1. Lynn Canyon
Basically the Capilano Suspension Bridge’s little sister. A tad smaller, but without the big groups of tourists. Plus the area feels less like a tourist attraction, but more like a national park.
2. Bike around Stanley Park
Stanley Park is Vancouver’s best known and biggest park. It’s kind of located on a peninsula, which makes that it is surrounded by water. Although it’s doable, the park is best explored by bike. The tour around the island is only 8km, it’s very easy and a bike can get you from one sight to the other all under the time limit of one day. Make sure to get off your bike and explore the park: it is GORGEOUS.
3. Vancouver Aquarium
Located in Stanley Park, it’s an easy stopover on the way and it makes for a nice break from cycling. It’s a very nice and informative place to learn more about aquatic life, however, it is crowded.
4. Walk along the city’s Waterfront
All the way from Yaletown to False Creek, there is a boardwalk that gives you a view of the city from the waterfront. It’s peaceful, has lots of things to see on the way and especially good to pay a visit around sunset.
5. Capilano Suspension Bridge
Although I did mention Lynn Valley (and Canyon) as well, I still really enjoyed Capilano. I wouldn’t just trade one for the other. They’re both pretty cool. Capilano is easily accessible from the city with the free shuttle bus service provided by the park.
6. Eat poutine
We had our poutine at Fritz, and I have to say it was the best one on my whole Canada trip (I had two more in the 3 weeks that followed, sorry not sorry). It’s probably the greasiest, unhealthiest and most disgusting national dish I’ve ever seen and I can pretty much feel my arteries clog up by simply looking at the picture below, but this just goes to show that you should not judge a book by its cover. It’s pretty good.
7. Take the cable cart (or hike up) to Grouse Mountain
Unfortunately we had booked our tickets for a very, very foggy day. I was, we couldn’t see the view of Vancouver and the sky lift that we had booked was pretty much useless because we couldn’t see anything. Bad luck, but I’m guessing the mountain is a pretty spectacular place on a sunny day (so maybe, pro tip: wait to book your tickets!). Nonetheless, we still had a great day with the Lumberjack show, trying to spot the bears (but seeing a wild deer instead) and watching all the hikers reach the top of the mountain hot and sweaty after doing what is called The Grind (a hiking trail of 2.9 km consisting almost solely out of stairs having thus an elevation gain of 853 metres).
8. Enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life
Despite being one of Canada’s biggest cities, Vancouver is one of the most enjoyable cities I’ve been to. It’s green,it breaths open-mindedness and is colourful in every way possible. (Window-)shop, enjoy the varieties of food,…
9. Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery
It’s not very big, but if you’re lucky there will be some nice exhibitions on. What I would definitely recommend is visiting the museum’s café, though. It’s like a secret garden, away from everything right in the centre of the city AND their food is pretty great.
10. Walk around on Granville Island
Granville Island has everything you need if you are looking for a relaxing afternoon or a good lunch spot. It’s got the waterfront, cute shops, a nice atmosphere and a great food market. If you weren’t hungry before going in, you definitely will be by the time you come out.
What are you waiting for?