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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: Grouse Mountain Admission Ticket

3. 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: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Self-Guided Tour

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

5. 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.

Vancouver: Sea to Sky Gondola and Whistler Day Trip

6. 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 the 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 Lookout Ticket: All Day Admission

7. Vancouver Lookout Ticket: All Day Admission

The Vancouver Lookout is an iconic and essential landmark high over Vancouver. It makes the perfect first stop on any traveler's itinerary to get an overview of the fabulous landscape of the city and the Northshore mountains. The glass elevators take you high above the street (168 meters (588feet) to be exact). After only 40 seconds, you're high above the fray and can look over all of Metro Vancouver's hot neighborhoods and sprawling mountain ranges. Vancouver Lookout has been iconic in the city's skyline since 1977. Here you can enjoy views as long you would like and learn from the knowledgable staff up top.

Vancouver: Floatplane and Capilano Suspension Bridge Combo

8. 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

9. 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: Cruise Terminal Luggage Storage

10. 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.

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

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

4.6 / 5

based on 4,843 reviews

I found the experience exhilarating. We had a very knowledgeable tour guide, a comfortable bus. We spent 2 hours at the capilano bridge which was plenty time to cross the bridge, enjoy events in the park and return to the other side. We also visited the salmon hatchery and Grouse Mountain., The scenery from the top of Grouse Mountain was breathtaking. It was a gorgeous day, and I enjoyed the entire afternoon.

Great experience and awesome food. Darray our guide was fantastic - very personable and engaging. She did a great job explaining the history of Richmond and its food culture. She also recommended additional restaurants that we might want to try

Very easy process through GET YOUR GUIDE. Spent a wonderful day enjoying the Capilano park. Easy to get back and forth with the downtown shuttle.

Picked & dropped off by tour operator. Gavin the tour driver was very witty from start to finish which makes the tour great.

It is one of my favorite things to do to get an overview of The area I’m visiting.