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Vancouver: A Weekend Travel Guide

Updated: May 17


City View of Vancouver at Vancouver Lookout
Vancouver Lookout

I absolutely love gloomy weather. If you can relate, you'll love Vancouver—the third rainiest city in Canada! If gloomy days aren't your cup of tea, don't let this deter you from visiting. The city is stunning and brimming with things to do. This past August, my family and I visited Vancouver for the first time on a 4-day trip. Here is a weekend guide to help you plan your next trip to Vancouver!


View of Downtown Vancouver from the Stanley Park Seawall
View of Downtown Vancouver from the Stanley Park Seawall

Where to stay in Vancouver

We stayed at an Airbnb in the East Side neighborhood of Vancouver. It was located about a 20-minute drive from the airport, and a 10 to 20-minute drive from all of the attractions on our itinerary. We had a guesthouse to ourselves, and it was the perfect size for a family of four. Vancouver has an abundance of Airbnb and hotel options—if you want to stay in a more central location, I recommend Downtown Vancouver.


Check out the Airbnb we stayed at here.


Getting around in Vancouver

Rideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft, public transportation, and taxis are available in the city. However, my family rented a car with Avis at YVR Airport—we found that this gave us more flexibility in exploring all of the places on our itinerary.


Beautiful Garden at Queen Elizabeth Park
Queen Elizabeth Park

Things to do in Vancouver

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden: This hidden oasis is located in the middle of Chinatown. It's made up of a public section and a paid, private section. The public section features the main pagoda, whereas the private section contains a courtyard with a smaller pagoda.

Vancouver Lookout: Looking for a spot to view the whole city? The Vancouver Lookout is a 360-degree observatory deck that provides unobstructed, panoramic views of the Vancouver skyline. The elevator ride to the top is an experience in itself as it is situated on the building's exterior—you can look out to the city as you ascend to the top.

Stanley Park: Stanley Park has something to offer for everyone. Want to hike through a forest, bike along a seawall, have a picnic in an urban oasis, or enjoy views of Downtown Vancouver, English Bay, and surrounding mountains? You can enjoy all of these activities at Stanley Park. And don't forget to visit the Stanley Park Totem Poles!

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge: Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is short, but picturesque pedestrian bridge that's surrounded by towering trees and situated above the rivers of Lynn Creek.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is one of the most popular attractions in the city and for good reason. The suspension bridge itself is much longer than the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, and is situated high above the Capilano River. The park offers treetop walks and the Cliffwalk, a narrow platform that extends over a gorge. While you're there, get their hot chocolate!

Granville Island Public Market: This indoor farmer's market has several produce stalls, food court vendors, souvenir shops, and local craft goods. Granville Island Public Market is an experience in itself as it is bustling with tourists and locals, and frequently offers outdoor entertainment.

Queen Elizabeth Park: The flower gardens and open grass area at Queen Elizabeth Park are gorgeous. The park also offers a lookout point with views of the city and surrounding mountains on the North Shore.

Jam Cafe on Beatty: This is the perfect spot to grab breakfast—I recommend the Charlie Bowl, which has crumbled biscuits, ham, bacon, hash browns, peas, sausage gravy, cheddar cheese, and eggs... so good!

Fritz European Fry House: Fritz specializes in delicious poutine at an affordable price. You can't visit Canada without trying poutine—warm gravy on top of crispy fries with cheese curds and meat toppings!


Lunch at Jam Cafe on Beatty in Vancouver
Jam Cafe on Beatty

Walking on the bridge at Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Tips

Purchase tickets in advance through the Vancouver Attractions website to save time and money.

Take advantage of the free parks and gardens. There are a number of free sights to visit in Vancouver.

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