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Things to do in
Vancouver

Enjoying adventurous activities doesn't always have to mean missing out on city life. Not in Vancouver, anyway.

Our most recommended things to do in Vancouver

Vancouver: FlyOver Canada Simulated Flight Experience Ticket

1. Vancouver: FlyOver Canada Simulated Flight Experience Ticket

Flyover grabs all your senses to immerse you in landscapes, stories and culture. Using the power of unique perspectives, the sensations of flight and complete sensory engagement, you'll soar over, around and through the world's most epic places. We believe great stories inspire. Each Flyover journey begins with an insider’s look at the fascinating people, distinct cultures and incredible locations you’ll soon explore from above, immersing guests deeper into the Flyover experience. After you’ve explored the stories, spirit and history of your destination, you’ll take to the skies on an immersive flying journey. You’ll sit with your feet dangling before a massive spherical screen and be transported over iconic locations and natural wonders. Sights, scents and sounds, combined with precisely programmed motion, capture the unmistakable feeling of flight and create an unforgettable feeling of wonder. Commemorate your adventure with a souvenir photograph or a memento from the gift shop. Then, stop in at The Flying Whale Waterfront Cafe and enjoy coffee, cocktails, snacks and incredible harbour views.

Vancouver: 24 or 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Pass

2. Vancouver: 24 or 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Pass

See the sights of Vancouver at your own pace with a 24- or 48-hour pass for the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus. Choose from a variety of options to suit your interests. Listen to an informative on-board commentary to help you choose where to hop off. Experience the hustle and bustle of downtown Vancouver and the serene natural beauty of the local parks. Jump off at Science World or indulge your passion for sport at the Olympic Village. Stroll the rainforest pathways of Stanley Park, enjoy a bite to eat on Granville Island, visit the iconic Gastown Steam Clock or shop 'til you drop on Robson Street. Benefit from multiple stops, including Coal Harbour, English Bay Beach, Chinatown, and the Sports District. Make the most of your experience in Vancouver with additional options. Choose experiences like seeing the city from the water on a relaxing harbor cruise, or taking a tour of the city in the evening.

Vancouver: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Entry Ticket

3. Vancouver: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Entry Ticket

Stand above the waters of Vancouver's Capilano River on a 450-foot-long suspension bridge with this entry ticket. Appreciate nature from 3 breathtaking perspectives: the world-famous Capilano Suspension Bridge and the thrilling Cliffwalk.  Step inside the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park with 27 acres to explore. Cross the wobbly Capilano Suspension Bridge and take in the views of the Capilano River from dizzying heights of 230 feet. Admire the panoramic views across the park and learn about the sites and habitats from staff. Test your nerves on the Cliffwalk, a glass path consisting of 16 anchor points in the cliff and two glass platforms. Soak up the dramatic views of the lush rainforest and canyon below as you make your way along the cliffside. Join one of the hourly talks with a nature guide and hear about the rainforest, birds, and ecosystem.  Finish your tour with a stop for a meal at one of the in-park restaurants or grab a snack to enjoy while you walk from the on-the-go snack shop (not included).

Vancouver, BC: Whale Watching Tour

4. Vancouver, BC: Whale Watching Tour

Experience the awe and inspiration of seeing whales in their natural environment on this unique whale-watching excursion from Vancouver. Get the chance to spot orcas, humpback, minke, and gray whales, as well as porpoises and seals. Depart from Granville Island in downtown Vancouver on a high-speed, custom-built, luxury catamaran that takes you on a fully-guided whale watching and marine wildlife tour. As you set out from Vancouver, choose whether you want to stay inside the heated cabin or head outside and pick from 3 different viewing areas on 2 levels that are perfect for photography. Marvel at the beauty of the Strait of Georgia on this outdoor adventure. As you sail, learn about the history of the area and the local marine wildlife from your knowledgeable crew. Immerse yourself completely in this incredible experience while we take free high-resolution photos of the wildlife, yourself, and your loved ones! It is the quintessential whale-watching experience for every adventurer. Select the half-day cruise, or opt for the sunset option to watch the sun go down over the water.

Classic Vancouver Panorama Tour by Seaplane

5. Classic Vancouver Panorama Tour by Seaplane

Enjoy the most popular tour of Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains. This ideal introduction to seaplane aviation departs from downtown Vancouver’s Coal Harbour and provides a complete aerial view of the city, as well as its surrounding parks and beaches. As if the scenery isn't enough, the thrill of flying will really carry you away. The exhilarating spray of the water is always a highlight during take-off and landing. With over 50 aircraft currently, your hosts operate the largest all-seaplane fleet and the first carbon neutral airline in North America. DeHavilland DHC-3 Turbine Single Otters and Twin Otters service regularly scheduled flights between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. DHC-2 Beavers service the Gulf Islands. Cessna 185 aircraft are available for charter.

Vancouver: Sea to Sky Gondola and Whistler Day Trip

6. Vancouver: Sea to Sky Gondola and Whistler Day Trip

Ride the Sea to Sky Gondola, explore Whistler Village and admire the natural wonders in between on this day trip from Vancouver. Feel in awe of the ever-changing landscapes along the Sea to Sky Highway. There will be a pit stop to marvel at the 335-meter-high Shannon Falls. Ride the famous Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, an outdoor paradise for climbers and backcountry adventurers. The gondola takes you to Habrich Ridge, where you will have 90 minutes to take in breathtaking views of the mountains, coastal rainforest, and network of inlets of Howe Sound. Pass the quaint town of Squamish and the Tantalus Glacier while continuing the journey to Whistler. Once there, enjoy free time to explore the downtown shops, cafes, the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort, or the surrounding hiking trails. Join us in celebrating 40 years of sharing Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler with guests from all over. Our expertly curated guided tours offer a special and safe experience.

Vancouver: Entry Ticket for the Vancouver Lookout

7. Vancouver: Entry Ticket for the Vancouver Lookout

The Vancouver Lookout is an iconic and essential landmark high over Vancouver. It makes the perfect first stop on any traveler's itinerary to get an overview of the fabulous landscape of the city and the Northshore mountains. Take the glass elevators high above the street. After only 40 seconds, you're high above the fray and can look over all of Metro Vancouver's hot neighborhoods and sprawling mountain ranges. Vancouver Lookout has been iconic in the city's skyline since 1977. Here you can enjoy views as long you would like and learn from the knowledgeable staff.

Vancouver: Floatplane and Capilano Suspension Bridge Combo

8. Vancouver: Floatplane and Capilano Suspension Bridge Combo

Take a 20-minute seaplane tour departing from downtown Vancouver and get a spectacular aerial view of the city. Enjoy a visit to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park with an admission ticket and explore the Cliffwalk, Capilano River, and more on this combo tour. Combine your seaplane tour with a visit to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. You will get the benefit of a complimentary shuttle transfer from downtown Vancouver to the park.  Located 70 meters above the Capilano River and measuring 140 meters in length, this bridge has been used as a crossing since 1889. Also, discover the new Cliffwalk which follows a precipice along the Capilano River on a maze-like series of bridges, stairs, and platforms through rainforest vegetation.

Vancouver to Victoria and Butchart Gardens

9. Vancouver to Victoria and Butchart Gardens

Visit Victoria, British Columbia’s capital city, on this full-day guided tour from Vancouver city. Try to spot marine life on the ferry to Vancouver island, walk among the flowers in the Butchart Gardens, and admire the Victorian architecture in Victoria.  Start from downtown Vancouver and travel south through the city aboard a climate-controlled bus. Hop aboard a BC Ferry for a 90-minute voyage across the Georgia Strait through the scenic Southern Gulf Islands. Keep an eye out for orcas along the way. Once docked on Vancouver Island, the tour continues to the world-famous Butchart Gardens, a National Historic Site of Canada. See millions of bedding plants in over 900 varieties. Enjoy 2 leisurely hours to fully explore the 50 acres of stunning gardens. Head to downtown Victoria and pass through Canada’s oldest China Town and the scenic Victoria Harbor, including the Inner Harbor. Once downtown, you will have free time to explore the local area. Spend your time going for a stroll the Inner Harbor, taking in the thriving arts and cultural scene, or visiting the historic Empress Hotel or the Royal BC Museum. Take the ferry and bus to return to your meeting point in Vancouver. 

Vancouver: Grouse Mountain Admission Ticket

10. Vancouver: Grouse Mountain Admission Ticket

Grouse Mountain is Vancouver’s most visited year-round natural attraction, located just 15 minutes from downtown. You can enjoy panoramic views as you travel to the pristine, alpine environment aboard the iconic Skyride. Enjoy thrilling outdoor adventures, cultural activities, and educational experiences, which are available year-round. Year-round, you can enjoy our Mountaintop Chalet, which includes great dining options, an HD Theatre in the Sky, and two gift shops for souvenirs and clothing. In winter, enjoy the stunning light installations on the Light Walk, the slopes at the Sliding Zone, an outdoor skating pond, snowshoeing, and more. In the summer, choose from an incredible variety of activities including a world-famous lumberjack show, a "birds in motion" demonstration, a visit to the resident orphaned grizzly bears, guided eco-walks, and a disc golf course. You can also add to your experience with exciting adventures (at an additional fee) such as a mountain ropes course, mountain ziplines, and tandem paragliding.

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Top sights in Vancouver

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Frequently asked questions about Vancouver

What top attractions are a must-see in Vancouver?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Vancouver?

The best day trips and excursions from Vancouver are:

Whistler

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Vancouver

Mayuri is based in Canada and travels with her husband. She is the founder of ToSomePlaceNew, which covers European destinations and cultural travel. A history graduate and an MBA by qualification, she found her true calling in digging a city’s past and discovering their unique nuances. Find more about Vancouver on her blog.

What should I do on my first trip to Vancouver?

Vancouver is one of the vibrant cities on the west coast of Canada. It is home to one of the largest urban parks, called Stanley Park and has a stunning seawall. You can walk or bike the seawall, and enjoy hikes in nearby trails. When in the city, enjoy fish and chips at Granville Island, visit Vancouver museum, and wander the downtown area. You will find a lot of cool restaurants, sights and sea views in Downtown Vancouver, including Canada Place! Another must visit in Vancouver is the Capilano Suspension Bridge located in the northern part of the city, followed by the Grouse Mountains for a nice day trip!

What are some hidden gems to see in Vancouver?

Although the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a must visit in Vancouver (and it can be expensive for entry fees and attractions inside), consider visiting the Lynn Canyon, also located in the northern part of the city. This park and the bridge is smaller in comparison to Capilano, but it is less visited by tourists, and has no entry fees!

How much time should I spend in Vancouver?

Two to three days is ample time to explore Vancouver city’s attractions such as the Canada Place, Olympic Cauldron, a few museums, Stanley Park, Granville Island, ChinaTown, and more. In the evening you can also walk downtown or go on an evening cruise. On one of the nights go shopping at Robson Street, and eat at a nice restaurant!

What food is Vancouver known for?

Vancouver is best known for its seafood and sushi. You can relish seafood at the Granville Island restaurants, or downtown bistros. When in Canada, Maple Syrup infused foods are a must try as well. You will also be impressed with the coffee culture in Vancouver - be sure to sit down at a local cafe to enjoy!

What is the best way to get around Vancouver?

Once you arrive in Vancouver, you can use the SkyTrain to get to various neighbourhoods for sightseeing. Hop on and hop off tours are also a great way to explore various attractions. When exploring the downtown area, your best bet is to wear comfortable shoes and walk. Same goes for Robson Street. Biking is also a great way to explore this city!

What are the best months to visit Vancouver?

Spring and fall are the best seasons to visit Vancouver. These are the months of March to May, and then from September to November. During this time, the weather is mild and favourable for sightseeing, and you can also expect fewer crowds, and better hotel rates.

What is Main Street of Vancouver known for?

The Main Street of Vancouver is the place to be! It is filled with cozy bistros, coffee shops, independent boutiques, local breweries, consignment stores, sky rise buildings and world-class restaurants. I personally like the GasTown neighbourhood as it oozes European flair with vintage steam clock, buildings and cobblestone lanes.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

Main Street, GasTown, and Robson Street are great for fine dining, coffee shops, and restaurants with an international menu. For seafood, head to Granville Island, and Chinatown to try fish, crabs, sushi rolls, dimsums and more!.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

Located in the West End of Vancouver, Robson Street is the best place to go shopping in the city. You will find most of the popular brand names here including some of the largest Canadian labels (like Lululemon). And after shopping, you can sit down at a nice restaurant on Robson Street!

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Vancouver?

For a first time visitor, the downtown core, or Yaletown are great neighborhoods for accommodation. Hotels in these areas are in the mid range to luxury budget level. In downtown you can also choose suites with waterfront views!

What are the best annual events in Vacouver?

As the Roman amphitheatre is so well preserved, it is still used for a number of festivals and events throughout the year. For example, the Festival of Nîmes has been taking place since 1997, on dates throughout the summer - attracting international talent including Elton John, Radiohead and Metallica. The ancient arena also hosts the Great Roman Games - a reenactment spectacle for the whole family.

Other Sightseeing Options in Vancouver

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What people are saying about Vancouver

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 5,615 reviews

Booked a flight for my husband’s 70th Birthday. He was able to sit next to the pilot. Excellent experience for him. Only issue was I originally had booked for my husband to be on the Beaver seaplane as this was his bucket list preference. When I emailed and mentioned this I was told that the original time I had booked would be on the Otter plane that would be going out, so I changed my time and went with the suggestion given to me as to when the Beaver would be going out. When we arrived the Beaver was not going out as there were too many people, so they needed to use the Otter anyhow. Realize there is never a guarantee, but a little disappointing. All in all my husband very much enjoyed the flight.

It was wildly realistic, right down to the mist from the clouds. I found myself lifting my feet so they wouldn't scrape on the mountain tops! The photography and the sensation of moving through the landscape was amazing. I was not ready for it to be over. I'd like to experience this in other areas of Canada, as well.

There were no Guide, all is done by yourself, from your Hotel to the Port, no asistant for Boarding, just following the Signs and the People.

Peter was a great guide. He was very entertaining and helpful. The sights from Vancouver to Whistler were very beautiful.

What is on offer in this park is worth every penny! Thanks to the people who do this for this great experience!