City of Vancouver Information
Welcome to the City of Vancouver! This striking young city is making its mark in history with a vision to becoming the ‘greenest’ city in the world by protecting and enhancing the environment while building its community and showcasing its natural beauty. With only just over 120 years since the city was founded in 1886, Vancouver (population around 600,000) has undoubtedly become a multicultural and economic hub in the province of BC.
- See also Holiday Suggestions & Travel Ideas for the Vancouver area.
Things To Do & See In Vancouver
Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a history buff, art lover, shopper or sightseer there are many attractions and things to do, events and activities in and around Vancouver – stroll through the likes of Stanley Park with its thousand acres (405 hectares) of splendid forest and a meandering Seawall Promenade, soak up English Bay and Beach Avenue, revel in Downtown and Kitsilano shops, roam through the cobbled streets of Gastown with its ‘early days’ flavour of old buildings, boutiques, galleries and cafes. And if heights are not a big issue, scan the city from the Lookout tower, view the rainforest from a treetop adventure, or enjoy the breathtaking vista from a mountaintop Observatory.
UBC’s Botanical Garden and the Nitobe Japanese Memorial Garden draw serious plant lovers in blossom time, and Friday evening musical performances in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden are enjoyed mid-July through to the beginning of September.
The Museum of Anthropology is a must-see for its collection of First Nations art and cultural icons as well as for the impressive architecture of the building itself. A spotlight on understanding and appreciating Northwest Coast contemporary aboriginal art can be found at Bill Reid’s Gallery, and the Eagle Spirit Gallery, to name just a couple of the many fine art galleries here.
Festivals & Events In Vancouver
Explore the rich and diverse arts and cultural scene. Meet artists and artisans in action in Granville Island’s Railspur Alley and venues around town. Check out events and festivals year-round starting with a Polar Bear Swim January 1st , Chinese New Year celebrations in February, ‘PuSh’ pass your way to an International Performing Arts Festival, ‘Winterruption’ as you like it, Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Under The Stars, International Fringe Festival, multicultural celebrations and Parade of Lights, and many more.
Adventure & Sports In Vancouver
Fancy an active recreational scene? Strap on some roller-blades for in-line skating around the park, get a bike and cycle out to the seawall or down a mountainside, hike, kayak, rock climb, scuba dive, skateboard, snowboard, ski, zip-line, windsurf, and sail your way through the ‘Vangroovy’ zone. Are you a sports fan? Take in any number of professional games from ice hockey, Canadian football, soccer, and baseball to friendly matches of cricket, curling, lacrosse, rugby, beach volleyball, and more.
Restaurants & Eating Out In Vancouver
Foodies will love Granville Island Market, Chinatown, Lonsdale Quay across the water, the Drive, enclaves of Little Italy, Greektown, Japantown, flavours of Latin America, and the Punjabi Market out on 50th. Check out the $100 loaves of bread flown in from Paris at supermarket wonder Urban Fare, and hunt for delectables at delis for just the right taste of West Coast freshness, traditional cedar planked salmon feasts, Alberta beef and bison, German schweinefleish with spatzle, Russian borshch, Caribbean salt fish and ackee, Ethiopian gursha, Korean dolsot bibimbap, any number of Filipino lumpiang sariwa, Indonesian lumpia semarang, Vietnamese spring rolls, takeaway East Indian saag and paneer, or sweet treats of your desire to name a few. Whatever your cuisine or diner choice, you are sure to find a restaurant in Vancouver.
Where to Stay?
Vancouver has a wide range of accommodation from waterfront luxury to family and budget hotels.
Here are some neighborhood communities you may want to check out:
- Downtown – start by the waterfront at Canada Place with its impressive and distinctive sail-like roof
- Gastown – stand with ‘Gassy Jack’ at Maple Tree Square, said to be the original heart of the city
- Chinatown – walk under the Millenium Gate, and connect to Shanghai Alley and the Silk Road route
- Yaletown – lunch at a trendy restaurant on Hamilton Street, and follow on with a contemporary art exhibition
- West End – breeze along Beach Avenue, stopping for a photo with Yue Minjun’s ‘A-Maze-ing Laughter’ cast bronze figures
- Granville Island – enjoy the buzz of the Public Market and the collection of artist studios and artisans at work
- Kitsilano – begin at Kitsilano Beach Park and meander to 4th Avenue for some ‘Kits’ shopping therapy
- Commerical Drive – think bohemian, and stroll through the Drive to an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants
Stop for a moment. Stay awhile. You will see why Vancouver is one of the world’s most liveable cities!
- Bowen Island
- New Westminster
- North Shore: North & West Vancouver
- Tri-Cities: Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam & Port Moody
- White Rock
Map: See street photos by zooming in and using Google’s Street View by dragging the yellow man icon from left hand side bar onto streets highlighted in blue.
Photo credits: A Woman in Traditional Dress at Powell Street Festival courtesy Tourism Vancouver/Hayes; Canada Place Sails courtesy Tourism Vancouver/VCEC; View of the Science World at Night courtesy Tourism Vancouver/Al Harvey; Musician at Enchanted Evening Performance in Sun Yat-Sen Gardens courtesy Tourism Vancouver/Hayes; Downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park courtesy Tourism Vancouver/Canada Place
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"The air was soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great, that I thought I was in a dream" - Jack Kerouac