With its sophisticated urban centre, coastline of sandy beaches and surrounding forested mountains, Vancouver appeals to visitors seeking big-city entertainment and outdoor pursuits. Explore neighbourhoods filled with artsy shops, multicultural restaurants and historic architecture. Cycle through a scenic park, enjoy an invigorating hike and relax on a beach.
Take your time discovering Vancouver’s diverse neighbourhoods. Window shop along Robson Street, which features a variety of mid-range shops as well as luxury retailers like Gucci and Tiffany & Co. Head to Gastown to admire historic architecture and dine in some of the city’s top restaurants. Take photos of Chinatown’s famous Millennium Gate and then stroll through the exquisite Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden.
No visit to Vancouver would be complete without a stop in Stanley Park, a 1,000-acre (405-hectare) expanse of semi-wild parkland. Walk, bike or jog along the Seawall, which runs along the park’s coastline, offering lovely views of the city and the Lions Gate Bridge. Head to English Bay Beach on the edge of the park for swimming and sunbathing.
Grouse Mountain, located north of downtown, is another favourite destination for visitors interested in getting active. It offers excellent skiing and snowboarding in the winter and picturesque hiking in the summer.
Explore the city’s cultural side with a visit to the Museum of Anthropology, home to an exceptional collection of Northwest Coast First Nations’ art. View the exhibitions of Canadian and West Coast art housed at the Vancouver Art Gallery, including notable works by modernist painter Emily Carr.
Take the ferry across False Creek to visit Granville Island. Browse fresh produce, seafood, meats and baked goods at the Granville Island Public Market.
Most visitors arrive at the city by plane at Vancouver International Airport. Vancouver is also well connected by bus and train to most major Canadian cities, as well as by bus to the U.S. Get around easily within the city on its extensive public transportation system, which includes electric trolley and diesel buses, the light-rail SkyTrain and the SeaBus ferry.