Vancouver is a beautiful coastline city located in western Canada…and also the place I call home!
There aren’t many places on Earth where you can visit the mountain ranges and go take a dip in the ocean…on the same day.
It’s no wonder Vancouver is rated as one of the best places to live in the world.
Now let’s get to the good stuff.
Here’s a list of the top 5 things to do when visiting Vancouver (in no particular order).
– Stanley Park, Vancouver
Stanley Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Vancouver.
Time to stretch your legs!
Put on a pair of your most comfy shoes and take a stroll around the seawall.
But make sure you give yourself enough time to fully explore this park – the whole route is 10 km long and will take at least 3 to 4 hours.
Short on time? No problemo.
There are plenty of places nearby (on West Georgia and Denman Street) where you could rent a bike and I personally think this is the best way to see Stanley Park.
Bonus tip: Vancouver has its own bike-share program…it’s super easy to sign up and you can rent + drop off the bike at designated spots all over the city.
Cost: Stanley Park is free to explore but paid parking is enforced throughout the whole park.
– The Vancouver Aquarium, Vancouver
The Vancouver Aquarium is a center for marine research and conservation. Its Canada’s largest aquarium with beautiful underwater exhibits.
Over 50,000 unique creatures from the Arctic to the Amazon.
If you love aquariums and marine life, you’ll love this one!
It’s conveniently located right within the heart of Stanley Park and is a place for people of all ages.
Be sure to catch the daily shark and sea otter shows, and for an unforgettable experience, have some hands-on fun at the interactive Wet Lab.
My favorite part is the jellyfish exhibit. Those lil’ buggers are certainly mesmerizing.
There’s so much to see here. Indoor and outdoor exhibits so it’s suitable for all kinds of weather.
Just make sure you get here early or be prepared for crowds!
Cost: Ticket prices are about $40 CAD for adults and $20 CAD for children. A bit on the pricey side but totally worth the splurge.
– Granville Island, Vancouver
Granville Island is located directly across from Downtown Vancouver.
It’s best known for the market with fresh ingredients and dozens of shops that showcase local artistic talent.
If you’re thirsty, drop by the Granville Island Brewery and try out some local beer. It’s the perfect place to rest your feet and grab a quick bite to eat with friends.
Head over to the Public Market and things can get a bit chaotic – especially on the weekends.
This is where the locals come to buy fresh produce and seafood.
Definitely check out Oyama Sausage Co.
They’re famous for their patés. Even those who don’t really like paté will love it.
Moving on. I have a major sweet tooth and there’s a fantastic mom and pop shop that serves freshly handmade donuts – Lee’s Donuts.
They make them in limited quantities every day so make sure you get there early if you want the best selection.
Cost: Paid parking is in effect during peak hours between 11 am to 6 pm ($2-$3 per hour). It’s free parking outside of these hours.
– Deep Cove, North Vancouver
Deep Cove is a quaint neighborhood located just 30 minutes from Downtown Vancouver and is a paradise for outdoor activities.
The beautiful natural surroundings and the crystal clear waters of the cove make it an ideal place to spend a lazy afternoon in the sun.
There’s a rental centre just off the shore where you can rent kayaks, canoes and paddle boards.
If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, they also offer guided or self-guided tours.
Another great way to explore Deep Cove is to hike up to Quarry Rock.
The trailhead to this hike is literally through someone’s driveway. Literally.
Quarry Rock is loved by the locals and is one of my fave hikes to do in the summer. It gets your heart pumpin’ and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views at the top of the summit.
After a day of activities, make sure you stroll through Gallant Avenue. There’s plenty of unique shops and eateries to check out.
There’s free parking surrounding the cove but the only caveat is that it gets filled up pretty fast.
Especially during the hotter months so try to get here as early as possible!
Cost: Free to enjoy the park but if you’d like to rent a kayak to go out into the water, rates start at $39 CAD for 2 hours.
– Downtown Public Library, Vancouver
If architecture and beautiful buildings are your thing, the Vancouver Public Library is a must-see.
Thanks to the spiraling open-concept design, you can look down onto the other floors. How cool is that?
Fun fact: this library is one of the only places in the city where you can still find payphones!
Once you’re done admiring the interior, borrow a nice book and head on up to the rooftop garden (accessible from the 9th floor).
Just remember, food and drinks are not allowed inside the library but you can bring your lunch up to the rooftop garden. Smoking is not permitted though.
Cost: The facilities are free to enjoy but some areas require booking in advance. If you want to sign-up for a library membership and you’re local, all you’ll need is just 2 pieces of ID.
There we have it, folks. My picks for the top things to do in Vancouver.
Do you feel like anything’s missing from this list? I’d love to hear your opinion and I might just add it to the list!
Let me know in the comments below or send me a message 🙂