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

1. 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. 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 multiple stops, including Coal Harbour, English Bay Beach, Chinatown, and the Sports District.

Vancouver: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Self-Guided Tour

2. 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

3. 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.

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: Floatplane and Capilano Suspension Bridge Combo

5. 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

6. 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: Victoria, Gulf Islands Cruise, & Butchart Gardens

7. Vancouver: Victoria, Gulf Islands Cruise, & Butchart Gardens

View the spectacular British Columbia coastline by land and ship, followed by a stop at Butchart Gardens en route to the British-inspired city of Victoria. Board a BC Ferries vessel at Tsawwassen terminal for a 90-minute sail through the serene beauty of the Gulf Islands. Marine wildlife sightings from the outdoor ship decks are common, especially eagles, sea lions, and whales. Arrive at Swartz Bay terminal on Vancouver Island and continue to the enchanting botanical paradise of Butchart Gardens. Wander through a series of themed gardens, highlighted by the massive Sunken Garden complete with dancing fountain. The city of Victoria boasts many impressive architectural wonders, including the iconic Parliament Buildings and the waterfront Fairmont Empress Hotel. Visit the unique shops and cafes of Government Street and Chinatown. Stroll along the Inner Harbour for prime ocean views, and enjoy some free time to take in this culturally significant city. Return on the bus to Vancouver by ferry to conclude this diverse tour. Packed with ever-changing experiences of the Pacific Coast and Vancouver Island, this tour is a must-do for those who have not yet visited Victoria.

From Vancouver: Sea to Sky Gondola and Whistler Tour

8. From Vancouver: Sea to Sky Gondola and Whistler Tour

Set off from Vancouver aboard a luxury coach on a journey to Whistler. Take in panoramic views of the ocean, sky-high mountains, and glaciers. Enjoy the special opportunity to spot local wildlife. The first stop is Shannon Falls, the third-highest waterfall in BC, where water cascades over a series of cliffs from a height of 335 meters (1,099 feet). There are two viewing platforms for the falls just a short walk from the parking lot. The next stop is the Sea to Sky Gondola just south of Squamish. Take a short ride up to the summit (an impressive 885 meters above sea-level). Enjoy time to grab a bite to eat, hike the trails, and enjoy the sweeping views of the surrounding mountain ranges and the turquoise waters of Howe Sound. From there, continue north along the Sea to Sky highway to the world-famous Whistler Village. The charming pedestrian-only village has something to offer everyone. Take 4 hours to explore world-class restaurants and shopping or just wander through the village. Watch the sunset on your way back to Vancouver.

Vancouver: Shared or Private Panorama Flight by Seaplane

9. Vancouver: Shared or Private Panorama Flight by Seaplane

Discover even more of the majestic mountains and expansive coastline that surround the breathtaking city of Vancouver, as you fly high over the scenery on this 35-minute flight. This extended version of the Vancouver Panorama tour offers the same sights before following the coast further north towards Whistler, then looping back down over the Islands and exploring the incredible Sunshine Coast. With currently over 50 aircraft, Harbour Air and Westcoast Air operate the largest all-seaplane fleet in the world. 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, and Cessna 185 aircraft are available for charter. Take your chance to experience Vancouver's beautiful landscapes from a bird's-eye-view!

Vancouver: City and Seal Boat Tour

10. Vancouver: City and Seal Boat Tour

Jump into a boat for a 1.5-hours to see the city and its seals. Embark on an adventure you won't forget and travel along the epic coastline of the English Bay, out to Lighthouse Park, over to the Seal Colony, and back into False Creek. Take in the sights of Stanley Park from the water throughout the journey. Pass by English Bay Beach and underneath the iconic Lions Gate Bridge.  Marvel at the beautiful homes of West Vancouver, offshore freighters, and Seal Colony along the coast. Make your way past Siwash Rock, Jericho Sailing Centre, and Kitsilano Beach. All of the boat tours depart from the Granville Island Location.

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

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What people are saying about Vancouver

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 3,346 reviews

Brilliant day with Brandon as our guide we had laughs and lots of interesting information . Well thought out trip with adequate time to explore each place we visited . Bus was comfortable and pick up/drop off times spot on . EVERYTHING was perfect even the company of the other travellers ,Brandon's jokes however .. we would definitely recommend this trip and this company.

Our two tour guides were excellent. Would highly recommend. I would even do this tour again. The guides were kind, personable and sooo nice Kelly

Beautiful views of the narrows, the coast, a mountain top and valley and downtown Vancouver and Coal Harbour.

The driver named Steve was amazing. He knows what he’s doing. Kudos

This is a great cruise. We had the best time and crew was awesome.