With its urban beaches and mountain views, Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The mild temperature makes the city’s extensive parks and leisure attractions accessible throughout the year. Apart from an abundance of outdoor activities, the city boasts a busy cultural life with museums, restaurants, and shops.
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There are many things to do in Vancouver, and the best way to see the attractions and get acquainted with the layout of the city is on a Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour or a Trolley Tour. The bus tour stops at 24 locations, and the trolley stops at 36 points of interest. Tickets are valid for either one or two days for both of these tours, so you can do a whirlwind 48-hours of exploring.
Here are 10 must-see places to visit in Vancouver.
10 Must-See Places to Visit in Vancouver
Of all the Vancouver tourist attractions, Stanley Park should be your first stop. As Canada’s Largest Park, Stanley Park’s paved seawall path encircles beautiful green space, and most visitors take the time to explore on foot or by bicycle. Inland, the park offers many things to do, and visitors can spend a full day exploring attractions ranging from the totem poles at Brockton Point to the west coast sea life at the Vancouver Aquarium. Gorgeous views of the city and mountains can be enjoyed from anywhere in the park.
This family favourite is popular year-round. Once an industrial area, Granville Island is now a thriving center of activity with unique shops, restaurants, and attractions. The Granville Island Public Market is one of the most popular attractions selling fruit and vegetables, seafood, and a great variety of other specialties as well as ready-to-eat items.
Capilano Suspension Bridge
People from all over the world come here to experience the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Vancouver’s first tourist attraction opened in 1889 and has been thrilling visitors with its suspension bridge over the 70-metre deep river canyon ever since. The park also offers forest trails, a treetop walk through old-growth giants,totem poles and a transparent suspended platform known as the Cliffwalk. If you are staying in Vancouver, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Admission offers a free shuttle to the site.
In both winter and summer, Grouse Mountain offers a gorgeous panorama. A gondola operates daily running from street level to the summit, where dining, activities, and wildlife await mountaintop explorers year-round. Grouse Mountain during winter offers outdoor skating, snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding – great for families. In summer, Grouse Mountain is a hiker’s paradise with trails, including the famed Grouse Grind, calle Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.
Located in the heart of Vancouver’s waterfront, Canada Place is an iconic landmark and venue for world-class events and inspirationally Canadian experiences. Canada Place opened in 1986 as the Canada Pavilion for Expo 86 and has since become a national icon and a hub of activity on Vancouver’s waterfront.
Take a stroll down Vancouver’s popular shopping street, Robson street. Visit the city’s premier arts institution, the Vancouver Art Gallery and pass by Robson Square, a public space designed by Arthur Erickson, which includes a winter ice-skating rink and law courts. Grab a bite at one of the restaurants, or sip a tea or coffee as people-watch.
Gastown is Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood and because of its many heritage and historic buildings, Gastown was designated a National Historic site in 2009. Explore the interesting galleries, restaurants and local fashion designers shops. Heritage structures, cobblestone streets, and iron lampposts give the district its distinctive atmosphere. Founded in 1867, John Deighton soon acquired the nickname “Gassy Jack” as he loved telling stories. His statue now watches over the neighborhood in Maple Tree Square. Tourists stop for photos with “Gassy Jack”, and also love to visit the nearby Steam Clock, which puffs steam-powered chimes every 15 minutes.
Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens
Go back in time and visit a 15th Century Chinese Garden and enjoy today the World’s Top city Garden as chosen by National Geographic, Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens. Take a tour, enjoy some tea or just relax and soak in the beauty and serenity.
Museum of Anthropology
The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus is renowned for its displays of world arts and cultures, in particular works by First Nation band governments of the Pacific Northwest. It also features extensive collections from around the world as well as a wide range of temporary exhibitions, guided tours, and other public events.
Other attractions on the university campus include the clothing-optional shoreline of Wreck Beach, the natural-history-focused Beaty Biodiversity Museum, and the rambling UBC Botanical Garden with its many interesting plantings and delicate Nitobe Japanese Garden.
Kitsilano Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Vancouver, especially in the warm summer months. The sandy shoreline defines the laid-back Vancouver lifestyle. Locals enjoy the outdoor heated seawater swimming pool, and visitors come to admire the views. The area has a number of cafés and walking trails, and a vibrant shopping strip lies a few blocks south on West Fourth Avenue.
Other places to visit:
Science World, Queen Elizabeth Park, Museum of Vancouver, Chinatown, English Bay, Vancouver Aquarium, VanDusen Botanical Garden