Vancouver City Guide

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountains, Vancouver boasts a breathtaking backdrop of snow-capped peaks, lush forests, and picturesque waterways. The city's cosmopolitan atmosphere is enriched by its diverse population, with vibrant neighborhoods like Gastown, Chinatown, and Granville Island offering a blend of historic charm and contemporary flair. Vancouver is renowned for its outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking in Stanley Park, skiing in nearby Whistler, and exploring the scenic landscapes of the North Shore. With a thriving arts and culinary scene (with arguably the best seafood in the world), world-class museums and galleries, and a commitment to sustainability, Vancouver offers a vibrant and inclusive urban experience amidst its stunning natural surroundings.

Stanley Park

Stanley Park aerial view in Vancouver

Rent bikes from one of the many shops in Yaletown and take the seawall all the way to and through Stanley Park, Vancouver’s first urban park, which remains one of the largest urban parks in North America, with over 400-hectares of natural West Coast rainforest. The park is made up of beautiful beaches, wildlife and historical landmarks and it’s a wonderful place to visit, have a picnic and to take in stunning views of the Pacific Ocean while being immersed in nature (while still inside the city). A unique way to experience the park is with a tour by Talasay Tours where guests can explore the park with a First Nations guide, sharing the stories of the people, the land and their harmonious ways of living. Stanley Park is open from 6 am until 10 pm unless otherwise posted.

Granville Island

Sign saying Granville Island in Vancouver

Located right in the middle of the city is a little peninsula that’s become a popular hub for food and drink. Granville Island offers an incredible food market worth exploring, a famous brewery that’s ready to sample their brews, and a variety of unique retailers to visit. During the summer, Granville Island is a mecca for boat taxis, paddle-boarders, and kayakers. Pro-tip: You can take a water taxi from Yaletown (David Lam Park) directly over to Granville Island.

Grouse Mountain

View from grouse mountain of pacific ocean and vancouver at sunset

One of Vancouver’s top outdoor attractions, Grouse Mountain is a great place to go for hard core mountain hikes as well as a very easy hop-on, hop-off gondola ride that takes you to some of the most incredible views of the city and the surrounding mountains. It’s free to hike up or about $60 CAD to take the easy way up. During the summer months, there is also a free shuttle that operates between Canada Place and Grouse. In winter, hit the slopes for skiing and snowboarding.

Davie Village

Girl waving a pride flag in Davie Street in Vancouver

The residential area to the south of the downtown core, the West End’s shopping tends to be focused around Davie Village, the heart of which is at Davie and Bute streets. Davie Village also happens to be Vancouver’s LGBTQ+ district so expect a diverse mix of locals as well as an abundance of rainbow flags. Shops here cater to locals, but you’ll find some really great bookstores as well as trendy boutiques.


Lamp and Steam Clock in Gastown neighbourhood of Vancouver

Step back in time in Gastown, Vancouver's historic district known for its cobblestone streets, Victorian architecture, and iconic Steam Clock. Explore the neighborhood's boutique shops, trendy restaurants, and vibrant nightlife scene. Water Street, the neighborhood’s main shopping thoroughfare, is your best bet to find your touristy souvenirs, but make sure you check out some of the excellent First Nations galleries where you can pick up Indigenous art to take home (a not so touristy souvenir but a much nicer option). Make your way through the side-streets like Abbott and Carrall where you will find not only the locals, but interesting shops that are off the main road.

Main Street

Flower shop on Main Street in Vancouver

Main Street, which runs through many of Vancouver’s neighborhoods, is known for its diversity and down to earth accessibility. It has a trendy and eclectic vibe with vibrant street art, vintage stores, hip eateries and craft breweries. Main Street can easily occupy an afternoon as you stroll past all it has to offer.

Robson Street

Lululemon sign on a storefront located on Robson Street in Vancouver

Shop 'til you drop on Robson Street, Vancouver's premier shopping destination. Browse high-end boutiques, international brands, and local designers, and take a break at one of the street's many cafes and eateries.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver surrounded by trees

Experience thrills and adventure at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, where you can walk across the iconic suspension bridge suspended high above the Capilano River. Explore the park's lush rainforest trails, cliffwalk, and treetop adventures.

Kitsilano Beach

People on hammock at Kitsilano Beach Park during sunset in the summer

Relax and soak up the sun at Kitsilano Beach, one of Vancouver's most popular beaches. Enjoy swimming, beach volleyball, or simply lounging on the sandy shores with stunning views of the ocean and mountains.

Lynn Canyon

Rocks and river water in Lynn Canyon of North Vancouver

Experience the natural beauty of Vancouver's North Shore at Lynn Canyon Park, a hidden gem known for its lush rainforest, rushing waterfalls, and suspension bridge. Hike scenic trails, cool off in natural swimming pools, and marvel at the towering trees.

Deep Cove

Aeriel view of deep cove on a sunny day with lots of boats on the water

Deep Cove is a charming waterfront village on the shores of Indian Arm. Enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, or hiking the scenic Baden-Powell Trail to Quarry Rock for stunning views of the inlet. While you're there, try legendary Honey Donuts - highly recommended are both the maple bacon and the original flavours.