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Things to do in Vancouver

Things to do in  Vancouver

Welcome to Vancouver

While exploring this western seaport city in Canada’s British Columbia, don’t be surprised if you stumble onto a film set. Nicknamed Hollywood North, Vancouver has become the backdrop for countless films and television shows. For observation of a different kind, the Museum of Anthropology houses exhibits featuring First Nations artifacts, while bay views are best seen from the urban rain forest of Stanley Park. And for those seeking the slopes, venture north to Whistler, home to one of the largest ski resorts in North America.

Top attractions in Vancouver for Spring

#1
Stanley Park

Stanley Park

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Vancouver’s Stanley Park enjoys a stellar natural setting, surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean and set against the backdrop of the snow-capped North Shore Mountains. At nearly 1,000 acres (405 hectares) in size, it offers a combination of coastal red-cedar forest, lakes and lagoons, and scenic meadows. A walk along the public park’s seawall is an essential Vancouver experience.More
#2
Downtown Vancouver

Downtown Vancouver

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Surrounded by water on three sides, downtown Vancouver is the place to go for sea views, bright lights, and action. The city’s commercial core, it encompasses several distinct areas including shop-lined Robson Street, the green expanse of Stanley Park, historic Gastown, and one of the largest Chinatowns in North America.More
#3
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

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Admire Vancouver's natural beauty at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, a quintessential British Columbia experience and one of the Pacific Northwest's most popular attractions. The highlight includes walking out onto the 450-foot (137-meter) suspension bridge as it sways between the temperate rain forest over the rushing Capilano River below. With plenty more to see and do besides, it’s a must for adventurous visitors in Vancouver.More
#4
Gastown

Gastown

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One of Vancouver’s oldest and buzziest districts, Gastown is packed with Victorian architecture and cobbled streets. Named after John “Gassy Jack” Deighton, an English mariner who opened a saloon in the area in the 19th century, the district is filled with heritage buildings now hosting boutiques, coffee shops, hip restaurants, and bars.More
#5
Granville Island

Granville Island

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Overflowing with art studios, theaters, restaurants, and kid-friendly activities, Vancouver’s Granville Island is a popular spot for both tourists and locals. The “island”—really a small peninsula—is an ideal getaway from the bustle of city life, with waterfront views, scenic alleyways, and a thriving food and art culture.More
#6
Canada Place

Canada Place

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Opened in 1986, Canada Place is hard to miss: The complex was built to look like a ship, and its five large fiberglass “sails” are visible above the Vancouver waterfront. This is the city’s main cruise ship terminal, and the complex is also home to a convention center, a hotel, and FlyOver Canada, a flight-simulation ride.More
#7
Lions Gate Bridge

Lions Gate Bridge

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The impressive Lions Gate Bridge spans the Burrard Inlet, connecting North and West Vancouver with the downtown area. This suspension bridge originally opened in 1938, and is designated as a National Historic Site of Canada. At the bridge’s south end is leafy Stanley Park, another major attraction in Vancouver.More
#8
Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

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Butchart Gardens, established in 1904, treat visitors to an enchanting floral show that changes with the seasons. Covering 55 acres (22 hectares) on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, the botanical space is intricately laid out into separate themed gardens with landscaping that impresses and inspires gardeners and nature lovers alike.More
#9
Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain

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The summit of Grouse Mountain features some of the best views in all of British Columbia—from Vancouver’s downtown towers to the green expanse of Stanley Park and the entirety of Fraser Valley. Visitors can ride the Skyride aerial tram or hike up to the 3,642-foot (1,110-meter) peak for panoramic vistas and a variety of outdoor activities.More
#10
Vancouver Chinatown

Vancouver Chinatown

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Established in the 1890s by migrant workers, this Vancouver neighborhood is now among the biggest and most vibrant Chinatowns in North America. It’s packed with Asian grocers, Chinese herbalists, dim sum restaurants, trinket stores, and meat shops filled with tempting displays of hanging char siu and roast ducks.More
#11
Sea to Sky Gondola

Sea to Sky Gondola

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During the 10-minute ride to the 2,900-foot (884-meter) summit station, passengers of the Sea to Sky Gondola are treated to sweeping views of some of British Columbia’s most epic landscapes. The floor-to-ceiling windows of the gondola cars reveal the sky-piercing peaks of the Coast Mountains and the glittering fjords of Howe Sound.More
#12
English Bay

English Bay

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Situated between Kistilano and Stanley Park, English Bay is one of Vancouver’s best spots for water sports, such as swimming, kayaking, and fishing. Two popular beaches—Kitsilano Beach and English Bay—face out onto the bay, as does part of the Stanley Park seawall, a waterside promenade used by cyclists and walkers.More
#13
Robson Street

Robson Street

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Locals and visitors alike flock to Robson Street for shopping, dining, and people watching. It’s the biggest retail street in the city with department stores, chain stores, and high-end shops, plus a variety of eateries, all located near downtown Vancouver’s attractions and waterfront.More
#14
Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park

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Perched 545 feet (167 meters) above sea level, this well-kept park affords wonderful views over downtown Vancouver. A sunken quarry garden, a 1,500-tree arboretum, a rose garden, floral displays, and public artworks make this 128-acre (52-hectare) recreational space one of the most pleasing outdoor hangouts in the city.More
#15
False Creek

False Creek

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An inlet dividing downtown Vancouver from the rest of the city, False Creek borders some of Vancouver’s busiest shoreside neighborhoods, from chic Yaletown to Granville Island. The inlet hums with the activity of ferries, kayaks, and other boats, while the water’s edge is lined with scenic paths.More

Trip ideas

How to Get Off the Beaten Path in Vancouver

How to Get Off the Beaten Path in Vancouver

Top Spots for Art Lovers in Vancouver

Top Spots for Art Lovers in Vancouver

Must-See Museums in Vancouver

Must-See Museums in Vancouver

Top activities in Vancouver

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Ticket
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Vancouver Seaplane Tour

Vancouver Seaplane Tour

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Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour from Vancouver
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Half-Day Whale Watching Adventure from Vancouver
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Whale-Watching Tour from Vancouver
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Whale-Watching Tour from Vancouver

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Small-Group Victoria and Butchart Gardens Day Trip from Vancouver
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Vancouver Harbor Sunset Dinner Cruise
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Vancouver City Sightseeing Tour: Granville Island & Stanley Park
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Grouse Mountain & Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
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Seaplane Flight to Victoria with Ground Transport and Butchart Gardens Admission
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Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour from Vancouver
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Vancouver to Victoria by Seaplane and Ferry
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Vancouver to Victoria Seaplane Flight
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Vancouver Highlights Bike Tour - The Grand Tour
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Things to do in Vancouver this...

Recent reviews from experiences in Vancouver

star-5
Vancouver in a day
Carmel_M, May 2022
Vancouver City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
A great way to see the city.
star-5
Best day in VC
Morten_B, May 2022
Independent Bike & E-bike Tour of Vancouver
Great way to experience Vancouver - beautiful 40 km ride around Stanley Park and through downtown, English Bay, Kitsilano, Granville Island, Spanish Banks, and UBC
star-5
Best way!
Sheri_N, May 2022
Vancouver City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
The hop on so hatch hot off tour is one of the best ways to see the city of Vancouver and surrounding area.
star-5
Origins of Vancouver Tour
Rafael_R, May 2022
Gastown, the origins of Vancouver
We also received recommendations of other things to do during our stay in Vancouver.
star-5
Awesome tour
Kari_F, Apr 2022
Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour from Vancouver
For a day trip we got to see lots, I would have liked starting earlier, maybe a half hour each in both gardens and Victoria.
star-5
Best of Vancouver
Sandra_M, Apr 2022
Small Group Tour: Vancouver Sightseeing and Capilano Suspension Bridge
This tour was a wonderful way to see the highlights of Vancouver.
star-5
Enjoyable tour of Vancouver.
Gregg_S, Mar 2022
Small Group Tour: Vancouver Sightseeing and Capilano Suspension Bridge
It was an enjoyable way to see Vancouver and learn about its history.
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Must Do Experience
David_J, Feb 2022
Vancouver Seaplane Tour
What a way to see Vancouver.
star-5
Amazing!!
Paridhi_J, Dec 2021
Vancouver Seaplane Tour
It was a great experience to see Vancouver from above the skies.
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Beautiful Day with Amazing People
Tony_B, May 2022
Vancouver Highlights Bike Tour - The Grand Tour
This is one of the activities that was top on our list while in Vancouver and we were NOT disappointed.
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Interesting tour with great guide
Mimi_O, Apr 2022
Vancouver Highlights Bike Tour - The Grand Tour
This is a great and interesting way to see the city, I would definitely recommend!
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Fantastic E Bike Tour of Vancouver!
Kimberly_W, Apr 2022
Guided Bike / Ebike Tour of Vancouver's Waterfront
I got to see so many areas I would have never seen on a tour bus or on my own.
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After an elusive first try the orcas came out to play!
Mimi_O, Apr 2022
Whale-Watching Tour from Vancouver
Luckily I had a spare day so rebooked and was able to see some orcas!
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GREAT TOUR
Tom_L, Apr 2022
Whistler and Sea to Sky Gondola Tour
Great tour to see outside Vancouver city.
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Thank you Bobby!
Devon_M, Apr 2022
Squamish Howe Sound Explorer Private Tour
Stopped along the coast at multiple spots with incredible views of everything Vancouver & Squamish has to offer- Stanley Park, Shannon Falls, Howe Sound, the Tantalus Mountains and more.
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Lovely day visit to Victoria City from Vancouver
Cynthia_L, Mar 2022
Vancouver to Victoria by Seaplane and Ferry
We had a good time, but I was especially disappointed not to have been able to visit Bushertz Gardens - not enough time.
star-5
Great Way to See Vancouver!
Christina_N, Mar 2022
Grand City Small Group Tour of Vancouver
I would have liked to have spent a bit more time on Granville Island exploring the market (some free time here might be ideal), but it was a great way to see Vancouver and the bonus stop at La Casa Gelato was nice on what turned out to be a rainy afternoon.
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5 hours of pure joy
Elena_K, Nov 2021
Private Tour: Vancouver Sightseeing
My youngest kids fall in love with Erik and everyone enjoyed the tour very much.
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Totally Epic !
Peter_E, Oct 2021
Epic Electric Bike Tour of Vancouver
A very safe, great way to see the city !
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Enjoyed seeing Vancouver...
ToniBailie, Oct 2021
Granite Falls Zodiac Tour
It was awesome to see the landscape in the Indian arm.

All about Vancouver

When to visit

Vancouver bursts into color in spring, when the annual Cherry Blossom Festival heralds the arrival of the powder-pink blooms. April and May are best for spotting migrating whales, and in winter, the city makes an ideal base for exploring British Columbia’s best skiing spots, which include Whistler and Fernie.

A local’s pocket guide to Vancouver

Rosie Boosey

Rosie's sister lives in Vancouver and she visits whenever she can. Find her exploring the city’s best hangouts, cycling endlessly up and down the tree-lined avenues, and skiing on Cypress Mountain.

The first thing you should do in Vancouver is...

rent a scooter from Cycle BC to zip around the city and get familiar with all the sights.

A perfect Saturday in Vancouver...

starts with brunch at Heirloom, before riding around the False Creek seawall and stopping at Granville Island Market for Lee’s donuts. In the evening, play Spike Ball on Kits beach or take a brewery tour.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

Stanley Park. There are lots of trails, a shrinking lake, and even a city beach where drum circles gather on sunny Tuesday evenings.

To discover the "real" Vancouver...

head down Commercial Drive in East Van and explore the many bars, restaurants, and local shops.

For the best view of the city...

go to Queen Elizabeth Park, the highest point in Vancouver with lots of lovely gardens. For a closer view, visit Vanier Park instead and make sure to walk across Burrard Bridge.

One thing people get wrong...

is not realizing Vancouver's weather is actually pretty lovely in the summer—there are even days with no rain.

Frequently Asked Questions
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