Destination Guides

Six of the best things to do in Vancouver

Ben Westwood

16th May 2024


Vancouver often features among the best cities in the world for quality of life, with an unbeatable location amid temperate rainforest beneath snow-capped mountains on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.

Exploring British Columbia‘s biggest city is the perfect way to begin a holiday to Canada, so here is a selection of Vancouver’s best sights – from the urban rainforest of Stanley Park to Capilano Suspension Bridge, the historic streets of Gastown, Granville Island Market and whale-watching trips off the coast.

Visit Stanley Park

One of Vancouver’s top sights is 1,000-acre Stanley Park on the northern edge of the city, a vast green oasis with trails through verdant rainforest and along the iconic Sea Wall.

Stanley Park is so big that you can easily forget you’re in a city. Wander through the park’s temperate rainforest, and enjoy the bright colours of the Rhododendron and Rose Gardens. Then admire the totem poles at Brockton Point, and take a ride on the Stanley Park Train. Walk or cycle along the Sea Wall, the longest uninterrupted waterfront path in the world, and treat yourself to some relaxation on the beaches overlooking English Bay.

walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge

Vancouver’s most dramatic attraction is Capilano Suspension Bridge, stretching across a canyon high above the Capilano River north of the city. Take a spine-tingling walk across the bridge, but don’t worry – it is reinforced with steel cables and can even hold the weight of a 747 airliner.

If you’re looking for more exhilaration after crossing the bridge, tackle the Cliffwalk and Treetops Adventure, seven bridges suspended by ancient Douglas firs. Admire the First Nation totem poles nearby then explore the rainforest of the surrounding 27-acre park on guided walks.

explore Granville Island Market

One of the best places to eat in Vancouver is Granville Island Market, so head here and bring your appetite! Discover a wide variety of local dishes cooked up by expert chefs. You can take a guided tour or explore the market easily by yourself.

There’s an extraordinary range of cuisine on offer in the market’s shops, stalls and eateries, served up by chefs, artisans and farmers – from cheese to charcuterie, seafood, soups, fresh bread and donuts. The  market is also a thriving creative space with theatres, street performers and art galleries.

walk around Historic Gastown

Vancouver’s most historic district is Gastown, which began with a single tavern opened by sea captain John ‘Gassy Jack’ Deighton in 1867. Explore the cobbled streets, browse the antique shops and admire the famous Steam Clock.

Gastown is also one of the best places to eat in Vancouver with a wide range of restaurants from Can-Asian fusion to farm-to-table staples, Latin American specialities and European gourmet.

go Whale-watching in vancouver

Vancouver is one of the best cities in North America to go whale-watching. Pods of humpback whales and orcas frequent the waters of the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver and Vancouver Island between April and October.

Whale-watching tours in Vancouver leave from Granville Island, taking you to prime viewing spots in the Strait of Georgia and Howe Sound. As well as whales, you can also watch sea lions, seals, sea otters in the waters and bald eagles soaring overhead.

Eager to visit Vancouver? Browse Journeyscape’s range of holidays in British Columbia.


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