30 Best Things to Do In Vancouver, Canada

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Vancouver is an all-in-one place where you can stroll through the best urban parks, enjoy the lush valleys, explore the mountain range, and do much more. You will never run out of things to do in Vancouver because there is a whole bunch of activities on offer.

This is after all one of the main cities that Canada is known for. So, if you are thinking of vacation or moving there, you are in the right place. Here are the 30 best things you can do in Vancouver.

Local Things To Do In Vancouver

Are you wondering about the places to visit in Vancouver that locals visit and what they do? If you are, you must learn the local things you can do in this place. Here are the top ones you will enjoy the most.

Wander Through The Richmond Night Market

The Richmond Night Market is perhaps one of the most interesting markets in Vancouver. It is home to the largest Chinese community in Vancouver, and they put on a fantastic show. You will find some fantastic food, stalls of endless trinkets, and beautiful art demonstrations.

The summer months are the best time to visit the Richmond Night Market. That is when everything is in full swing as the locals love to come here in the summer months.

This local haunt is one of the highlight activities and things that Vancouver is known for.


Catch A Beautiful Sunset At English Bay

If you are looking for the best sunset spot in Vancouver, it doesn’t get better than the English Bay. You can find some great eateries here for food and cocktails. Once you are done indulging in amazing food, you can find a bench and watch one of the most beautiful sunsets you will ever experience in your life.

At English Bay, you can also find one of the best beaches in Vancouver.

Attend A Local Event In The Georgia Strait

There is nothing better than attending a local event in the Georgia Strait if you are wondering what to do in Vancouver. They have excellent ballets, movie shows, local community center talent shows, jazz at local clubs, comedy shows on Granville Island, etc. The list is endless, so you will find something local to do in no time.

Enjoy A Delectable Lunch On The Drive

Commercial Drive is the most ethnically eclectic and oldest street in Vancouver that you must visit. The street is centuries old, and now it is known as The Drive. Once you are here, you will find Portuguese bakeries, Edwardian houses, Italian pasta and pizza places, Brazilian coffee houses, etc.

The Drive is the hub of activity, especially in summer and spring. So, if you are looking for good food and great conversations, it doesn’t get better than The Drive.

Eat Delicious Dim Sum In China Town

Sunday is one of the busiest days for dim sum in China Town, as that is one many families come to sit, enjoy dim sum and talk about the week. Chinatown is one of Vancouver’s largest and oldest neighborhoods, where you will find markets, shops, restaurants, and more. So, if you love a good dim sum, you must check this off your list.

Adventurous Things To Do In Vancouver

There are many adventurous things to do in Vancouver, as you will find hiking trails, mountains, seas, snow, and much more. If you are an adventurous spirit, you will never run out of things to do on Vancouver Island. Here are our top picks to help you have the best adventures.

Go Hiking On The Grouse Grind

The Grouse Grind is also known as Mother Nature’s Staircase, and it is the perfect place to hike for adventure lovers. It takes the avid hikers at least 850 meters up through the alpine. However, once you reach the top, you will find a chalet that serves some refreshing drinks and excellent views of the city.

The Grouse Mountain is one of the most famous landmarks in and around Vancouver. There are also guided tours if you can get convenient access to this nature paradise and the surrounding attractions like the Capilano Suspension Bridge.


Kayak In The Deep Cove

If you love the water, this is one of the best things to do in Vancouver. Ocean kayaking is incredibly popular, and Deep Cove will offer you a safe and secure experience. Next, you will kayak up the Indian Arm, where you will find a majestic fjord where all the beautiful forest inhabitants come down to the edge of the water to welcome you to their abode.


Hike Lynn Canyon

Do you want to gain an incredible adrenaline rush by going on a suspension bridge? If you do, Lynn Canyon is the ideal spot as most locals are there, and it is free. You will find trails, swimming holes, a suspension bridge, and waterfalls here. It is a dream come true for all adventurers out there in one place.


Enjoy The Views From The Sea-To-Sky Gondola

The Sea-to-Sky Gondola is a relatively new attraction in Vancouver, but it offers one of the best views you will find in the city. That is because it includes a sky pilot suspension bridge that is a hundred meters long. However, the views are breathtaking as you will notice the beautiful fjord below and the lush yet rugged mountains ahead of you.

Once you are there, you probably will not want to come down. That is why it is one of the top things to do in Vancouver if you want to enjoy some breathtaking views.

>Check Whistler And Sea To Sky Gondola Tour


Take Part In Skiing Or Snowboarding Activities

In the winter months, you must do as the locals do when you are in Vancouver. The North Shore Mountains become a winter wonderland in the cold months, which is why it is the ideal place to spend your winter holiday. Once you are here, you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, playing in the snow, tubing, and more with your friends and family.

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Popular Things To Do In Vancouver

Now that you are familiar with some adventurous and local things to do in Vancouver, you must also understand all the popular things to do in Vancouver. These include some fantastic experiences that will take your holiday to the next level. So, here are some popular things you can explore in Vancouver.


Catch A Hockey Game

Everyone knows that Canada loves hockey, which is why your trip will be incomplete if you don’t catch a hockey game while you are there. If you visit between October and April, you can easily catch a Canuck game and see them compete with the NHL teams. Catching such a game is easily one of the most exciting things you can do in Vancouver.

Keep in mind that such games are incredibly popular, which is why it is important to get your ticket beforehand. After all, you don’t want to miss some great seats if you decide to go at the last minute.

Sing To The Best Tunes At The Commodore

The Commodore Ballroom is one of the most beloved and oldest venues in Vancouver for live music. It originated during the 1920s, and ever since then, it has hosted many famous artists. These include Lady Gaga, Tina Turner, U2, and much more.

That is why it is one of the most popular things to do in Vancouver if you love live music and enjoy concerts. The best part is that the prices are affordable, and the place’s ambiance is casual. That is why you will not have to worry about much when you get tickets.

Visit The Artsy Granville Island 

Take an aquabus to Granville Island and enjoy everything this place offers. When you reach, you can enjoy sipping on premium teas, shopping for organic produce, sampling fine chocolates, watching sleek yachts on the dock, and listening to buskers. Locals and tourists both enjoy the place as it is an art and cultural hub for everyone.

Granville Island used to be a manufacturing hub for Vancouver. However, now it is known as a cultural and art hub. So, don’t forget to visit this place on your trip.

>Check Granville Island & Stanley Park Tour

Do Window-Shopping In Gastown

Not many tourists know this, but Gastown is named after Gassy Jack, a historical figure. Gastown used to be the third-largest city in Canada, but now you will find that it is home to the best loft apartments you will find. Besides that, Gastown is also known for its boutiques, delicious European eateries, and much more.

So, if you are looking to kill some time by indulging in European food and window shopping, then there is no better place than Gastown. It is a trendy neighborhood and one of the top things to do in Vancouver when you just want to stroll in a neighborhood and enjoy the vibe.


Take A Relaxing Drive On The Sea-To-Sky Highway

The Sea-to-Sky Highway drive is rated as one of the most beautiful drives worldwide. The drive will last for one and a half hours, and it will offer you some of the best views of Vancouver. You will begin in downtown Vancouver and end up in Whistler during this drive.

The best part is that you will find some majestic vistas, cascading waterfalls, and much more as you take this drive. Be sure to charge your camera as you will want to capture every moment of this drive.

Relaxing Things To Do In Vancouver

Do you love enjoying some downtime while connecting with nature when you are in a new place? If you do, then you must know what to do in Vancouver for relaxation and calm. Here are the top things to do in Vancouver that will help you find your inner Zen mode.


Go Cycling Around Stanley Park

Visiting Vancouver is not complete unless you go cycling around Stanley Park. This green space is one of the famous landmarks in Canada.

Trip Advisor has also named it the World’s Best Park, which is why you must visit it. You can grab a cycle and ride all the way around the old-growth forest, rose gardens, Aboriginal village sites, beachside, and much more.

As you cycle, you will enjoy the beautiful views that will take your breath away at every turn. There are various bicycle rental spots you will find on Denman Street. So, be sure to go there, grab a bike, and cycle your way around this park.

Photo Credit: rabbit75_dep/Depositphotos.com

Turn On Your Zen Mode At The Chinese Gardens In Chinatown

While you are in Chinatown, you must visit the Chinese Gardens that will help you connect with your inner Zen monk. The best part about these gardens is the construction. That is because the entire gardens are constructed by hand, and it mimics complex gardens that you will find on the Mainland.

All these gardens keep up with the Buddhist and Confucian traditions. So, if you want to enjoy an evening of relaxation and peace, be sure to visit these gardens.

Photo Credit: billperry/Depositphotos.com

Bask In The Tranquility Of The Van Dusen Botanical Gardens

The Van Dusen Botanical Gardens are on twenty-two acres of land, and each inch is covered with beauty. Once you enter these gardens, you will feel as if you have entered paradise. The best times to visit are the warmer months, as you can take strolls along the walks here and enjoy a picnic.

The best part is that you will find all of the world’s ecosystems in one place here. So, be sure to enjoy these tranquil gardens as it is one of the top relaxing things to do in Vancouver.


Take A Stroll In The Pacific Spirit Park

If there is one thing that the people of Vancouver love, it is spending their time outdoors in nature to connect with themselves and the surroundings. That is exactly what they do in the Pacific Spirit Park, which is why it is one of the best things to do in Vancouver so you can enjoy like the locals. The park is on 874 hectares of lush forest with many manicured trails for you to explore.

The park is also pet-friendly, which is why you can also take your furry companion for a walk here. You can hike the trails or stroll around the park. Whenever you get tired, you can always find a spot where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful sounds of the forest that will calm you completely from the inside.


Hit A Yoga Studio

Did you know that Vancouver is the city that launched Lululemon, a brand for yoga apparel and active wear? This is why your trip will be incomplete if you don’t attend a session at one of the yoga studios. The best part is that many places offer a reasonable rate and enjoyable experience.

You can relax with others while fulfilling your exercise needs. If you visit a community center, you can attend the class for as low as $5. The activity will relieve stress from your muscles because of moving around every day. After all, trips can be exhausting because of covering long distances or staying in a vehicle for an extended period.

Free Things To Do In Vancouver

Vancouver isn’t the cheapest destination but this doesn’t mean you can’t visit on a budget. Here are some free things to do in Vancouver.

Do Some Reading At The Rooftop Garden Of Vancouver Public Library

The Vancouver Public Library is a temple for readers because of the extensive collection. You can find plenty of great books and informative materials at this library. The best part is that the location also provides a rooftop garden with a scenic view overlooking the city’s tall buildings.

A great thing about the library and rooftop garden is that they are free to visit. You can borrow a book and go to the garden to get some quiet reading done. The best rooftop has tables and chairs, so you don’t have to worry about discomfort. You are sure to learn some interesting facts about Canada at the library.


View Birdlife At Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park is a major site with extensive wildlife options for you to enjoy. You can breathe the fresh air surrounded by peace and nature. An interesting fact about the park is that it has almost every native tree species of Canada in one place. So it is the best place to be if you’re interested in plants.

The park also has plenty of local birdlife options, so you should watch out for specific animals. For instance, bald eagles, hummingbirds, and chickadees are famous for appearing in Queen Elizabeth Park.


Enjoy Water Sports Activities At Kitsilano Beach

Kitsilano Beach is one of the best beaches to visit in Vancouver because of its multiple offerings. You will encounter many people engaging in sports activities at the beach. For instance, Frisbee players are prevalent throughout the coastline. You will also come across volleyball enthusiasts.

Another appealing feature of Kitsilano Beach is that it has tree logs stretched throughout the shore. You can lie on one of them to sunbathe during summers. They also offer a suitable sitting platform and an aesthetic background for pictures.

Visit The Colbourne House

If you will visit the Marpole neighborhood, it is essential to explore the Colbourne House. It is one of the oldest buildings in Vancouver and was home to a small family in 1912. The property has been preserved as a museum after the 1990s wrecking.

The structure will offer you show you what a house looked like in 1912. You will not have to pay any fee for visiting the house. However, you must call ahead before reaching the site. The location is only open for a tour when sufficient volunteers are present.

Attend Free Local Events

The best part about Vancouver is that many free events are held throughout the city at different times. For instance, CBC hosts a series of free music concerts during the summer to celebrate its anniversary. Besides that, you may also encounter free salsa lessons at Robson Square.

Kitsilano Showboat is also a series of free events that take place in the summer. A huge crowd of locals and tourists attend the beach on the relevant days to learn more about the tradition. Stanley Park also hosts free outdoor movie nights during summers and winters.

Romantic Things To Do In Vancouver

Are you wondering what to do in Vancouver with your partner? If so, here are some suggestions:


Get Immersed In the Flower Fields At The Fraser Valley

The Fraser Valley is a popular farm located just outside the city’s center. You can easily reach the location in a vehicle in less than two hours. The best part is that the site offers an excellent romantic experience. You will encounter a field of colorful flowers at the farm.

You can spend time viewing the flowers and talking to your partner. The ambiance of the farm will allow you to enjoy a fun day. Besides that, the scent of different flowers will also mesmerize you and your partner.

Enjoy Afternoon Tea At The Fairmont Hotel

Going out on meal dates is one of the top ways to spend quality time with your partner. The good news is that Fairmont Hotel offers a suitable ambiance and food for having the best time. You can enjoy an afternoon tea at the hotel after spending the day shopping.

Besides that, the restaurant is also suitable for romantic dinner dates at night. You can also indulge in multiple sweet and savory options because the hotel changes its theme from time to time.


Go On A Harbor Air Seaplane Tour

A bird’s eye view of Vancouver is also an excellent way to make the most out of your trip. You can view the city from different angles and learn about various places. It will also help you choose the next visiting places for your trip if you don’t have a planned itinerary.

You can go on different airplane tours by opting for this option. For instance, one package may allow you to explore the beaches and mountains. Meanwhile, another tour will let you see the lakes and glaciers of Vancouver.

>Check Vancouver Seaplane Tours


Relax At A Spa

Another great thing for couples to do in Vancouver is to go for a relaxing massage at one of the spas. The city offers multiple locations to help you relieve stress. The best part is that some places also offer specific options for couples.

You can also visit a spa that offers private heated pools to adults if you prefer to relax while having privacy. The great thing is that this will not cause you to break your bank.


Go On Wine Tasting Tours

The final thing to do in Vancouver for couples is wine tasting tours. There are multiple vineyards within the city and outside it. So it is also a suitable option if you want to get away from the noisy city life. Vancouver vineyards offer an excellent range of wines.

Many vineyards also offer eating options by providing you with snacks or a fully-developed restaurant. This is why many couples go on wine tasting tours in Vancouver.

Discovering Things To Do In Vancouver, Canada

These are the top places to visit in Vancouver. There are plenty of amazing things to do in Vancouver, and this list just scratches the surface!

Whether you’re looking for a fun date idea or something to keep you busy on a rainy day, Vancouver has something for everyone. The best part is that many of them are free while others come at a reasonable price.

If you’re planning a trip to this beautiful city, be sure to add some of these activities to your itinerary!



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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