A stopover in Vancouver


Vancouver is a cosmopolitan city that provides the gateway to some of Canada‘s most spectacular landscapes and the wonderful wilderness of British Columbia. With so much to see and do there, our Canada expert Paul, guides us through some of the city’s highlights to squeeze into a stay.

Take a look at our Active British Columbia itinerary for ideas on how to explore Vancouver and beyond.

Vancouver is a vibrant, colourful, and bustling city full of energy, overlooking the ocean and backed by incredible mountains. Whether you are a real foodie, true adventurer or you’re just something just a little bit different for your next holiday, you are in for a real treat when it comes to Vancouver. On my most recent trip there, I discovered just how much there was to do and felt overwhelmed by the many experiences on offer. Here are my top five things to do if you only have 48 hours.

Stanley Park
This world renowned park attached to Vancouver’s downtown is a thousand acre oasis of fun and activities. Why not join the party and hop on board their miniature train, build a sandcastle on the beach or simply hire a bike and traverse the seawall – a 10km paved pathway that circles the park. An average of 8 million people visit the park each year so do not miss this popular attraction, you will not regret it – I certainly did not!

Stanley park is famous for its collection of First Nation art and totem poles

Granville Island 
One of Vancouver’s most famous areas is Granville Island just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver. Home to a bustling public market at the centre of the island, this spot is most famous for being home to some of the city’s best cuisine and fresh produce. Why not stop for a takeout lunch or make a picnic and head out to one of the many gardens? In addition, the island is well known for its boutique shops and culture and whilst wandering the streets, you will see many painters, photographers, jewellers and artists. There is plenty to experience here, so whether you have time to spend just 2 hours or half a day, it is a really fascinating place and well worth a visit.

Granville island

Granville island is full of suprises and lots of delicious food.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
This spectacular bridge and park is in northern Vancouver and offers thrill and fun for the whole family as well as a learning experience. The bridge is 450 feet long and suspended 230 feet above the Capilano River in a stunning rainforest. The park is also home to a series of smaller suspension bridges hanging high above the forest floor and a cantilevered walkway attached to the granite cliffs above the canyon. An unrivalled place in Vancouver for active couples or family fun!

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Strolling along the Capilano Suspension Bridge is truly a unique experience

Grouse Mountain 
Just a short drive away from Capilano is Grouse Mountain, arguably the best viewpoint in the area. Ride up to the summit on the skyride, a large enclosed cable car, taking stock of the spectacular views of downtown Vancouver and the miles of ocean that stretch out in front of out. You can also take part in a variety of activities at the top, including ziplining, paragliding as well as meeting Grouse’s resident grizzly bears. Not for the faint hearted but a must-do in Vancouver!

The view from Grouse Mountain is spectacular

Gastown
Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood and home to quaint cobbled streets and stunning architecture that sets the stage for some of Vancouver’s best shops and restaurants. It is here where you will find the famous Gastown Steam Clock which was built in 1977 to cover a steam grate. Take a stroll and experience yourself the history of this unique district for yourself for an afternoon of culture in Vancouver.

Gastown

Witness Gastown’s steam clock chime with a difference

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