Top 10 Things to Do in Vancouver (We tried them all!)

by Emese Graham
a woman bikes alongside the sea in vancouver

What’s the best way to narrow down Vancouver’s top travel experiences? Try them all! In fact, that’s what we did. Find out which tours our Travel Experts hand-picked as the coolest things to add to your next trip to Vancouver.

1. Bike Around the City

a young woman in a purple outfit prepares to ride her rented bicycle along the sea wall in vancouver

Cycle City Vancouver is located in the heart of Downtown Vancouver, conveniently on Hornby Street which has its own dedicated bike lane. Along with guided cycling tours, they provide an assortment of quality bikes for rent, including e-bikes for short-term or long-term rentals.

Travel Expert Tip

“I took my Cycle City bike for a half-day rental. I was able to get to Canada Place to start my route from the shop within minutes. From there I cycled around the seawall through Coal Harbour, Stanley Park, made a pit stop at Third beach, looped around False Creek to Granville Island, to make a stop for lunch, then made my last stop at Kitsilano beach before heading over the bridge and back to the shop. The entire route was relatively flat and perfect for any casual cyclist.” Sami Nguyen

2. Get on the Water

a woman pauses from paddling her kayak to enjoy the view of vancouver from the sea

View schmew – let’s get active! Head to Vancouver Water Adventures to experience the city’s fabulous waterways in style. You can join one of their guided tours or simply stop by to rent a paddleboard, kayak, or seadoo for a solo adventure.

You can navigate the waves all the way from Granville Island to Science World and back, taking breaks for bird-watching and people-watching alike.

Travel Expert Tip

“My boyfriend and I kayak together all the time – we even bring our dogs! Four legged friends are more than welcome on Vancouver Water Adventures’ kayaks and SUPs.” Shaelah Clancey

3. Visit the Bill Reid Art Gallery

The Bill Reid Art Gallery is located in the heart of downtown and features contemporary Northwest Indigenous Art. The gallery features a small activity room for kids and a nice gift shop. It takes about one to two hours to walk through and makes for a great afternoon activity!

Travel Expert Tip

“It was interesting for me to see lots of familiar artwork that is featured around Vancouver and in Canada’s history in this gallery and to learn about Bill Reid, who is the artist behind everything. Everything is laid out like a timeline of Bill Reid’s life.” Sami Nguyen

4. Challenge Your Fear of Heights

the capilano suspension bridge stretches across a canyon with a wall of green trees on either side

Looking for a real highlight? You’ve found it! Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Vancouver at this Sustainable Tourism Certified Gold park. Whether you’re crossing the famous dangling suspension bridge, winding your way through Cliffwalk, or snapping the perfect selfie on the Treetops Adventure, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park promises to offer a unique perspective.

Travel Expert Tip

“Capilano is open rain or shine every day of the year (except December 25th). It’s worth visiting more than once to see how the park beautifully transforms with the seasons.” Emese Graham

5. Spend the day on Granville Island

a father lifts his toddler so he can look closely at a large yellow submarine propeller at the vancouver maritime museum

Shopping, history, food & drinks, and cultural experiences await at Granville Island! Hop on a ferry and enjoy a delectable lunch from the local market vendors (complete with a beautiful view of the outdoors). Parents, take your little ones to the Vancouver Maritime Museum for heaps of fun. Or stop by Hadden Beach to watch the boats from the dock.

Travel Expert Tip

“We did the 20-minute cruise with False Creek Ferries and got off at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. It was the perfect experience for our 2.5 year old! The ferry is stroller-friendly, and the captains are super knowledgeable. When it was time to disembark, my son ran straight for the real “submeen” (his word for submarines) in front of the museum.” Stefanie Tuccori

6. Sip Away at LuLu Island Winery


Can’t squeeze in a day trip to Okanagan Valley? You don’t have to. Make your way to LuLu Island Winery in Richmond, just outside Vancouver, to taste the fruits of the Fraser and Okanagan valleys. You can pop in for a casual wine tasting or reserve the full experience: a winery tour complete with charcuterie board and samplings of the winery’s best table, fruit, and ice wines. Cheers!

7. Stroll through the UBC Botanical Gardens

a small toddler walks with his grandfather on a treetop course in ubc botanical gardens

Vancouver is the perfect city to stop and smell the roses (or in this case, cacti, cedars, dogwoods, wisteria, arbutus, and so much more). For a refreshing hour or two surrounded by nature, visit the UBC Botanical Gardens. Once you’ve had a chance to look at the beautiful plant collection up close, head to the Greenheart Treewalk for a different perspective. The path is suspended 80 metres into the air, offering a beautiful vantage point of the gardens.

Travel Expert Tip

There is an impressive food garden which my dad particularly enjoyed because he’s an avid gardener. He was inspecting the garlic, cauliflower, fennel, peas. The food grown in the garden helps feed people who are homeless.” Stefanie Tuccori

8. Go Whale Watching

a happy couple put their arms over each other's shoulders while enjoying a whale watching boat tour

Get ready for a windy whale of a time! Join the Prince of Whales for a fun half-day of wildlife sightseeing. As you speed away from Granville Island, you can see the amazing Vancouver skyline in all its glory from the back of the catamaran – with the greenery, beaches and downtown skyline, it’s like something out of a tourist book.

While you float out to sea, the friendly and informative guides will show you where to spot sun-bathing sea lions and beautiful breaching humpback whales.

Travel Expert Tip

“It gets windy and a little chilly out on the water, so pack a jacket, even on a hot summer day. Also, here’s a fun fact: if you do not in fact see whales you can come back for free! However, our guide said the chance is 97% that you’ll see humpbacks” Elise Cheney

9. Take the Gondola Ride up to Grouse Mountain

a coniferous forest is divided by a river as seen from the gondola at grouse mountain

Enjoy the birds-eye views from the SkyRide gondola as you ride to the top of Grouse Mountain. There, you can enjoy ranger talks, spot grizzly bears, admire woodcarvings from local lumberjacks, and breathe in the fresh mountain air. Families will especially love making their way through the tree canopy adventure, made just for kids.

Travel Expert Tip

“Travelling with a stroller? No problem! At Grouse Mountain, everything is stroller friendly with ramps and paths that are almost always paved.” Stefanie Tuccori

10. Sample the Best of Chinatown with A Wok Around

Make your way from Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden to the shops and landmarks of Vancouver’s Chinatown. Your guide, Robert Sung, will enrich your experience with cultural insights as you navigate the best shops in the neighbourhood. Finish off your delightful walking tour with a tasty dim sum lunch.

Travel Expert Tip

“This fun tour is perfect for groups of friends, families, and even couples. You only need two people to reserve your spot, and the price includes admission to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen garden.” Emese Graham


Where will you go when the time is right? Vancouver in a heartbeat!

Plan your trip to Vancouver with flights, hotel stays, and exciting tours hand-picked by the Travel Experts.

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