25 awesome things to do in Vancouver

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Vancouver is packed with fun, interesting things to do whether you’re there as a family, as a couple, solo or with friends. Not sure where to start? Here are 25 can’t-miss things to check out.

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Hang out in Stanley Park

25 awesome things to do in Vancouver
Stanley Park (Image: Joe)

No visit to Vancouver is complete without some time spent in Stanley Park, the city’s first, largest and most popular urban park. Here you’ll find kilometres of hiking and walking trails, beaches, and cultural and historical landmarks.

Admire VanDusen Botanical Garden

VanDusen Botanical Garden is a 55-acre garden in the heart of Vancouver, which opened to the public in 1975. The garden has 255,000 individual plants from around the world and showcases them in picturesque landscapes.

Check out the Vancouver Art Gallery

25 awesome things to do in Vancouver
Art Gallery of Vancouver (Image: Maya-Anaïs Yataghène)

Get your art and culture fix with a visit to the Vancouver Art Gallery, home to more than 10,000 artworks by many renowned Canadian and British Columbia artists.

Head to Granville Island

The neighbourhood of Granville Island is filled with interesting things to see, do and eat. Boutiques, galleries, design studios, cafes and restaurants abound make it easy to spend the day exploring.

Shop Granville Island Public Market

25 awesome things to do in Vancouver 3
Granville Island Public Market (Image: flightlog)

Once you’re on Granville Island the Granville Island Public Market is not to be missed and is one of the biggest attractions in the area. Browse the many stalls and vendors selling everything from fresh produce and seafood, to baked goods, prepared foods, crafts and jewellery.

Hike the Grouse Grind

Hiking Vancouver’s Grouse Grind is one of the most popular hikes in the city. The hike is known as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster” and it isn’t for everyone. You need to be reasonably fit to tackle the 2.9 kilometre trek straight up to 853 metres.

Ride the Grouse Mountain Skyride

25 awesome things to do in Vancouver
Grouse Mountain Skyride (Image: emilee rader)

If you’re not in the mood to hike, you can still get amazing views with a ride on the Grouse Mountain Skyride, North America’s largest aerial tram system. The 15-minute journey takes you on a 1.6 kilometre aerial journey to the Alpine Station, nearly 6,000 metres above sea level.

Walk the Seawall

Take in the views as you walk along the Vancouver Seawall, a 22-kilometre path that lines the waterfront. The path is divided into two sections: one for joggers and walkers, and one for cyclists and inline skaters.

Hit the beach

25 awesome things to do in Vancouver
Third Beach (Image: Ruth Hartnup)

Vancouver is home to many stretches of sand that is worthy of your time. Some of the best ones include Kitsilano Beach, Jericho Beach, Spanish Banks and Second and Third Beaches.

Dare to bare it all

Speaking of beaches, another beach option for brave souls is Wreck Beach, Canada’s first and largest, legal, clothing-optional beach.

Make your way across Capilano Suspension Bridge

25 awesome things to do in Vancouver
Capilano Suspension Bridge (Image: Bryce Edwards)

Experience one of Vancouver’s most popular tourist attractions with a walk across Capilano Suspension Bridge that stretches 137 metres across and is 70 metres above Capilano River.

Try Cliffwalk

If you’re already in Capilano Suspension Bridge Park to walk across the bridge, you can also opt to try Cliffwalk. The exciting and scenic journey takes you through rainforest vegetation on a series of cantilevered and suspended walkways jutting out from the granite cliff above Capilano River.

Relax in Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden

Named the world’s top city garden by National Geographic, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a peaceful and beautiful place to spend some time. It’s the first classical Chinese Garden in Canada and has covered walkways and pavilions making it ideal for a rainy day escape.

Learn something at Science World

25 awesome things to do in Vancouver
Vancouver Science World (Image: Thomas Quine)

Have fun and learn something new with hands-on, interactive exhibits at Vancouver’s Science World, which has something fun for all ages and interest levels.

Take in the views from Vancouver Lookout

Get a 360-degree aerial view of Vancouver with a 40 second glass elevator ride up to the observation deck at 168.6 metres.

Take a food tour

Vancouver is known for having great food. Get to know what’s on offer with a Vancouver Food Tour. There are various options including a Gastown tasting tour and a Chinatown tasting tour.

Splash around at Watermania

Kids and parents will love the facilities at Watermania, which include a wave pool with interactive water play features, two water slides, two large whirlpools and a steam room.

Explore Chinatown

25 awesome things to do in Vancouver
Vancouver Chinatown (Image: Caitriana Nicholson used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

Spend some time exploring the restaurants, markets, temples and gardens of North America’s third largest Chinatown.

Ride the SeaBus to North Vancouver

Get photo-worthy views of the harbour, Stanley Park and Lions Gate Bridge with a ride aboard the SeaBus. The commuter ferry departs every 15 to 30 minutes and crosses the Burrard Inlet, connecting downtown Vancouver with the North Shore.

Visit the Beaty Biodiversity Museum

Nature lovers should add the Beaty Biodiversity Museum to their itinerary. Vancouver’s natural history museum has more than 500 exhibits to explore featuring fossils, shells, insects, fungi, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and plants from around British Columbia and the world.

Check out the Museum of Vancouver

Learn more about Vancouver with a visit to the Museum of Vancouver, which is filled with exhibitions and programs that focus on the city’s history and its future.

Spend some time in Gastown

25 awesome things to do in Vancouver
Gastown (Image: Joe Mabel used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

The historic area of Gastown is Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood. A walk along the cobblestone streets will take you to art galleries, antique shops, artist studios and independent boutiques all housed in heritage buildings.

Go to Playland at the Pacific National Exhibition

The Pacific National Exhibition is home to Playland, a seasonal amusement park filled with more than 30 rides and attractions for all ages and levels of thrill-seeking.

Shop ’til you drop

Have some extra room in your suitcase? Find a few great things to bring home with some browsing of Vancouver’s best shopping areas. Some of these include Robson Street, Yaletown and Main Street.

Visit the Museum of Anthropology

The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia boasts some of the best First Nations and world art to be found anywhere

Featured image: sunchild123 / mwhyte

25 awesome things to do in Vancouver was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Jessica Padykula
Author: Jessica Padykula (292 posts)

Jessica Padykula is a Toronto-based writer and editor who regularly covers travel and lifestyle trends. When she’s not writing or researching a story she can be found planning trips to places near and far in a never-ending quest to travel the world.