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39 Vancouver Bucket List Attractions (by a frequent traveler)

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From navigating the bustling streets of Gastown to soaking in the panoramic views from Grouse Mountain, Vancouver is a symphony of urban energy and natural splendor. We love visiting Vancouver and British Columbia in general. Even after visiting the city numerous times and exploring newer attractions and areas each time, many activities remain on our Vancouver bucket list, and we keep adding more 🙂 

We’ve uncovered hidden gems in Stanley Park, tasted the diverse culinary scene, and witnessed the vibrant culture that defines this coastal gem. We are sharing our must-see activities in Vancouver so you can create your own!

39 Ultimate Vancouver Bucket List Attractions to Visit

Vancouver bucket list pin
Things to do in Vancouver, BC

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Vancouver, the largest city in British Columbia, is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, cultural richness, and lively atmosphere. The city boasts many indoor and outdoor activities, making it easy for you to find something exciting to do or see around every corner. 

Vancouver Downtown Waterfront Maritime Museum
Vancouver Downtown

In this guide, we are sharing the popular as well as offbeat things to do in Vancouver Canada. We have also included travel tips in the later section to help plan your trip!

Resources: How to spend one day in Vancouver

1. Visit the Stanley Park

Stanley Park is the number one Vancouver bucket list item you must add. The urban Stanley Park is home to lush greenery and is blessed with scenic views of the West Coast’s waters, mountains, and skies.

Stanley Park in winter
Stanley Park

Stanley Park is a 405-hectare urban park located in downtown Vancouver. It is a city-owned and maintained park, which means entry is completely free – free – free. Go on walks, jogging, or biking inside this green oasis. It is open 24 hours a day, all days of the year!

Many artworks are installed inside the park, like the Totem Poles, Girl in a Wet Suit (similar to the statue in Copenhagen, Denmark), and the iconic Harry Jerome statue. 

A stone wall was created to prevent erosion of Stanley Park; this is the Seawall. Exploring the entire park in a day or two may not be feasible, but include some time here at the Seawall.

2. Bike or walk the Vancouver Seawall

The Vancouver Seawall is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Stretching 28 kilometers (17.5 miles) along the city’s waterfront, it offers stunning views of the ocean, mountains, and city skyline. 

Vancouver Seawall

You can start your journey at any point along the Seawall, but some popular starting points include the Vancouver Convention Centre, and the Stanley Park. You’ll pass by famous landmarks such as English Bay Beach, Kitsilano Beach, Granville Island, and the Olympic Village.

The Seawall is also a great way to explore Vancouver’s diverse neighborhoods. Traveling around the city, you’ll encounter different cultures, cuisines, and local businesses. 

Take breaks and explore these areas on foot for a deeper understanding of the city. You may stroll or bike along the entire Seawall or choose a section of the entire route. 

The 9 km (5.5 miles) Stanley Park section of the Seawall is the most popular portion, and from here, you can easily bike or walk to complete the round trip in an hour. (It can take up to 3 hours when walking.) 

For those who prefer to experience the Seawall on two wheels, bike rentals are available at various locations along the route. Dedicated bike lanes and paths make it a safe and convenient way to travel while taking in the sights. 

Seawall in the fall

And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even rent a tandem bike or a four-person surrey for a fun group activity. Just remember to follow the designated bike route and watch for pedestrians.

Not only is the Seawall a beautiful outdoor space, but it also serves as a functional pathway connecting various neighborhoods and attractions in Vancouver. 

3. Wander Vancouver Downtown

“Hi, we are downtown and concrete wanderers,” we adore VANCITY’s downtown.

Downtown Vancouver Street Views
Downtown Vancouver Street Views

Downtown Vancouver is located in the southeastern part of the city. Many attractions are located downtown, and wandering through the urban jungle is a MUST.

As you wander through the bustling streets, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a melting pot of cultures, stunning architecture, and abundant things to see and do. Explore the neighborhood on foot and check off the following.

From the airport, arrive at the Vancouver City Centre station, walk out, and visit the Art Gallery (just hang out at the square).

As you continue your walk, visit the famous Canada Place, where you can take a scenic stroll along the waterfront and snap some photos with the iconic white sails of the convention center in the background.

Next, head to Stanley Park and stroll through the picturesque oasis. 

To taste history and culture, head to the historic Gastown neighborhood, where you can admire the charming Victorian architecture, browse local boutiques and art galleries, and grab a drink at one of the many cozy pubs.

End the sightseeing day at the iconic Vancouver Lookout for a 360-degree view of the city skyline, including the towering North Shore mountains. From there, go down to bustling Robson Street, where you’ll find many shops, restaurants, and cafes.

4. Stay at Vancouver Waterfront

Vancouver is known for its picturesque landscapes, diverse culture, and vibrant city life. The city’s waterfront is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering stunning ocean views and various activities to enjoy.

Staying on the Vancouver waterfront is like a DREAM! From luxurious hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts, there are many options for accommodation at Vancouver Waterfront. Whether planning a romantic getaway or a family vacation, you will LOVE it here!

You will get to enjoy stunning views by staying at the Vancouver Waterfront area. Imagine waking up every morning to the sight of glistening water and majestic mountains in the background. 

Many hotels, such as the Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel, offer rooms with waterfront views, allowing you to relax and take in the breathtaking scenery. 

Staying at Vancouver Waterfront puts you near many of the city’s popular attractions. From Stanley Park, one of the world’s largest urban parks, to Granville Island, a bustling hub for food and shopping, there is no shortage of things to see and do near the waterfront. 

Plus, with easy access to public transportation, you can also explore other parts of the city.

Vancouver Waterfront comes alive with its vibrant nightlife scene when the sun goes down. There are plenty of entertainment options, from trendy bars and rooftop lounges to live music venues. 

You can dance the night away or simply relax with a cocktail while enjoying the stunning views of the city lights reflecting off the water.

5. Drinks at Botanist Dining

If you cannot stay at expensive hotels near the waterfront like the Pan Pacific Vancouver or Fairmont Pacific Rim, then hang out at their luxurious restaurant – Botanist Dining. Try out our Canadian cuisines, sip wines, and cocktails – my favorite – Deep Cove Cocktail. 

Botanist Dining is one of the most popular and highly-rated restaurants in Vancouver. Located inside the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, this restaurant offers a unique dining experience with its elegant decor, exquisite dishes, and an impressive selection of drinks. 

You can also try various white, red, and sparkling wines from award-winning vineyards such as Okanagan and Fraser Valley. Not only does this support the local economy, it also allows for the perfect pairing with your meal.

6. Visit the Christ Church Cathedral

Located very close to the Fairmont Hotel is the gothic-style Christ Church Cathedral. 

The Christ Church Cathedral was opened in 1895 and is considered one of the most beautiful churches in North America. Its striking structure makes it a standout landmark in the city, and its intricate stained glass windows, hand-carved wooden furnishings, and breathtaking ceilings are a must-see for any architecture or history enthusiast.

But the Christ Church Cathedral is not just a tourist attraction – it’s also an active place of worship. The cathedral holds daily services and offers various programs and events for the community, such as concerts, lectures, and art exhibits. 

In addition to its spiritual and cultural significance, the Christ Church Cathedral has a rich history. It is the oldest surviving church in the city.

7. Walk the Queen Elizabeth Park 

The green space of Queen Elizabeth Park is located in the heart of Vancouver city. It is a perfect place to soak in city views, explore the manicured gardens, play, or read a book! 

The park covers over 130 acres and offers stunning views of the city, mountains, and beyond. This municipal park is located on Little Mountain and is home to the Quarry Gardens, the Rose Garden, the Painters’ Corner, and the Arboretum. 

To make the most of your visit to Queen Elizabeth Park, visit the Bloedel Conservatory, a dome-shaped tropical garden where you can see diverse birds, koi fish, and 500 varieties of lush tropical plants. And don’t forget to bring a camera to capture the breathtaking views and flora. 

It is completely free to visit Queen Elizabeth Park. 

8. Visit English Bay Beach 

Nestled between downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park, English Bay Beach is a popular spot in the city. The stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the North Shore Mountains make it an ideal location to relax and unwind.

It is one of the most easily accessible beaches from the downtown area of Vancouver. This beach is also known as the First Beach.

Views of Vancouver Downtown

You can the day sunbathing on the sandy beach, taking a dip in the refreshing ocean, or strolling along the seawall. The beach is also great for water activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and even swimming lessons for the little ones. Lifeguards are on duty at certain times of the day. 

As the sun sets, English Bay Beach transforms into one of the best spots in Vancouver to catch a stunning sunset. The vibrant pink, purple, and orange hues reflecting off the water make for a picture-perfect moment.

But English Bay Beach is not just about sunshine and sandy shores. It also offers a vibrant atmosphere with various events and festivals held throughout the year. 

9. Visit Canada Place

When you arrive at the waterfront area, you will see sails from a distance; that’s the beautiful Canada Place. 

Canada Place Vancouver bucket list
Canada Place

Canada Place is one of the most iconic landmarks in Vancouver. It is a multi-purpose facility that serves as a hub for tourism, conferences, and events. Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, it offers stunning views of the waterfront and North Shore mountains.

It is home to the Convention Centre, the Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel, the World Trade Centre (VWTC), and the virtual flight ride FlyOver Canada. Most consulates are located nearby, and many tours and sightseeing shuttles commence from here.

One of the main attractions at Canada Place is the five large white sails that make up its roof. These sails are functional and serve as a symbol of the city’s connection to the sea and its history.

For those interested in history and culture, the building also features the Canadian Trail, which showcases the country’s diverse regions from coast to coast. 

The most popular attraction at Canada Place is FlyOver Canada. This immersive ride takes visitors on a virtual flight across the country, offering breathtaking views of iconic landmarks and natural wonders. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to experience Canada uniquely.

On your Vancouver itinerary, you can hang out at a cafe at the Canada Place, soak in water views, or opt for a virtual flight ride. 

10. Enjoy food trucks

Vancouver is known for its diverse food scene, and one of the ways to experience it is through food trucks. These mobile eateries offer a variety of cuisines and dishes, making them a popular choice for locals and tourists alike.

Relish food as you hop from one truck to another. Try steak bites, onion cakes, vanilla ice cream, fish and chips, and many more options! 

Food trucks can be found throughout Vancouver, but they tend to congregate in certain areas. One of the most popular spots is the Vancouver Art Gallery, where a rotating lineup of food trucks can be found on weekdays from 11 am to 3 pm. 

Whether you’re craving tacos, burgers, or Asian street food, Vancouver’s food trucks have covered you. Many of these trucks are operated by talented chefs who have worked in top restaurants, bringing their culinary skills to the streets.

11. Hang out at Granville Island

Granville Island is a district located close to Downtown Vancouver (under the Granville Street Bridge), making it easily accessible by foot or by public transportation. It’s a popular spot known for its famous Public Market, artisan shops, street performers, and stunning waterfront views.

The Granville Bridge and Granville island surroundings, looking north at the Vancouver skyline.

The Public Market at Granville Island is a food lover’s paradise. You’ll find fresh produce, seafood, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and more from local vendors. It’s the perfect place to grab a quick bite to eat or stock up on ingredients for a picnic in the nearby park.

But it’s not just about food – the Public Market has unique artisan shops selling handmade items like jewelry, pottery, and artwork. It’s a great spot to pick up souvenirs or gifts for friends and family.

The waterfront at Granville Island offers stunning views of the city skyline. Many whale-watching tours also depart from here.  

You can grab a bite to eat, hang out at the market, or go shopping here. We enjoyed a full day here, wandering (and eating fish and chips!)

After a day of exploring, you can relax with a cold craft beer or a glass of local wine at one of the breweries or wineries on Granville Island. Many of these establishments offer tours and tastings, allowing you to taste Vancouver’s thriving craft beer and wine scene.

12. Check out the Olympic Cauldron 

As the home of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vancouver holds a special place in the hearts of many sports fans. While many iconic landmarks represent the spirit of the games, one that stands out is the Olympic Cauldron.

Olympic Cauldron part of one day in Vancouver itinerary
Olympic Cauldron

Located at Jack Poole Plaza next to the Vancouver Convention Centre, the cauldron was originally lit during the games’ opening ceremony.

After the games, there were discussions about what to do with the cauldron. Ultimately, it was decided to remain a permanent fixture in Vancouver as a reminder of the city’s role in the Olympics. 

Today, it is a popular tourist attraction and a must-see for any sports enthusiast visiting Vancouver. Don’t miss this spectacle that stands over 32 feet tall.

13. Vancouver Lookout 

We LOVE city views. And if you do, too, then this attraction should be a part of your Vancouver bucket list.

Vancouver BC Canada City Downtown with Stanley Park and Grouse Mountain Scenic View

Located at Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver, the Vancouver Lookout is an iconic landmark that stands tall at 553 feet (168 meters) and offers panoramic views of the city, mountains, and ocean. With its glass observation deck, you can take in breathtaking 360-degree views from every angle.

The ride up to the observation deck in a glass elevator takes only 40 seconds, giving you a bird’s eye view of the city as they ascend to the top. The elevator has an informative audio guide provides interesting facts and stories about the city and its landmarks.

Vancouver Lookout
Vancouver Lookout

On the observation deck, you will find informative panels that provide interesting facts and history about the surrounding areas. 

The entry fee to the top is 20.26 CAD per adult. Plan to spend 30 to 45 minutes at the top and later hit the Top Of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant for drinks and appetizers! 

14. Checkout Prospect Point

If the Vancouver Lookout is pricey, head to the Prospect Point. This free lookout offers stunning views of downtown Vancouver, Lions Gate Bridge, Burrard Inlet, and the North Shore Mountains.

Prospect Point is located on the northern tip of Stanley Park. The best way to reach this scenic spot is by taking a leisurely walk or bike ride through the famous Seawall. Along the way, you will also pass by sandy beaches, lush forests, and charming landmarks. 

Alternatively, you can also take a scenic drive through Stanley Park Drive. Once you reach Prospect Point, you’ll find a variety of activities to enjoy. Whether it’s a romantic, peaceful stroll or an adventurous hike, there’s something for everyone here. 

The lookout offers stunning views during the day and is equally enchanting at night when the city lights twinkle in the distance.

15. Spot the Lions Gate Bridge

Easily accessible from Prospect Point is the green Lions Gate Bridge. This suspension bridge was built in the 20th century, and you must admire it from the Prospect Point. 

The bridge spans the Burrard Inlet, forming an important connection between the City of Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver. It was opened in 1938 to great fanfare and has since become one of the most recognizable landmarks in Canada.

Lions Gate Bridge Entrance in Vancouver BC Canada
Lions Gate Bridge Entrance in Vancouver BC Canada

The Lions Gate Bridge was named after two mountain peaks, the North Shore Mountains’ Cypress, Grouse, and Seymour peaks. The peaks resemble a crouching lion, hence the name “Lions Gate”. Lions Gate Bridge is officially known as the First Narrows Bridge. 

Despite its age, the Lions Gate Bridge continues to be an important transportation route for thousands of daily commuters. It carries over 60,000 to 70,000 vehicles daily and is an important route for pedestrians and cyclists, with dedicated pathways on either side. 

Make some time to walk over the bridge and get terrific views of Vancouver (for free). This makes for a beautiful photography spot.

16. Hang out at the Kitsilano Beach

Another popular beach in Vancouver is Kitsilano Beach, known as Kits Beach. Located in the Kitsilano neighborhood, this beach is popular for locals and tourists alike. 

Kits Beach Vancouver
Kits Beach

Some of the main attractions at Kits Beach include its sandy shores, basketball courts, and a heated outdoor pool. The beach site also has a Boathouse restaurant. With stunning ocean views and mountains, it’s no surprise that Kits Beach is a hit every summer. Although swimming is not allowed here (due to unsafe water conditions), its location, where it faces out onto English Bay, is gorgeous.

17. Vancouver Maritime Museum

Vancouver Maritime Museum is, as the name suggests, a maritime museum. It is dedicated to Vancouver’s maritime history. The museum is in Vanier Park ( False Creek on Vancouver waterfront). 

Vancouver Maritime Museum
Vancouver Maritime Museum in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Here, you will find a massive collection of artifacts and archival materials on maritime history, including permanent collections such as the historic St. Roch shares space, plus an array of temporary exhibitions. 

If you are a maritime history enthusiast, visit this world-class museum on your Vancouver bucket list. The entry fee is 15 CAD per adult. 

18. Shop at Robson Street

Robson Street, aka Robsonstrasse, is one of the oldest commercial streets. It is called the Robsonstrasse (European flare) because many European/German businesses were set up during the Second World War.

It is a highly popular shopping destination in Vancouver, Canada. Located in the downtown core, this bustling street is home to many unique and well-known retailers, making it a must-visit for any shopaholic.

Whether you’re looking for high-end designer brands or local boutiques, Robson Street has something for everyone. The variety of shops here makes it the perfect place to browse and find that special item you’ve been searching for. 

Popular local businesses on Robson Street include Blue Ruby Jewellery, Lululemon, Oak + Fort, and Plenty. These shops offer unique clothing, accessories, and home decor items that reflect Vancouver’s style and culture. 

In addition to supporting local businesses, Robson Street boasts a wide selection of international brands. You can find it all here, from luxury labels like Prada and Burberry to popular retailers such as H&M and Zara.

Aside from shopping, Robson Street also offers a variety of entertainment and dining options. After a day of browsing the shops, you can grab a drink or two at one of the many bars and restaurants in the area.

19. Visit Vancouver Art Gallery

The Vancouver Art Gallery is close to Robson Street (about a 3-minute walk). The art gallery is one of the largest in western Canada, occupying a massive 15,300 square metres. 

Vancouver, Canada

This gallery houses an impressive collection of Canadian and international art, with over 12,000 works in its permanent collection. It also hosts several temporary exhibitions annually, showcasing a diverse range of contemporary and historical art.

The site has an entry fee (18 to 24 CAD per person), but you can enjoy free admission on the first Friday evening of every month. You can visit permanent and temporary exhibitions during this time. 

20. Check out Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden

A quick stroll around Vancouver would only be complete with a visit to one of its most treasured attractions, Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Located in the heart of Chinatown, this stunning garden is a peaceful oasis amidst the bustling city.

Sun Yat-Sen Garden in Vancouver, Canada

The garden was built in 1986 and was the first classical Chinese garden ever built outside China. It was also the first garden to be constructed using traditional methods and materials, making it an authentic representation of a Ming Dynasty scholar’s garden.

Visitors can wander the winding paths and admire the intricate architecture, featuring beautiful pavilions, terraces, and rock formations that represent the harmony between man-made structures and nature. 

The vibrant flora adds color to the tranquil setting, with traditional Chinese plants such as bamboo, water lilies, and magnolia trees. The garden is part of the Dr Sun Yat Sen Park. 

21. Head to Gastown

OMG! We love the Gastown neighborhood of Vancouver. It is a lovely area with a mix of old and new architectural buildings. This area is considered an important part of Vancouver’s history so you will find Victorian-style buildings and vintage lamp posts. 

Gastown

As you stroll through the cobblestone streets, you’ll come across various boutique shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Many of these establishments are housed in restored heritage buildings, adding to the overall charm of Gastown.

Foodies will also appreciate Gastown’s culinary scene. From trendy cafes to upscale restaurants, there’s something for every palate in this neighborhood. Be sure to try the local specialty, poutine, at one of the many restaurants that serve this Canadian delicacy.

Gastown during the day
Gastown during the day

If you want to learn more about Gastown’s history, take a walking tour. You’ll learn about the area’s beginnings as a logging town and its transformation into the vibrant neighborhood it is today.

Book: Gastown walking tour for foodies

22. … and check out the Steam Clock

The Gastown Steam Clock is one of the popular attractions in this neighborhood and makes for a great Instagram photo. 

Steam Clock Gastown in winter

Built over 40 years ago, this functioning clock is powered by steam from an underground steam engine. It’s a popular spot for tourists to take pictures and crowd around the clock to admire the engineering behind it.

23. Visit the Vancouver Christmas Market in winter

Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver (by Canada Place), the Vancouver Christmas Market is a beloved holiday tradition. This authentic German market brings the festive spirit to life with its bustling atmosphere, twinkling lights, and delicious food.

Vancouver Christmas Market

At the Vancouver Christmas Market, you can wander through rows of wooden huts adorned with festive decorations, offering a variety of unique gifts and handcrafted goods. From traditional German toys and ornaments to handmade candles and jewelry, there is something for everyone on your holiday gift list.

But the Vancouver Christmas Market isn’t just about shopping – it’s also a culinary wonderland. Fill up with delicious German street food such as bratwurst, schnitzel, and pretzels, or indulge in sweet treats like gingerbread and mulled wine. And don’t forget to try the famous German sausage, a must-try at any Christmas market.

The Vancouver Christmas Market also offers the perfect backdrop for holiday photos. Stroll through the twinkling lights of the market or snap a picture in front of the iconic Christmas tree in the market’s center. It’s sure to be a memorable experience for you and your loved ones. 

24. Add a Whale Watching Tour to your Vancouver bucket list

One of the most popular activities in and around Vancouver is whale watching. Whale-watching tours in Vancouver offer an unforgettable experience to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. 

Orca Whale Watching

While whale watching is possible throughout the year, the best time to spot whales in Vancouver is from April to October. This is when the nutrient-rich waters attract large numbers of herring, salmon, and other fish, attracting the whales. 

The peak season for whale watching is from June to September, when the weather is warm and mild. 

Vancouver is home to a variety of whale species. The most commonly spotted are orcas, also known as killer whales, due to their distinctive black-and-white coloring. These intelligent creatures can be found around Vancouver throughout the year.

You can book a full day whale watching tour here

25. Try international cuisine with Vancity flavor

Vancouver is a food lover’s paradise. From mouth-watering Japanese ramen to traditional Italian pasta dishes, Vancouver offers many international cuisines that satisfy even the most discerning taste buds. But what makes these global flavors unique in VanCity?

First and foremost, Vancouver’s multicultural population has greatly influenced the food landscape in the city. This diversity is reflected in the multitude of authentic restaurants scattered throughout the city, each offering its unique twist on traditional dishes.

Moreover, Vancouver’s access to fresh, local ingredients plays a crucial role in elevating the taste and quality of international cuisine. With abundant seafood, produce, and meat from nearby farms and fisheries, chefs have access to high-quality ingredients that allow them to create truly authentic dishes.

Waterfront view and lunch in Vancouver

Plus, many restaurants in amazing neighborhoods serve Vancouver food with the nicest views, like the waterfront, inside the urban jungle, or amid historic districts. 

Try out fish, dim sum, hot dogs, and ice cream (in popular local joints). It is on our Vancouver bucket list to try out many restaurants in this guide. This guide has quirky details about food history, too, like how the first hot dog was sold on the streets of New York and more. 

26. Visit the Richmond Night Market, North America’s largest night market

The Richmond Night Market is a popular night market that is held annually during the summer months from May to October (most years). This vibrant outdoor market showcases the best of Asian culture, food, and entertainment in one lively location.

Since 2000, the Richmond Night Market has grown into the largest Night Market in North America, attracting over 1 million visitors per year

Located just outside Vancouver in the city of Richmond (30 minutes by road), this open-air market is a cultural hub that comes alive with over 100 food vendors serving up mouth-watering delicacies and live performances showcasing Asian music, dance, and art; the Richmond Night Market is a feast for the senses.

One of the main draws of the Richmond Night Market is its incredible array of food options. From traditional Asian street food like bubble tea and takoyaki to trendy fusion dishes like sushi burritos and matcha soft-serve ice cream, there is something for every palate. 

The Richmond Night Market is great for families to spend an evening together. Admission is 8 CAD per person, and don’t forget to get cash to pay at the food stalls. 

27. Explore the Vancouver Science World

A glittering ball that opens a world of science and technology – yup, this is the Vancouver Science World. It is a science centre managed and run by a non-profit organization. 

Science World was originally built to host the 1986 Expo in Vancouver. After the expo ended, it was transformed into a permanent science center. The building is an iconic landmark in Vancouver with its unique geodesic dome design. The dome reflects sunlight during the day and lights up at night, making it a beautiful sight.

The science center offers interactive and educational exhibits that cater to people of all ages. Other than the permanent and temporary science exhibitions, the center also conducts outreach programs. 

Tickets for adults start at 33 CAD per person. 

28. Discover wonders at the Museum of Vancouver

Museum and history buffs, this is a must add to your Vancouver bucket list! Museum of Vancouver, aka MOV, is Canada’s civic museum and the city’s oldest museum. 

Located at Vanier Park, overlooking the beautiful English Bay, the museum holds numerous treasures that showcase Vancouver’s past and present.

From interactive exhibitions to thought-provoking displays, visitors can immerse themselves in various topics, including art, indigenous culture, and natural history.

The Museum of Vancouver is committed to representing the diverse indigenous cultures that have shaped this land for thousands of years. The c̓əsnaʔəm: the city before the city exhibition is a powerful representation of this commitment.

Through personal stories, artifacts, and multimedia displays, visitors can learn about the rich history and culture of the Musqueam people.

29. Visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

This was our Vancouver bucket list item for a long time, and we were able to check it off on our first trip. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is located in North Vancouver and is home to a  suspension bridge built over the Capilano River. 

Fall in north Vancouver
Fall in North Vancouver, Capilano Suspension Bridge

The bridge is suspended 230 feet (70 meters) above the river, offering breathtaking views of the lush rainforest. The first ever bridge was built in 1889 by George Grant Mackay, a Scottish civil engineer and park commissioner for Vancouver.

The original bridge was built using hemp ropes and cedar planks. Over the years, the bridge has undergone numerous upgrades and renovations to ensure its safety while maintaining its original charm.

As soon as you enter the park, you will learn all about the history of the park through interactive exhibits and displays. 

Girl at the Capilano Bridge Vancouver 3 day itinerary

Besides the suspension bridge, the park boasts other exciting activities such as Treetops Adventure, a series of suspension bridges attached to giant Douglas Firs, and Cliffwalk, a cantilevered walkway jutting out from the granite cliff face. 

From cafes and totem poles to Canyon lights in winter – it is a must-visit! You can also take a guided nature tour to learn about the local flora and fauna.

The Capilano suspension bridge in Vancouver, Canada is lighted up for Christmas
The Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver

There is an entry fee to enter the park and participate in activities. Tickets can be purchased online in advance or at the park entrance, and admission includes access to all park activities and features. 

Wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera to capture the stunning views.

Note: You can hop on the free shuttle from Canada Park to Capilano Bridge Park.

30. Explore Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

This is another suspension bridge that is worth exploring in North Vancouver – the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. This iconic landmark has attracted locals and tourists since it was first built in 1912.

The bridge stretches across the canyon and stands at an impressive height of  50 meters above the Lynn River. It’s a true feat of engineering and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding lush greenery.

Pine trees and cloudy sky reflecting in the crystal clear water of a lake on a cloudy day in Lynn Canyon Park forest in Vancouver
Pine trees and cloudy sky in Lynn Canyon Park forest in Vancouver

Aside from enjoying the stunning scenery, there are plenty of activities to do in Lynn Canyon Park. You can go for a hike on one of the many trails, relax by the waterfall or take a dip in one of the swimming holes. 

There’s no entrance fee to visit Lynn Canyon Park, making it an affordable day out. 

To make the most of your visit, it’s best to plan and arrive early in the morning before the crowds start rolling in. This will give you ample time to explore the park at your own pace and get amazing photos without battling through a throng of people.

In addition to the suspension bridge, there are other points of interest in Lynn Canyon Park, such as the Twin Falls Bridge, which offers equally stunning views of a waterfall and a more intimate experience.

31. Hike the Baden Powell Trail

The Baden Powell Trail is a 48-kilometer (29.8 miles) hiking trail that stretches from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver to Deep Cove in North Vancouver. It was established in 1971 as a tribute to celebrate the 100th anniversary of British Columbia’s entry into Canada as a province.

The trail is dedicated to Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement.

One of the most unique aspects of the Baden Powell Trail is that it passes through several different parks and conservation areas, including Cypress Provincial Park, Capilano River Regional Park, and Lynn Canyon Park. This allows you to experience a diverse range of landscapes and ecosystems.

The trail is known for its beautiful views and challenging terrain. However, it is well-maintained. 

32. Take a day trip to the Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is a popular weekend getaway from Vancouver. It is a year-round destination with breathtaking views, fun activities, and delicious food. Whether you are a nature lover or an adventure seeker, Grouse Mountain will not disappoint you!

Photo of Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver, BC, Canada
Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver, BC, Canada

To start your day trip to Grouse Mountain, take the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver and follow the signs to North Vancouver. You can also take public transportation, such as the Seabus or bus routes, that will drop you off at the base of Grouse Mountain. 

Once you arrive, you can reach the top – by taking the gondola or hiking the famous Grouse Grind trail. 

The gondola is a scenic ride that takes you up to the peak of Grouse Mountain in just 8 minutes. The views from the gondola are stunning, and you can spot the city skyline, ocean, and surrounding mountains along the way. Tickets start at CAD 59 for adults. 

If you prefer a more adventurous route, take on the challenge of hiking the Grouse Grind. This 2.9 km (1.8 miles) trail is famous for its steep incline and is known as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.” Depending on your fitness level, it takes about 1-2 hours to complete, but the sense of accomplishment at the top is worth it.

Once you reach the peak, plenty of activities keep you entertained. In the summer, you can enjoy hiking on numerous nature trails, zip lining, helicopter tours, and watching the famous lumberjack show. 

In the winter, Grouse Mountain transforms into a winter wonderland with skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and sleigh rides.

33. Go hiking or biking on the North Shore Spirit Trail

The epic North Shore Spirit Trail takes you to the waterfront, with views, markets, parks, and beaches along the way. It is a continuous greenway across the entire North Shore.

This trail is perfect for hiking and biking, and even if you are new to the city, you can easily follow the well-posted signs and then continue – and stop when you prefer.

34. Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site in Canada

Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site is a living history museum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The cannery is located in the Steveston area of Richmond, on the south arm of the Fraser River. 

View of Gulf of Georgia Cannery in British Columbia
Gulf of Georgia Cannery near Vancouver: Bucket list things to do

It was built in 1894 and operated until 1979. The cannery is now a museum that tells the story of the salmon canning industry and the people who worked in it.

The Gulf of Georgia Cannery was one of the first canneries in British Columbia. It was built to process the large numbers of salmon caught in the Fraser River. 

The cannery was a busy place, with hundreds of workers processing fish. The cannery had its dock, where fish were brought in by boat. The cannery also had its power plant to generate the electricity needed to run the canning machines.

The Gulf of Georgia Cannery was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1994. It is one of North America’s most complete examples of a salmon cannery.

35. Eat the yummiest Asian food in Vancouver

In and around Vancouver, you will find the best Asian, particularly Chinese food restaurants in North America. Chicken fried rice, dumplings, and hot and sour soup are our favorites, and Vancouver does them amazingly well!

If you LOVE dumplings (or momos), embark on the Richmond Dumpling Trail. It is a self-guided tour. The trail includes a list of 20 restaurants that serve delicious dumplings. This experience is among CNN Travel’s list of 12 of the world’s most enticing food and drink trails. 

Richmond is home to over 800 restaurants, so you can make diversions and try other restaurants if you wish. They have everything from burger joints to fancy dinners.

36. Capilano River Hatchery

Capilano River Hatchery is a popular picnic and hiking spot in North Vancouver. This attraction gets over 400,000 visitors annually, and you can easily spend a couple of hours to half a day here. 

The hatchery is free to enter and explore. The fish hatchery also has an interpretive centre where you can learn how fish develop from eggs to the juvenile stage and the entire process. 

We have this on our bucket list because it is super green and looks pretty in pictures. We would love to photograph it here and enjoy a picnic.

37. Add the Van Dusen Botanical Garden to your Vancouver bucket list

Located in the heart of Vancouver, VanDusen Botanical Garden is a 55-acre oasis of gardens and nature. 

Founded in 1971, the garden features over 7500 plants and trees from around the world. The diverse landscape includes everything from a heated outdoor pool to a rainforest with waterfalls.

Path Blue Red Yellow Christmas Trees Lights Reflection Lake Van Dusen Garden Vancouver British Columbia Canada
Path Blue Red Yellow Christmas Trees Lights Reflection Lake Van Dusen Garden Vancouver

The garden is open all year round, and there is always something blooming. In the spring, the tulips are in full bloom, and in the summer, the roses take over. The autumn brings a vibrant array of colors, and in the winter, the garden is transformed into a winter wonderland with over a million lights.

VanDusen is more than just a garden; it is also a centre for education and research. The garden offers educational programs for all ages, and the on-site library is a resource for researchers from around the world.

Plus you can enjoy a nice dinner on the patios of Truffles Cafe or Shaughnessy Restaurant. Whether you are looking for a place to relax, learn, or simply enjoy the beauty of nature, VanDusen Botanical Garden is the perfect destination.

38. Visit the Pacific Spirit Regional Park in Vancouver

Pacific Spirit Regional Park is a large urban park situated in Vancouver. This park is heavily forested and contains a network of trails popular with hikers, dog walkers, and cyclists. It is home to more than 750 hectares of forest area and is close to the city. 

View of Wreck Beach on a warm sunny day
Wreck Beach during sunny day in Vancouver, British Columbia

There are also several beaches located within the park, as well as a small lake. You can also hit the Wreck Beach and the Foreshore Trail from here. Just make sure you have the right hiking boots to enjoy it! 

Pacific Spirit Regional Park is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise, and is also a popular spot for picnics and other outdoor activities.

39. Embark on day or road trips from Vancouver 

Vancouver is well connected by airways globally, as well as by road. There are tons of road trip ideas from Vancouver; here is what we have on our list (we have explored a few already!)

  • Whistler in BC.
  • Fraser Canyon 
  • Bowen Island, BC. 
  • Squamish, BC. 
  • Pemberton, BC
  • Banff National Park, Alberta
  • Seattle, Washington (USA)

Travel Tips for Visiting Vancouver Canada

As a city that attracts millions of tourists yearly, it’s important to be well-prepared for your trip to Vancouver. To help make your visit as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, here are some essential travel tips to remember.

Arriving in Vancouver

Vancouver is served by YVR, an international airport in Richmond Hill that brings in millions of tourists all year round. Depending on where you are flying from, you can find and track flight deals on Skyscanner

YVR airport

Getting Around

One of the best ways to explore Vancouver is by taking advantage of its efficient public transportation system. The SkyTrain, a rapid transit system, connects various parts of the city and can take you to popular destinations such as downtown, Stanley Park, and Granville Island. 

Vancouver public transportation

Another option is renting a bike and cycling around the city’s designated bike routes. This is a fun and eco-friendly way to get around and allows you to see more of Vancouver’s beautiful scenery.

Without relying on the public transit system, you can also Uber or hop on and off sightseeing buses. Downtown Vancouver is very walkable. 

Find activities in Vancouver from GetYourGuide here

Climate

Vancouver has a mild and temperate climate, which makes it an attractive destination. However, it’s important to note that the city experiences frequent rainfall, especially during the fall and winter.

Vancouver Bucket list Gastown Steam Clock

Be sure to pack appropriate rain gear and plan your activities accordingly. The city can also get quite warm during the summer, so be prepared with light and breathable clothing.

Accommodations

Regarding accommodations, Vancouver offers many options to suit every budget and preference. From luxurious hotels to quaint bed and breakfasts, you’ll find something that meets your needs. 

For hotels in Vancouver for a short visit, we recommend staying in the downtown area – because evenings there are STUNNING, and there are tons of cafes and restaurants near the waterfront area and Robson Street to pig out and go straight to bed after a day of exploring. 

Find hotels in the Vancouver Area below, 

Booking.com
Lions Gate Bridge Views from the water

That’s a wrap! We will be adding more to Vancouver bucket list items, so stay tuned. Let us know if you wish to add anything to the list, and how many have you checked off?

Source and additional articles from British Columbia

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7 Comments

  1. There are so many bridges in Vancouver. I really like the green one. What a unique color for a bridge. I’ve enjoyed so many things in Vancouver from Chinatown to the icecream place with about 200 flavours. It’s a wonderful city.

  2. Great post! I flipping love Vancouver, so it’s always nice to see if through someone else’s eyes. 🙂

    The only place I am always a bit confused by is the steam clock – there are always sooo many people taking photos of it, but it is pretty rubbish!

    1. I love the heritage behind it 🙂 and was excited to capture the photo with the steam coming out of it! But I do understand if you are out and about in Gastown every day, this may not appeal to you.

  3. Excellent article! We are linking to this particularly great article on our site. Keep up the great writing.|

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