Surrounded by water on three sides, cosmopolitan Vancouver is the gateway to western Canada’s glorious province of British Columbia.
The country’s third-largest metropolitan area is considered one of the most livable cities in the world. Its glistening skyscrapers and forested mountains fill the sky, balancing nature and commerce.
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The Fairmont Waterfront offers upscale comfort, personalized service, and unparalleled West Coast views, with easy access to everything that makes Vancouver spectacular.
Vancouver is a city for all seasons. From spring’s abundance of cherry blossoms and summer’s sparkling waterfront days, through to the city’s fall cultural festivals and the snowy winter wonderland on the mountain peaks, Vancouver offers its visitors year-round adventures.
Explore diverse neighborhoods, decadent dining, outdoor pursuits and multicultural attractions - in Vancouver, you won’t have to choose between city and nature.
What To Do
Tour Vancouver’s urban oasis, Stanley Park, with the world's longest continuous waterfront path, educational Vancouver Aquarium, and striking Brockton Park Totems and Lighthouse. Bike or walk through the city’s majestic trees, totems, and mountains beside the sea.
Shop at the renowned public market on Granville Island, actually a peninsula, in the center of the city.
Walk across the 459-foot-long, 229-feet-high Capilano Suspension Bridge over the Capilano River in the dense forests of North Vancouver.
Ride a tram up Grouse Mountain, with its wildlife bear refuge and soaring zip lines. During the winter, ski with the locals in this year-round playground.
Explore the manicured gardens and lush landscape of Queen Elizabeth Park on Vancouver’s Little Mountain, with its enclosed Bloedel Floral Conservatory, housing exotic plants and flowers, and dozens of free-flying tropical birds.
What To See
Explore the streets of downtown Vancouver, from the charming Gastown district to Chinatown.
Walk along one of the city’s oldest shopping areas, Robson Street.
View the iconic Canada Place convention center and ship terminal, with its stunning masts pointing above the harbor like a ship ready to sail.
Discover more than 50,000 underwater creatures living at Stanley Park’s renowned Vancouver Aquarium, a center for marine conservation, rehabilitation and research.
Visit the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art for stunning examples of indigenous art in downtown Vancouver.
Watch spectacular views and sunsets at some of Vancouver’s beaches, such as English Bay Beach on the West End of Stanley Park along the seawall, lively Kitsilano Beach, known simply as Kits Beach to locals, and serene Spanish Banks, the perfect spot for a romantic outing or family fun.
Gastown rates as one of the best areas for shopping, with its plentiful souvenir shops, boutiques and First Nations indigenous art galleries.
One of downtown Vancouver’s oldest commercial blocks, bustling Robson Street, offers some the city’s most renowned international shopping experiences.
Shop at the four-story Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, boasting more than 400 stores plus restaurants and movie theatres for hours of entertainment and retail therapy.
Vancouver likes to stay up late at bars and clubs throughout the city. Barhop along Granville Street or party with the thirty-plus crowd in trendy Yaletown.
Visit Gastown’s many wine bars, pubs and beer halls. Take a night Harbor Cruise. Go to a play or concert at one of the city’s numerous entertainment venues.
Vancouver with Kids
Don’t miss Granville Island’s Kids Market and water park packed with toys, games, and crafts with plenty of family-friendly activities.
Roam the lush gardens of Queen Elizabeth Park and explore the exotic plants and tropical birds of the enclosed Bloedel Floral Conservatory.
Set along the waterfront, by the Olympic Village, Science World is a wonderland of exploration for inquisitive kids, with hands-on exhibits housed within an iconic geodesic dome.
Picnic on one of the city’s many parks and beaches.
Off the Beaten Path
Incredible outdoor adventures await in the picturesque ski resort town of Whistler. Getting here is half the fun, with the scenic Sea to Sky Highway offering breathtaking vistas along the way.
Ride the sea-to-sky gondola for panoramic views of the surrounding coastal mountains and waterways above Howe Sound in nearby Squamish.
Take a ferry, helicopter or floatplane across to Vancouver Island to visit the charming provincial capital, Victoria. Explore its lovely Victorian architecture, stately Parliament buildings, and remarkable Butchart Gardens. Or hang ten in Canada’s surfing capital Tofino.
Head inland to discover B.C.’s lakeside wine growing region, the Okanagan Valley.
Food and Drink
Vancouver offers a menu of tasty foods and restaurants to suit any budget, from the freshest farm-to-table cuisine to high-end seafood restaurants. Its multi-cultural ethnic groups influence the city’s culinary diversity. Richmond, for instance, with its high native Asian population is renowned for authentic Chinese food.
Foods such as Pacific salmon, craft beer and wine are always popular. Try poutine - french fries are decadently smothered in gravy and cheese curds - one of Canada’s national dishes that originated in Quebec and quickly spread west.
Locals also love to munch on addicting salmon candy made from smoked salmon glazed with maple syrup. Dungeness crab, west coast oysters and spot prawns are also favorites. There’s even an annual Spot Prawn Festival every year on Granville Island.
For a unique treat, try a japadog, a sweet and spicy taste of heaven that combines a traditional hot dog with miso, wasabi, kimchi, seaweed flakes, and teriyaki sauce.
When to Go
Boasting one of the mildest climates in Canada, you’ll find plenty in Vancouver to keep you occupied virtually any time of year.
The best time to visit is during the summer and early fall, when long daylight hours, less rain and warmer temperatures offer the most sightseeing opportunities.
Whale watching season is generally from May to September. Snow peaks during January and February, and sticks around even longer in nearby Whistler.