Vancouver is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With this 24 hour guide, you’ll be able to decide if it’s truly an argument at all, or just fact.
We’re going to start bright and early with a trip to Granville Island. Although it’s not actually an island, you can access this part of town using the aquabus, a fun taxi boat that has a number of locations along the creek. Vancouver locals come to Granville Island when doors open to avoid the tourists. If you do the same, you can have a relaxing breakfast before you begin your day. Grab a chai tea at The Granville Island Tea Company (make sure you add ginger and cayenne) and a False Creek Croissant at The Market Grill.
Now that you’ve got a full stomach, get back on the aquabus and head to Yaletown. This area has a number of boutiques, bars and restaurants. The Canadian Pacific Railway heavily impacted this area and you can find remenints of it at the Roundhouse Museum. There are also a number of warehouses from this period that have turned into multi million dollar lofts.
Next on the list is Chinatown. Many people from Vancouver will tell you that Richmond is basically the new Chinatown but the old one, is well worth the visit. The Canadian Pacific Railway was built by Chinese immigrants in the 19th century and after just visiting Yaletown, you’ll get to see the community that was able to make it all happen. Most notable here is the Sam Kee building, the shallowest commercial building in the world; Ming-Wo, a popular cookware shop that has expanded all around Vancouver; and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the first Chinese garden built outside of China. Now would also be the perfect time to grab some lunch at Chinatown BBQ for some amazing barbeque duck.
Gastown and Waterfront
From Chinatown, it’s time to head to one of the most historic areas in Vancouver, Gastown. Here you’ll get a feel of what Vancouver was like a hundred years ago. It’s not a big area but it’s a beautiful place for a stroll. If you’re not too tired at the end of the day, it’s also a great spot to have a few drinks and enjoy the nightlife. West of Gastown, down the street, is Waterfront. Here you’ll find breathtaking views of North Vancouver and the mountains. If you want a sweet treat, head to Bella Gelateria. The owner of this gelato shop won several awards from competitions all the way in Italy!
After all this walking and sightseeing, you’re no doubt hungry. Vancouver is particularly known for its seafood so either head to Yew, at the Four Seasons, for some Aquarium approved (Ocean Wise Seafood Program) seafood or Miku for some delicious Japanese food. Both are fairly high end restaurants but have some of the best seafood dishes in Vancouver.
There’s so much to see in Vancouver, so if you’re there for more than a day, you should try to check out some other areas. One would be Richmond, which is an area that was settled by many of the recent Chinese immigrants and has some amazing Chinese food. Another area is the University of British Columbia. It’s located right on the coast and is one of Canada’s best universities. Finally, the North Shore and beyond. Locals of Vancouver love being in nature and many will take a short drive to Squamish for some challenging but worthwhile hikes. Whether you’re in Vancouver for a day or a few, hopefully this guide has given you a good idea of what to do. There’s no doubt you’ll already be planning your next trip before you even leave this beautiful city.