Vancouver

Vancouver

Overview

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Destination Basics

If you like to experience travel through your tastebuds, then Vancouver offers the perfect pairing of cultural and culinary delights.  

Sustainable. Inspired. Delicious. Vancouver’s culinary scene is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and varied in the world. From multi-course Chinese feasts and the best sushi outside of Japan, to sizzling food trucks and globally-inspired fare, to farm-to-fork, ocean-to-table, and molecular gastronomy. Plus, award-winning cocktails, neighbourhood craft breweries. 

Take a culinary walking tour through Granville Island Public Market (also known as food-lover nirvana). Sip your way through Mount Pleasant on a Street Art and Craft Beer walking tour. Or feast at Canada’s biggest food and drink festival, Dine Out Vancouver Festival, featuring hundreds of restaurants, wineries, craft breweries and chefs celebrating the best flavours in the city.

Vancouverites don't need to be told twice to "go play outside". With stunning surroundings and year-round mild climate, you'll find them playing outdoors all year long. From some of the best skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking in the world, to golf courses, sailing and swimming. For those who like white-knuckling it on the zipline or kiteboard, to those who prefer a rejuvenating walk through old-growth forests. Vancouver doesn’t just have every adventure you’re looking for, it is one. 

Check out Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, and take the gondola up Grouse Mountain.  At the top, you’ll be greeted by jaw-dropping views, an entertaining lumberjack show and Grinder and Coola, a pair of rescued grizzly bears.

The average annual temperature in Vancouver is a mild 10° Celsius and unlike other parts of Canada, the temperature will only drop below zero for short spells in the winter. Cold weather doesn't stick around for long in Vancouver, so consider your balaclava optional.

Located on Canada's West Coast, Vancouver is a destination that's not without its fair share of rain. There are on average 166 days of rain per year, but that's dwarfed by the city's annual count of nearly 300 days of sunshine. It's helpful to keep in mind that temperatures can vary between five and 10 degrees Celsius depending on where you are in the city, so it helps to pack a light jacket or sweater so you can roll with these mild changes.

There’s a neighbourhood for that. 

Every neighbourhood is a whole new adventure. From the West End’s diversity to the rich heritage of Chinatown. From patio dining in Yaletown to shopping right downtown. It doesn’t matter which part of the city you venture into, you’ll be wandering, dining and shopping like a local, and with them, too. Discover colourful sidewalks to stroll, spectacular settings to savour, rich and diverse cultures to explore, and vibrant performing arts and outdoor events to experience. Vancouver’s neighbourhoods are defined by passions, not postal codes. 

Coal Harbour & Canada Place 

The Convention Centre and cruise ship terminal is the focal point of Vancouver's Coal Harbour. Indulge, and stay in a luxury waterfront hotel. You could spend hours mesmerized by the seaplanes taking off and landing, with Stanley Park and the North Shore behind them. Venture out, and walk south along the seawall to the Jack Poole Plaza for a selfie with the 2010 Olympic Winter Games Cauldron. A little further along, Canada Place is picture-perfect for photo-ops, or simply to watch the cruise ships glide into port. It's also home to the breathtaking FlyOver Canada flight simulation ride. 

Gastown

A National Historic Site of Canada, Gastown’s heritage buildings are home to designer boutiques, fashion startups, advertising agencies and design studios and some of the city’s best bars and restaurants. Walk the cobble-lined street as you learn about the area's history on an architectural walking tour. When you're hungry, stroll down Water Street for charcuterie and wine, Pacific Northwest cuisine, contemporary Asian choices, hip cocktail bars, coffee shops and craft beer pubs. A study in diversity, Vancouver's oldest neighbourhood also happens to be the tech and internet heart of Vancouver. 

Chinatown 

One of Vancouver’s culturally historic neighbourhoods, Chinatown has an appeal that draws both locals and visitors alike, especially when it becomes the heart of Vancouver’s vibrant Lunar New Year celebrations. The distinctive character of Chinatown's buildings are preserved by a heritage designation, with murals and window art telling the stories of early Chinese pioneers. Canton Alley served as a point of convergence for trade, political, and cultural activities, helping Chinatown grow and prosper. Today, Chinatown is still growing and changing, with a number of renowned restaurants, emerging chefs, artists and small business entrepreneurs. Bring an appetite for learning and eating. 

Robson Street 

In the 1950s and 60s, European merchants set up shop on Robson Street. For years, the area was known as Robsonstrasse, a name some locals still fondly recall. Today, it's brimming with fashion and beauty flagship stores, lifestyle boutiques, café patios and fine dining. Robson continues to connect people from around the world with such events and gatherings as the Honda Celebration of Light and Pride Parade. 

Yaletown 

In 1986, Vancouver welcomed the world to Expo '86. The world loved what it experienced, and returned to help create a unique and very culturally diverse city that still welcomes everyone, from everywhere. As Vancouver’s original warehouse district, Yaletown has experienced a major revitalization since then. Now it's packed with sidewalk cafes, trendy restaurants, spas, a thriving nightlife scene and intimate boutique hotels. After strolling the brick-lined streets, pick up lunch from a local café and head to David Lam Park on the waterfront to start planning your return visit. 

Granville Island 

Home to sawmills, cooperages, boat builders and artisans, and of course, the bustling Granville Island Public Market. You’ll find everything from premium produce, to just-baked donuts, to seafood and take-home handmade soups. Get an insider's edge with a tasting tour, meet the vendors and sample local specialties. A culturally rich melting pot, Granville Island is filled with restaurants, artists’ studios, theatres, breweries and one-of-a-kind boutiques. Surrounded by water, it's a great spot to rent a kayak for a tour around False Creek and English Bay. Wave to the crowds on Bridges Restaurant's massive outdoor deck. Or, if you’re in the mood, join them for a drink as you soak in the stunning views of the Vancouver skyline. 

 Kitsilano 

A walk, cycle or short drive over the Burrard Bridge brings you to Kitsilano, one of the city’s most loved older neighbourhoods. This is where Vancouver's counter-cultures and hippie movement began. It's still got a laid-back vibe and a great place to hang out and people-watch. Known to locals simply as “Kits,” it's home to Kits Beach, a large outdoor saltwater pool, the Vancouver Museum, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and the Maritime Museum. This is a food lover's paradise, with renowned restaurants, health foods and take-out places. Just a few blocks south to Broadway is a very popular local shopping area known as Greek Town. See if you can time your travels to hit the Khatsalano street party and Greek Days. 

West End 

Want life? Go west. Young professionals and active seniors call this largely residential, mostly adult neighbourhood, home. The West End is one of Canada's most densely populated areas, while remaining a very popular neighbourhood to live in. You can walk to whatever you need. There's a shop for this, and a store for that, and a bar or restaurant for everyone. The West End is also the heart and home of Vancouver's LGBTQ2S+ community. The West End’s vibe is diverse, multicultural and as laidback as the neighbourhood’s party personality and beachfront location suggest. 

 The North Shore 

North Van and the North Shore are easily reached via the Lions Gate Bridge. For an equally scenic journey, hop on the SeaBus at Waterfront Station. Nature lovers gravitate to the North Shore to maximize their play time. A launchpad for enjoying the great outdoors, it's easily accessible to world-class mountain biking, stunning hiking and ocean paddling during the summer, and in the winter, skiing, snowboarding and general mountain mayhem prevail. Check out Lonsdale Quay’s Public Market, the vibrant nightlife in the recently revitalized Shipyards district, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, and take the gondola up Grouse Mountain. 

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