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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 10 attractions in Vancouver

#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

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

Vancouver Seaplane Tour

Vancouver Seaplane Tour

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Whale-Watching Tour from Vancouver
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Whale-Watching Tour from Vancouver

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Gastown Historic Walking Food Tour
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Grouse Mountain & Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
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Small-Group Victoria and Butchart Gardens Day Trip from Vancouver
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Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Ticket
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North Shore Day Trip from Vancouver: Capilano Suspension Bridge & Grouse Mtn
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Seaplane Flight to Victoria with Ground Transport and Butchart Gardens Admission
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Vancouver City Sightseeing Tour: Granville Island & Stanley Park
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Vancouver to Victoria by Seaplane and Ferry
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Vancouver to Victoria Seaplane Flight
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Things to do in Vancouver this...

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Vancouver

star-5
Lovely day at Stanley Park
Kris_B, Jun 2022
Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tour
First time visiting Vancouver had to stop at Stanley Park took a carriage ride to see the Sights the ride was very enjoyable.
star-5
Fun informative way to see Vancouver
Chris_C, Jun 2022
Vancouver Highlights Bike Tour - The Grand Tour
Wonderful way to see the city.
star-5
A perfect day trip.
Lowri_W, Jun 2022
Whistler Sightseeing Tour from Vancouver: See Horseshoe Bay and Shannon Falls
and I'll never forget seeing Shannon Falls.
star-4
Great way to see Vancouver
marie_h, Jun 2022
Vancouver City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
This is great way to see Vancouver and decide what areas you want to go back to visit.
star-5
Definitely check it out!
Jennanatale, Jun 2022
Whistler and Sea to Sky Gondola Tour
Don’t come to Vancouver without making a stop at Shannon falls/Squamish, it’s well worth it!
star-5
Our driver did a great job.
Kathy_M, Jun 2022
Transfer in Private Minivan from Vancouver Airport (YVR) - Vancouver Downtown
N we very been to the city of Vancouver, so this was a pleasant way to see the city.
star-5
Great guide and great tour
Leontine_C, May 2022
Private Tour: Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain
The weather was a little uncooperative, but he rearranged the itinerary to accommodate and we got to see everything we wanted.
star-5
Fantastic trips with Viator
Sam, May 2022
North Shore Day Trip from Vancouver: Capilano Suspension Bridge & Grouse Mtn
We can recommend to everyone who wants to visit Vancouver.
star-5
Absolutely amazing
Adrian_S, May 2022
Grouse Mountain Admission
I was expecting a little bit of snow as it was a week from summer.
star-5
Vancouver in a nutshell
Rachel_G, May 2022
Vancouver Highlights Bike Tour - The Grand Tour
It was a really good way to see Vancouver.
star-5
Awesome way to spend a day.
Louise_F, May 2022
Granite Falls Zodiac Tour
Great way to see Vancouver.
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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
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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
Fantastic trip! Highly recommend
Kimberly_B, Jun 2022
Whistler and Sea to Sky Gondola Tour
Jeff was a fantastic guide, providing great commentary on history, sites, as well as very good instructions as to how to access attractions.
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Nice trip with plenty of opportunity to see whales
Georgios_P, Jun 2022
Half-Day Whale Watching Adventure from Vancouver
We had a nice experience on the boat and on the day we visited, we were lucky enough to see plenty of whales!
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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.

Time Zone
PDT (UTC -8)

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.

People Also Ask

What is Vancouver famous for?

Vancouver is known for its scenery and proximity to the great outdoors. While it certainly has its fair share of skyscrapers, its numerous parks and easy access to old-growth forests, beaches, and mountains add a sylvan twist to the urban vibe. Vancouver’s also known for food, with restaurants representing cuisine from across the globe.

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What should I not miss in Vancouver?

Many of Vancouver's not-to-be-missed attractions revolve around the natural world, from Capilano Suspension Bridge Park to massive Stanley Park, home to the popular Vancouver Aquarium. Historic Gastown is another must-visit for its architecture alone, and is a great place to get a taste of the city’s fantastic culinary scene.

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How can I spend 2 days in Vancouver?

Spend your first day exploring downtown attractions such as Canada Place and Gastown before heading out to visit Granville Island and its famous market. On day two, make your way out to Stanley Park and then continue up to the North Shore to check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

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What is the most beautiful part of Vancouver?

The most beautiful part of Vancouver varies by who you ask. Nature lovers will find areas further north, particularly on the North Shore, to be the clear winners. For fantastic views of the cityscape against a mountainous background, head up to the Vancouver Lookout at the top of the Harbour Centre.

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What can you do in Vancouver for free?

Many of Vancouver's most interesting attractions won't cost you a penny, from checking out the historic architecture in Gastown to taking a seaside stroll in scenic Stanley Park. The Gothic Revival-style Christ Church Cathedral is also free to visit, and the Vancouver Art Gallery is free on Tuesday evenings.

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Is Vancouver very expensive?

Vancouver can be expensive, and while you can easily find plenty of great food to eat on a budget, accommodation tends to be on the higher side. If you don’t need to stay right in the heart of the city, you can find affordable hotels in nearby communities such as Burnaby and Richmond.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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