Vancouver may be a young city, but while it lacks some history, it’s one of the most scenic locations around the world. The Canadian city is surrounded by mountains and beaches, but it’s also earned the nickname “Hollywood North” as it’s full of high-fashion boutiques and landmarks that have been featured in movies. The city even has something for adventure lovers, with hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, white-water rafting, and skiing. And before planning your trip to Vancouver, here’s what you should know.
Best Times to Visit
March to May and from September to November are the best times to visit Vancouver as the weather is nicer and hotel are more affordable. Summer is the most popular time to visit, but you’ll have to plan your trip in advance as hotels book up quickly. If you love winter sports, visit during the winter.
How to Get Around
You’re best traveling around Vancouver on foot, bike, or by public transportation. Most of the major attractions and neighborhoods are within walking distance of each other.
Where to Stay
Rosewood Hotel Georgia
This 5-star hotel combines the glitz of the Roaring Twenties with modern elements with highlights including rooms with views of the hotel’s inner courtyard and the Vancouver cityscape. No luxury is overlooked—even the bathrooms have heated floors. There’s also a spa, an indoor lap pool, a restaurant, and a prohibition bar.
Fairmont Pacific Rim
Set on the Coal Harbour waterfront and sitting across the street from the Canada Place cruise ship terminal, enjoy spectacular views from this 5-star hotel. There are also poolside cabanas, a spa, high-tech amenities, and two restaurants.
Loden Hotel, is 4.5 stars, complete with high-end amenities including contemporary-style bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows, a spa, a restaurant. It’s a quiet escape from the bustling city.
What to Do
This nearly 1,000-acre park has some of the city’s best attractions including Stanley Park’s famous Seawall. There are gorgeous beaches, wildlife, forest trails, historical and cultural landmarks, and Canada’s largest aquarium.
One of Vancouver’s most loved neighborhoods that has trendy restaurants, galleries, and theaters was once an industrial site. The main attraction is Granville Island Public Market, which many believe is one of the best open-air markets in North America. Don’t miss Canada’s first microbrewery—Granville Island Brewery.
If the weather is nice, head to this beach, which is one of the city’s most popular swimming spots. In addition to sunbathing, there are volleyball and tennis courts, a playground, and in-line skating. If you want to swim but are not keen on bay water, check out the area’s heated, saltwater Kitsilano Pool, which is open from May to mid-September.
What to Eat
These Japanese-inspired hotdogs are Vancouver’s favorite way to enjoy this dish, which has sweet and salty elements of seaweed flakes, teriyaki sauce, miso, wasabi, and kimchi.
Salmon Candy is like jerky that’s candied with either maple syrup or sugar and it’s a super popular snack in Vancouver.
Sushi and Seafood
Vancouver is known as the “sushi capital of North America”, and the famous California Sushi Roll, which has crab, cucumber, and avocado, was invented here. You can also find the signature B.C. Rolls, which have barbecued salmon and cucumber that’s prepared as an uramaki roll.