Are you tired of sifting through countless travel blogs to find the best attractions in Vancouver? It can be overwhelming trying to decide which places to visit and what to do in this beautiful city. But don't worry, we understand your frustration and have a solution for you.
The Insiders at Canadian Train Vacations have curated a list of the must-see places and experiences in Vancouver that will make your trip memorable. From its scenic coastlines to its vibrant culture, these suggestions will show what makes Vancouver such a special destination.
Here's our list of the best places to visit in Vancouver.
1. Stanley Park
Explore the beauty of Vancouver at Stanley Park, a natural oasis located in the heart of the city. Spanning over 400 hectares, the park features a diverse range of natural landscapes. You can explore its forests, gardens, beaches, and lakes.
Stanley Park is a prominent tourist attraction in Vancouver, and contains many different activities, including the Stanley Park Rose Garden. You can also take a stroll along the Seawall, a path that encircles the park and offers breathtaking views.
The park is a popular spot for outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking, and swimming. With operating hours from 6 AM to 10 PM, Stanley Park is perfect for visitors to enjoy during the spring or summer. Accessible by public transport, you can spend an entire day at the park.
2. Brockton Point Totem Poles
Brockton Point Totem Poles is a top attraction in Vancouver, especially if you are visiting Stanley Park. These intricately carved poles are a testament to the rich heritage of the area. First placed in the park in a different location in the 1920s, the collection has grown over the years.
Each pole at Brockton Point is carved from red cedar. The poles line a wide walkway and are set tall evergreen trees. There are three Welcome Gateways featuring intricate designs and colorful patterns. You can learn more about the totem poles by visiting the nearby visitor center.
The Brockton Point Totem Poles are open all year round making it the perfect spot to visit any time of the year.
3. Vancouver Seawall
The Vancouver Seawall is a picturesque path that encircles Stanley Park. It has stunning views of the ocean, mountains, and city skyline. You can walk, cycle, or rollerblade along the seawall, taking in the sights and sounds of the ocean. The Seawall is also home to the Lions Gate Bridge, English Bay, and the Coal Harbour Marina. Along the way, visitors can stop to relax, enjoy a picnic, or take a dip in the ocean. The Seawall is open all year round and can be accessed by foot or by bike.
4. Granville Island
Experience the vibrant culture and arts scene of Vancouver at Granville Island. Being home to talented artisans and craftsmen showcasing their skills, it is perfect for visitors seeking an immersive experience. You can explore many galleries and studios around the island. Watch painters, sculptors, and jewelers at work. You can take home unique handmade souvenirs. It's also home to food artisans. Savor fresh seafood along with sweet treats and local specialties.
For a unique experience, take the Aquabus or the False Creek Ferry to the island. The island is open daily. The best time to visit is during the day when all the shops, galleries, and restaurants are open.
5. Vancouver Aquarium
Discover the wonder of the ocean at the Vancouver Aquarium. This world-renowned facility is located in Stanley Park, Vancouver. You can explore many interactive exhibits showcasing the diversity of the ocean.
The Aquarium also offers a chance to see sea lions, otters, and other animals. You can take part in behind-the-scenes tours too which will tell you more about the Aquarium's conservation and research efforts.
It is open from 10 AM to 5 PM daily, except for certain holidays. Visitors can buy tickets online or on-site. Reach the Aquarium by taking a bus, SkyTrains, or driving.
6. Museum of Anthropology
The Museum of Anthropology is one of the best museums in Vancouver. It is dedicated to the study and preservation of the history of the Pacific Northwest. The museum features an extensive collection of artifacts and contemporary indigenous art. The museum also offers guided tours and lectures and is a great destination for history buffs and art enthusiasts.
The opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM, all year round. Visit the museum during the weekdays when it's less crowded. The museum is accessible by public transport, bike, or car (parking available). If you're taking public transport, the westbound 25, 33, R4, 44, 49, 84, 99 B-Line, and 480 buses arrive at UBC Exchange. There you can transfer to the 68 Wesbrook Village bus to get to the museum.
7. FlyOver Canada
Take a virtual flight across Canada with FlyOver Canada. This immersive flight simulation experience is located in downtown Vancouver. The ride takes you on a journey across Canada showcasing the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, Niagara Falls, and the Northern Lights. You can also enjoy pre-show entertainment and learn about Canada's culture.
FlyOver Canada is open daily from 10 AM to 8 PM. Visit FlyOver Canada during the evening when you can see the city lights. You can take the Canada Line Skytrain to the Waterfront Station, which is a short walk from FlyOver. You can also drive or take a taxi or a ride-sharing service to the attraction.
If you are interested in taking this a step further and truly going across Canada, take the Vancouver to Toronto train tour. Experience the breathtaking beauty of Canada in style. This overnight trip offers the perfect combination of convenience and comfort as you travel from coast to coast.
8. Queen Elizabeth Park
This urban oasis is, known for its beautiful flowers and tranquil atmosphere. The park offers recreational activities such as tennis courts and a golf course.
Queen Elizabeth Park is open daily from 6 AM to 10 PM, all year round. It is accessible by bus, car, or on foot. The best time to visit the park is during the spring or summer when the gardens are in full bloom and the weather is warm.
9. VanDusen Botanical Garden
VanDusen Botanical Garden is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. The garden has several themed gardens such as The Elizabethan Hedge Maze, the Rose Garden, and the Himalayan Garden. The timings of the park keep changing depending on the season and it is closed on Christmas. VanDusen Garden is the perfect destination to explore the natural beauty of Vancouver.
10. Vancouver Downtown
Vancouver Downtown is a bustling and vibrant area perfect for an immersive urban experience. The heart of the city is filled with world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment. You can see the famous Robson Street and shop for the latest clothes and accessories.
Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge, Purebread, and Glowbal are the best places to eat in downtown Vancouver. These restaurants offer a variety of delicious options for visitors to enjoy. The area is also home to the Vancouver Art Gallery.
The area is accessible by several bus and SkyTrain routes. You can also drive and park in one of the designated parking lots within the area. Visit during the day when all the shops are open.
11. The Aquabus
The Aquabus is a unique and exciting way to explore Vancouver's picturesque waterways. This fleet of small boats offers scenic rides through False Creek and English Bay. The Aquabus offers a variety of routes that connect popular attractions. You can visit Granville Island, Yaletown, and Science World in the Aquabus.
The Aquabus operates daily, with the first boat departing at 7 AM and the last boat departing at 8 PM. Visitors can buy tickets on board or in advance through the Aquabus website. The boats run from various locations throughout the city, so you can find them anywhere.
12. Canada Place
Canada Place is a must-see landmark in the heart of downtown Vancouver. As the city's cruise ship terminal, it serves as a gateway to the city for thousands of visitors each year. The iconic white sails of Canada Place are a recognizable symbol of Vancouver.
Open daily, Canada Place offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors. You can also explore the rich history of the area at the Port of Vancouver Story Centre. Or take a walk at the waterfront promenade and enjoy the stunning views of the city, mountains, and ocean.
Canada Place is accessible by public transport. The cruise ship terminal is located at the foot of Burrard Street and is accessible by bus, SkyTrain, and Seabus. Visitors staying in downtown Vancouver can also walk to the location in a few minutes. For those driving, there is ample parking available in the area.
13. English Bay
English Bay is a must-see destination for visitors to Vancouver. Located on the west side of the city, it is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the area. The best time to visit is during the summer as you can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking on the beach. The bay is an amazing spot to watch the sunset over the water.
The beach is open daily, with no specific operating hours. You can reach English Bay by bus, as it is located on the west side of downtown Vancouver. The #5, #6, and #22 buses run along Denman Street and Beach Avenue, and the #19 bus runs along Beach Avenue. Visitors can also take the SkyTrain to Burrard Station and walk or take the bus to English Bay. Additionally, the beach is also accessible by bike or car.
14. Bloedel Conservatory
The Bloedel Conservatory is a beautiful and unique attraction located in Queen Elizabeth Park. The conservatory is home to over 200 species of tropical plants and birds, all housed in a stunning glass dome. You can walk through the lush gardens and see exotic flowers, towering trees, and colorful birds in a tropical environment.
The conservatory is open daily, with hours varying depending on the season. In the summer, it is open from 10 AM to 9 PM. In the winter, it is open from 10 AM to 5 PM and is closed on Christmas.
Getting to the Bloedel Conservatory is easy and convenient, accessible by public transport or by car. Visitors can take the bus or SkyTrain to the park and then walk to the conservatory. There is also ample parking available in the park for those driving. The Bloedel Conservatory is a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
15. Kitsilano Beach
Kitsilano Beach, also known as "Kits Beach," is a popular tourist attraction on Vancouver Island. Located in the Kitsilano neighborhood, the beach stretches for over 2 kilometers. It offers stunning views of the English Bay and the North Shore mountains.
You can enjoy a wide range of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, volleyball, and beach soccer. The beach is also home to the Kitsilano Pool which is the longest saltwater pool in Canada.
You can take the bus or SkyTrain and get off at the Kitsilano Beach stop. You can also drive and park in the designated parking lots nearby. The best time to visit Kitsilano Beach is during the summer when it is bustling with activity. It's a great spot for families, friends, and solo travelers looking to relax and enjoy the coastal scenery of Vancouver.
16. Marine Building
The Marine Building is a historic skyscraper located in the heart of Vancouver's downtown area. It was completed in 1930 and served as the headquarters for many shipping and marine-related companies. Today, it serves as a mixed-use building with offices, retail spaces, and a rooftop with stunning views of the harbor.
The building is open to the public during regular business hours. You can take a tour of the building to learn about its history and architecture.
It is accessible by bus and SkyTrain. And there are several parking garages nearby. The best time to visit is during the day as the natural light highlights the intricate details of the architecture. Visitors can also catch a glimpse of the building at night when it is lit up.
17. Science World
Science World is a must-see attraction for visitors to Vancouver, Canada. It offers hands-on exhibits and activities that are designed to educate and entertain visitors of all ages.
The museum is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM, except for holidays when it may have different hours. You can reach Science World by taking the SkyTrain or bus and getting off at the Main Street-Science World station. Or, visitors can drive and park in one of the nearby parking lots.
18. Vancouver Convention Centre
The Vancouver Convention Centre is one of the city's most iconic and recognizable buildings. The center is open daily, with varying hours depending on the events and exhibitions taking place. Visitors can check the center's website or call ahead to confirm the schedule.
Getting to the Convention Centre is easy as it is located in the heart of downtown Vancouver. You can reach the center by taking the SkyTrain or bus and getting off at the Waterfront Station. You can also go by car, with parking available nearby.
19. Ski Grouse Mountain
Experience the thrill of skiing and snowboarding at Grouse Mountain. It is a popular winter destination in Vancouver, Canada. The mountain offers a snowshoeing and Nordic skiing area and ice-skating pond.
Reach the mountain by taking the Skyride. It is a gondola that travels from the base of the mountain to the top. Once at the top, you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views from the observatory deck. You can also reach the mountain by car, taking the Upper Levels Highway and exiting at the Mountain exit.
Grouse Mountain is open from late November to early April. And you can buy lift tickets or ski packages online. You can also take ski and snowboard lessons, as well as rent equipment on-site.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where to Eat in Vancouver with Family?
Try Earl's, Salmon n' Bannock Bistro, Rocky Mountain Flatbread Main Street, or Trattoria Kitsilano. These are some of the best family restaurants.
Where to Stay in Vancouver?
Among the best places to stay in Vancouver Canada, try the Georgian Court, The Fairmont Waterfront, or the Pan Pacific.
What should I not miss in Vancouver?
The top attractions in Vancouver, Canada are Stanley Park and Granville Island. You cannot afford to miss these locations in your itinerary.
What is Vancouver best known for?
Vancouver is best known for its natural beauty, and outdoor recreational opportunities.
What is the most beautiful part of Vancouver?
Many consider Stanley Park to be the most beautiful part of Vancouver. It has lush greenery and spectacular views to cherish.
How many days in Vancouver is enough?
Three days is typically enough to experience the best of what Vancouver has to offer.
Is Vancouver the most beautiful city in the world?
Vancouver is often considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its natural setting and recreational opportunities are hard to forget.
Popular Train Trips to Explore Vancouver
Sign up for special offers, monthly Canadian Insider tips, and vacation inspiration.