Area: 115 sq-km (44.4 sq mi)
City Population: 603,000
Metro Population: 2.3 million
Size: Largest city in BC, eighth largest in Canada; North America’s third largest Chinatown.
Popular languages: English (50%), Chinese (25%), Tagalog, Punjabi and Vietnamese.
- Ski season at Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain and Mount Seymour runs from December until April.
- VanDusen Botanical Gardens’ Festival of Lights, and the Festival of Trees downtown are highlights from late November to early January.
- Summer to skimboard at one of Vancouver’s friendly urban beaches.
- Fall for the Vancouver’s International Film Festival and more than 500 performances at the International Fringe Festival.
- Vancouver Festivals & Events.
Quick Guide to Vancouver
Known as BC’s Sea-to-Mountains City, Vancouver has 10 beaches, 220 parks, & 3 ski resorts, all 30 minutes away.
- You can walk, run, or bike along the seawall+96 circling the world famous Stanley Park
- Visit the Vancouver Aquarium to peer up close to octopus and anemones, which are native to BC’s waters.
- Linger with friends and enjoy organic coffee at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
- Head for friendly Kitsilano or colourful Commercial Drive for noodle houses, sushi bars and authentic Italian eateries.
- Shop the boutiques on Main Street for one-of-kind fashions by local designers.
- Go upscale in über-urban Yaletown to celebrity spot at award-winning bistros.
- Shop at Granville Island Market for artisan cheeses and duck fat french fries
- Take a Skyride to Grouse Mountain to gaze at the night sky or skate on an outdoor pond at Christmas.
- Learn to wind surf in English Bay, right downtown.
- Cross the 450 ft. Capilantro Suspension Bridge that has been used to cross the Capilantro River since 1189.
- Watch live theatre under the stars at Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl.
- Stare up at 10 full-scale First Nations totems at the BC Museum of Anthropology.
- Tour the permanent collection of Canada’s celebrated painter, Emily Carr, part of 10,000 works on display at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
- Enjoy outrageous comedy with your meal at Giggle Dam Dinner Theatre.
- Learn a professional chef’s insider secrets on a grand tour of Granville Island Public Market; sample the duck fat french fries.
- Try local Granville Island Crazy Raven Pale Ale at the bar and grill on Cypress Mountain.
- Dine high above Vancouver’s city lights at the Observatory on Grouse Mountain.
- Dig into fish and chips from the city-view deck at Jericho Beach Sailing Centre.
- Rub elbows with celebrities at ultra-chic city restaurants and bistros in Yaletown.
- Get a bird’s eye view of a Douglas fir forest on a Treetops Adventure in Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
- Watch orphaned grizzlies play in a five-acre alpine sanctuary on Grouse Mountain.
- Go au-naturel at Wreck Beach, where clothing is optional.
- See alligators basking in the tropical Amazon Gallery at the Vancouver Aquarium.
- Take off on a tandem paraglide or soar high on Grouse Mountain’s five-line circuit zipline.
- Stand inside the Eye of the Wind, the world’s only glass ViewPOD in a wind turbine
- Step onto a cantilevered Cliffwalk following a nearly one-km path into space, at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
- Hike from downtown into bear country on a guided Vancouver Coast Rainforest Adventure
- “Flightsee” with the locals on a seaplane Aero-Mail Run from Vancouver Harbour to the quaint villages of the Gulf Islands.
- Drive 15 minutes to ski in the shadow of the Olympians on Cypress Mountain
- Rollerblade to Prospect Point on the seawall around Stanley Park.
- People watch and window shop along the Robson Street stroll.
- Get a pedicure at a day spa in the trendy Kitsilano or South Granville Street shopping districts.
- Take the Aquabus to visit artists’ studios and the Public Market at Granville Island.
- Visit Chinatown for dim sum and to enjoy the serenity of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.
- Play blackjack at a downtown waterfront casino at the Plaza of Nations, once home to Expo ’86.
- Warm summer months extend from mid-June through September, with average daily July temperatures of 17.5 degrees Celsius in Vancouver.
- Winter, from December until March, brings cool, wet weather. January in Vancouver averages 3.3 C. Expect snow in the mountains.
- Spring lasts from March until early June, and brings mild temperatures. April’s Vancouver’s average is 9.2 C.
- Fall, from late-September to November, brings mild, cool weather. In October, Vancouver averages 10.1 C.
- Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada’s Canadian Climate Normals Website.
The Sunset Inn and Suites is within short distance of Robson St. and Sunset Beach. With large suites, it comes with a kitchenette and balconies with great views of the mountain or water. There is free on-site parking and Wi-Fi. You can also walk to Stanley Park, English Bay, and the Granville Island Ferry. Low-season rates start at CAD$209, high-season rates start at CAD$239.
Located in the entertainment district is the Comfort-Inn Downtown Vancouver. A 10-minute walk away from the Art Gallery and Granville SkyTrain. Gastown is 5-minutes away. Hotel guests walk over to the pub next door for breakfast. Hotel rates fluctuate from CAD$79-$120 in the slow season and CAD$300-$330 in peak-season.
In the heart of the entertainment district is the Ramada Vancouver Downtown Hotel, only minutes from Yaletown, Granville Bridge, and Sunset beach. The on-site Irish Pub sets the atmosphere of the hotel, with dark interior décor and medium-small rooms. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, free gym tickets, and coffee makers. Low-season rates start at CAD%115, high-season rates are CAD$228.
For families looking for an extended stay, the Times Square Suites is a great choice. With a number of amenities give it an apartment feel: suites with separate living and sleeping areas, kitchenettes with dishwasher, gas fireplace, and laundry facilities, among other things.
The streets in the area are lined with shops, restaurants, cafés and bars. A grocery store is conveniently located across the street. The hotel staff will graciously offer their fax service on request. They will also print documents and boarding passes. Rates start at CAD$143.00 for the low season and CAD$179.00 for the high season.
Best Rated Hotels
10-15 minutes from downtown is the West End Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel, the staff are helpful and are always ready to give prompt, courteous service. If you’re traveling with pets, make sure to let them know ahead of time, there may be an extra charge. The concierge desk is a godsend for new tourists needing help with directions or information. Low-season rates start at CAD$175, high-season starts at CAD$400.
The Fairmont Waterfront is a 5-star hotel with unmatched service. The hotel staff exemplify dedicated, respectful service, but the superb location on the water comes with a price tag. Parking is pricey and there is an extra charge for Wi-Fi. Low-season rates start at CAD$259, high-season rates start at CAD$400.
The Rosewood Hotel Georgia is close to Robson Street and has an indoor salt-water pool and a scenic roof top restaurant for alfresco dining to end off your day. Wi-Fi is free and pets are welcomed on request. Make sure to ask about parking rates to avoid costly surprises. Low-season rates start at CAD$320, high-season CAD$425.
The floor-to-ceiling windows in the rooms of the Coastal Coal Harbour Hotel provides superb views of the North Shore mountains. With 25/7 room service and a roof -top hot tub, you enjoy the city’s vistas. Low-season rates start at CAD$180, high-season rates start at CAD$287.
Within the scenic landscape of the Burrard Inlet Waterfront, Canada Place is the scrumptious Pan Pacific Hotel. The ambitious architectural project capitalizes on breath-taking views from anywhere in the hotel. You will not want to miss the natural scenery from the outdoor pool deck. It is also a pet friendly hotel that’s happy to provide mats, food, and water bowls. Low-season rates start at CAD$174, high-season starts at CAD$574.
Near the Art Gallery and SkyTrain Station is the Hermitage Hotel. It is an elegant, tastefully-decorated hotel. The marble bathrooms and soft bathrobes add a touch of luxury. The hotel also features an on-site library, 24-hr gym, tourist information area, and an indoor salt-water pool. Low rates start at CAD$175, High-season start at CAD$300.
Loaded with character, charm, and Old-World ambiance is the Wedgewood Hotel Spa. This heavenly hotel spa offers rooms with private balconies overlooking the city and expert hands waiting to rub away your stress. Other small luxuries are the free bathrobe, slippers, and toiletries. If you can tear yourself away from this gem, you can go for a stroll down Robson St. one of the most expensive streets in the world. Low-season rates start at CAD$198, high-season rates start at CAD$368.
A jazzy boutique hotel with character is the Loden Hotel. The interior décor is an appealing mélange of colors that stand out against natural tones. A fresh change from the typical browns of hotel chains. The free car and bicycle service is a real bonus to guests and the multinational staff speak over 8 languages including Bulgarian and Japanese. Low-season rates start at CAD$229, high-season rates start at CAD$359.
Almost entirely covered by the leafy Virginia Creeper, the façade of the Sylvia Hotel is tucked away in a quiet neighboorhood. the 100-year-old hotel is steps away from the water on English Bay and Stanley Park. It is also pet-friendly and offers a warm, familiar atmosphere with live entertainment and low-cost parking. It was designated a Heritage Site in 1912. Low-season rates start at CAD$115, high-season rates start at CAD$199.
The Burrard Hotel is a California motel architectural style with a central court. Only 3-blocks away from the shopping district and they offer free bikes, gym passes, and free Wi-Fi. Low-season rates start at CAD$94, high-season rates start at CAD$169.
Close by the Gastown district is the historic Victorian Hotel. The hotel architecture and interior walks retains many original Victorian features like the high ceilings, hardwood floors, and stately crown moldings. Each room is outfitted with beautiful Victorian-period furniture. Some rooms come with shared bathrooms. Rates for the slow-season start at CAD$80, high-season start at CAD$189.
Once you’ve chosen a hotel that fits your needs, it’s time to explore!
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