acres/400 hectares you’ll find forests of cedar, hemlock and fir, mingled with meadows, lakes, and cricket pitches. There are also a couple of excellent beaches – ideal spots to perch on a driftwood log with a picnic and catch a kaleidoscopic sunset over the water. But the park isn’t just for dewy-eyed nature lovers; other highlights include the collection of totem poles by the shore, Second Beach Swimming Pool, and Vancouver Aquarium.More
#3

Granville Island

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Brimming with arts and crafts studios, bars and restaurants with eye-popping views, Granville Island is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike. Though it’s really a peninsula, jutting out into False Creek, the island draws those who come to wander the pedestrian-friendly alleyways while enjoying the sounds of the buskers and the sights along the waterfront. One of the highlights is the Granville Island Public Market, where you can trawl the deli-style food stalls and artisan stands. Art lovers can wander through the three galleries of up-and-coming artists at the Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design. For the under-10 set, the Kids Market bristles with kid-friendly stores, mostly of the toy variety. For a little respite, entice the kids away from the shops and head to the huge Granville Island Water Park.More
#4

Gastown

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A highly evocative neighborhood of excellent character bars and a smattering of good restaurants, Gastown is Vancouver’s best old-town area. The Victorian era resonates in the cobblestone streets, antique lamps, and old buildings, adding to the neighborhood’s distinctive ambiance. Gastown is the place to pay your respects to Vancouver’s founding father, "Gassy" Jack Deighton – a bronze statue of him salutes Maple Tree Square. On Water Street stands the famous Steam Clock, a charming little artifact, built to resemble London’s Big Ben. The neighborhood has also become a hotbed for local designer-owned shops, drawing a new crowd of regulars to the area. It’s also place to look for a new art gallery or a piece of beautiful, hand-carved First Nations art in one of the galleries along Water and Hastings streets. Microbreweries and brewpubs have sprung up across the city in recent years, and many of the best beer havens are in Gastown. Steamworks is the most accessible.More
#5

Lions Gate Bridge

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The Lions Gate Bridge spans Burrard Inlet, connecting North and West Vancouver with the City Centre, via Stanley Park. Originally opened in 1938, the bridge isn’t just a major transportation hub for Vancouver, but it’s also a National Historic Site of Canada. Even the impressive stats—the bridge is about a mile (1.5 km) long, its two suspension towers are 365 feet (111 meters) tall and the bridge deck sits 200 feet (61 m) above the water—barely do the bridge justice. From Ambleside Park, in West Vancouver, the view of Lions Gate Bridge against a backdrop of downtown Vancouver truly shows its immense scale. It’s even more spectacular at night, as the entire bridge is covered in decorative LED lighting.More
#6

Queen Elizabeth Park

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Come for the views at this 128-acre (52-hectare) park located at Vancouver’s geographic center – it’s the highest point in the city. You can look out over the gardens and grounds all the way to downtown and the North Shore mountains. Within the park itself, there are Quarry Gardens, former rock quarries now filled with flowers, shrubs, and other plants; an arboretum – the first to be established in Canada – with more than 1500 trees; and a Rose Garden that blossoms with many varieties of the flower. In spring and summer, you can browse the Painters’ Corner, where local artists display and sell their work. Seasons in the Park, a restaurant overlooking the gardens, serves lunch and dinner daily. If you’re looking for more athletic pursuits, you can golf the park’s Pitch & Putt course, play tennis on one of the 17 public courts, or join the lawn bowlers at the Vancouver Lawn Bowling Club, which welcomes visitors several times a week during the spring and summer.More
#7

Downtown Vancouver

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Although it's officially on a peninsula, the abundant water surrounding downtown Vancouver can make it feel like an island. It is, today, the center of commerce and business for British Columbia but, even historically, the downtown area has always been a significant meeting point for trade and culture. In modern history, the area wasn't permanently settled by outsiders until 1862 when the city was chosen to be the terminus for the transcontinental railroad. As Vancouver grew, a number of neighborhoods began to develop within the city. Gastown is one of the oldest parts of the city and remains a tourist attraction. It's here where the world's first steam-powered clock still stands in working condition. Other significant neighborhoods worth visiting within the downtown core include Robson Street, Coal Harbour and Yaletown. There is also a prominent Chinatown in downtown Vancouver – the largest in Canada.More
#8

Canada Place

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One of the best places to orient yourself, especially if this is your first trip to Vancouver, is Canada Place. Built for Expo '86, this iconic, postcard-friendly landmark is hard to miss: its five tall Teflon sails that jut into the sky over Burrard Inlet resemble a giant sailing ship. Now a cruise-ship terminal and convention center, it's also a pier where you can stroll out over the waterfront, watch the splashing floatplanes, and catch some spectacular sea-to-mountain views. Around the perimeter of Canada Place is a promenade, where you can gaze out at the North Shore mountains standing tall across Burrard Inlet. You can also see nearby Stanley Park and its famous Seawall Promenade. Walk to the other end of the promenade and you’ll be rewarded with great city views, including the historic low-rise tops of Gastown, where Vancouver was first settled. Inside the building is FlyOver Canada, a cool simulated flight attraction that takes you across Canada.More
#9

Vancouver Chinatown

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Exotic sights, sounds, and aromas pervade North America’s third-largest Chinatown. In this evocative area, you’ll find families bargaining over durian fruit in a flurry of Cantonese; shops redolent of sweet-and-sour fish; and street vendors selling silk, jade, and Hello Kitty footstools. The steamy-windowed wonton restaurants, butchers with splayed barbecued pigs, and ubiquitous firecracker-red awnings will make you think for a moment that you’re in Hong Kong. Start your trek at Millennium Gate, the official entry into Chinatown. Head under the gate, and spend some time strolling the tranquil pools, intriguing limestone formations, and gnarly pine trees that fill Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. After strolling the garden, nip next door to the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum & Archives. Across the street, on Carrall Street stands the Sam Kee Building, the world’s thinnest office building.More
#10

English Bay

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Surrounded by the city’s Seawall and containing one of Vancouver’s most popular beaches, English Bay is at the heart of Vancouver’s water related activities. In warm weather, kayaking, fishing, and even scuba diving all take place in the waters here. English Bay Beach, also called First Beach, is the most populated beach area in the city. With palm trees and plentiful sand, English Bay Beach is the go-to spot for sunbathing and beach volleyball when the sun is shining. It is also one of the best places to go swimming. Annually two of the city’s largest events take place here: the Celebration of Light fireworks competition in July and the Polar Bear Swim in January. Many laid back, open-air restaurants and patios dot the area around the water, and the notable sunset and sunrise skies are what draw many visitors. With views of the surrounding mountains and coastline, English Bay offers some of the best natural scenery in Vancouver.More

Trip ideas

How to Get Off the Beaten Path in Vancouver

How to Get Off the Beaten Path in Vancouver

Top Spots for Art Lovers in Vancouver

Top Spots for Art Lovers in Vancouver

Must-See Museums in Vancouver

Must-See Museums in Vancouver

Recent reviews from experiences in Vancouver

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Beautiful Vancouver
Frank_K, Dec 2020
Vancouver Sightseeing and Photography
He took us to all the “must see” Vancouver attractions.
star-5
Amazing
Tara_H, Oct 2020
Vancouver Highlights Bike Tour - The Grand Tour
The circuit is perfect and you get to see and learn about Vancouver.
star-4
Shore line prospective
Bruster, Sep 2020
Granite Falls Zodiac Tour
Interesting way to see the shore line in Vancouver & 20+ kilometres beyond.
star-5
Great tour and experience
Bradley_G, Mar 2020
Food Walking Tour of Granville Island Public Market
The island is a really cute area of Vancouver to visit.
star-5
Beautiful
chorkmoua, Feb 2020
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Ticket
Beautiful place to visit.
star-5
good guide and itinerary
iwpkang, Jan 2020
Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour from Vancouver
Winter is not the best season for visiting Vancouver Island.
star-5
Vancouver tour
mchan833, Nov 2019
Vancouver City Sightseeing Tour: Capilano Suspension Bridge & Vancouver Lookout
I was misunderstanding the departure time but very appreciated for Landsea tour will come back to pick me up, I’ve a wonderful time to see Vancouver in a day, very impressive!
star-5
"C" bridge walk
dave4622019, Oct 2019
Vancouver City Tour Including Capilano Suspension Bridge
Showed us where to visit, where to eat and where not to.
star-4
Day trip
sandysouthern, Oct 2019
Vancouver City Tour Including Capilano Suspension Bridge
Got to see a bit of Vancouver with the capilano suspension bridge being the highlight of the day.
star-5
Service with a Smile
Eileen G, Oct 2019
Private Transport from Vancouver Airport (YVR) to Downtown Vancouver
How happy we were to see our driver (as promised) in the waiting area of the Vancouver airport.
star-5
Wendy and Gary
Traveller5154, Oct 2019
Grand City Small Group Tour of Vancouver
This tour is everything that you want to see from one end of town to the other.
star-5
Amazing
kingmas211, Sep 2019
Grouse Mountain Admission
Included in our admissions was the cable car, chair lift, a fantastic Lumberjack show and of course the bears, just to mention a few of the things to see and do whilst there.
star-4
Grouse Mountain
tinker402019, Sep 2019
Grouse Mountain Admission
By the time we finally got through the traffic in Vancouver and out to the park some of the attractions had closed.
star-5
Satisfied Customer
mitamaj, Aug 2019
Vancouver City Sightseeing Tour: Capilano Suspension Bridge & Vancouver Lookout
We got to visit all the important attractions that Vancouver has to offer including Capilano suspension bridge, lookout point & Granville Island.
star-5
Beautiful!
elizabethstephen2019, Aug 2019
Vancouver Seaplane Tour
Highly recommend if you want to see Vancouver & the Howe Sound in a spectacular way!
star-5
Exactly what we wanted
Tim T, Aug 2019
Vancouver City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
My wife was recovering from a broken foot so the hop on hop off your was a perfect way to see all of the Vancouver areas and attractions.
star-5
Excellent
2realstars, Jul 2019
Vancouver City Sightseeing Tour: Granville Island & Vancouver Lookout
I would recommend this tour to any of my friends or family that want to visit Vancouver.
star-5
Good overall city overview
Sunshine799660, Jun 2019
Vancouver City Tour with Vancouver Lookout Admission
Our guide was great and I was very pleased with all we were able to see and do.
star-5
Private Guide Tour Best
Bob M, Jun 2019
Private Group Tour: All the Best Sights
As a Vancouver native he showed us exactly the things we wanted to see and a few extra we loved.
star-5
Great Orientation
Prof46, Jun 2019
Private Tour: Vancouver Sightseeing
This tour allowed us to see the places we wanted to explore on our own.

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