Author: Yan Desjardins, Founder & Executive Director
Nestled against the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver is Canada’s 3rd largest city with a population of 2.5 million and is the most scenic city in Canada. Each year, hundreds of thousands of tourists who travel to Canada make Vancouver one of their top destinations.
The city’s open-wide access to the Pacific Ocean makes it a unique city to visit when travelling to Canada. So don’t be surprised if you see orcas and other types of whales swimming in the vicinity of Vancouver. But, first, let’s take a closer look at Canada’s vibrant city of Vancouver.
Vancouver is located on the west coast of Canada. The city’s proximity to the Pacific Asian countries makes it attractive for those who wish to travel to Canada. For example, you will be in Vancouver within approximately 8 hours of flying from Tokyo, while you will spend about 10 hours flying from Seoul.
If you are a nature lover, put Vancouver Island on your itinerary. A short ferry ride to the island will reveal beautiful nature and landscapes to enjoy as you take a breath of fresh air.
What to do in Vancouver?
Vancouver has something to offer for everyone’s taste. Whether you are a city or a nature lover, travelling to Canada to visit Vancouver will not disappoint. For nature lovers, put Vancouver Island on your itinerary to explore the large ecological ecosystem. A short ferry ride to the island will reveal beautiful nature and incredible landscapes to enjoy as you take a breath of fresh air. Here’s a list of 5 favourites activities to do in Vancouver.
Discover Vancouver’s Waterfront and Canada Place
When you travel to Canada’s West Coast largest city, be sure to visit Vancouver’s waterfront and stop by Canada Place. All around the waterfront, you’ll be able to catch breathtaking harbour views. Canada Place is probably the most iconic landmark of Vancouver for its massive sail-like roof. When you look closely, you will notice that the building is shaped like a giant boat!
Canada Place features a long walkable dock all around with exhibitions and educational information about Canada. You can also catch a ferry to sail across the harbour and visit North Vancouver and other exciting parts of the city.
Vancouver’s waterfront is filled with shops and restaurants that lead to other hip and trendy neighbourhoods. It is a must-see during your travels to Canada.
Visit Gastown District
Gastown is a hip and trendy neighbourhood in Vancouver that is worth visiting when you travel to Canada and Vancouver. A 15 minutes walk from Canada Place will take you to charming Gastown. As you stroll through the district, look at the eclectic shops and enjoy the pubs and restaurants. It is a great place to wine, dine and enjoy the city.
One of the most iconic landmarks of the neighbourhood is the old Gastown Steam Clock. Although the clock appears to be from the 19th century, it was built in 1977 and was the first one of its kind around the world. The steam clock was made to cover a steam grate of the Vancouver city steam heating system. By harnessing the power of the steam, engineers developed a mechanism that uses not only steam but also gravity to activate the whistle that blows every hour.
Take a tour of Granville Island.
Granville Island is a preferred destination for local Vancouver residents and tourists travelling to Canada. Granville Island is located on a small peninsula under the Granville Street bridge and is a short drive from downtown. The neighbourhood offers a bustling public market, many unique shops to visit, and several pubs and restaurants that provide ocean views. Art lovers, in particular, will love Granville Island as there is also a large artist community that showcases their talents and creations to like-minded art enthusiasts.
While on your travels to Canada at Granville Island, be sure to take a little ferry boat that will take you around False Creek. There, you can hop on and hop off to visit attractions like the Maritime Museum, the Aquatic Center, or Science World Center.
See the beauty of Stanley Park.
Stanley Park is Vancouver’s most beloved outdoor park where residents and visitors travelling to Canada love to gather and enjoy the abundance of wildlife, nature and history the park has to offer. You can enjoy more than 400 hectares of west coast rainforest-like nature, enjoy the city’s beautiful skyline views, and walk or bike along the many kilometres of public trails along the Pacific coast.
The park has several picnic areas, tennis courts and even golf courses to spend the day at. The park is nothing short but plenty of activities for children and family to do in the Park. Spend time at the beach, enjoy the water playgrounds or ride the Stanley Park Train. You’ll be sure to find your family fun-filled activities to enhance your experience of travelling to Canada’s well-known park.
Walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is located in North Vancouver. The bridge is 140 meters long and stands 70 meters above the Capilano River and canyon. The bridge is one of Vancouver’s top tourist attractions for those travelling to Canada. The park offers activities and events all year long that give visitors a glimpse of what the rest of Canada’s outdoors have to offer outside of major cities.
From November to January, the canyon illuminates at night and makes walking in the park a whole new experience. You can also do the Capilano Cliff Walk, the park’s latest addition. A visit to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is something that you won’t want to miss while travelling in Canada.
Canada’s first public aquarium can be found in Stanley Park. The aquarium also happens to be the largest in Canada, making it one of Vancouver’s most prominent tourist attractions. With over 65,000 animals and 30 exhibitions, the Vancouver aquarium is must-see tourist traction during your travels to Canada. On your visit, you’ll learn that Vancouver’s aquarium has several rescue programs – the only one in Canada- that helps marine animals that have been displaced or in distress. The aquarium also provides educational content for visitors on the importance of keeping oceans clean from plastic and pollutants. Highlighting how humans can do their part to ensure safety for our oceans and the adorable animals we share planet earth with.
Suppose you’re looking for a more laid-back location to visit. In that case, Kitsilano neighbourhood and Kitsilano beach is a trendy part of Vancouver ranked in the world’s top 10 best beach neighbourhoods.
The beach occupies several yoga stores, outdoor sports gear, unique fashion clotheslines, and vegetarian eateries right along the Pacific ocean. If you like the idea of a trendy hub for wellness warriors, sun-worshippers, and shopaholics, your travels to Canada should take you to visit the Kitsilano area. The area truly is a unique experience with a long history of hippy-like atmosphere since the early 1960s.
Whenever you travel to Canada’s Westcoast city Vancouver, make sure you check out beforehand what events are happening at Rogers Arena. Rogers Arena is Vancouver’s most prominent event venue bringing international artists, comedians, and sports. If you have never been to a hockey match but are intrigued, booking a ticket to watch the Vancouver Canucks team at Rogers Arena will give you a strong sense of Canadian patriotism towards hockey. Also, if your travels to Canada have brought you to learn about Canadian culture, attending a Canadian hockey game will quickly provide a solid understanding of Westcoast Vancouver culture. It is a sight to see!
FlyOver Canada is a theatre attraction in downtown Vancouver. However, this theatre attraction is not like your typical cinema seen here in Vietnam. Instead, FlyOver Canada is a technology-based hang glider where visitors are suspended in the air in front of a 20-meter spherical screen. So let your feet dangle as you get to virtually travel through Canada, from the west to the east, through an exhilarating 8-minute journey across Canada. Throughout this journey, special effects such as wind, mists, and many Canadian outdoor scents, such as pine trees, ocean smells, and more, will make for an unforgettable experience as the ride’s mechanical motion travels over Canada.
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