Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

VANCOUVER

Vancouver is a bustling city in the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is the largest city in the west coat, densest and most ethically diverse cities. It is a place great for living, and great for visiting, because it has everything you want. From beaches, mountains, natural parks to vibrant city center with many shops and dining scenes. 

Overall, Vancouver is a young city and doesn't have a rich historical culture as other metropolitan cities. Many people come to visit Vancouver because it is just few minutes and hours away from the beautiful natural landscape, and yet you still can stay in a city center and not to be in the middle of nowhere. 

So if you are planning to travel to Vancouver, bookmark this travel guide for some insights on what to do, see or where to stay. I recommend staying few days exploring Vancouver and few more days for day trips outside the city. In addition, Vancouver has a great connection to the airport where you can take on a flight and flew in to the north, east or central of Canada easily.

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see


What to do and see?

Gastown
Lively Gastown is known for its whistling Steam Clock and mix of souvenir shops, indie art galleries and decor stores in Victorian buildings. It is a touristy place, but worth exploring the trendy food and drink scene, as well as boutique shops around this area. 

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Vancouver lookout
For 360 view over the city, visit Vancouver lookout. During a clear day, you will be able to see North Shore mountains in the background as well as Vancouver Island. There is also a restaurant at the top of the tower if you would like to dine with a view. 

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Robson street
Robson street is the main commercial street if you are looking to do some shopping in Vancouver. Besides that, Vancouver has many shopping malls also in the city center available.

Canada Place - Waterfront
Canada Place is a great place for a walk alongside the harbor with some fabulous views on iconic landmarks of Vancouver and North Shore mountains. 

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Beaches
Vancouver has many beaches you may visit during warmer even colder weather. Make sure to check English bay each, Sunset beach or Kitsilano beach. Apparently the best beaches where you can swim during summer time is Kitsilano and English bay beach. 

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Yaletown district and David Lam park
Yaletown is the cleaner and upper class side of Vancouver with many new trendy restaurants, cocktail lounges and coffee shops. On the waterfront, David Lam Park has an expansive lawn and a playground, while the Seawall is popular for cycling and walking. 

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Aqua bus
A privately owned and operated ferry service that provides commuter and sightseeing services to locations all along False Creek of central Vancouver. Make sure to hop on to one of those Aqua bus ferries to admire the views from the water. Ferries are running frequently and you can purchase tickets by cash or card even in the ferry.

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Granville Island
Located on a peninsula in False Creek, Granville Island is not really an island as such. Visit Granville Island during the day for their Public Market with diverse food and art vendors. A perfect place to visit also for a rainy day.

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Stanley park
An 8.8km seawall, 400-hectare rainforest, beautiful beaches, wildlife, and restaurants make this huge public park hard to beat. It is a public park surrounded by waters of Burrard Inlet and English Bay. The park has a long history and was one of the first areas to be explored in the city. In the park, you can find many attractions worth to explore, such as Vancouver aquarium, beaver lake or totems.

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Vancouver Seawall
Vancouver seawall is the world's largest uninterrupted seaside path. The length of this path is around 28km and on a nice day, it is a great place to go for a run, walk or bike all the way around downtown, Stanley Park, False Creek, and Kitsilano district.

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
This garden is located in the Chinatown district of Vancouver. It is apparently the first garden to be built outside of China. The architecture of the garden was incorporated into the Ming Dynasty. 

Capilano suspension bridge park
The park doesn't contain only the suspension bridge across the Capilano river in the Nort of Vancouver, but also the fun Treetops adventure and gravity-defying Cliffwalk. There is a shuttle bus from downtown Vancouver which will take you directly to the park. If you are traveling during the wintertime, then don't miss a visit to Capilano suspension bridge park for its nicely decorated area with thousands of lights.

Lynn Canyon park
Lynn Canyon suspension bridge in the North of Vancouver. It is a lesser-known and visited bridge compared to the more famous Capilano suspension bridge, but equally amazing! The area was well taken care of, paths were marked and of course, not many people around. Apart from this bridge in Lynn Canyon, you can visit the crystal clear pools and twin waterfalls. 

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Grouse Mountain
From sophisticated entertainment to unspoiled nature, Grouse Mountain is a1,200-metre mountain offering activities such as skiing & hiking plus sweeping views of Vancouver. There is a gondola that takes you up if you don't want to hike.

Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology 
An absolutely stunning museum and location that displays international art and culture, especially works by First Nations people of the Pacific Northwest. The museum of archaeology and anthropology is located at the University of British Columbia grounds.

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Richmond Night Market
The outdoor Richmond Night Market is on each year from late spring to early fall, and features various Asian food vendors, kitschy games, and cultural performances.

Vancouver Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery is an art museum located in the downtown Vancouver. The museum occupies a 15,300 square metres building adjacent to Robson Square, making it the largest art museum in Western Canada by building size.

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see


Where to go for food and drinks?

Vancouver has such a mixture of cuisine that the typical Vancouver dishes are dishes with heritage from Europe or Asia. As the city is close to the city, make sure to taste some sea food dishes, especially salmon, prawns and oysters. The other popular dish that you may heard about when in Vancouver is anything Asian. From sushi, ramen to chicken wings. You have plenty of Asian cuisine in there and it is part of what Vancouver is. Lastly, you will occasionally see food tracks outside on a street selling japadogs. These are japanese style hot dogs and also calling for a popularity of food in here. Nevertheless, I have to say that the coffee scene in Vancouver is amazing! Went to few coffee shops and always top notch coffee! Below are some restaurants and coffee shops places for you to explore:

1) Botanist
2) La Mezcaleria
3) Phnom Penh restaurant
4) Long table distillery
5) The birds & The beets
6) Revolver
7) Matchstick
8)Buro the espresso bar
9)Saku
10) Kingyo

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

How to get there from the airport

Vancouver city center is easily reachable from airport (YCC) by a Canada Line sky train. The journey itself takes about 25 min only and tickets can be purchased by machines at the station in the airport. To travel from one part of Vancouver to another, the Vancouver SkyTrain, like the bus and SeaBus, costs $2.50 for one zone, $3.75 for two and $5.00 for three. You will find zone maps at each skytrain station.


Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Accommodation

1) St. Regis hotel ($$)
The boutique hotel St.Regis is located just in the middle of the city center of Vancouver with easy walkable access to the waterfront, Gastown or the shopping street.

2) Ramada Limited Vancouver Downtown ($) 
Ramada is close to many of Vancouver's famous attractions, located in the city center of Vancouver with easy access to everything.

3) L'Hermitage Vancouver ($$$)
L'Hermitage hotel Vancouver, a leading luxury hotel property in Vancouver Downtown, BC. We offer unparalleled levels of service & room amenities.

4) Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre ($$$)
The hotel is nestled in the center of the thriving downtown district of Vancouver with a short walk from business and entertainment neighborhoods.

5) Airbnb ($-$$)
Always an alternative option to hotels is to accommodate yourself in Airbnb where you can have access to the kitchen.

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

What to know before traveling to Vancouver

Tip 1) There might be some areas and streets with a high drug and crime rates. In general, Vancouver is a safe place to travel for solo travelers as well as for group travelers. Especially there is this one street in Downtown of Vancouver where you should avoid walking alone.

Tip 2) Vancouver has a great mixture of city and nature just a short drive away. If you can, hire a car to get around these beautiful natural places, like top-notch ski resorts, natural parks with suspension bridges, gondola rides or to Whistler (home of the 2010 Winter Olympics).

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Tip 3) Vancouver is popular both in summer and wintertime. If you are traveling during the wintertime, you may benefit from off-season rates and quiet places. Make sure to research beforehand where you would like to go, as some of the attractions may be closed.

Tip 4) Vancouver has a high Asian population, so you can find a variety of Asian cuisine to eat. From Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese to Korean. Sometimes I felt like eating Asians pretty much every day, as that was the only place I found easily on the street.

Tip 5) Vancouver has limited public transport compared to other major metropolitan cities. They have only 3 Skytrain lines which are not really useful for tourists, apart from the Canada line which connects the airport to Vancouver city center. The majority of places are either accessible by a cab or buses. Download the Citymapper app or use Google maps to find out your route beforehand. If the weather is nice, you can hire bicycles as well!

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Tip 6) There is absolutely no need of having cash here. They accept cards and contactless everywhere. Even in buses and skytrain (their version of metros/subways/underground). By the way, do you know that they have queen Elizabeth II on their note?

Tip 7) The terminology between credit and debit card is a bit confusing in here. Usually kiosks or at the check out desks, they will ask you how you will want to pay. And saying “by card” is not enough. You have to specify what card - debit or credit. In addition, what we are use to call debit card in Europe (Visa and MasterCards), this is called as credit cards in Canada. So be aware of this as you may be shocked why some kiosks may reject your payment, because you clicked wrong payment options!

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see


Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see


Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see


Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see


Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

Planning your Vancouver trip - what to do and see

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