Vancouver is a worthwhile inclusion in any Canada itinerary. Providing authentic Canadian charm with all of the perks of a diverse, modern city, travellers will not be disappointed with this gem of a destination. While in town, there is a range of activities and attractions to visit.
Spend some time planning your itinerary to see how many of these 12 things you can strike off your travel list the next time you visit Vancouver!
1. Take a flight on a seaplane
Can’t decide whether to see the city by sea or sky? Or maybe you’ve just always wanted to take a ride in a seaplane? Well, you’re in luck. Vancouver is the perfect place to strike this item of your bucket list with tons of affordable options running from Vancouver Harbour.
Seaplane tours begin and end at Coal Harbour Seaplane Base. They range in duration from 10 minutes to 1-hour ride.
Ride in a horse-drawn carriage through a picturesque park
On the hunt for some Instagram-worthy content? A visit to Stanley Park is an absolute must if you’re in Vancouver. And, to make taking in the views even more special, you can even tour it from a horse-drawn carriage.
The ride lasts for an hour and takes you to see the best that Stanley Park has to offer. This includes the harbour, Lionsgate Bridge and Red Cedar Forest. Horse-drawn carriage tours operate from March through to December and depart from 735 Stanley Drive.
3. Get the perfect photo with totem poles
While you’re in Stanley Park, make a stop at the renowned totem poles. Totem poles are a traditional monument that was originally made by the First Nations people to represent history, ancestry and monumental events.
Stanley Park is open 24/7, so you can visit this site whenever it fits into your travel schedule. That being said, it’s best to go early in the day to avoid crowds and get better photo opportunities. If you only have a short time in Vancouver, Stanley Park is one place you won’t want to miss. Even if you only have a layover in the city, use Bounce to store your luggage and spend some time in nature and fresh air before heading back to the stuffy airport.
4. Go on a 3D adventure through Canada
Where else can you see all of the biggest attractions in Canada in less than an hour? Vancouver is home to Flyover Canada, a 3D theatre experience that will have you flying all over Canada’s iconic sites including Niagara Falls, the Rocky Mountains and even the Northern Lights.
You can find Flyover Canada at 999 Canada Place. This experience operates all year round from 9:30 am to 9:00 pm.
Visit a working steam clock
This item may not be on your travel bucket list, but if you’re visiting Vancouver, it should be! The Steam Clock is an iconic landmark in the city, and it won’t be every day that you get to see a clock that is operated solely by a steam engine.
You can find the Steam Clock at 305 Water Street. Like the totem poles, it is best to visit early if you want a photo without flocks of other tourists.
6. Go to a market on an island
Islands always seem to have a magical vibe, and Granville Island is no different. Located just out of Downtown Vancouver, Granville Island is home to a market that is loved by locals and tourists alike. Spend some time wandering through the stalls – you’ll find a range of fresh produce and sweet treats.
The market is open every day of the week from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. Tip: to make sure you don’t miss out on the best produce, try to visit before 4:00 pm, as the stock does tend to get low towards the end of the day.
7. Take a walk over a suspension bridge
A 20-minute drive from the city centre, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of the most popular attractions in Vancouver. The bridge hangs 70 meters above the ground and is 137 meters long, so it’s not for the faint of heart!
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park can be found at 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver. It is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, although typically closes during the winter months.
8. Mingle with locals on a ferry
One of the things that makes Vancouver such a stunning city is the endless body of water that surrounds it. Heading out on a boat is a great way to explore and also mingle with locals. There is a range of ferry tours, but catching the local ferry is the cheapest option and the best insight into local life.
False Creek Ferries is a good choice if you’re seeking a fun, local experience. They offer 4 routes and 9 dock locations.
9. Visit an observation deck for an excellent view
If you’ve always wanted to see a city from above, the Vancouver Lookout is the perfect place to tick this item off your bucket list. Standing at 186 metres tall, the observation deck offers unrivalled, 360-degree views of Vancouver and its surroundings.
The tower is located at 555 West Hastings Street, Harbour Centre. It’s open all year round, although operating hours do vary according to season. During the winter season (October – May), the observation deck is open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. In summer (June-September), it is open between 8:30 am and 10:30 pm.
10. Eat authentic Canadian poutine
A visit to Canada is not complete without trying the local dish – poutine! Poutine is essentially a bowl of fries topped with cheese curds and rich, brown gravy. Head to Gastown for a true Vancouver experience and choose from the vast range of restaurants in the area. Most places will have poutine on the menu.
Gastown is a trendy neighborhood in Vancouver that can be visited at any time of the day. If you’re looking for poutine, you probably want to opt for lunch or dinner and it’s a bit of a heavier dish, to say the least.
11. Go whale watching
For those of you who have always longed to see whales in the wild, Vancouver is a great place to go whale watching. British Columbia is home to a variety of marine animals including humpback whales, orcas, dolphins and seals.
The season runs from April to October. Vancouver Whale Watch is a reputable company that offers tours ranging from 3 to 5 hours.
12. Barrack for the local team at an ice hockey game
Canadians love their hockey. Get in on the action by watching the local hockey team, the Canucks, play at Rogers Arena.
The hockey season begins in October with finals finishing in June. Get your tickets as early as possible to secure the best deal. If a game is scheduled close to your flight, use Vancouver Luggage Storage so you can grab your bags and go directly to the airport.
Vancouver’s vibe is truly unlike anywhere else, and the host of things to do there are guaranteed to make it one of your most memorable trips yet. If this city isn’t already on your travel bucket list, make sure to put it down ASAP!