The Best Attractions You Must Experience In beautiful Vancouver City

After years of travelling around Ireland and Europe, we decided that it was the right time to go further to explore other continents. Trying to persuade each other that Alaska (Aiva’s idea)or South America (Valter’s idea) is just the place to go, we came up with an unflawed compromise – summer holidays in Canada.

For the first time, we left all the planning process to the Canadian Sky travel agency based in Dublin. We did not have to worry about a thing; everything from flights, accommodation, breakfast and even a few small extra excursions were organised by professionals. We just had to pack our bags and be ready for nine days in Canada!

We started our Canadian journey in the province of Alberta, stopped to marvel at the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park and travelled all the way to the West coast in the last two days exploring what  Vancouver city has to offer.

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The colourful Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is well worth a visit.

We have been fortunate enough to visit a good few fantastic countries over the years. However, there’s only one place that surfaces in my mind at least once a day, if not more. Irresistibly implacable, rainy Vancouver stole my affection and my heart, and for a brief moment, I thought about staying in Canada forever.

While roaming around the beautiful British Columbia region and Vancouver city, I saw the world, myself and everyone around me in a different light, as if it was my first day on planet Earth.

My heart was beating much faster, and my senses were flooded with the sounds and smell of the Pacific Northwest. I felt so alive and upbeat as if I had just discovered a brand new planet.

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Vancouver has the highest property prices in Canada asking prices close to 1 million.


The Best Attractions You Must Experience In Beautiful Vancouver City

The next morning the sky was loaded with grim and moody clouds, racing fast and hanging low, almost within reach. We met our fellow travellers, tour guide, and bus driver and after a brief introduction to Vancouver and a breakfast, consisting of deep-fried potatoes, eggs, and toast, we set out to see the city starting with a visit to the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

#1. Visit Capilano Suspension Bridge

We were standing on the Capilano Suspension bridge, surrounded by evergreen Douglas Fir and Red Cedar trees when a sudden wave of serenity washed over me, sending my heart in flutters. I have been chasing this feeling for a while now and desired to hold on to it and desired to nurture it.

Capilano Suspension bridge story started with a Scottish engineer George Grant Mackay who purchased 6,000 acres of forest on either side of Capilano River and with the support of two First Nation people hung a footbridge made from hemp rope and cedar planks across the creek.

Over time, the bridge was rebuilt and reconstructed and exchanged hands many times. In the past 25 years, lots more attractions and activities have been added for visitors to enjoy.

To this day Capilano has the most magnificent collection of remarkable totem poles in the world, symbolising the Aboriginal people who call this area home and representing history. Totem poles are made mostly of red cedar, and carvings reflect different animals, including my personal favourite: Thunderbird – a supernatural bird of power and strength.

Getting to Capilano Bridge, located 10 minutes away from Downtown Vancouver, is very go for one of four locations for a free shuttle bus. We went to Canada Place, where lots of helpful staff were present. Other places for a free shuttle bus are:

Melville Street / Entrance of Hyatt Hotel
Blue Horizon Hotel / 1225 Robson St.
Westin Bayshore / 1601 Bayshore Drive

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Capilano is a First Nation name that’s spelt Kia’palano initially, meaning ”beautiful river”.
PicMonkey Collage (66)

#2. Explore Stanley Park 

After a short debate, we decided against renting bikes and instead went for an invigorating walk around the Seawall in Stanley Park, Vancouver’s first park. If you are not in the humour for a useful exercise, there are hop-on-hop-off trollies as well as horse-drawn carriages.

With massive 405 hectares in size, it offers to its visitors fertile peacefulness. In the centre of it is Vancouver Aquarium and along the way, you can find other amusements like Brockton Point Lighthouse, Siwash Rock, Beaver Lake and incredible Brockton Point Poles, to name a few.

The Seawall is a very scenic path that is 8.8 km long, and it lines Vancouver’s waterfront with the North Shore Mountains, grand Douglas fir and red cedar trees providing that incentive beauty around every corner, be it summer or winter time, early morning or late at night.

I could not wait to make it to the Brockton point where nine Totem Poles are on display. The collection started in the 1920s when the Park Board bought four totems from Vancouver island’s Alert Bay. Few more followed over the years with the most recently added in 2009, carved by Robert Yelton of the Squamish Nation.

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Stanley Park is larger in size than New York City’s Central Park.
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Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal is one of the biggest in the world, offering one-way and round trips to Alaska.

#3. Wander around Downtown Vancouver

By travelling to the Pacific Northwest region and visiting Vancouver city, we materialised one of our biggest dreams. Holding hands and listening to the hissing sound of the Steam Clock, built by Canadian horologist Raymond Saunders, we realised how privileged we are to have 365 days a year to learn, travel, interact and explore.

Moreover, now I can safely claim, that Vancouver is my favourite city in the world so far! If you think that is a bold statement, let me assure you it’s not. It took me a stable 30 years, but I finally found my dream place. Initially, a small settlement called Gastown, Vancouver’s name is forever embedded deep in my heart.

Downtown Vancouver is where you can find shopping, nightlife and business districts on top of many cafes and hotels. Dance away at one of the venues on Granville Street, visit the impressive Vancouver Art Gallery, shop in one of the stores on Robson Street or experience high-end culinary wonders in world-class restaurants.

Did you know that Greenpeace, the most successful environmental group were established in Vancouver city?

#4. Go for a ride with a waterbus to Granville Island

Granville Island is a peninsula situated south of downtown Vancouver along False Creek and is easily reachable by public transport, individual vehicles and by foot.

Although Granville Island Public Market and Canada’s first microbrewery are the most prominent attractions, you can also uncover many craft studios and artisan shops where it is possible to find unique souvenirs to bring back home.

Back in 1990, Granville Island, in fact, was an industrial site housing hundreds of different factories, sawmills, and plants and over the years it slowly transformed into one of the busiest, trendiest places for locals and tourists alike.

For the devoted foodies, this is a place to be. Endless amount of stalls filled with fresh vegetables, fruit, baked goods, seafood and artisan food, all housed indoors.

How to get to Vancouver

Vancouver is the largest city located on Canada’s West Coast, and Vancouver International Airport is one of the most significant airports in North America and is situated 25 minutes from downtown. Air Canada is the best option to travel to Vancouver as it provides access to more than 190 cities in the world.

Vancouver International Airport is 15 kilometres from the city centres and as we arrived at 3 am we took a taxi to our hotel.

The quickest way to get downtown is to travel with Vancouver Airport Skytrain. It takes only 25 minutes, and it has plenty of room for luggage, including snowboards and skis. There are more than 15 stops along the way, including Yaletown, Waterfront, and Vancouver City Centre.

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Next time you travel to Vancouver, make sure to take some time to enjoy the incredible art collection.

Tips, Hints, and things to do in Vancouver

  • Most of the attractions around the Capilano Bridge are high off the ground if you are someone with a fear of heights this could be challenging although the cliff walks itself is not that scary – the whole structure is fixed in place with reliable cables, so it does not swing around like a suspension bridge. At its highest point, Cliff walk is 90m above Capilano River.
  • Vancouver is one of the biggest film production centres in North America. So,  look out for your favourite film sets. Big Blockbuster movies like Deadpool, Planet of Apes, Juno, Smallville, and Twilight, were all shot in Vancouver city.
  • Most purchases in British Columbia are subject to a 7% Provincial Sales tax.
  • Bring proper footwear, and lots of water and hike the near-vertical Grouse Grind, nicknamed  Nature’s Stairmaster with 2.830 steps. Starting at the bottom of the Grouse Mountain requires great physical strength, but pleasant views of the Lower Mainland are well worth it. You can also use the gondola to get to the top.
  • Explore different neighbourhoods like Gastown, Yaletown, China Town, West End and Coal Harbour. Each of them has its very own temperament with dozens of various attractions and sites to see.
  • Pay a visit to the University of British Columbia’s state-of-the-art Museum of Anthropology, designed by architect Arthur Erickson, for the great art, sculptures and totem poles of the Pacific Northwest.
  • Cheer on local ice hockey teams like the Vancouver Canucks.
  • For those on the budget, a great alternative to Capilano Suspension Bridge is nearby Lynn Canyon Park with hiking trails, waterfalls, and its very own Suspension Bridge. It is serene, quiet and free!
  • Homelessness is a huge problem in Vancouver, so don’t be surprised by what you see, especially in the Downtown Eastside.

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Now, over to you!

Have you been to Vancouver and what places of interest did you get to visit? Let us know in the comments below!

Let us know if you are plotting a visit to Vancouver and have travel-related questions!

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Our Crossings follows the daily adventures of Latvian expats living in Sligo as they surf and explore the world

42 thoughts on “The Best Attractions You Must Experience In beautiful Vancouver City

    1. Thanks so much! Vancouver was the last stop on our Canadian road trip and we were utterly smitten with everything we had a chance to see and do! Definitely can recommend visiting Vancouver! Thanks for stopping by and have a good day

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Liked your post. We will be in Vancouver soon for a couple days, so will reread as we approach. Will give you credit when I write about Vancouver

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, are you really travelling to Vancouver? Please take as many photos as you can and I’ll be waiting – very patiently – for your blog post just so I can immerse myself into its beauty.


    1. There’s certain magic when it comes to Canada and places like Vancouver. I was never a city person ut that changed once we set foot in Vancouver, can’t ‘wait to go back one day to see more of it.


  1. Good post. Our son and his wife live in Vancouver, so we are fortunate to get there a couple of times a year. In fact, we have been there a lot since our first trip in 1980. We walk Stanley Park every time we go and are still seeing new things. Lost Lagoon is famous for its bird life as well as raccoons and otters. The Grouse Grind was closed when we were there in 2018, so we hiked up the BCMC next to it. Same elevation gain, but more natural. A real workout. Lynn Canyon is a good free option, if the cost at Capilano Suspension Bridge is an issue. Glad you enjoyed Vancouver. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Allan, your son must be delighted to live in the most liveable city in the world and I’m glad you get a chance to frequently pay a visit to it.
      We absolutely loved everything we had a chance to see and do in Vancouver and I can safely say it’s my favourite city in the world. Because we only had two days to explore the city, it felt somewhat rushed and that’s why I can’t wait to go back one day. Lynn Canyon and UBC Museum of Anthropology are high on my to-do list as well as the Grouse Grind and a trip to Vancouver Island. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You would absolutely love it because Vancouver is one of the most livable cities in the world! Being just steps away from beautiful beaches and lush green forests are just a few things that made our trip so memorable for us! Thanks for reading and have a good day! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, and thanks for stopping by! Your beautiful photos and blog post reminded me how much we were in awe about every single mountain peak and about every single city we had a chance to visit in Canada. Would love to take our 3 year old daughter to see it too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s always fun to read about your own city. Great info. I never get tired of visiting Stanley Park (walking and cycling) and going to the stunning Museum of Anthropology. I try not to broadcast Lynn Canyon Park too loudly, but since you’ve mentioned it (wink wink), it’s definitely a great alternative to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. I’m glad you enjoyed Vancouver so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, you live in Vancouver and get to enjoy the North Shore mountain views every single day? I somehow managed to possess the appreciation of how beautiful Vancouver really is as soon as we arrived and somehow I can’t get it out of my head. I think it was the proximity to the sea and the mountains and, of course, the beautiful Douglas Fir trees that made me fell under its spell. Thanks for reading and have a good day 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    2. And, yes, I don’t mention or Geotag beautiful finds and quiet corners anymore – if we happen to stumble upon them during our travels – because we firmly believe there are places worth keeping concealed.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have yet to get to Vancouver, however we were so close to it when traveling the Washington coast last year that I should have (My husband joined in my big road trip last minute and didn’t have his passport).

    Years ago when a certain president was re-elected, I looked into moving to Canada, and I had determined that Vancouver would be my first choice, regardless of the fact that I had never been there. I was in my 20’s and impetuous! It was a reactionary pipe dream, but I never forgot about how appealing the city was to me. After reading your post and of the impression the city made upon you, Vancouver has moved to the top of my travel wish list. And if another certain president is re-elcted, I may have to start looking into relocation again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was under Vancouver’s spell well before I had a chance to see it in person.

      After visiting, the #1 reason why I’ve fallen in love even more with Vancouver is a great lifestyle. You can hike or ski in the snowy mountains in the day, head down to the beach for sunset, and spend your evening dining by the marina surrounded by yachts and city lights.

      Then, of course, comes the beautiful views, the rain, the wilderness and its beautiful neighbourhoods and more. I f I had to move anywhere – Vancouver would be the place I would choose in a heartbeat.

      Thanks for stopping by and hope you get to visit Vancouver one day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My dad grew up in San Diego, where told me the story of skiing and swimming in the ocean in the same day. Southern California’s mountains aren’t exactly known for skiing, but it stuck with me, and I’ve always had the dream of living within an easy drive of both salt water and mountains. Vancouver offers both, along with a sparkling city and friendly people. I will definitely make it there one day!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi and thanks so much for reading! It’s always interesting and a little bit nerve wracking to receive feedback about certain place I’ve been to from someone who lives there. Vancouver is beyond amazing and I’m glad I had a chance to explore it😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Marla and thanks for stopping by. I couldn’t find words to describe Vancouver at first – I had to wait for the myriad of thoughts brewing in my head after we left for Ireland to settle down. Maybe it was because I didn’t do much research before the trip about what to expect and the city took me totally by surprise with its twinkling lights and beautiful parks and towering trees. Vancouver is an amazing place to explore and photograph and I’m glad I had a chance to see and feel it in person

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So funny – I just read your blog about Seville and was reminded about how I fell in love with it and wanted to mover there. Next I hit on this post and since I live in Washington, I have been to Vancouver many times – and absolutely LOVE it, yet I guess I have come to take its beauty and accessibility for granted! Your post was a wake up call to relish its beauty!! The PNW coast has similarities and where I live in Kirkland, WA has incredible views of the Olympic Mountains across Lake Washington and I only have to go minutes to see the Cascade Range or Mount Rainier or Mount Baker. But in Vancouver, the mountains ARE RIGHT THERE!! Its breathtaking!!! I actually considered moving there (when a certain president was elected – as someone above mentioned – though I am sure we are not talking about the same one) and they keep a tight ship up there – pretty hard to get citizenship. Luckily I can easily visit! My husband and kiddos “kidnapped” me for my 60th birthday and for the first time after years of visiting Vancouver, I experienced the Capilano Suspension Bridge – it was rainy but dry under those Big Ol’ trees, and the twinkling lights strung about – Magical!! Great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, what a fantastic way to spend your 60th Birthday – exploring and experiencing the beauty of the Capilano Suspension Bridge and everything that Vancouver has to offer! Did you really see it all dressed up in Christmas attire – that must have been a sight to behold! I hope one day someone “kidnapps” me too and takes me for a stroll around the Gastown and more!

      In spite of rain and in spite of jetlag, I fell in love with Vancouver within minutes and this was shortly after we learned about the cities victories and struggles. I fell in love so much that I was ready to move yet stopped once I learned how challenging it is to make that dream come true!

      Thanks so much for sharing your story – I love nothing more than connecting with amazing people from around the world just so we can share and inspire and support each other – very much appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Really enjoyed reading this post! So glad you had such a good experience exploring a little bit of Canada, the country I call home. I am from Toronto. While I have been to the eastcoast once (New Brunswick), I haven’t been to the west yet. B.C has been on my travel bucket list for a while!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We come from a country where the highest peak is mere 300m – Canada seemed like a magical place compared to flat Latvia – those huge snowcapped mountains make for amazing views from your home in Vancouver. We actually arrived in Vancouver not really knowing what to expect and quickly discovering how integrated the symbols of city life are with nature left us pretty much in awe.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Seeing photos of Vancouver and Canada always makes me want to pack my bags and make a trip back too. I absolutely loved everything about it especially the sweeping vistas and beautiful Douglas Fir trees, I can only imagine how beautiful the old-growth forests are on Vancouver Island! Thanks for stopping by and have a good day

      Liked by 1 person

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