Vancouver is one of Canada’s most popular cities, full of fun things to do
, places to see and neighbourhoods to enjoy. Here are 20 attractions you must visit during your next trip to Vancouver.
One of the biggest urban parks in North America, Stanley Park is nearly entirely surrounded by water. There’s plenty to see in and around the park, like its beaches, lagoon and lake, with stunning views from every angle, and its seawall, where you can exercise. Stanley Park is also the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path, at 28 kilometres (17 miles).
Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC, +1 604 681 6728
Stanley Park Horse Drawn Tour | © Hayley Simpson | © Hayley Simpson
Gastown is Vancouver’s most historic neighbourhood, and it’s located just next door to the downtown area. Highlights in the area – besides the food and drinks – include the steam clock (one of only a few left in the world), Hotel Europe’s Flatiron Building-like exterior and Gassy Jack’s statue.
Gastown, Vancouver, BC
Gastown’s Hotel Europe | © Hayley Simpson
Metropolis at Metrotown
For shopping lovers, a visit to Vancouver isn’t complete without checking out the stores in British Columbia’s largest mall. Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby (in the Greater Vancouver area) is also the third largest mall in Canada, with over 400 stores across four floors. It has shops for everyone on every budget: from Forever21 and Old Navy to Michael Kors and Guess.
Metropolis at Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway #604, Burnaby, BC, +1 604 438 4715
A little peninsula over the bridge from Vancouver’s city centre, Granville Island is known for its thriving artists’ community, brewery and public market. The market is open every day and features a food court and stalls selling fresh produce, delicious treats and handmade products. Its waterside location makes for picturesque photos, too.
Granville Island, Vancouver, BC
Granville Island Public Market Entrance | © Hayley Simpson
Located within Stanley Park, Vancouver Aquarium is a popular local attraction. As a non-profit organisation, the aquarium is “dedicated to effecting the conservation of aquatic life through education, research and direct action”. Some of the animals include dolphins, sea otters, penguins, reef sharks, rays (which you can touch!) and sea lions.
Vancouver Aquarium, 845 Avison Way, Vancouver, BC, +1 604 659 3474
Science World has hundreds of interactive exhibits inside its interesting geodesic dome exterior, including art displays, hands-on areas, live science shows, puzzles, and the current Made in Canada exhibition. Another feature is its OMNIMAX Theatre, which is currently showing A Beautiful Planet.
Science World at TELUS World of Science, 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver, BC, +1 604 443 7440
Science World | © Hayley Simpson
Museum of Anthropology
Queen Elizabeth Park
One of three major mountains in North Vancouver, Grouse Mountain has a cable car, which means it’s an accessible place to visit in both winter and summer. Around the holidays, the mountain transforms into the Peak of Christmas, with ice skating, Santa photos, sleigh rides and the usual winter activities. In summer, tackle the Grouse Grind and then enjoy the Lumberjack Show on top of the mountain.
Grouse Mountain, 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC, +1 604 980 9311
Vancouver Art Gallery
Known to locals as Kits or Kits Beach, Kitsilano Beach is where you will find a lot of residents in the summertime. There’s ample park space around the beach for picnics, plus volleyball nets and Kitsilano Pool. The 137 metre outdoor pool is Vancouver’s only saltwater swimming pool, open from mid-May to mid-September.
Kitsilano Beach Park, 1499 Arbutus Street, Vancouver, BC, +1 604 873 7000
One of Vancouver’s hippest neighbourhoods, Commercial Drive’s main hub runs from Venables Street in the north to 13th Avenue in the south. There are over 400 businesses here, which are predominantly owner-operated. Whether you’re searching for food, locally-brewed beers or a quirky boutique, the Drive has it all.
Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC
Museum of Vancouver
English Bay’s First Beach is the most populated beach area in Downtown Vancouver. Although it’s known for being the place to watch the annual Celebration of Lights festival, English Bay is also at the end of West End’s Denman Street, which is filled with food and drink options. Head here for a sunset you won’t forget.
English Bay, Vancouver, BC, +1 604 873 7000