Things to do in Vancouver

Vancouver offers a variety of activities for all types of visitors. Make sure you watch the impressive yet delightfully playful pods of orca breaking the surface of the crisp, cold, Northern Pacific Ocean on your stay. Vancouver is also settled next to a quaint ski resort in Grouse Mountain, just across the harbour from downtown and one of 3 nearby hills that are perfect for winter and summer activities. Here, you can practise turns, get the basics mastered and be back sipping a coffee in a stylish cafe before sundown.

Another outdoors fave is Stanley Park. Opened in 1888, the wildly popular Stanley Park is a beautiful slice of nature contrasting against its city background. This urban green oasis sprawls across 400 hectares and contains cultural icons like totem poles, trails and beaches to chill out at after a long walk. Vancouver is a true host to natural beauty and VanDusen Botanical Garden, located in the heart of the city along Oak Street, is no exception. As well as admiring the flawlessly maintained flowers that border the gardens, let your inner child out and get lost in the lifesize maze created by the talented team of green-fingered gardeners. Visit the gardens in spring to witness the fresh buds bloom in profusion, or see the twinkling lights in midwinter from the Shaughnessy Restaurant, which is renowned for its West Coast cuisine.

Nobody likes to be labelled a tourist, but there's no shame in jumping onboard a red Big Bus tour to see the sights and hear the stories only true Vancouver locals could tell. Not only is a tour a great way to spend an afternoon at the beginning of a holiday, but it will help to orient you in Vancouver for the rest of your stay.

For more must-see Vancouver attractions you won't want to miss, here's our top picks.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Millions of visitors have braved the world's longest and highest suspension bridge, just to say they did. Capilano Bridge was originally built by engineer George Mackay, who quite simply wanted a faster way to get to the other side of his property.

Granville Island Public Market

Located in the Kitsilano and Granville Island area just outside the city centre, Granville Island Public Market was the first contemporary market in Vancouver and has been operating daily since the 1990s. The market is testament to Vancouver's passion for food.

Telus World of Science

The Telus World of Science building is one of the most recognisable landmarks in Vancouver due to its large golf ball appearance and prominent location overlooking False Creek and the former Olympic village. The museum aims to open minds to the zany and wonderful world of science.

Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver Art Gallery shows off the vibrancy of the city with around 10,000 pieces of art onsite and a number of exhibitions throughout the year. The art space highlights pieces by world-famous Vancouver artists such as Jeff Wall.

Grouse Mountain

A year-round destination backing onto the edge of Vancouver, take a Skyride up into the Grouse Mountain wilderness for unspoiled views of the city skyline and Pacific inlets. Zipline down or go skiing. With a range of terrains to suit all levels of proficiency, Grouse Mountain is ideal for all winter sports enthusiasts.

Queen Elizabeth Park

Visitors looking for a slice of peace and serenity should head over to Queen Elizabeth Park in central Vancouver. Second in popularity only to Stanley Park, it's home to one of the best-kept and most beautiful gardens in the world.