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City guide and travel tips

Vancouver is one of the most beautifully-located cities, ever bit an equal to the likes of Sydney and Rio de Janeiro. The downtown skyscrapers are framed by the beaches of English Bay and the rainforest of Stanley Park, and set against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks. It's the gateway to the outdoor playgrounds of Whistler and Vancouver Island, both of which are easily accessible.

Top Things to Do in Vancouver

  • Stanley Park
    Stanley Park is a huge forest-filled park on the edge of Downtown Vancouver. It's almost totally surrounded by water and is home to Vancouver Aquarium and the First Nations totem poles.
  • Capillano Suspension Bridge
    Face your fear of heights and tackle the Capilano Suspension Bridge. It stretches 140 metres long, 70 metres above the Capilano River.
  • Whistler
    Whistler is the popular ski resort situated north of Vancouver, situated at the base of the Blackcomb Mountains. Boasting some of Canada's best skiing and snowboarding, you'll be wooed by Whistlers scenic alpine charms.
  • Vancouver Street Food
    The food truck phenomenon has hit North America by storm and Vancouver has a thriving street food culture. Grab a cheap bite to eat from one of the many trucks and sample the variety of food on offer, from French snails to lamb kebabs.
  • North Shore
    Looking across Vancouver Harbour from Downtown, you'll spot the mountainous peaks of North Shore. This outdoor playground is a great place to go hiking, cycling and plenty more adventure sports.
  • Vancouver Island
    Discover Canada's far west coast with a trip to rugged Vancouver Island. It's a great place to go whale watching, with grey whales and orcas often spotted in the wild waters.

Vancouver Neighbourhoods

Despite being known for its beautiful backdrop, Vancouver still has a lot to discover within its diverse neighbourhoods. From the hippie vibes of Commercial Drive to the parks and beaches of the West End, find out where to explore when you visit Vancouver.
graffiti vancouver
Commercial Drive
The colourful neighbourhood of Commercial Drive (formerly known as "Little Italy") is now home to hippies and immigrants, making it a diverse part of the city. Explore the Farmer's Market on a Saturday during the Summer months, or grab a beer in a local tap house.
granville market
Granville Island
Technically a sandspit and not an island, Granville Island draws in lots of locals and tourists, partly because of the colourful buzz of the Public Market. Pick up some fresh picnic supplies from the market and still near the river for a cheap lunch.
vancouver downtown
Downtown Vancouver
Downtown Vancouver is where you will find all the skyscrapers, a wealth of shopping centres and plenty of hotels. Walk along the waterfront and stop for a bite to eat in one of many restaurants and cafes, taking in the views of the water.
stanley park
The West End & Stanley Park
Just West of the city's downtown area, you'll find the West End - home to the famous Inuksuk statue. This is a great place to explore by bike, especially cycling along the Seawall, with Stanley Park and English Bay Beach both nearby.

Our favourite Vancouver Hotels

bond place
YWCA Vancouver
This downtown YWCA hotel is a safe and affordable option for all travellers. Comfortable, clean rooms range from singles to quads and come with air con, mini-fridges, free Wi-Fi and most have TVs.
HI Toronto
HI Vancouver
Wake up to a free all-you-can-eat breakfast at this lively, clean and secure hostel. Located in the city centre, it offers sociable chill out areas, free Wi-Fi and rooms with private bathrooms.
from £21 for a dorm bed
Call to book
Samesun Vancouver
On top of free Wi-Fi and brekkie, there's also a spacious common room, a theatre room and an all important pool table. Daily activities include walking tours and pub quiz nights.

Tours and Activities in Vancouver

Vancouver Food Trucks Tour
Vancouver has some of the best food trucks around! Following a passionate foodie guide, you'll get to discover the city's most popular food trucks and dine on a delicious four-course meal.
Capilano Suspension Bridge
Climb the Capilano Suspension Bridge! Encounter the Cliffwalk; a heart-stopping 215 metre long walkway weaving along the Cliffside of the river's canyon on a series of bridges, platforms and stairways.

When is the best time to visit Vancouver?

You can visit Vancouver at any time of year and have a great time in the outdoors. The peak time to visit is during July and August, with lots of tourists from around North America visiting for outdoor activities and events. However, Spring and Autumn is a better time to visit for cheap deals and quieter streets. Winter sports enthusiasts should definitely visit the slopes between December to February, but the city is generally a lot quieter and wetter.