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Things to do in Vancouver

From the Coast Mountains to the beaches along the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia’s vibrant metropolis is teeming with activities and attractions. Travelers looking for things to do in Vancouver will not be disappointed, especially active types wanting to get closer to Mother Nature. Expect everything from bike and kayak rentals to seaplane flights, tram rides, public gardens, and beautiful beaches that are sure to quicken heartbeats. Beyond beloved Stanley Park, the city also boasts Canada’s largest saltwater pool, countless secret hiking trails, and a world-class aquarium.

Travel + Leisure points the way to the best things to do in Vancouver, from Gastown to Richmond. In our travel guide, we highlight great events, like the city’s annual Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival (the largest in Western Canada), galleries showcasing First Nation artists, bookshops dedicated to Canadian authors, and hipper-than-thou designer boutiques. After hours, there are plenty of options too—Prohibition-era nightclubs, martini bars, and brewpubs. Whether you want to soak up the city’s melting-pot culture or just enjoy the Great Outdoors, you’ll never be at a loss for what to do in Vancouver with T+L’s travel guide.

  • 18Karat

    Flanked by art galleries, this design shop carries covetable goods at reason-able prices—handwoven baby alpaca throws from $186 and mouth-blown gla... More
  • Absolute Spa

    Every treatment on the menu at this full-service spa lists a duration time—so you’ll know exactly how much pampering you can squeeze in before your... More
  • Alexander Lamb Exotic World Museum

    Created in the style of a traditional European "cabinet of curiousities," the back room of Alexander Lamb's Wunderkammer Antiques displays unique m... More
  • Aquabus

    This short-haul ferry service/mini tour offers an easy and inexpensive way to take in Vancouver's False Creek waterfront with stops in trendy Yalet... More
  • Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

    The largest professional Shakespeare festival in Western Canada, Bard on the Beach was founded by artistic director Christopher Gaze in 1990. Every... More
  • Bayshore Bike Rentals

    Located just two blocks from the park entrance, this West End rental shop gears up sightseers for two wheeled adventures through the trails of Stan... More
  • BC Place Stadium

    From sporting events to summer festivals, this year-round, open-air facility touts the biggest cable-supported retractable roof in the world. Origi... More
  • Caban

    Caban, part of the Club Monaco chain, mixes contemporary furnishings, linens, and tableware with spare, sleek designs. More
  • Canada Place

    The iconic “five sails” of this waterfront, multi-use complex welcome thousands of arriving cruise-ship passengers on summer days—and also serve as... More
  • Celebration of Light

    Vancouver’s enviable natural setting places this annual fireworks “competition” above most others in the world. International teams light up the sk... More
  • Chi Spa

    This self-described "wellness center" in downtown's Shangri-La Hotel offers Asian-style spa treatments in a sensual space. Completed in Vancouver i... More
  • Coast Salish Spindle Whorl

    A spindle whorl is a stone disc that serves as a weight to maintain the momentum of a spindle in a spinning wheel. This one, carved out of Canadian... More
  • Commodore Ballroom

    Young music lovers and older fans of Art Deco architecture share an affinity for this restored, historic (built in 1929) venue in the middle of the... More
  • Cypress Mountain

    Olympic Pedigree: Snowboarding and freestyle skiing in 2010, and site of Shaun “Flying Tomato” White’s likely total domination of the half-pipe à l... More
  • Douglas Reynolds Gallery

    The namesake owner of this 1995-opened gallery is passionate about the First Nations artists whose work he carries. Some of the finest modern work ... More

Explore things to do in British Columbia for more options.

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