Why did you never leave Vancouver
Vancouver Attractions: 6 Tips from a Local
Vancouver sightseeing tips from Laura, our Vancouver expert!
Vancouver is full of interesting sights and activities. That can make planning really complicated at times!
But don't worry - I lived in Vancouver for two years and visited the city half a dozen times before that. I'll make sure you get to see the best parts of the city - some of them off the beaten path too.
>> Vancouver: Tour of the Sea-to-Sky Corridor region - See the coast and the mountains in one day!
>> Vancouver: Coastal Sightseeing Adventure - Discover the city from the water!
>> Vancouver and the Capilano Suspension Bridge: Half-Day Tour - Walk over the famous bridge on this half-day tour!
This Vancouver sightseeing article was written in English by Laura and later translated into German by Lisa.
Stanley Park + Sea Wall + Prospect Point
No trip to Vancouver is complete without visiting Sea Wall and Stanley Park. Whether by bike, Segway or on foot - the view you get of the city will impress you. You will also find an astonishingly large number of beautiful beaches along the way.
In the summer, take a beach walk through First, Second, and Third Beach until you get to Sunset Beach (what a nice name for a beach).
As the name suggests, if you are lucky you can see some really impressive sunsets here.
If the weather isn't good enough for a stroll on the beach, visit the nearby aquarium - and keep an eye out for sea eagles and swimming sea otters!
A little off the path, you'll find one of my favorite spots at Prospect Point. Here you have a great view of North Vancouver and the Lion’s Gate Bridge.
Day or night, rain or sun, regardless of the weather - this is the absolute must-see spot on every Vancouver trip!
Granville Island + Brewery Tour
Who doesn't love boats and beer? If you're feeling ambitious and you've just finished your bike ride or hike on the Sea Wall, you may need something to eat and a beer (or four).
So why don't you take the Aquabus (a kind of water taxi like the one e.g. in Hamburg) from False Creek. In about 5 minutes you can reach the Granville Island Public Market. You can also take your bike with you on the boat - as long as there is enough space.
The indoor market offers a variety of different goodies, fresh produce, meat, cheese, flowers and everything in between.
It is best to go there on an empty stomach and try something from all the stands. This is how you prepare for the beers at Granville Island Brewery.
Founded almost 35 years ago, this brewery is a social hub on the island - a great place for a few drinks. Better still, how about a tour of the brewery that includes a small sample?
Before you go, be sure to visit their store to pick up a few of your favorite items. I would recommend the Maple Shack Cream Ale.
After that, you can explore the rest of the island by taking a leisurely stroll and exploring the great independent shops that call the island home.
Gastown is the oldest neighborhood in Vancouver and the one with the most character. Cobbled streets and grand architecture may make you think you are somewhere in England - but you are in the middle of Canada.
Speaking of Canada, here are some attractions in Canada that are worth visiting.
Gastown is known for its whistling steam clock that you can't miss (just keep an eye out for the crowd).
If you want to see them without all the hustle and bustle, stop by early in the morning or after dinner.
You'll also find shops for all tastes here - from designer boutiques to independent art stores, classic souvenir shops, and much more.
And if that's not enough, the restaurants that line these cobbled streets are some of the best in town.
I would recommend Tacofino, Back & Forth Bar, and Steamworks. And for dessert, don't forget to try one of the epic Vancouver Cartems donuts - the Earl Gray is great!
From the city you drive to North Vancouver and you will feel like you are in another world. The city fades and you meet the most delightful villages.
Looking east towards Indian Arm (a turn off Burrard Inlet) you have breathtaking views of the city.
Treat yourself to a coffee - and of course a sweet treat - from Honey Donuts and stroll along the beach and promenade.
There you can enjoy the view of the beautiful boats with the mountains behind.
Also, keep an eye out for some of the pretty famous people who call Deep Cove home (Ben Affleck has a home here and has been a frequent visitor since 2000).
If you want the best view Deep Cove has to offer (in my opinion) then put on your gym shoes or walking shoes.
A local favorite in Vancouver, Quarry Rock can get quite crowded in the summer months, but out of season it stays deserted and offers panoramic views as far as the eye can see.
Definitely a great place for a sunset, a picnic, or just to enjoy the view.
This was without a doubt my favorite place when I lived in Vancouver. The Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is a great alternative if you are on a budget and want to avoid paying the $ 40.00 per person for the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
Lynn Canyon offers 617 acres of pristine nature and a fantastic trail system for all fitness levels and ages.
In the summer you will hear loud screams from the brave (or insane) cliff divers at 30 Foot Pool. During shoulder time you only hear the many waterfalls rushing and it feels like you are the only person far and wide.
In addition to the waterfalls, there are breathtaking, ancient trees that tower into the sky. You will get a magical feeling when you walk through the forest.
The area has been used as a filming location for several television shows and films and you will immediately feel like you have stepped into a completely different universe.
If you're like me, it's hard to believe that all of this is less than 20 km from the city center.
Did I save the best for last? Possibly - I couldn't let you leave Vancouver without going out and doing a proper hike.
This is the perfect hike that can be done in any weather (rain, sun or even snow) and you will be rewarded with a unique waterfall if you make it to the end.
It's a 14 km loop, so pack lots of snacks and good company! It's not a difficult track - so you won't feel like, "Oh, all that Granville Island beer last night wasn't a great idea."
The terrain is relatively flat. You cross some streams and walk through the forest before you come to a rock pool. Then just look to the right and ... WONDERFUL WATERFALL.
If you start early enough or head out on a weekday, you may be able to have the waterfall all to yourself.
My first trip was in the middle of summer and we even had the chance to swim under the waterfalls all by ourselves. Cross your fingers that you get this opportunity too - that makes the experience even more magical.
Whether it's your first trip to Vancouver or you're coming back, I hope these suggestions give you a whole new appreciation for the city and the beautiful Vancouver attractions in the area!
You'll never get bored in this city - there's always something to do, eat, or an epic view to enjoy. Vancouver is the city with the most diverse atmospheres and offers something for everyone. Hopefully these suggestions are just the beginning of your epic Vancouver travel plans!
And there you have it - Laura's take on the best things to do in Vancouver. A huge thank you to Laura for sharing her knowledge with us!
If you'd like to learn more about Laura and how she lives and works overseas, check out her She Who Wanders page. You can also find her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. She loves to talk about traveling!
As always, happy waddling!
If you want to learn more about western Canada and the country in general, check out these articles as well:
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