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: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Self-Guided Tour

1. 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.

Vancouver: FlyOver Canada Experience

2. 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.

Vancouver: 24 or 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Pass

3. Vancouver: 24 or 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Pass

See the sights of Vancouver at your own pace with a 24 or 48-hour pass for the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus. Choose from a variety of options to suit your interests. Options include access to both City and Park Routes. Listen to an informative on-board commentary to help you choose where to hop off. Experience the hustle and bustle of downtown Vancouver and the serene natural beauty of the local parks. Jump off at Science World or indulge your passion for sport at the Olympic Village. Stroll the rainforest pathways of Stanley Park, enjoy a bite to eat on Granville Island, visit the iconic Gastown Steam Clock or shop 'til you drop on Robson Street. Benefit from 29 stops, including Coal Harbour, English Bay Beach, Chinatown and the Sports District.

Classic Vancouver Panorama Tour by Seaplane

4. Classic Vancouver Panorama Tour by Seaplane

Enjoy the most popular tour of Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains. This ideal introduction to seaplane aviation departs from downtown Vancouver’s Coal Harbour and provides a complete aerial view of the city, as well as its surrounding parks and beaches. As if the scenery isn't enough, the thrill of flying will really carry you away. The exhilarating spray of the water is always a highlight during take-off and landing. With over 50 aircraft currently, your hosts operate the largest all-seaplane fleet and the first carbon neutral airline in North America. DeHavilland DHC-3 Turbine Single Otters and Twin Otters service regularly scheduled flights between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. DHC-2 Beavers service the Gulf Islands. Cessna 185 aircraft are available for charter.

Vancouver, BC: Half-Day Whale Watching Tour

5. 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.

Vancouver: Floatplane and Capilano Suspension Bridge Combo

6. 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.

Vancouver 2.5-Hour Sunset Dinner Buffet Cruise

7. Vancouver 2.5-Hour Sunset Dinner Buffet Cruise

Gaze out on the downtown skyline, the mountains behind the North Shore, and the West Vancouver shoreline, all on this special Vancouver dinner cruise. Be served a delicious West Coast style buffet dinner accompanied by in-house music. On this 2.5-hour cruise, prepare to see the best sights of Vancouver as you sail along the water. Watch as the sun slowly disappears into the Pacific Ocean as you create an unforgettable memory. On board, you'll be treated to an all-you-can-eat West Coast themed buffet dinner. Dine on your meal as you savor the sounds of music. Get up and dance or take a stroll on the deck to see the city skyline from your vantage point on the water.

Vancouver: Sea to Sky Gondola and Whistler Day Trip

8. Vancouver: Sea to Sky Gondola and Whistler Day Trip

Ride the Sea to Sky Gondola, explore Whistler Village and admire the natural wonders in between on this 10-hour adventure that departs from Vancouver. Feel in awe of ever-changing landscapes along the Sea to Sky Highway. There will be a pit stop to marvel at the 335 meter high Shannon Falls. Ride the famous Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, an outdoor paradise for climbers and backcountry adventurers. The gondola takes you to Habrich Ridge, where you will have 90 minutes to take in breathtaking views of the mountains, coastal rainforest and network of inlets of Howe Sound. Pass the quaint town of Squamish and the Tantalus Glacier while continuing the journey to Whistler. Once there, spend an afternoon exploring downtown shops and cafes. Located at the base of Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort, home of the 2010 Olympics, you will be able to take advantage of the surrounding hiking trails.

Vancouver: City Highlights Tour

9. Vancouver: City Highlights Tour

The Vancouver city highlights tour offers a personalized way to see the best of this beautiful city on the west coast of Canada. With your professional, certified guide, make multiple stops in Vancouver, including Stanley Park, Granville Island, Gastown, Chinatown, Robson Street, and the English Bay Vancouver Harbour. Explore the city’s art, historic landmarks, and shopping venues.

Indian Arm Half-Day Lunch Cruise from Vancouver

10. Indian Arm Half-Day Lunch Cruise from Vancouver

Escape the hustle and bustle of Vancouver city center on a spectacular cruise through the inland waters of Indian Arm, a 12-mile (18-kilometer) mountain fjord located right on the city’s backyard. Climb aboard the luxurious MV Harbour Princess, and discover the calm waters of Indian Arm as you feast on a catered buffet lunch. Drift serenely past Silver Falls, looking out for native wildlife, such as seals, eagles, herons, and even black bears. The route navigates its way through Vancouver's inner harbor to Burrard Inlet, a shallow coastal fjord that was formed in the last Ice Age. Then, head north to Indian Arm, nestled within the Coast Mountains. The area was once heavily glaciated, leaving behind a dramatic landscape for you to enjoy, including lush forests that protect the inlet from the open waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Frequently asked questions about Vancouver

What top attractions are a must-see in Vancouver?

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.

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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Vancouver

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What people are saying about Vancouver

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 3,346 reviews

It was a fantastic trip, Steven our driver and guide was fantastic and keep the whole trip entertaining and interesting! The sites were gorgeous and the food in Whistler was delicious! High recommend this trip! Definitely recommend sitting on the left side of the bus (driver side) you will get the most of the tour!

I am a frequent visitor & familiar with the city. I had some free time, so I thought I’d try a tour. It was great! No matter whether you’re an old friend or acquaintance of this beautiful city, this tour is a great way to see a few sights & learn something new. The app has great user experience! Truly recommend!

Free shuttle at Canada Place was easy to find, clean and super convenient. Much nicer that navigating through the city with your own car. Suspension Bridge park was very enjoyable. Would highly recommend

Wonderful and stress free way to explore downtown Vancouver. Would definitely recommend to anyone!!

Brilliant, Lynn the driver was brilliant and can only recommend her highly.