Welcome to Vancouver!
A haven for nature lovers, and a city that instills a distinct gritty character, Vancouver, Canada, offers a unique blend of brisk outdoor culture with a rugged city lifestyle. Nestled between tall mountains and vast stretches of water, Vancouver is the perfect place for worldwide locals to explore the natural beauty, while having the comfort of a bustling metropolitan within arms reach. This guide will navigate you through Vancouver’s historic streets and bustling atmosphere. A global cosmopolitan with an unmistakable personality, this is the city of Vancouver.
While Vancouver is considered to be the largest city in Canada, it is nicely compact, making exploring the city a breeze, with most of the Vancouver hotels and major attractions accessible by public transport or by physical means. You can engross yourself in a modern science museum and then go explore some wilderness in one afternoon, as both are within mere minutes of each other. Vancouver is a city that has a complete list of activities that fit many types of itineraries. This local guide will uncover its must-see attractions to ensure that you see the city’s best sights and sounds.
Gastown, a Must-Visit Neighborhood
Gastown is one of the city’s oldest districts and has retained its charm, with cobbled streets and fascinating architecture. This place, where it all began for Vancouver, is an area aptly named after the famous bar owner, “Gassy Jack.” The neighborhood began as an industrious working district, but its rustic buildings now house a plethora of hip bars, rows of stylish restaurants, and dozens of local boutique stores. It’s a great place to meet new people and get to know the local residents.
Worldwide Local Tip: For an alternative dining experience, you can visit the Richmond Night Market. During the summer months, the outdoor market fills up the air with the inviting aroma of freshly cooked food that makes for delicious international cuisine. The market also has amusement stalls similar to what you can find in a fairground.
For the Artistic
To see the city’s distinct personality as a neighborhood, head over to Granville Island. Separating itself to the city’s modern skyscrapers and busy streets, it is a trendy and artsy district, full of some of the most fun things to do in Vancouver, where the locals love to hang out. Very similar to Gastown with its industrial past, the area has moved on from its laborious past to become a bustling social hub of the city. Mingle with its hipster crowd at one of its contemporary art galleries or an alternative theater, or simply take a peek at the public market, where you will see a selection of fresh local produce on sale.
Worldwide Local Tip: For a cheap way to cruise around the city’s waters, take a Seabus from the Village Dock near the Science Museum. The bus will take you across False Creek, showcasing gorgeous views of the city skyline and Vancouver’s many nature parks.
Outdoors in Vancouver
Flying into the Vancouver airport, one thing you’ll notice is that the city is full of leafy open spaces for its locals and tourists to take respite from the frantic pace of city life. Stanley Park is one of the most impressive and largest urban gardens in the world, with a pedestrian path that runs 9 kilometers from end to end. Roam its trail, whether by foot or bike, to see diverse wildlife such as seals, whales, and various species of birds, between the lush greenery and the calm waters. You can also see ancient aboriginal sites displaying an impressive collection of totem poles, and enjoy seeing the beautiful cityscape at Hallelujah Point.
Worldwide Local Tip: The summer months tend to be dry and sunny; however, Vancouver is known for being grey and dreary during the rainy season. Be sure to pack a raincoat or an umbrella when walking through the city from October until March. The Vancouver weather is unpredictable and tends to rain despite what weather forecasts say, so it is also advisable to take an umbrella even during the summer months.
Shopping in Vancouver
Canada Place is the modern, touristy epicenter of Vancouver, where you can find an eclectic shopping scene and a magnificent view of the harbor. Built with the design of a ship, it serves as a ferry terminal and a convention center, holding organized events throughout the year.
Worldwide Local Tip: During the Christmas season in Vancouver, time can take on a nostalgic atmosphere. Canada Place transforms into a festive wonderland. With an exuberant display of lights and decorations, walking through the Canada Trail will guarantee to bring back childhood memories of celebrating the festive season.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Vancouver’s rare beauty can be seen in its varying types of attractions. From its picturesque natural landscapes to its sophisticated character, there is no better place to be a worldwide local than in Vancouver.