If you had to pick a perfect spot to build a city, Vancouver wouldn’t be a bad place to start. Vancouver is a modern metropolis nestled between the ocean and mountains, which gives it a unique look and feel: look to your left and marvel as the architectural beauty of its skyscrapers; look to your right and appreciate the luscious vistas of the mountainside or the Pacific Ocean.
When Vancouver was founded, it was known as ‘Gastown’. Now Gastown is Vancouver's oldest neighbourhood located in the downtown core. The multicultural mix of the local indigenous peoples, Europeans and Chinese settlers exudes a uniquely modern, environment, rich with culture and perfect for any tourist.
Vancouver has its own unique atmosphere. It is an exceptionally clean, modern city and the Chinese influence ihas introduced a distinctly Asian feel to the city. There is no shortage of things to do and the city has a variety of parks, shops and museums, and the Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of the biggest and most impressive suspension bridges in the world.
Things to do on a Vancouver holiday
When planning your sightseeing itinerary, you could organise it as a series of walks fanning out from the city centre, with a good starting point being the Vancouver Art Gallery. You don’t have to stray far to cover the bases: shopping, great restaurants, beaches and nature are all within easy distance of the city's downtown.
For shopping, head to Robson Street, the city’s most popular shopping destination or try the boutiques of Yaletown. You’ll discover that the ‘real Vancouver’ can be found in its neighbourhoods whether it is in the cool coffee shops of Commercial Drive, the hipster hangouts of SoMa, the leafy streets of the West End, the kaleidoscope of thoroughfares in Chinatown and the historic, re-invigorated cobblestoned streets of Gastown. For many, Vancouver truly offers urban adventures while also offering some of Canada’s most fantastic outdoor attractions, right on its doorstep.
Here are some of our favourite tourist attractions to visit on your Vancouver holiday;
Vancouver Tourist Attractions
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park: Since 1989 people have been crossing the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Along with the Cliff Walk and a Treetop Adventure, the Park is a great day out for any family who enjoys getting outside and exploring something new.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden: This attraction comprises a beautiful traditional Chinese garden and a public park. The park is free to enter and the garden has an admission fee. The garden it is the first of its kind built outside of China and iwas built in order to promote the Chinese culture and to improve the cultural understanding between western and Chinese cultures.
Stanley Park: One of North America's largest urban parks, with over one thousand acres of dense woodland and scenic sea views of Vancouver Harbour and English Bay. While you’re in Stanley Park you can also visit the Vancouver Aquarium, which is located on the south east end of the park. Offering a perfect day out, the park is a tranquil haven for anyone that loves the outdoors, yet it is located right on the edge of Vancouver's downtown.
Museum of Anthropology: Just 20 minutes from downtown, the Museum of Anthropology at UBC houses one of the world's finest displays of Nortwest Coast First Nations arts in a spectacular Arthur Erickson designed building overlooking mountains and sea. On Tuesdays, the Museum of Anthropology offers discounted rates and later opening times, well worth a visit!
Museum of Vancouver: This award-winning museum in Kitsilano aims to inspire a deeper understanding of the city around us through stories, objects, and experiences. Permanent exhibitions include an exhibition on Vancouver’s neon lights and galleries profiling the city from the early 1900s to the 1970s.
Vancouver Art Gallery: Located downtown in what was once a courthouse building, the gallery combines both the traditional and the boundary-pushing all in one space. From indigenous Canadian works to French Impressionists as well as hosting an impressive collection of photographic art, the Vancouver Art Gallery has established a reputation for curating collections well worth seeing. Take a break at the Gallery Café, with its beautiful hidden-gem patio overlooking bustling Robson Street.
Beaty Biodiversity Museum: Identifiable to passing students, staff, and visitors at UBC by Canada’s largest blue whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling. The museum’s permanent exhibitions include 500 displays that celebrate and investigate natural history.
Places to Eat
There are many places to eat in Vancouver, below are some of our favourites;
Chambar, Beatty Street: This award winning restaurant refers to itself as ‘civilized debauchery’ and it prides itself in providing ‘unpretentious fine dining’.
West, Granville Street: This restaurant has been called the ‘jewel in Vancouver’s culinary crown’, creating exciting, modern dishes that will take your breath away.
Blue Water Café, Hamilton Street: This restaurant is consistently awarded “Best Seafood Restaurant” in Vancouver
How Expensive is Vancouver?
Average meal at an inexpensive restaurant $13.00
A 3 course meal for 2 at a mid-range restaurant $65.00
Taxi starting price $3.22
Taxi per 1km $1.89
10km Taxi journey $22.12
Places to Stay
As with restaurants, there are plenty of hotels in Vancouver, catering to all budgets Below are some of our (and our customers') favourites;
Below is a selection of our Canada holidays including Vancouver