Choose any of our Vancouver holidays and you'll arrive in Western Canada and find yourself in the beautiful province of British Columbia, this is a “must see” destination. With many direct flights from various regional airports our Canada Travel Specialists can tailor make your perfect holiday to include this beautiful pacific coastal city.
Get a taste of the Vancouver lifestyle in Canada’s glittering city of glass. Hugged by mountains and surrounded by the clear waters of the Pacific, combine the twin delights of a modern city and timeless wild nature all in the same day. The clichés are true: you can snowshoe in the morning, kayak in the afternoon, and enjoy world-class shopping, bars, restaurants and entertainment - set against a backdrop of some of the most naturally beautiful scenery on earth.
Vancouver: Spectacular by nature!
Vancouver effortlessly combines the buzz of a modern city with the tranquility of the great outdoors. Start the day with a B.C blueberry scone at Granville Island Public Market and end with a locally distilled gin-spiked cocktail on a mountain-top patio. In between, paddle around Stanley Park on a kayaking adventure, then join the locals for ‘buck-a-shuck’ oysters at Happy Hour. It’s truly a “city of nature,” with stunning views of temperate rainforest and soaring peaks reflected on glittering glass skyscrapers in the Downtown core. Sparkling with sophisticated energy, yet relaxed and laidback, in Vancouver you don’t have to choose between city and nature.
Fun for families
Vancouver has plenty to delight families looking for fun in the heart of the city or exploring wild nature on the edge of town. Don’t miss the Kids Market on Granville Island packed with toys, games and crafts with plenty of family-friendly activities. Science fans will love Science World with two floors of hands-on exhibits in an iconic geodesic dome on the water by the Olympic Village. Immerse yourselves in First Nations culture at the UBC Museum of Anthropology or explore the first Chinese garden built outside of China at the Dr Sun Yat Sen Garden in Chinatown. Blow off some steam peddling a tandem around Stanley Park or whizz above the forest canopy on a pulse-racing zipwire adventure overlooking the city on Grouse Mountain.
Visitors seeking the finer things in life can indulge in Canada’s glittering glass city by the sea. From five star hotel suites with private rooftop plunge pools and patios overlooking the city lights to world class dining and glitzy Champagne and dessert bars; Vancouverites may enjoy keeping it casual but they have a stylish side too. Sip $1500 an ounce Louis XIII at the Hawksworth cocktail bar (the only place you can do this in Canada) after working out your credit card along ‘Luxury Row’ on the streets of Robson and Alberni, where you can browse diamonds at de Beers, designer fashions at Gucci and Dior, or head for Holt Renfrew and Nordstrom luxury departments stores. Experienced concierge staff can create magical experiences: board a helicopter to Grouse Mountain for a private sunrise yoga session in the pod of their wind turbine or get cultural with a bespoke tour of the Vancouver Art Gallery followed by a private dining experience cooked by one of city’s finest chefs.
Vancouver Four Season City
Summer in Vancouver is all about the outdoors: join the locals soaking up the sun on the city’s sandy beaches, take a picnic for a late night screening of free movies in the park and prepare for the magic of one of the world’s biggest fireworks contests, the Celebration of Light. Go paddling around Stanley Park or head for the mountains to hike the shady trails. Spring brings cherry blossom season, with pink and white pom-poms showering the streets with flowery confetti whenever the wind blows. Take a foodie walking tour through historic Chinatown, snacking on egg tarts and steamed pork buns along the way. Have a cultural afternoon at the UBC Museum of Anthropology, which boasts the world’s best collection of Northwest Coast First Nations art.
Enjoy the vivid colour changes of fall and hop onboard a Big Bus tour to get up to speed with 22 of the city’s favourite sightseeing spots, stop off on Granville Island to stock up on pumpkin treats from ChocolaTas and Terra Bread. Take a Cycle City Tour, before a night with the family at the PNE’s famously spooky Fright Night. Vancouver’s mild climate combined with its easy access to alpine peaks makes it the perfect choice for a winter adventure getaway combined with the city’s famous culinary and cultural highlights. Work up an appetite high above the city on Grouse Mountain on a snowshoe fondue tour through snowy scenic beauty with the backdrop of the glittering city lights. Strap on your skates at the Robson Square outdoor rink, then hit the shops along Luxury Row.
Some 900,000 passengers dock each year at Vancouver’s Canada Place cruise ship terminal, usually on their way to or from Alaska. Sailing in or out of the city under its iconic Lion’s Gate Bridge is a photo-worthy moment that will stay with you forever. Stay for a few extra days and discover the charms of the Vancouver lifestyle. Head out to the city’s scenic North Shore on a Vancouver Coast Rainforest Adventure to explore the beauty of the forest on an interpretive walk with a knowledgeable guide. Jump aboard a city highlights tour for four action packed hours which tick off all the Vancouver’s Must Sees from the hand carved Totem Poles in Stanley Park, to picking up souvenirs on Granville Island, and seeing the city from the 551 ft above street level at the Vancouver Lookout.
Explore the many different neighbourhoods
Spend time in the city centre and you’ll be surrounded by laidback locals as you discover colourful downtown neighbourhoods like the beachside West End, and Davie Street‘s gay village, hip Gastown, upscale Yaletown, and historic Chinatown. Experience the city through its vibrant culture: from big name gallery shows and Shakespeare on the beach, through to food truck festivals and world-class sporting events. (See our Foodies Guide to Vancouver Blog Post)
Set your sights on Vancouver
Sightseeing options take you from the heart of the city to the wilds of nature –across air, land and sea! In just one day, you can take an exhilarating tour high above the temperate rainforest at the Capilano Suspension Bridge, soar across the country on the breathtaking ‘FlyOver Canada’ flight simulation ride, and end with Sea Vancouver’s thrilling Zodiac boat sightseeing adventure around the Downtown waterfront.
Wild about the outdoors
Surrounded by soaring mountains, just 20 minutes from downtown, with the scent of the forest in the air, Vancouver is a nature lover’s paradise. Leave your hotel and make for the seawall, the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path: join the locals cycling, running or walking –with camera-ready views at every turn. Take a stroll through the urban rainforest and discover towering Totem Poles amongst the Douglas firs. Get to know the region’s wilder inhabitants with a whale watching excursion from Granville island, or visit Grouse Mountain’s Refuge for Endangered Wildlife to see the resident grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola. Kayak along the shoreline or launch a stand up paddleboard from a sandy Downtown beach. Head for the local mountains for a scenic hike –all of this within the city limits.
Savour West Coast flavours
With an international reputation for its innovative multi-cultural dining scene, Vancouver chefs use the very best seasonal produce and superb seafood to create delicious farm to table cuisine. Pair your food with internationally-acclaimed wines from British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, or explore the world of Vancouver’s exciting craft breweries and distilleries to try a local beer or cocktail. With an exciting nightlife and bar scene to suit all moods, the evening won’t end after dinner.
Indulge your foodie side with a range of culinary walking and cycling tours that will give you the fast track to the city’s most appetising hot spots. Taste your way around Granville Island, dive into delicious Chinatown or peddle your way through the Brewery District to get an authentic taste of Vancouver. For the ultimate tasty sightseeing experience, try a “fly and dine” floatplane tour: build up an appetite soaring over skyscrapers, mountains, fjords and the ocean before a water landing, and then an oceanfront seafood feast.
From the big name department stores and international designers to markets and quirky independent stores, shopping in Vancouver has something for all pockets. Explore the city solo or get the inside track on a guided shopping adventure. Downtown’s Robson and Alberni streets offer global brands and designer boutiques, while Gastown is home to some of the city’s hippest new ateliers and galleries. Just across the bridge from downtown, South Granville brings together art and fashion, or head across the Burrard Bridge to leafy Kitsilano for all things yoga and winter sports related. Browse culinary souvenirs on Granville Island or join the hipsters on Main Street checking out independent and vintage shops.
The grass is greener
Being environmentally-aware comes naturally to Vancouverites: after all, if you live somewhere beautiful, you want to protect it. As the city that founded Greenpeace and is home to renowned environmentalist Dr. David Suzuki, the City of Vancouver has pledged to become the world’s greenest city by 2020.
Sustainable practices are part of every day life in Vancouver, from cycle-friendly streets and an accessible transit system, to hotels and restaurants with zero waste programmes and Ocean Wise sustainable seafood on their menus. Stroll the tree-lined city avenues and breathe in our clean air: we take protecting the environment seriously.
Have a bit more time to discover British Columbia? Vancouver is the perfect launch pad to explore other parts of the province. Along the gloriously scenic Sea to Sky Highway you’ll find incredible outdoor adventures just 45 minutes away in Squamish or in the nearby town of Whistler, host mountain resort to the 2012 Winter Olympics. Take a ferry, helicopter or floatplane across to Vancouver Island to visit the charming provincial capital, Victoria, or hang ten in Canada’s surfing capital Tofino. Or head up-island for stunning beaches, wildlife watching and secluded resorts.
To help with booking your trip just contact our travel specialists team who will arrange your holiday flight, hotels, tours and anything else required to fulfill your Vancouver holiday deal to the max.