Vancouver is a coastal city located in the western part of Canada in the province of British Columbia. It is the largest city in the province and one of the most populous cities in Canada, with a population of over 650,000 people. Vancouver is a very diverse city, with a multicultural population and a wide range of attractions and activities to offer visitors.
Some of the top attractions in Vancouver include Stanley Park, which is a large park located in the heart of the city and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and ocean; Granville Island, which is a popular spot for shopping, dining, and entertainment; and the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which is a scenic bridge that spans a deep canyon in North Vancouver.
Vancouver is also known for its outdoor activities, including skiing and snowboarding in the nearby mountains, hiking and biking on the city’s many trails, and kayaking and paddleboarding in the ocean.
The city is also home to a vibrant arts and culture scene, with numerous galleries, museums, and theaters. Vancouver is also a foodie’s paradise, with a wide range of restaurants and cafes serving up cuisine from around the world.
Discover the breathtaking beauty of Vancouver with our comprehensive 10 things to do in Vancouver, Canada vacation ideas guide. From the stunning Stanley Park to Granville Island and the rich cultural heritage, explore the best attractions, activities, and hidden gems of this vibrant Canadian city.
Overall, Vancouver is a beautiful and dynamic city that offers something for everyone, from outdoor enthusiasts to culture vultures to foodies.
Plan your Vancouver trip, honeymoon, bachelorette weekend, couples vacation or cross-off a bucket list item with our insider tips and make unforgettable memories in Vancouver, Canada.
HERE ARE 10 THINGS TO DO IN VANCOUVER, CANADA:
Visit Stanley Park – Stanley Park is a 1,000-acre park located in the heart of Vancouver. It is home to a variety of attractions, including the Vancouver Aquarium, Totem Poles, and the famous seawall, which offers stunning views of the city skyline and the surrounding mountains.
Stanley Park is a beautiful urban park located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It covers an area of over 400 hectares and is one of the largest urban parks in North America. The park features stunning natural landscapes, including forests, beaches, and lakes, as well as several popular tourist attractions, such as the Vancouver Aquarium, the Stanley Park Seawall, and the Totem Poles.
Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities, such as hiking, cycling, swimming, and picnicking, as well as scenic drives and tours. Stanley Park is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Vancouver, offering a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences.
2. Explore Granville Island – Granville Island is a hub for artists, foodies, and outdoor enthusiasts. Here, you can find everything from fresh seafood markets to artisanal boutiques, breweries, and street performers.
Granville Island is a popular tourist destination located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is a small peninsula that was once an industrial manufacturing area and has been transformed into a vibrant community of shops, restaurants, galleries, and studios.
There are many things to see and do on Granville Island, such as:
- Explore the Public Market – The Public Market is one of the most popular attractions on Granville Island. It’s a huge indoor market with over 50 vendors selling everything from fresh produce and seafood to handmade crafts and souvenirs.
- Visit the Art Studios – Granville Island is home to many artists’ studios and galleries. Visitors can watch artists at work and purchase their creations.
- Take a Boat Tour – There are many boat tour companies on Granville Island that offer scenic tours of the surrounding waters and coastline.
- Enjoy the Food and Drink – Granville Island is home to some of Vancouver’s best restaurants and breweries. Visitors can enjoy fresh seafood, craft beer, and other local delicacies.
- Attend a Performance – The island is also home to several theaters and performance venues, including the Arts Club Theatre Company and the Vancouver TheatreSports League.
- Walk or Bike Around the Island – Granville Island is a pedestrian-friendly area, and visitors can easily explore the island on foot or by bicycle.
Overall, Granville Island is a fun and unique destination that offers something for everyone.
3. Take a walk around Gastown – Gastown is Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood and is famous for its cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and trendy bars and restaurants.
Gastown is a historic neighborhood in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is located just east of downtown Vancouver and is known for its cobblestone streets, Victorian architecture, and unique shops and restaurants.
Here are some things to see and do in Gastown:
- Visit the Steam Clock – The Steam Clock is a popular landmark in Gastown that chimes every 15 minutes and emits steam from its whistles. It is powered by steam from an underground pipe system.
- Walk the Cobblestone Streets – Gastown’s cobblestone streets are lined with historic buildings that have been converted into shops, restaurants, and galleries. It’s a great place to explore and take in the Victorian architecture.
- Browse the Shops – Gastown is known for its unique and eclectic shops, including vintage clothing stores, art galleries, and specialty shops.
- Dine at a Restaurant – Gastown is home to some of Vancouver’s best restaurants, offering a variety of cuisines from around the world.
- Visit the Vancouver Lookout – The Vancouver Lookout is a tower located in Gastown that offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains.
- Attend a Festival or Event – Gastown is home to several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Gastown Grand Prix bike race, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and the Vancouver Craft Beer Week.
Overall, Gastown is a charming and historic neighborhood that offers a unique glimpse into Vancouver’s past, while also being a hub of culture and entertainment in the present day.
4.Visit the Museum of Anthropology – The Museum of Anthropology is located on the campus of the University of British Columbia and houses an extensive collection of First Nations art and artifacts.
The Vancouver Museum of Anthropology (MOA) is a museum located at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. It is renowned for its extensive collection of indigenous art and artifacts from around the world, with a focus on the First Nations peoples of British Columbia.
The MOA was founded in 1949 and moved to its current location in 1976. The museum’s architecture is notable, featuring a stunning glass-walled Great Hall that houses a collection of totem poles and other large-scale carvings.
The museum’s permanent collection contains more than 50,000 objects from around the world, including traditional and contemporary art, archaeological artifacts, and ethnographic materials. The majority of the collection is from First Nations cultures of the Pacific Northwest Coast, but the museum also has significant holdings from Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific.
In addition to its permanent collection, the MOA also hosts temporary exhibitions, public programs, and events that explore a wide range of cultural and social issues. The museum’s educational offerings include guided tours, school programs, and workshops for both children and adults.
Overall, the Vancouver Museum of Anthropology is a must-see destination for anyone interested in the rich cultural heritage of Canada’s indigenous peoples and the world’s diverse cultures.
5. Go skiing or snowboarding – Vancouver is just a short drive away from some of the best skiing and snowboarding destinations in North America, including Whistler and Blackcomb.
Whistler Blackcomb is a world-renowned ski resort located in British Columbia, Canada. It is the largest ski resort in North America, and is comprised of two adjacent mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb. The resort offers an unparalleled skiing and snowboarding experience, with over 8,100 acres of skiable terrain, 16 alpine bowls, and three glaciers.
Whistler Blackcomb is known for its challenging runs, with over 200 marked trails and more than 16 alpine bowls. The resort caters to all levels of skiers and snowboarders, with beginner-friendly terrain, intermediate runs, and expert-level black diamond runs. The resort also offers a variety of terrain parks, where freestyle skiers and snowboarders can test their skills on jumps, rails, and other features.
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Whistler Blackcomb offers a range of other winter activities, including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice-skating, and dog sledding. The resort also boasts a vibrant après-ski scene, with a wide selection of restaurants, bars, and shops in Whistler Village.
Overall, Whistler Blackcomb is a premier ski resort that offers an unparalleled skiing and snowboarding experience, with plenty of other winter activities and entertainment options for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time skier, Whistler Blackcomb is a must-visit destination for any winter sports enthusiast.
6. Visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge – The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a popular tourist attraction located in North Vancouver. It spans 450 feet across the Capilano River and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding rainforest.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a popular tourist attraction located in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The bridge spans 140 meters (460 feet) across the Capilano River and is suspended 70 meters (230 feet) above the river below.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge was originally built in 1889 as a simple hemp and cedar plank bridge by Scottish civil engineer George Grant Mackay. Today, the bridge has been updated and improved to meet modern safety standards while still preserving its historic charm.
In addition to the bridge itself, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park offers a range of other attractions, including a cliffwalk, treetop adventure, and various nature trails. The cliffwalk is a series of suspended walkways that cling to the side of a granite cliff, offering stunning views of the river canyon and surrounding forest. The treetop adventure is a series of suspension bridges and platforms that allow visitors to walk through the forest canopy and observe the local flora and fauna.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park also offers a variety of educational programs and events throughout the year, such as guided tours, nature talks, and cultural demonstrations.
Overall, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is a unique and thrilling experience that offers visitors the chance to explore the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest from a unique vantage point. Whether you’re a nature lover or a thrill-seeker, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is a must-visit destination in Vancouver.
7. Take a bike ride around Stanley Park – Stanley Park has over 22 kilometers of bike trails, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely bike ride. Bike rentals are available in the park.Renting a bike to explore Stanley Park is a popular activity for visitors to Vancouver. Stanley Park is a 1,000-acre public park that is located on a peninsula in the heart of the city, and is surrounded by water on three sides. The park offers a variety of trails and pathways for cycling, as well as stunning views of the city skyline, the Pacific Ocean, and the mountains.
There are several bike rental companies located near Stanley Park, including Spokes Bicycle Rentals, which has been in business for over 80 years. Other bike rental options include Bayshore Bike Rentals, and English Bay Bike Rentals. These companies offer a variety of rental options, including cruisers, mountain bikes, and tandem bikes, as well as child trailers and bike seats.
Before setting out on your bike ride, it’s important to review the park’s rules and regulations, which include a 15-mile per hour speed limit, the requirement to yield to pedestrians, and the prohibition of riding on the park’s pedestrian-only paths. It’s also important to wear a helmet, as helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Overall, renting a bike to explore Stanley Park is a fun and healthy way to experience the park’s natural beauty and cultural attractions. Whether you’re a casual rider or an experienced cyclist, there’s a trail or path in Stanley Park that’s perfect for you.
8. Visit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden – The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a tranquil oasis in the heart of Vancouver’s bustling Chinatown. It features traditional Chinese architecture, water features, and lush gardens.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a traditional Chinese garden located in Vancouver, Canada. The garden is named after Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, the first president of the Republic of China, who played a pivotal role in the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty in 1911.
The garden was designed by a team of Chinese and Canadian architects and opened in 1986. It was the first classical Chinese garden to be built outside of China and was constructed using traditional techniques and materials. The garden is divided into four main areas: the inner garden, the outer garden, the scholar’s study, and the public park.
The inner garden is the heart of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, and it is designed to be a place of tranquility and harmony. The garden is surrounded by high walls and is separated from the outside world by a moat. It features a large pond, a rockery, and several pavilions, all of which are designed to reflect the principles of feng shui.
The outer garden is a more public area that is designed to be a place for socializing and entertainment. It features a large pavilion, a bamboo grove, and a courtyard with a stage for performances.
The scholar’s study is a small building located in the inner garden, and it is designed to be a place of contemplation and study. It features a traditional Chinese-style study room, complete with calligraphy and painting supplies, as well as a small library.
The public park is a large area that surrounds the garden, and it features walking paths, benches, and open spaces for picnics and other activities.
Overall, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a beautiful and tranquil oasis in the heart of Vancouver, and it is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. It is a testament to the enduring legacy of Chinese culture and serves as a symbol of friendship between China and Canada.
9. Take a day trip to Victoria – Victoria is located on Vancouver Island and is just a short ferry ride away from Vancouver. It is known for its quaint architecture, beautiful gardens, and high tea.
Victoria is the capital city of the Canadian province of British Columbia, located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. It is known for its charming blend of historic architecture, scenic coastal beauty, and vibrant cultural scene.
One of Victoria’s most popular attractions is the Inner Harbour, a picturesque waterfront area that is home to the Parliament Buildings, the Empress Hotel, and a variety of shops, restaurants, and street performers. Visitors can take a stroll along the harbor, watch the boats come and go, or take a sightseeing tour on a boat or seaplane.
Another popular destination in Victoria is the Butchart Gardens, a 55-acre garden that boasts over a million plants and flowers in bloom throughout the year. The gardens are known for their stunning displays of color and their variety of themed gardens, including the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden, and the Italian Garden.
Victoria is also home to a number of museums and cultural institutions, including the Royal BC Museum, which showcases the natural and human history of British Columbia, and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, which features a diverse collection of Canadian and international art.
For those seeking outdoor adventure, Victoria offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling, kayaking, and whale watching. The nearby Juan de Fuca Provincial Park and the Gulf Islands are also popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts.
Overall, Victoria is a charming and vibrant city that offers something for everyone, from its historic architecture and cultural attractions to its natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities.
10. Explore the city’s food scene – Vancouver is known for its diverse and vibrant food scene, which reflects the city’s multicultural population and its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and local farmland. Here are some popular dishes and food experiences to try when visiting Vancouver:
- Fresh seafood: Vancouver is famous for its seafood, including salmon, halibut, crab, and oysters. Try some fresh seafood at local restaurants like Fish Counter, Blue Water Cafe, or Miku.
- Sushi: Vancouver has a large Japanese community, and as a result, has some of the best sushi in North America. Check out top sushi spots like Miku, Toshi Sushi, or Sushi Bar Maumi.
- Dim Sum: Vancouver has a large Chinese community, and as a result, has some of the best dim sum restaurants in North America. Try dim sum at restaurants like Kirin, Dynasty Seafood, or Sun Sui Wah.
- Craft Beer: Vancouver has a thriving craft beer scene, with over 30 breweries in the city. Try some local brews at popular breweries like Brassneck Brewery, 33 Acres Brewing Company, or Granville Island Brewing.
- Food trucks: Vancouver has a vibrant food truck scene, with over 100 food trucks serving up everything from tacos to grilled cheese sandwiches. Check out food truck festivals like the Vancouver Street Food Festival or the Food Cart Fest.
- Farmer’s Markets: Vancouver has several farmers markets throughout the city, offering fresh and locally sourced produce, meats, and cheeses. Check out popular markets like Granville Island Public Market, Trout Lake Farmers Market, or Kitsilano Farmers Market.
Overall, Vancouver has a diverse and exciting food scene that offers something for everyone, whether you’re a seafood lover, a sushi enthusiast, or a beer connoisseur.