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Things to do in

Vancouver

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

Our most recommended things to do in Vancouver

Vancouver: FlyOver Canada Experience

1. Vancouver: FlyOver Canada Experience

Welcome to the home of North America's leading flying ride. Use advanced technology to capture thrilling, authentic footage of real locations so riders can experience those places as they were truly meant to be. Find yourself in downtown Vancouver's Canada Place, and be whisked away on an exhilarating journey over the world's most spectacular scenery. Experience state-of-the-art technology to give you the feeling of flight. Hang suspended, feet dangling, before a 20-metre spherical screen while the film immerses you on an exhilarating journey across some of the worlds most iconic landscapes. Special effects, including wind, mist, and scents, combine with the ride’s motion to create an unforgettable experience.

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

2. 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

3. 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: Cruise Terminal Luggage Storage

4. Vancouver: Cruise Terminal Luggage Storage

Discover the beautiful city of Vancouver stress-free as you disembark from the cruise ship. Safely store your baggage in an All-Day Luggage Storage Service, conveniently located at the Canada Place Cruise Terminal. Simply drop off any large luggage and it will be taken care of for the day as you explore the city. The indicated price is for up to 3 pieces of luggage per person. This service is only available for: Disembarking Cruise Ship passengers not staying in Vancouver and with later afternoon/evening flights and wish to explore downtown Vancouver. Disembarking Cruise Ship passengers who cannot check into their accommodation until later in the day and wish to explore downtown Vancouver.

Classic Vancouver Panorama Tour by Seaplane

5. 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 1-hour Harbor Tour

6. Vancouver 1-hour Harbor Tour

Take a break from the malls, museums and galleries and enjoy Vancouver from the outside on this fully narrated 1-hour cruise. From the spacious open-air decks you can enjoy a drink from the fully licensed bar and have a perfect view over this entire beautiful city. You will see the world famous Stanley Park, a rich-green oasis comprising of majestic cedar, hemlock and fir trees rising from the waters of the harbor. From the deck of the boat you can also see the impressive Lions Gate Bridge. Linking the City of Vancouver to North Vancouver, this huge suspension bridge is an impressive sight, particularly from the water it soars above. This relaxing hour cruise on the harbor also offers stunning views of the spectacular city skyline and the breathtaking North Shore Mountains. An ideal way to see the city at a calm and relaxed pace.

Vancouver: Grouse Mountain Admission Ticket

7. 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.

Vancouver: Extended Panorama Flight by Seaplane

8. Vancouver: Extended 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!

From Vancouver: Butchart Gardens & Victoria Sightseeing Tour

9. From Vancouver: Butchart Gardens & Victoria Sightseeing Tour

Meet in central Vancouver and take a 90-minute scenic cruise aboard the ferry to Vancouver Island. Sail through the Strait of Georgia and enjoy the scenery. Be sure to visit the outside decks as it’s not uncommon to see all kinds of sea life, including porpoises and whales. Arrive on Vancouver Island and first visit the beautiful Butchart Gardens. Explore this world-renowned botanical garden which was once a quarry, featuring the Japanese Garden, the Ross Fountain, an Italian Garden, and other floral displays. Continue the trip with a ferry ride to the city of Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Discover the main sights of Victoria with your guide, starting at Mile O. See Ogden Point, Fisherman’s Wharf, Empress Hotel, and historic Chinatown, including the famous Fan Tan Alley. Later, enjoy some free time to explore on your own or book an additional optional activity. Your guide will be on hand to assist you with suggestions on the best restaurants, breweries, shops, and hidden gems. Relax as you cruise back to the mainland in the evening, arriving back in Vancouver at approximately 9:30 PM.

Vancouver 2.5-Hour Sunset Dinner Buffet Cruise

10. 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.

Frequently asked questions about Vancouver

What top attractions are a must-see in Vancouver?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Vancouver?

The best day trips and excursions from Vancouver are:

Whistler

What are the most popular museums and exhibitions 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.

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 4,298 reviews

It was very easy to get to Capilano via the free shuttle in front of Canada Place. It is so cool to have a rain forest 20 minutes from the middle of the city. As advertised prior to the treetop canopy walk - get ready for nature. My husband is not in favor of heights, but had no problem with any of the bridges. You feel very safe. The suspension bridge is bouncy, like the ones at playgrounds so it is fun just to watch people's reactions. The "park" is an engineering marvel. We enjoyed all three parts and did each one twice. We were there on a Friday morning and the crowds were reasonable. Many bathrooms and helpful staff. Great junior ranger type of activity for kids. Food is expensive, ($25 for a burger/fries) however. Highly recommend this activity.

Great time - very nice buffet. There is assigned seating on 2 levels, but you can walk all over the boat and enjoy the views from different outside decks. Staff was pleasant and music was enjoyable. Highly recommend.

Outstanding in every way - from booking, to ticketing, registration, embarkation, itinerary and commentary, food, disembarkation etc., all was A1, done with the background of very caring and friendly staff.

I appreciated the quiet & comfortable place to rest before my flight.

The seaplane tour was worth it! Capilano was beautiful