We absolutely loved visiting Vancouver and we didn’t want to leave! There were a couple things we noticed: one, it was very clean, and two, everyone was super nice. For being a large city, we were shocked at both of those things, because when I think of a larger city, it’s usually naturally a little dirtier. That was definitely not the case for Vancouver at all.
- GETTING AROUND: Public transport in Vancouver is fantastic. Between the public buses, light-rail, and SkyTrain there’s no reason to rent a car. All of the public transport felt safe and was really easy to figure out too. You’ll need a handy CompassCard though to use the public transportation so check out where around Vancouver you can get one here. It’s also a very walkable city so get those steps in!
Travel Tip – there’s NO ridesharing in Vancouver so that means no Uber or Lyft!
- WHEN TO VISIT: June-August is a pretty popular time to visit when it’s usually sunny and dry. I’d actually recommend going in May because it’s right on the shoulder so you’ll get similar weather but cheaper prices in lodging and it won’t be as crowded. Also, if you’re into fireworks, the Celebration of Light takes place at the end of July/beginning of August.
- CURRENCY: If you’re in Vancouver just for a few days there’s no reason to bother with a currency exchange because you can use your debit/credit cards everywhere. Of course, make sure you tell your bank where you’re going.
WHERE TO STAY
There are plenty of hotels to stay in or you can rent an Airbnb. We did Airbnb and had a great experience.
I highly recommend staying in either the Yaletown or Gastown area. There are cheaper lodging prices in North Vancouver, but as a visitor wanting to explore, it’s not the area you’ll want to be in plus you have to take the ferry back and forth and it’s just more of a hassle with the transport times. Stay in one of the areas I mentioned and you’ll fully get the Vancouver experience.
THINGS TO DO
- Rent a bike and ride around Stanley Park
- There are multiple places near the entrance of the park to rent one. No need to reserve it, you can just show up, but make sure you return the bikes by the time they close! Bike around the seawall for sure!
- Capilano Suspension Bridge
- There is a free shuttle to and from Capilano, so take advantage of that. You can find the schedule here.
- Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
- Grouse Mountain
- Take the gondola ride up the mountain for panoramic views
- They have a lot going on here depending on when you’ll be there like zip lines, ropes course, and other fun events. Make sure to check out the
- The Eye of the Wind
- This is the world’s first and only wind turbine that allows you to stand in a clear glass viewPOD at the top of the tower. We didn’t do this because it wasn’t open when we were there but I so badly wanted to!
- Explore Yaletown and Gastown (the steam clock)
- Explore Granville Island
- Vancouver Lookout
WHERE TO EAT + DRINK
- Earls Kitchen and Bar
- Cactus Club Yaletown
- Nero Belgian Waffle Bar
- The Flying Pig
- Craft Beer Market
- Yaletown Brewing Company
Vancouver Google Map
Thanks for reading! I so hope you go explore Vancouver because it’s such a cool place!