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Vancouver Tips: Sights, excursion destinations & favorite places

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Vancouver – you dream city! It was love at first sight between Vancouver and us. It’s not so much the classic sights that make Vancouver so special. Rather, it is the relaxed flair, the abundance of water and the proximity to wild nature that rightfully give Vancouver its great reputation.

It’s not for nothing that Vancouver is regularly voted one of the most livable cities in the world. And when you cycle through Stanley Park or admire the sunset at English Bay Beach, it’s easy to see why. Vancouver has it all!

Maybe you are planning a trip to Vancouver and still looking for the best tips? You are right here! In this blog article we show you the most beautiful sights and excursion destinations and reveal our personal tips for really cool tours, cafés and restaurants.

1. Vancouver: First travel tips & FAQs at a glance What makes Vancouver so special? Untouched nature on the doorstep: Sounds like a cliché, but it’s reality in Vancouver. Vancouver nestles between the mountains and the Pacific – it doesn’t get much nicer than that. So if you want to combine a city trip with a good dose of nature, Vancouver is the place for you. Water water, Water: Related to the previous point – water is omnipresent in Vancouver. After all, Vancouver is on the Strait of Georgia, an arm of the Pacific Ocean. Great gastro scene : Whether it’s hip cafés or hip restaurants – anyone who likes to eat and drink well will love Vancouver. The Granville Public Market is also awesome, but more on that later. How many days should I plan for Vancouver? Lots to see in Vancouver. We ourselves were just under a week in Vancouver and found this period perfect. We used one day for an extensive trip north to Whistler. Nevertheless, there was enough time to explore Vancouver and its sights extensively.

The absolute minimum for a stay in Vancouver in our opinion is two nights. The individual Sights are a bit scattered, so this period is necessary to get an insight into the city.

Which Vancouver attractions should I not miss? Before we introduce you to all the sights in Vancouver in detail in the next chapter, here is our small but fine bucket list as a first overview. In our opinion, you should not miss these highlights in Vancouver:

Admire the view from Vancouver Lookout. Explore the hip Granville Island peninsula and enjoy the delicacies at the Public Market. Den Stanley Park cycle around along the Seawall Promenade. Try your way through the cafes in hip Gastown. About the dizzying Capilano Suspension Bridge. 2. Sights in Vancouver: Our Tips Stanley Park: Bike Tour along the Seawall Promenade Park? Nature oasis is more like it! Stanley Park is a peninsula with over 360 Acres and definitely one of our favorite sights in Vancouver.

Our tip: We can definitely recommend walking around Stanley Park along the so-called Seawall Promenade. You have to plan around 1.5 to 2 hours for the approximately 9-kilometer route, depending on your pace and stopovers.

There is no in the park itself )Bike rental, but in the immediate vicinity of the entrance, more precisely at the northern end of Denman Street. Incidentally, many hotels also offer their guests bicycles for free use.

Coal Harbor & Canada Place South of Stanley Park is the so-called Coal Harbor – a combination of residential area, marina and business district. If you want to take a walk by the water, then you’ve come to the right place. A promenade leads along the shore here.

By the way, the typical small seaplanes also start in Coal Harbour. So if you want to observe them or maybe even take a sightseeing flight yourself, you’ll find it here. Such a sightseeing flight is not a cheap undertaking, but of course it is a very special experience.

In the south of the Coal Harbor you come to the so-called Canada Place, a building reminiscent of a ship and housing a congress center, among other things.

Gastown: Vancouver’s hipster neighborhood Gastown is a historic neighborhood in Vancouver. With its brick houses, retro shops and many cafés, Gastown exudes a historical charm that cannot be found anywhere else in Vancouver.

The main attraction in Gastown is the famous Steam Clock. At first glance it looks very old, but it actually comes from the 60ern. Music plays every fifteen minutes, so that a crowd regularly forms in front of the clock.

Gastown is perfect for a coffee break because there are numerous hip cafes here. Two of our favorites are the charming “Nelson the Seagull” and the purist-minimalist “Nemesis”.

Vancouver Lookout Probably the most famous Viewpoint in Vancouver is the Vancouver Lookout. This viewing platform is located at the top of a skyscraper and gives you an incredible 169-degree panoramic view.

A glass elevator takes you comfortably to the viewing terrace in 169 meters in height. The only downer: The Lookout is only indoors, there is no outdoor terrace. Nevertheless, you can take great photos from here.

Our tip: If the opening times and the weather permit, then it’s best to come at sunset. When the sun casts a soft light on the skyscrapers and the mountains beyond, Vancouver looks particularly impressive from above.

You can book your ticket in advance here: Vancouver Lookout

Granville Island and Public Market Granville Island is quite hip Peninsula south of the center. Home to arguably Vancouver’s most famous market and one of the city’s most popular attractions, the vibrant Granville Island Public Market.

It opens its doors every day at 9 am. Food from all over the world is sold: from tropical fruits to seafood, from what is said to be the best bread in Vancouver to amazingly delicious donuts. Here are a few specific tips for really great market stalls:

Lee’s Donuts: The best donuts around. Terra Breads: Said to be the best bread in Vancouver. JJ Bean Coffee Roasters: Delicious coffee. By the way, we ourselves explored the Public Market as part of a food tour, which we can heartily recommend. You can book the tour here: Foodtour Granville Island Public Market.

English Bay Beach There are several beaches in Vancouver. One of the most popular is English Bay Beach, which we think is perfect for a sunset visit.

While the sun slowly disappears behind the ocean on the horizon, you can stick your toes in the sand and listen to the street artists in the distance. Those who prefer to have a sundowner in a bar will also find what they are looking for.

Queen Elizabeth Park Stanley Park’s little sister is the Queen Elizabeth Park. Unlike Stanley Park, however, this green oasis is not on the water, but in the South Cambie district in southern Vancouver.

You can expect a popular local recreation destination and the highest elevation in the city, the so-called Little Mountain. You get a nice (though not overly spectacular) view of Vancouver from here. Overall, definitely one of those sights that we would recommend if you’ve already seen a lot of Vancouver.

3. Eating & Drinking: Tips for Cafes and Restaurants Vancouver’s Gastro Scene is gigantic. There are countless really cool cafes and restaurants, so it’s really difficult to choose. In this chapter, we reveal some of our favorites.

Café Medina: One of Vancouver’s most popular brunch spots. People line up in front of the café for the Mediterranean-inspired dishes and the tables on the weekend are usually reserved within a very short time. Be sure to try the fresh waffles (Salted Caramel – yummy)!

Nelson the Seagull: Hip café in Gastown that serves, among other things, homemade sourdough bread . Perfect for breakfast or a coffee break in between.

Belgard Kitchen: This restaurant is part of the craft brewery Postmark Brewing. Located east of Gastown, it serves fusion dishes in small portions for sharing: everything from classic burgers to burrata to roasted cauliflower. There is also enough choice for vegetarians. The atmosphere is great: a bit industrial, not too fancy, but still very hip.

Guu with Garlic: A fairly small Japanese eatery, in which cut in front of the guests, gebra ten, boiled, fried and served. A really nice experience!

You can find even more tips for really cool cafés in this blog article: Cafés in Vancouver.

4. Vancouver Tour Tips Boat tour along the Indian Arm Time for a little adventure! You like it hard to believe that untouched nature is actually right on the outskirts of the big city of Vancouver. One of the best ways to get a glimpse of Vancouver’s gigantic location is to take a boat tour along the Indian Arm, a giant fjord, that borders Vancouver.

We chose the Granite Falls Tour, which we can warmly recommend. Wrapped up in thick thermal suits, you roar across the water for about three hours in a speedboat and can marvel at the breathtakingly beautiful nature around Vancouver from the water.

Warning: don’t be afraid of water, you will definitely get a little wet (sometimes more, sometimes less) while riding. To be on the safe side, take a change of clothes with you if you don’t want to go to the hotel afterwards.

You can book the tour here: Granite Falls Boat Tour

Craft Brewery Tour Would you have thought that in Vancouver it was over 60 Microbreweries exist? Crazy, right? Craft beer is a big thing in Vancouver and a brewery tour is an activity we highly recommend.

Canadian Craft Tours offers tours of selected breweries several times a week. Here you can take a look behind the scenes of the breweries and, of course, taste one or the other craft beer.

You can book the tour here: Craft Brewery Tour

5. Excursions around Vancouver Capilano Suspension Bridge The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a the Vancouver attractions and is located north of Vancouver in “North Vancouver”, approximately 05 By car from the center of Vancouver.

Important tip first: The Capilano Suspension Bridge is part of the park of the same name – you could also call it adventure park. . In any case, you shouldn’t expect a secluded wilderness, although nature is of course worth seeing, no question.

The main and most popular attraction in the park is clearly the Suspension Bridge itself. The free-swinging rope bridge leads into 70 meters high over a river – quite impressive, we have to admit.

In addition to the bridge, a kind of treetop path (“Treetops Adventure”) and the Cliffwalk await you. Overall, we would plan for the visit about two hours .

You can pre-book your ticket here: Capilano Suspension Bridge

Grouse Mountain & Cypress Mountain The Grouse Mountain and the neighboring Cypress Mountain north of the center together with the remaining so-called North Shore Mountains form Vancouver’s local mountains . They are all popular local recreation destinations in the immediate vicinity of the big city.

In winter you can ski on both mountains (with a view of the city!), in summer most people come for hiking. A popular gondola (“Skyride”) runs up Grouse Mountain. Sporty people can dare the “Grouse Grind” – a path up the mountain, where it is about 853 Altitude meters to be conquered.

We ourselves took a little trip up Cypress Mountain. A road leads to this – not all the way up, but at least so far that you can enjoy a wonderful view of Vancouver . The corresponding point on Google Maps is called “Cypress Lookout”.

Squamish & Whistler If you want a little more of the spectacular nature of British Columbia (the province where Vancouver is located), then we can arrange a mini road trip for you to “Sea to Sky Gondola” in Squamish and to Olympic Village Whistler highly recommend.

This tour makes a good day trip as Whistler is about 1.5 hours drive north of Vancouver. The route can therefore be easily mastered in one day and above all in terms of landscape is incredibly spectacular.

You can find more in this blog article more tips: Excursion from Vancouver to Squamish and Whistler

6. Our hotel tips for Vancouver We have two hotels in Vancouver in different price ranges stayed, both of which we can recommend. You can find our field report here.

The Westin Bayshore: Awesome Water View The very popular hotel The Westin Bayshore is located directly on the harbor (“Coal Harbour”) and is therefore perfect for those who long for a beautiful view . For this you should definitely book a corresponding room with a harbor view .

The rooms are very comfortably furnished, the beds are very comfortable and there is everything else you would expect from a 4-star hotel wishes.

The location of the hotel is great: you can quickly get to Stanley Park. (The hotel offers bike rentals, the first 2 hours are free.) Gastown and Downtown Vancouver are approximately minutes by bus. If you are not in a hurry, you can also walk along the harbor promenade in about 25 minutes – really beautiful!

You can book the hotel here: The Westin Bayshore

The Burrard: Inexpensive & Central Significantly cheaper, but also recommendable is the hotel The Burrard, which is located in downtown Vancouver. This hotel is aimed more at young people – it’s a lot less fancy.

The rooms are quite small and more functionally furnished – but you have all the comforts you need, such as a Nespresso machine or a Air conditioner. The Café Elysian, which is directly connected to the hotel, serves very good coffee and also some breakfast dishes.

Another plus: you can free bicycles in the hotel lend. Also worth mentioning is the green, very cozy inner courtyard. All in all a nice city hotel with good value for money.

You can book the hotel here: The Burrard

7. Map: All sights and tips at a glance For better orientation we have put you in All our tips are marked on this map. The red dots are sights, the green cafés/restaurants and the blue ones are our hotel tips. Have a great time!

Transparency: Invitation & Affiliate Links Our trip to Vancouver took place at the invitation of TUI and Tourism Vancouver. Many thanks for the many helpful tips and the great organization! This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

Have you ever been to Vancouver? How did you like it? Which sights can you recommend? We’d love to hear your additional tips in the comments.