Last updated on April 6th, 2024

Canada Place Cruise Ships, Visit Vancouver, BC

Canada Place Cruise Ships, © Can Stock / Josefhanus

Visit Vancouver – Join a Tour

The attractions when you visit Vancouver are quite spread out, so you will do better to rent a car or join a tour to see the sights. Westcoast Sightseeing offers Hop-On Hop-Off Buses and narrated trolleys that visit all the downtown attractions, including Canada Place, Stanley Park, Yaletown, Granville Island and Chinatown.

Visit Vancouver Harbor

Vancouver Harbor

Canada Place has distinctive “white sails” architecture on the waterfront and is home to the cruise ship terminal.

Stanley Park has 1,000 acres downtown on the waterfront. Stanley Park includes a zoo, the Vancouver Aquarium, a petting zoo, a children’s train and a waterfront path for walking, jogging, biking and roller blading.

Granville Island is a very popular 37 acre island next to the downtown core. Granville Island has a well known public market, craft shops, galleries, a theater and restaurants.

Burrard St Bridge, Visit Vancouver, BC

Burrard St Bridge, © Can Stock / Rigucci

Chinatown is third largest in North America. In China town, visit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the Sam Kee Building (world’s narrowest commercial building) and the Chinese Cultural Centre.

Yaletown used to be a warehouse district, but it has become a trendy modern area with high rise condos along the water. Yaletown has lots of restaurants and bars for busy people to spend their time after work.

False Creek, Visit Vancouver, BC

False Creek

Visit Vancouver – More Downtown Sights

  • Robson St – Stroll the street where everyone accumulates in the downtown core. Shops stay open late into the evening every day to accommodate the crowds.
  • Gastown – cobble stone lanes and the world’s first steam clock still operates.
  • Vancouver Lookout – 360 degree views of the city from this downtown tower. Have dinner in the revolving restaurant.
  • Kitsilano Beach – a great beach on English Bay with shops and restaurants nearby. Enjoy views of the city and the freighters waiting to enter the port.
  • Punjabi Market – five blocks located at Main and East 49th.
North Vancouver Snowfall, Lions Gate Bridge

North Vancouver Snowfall, © Can Stock / GrahamT

Visit Vancouver – Hotels

  • Pan Pacific Vancouver
  • Holiday Inn Vancouver-Centre Broadway
  • Coast Coal Harbour
Science World, False Creek, Visit Vancouver, BC

Science World, © Can Stock / sgoodwin4813

Visit Vancouver Museums

  • Science World and the IMAX.
  • Vancouver Art Gallery
  • Museum of Anthropology – located at the University of British Columbia.
Canada Place and Downtown Vancouver

Downtown Vancouver, © Can Stock / jpldesigns

Sights near Vancouver

Capilano Suspension Bridge – 450 feet long and 230 feet high.

Grouse Mountain – gondola from the city to Grouse Mountain for great views over the city. Go hiking or zip-line in the summer. Enjoy skiing in winter. Do the Grouse Grind and hike up the mountain instead of taking the gondola.

Visit Whistler Village. Take a bus or rent a car to reach Whistler, which is 1.5 hours north of Vancouver.

Totem Poles, Stanley Park, Vancouver

Totem Poles, Stanley Park, © Can Stock / payphoto

Vancouver Weather

Vancouver weather has two distinct seasons, just like its neighbor city of Victoria. The dry season extends from May to September with the best weather occurring in July and August. That makes summer the height of the tourist season. The rainy season extends from November to February. During this period temperatures can reach highs of 50 F or 10 C with heavy rainfall. Clear skies in winter are a sign of nearby Arctic air and temperatures can drop slightly below freezing. Snowfall is extremely rare.

Stanley Park, Visit Vancouver, BC

Stanley Park

Get to Vancouver

The gateway to get to Vancouver is through Vancouver International Airport. The Canada Line subway runs from the airport to the Vancouver Harbour in the heart of downtown. The fare is inexpensive and you can tap on and off with a credit card. The trip takes about 25 minutes.

Stanley Park, Downtown Vancouver Aerial

Stanley Park & Downtown, © Can Stock / Josefhanus

Vancouver Cruise Ship Terminal

The Vancouver cruise ship terminal is located in the downtown at Canada Place. The Canada Line from the airport goes all the way to Canada Place, so cruise ship passengers can save on transfer fees by taking the Canada Line.

Get to Victoria

If you want to visit Victoria on Vancouver Island inexpensively, take the Canada Line to Bridgeport. Then transfer to the express bus #620 to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. At the ferry terminal, BC Ferries provides hourly summer vehicle service between Vancouver, BC and Swartz Bay near Victoria. Once you arrive in Swartz Bay, the local Victoria express bus is always waiting for the ferry to arrive. You can also visit the Butchart Gardens near Victoria on a day trip tour.

Visit Vancouver – Background

Vancouver is named after Captain George Vancouver, who explored its bays in 1792. The Coast Salish First Nations were well established in the area at that time. The first European settlement was at Gastown in 1867. When Vancouver became the Pacific terminal for the trans Canadian railway in the late 1800s, the population and the economy boomed. Today that same railway system takes tourists from Vancouver to the Canadian Rockies. In 2010 Vancouver hosted the Olympics. Many venues were built within the city but Whistler was also a major part of its hosting bid. Immigration has significantly influenced Vancouver and more than half of its residents speak English as their second language. Vancouver is consistently highly ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world.

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