Things To See in Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver Things To See

Once you arrive in Vancouver, it won’t take you long to realise that there’s a fabulous array of attractions just waiting for you to check out. Whether you prefer seeing a city’s cultural side by visiting museums and art galleries or if your interest lies in more active pursuits and enjoying the great outdoors, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy. On top of that, Vancouver is home to an intriguing collection of unique neighbourhoods that you should definitely try to explore.

A couple of our favourite places to visit in Vancouver are Stanley Park and Granville Island. Each year around 8 million people make their way to Stanley Park, a huge urban park covering around 400 hectares (1,000 acres). Home to the popular Vancouver Aquarium, it also boasts plenty of other attractions from the Rose Garden to the Seawall. Another big draw, Granville Island sees around 10 million visitors each and every year. What makes it so popular? For one thing, it is home to the fantastic Granville Island Public Market. For a real demonstration of Vancouver’s culinary diversity, visit this market where you’ll find a huge number of stalls selling colourful fruits and vegetables, fresh seafood, local cheeses, tasty treats and lots more.

If you’re looking to learn more about the city, make sure to stop off at the intriguing Museum of Vancouver (MOV) with its fantastic 50s gallery, interesting temporary exhibits and plenty more. It’s also good to note that the HR MacMillan Space Centre is located in the same building at the MOV. You can also make your way to the Vancouver Art Gallery, where you’ll discover a collection of artworks from local and international artists.

Outdoor attractions come in many forms in Vancouver, from the aforementioned Stanley Park to the fantastic Capilano Suspension Bridge to the unmissable Grouse Mountain. No matter what time of year, you’ll be able to find plenty of activities to try out including skiing, cycling, hiking and plenty more.

For those of you who prefer to exercise your wallet, you’ll be delighted to find out that Vancouver is home to a mind boggling selection of stores for you to visit. Whether that’s strolling along Robson Street or hopping on the SkyTrain and heading out to the Metropolis at Metrotown mall, you’ll find plenty of things to spend your hard earned cash on.

When it comes to neighbourhoods, Vancouver is blessed with a wonderfully unique collection of places to visit. Head out to Kitsilano and you’ll be able to hang out with the locals on Kits Beach; make your way to Gastown to check out some of the city’s coolest bars and restaurants; or wander around Chinatown where you’ll find colourful shops and affordable eateries galore.

Attractions in Vancouver

  • Chinatown

    Pender Street, Vancouver, Canada

    Vancouver's Chinatown is the largest in Canada and is also the third largest in all of North America. Built around a section of Pender Street, you'll know you've reached this neighbourhood when you see the elaborate red street lamps. Not only is this area filled with affordable eateries and colourful shops, but it's also home to some cool attractions including the beautiful Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

  • Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens

    578 Carrall Street, Chinatown, Vancouver, Canada

    This is one of the most serene locations in the entire city and is the only Ming Dynasty garden of its kind outside China. Fifty-two master craftsmen came from China to build this landscape which consists of precious rocks, plants and other native Chinese materials. Let the guides explain the elements of the garden to you and don’t leave without trying your hand at some traditional calligraphy.

  • Stanley Park

    Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada

    Covering a substantial 400 hectares, this huge urban park is Vancouver’s most popular green space and is visited by around 8 million people each year. As well as being the home of the Vancouver Aquarium, it features lots of free things to do. Stroll along the 8.8km long section of the Seawall for breathtaking views of the city’s skyline, wander through the beautiful Rose Garden, explore the forest and check out the totem poles.

  • Vancouver Aquarium

    845 Avison Way, Stanley Park, Vancouver, Canada

    Huge numbers of people visit this, Canada’s largest Aquarium, each year to check out the amazing collection of creatures which includes everything from fish to frogs. Some of the most popular inhabitants of this watery wonderland are the smiley beluga whales.

    Open daily 9.30am-5pm; admission $21.

  • Museum of Vancouver

    1100 Chestnut Street, Kitsilano, Vancouver, Canada

    The Museum of Vancouver has been in operation in some form since back in 1894 and is a real treasure trove of Vancouver history. One of the standouts here is the neon-lit 50s gallery with its gleaming car, funky jukebox and more.

    Open Tues-Sun 10am-5pm, Thurs 10am-8pm, closed Mondays; admission $12.

  • Vancouver Art Gallery

    750 Hornby Street, Downtown Vancouver, Vancouver, Canada

    Housed inside a very impressive building, the Vancouver Art Gallery is spread out over four floors filled with works of art by an interesting mix of local and international artists. From paintings to video, you’ll see a great selection of more unusual pieces on a stroll through this popular gallery.

    Open Wed-Mon 10am-5pm, Tues 10am-9pm; admission $19.50.

  • Maritime Museum

    1905 Ogden Avenue, Vancouver, Canada

    This museum is home to a magnificent display of Vancouver’s marine history. With numerous galleries housing both permanent and temporary exhibitions which highlight exploration, sailing, fishing, marine art and the development of the city’s port it is a fascinating place to spend a couple of hours. The highlights of the museum are the numerous restored boats on display which include the historic RCMP vessel, the St. Roch.

  • The Lookout

    Harbour Centre 555 West, Hastings Street, Vancouver, Canada

    Situated in the heart of the Harbour Centre shopping centre, the Lookout offers amazing views of the city, the mountains and the ocean. It is reached by a glass elevator that rises over five hundred feet in forty second so hold on to your hat as it’s a pretty scary ascent. Definitely worthwhile as these really are the best views from anywhere in the city so don’t forget your camera. Also has a revolving restaurant if you feel like treating yourself while you are there.

  • Harbour Cruises

    North Foot of Denman Street, Vancouver, Canada

    In operation for over eighty years, Harbour Cruises offer visitors one of the best ways to see the sighs of Vancouver. From tours of the inner harbour to sunset dinner cruises, you have a variety of options to choose from and all of them are equally enjoyable.

  • Whistler Mountain

    Whistler, Vancouver, Canada

    Situated north of the city, Whistler mountain can be reached either by rail from North Vancouver Rail Station or by Greyhound coach its depot beside the VIA rail station. The journey will take about two and half hours and when you reach your destination, you will find yourself at one of the most popular ski locations in the world. Hiking, biking, rafting and horse-riding facilities are also on offer allowing you to truly appreciate the natural beauty of the area. An excellent choice for those of you beginning to tire of city life.

  • Gastown

    Water, Alexander, Columbia & Cordova Street, Vancouver, Canada

    This historic area of the city dates back to 1867 when the wonderfully-named ‘Gassy’ Jack Deighton set up a saloon in the area. Today, it’s one of the city’s most popular neighbourhoods and a must-visit during your stay in the city. While in Gastown, make sure to check out the tooting steam-powered clock. Other attractions in this area include a plethora of shops, restaurants and bars.

  • Capilano Suspension Bridge

    3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Canada

    Originally constructed in 1889, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is an impressive 450-feet long and spans a 230-feet deep canyon. Once you cross the bridge, you’ll be able to enjoy plenty of other attractions in the park including a Treetop Adventure through this temperate rainforest. Free shuttles to Capilano depart daily from Canada Place.

    Open daily Oct-Nov & Jan-March 9am-5pm, March-Apr & Sept 9am-6pm, May 9am-7pm, June-Aug 8.30am-8pm, Dec 10am-9pm; admission $27.95.

  • Grouse Mountain

    6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Canada

    A top skiing spot in winter and a great place for a hike at warmer times of the year, Grouse Mountain is popular with both residents and visitors. As you head up in the Skyride you’ll see stunning views of the city. Once you get to the top there’s plenty to do as you can check out the grizzly bear habitat, see a lumberjack show, take a chairlift ride and more.

    Open daily 9am-10pm; admission $39.95.

  • Kitsilano

    Kitsilano, Vancouver, Canada

    Attractions aplenty await you in this hugely popular Vancouver neighbourhood. Kitsilano, which is just a short trip from downtown, is home to the expansive Vanier Park where you’ll find the Museum of Vancouver and the H.R. McMillan Space Centre, both of which are housed in the same building. After you’ve satisfied your cultural side, you can head on down to Kits Beach which draws a younger crowd who come to swim, play beach volleyball or just stroll along the sand.

  • Davie Village

    Davie Village, Vancouver, Canada

    Centred on Davie Street, Davie Village is Vancouver's gay village and as such it’s the home of much of the city's lively gay scene. You'll know you've hit this area of the city when you see the rainbow flags on the lampposts and the pink bus shelters. Wander around and you'll find cool stores like the Little Sister's Book and Art Emporium, plus plenty of eateries and nightspots.

  • Mount Pleasant

    Mount Pleasant, Vancouver, Canada

    Hop on the Canada Line of the SkyTrain and it won’t be long until you get to this up and coming neighbourhood. Mount Pleasant is a cool spot with a great vibe, thanks to all its funky cafés, alternative stores and laid-back bars. Many of these can be found in the SoMa (South Main) area of the neighbourhood around the intersection of Main and Broadway. Vancouver’s popular Science World is also nearby.

  • Kitsilano Beach

    Kitsilano, Vancouver, Canada

    If you’re looking to combine a day on the beach with brilliant views of the city and surrounding area, head down to Kitsilano Beach or Kits Beach as it’s commonly known. Hugely popular with locals, it’s a great spot for swimming and the long stretch of sand also boasts a beach volleyball court. In the park area surrounding the beach, you’ll find tennis courts and plenty of paths for jogging and walking.

  • Christ Church Cathedral

    690 Burrard Street, Downtown Vancouver, Vancouver, Canada

    This Anglican Cathedral has been in operation since back in 1888 and today remains one of the most beautiful places of worship in the city. Imposing stone on the outside, the interior is a lot more welcoming with lots of ornate wood work, colourful stained glass and a very elaborate organ.

    Open to visitors Mon-Fri 10am-4pm.

  • Canada Place

    999 Canada Place, Downtown Vancouver, Vancouver, Canada

    During your stay in Vancouver you’ll undoubtedly find yourself at Canada Place at one time or another. Stroll along the promenade and check out the Canadian Trail, a funky little walkway the represents all of Canada’s cities, provinces and territories using colourful tiles. This is also a great spot for views out across the water towards North Vancouver, and it’s where you’ll see the giant cruise ships that regularly dock in the harbour.

  • Queen Elizabeth Park

    4600 Cambie Street, South Cambie, Vancouver, Canada

    As it’s one of the highest points in Vancouver, Queen Elizabeth Park affords visitors with some pretty stunning views out across the city. However, that’s far from the only reason to take a trip out to this popular park. Watch the dancing fountain in action, stroll through the Quarry Gardens, check out the art in display in Painters’ Corner or bring some food and enjoy a picnic on one of the park’s green lawns.

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