Things to do in
Vancouver

Enjoying adventurous activities doesn't always have to mean missing out on city life. Not in Vancouver, anyway.

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Our most recommended things to do in Vancouver

Vancouver: FlyOver Canada Experience

1. Vancouver: FlyOver Canada Experience

Fly high above Canada's stunning landscapes on a simulated flight ride. Enjoy the longest simulated flight in the world at 8 minutes.  Inside a high-dome screen, hang on to your seat as you careen over snowcapped peaks and zoom across green valleys.  Feel like you’re really there as the wind, mist, and woodsy aromas fill your senses.  Get to know the history and people of Canada during a preflight presentation. The entire experience lasts 25 minutes, a perfect, wallet-friendly activity for families and first-time visitors to Canada.

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Vancouver: Floatplane and Capilano Suspension Bridge Combo

2. Vancouver: Floatplane and Capilano Suspension Bridge Combo

Take a seaplane tour departing from downtown Vancouver's bustling Coal Harbour. Get a spectacular aerial view of the city on a 20-minute flight, which makes for fantastic photos.  Combine your seaplane tour with a visit to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. One of the most popular attractions in Vancouver, benefit from a complimentary shuttle transfer from downtown Vancouver to the park. Located 70 meters above the Capilano River and measuring 140 meter in length, this bridge has been used as a crossing since 1889. Also, discover the new Cliffwalk which follows a precipice along the Capilano River on a maze-like series of bridges, stairs, and platforms through rainforest vegetation.

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Vancouver, BC: Half-Day Whale Watching Tour

3. Vancouver, BC: Half-Day Whale Watching Tour

Experience whale watching in true comfort and style along the waters off Vancouver. See several types of whales, as well as an assortment of sea birds and other marine species. Marvel at the beauty of the Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands and Howe Sound on this 3-6 hour adventure. An informative crew will tell you about the history of the area and about the marine wildlife. Board the Salish Sea Freedom, a 62-foot covered vessel built for whale watching, and designed to minimize its ecological footprint. You can choose to be inside or outside, and can choose from 3 viewing areas on 2 levels.

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Vancouver: Grouse Mountain Admission Ticket

4. Vancouver: Grouse Mountain Admission Ticket

Grouse Mountain is Vancouver’s most visited year-round natural attraction, located just 15 minutes from downtown.You can enjoy panoramic views as you travel to the alpine aboard the iconic Skyride. Enjoy thrilling outdoor adventures, cultural activities, and educational experiences, which are available year-round. In the summer, choose from an incredible variety of activities including a world-famous lumberjack show, a "birds in motion" demonstration, a visit to the resident orphaned grizzly bears, guided eco-walks, a disc golf course, Theatre in the Sky, plus shopping and dining. You can also add to your experience with exciting adventures (at an additional fee) such as a mountain ropes course, mountain ziplines, the "Eye of the Wind", helicopter tours, and tandem paragliding. In winter, enjoy the stunning light installations on the Light Walk, the slopes at the Sliding Zone, an outdoor skating pond, snowshoeing, and more.

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Vancouver: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Self-Guided Tour

5. Vancouver: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Self-Guided Tour

Only 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver, take a walk on Vancouver's wild side as you stand 230 feet (70m) above the waters of the Capilano River on a breath-taking 450-foot-long (137-metres) suspension bridge. Appreciate nature from 3 breath-taking perspectives - the world-famous Capilano Suspension Bridge, the Treetops Adventure, and the thrilling Cliffwalk.  This 27-acre park was made famous by its namesake bridge, which was built back in 1889, and has been added onto with even more attractions to let you experience the temperate rainforests of beautiful British Columbia.  While the wobbly bridge and stunning location is a Vancouver landmark, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park offers an all-encompassing BC experience. History, culture, and nature are presented in unique and thrilling ways with knowledgeable staff and interpretive signage providing as much, or as little, information as guests want. The thrilling Cliffwalk hugs the granite cliffside and offers panoramic views of the thriving rainforest and canyon below. With 16 anchor points in the cliff supporting the structure and two glass platforms, this walk is not for the faint of heart. The Treetops Adventure takes guests 110 feet into the canopy of a coastal rainforest on 7 suspension bridges attached to old-growth trees. It is accessible to guests age 2 to 92. Nature guides provide hourly tours, explaining the importance of a West Coast temperate rainforest to the ecosystem. Guided Tours and seasonal events like Raptors Ridge birds of prey June to October and Canyon Lights late November through to end of January enhance the many experiences at this year-round destination.

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Vancouver: 2.5-Hour Gastown Walking Food Tour

6. Vancouver: 2.5-Hour Gastown Walking Food Tour

The Gastown Food Tour will take you through the cobbled streets of Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood while enjoying local craft beer, delicious cheese & prosciutto with flavourful local wine, Japanese kar-age style chicken, freshly made Sicilian tortellini, tasty pork and potato croquette, crispy sweet & chilli cauliflower, creamy cheesecake, and delicious lemon bars. On this 2.5-hour walking food tour, a professional actor full of passion for the city and its food will share fascinating little-known stories about Vancouver and its “Wild West” history that dates back 150 years. This is a tour you don’t want to miss!

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Vancouver: Guided City Highlights Tour

7. Vancouver: Guided City Highlights Tour

Make the most of your time in Vancouver on this ultimate sights and landmarks tour. With a local guide, visit some of the city’s popular highlights, as well as hidden gems only the locals know about.  The tour starts with a trip to historic Gastown, Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood. Soak up the atmosphere as you explore the streets, and see the famous Gastown Steam Clock. Next, travel through vibrant Chinatown and onto Queen Elizabeth Park, home to epic views of the North Shore Mountains. Head to Granville Island next for a stroll around the city’s most famous food market. Later, take a walk along Kitsilano Beach and marvel at stunning views across English Bay and downtown. Peruse the many antique and boutique stores that line the shore, or grab a bite to eat. The tour ends with a stop at Stanley Park to see the impressive collection of totem poles, and a final look at the epic views of the city and the North Shore from Prospect Point.

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Vancouver: Floatplane Transfer between Vancouver & Victoria

8. Vancouver: Floatplane Transfer between Vancouver & Victoria

Make your way to Coal Harbour, part of Burrard Inlet near Canada Place, and board a seaplane to take you to your next journey in Victoria, BC. Located right along Vancouver’s iconic seawall, the terminal features a passenger lounge with panoramic views of Stanley Park and the North Shore mountains, a gift shop, and the fully licensed Cockpit Café. From Burrard Inlet, ascend for bird’s-eye views of the green towers of Lion’s Gate Bridge and the Brockton Peninsula of Stanley Park. Flying south over the Salish Sea, look down on a cluster of the Gulf Islands dotted with beaches, forests, and fields of gold and green. After 35 minutes in the air, your pilot will land in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Along the harbor, visit the majestic ivy-covered Fairmont Empress hotel and pass the BC Parliament Buildings which, at night, twinkle with thousands of lightbulbs. Victoria's floating terminal boasts some of the city’s best waterfront views and is located beside The Flying Otter Grill and its new extended outdoor patio (the Otter Deck), serving fresh west coast cuisine for lunch and dinner. This journey is also available in the opposite direction, from Victoria to Vancouver.

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North Vancouver Discovery Private Tour

9. North Vancouver Discovery Private Tour

Drive through the spectacular Lions Gate Bridge Causeway, and enjoy spectacular views of Burrard Inlet, Straits of Georgia, and English Bay. Your first stop will be Deep Cove, a quaint little village by Indian Arm, a fjord formed 10,000 years ago during the last Ice Age. Stroll through the village and take a walk along the marina, with great views for photo ops. Your next stop will be Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, where you can experience the Cliffwalk, and Treetop Adventure. Visit the Capilano River Regional Park and its attractions: the Cleveland Dam, the spillway, the canyon, and a spectacular view of the Lions (the twin peaks of the North Shore Mountains). If time permits, you'll also drive through the Sea to Sky Highway to visit Horseshoe Bay, a beautiful ferry terminal in West Vancouver.

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Finer Things: 4-Course Dinner Tour in Whistler

10. Finer Things: 4-Course Dinner Tour in Whistler

After a long day out on the slopes, there's nothing finer than sitting down over a lovely meal to replenish your soul. This 4-course dinner explores the best restaurants in Whistler, and you'll have a chance to visit an impressive 15,000-bottle wine cellar! If you're looking for a treat, this is the experience for you! We'll begin at Bearfoot Bistro for a lovely amuse bouche, from Canada's "Best Chef of 2008". Next up, Hy's Steakhouse, for a cajun crusted blacked ahi tuna. It will melt in your mouth! By now, you're ready for a full meal, so we'll head to one of Whistler's finest restaurants, Quattro. Here you'll have a choice of meat or seafood with a signature pasta along side. It's a treat! For a sample dessert, head to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory before finishing off at FireRock Lounge for some artisan cheese plates.  Before your tastings, a Whistler Tasting Tour representative will confirm your menu, and all can be altered for dietary or allergic restrictions!

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Frequently asked questions about Vancouver

What top attractions are a must-see in Vancouver?

Planning Your Visit

  • How to pack

    Temperatures in Vancouver are mild and rarely drop below freezing with average temperature sitting at 51. Pack layers, a windbreaker or raincoat, depending on the season, and a comfortable pair of shoes for hiking.

  • When to visit

    The only downside to the coastal climate is the rainy season, which can start in October and last all through March. The city will provide no shortage of indoor activity, but spring and summer in Vancouver are ideal. In fact, during the summer months it is the second driest city in Canada.

  • How many days to visit

    Spend at least four days in Vancouver - you won’t be able to fit in all the attractions, but it's enough to gain a sense of the city's character.

  • Take a trip to Victoria

    Not far from Vancouver is British Columbia’s capital, Victoria, located on Vancouver Island. Strikingly different to Vancouver, it’s filled with quaint cafes, antique shops, and an overall British feel. The ferry is 90 minutes and getting to the port from each city can take from 45-75 minutes, so it may be worth staying overnight.

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    Canadian Dollar ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-08:00)
  • Country Code
    1
  • Best time to visit
    All year is great, due to the mild weather.

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Vancouver

Mayuri is based in Canada and travels with her husband. She is the founder of ToSomePlaceNew, which covers European destinations and cultural travel. A history graduate and an MBA by qualification, she found her true calling in digging a city’s past and discovering their unique nuances. Find more about Vancouver on her blog.

What should I do on my first trip to Vancouver?

Vancouver is one of the vibrant cities on the west coast of Canada. It is home to one of the largest urban parks, called Stanley Park and has a stunning seawall. You can walk or bike the seawall, and enjoy hikes in nearby trails. When in the city, enjoy fish and chips at Granville Island, visit Vancouver museum, and wander the downtown area. You will find a lot of cool restaurants, sights and sea views in Downtown Vancouver, including Canada Place! Another must visit in Vancouver is the Capilano Suspension Bridge located in the northern part of the city, followed by the Grouse Mountains for a nice day trip!

What are some hidden gems to see in Vancouver?

Although the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a must visit in Vancouver (and it can be expensive for entry fees and attractions inside), consider visiting the Lynn Canyon, also located in the northern part of the city. This park and the bridge is smaller in comparison to Capilano, but it is less visited by tourists, and has no entry fees!

How much time should I spend in Vancouver?

Two to three days is ample time to explore Vancouver city’s attractions such as the Canada Place, Olympic Cauldron, a few museums, Stanley Park, Granville Island, ChinaTown, and more. In the evening you can also walk downtown or go on an evening cruise. On one of the nights go shopping at Robson Street, and eat at a nice restaurant!

What food is Vancouver known for?

Vancouver is best known for its seafood and sushi. You can relish seafood at the Granville Island restaurants, or downtown bistros. When in Canada, Maple Syrup infused foods are a must try as well. You will also be impressed with the coffee culture in Vancouver - be sure to sit down at a local cafe to enjoy!

What is the best way to get around Vancouver?

Once you arrive in Vancouver, you can use the SkyTrain to get to various neighbourhoods for sightseeing. Hop on and hop off tours are also a great way to explore various attractions. When exploring the downtown area, your best bet is to wear comfortable shoes and walk. Same goes for Robson Street. Biking is also a great way to explore this city!

What are the best months to visit Vancouver?

Spring and fall are the best seasons to visit Vancouver. These are the months of March to May, and then from September to November. During this time, the weather is mild and favourable for sightseeing, and you can also expect fewer crowds, and better hotel rates.

What is Main Street of Vancouver known for?

The Main Street of Vancouver is the place to be! It is filled with cozy bistros, coffee shops, independent boutiques, local breweries, consignment stores, sky rise buildings and world-class restaurants. I personally like the GasTown neighbourhood as it oozes European flair with vintage steam clock, buildings and cobblestone lanes.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

Main Street, GasTown, and Robson Street are great for fine dining, coffee shops, and restaurants with an international menu. For seafood, head to Granville Island, and Chinatown to try fish, crabs, sushi rolls, dimsums and more!.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

Located in the West End of Vancouver, Robson Street is the best place to go shopping in the city. You will find most of the popular brand names here including some of the largest Canadian labels (like Lululemon). And after shopping, you can sit down at a nice restaurant on Robson Street!

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Vancouver?

For a first time visitor, the downtown core, or Yaletown are great neighborhoods for accommodation. Hotels in these areas are in the mid range to luxury budget level. In downtown you can also choose suites with waterfront views!

What are the best annual events in Vacouver?

As the Roman amphitheatre is so well preserved, it is still used for a number of festivals and events throughout the year. For example, the Festival of Nîmes has been taking place since 1997, on dates throughout the summer - attracting international talent including Elton John, Radiohead and Metallica. The ancient arena also hosts the Great Roman Games - a reenactment spectacle for the whole family.

Other Sightseeing Options in Vancouver

Want to discover all there is to do in Vancouver? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Vancouver

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 3,435 reviews

Highly recommended! Our tour guide, Dan, was amazing and helped us learn about Vancouver’s history. All food was delicious and it’s very nice to get to know some local restaurants.

Gabriel was excellent. Great driver, great tour guide he took us to amazing places. We enjoyed the tour and all the places we went to were great.

It was beautiful and turned out to be a stunning say as well!

Amazing facts and extremely interesting history of gastown

Dan was very informative and knowledgeable, great tour.