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Top 30 Things to Do and Places to Eat in Vancouver

3 July, 2017

Vancouver is a beautiful and an amazing city to visit. Blessed with the trifecta of mountains, sea, and forest, it is an unbeatable destination for la dolce vita in Canada. Here are my top 15 recommendations for things to do and my top 15 recommendations for places to eat in the city of Vancouver.


The mainland City of Vancouver. The skyline show the North Shore mountains, the Stanley Park forest, and the city skyscrapers. © thetravellingsociologist


The Top 15 Things to Do in Vancouver

  1. Start your trip to Vancouver off on the right foot by booking a walking tour with the famous Erik Graff, who offers two tours per week: the Lynn Canyon and Vancouver City Tour as well as the Capilano Canyon and Vancouver City Tour
  2. Wander along Main Street and the West End…or the whole city, for that matter, as it’s very walkable…to get a real-feel of the downtown Vancouver vibe
  3. Rent bicycles and bike along the Seawall, or hike along it if you’re not in the mood to bike
  4. Try the Fly over Canada
  5. Hike the Grouse Grind, if you are up for a challenge as it’s not for the faint-hearted
  6. Hike the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, which is an easier hike than the Grouse Grind and will take you through a rainforest, and be sure to walk the Capilano Suspension Bridge at the end of your hike
  7. Visit the public market on Granville Island for fresh produce, cooked meals, baked goods, outdoor music, and good vibes
  8. Visit the outdoor Kitsilano Pool for some quiet swim-and-relaxation time
  9. Visit the Museum of Anthropology, located on the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus. You can get there by public transportation, on bus 44, bus 84, or bus 4, among others in the metropolitan bus network
  10. Visit Sunset Beach in Kitsilano for gorgeous views of downtown the Vancouver skyline in addition to miles of beachfront and walking/biking trails. Sunset Beach is also less crowded than many of the other beaches downtown
  11. Visit Stanley Park, which is not so much a park as a temperate rainforest located in downtown Vancouver. It’s got hiking trails, bike paths, beaches, rainforest, an Aquarium, outdoor movies in the summertime, and other summer activities
  12. Visit the Aquarium in Stanley Park. In addition to cool ocean-life exhibitions, it’s got a very entertaining sea-otter-tricks show
  13. Check out local festivals and other outdoor events
  14. Take a trip out to Whistler for gorgeous mountain views and some quality hiking or skiing, depending on the weather; I recommend starting by hiking Garibaldi Lake
  15. Take a trip out by ferry or plane to visit all the little islands along the Sunshine Coast


There’s so much more to do in Vancouver. If you run out of things to do after exploring the Top 15, look here for inspiration.


A fish and chips meal at Go Fish. © thetravellingsociologist


The Top 15 Places to Eat in Vancouver

  1. Go Fish (fish and chips)
  2. Banana Leaf (Malaysian)
  3. Vij’s (Indian fusion)
  4. Akira Sushi (Japanese)
  5. Cazba (Iranian)
  6. Burgoo (comfort food)
  7. Nuba (Lebanese)
  8. The Peaceful Restaurant (Chinese comfort food)
  9. Chili Pepper House (Indian [Desi]-style Chinese)
  10. The Reef (Carribean)
  11. L’Abbatoir (Pacific Northwest, with a French touch)
  12. Zeitoon (Iranian)
  13. Calabash (Carribean/West Indian)
  14. Chewie’s Steam & Oyster Bar (New Orleans/Cajun)
  15. The Kitchen Table (comfort pub food and 25 craft beers)


Bonus: try the Blue Martini, which is a jazz bar, serving food from its sister restaurant, Francesco’s Ristorante Italia.


Wishing you a very enjoyable trip to Vancouver! And bon apétit!



11 Comment

  1. That’s what I call an ultimate guide! Everything is listed and ready to go. Since Canada was on my travel wish list for a while, I’m bookmarking this article. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much for your interest! I’m so happy to hear that my article will help you plan your trip. Thanks for bookmarking, and please write again to let me know how your trip went. I would love to hear about your (future) experience!

  2. Yesterday, my husband told me he would like to go back to Vancouver. We fell in love with the city during our first visit. We ate a lot of good food and stopped by several neighborhoods. I would like to try your Indian, Malaysian and Iranian recommendations. #FlyAwayFriday

  3. We were just in Vancouver last weekend. It was a quick trip from Washington but we had a good time. We also enjoyed Queen Elizabeth Park. It was beautiful and would’ve had great views of the skyline if it weren’t for all the smoke in the air from all the wildfires. #FlyAwayFriday

  4. Thanks for the post. I’ve went to Vancouver at least 10 years ago and ate at Vij’s too! The food market on Granville Island was great fun. Love food, so love any food-focused stories!

  5. This is great! I love Vancouver and am now eager to go back and try out some of these recommendations. #flyawayfriday

  6. I LOVE Vancouver so much. I went to college in Bellingham, Washington and we drove up ALL THE TIME! One of my favorite cities EVER. Thanks for joining Fly Away Friday – hope to see you again this week! xo

  7. I haven’t been to Vancouver since 1986 when Expo was in town! What a great list. I should really head back someday soon! Thanks for coming to Fly Away Friday! Hope to see you this week!

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