Best attractions in Vancouver: Top 20

Vancouver’s main attractions can amaze you with their variety and beauty. So before you set out on your trip, you should decide what you must see in Vancouver and what you should see only if you have time to spare.

What to see in Vancouver first

There are some of the most important and interesting sights that experienced guides in Vancouver will advise you to see. Consider their features:

1. Queen Elizabeth Park

Great park scenery of Queen Elizabeth Park

Gorgeous and magnificent are the epithets tourists choose when describing this Vancouver landmark. We started our review with the national park, given that it offers everything you could possibly need for a comfortable stay. There are restaurants and cafes, tennis courts and a rose garden, a wedding pavilion and golf course, and a delightful winter garden created from more than 1,500 plexiglass bubbles on more than 50 hectares of land. When planning a trip to King’s National Park, set aside at least one full day to explore it.

2. Stanley Park

The pedestrian promenade at Stanley Park is a destination for Vancouver residents and visitors

If you’re interested in Vancouver’s natural attractions, a trip here is a must. One of the features of this famous park is that it is the result of years of urban and forest evolution. Many of the trees are up to two hundred years old. It has its own oceanarium, playgrounds, lakes and beaches. There are trails, paths and a beautiful promenade for easy walking.

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3. Van Dusen Botanical Gardens

The Van Dusen Botanical Garden is a great place to stay Daderot

The main specialty of this Vancouver attraction is to introduce guests to various ornamental plants. The collection of greenery is really rich, including the rarest specimens. In addition, in collaboration with the Association of Botanical Gardens, the Van Dusen Garden holds general education programs. If you don’t know what to visit in Vancouver as a family, this would be the best option for you.

4. Vancouver Aquarium

The exotic inhabitants of the Vancouver Aquarium

Just like many other Vancouver attractions, this one is located within Stanley Park. The gigantic, state-of-the-art complex is over 9,000 square feet and has both outdoor pools and indoor galleries. The number of inhabitants is incredible: birds and mammals, reptiles and amphibians, invertebrates and fish, including sea urchins and starfish, octopus and African penguins, reef sharks and seals, porpoises and dolphins. Add to that the well-equipped and open for tourists labs and classrooms, a great playground for kids and a 4D theater, and you can see why such interesting places in Vancouver should not be left out.

5. Gastown neighbourhood

The steam clock at the intersection of Water and Cambie Streets in the Gastown district

The history of this old urban neighbourhood began more than 150 years ago. Any tourist planning a visit to Canada and Vancouver should be sure to walk its ancient streets. You can visit the famous Chinatown, Maple Tree Square and Christ Church Anglican. See architectural masterpieces from the Victorian era, and take memorable photos as you stroll along the cobblestone sidewalks. Glowing neon signs of trendy restaurants, boutiques, and clubs successfully coexist with old brick mansions. Steam Clock is a kind of symbol of the neighborhood.

. Check out the wonderful views of Vancouver in this fascinating video!

6. Vancouver Art Gallery

The Vancouver Art Gallery in Robson Square Wilson Hui

What to see in Vancouver in 1 day? If you’re an art lover, the answer is simple: a local gallery with its tens of thousands of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures and other works of contemporary Canada. Many of the pieces on display here are not just rare, but incredibly valuable. The works of Marc Chagall and Jeff Wall can be cited as an example. At the heart of the art gallery’s collections are the works of Emily Carr (over 150 works of art).

7. Vancouver City Museum

Fountain Crab in front of the main entrance to the Vancouver City Museum goatling

This Vancouver landmark took over a hundred years to collect. Buy a ticket and you can learn about the many achievements of world culture and the history of the city and surrounding area. The planetarium and astronomy exhibit of the McMillan Space Centre are also here.

8. Museum of Anthropology

Museum of Anthropology with Native Art Collection

If you’re passionate about the history of our planet, the hundreds of thousands of archaeological and ethnographic artifacts and objects brought to this reputable museum from various parts of the world will interest you more than any other attractions in Canada.

9. Vancouver Maritime Museum

Vancouver Maritime Museum at Vanier Park

In addition to viewing drawn charts, actual ships, photographs, artwork, books and artifacts, you can be part of an educational lecture or visit the huge local library, available to anyone. All exhibits focus on the maritime history of Vancouver and Canada.

10. Science World Centre

Nightlighting of the Science World Centre on the Bay in Vancouver

When making your list of “Vancouver’s best sights,” this modern science museum, housed in a balloon-shaped building with a dinosaur figure on top, can’t be overlooked. You can do many unusual experiments: outrun your shadow, launch square soap bubbles, or find yourself inside a large-format camera. Now you know what to see in Vancouver will be interesting not only for you, but also for your children. Many people compare this museum to a real city. In the six pavilion galleries, each dedicated to its own theme, people of all ages can have fun.

11. Harbor Center Skyscraper

The Harbour Centre skyscraper in Vancouver's central business district

One of the tallest buildings in the world (over 175 metres). Inside are business offices and a 360 degree rotating observation deck on the roof where you can see the whole panorama of the city, islands, glaciers and peaks of the mountains, Barrard Bay. Whatever Vancouver tours you choose, be sure to include a look at this skyscraper in your list. The speedy glass elevator (it takes less than a minute to ride it) will help you travel more than a hundred and fifty feet up. At one time the honor of opening the tower was given to Neil Armstrong.

12. Vancouver Public Library

Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library on Library Square

Canada’s large-scale architectural landmark erected on Library Square. In addition to a nine-storey library with millions of books, the complex includes an underground parking lot, restaurants, boutiques and a social self-service center, a multi-storey building with offices. Electronic and audio book downloads are available to all visitors.

13. Granville Island

Granville Island - shopping mall with giant Free Market Sébastien Launay

Back to talking about Vancouver’s main attractions, created by the forces of nature. A unique and most suitable place for those who love shopping or want to experience the national cuisine of the country: you can visit both luxurious restaurants and small cafes of the main shopping district. Or buy groceries at the local market, however, it also offers industrial goods. After lunch or dinner, you should take a walk to the bay and enjoy the crystal clear air.

14. Canada Place Complex

The Canada Place Complex on the Vancouver waterfront

One of those places where life doesn’t stop for a minute: trade shows and business events, the best hotels in Vancouver, chain restaurants and business centers. Come to this port and you can admire both the cruise ships and seagoing vessels and the original architectural buildings on the pier.

15. B.C. Place Stadium

B.C. Place Stadium is a multi-purpose indoor sports arena

What to visit in Vancouver for sports fans? The multipurpose indoor arena has a really rich history, hosting the Paralympics and the 2010 Winter Olympics. Even from afar you will see a true illustration of a classic techno-tech building with a huge snow-white dome.

That’s not the end of our list of places to go in Vancouver. We’ll provide you with other helpful recommendations as well.

What else to visit in Vancouver?

If you read the reviews of seasoned tourists, the following sites can continue the rating of the best memorable places and attractions:

16. Kitsilano Beach

A view of downtown Vancouver and the mountains from Kitsilano Beach

A key feature of the beach is the longest seawater heated pool in the country (open only in summer) located here. There are sports fields, walking paths and small cafes within walking distance. You can enjoy swimming in the perfectly clear sea or pool against a backdrop of mesmerizing mountain peaks.

17. English Bay Beach

Panorama of English Bay Beach and the residential area in the West End

A beach cove set up for those who enjoy pleasure boating, swimming and sunbathing. There are also all kinds of outdoor Vancouver festivals, like the Fireworks Parade, which attracts thousands of vacationers. It’s recommended to come here during sunset for the spectacle.

18. Lyons Gate Bridge

Night view of Lyons Gate Bridge over Burrard Inlet

Hanging Car Bridge. One of Canada’s most recognizable landmarks connects the city to the northern municipalities, and crosses Burrard Inlet. Keep in mind that cars with studded tires are not allowed on this three-lane bridge. The total length of the legendary “highway” is 1,823 meters.

19. Capilano Suspension Bridge

The Capilano Suspension Bridge in scenic

The longest suspension bridge attracts not only tourists but also locals. As reliable and strong as possible, it stretches 70 meters above the Capilano River. The entrance is guarded by totem poles in the shape of mythical souls of the Squamish tribe and various animals.

20. Graus Mountain

A stunning view from the top of Mount Graus Mountain over Vancouver at night and the ocean

If you want to see a great view of the mountain range, climb the nearby Mount Capilano (lifted in comfortable wagons). It also offers activities such as winching down a zip line, skiing, snowboarding, and paragliding with tools and by yourself. If you don’t like extreme entertainment, you can relax in cozy cafes (also with panoramic windows) or ski the flat trails.

A trip to Vancouver will give you a sea of positive emotions, even if your trip will be short. In order not to miss the most interesting places, plan your itinerary in advance or hire a qualified guide. Read also about Quebec attractions and be inspired for your next trip to Canada.

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