WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN VANCOUVER?
Vancouver, Canada’s most densely populated city, is located in the west of the country, between the Pacific Ocean and the high Canadian Rocky Mountains. Vancouver attracts for its location and climate, much less harsh than the rest of the country. It rains often, but winters are milder and summers less stifling. Vancouver is primarily the gateway to Alberta’s rocky mountains and national parks, as well as Vancouver Island. Lovers of skiing, hiking, kayaking and camping will be in heaven! It is also one of the most pleasant cities in the world to live in, with a very multicultural population (it is home to the third largest Asian community in the country). It’s a pity that everything is extremely expensive…. we’ll have to plan a substantial budget.
On this page, you will be able to discover the essential experiences not to be missed in Vancouver, the must-see tourist sites and the activities that must be done. This selection may be useful in planning an itinerary and organizing your stay in Vancouver, giving you a taste of the best things to do and places to visit.
- Book your hotel in Vancouver now on Booking.com
Here are 10 must-see things to do and see on a trip to Vancouver:
1. STANLEY PARK
With nearly 8 million visitors each year, Stanley Park remains by far Vancouver’s most popular tourist destination. Nature lovers, amateur hikers and cycling enthusiasts will all find their happiness there. The estate covers more than 400 hectares and ranks third in the ranking of the largest urban parks in North America. You can relax on the beautiful beaches, discover the fauna and flora of the rainforest or visit Canada’s largest aquarium.
2. GROUSE MOUNTAIN
It’s hard not to be seduced by the authentic charm and idyllic scenery of Grouse Mountain. Culminating at an altitude of more than 1200 metres, this sumptuous mountain contains a ski area with 26 resorts. With an entrance ticket, adults and children alike can enjoy the various activities on offer for free: skyriding, paragliding, mountain hiking, cycling with family or friends, visiting the park… By leaving early in the morning, you will have the opportunity to travel on board the Sea Bus linking the Waterfront station and the Lonsdale Quay.
The origin of this Vancouver neighbourhood dates back to 1867. This period was marked by the opening of a bar by Gassy Jack or John Deighton of his real name, a former boat captain converted into a bartender. Marked by Victorian architecture, Gastown is home to exceptional sites that are an integral part of its historical and cultural heritage. Among them is the old steam clock located in the heart of the district. It’s virtually impossible to visit Gastown without going through this iconic location.
4. VANCOUVER AQUARIUM
By bus, on foot or by bike, Vancouver’s marine aquarium remains a very accessible place. It’s located in Stanley Park. It has a large and magnificent area designed to accommodate adults and children of all ages, not to mention the 50,000 species found there. Like otters, which particularly attract visitors. The entrance ticket gives you access to a range of activities, to mention only the dolphin show and outdoor activities that are provided by real professionals.
5. THE VANCOUVER MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY
This building, with its traditional architecture, is located on the campus of the University of British Columbia. Ideally nestled on a cliff, this authentic Arthur Erickson creation offers a breathtaking view of a contrasting landscape. Dedicated to promoting world culture, this museum contains 500,000 unique objects from all over the world. Examples include beautiful iconic First Nations totem poles, wooden sculptures created by renowned artists, superb works of art and ethnographic objects. The visit is not free of charge.
6. GRANVILLE ISLAND
One day is enough to discover the hidden beauty of this small neighbourhood of Vancouver. Formerly an industrial area, it has been transformed into an attractive peninsula where visitors can enjoy themselves and eat. Granville Island is located south of the city centre, more precisely under the long Granville Bridge. Although the public market is the most popular place for tourists, other activities are also available: visit the art museum, paddle, trailer boat and kayak trips, theatre performance, etc.
7. CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE PARK
Its fantastic scenery makes this 140-metre long suspension bridge one of Vancouver’s must-see places. To access the site, it’s mandatory to have a mobile ticket. Once inside, you will have a choice of a multitude of activities. Nature lovers will be surrounded by wildlife during thematic hikes and free guided tours organized by qualified experts. Those who love thrills will experience the legendary Capilano Bridge. Free shuttle services are available.
8. VANDUSEN BOTANICAL GARDEN
You can’t pass through the Shaughnessy district without making a small detour to this exceptionally charming public garden. It was established in 1975 through close collaboration between the City of Vancouver and the Government of British Columbia. June is the ideal time to visit this botanical garden. Flowers of all colours bloom to form an impressive landscape. This park is open all year round and offers a paid visit. It’s home to nearly 7500 plant species from all over the world.
9. CANADA PLACE
One can only be seduced by the original architecture of this imposing building. Nestled in the heart of the Port of Vancouver, it has several equally attractive facilities. Five white sails decorate the roof of the building, which in turn houses a convention centre and many of the offices of the World Trade Center. Although Fly Over Canada is the first attraction, the place promises an unforgettable experience. On the program: free events, a visit to the Canadian trail, a visit to the Port of Vancouver… In the evening and at dawn, you can admire from afar the beauty of the white sails illuminated with sparkling colours.
10. SCIENCE WORLD
Young and old are welcome to visit Science World, a vast museum that dates back to 1986. Open from April to September, it offers visitors the opportunity to buy tickets online. For children under 3 years old, the visit is free of charge. The managers have devised interesting activities and interactive exhibitions that will stimulate everyone’s minds. Children can watch movies in the Omnimax Theatre, watch live demonstrations on the Peter Brown Family stage or visit Ken Spencer Science Park.
MORE THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN VANCOUVER
If you have some time in Vancouver, here are some other places to visit that are worth a look and activities you should do:
- See a hockey game
- Enjoy the view from Vancouver Lookout
- Lynn canyon park