Vancouver Travel Guide

Why? With the Pacific at her feet and mountains as a backdrop, a holiday in Vancouver offers not only beautiful views but also a variety of activities and attractions to tempt all tastes. Culture and cuisine are world-class, and the nightlife is hot. There is an old quarter to stroll through, Chinatown to explore, art studios and markets to browse on Granville Island, trails to follow through Stanley Park and so much more to enjoy on a Vancouver vacation.

When? Vancouver's weather is unpredictable but generally speaking the best time to travel to Vancouver is between May and September, when you are likely to catch the most sunshine. In winter the city is usually snow-free, but the best time to holiday in Vancouver for skiing at the mountain resorts is during February.

Who for? Most people, of all ages, will find a holiday in Vancouver a pleasant, and scenic, experience, with plenty of diversions to keep everyone occupied, especially in the great outdoors.

More Info: Find out when, where and how to visit the major attractions on your holiday in Vancouver by using our comprehensive Vancouver travel guide. The guide, updated regularly, also includes a host of useful basic information for planning a Vancouver holiday.

Gas Town, Vancouver © Judith Duk

Nicknamed Hollywood North for the ever-present film crews, Canada's west coast gem of Vancouver is young, thriving and diverse, with the perfect combination of wild natural beauty and the modern conveniences of a city. Named after Royal Navy sea captain George Vancouver, who sailed into the Burrard Inlet on the British Columbian coast in 1792, Vancouver was barely even a town 100 years ago. Today more than two million people call it home, and the shiny futuristic towers of Yaletown and the downtown core contrast dramatically with the snow-capped mountain backdrop, creating a laid back atmosphere amongst the bustle of Canada's third biggest city.

Approximately the same size as the downtown area, the city's green heart is Canada's largest city park, Stanley Park, covering hundreds of acres filled with lush forest and crystal clear lakes. Visitors can wander the sea wall along the exterior of the park, catch a free trolley bus tour, a horse-drawn carriage ride or visit the Vancouver Aquarium housed within the park. The city's past is preserved in historic Gastown with its cobblestone streets, steam powered clock and quaint feel, though this is combined with expensive souvenir shops and galleries aimed at tourists. Neighbouring Chinatown, with its weekly market, Dr Sun Yat-Sen classical Chinese gardens and restaurants adds an exotic flair. For some retail therapy or celebrity spotting, there is always the trendy Robson Street.

During the winter months snow sports are the order of the day on nearby Grouse Mountain, perfect for skiing and snowboarding, although the city itself gets more rain than snow. Vancouver's incredible ethnic diversity and combination of mountains, sea and city, offers visitors an endless supply of things to see and do, no matter the budget.

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