Meandering paths weave through this tranquil green retreat in the heart of Vancouver, where more than 7,500 plant varieties grow in themed displays, ranging from a Canadian heritage garden and a Japanese garden to a formal rose garden. Wildlife species, including blue herons, ducks, and turtles, live within the garden limits.
Purchase tickets for the garden in advance and make your own way to the garden or join a garden tour of Vancouver, which combines visits to the VanDusen Botanical Garden with other floral highlights such as the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Queen Elizabeth Park.
Once there, embark on a self-guided tour of the garden. Follow routes mapped out on leaflets, which are available at the information desk in the garden’s orchid-shaped visitor center. The theme of these self-guided routes changes monthly. Alternatively, wander at will. Find your way out of the Elizabethan maze, examine sculptures from artists including Bill Reid and David Marshall, and admire the panoramas from the stone garden, the second-highest vantage point in Vancouver.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The gardens are made for strolling so wear comfortable walking shoes. Bikes, skateboards, and roller skates are not allowed.
- Do not feed wildlife in the gardens.
- The gardens are wheelchair accessible with paved paths.
How to Get There
The VanDusen Botanical Garden is situated in the Shaughnessy neighborhood of Vancouver, just west of Queen Elizabeth Park. Bus 17 connects downtown Vancouver with the gardens. Get off at West 37th Avenue and you’ll find the park entrance across the street.
When to Get There
The garden is open year-round, but closes earlier in December, January, and February. Go in spring to see cherry blossoms and blooming camellias, in summer for roses and lilies, in fall to see the colorful foliage of Eastern North American and gingko trees, and in winter for winter berries and winter-flowering jasmine. Several festivals, notably the Festival of Lights in December and the Sakura Days Japan Fair in spring, take place throughout the year.
Visit the Bloedel Conservatory
Just a short stroll east of the garden in Queen Elizabeth Park sits a greenery-filled delight: the Bloedel Conservatory. Another hit among flora fanatics, this balmy domed conservatory is packed with tropical plants and birds and makes an ideal complementary attraction to the VanDusen Botanical Garden.