A Travel Girl’s Guide to Vancouver

Vancouver is one of the most visited cities in Canada and consistently voted one of the world’s most livable cities. Not only is this bustling metropolis rife with world-class restaurants and shopping, but it’s ocean and mountainside location makes for the perfect gateway for exploring. Use my travel girl’s guide to Vancouver to make the most of your time in this Canadian hot spot.

How to Arrive

Plane

You will most likely fly into Vancouver International Airport. The easiest and cheapest way to the city enter from here is to take the Sky Train. Follow the signs to the station and simply buy a ticket from the kiosk.

Train

You will arrive into Pacific Central Station. You will be centrally located here and it’s easy to grab a train or bus anywhere you’re going!

Drive

Traffic can get quite thick in the city and parking is expensive. Be sure to research if your accommodation provides parking in advanced. It may also be easier to choose a place to stay that’s a bit outside of the city center to avoid high congested traffic.

Boat

As an ocean front city, many people choose to arrive by cruise or Ferry. If this is the case you will likely arrive near Canada Place and will be in walking distance of almost all the action. There is also a sky train terminal across the street if you want to venture a little further.

Where to Stay

Coal Harbour/Waterfront

A busy area with easy access to cruise terminals and tour operators. Don’t let this dissuade you, the easy access to the seawall makes it all worthwhile.

Gastown

My least favourite neighbourhood due to its overly busy tourist appeal. However, if nightlife is a deciding facorit in where you stay, this miht be the perfect spot for you with its many pubs and bars.

Yaletown

An upscale neighbourhood with a beautiful section of sea wall nearby. Easy access to the sky train and water taxi’s.

West End

A more local and laid back feel to this neighbourhood is perfect for a nature lover or someone looking to take a step back from the busy city life. Easy access to beaches, Stanley Park and walking trails.

Pro tip: Vancouver is expensive! There is no way around that. To save on money, try staying outside of the city in a suburb that is accesable by the sky train. The closer to the train the better!

What to Do

Granville Island

A farmer’s market feel with a hipster twist. Local foods, shops and produce galore.

Find out more here.

The Sea Wall

A beautifully maintained oceanfront trail. Perfect for walking or biking.

Stanley Park

A park so vast you’ll forget your in a city! Thick pined forests, Ocean front trails, an Aquarium and beaches are just some of the thrills.

Find out more Here.

Victoria

Although this really deserves more than a day trip, a couple hours by ferry will bring you to this popular foodie destination.

Capilano suspension bridge

Not only can you dangle high above a babbling river for some pretty impressive photos, you can also walk amongst the giant tree tops or out over the edge of jutting cliffs. At Christmas, lights shimmer from just about everywhere for a truly magical experience.

Find out more Here.

Sea to Sky Gondola

This is best done on a day trip through a company or by renting a car. The gondola provides some of the best views of the mountains within easiest reach of the city. There are hikes for all ability levels at the top, as well as a suspension bridge and a food hall.

Find out more Here.

What to Eat

All the maple

Nothing says Canada like maple and many trendy places offer unique takes on the traditional favourites.

Smoked Salmon

British Colombia is known for their Salmon, particulary their smoked Salmon. Delicious on a sandwich or packaged to take home.

Poutine

Perhaps not my favourite place in Canada for a Poutine ( Quebec takes the award for this one), but if this is your first time in Canada you need to try this national staple.

Nanaimo Bar

Invented in the nearby city of the same name, Chocolate, Coconut and a deliciously creamy center makes this a popular local treat

Locally roasted coffee

Vancouver’s coffee scene has really taken off, with small local shops and roasteries popping up around the city. Take advantage by sampling as many as you can!

Tips and Tricks

Canadians like our manners, be sure to use your please and thank you’s! Not doing so might be interpreted as being rude.

Dress in Layers! The weather can be unpredictable, especially in the mountains. Always pack an umbrella or rain jacket just in case.

Take public transportation where possible. Taxi’s are expensive and the Sky train makes for easy accessibility to almost everywhere in the city.

If hiking, be sure to be prepared! Check out my safety tips for solo female hiking here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.