Vancouver’s unique blend of city and rainforest makes it one of the best travel destinations in the world. Surrounded by the Coastal Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the city centre offers a bustling cosmopolitan lifestyle with pristine wilderness right on your doorstep. This breathtaking landscape has been home to the Coast Salish Peoples for several millennia and offers an interesting history to explore.

Right on Vancouver’s doorstep are the lush forests of Stanley Park & the North Shore Mountains, filled with hiking & mountain biking trails. Cycling is popular in Vancouver with miles of bike lanes throughout the city and the “Sea Wall” stretching around Stanley Park and False Creek.

Millions of visitors a year enjoy Vancouver’s sunny beaches, buzzing summer street festivals, lively sports stadiums & outdoor activities. In winter, you can ride the 3 local ski hills until 10PM while watching the sunset over the city. That gets a thumbs up from us!

Easy access to hiking trails means you can escape from the hustle and bustle of the city to be surrounded by dense forest. Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is one of our favorite hiking spots on the North Shore Mountains.

Vancouver has been made famous recently for hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics with the sister city of Whistler. It has also been the film set for many major Hollywood productions including the Twilight Series, The X-Files, Smallville, Happy Gilmore, Juno, X-Men, Rocky IV and 50 Shades of Grey (to name just a few).

“Hollywood North” has attracted many film crews for the “west coast supernatural” scenes – like this one from Twilight (filmed on the North Shore Mountains).

An exciting nightlife is centered around Granville St, the main hostel area. The street is shut down to traffic every Friday & Saturday night as bars & nightclubs spill onto the street. Every weekend in the summer, Granville Street hosts festivals of every description, with food, music, and fun from all around the world. Vancouver’s fantastic food scene has got everything from fine-dining to food trucks & great fresh produce markets like Granville Island.

Local seafood is a pride and joy in British Columbia – as is the local beer! Taste the iconic hoppy ales at some of Vancouver’s new breweries – 33 Acres, Steamworks, Brassneck, Greenleaf and many more.

Highlights for visiting Vancouver

  • cycle along the scenic Stanley Park seawall (No. 1 must do activity)
  • explore the rich indigenous history of the Coast Salish peoples at the Museum of Anthropology
  • hike at Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge & the North Shore Mountains
  • explore Vancouver’s historic Gastown & Chinatown
  • enjoy a picnic & sunset at English Bay
  • eat & drink your way through hip neighborhoods like Main St, Commercial Drive & the West End
  • get involved in one of Vancouver’s many summer street festivals
  • catch a Vancouver Canucks hockey game at Rogers Arena (Nov – May)
Explore the cobblestone streets and heritage buildings of the pioneering Gastown district. Uncover the story of how Vancouver was born around a pub, grew up around the logging industry and was founded by the railroad. For a city established in 1886, there’s some pretty cool stories to uncover – check out The Tour Guys for free historic walking tours of Vancouver.