18 September 2017
A region of renowned natural beauty, hidden behind a glimmering cosmopolitan façade, Vancouver hosts a treasure trove of attractions for you to explore. Explore the highlights by joining us on a three-night whistle-stop tour of Vancouver.
Staying in Vancouver
Whether you’re looking for something stylish and affordable or opulent five-star luxury, you’re sure to find the ideal hotel in Vancouver. For the perfect three-star, try the Rosedale on Robson Suite, a contemporary all-suite property just seven minutes away from the downtown district. The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver is one of the city’s best four-star hotels, or you could alternatively stay in the five-star Shangri-La Vancouver, known for its modern yet minimalistic interiors.
Day One: Shopping and parks
Begin your trip with a little shopping, something Vancouver is famous for. Don’t leave without visiting Granville Street, the main shopping district; it features the Pacific Centre Mall, home to premium brands such as jewellery shop Pandora and fashion store Nordstrom. Other popular shopping districts include Chinatown, where you can buy traditional goods like ginseng and patterned silk robes, and Commercial Drive, a bohemian area where you can pick up quirky mementoes and vintage clothing.
Escape the teeming city streets by heading to Stanley Park. One of Canada’s most prominent national historic sites, Stanley Park is a vast green space, filled with intriguing wildlife and unique cultural attractions. Stroll through the Rose Garden, which has over 3,500 rose bushes. See if you can spot creatures such as great blue herons, the northern flying squirrels and racoons in the park grounds. Tour landmarks like Prospect Point, Beaver Lake and Siwash Rock and make sure to walk around the park’s famous Seawall, which is a sight to behold.
Day Two: Natural and man-made marvels
On day two, explore the natural attractions of Vancouver, like the Lost Lagoon. This is a serene pond where you can watch swans and herons, as well as glimpse the impressive Golden Jubilee Fountain. Another prime spot is Grouse Mountain, which has the world’s only wind turbine with a viewing platform – ‘The Eye of the Wind’. The peak also provides ziplining adventures and is a popular winter skiing spot. Other must-see sites include the Bloedel Floral Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park, which is home to 500 exotic plants, and the Vancouver Aquarium.
Or familiarise yourself with this city’s distinct culture instead, by spending time in one of Vancouver’s museums. Delve into the city’s intriguing past by stopping at the Vancouver Maritime Museum, which is based by the marina. It holds more than 15,000 nautical objects and over 100,000 images. The Vancouver Art Gallery in the downtown district is another must-see, and it’s especially notable for exhibiting the largest body of art created by modernist landscape painter Emily Carr.
Day three: Dinner and a show
Vancouver’s vibrant culinary scene should definitely feature on your itinerary during your final day. Some top suggestions include Yaletown’s Blue Water Café, which arguably serves Vancouver’s best seafood and Meat & Bread in Gastown, a minimalist sandwich shop which does hearty Porchetta sandwiches. While you’re in Gastown, stop by its renowned whistling steam clock, which blows out steam at the top of the hour. For fresh produce, browse the indoor Granville Island Public Market, which sells everything from natural honey to speciality Canadian cheeses.
During your final hours, why not take in some cultural entertainment. Two of the most prominent venues are the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in the downtown area, known among other things for showcasing big Broadway musicals and the Orpheum concert hall. Another world-class venue is the Vancouver Playhouse, which hosts everything from ballet performances to one-person shows and classical recitals.