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Three Vancouver Gondolas – Our Comparison and Top Choice

Three Vancouver Gondolas – Our Comparison and Top Choice

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Vancouver is more than just its world-class restaurants, museums, and nightlife. It’s also home to some of British Columbia’s most beautiful natural landscapes. We lived in Vancouver for a while, and we were surprised to learn just how many opportunities there are in the area to explore the outdoors. 

One of our favorite things to do in Vancouver was take a break from city life and head to the mountains. During that time, we made some great memories exploring the area and discovered our love for gondolas. There’s nothing quite like seeing some of the most beautiful places in BC from the air! 

These scenic rides take you up into the Canadian Rockies, and they’re an incredible way to spend a day or an afternoon. There are three of these gondolas in the Vancouver area, and they’re all worth visiting – if you have the time! We’ll quickly go through the highlights of all three to help you pick which one to take.

Don’t have time to read the full article? Our favorite gondola in Vancouver is the Grouse Mountain Skyride. It’s open all year round and is the closest to the city (20 mins from downtown). It also has the most fun activities at the top like hiking trails, a wildlife sanctuary, restaurants, and more!

What are the 3 Gondolas in Vancouver?

1. Grouse Mountain Skyride 

Top of the Grouse Grind where the gondola is at Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
Grouse Mountain!
The Skyride heads up Grouse Mountain, Vancouver at sunset
The Skyride heads up Grouse Mountain at sunset

Without a doubt, our favorite gondola ride in Vancouver is the Grouse Mountain Skyride. It’s the only ride actually located in North Vancouver, and it’s easy to add to your trip. 

When we were living in Vancouver, this was one of our go-to activities when we had friends visiting or if we wanted to spend the day getting some fresh air. The views from Grouse Mountain are incredible whether you visit in the summer or winter, and you’ll hopefully even spot some wildlife as the gondola pulls you to the top of the mountain.  

Tickets are around $80-$87 CAD, depending on the season. Plus, if you book in advance, your ticket comes with a free shuttle to the mountain during the peak summer season. Reserve your ticket here

2. Sea to Sky Gondola 

The Sea to Sky Gondola travels up the mountain near Squamish in BC, Canada
On the way up!
Bailey stands on a viewing platform at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola with a mountain backdrop in Squamish, BC
Just admiring the view from the Sea to Sky Gondola!

If you have a little extra time and don’t mind traveling outside Vancouver, the Sea to Sky Gondola is another fun experience to try. It’s about a 45-minute drive north of the city in the scenic town of Squamish and makes for an enjoyable day trip from Vancouver down the Sea to Sky Highway (sense a theme here?!). 

We love this gondola because of the different landscapes you get to see on your ride. As the name suggests, you hop on the gondola down by the sea near Howe Sound. By the end, you’re sitting on top of a mountain that gives you a panoramic view of Squamish and the surrounding area. Once you’re on the mountain, there are a bunch of walking trails you can enjoy, but most of the fun comes from the gondola ride itself. 

Ready to book? Prices start around $72 CAD per person and you can get yours here

3. Peak 2 Peak Gondola 

The Peak to Peak Gondola view watching another cart travel by
The Peak to Peak gondola!

Situated 1.5 hours away in Whistler, the Peak 2 Peak Gondola is the farthest from Vancouver. However, if you’ve got some flexibility in your Vancouver itinerary and are able to spend a night or two in Whistler, you shouldn’t miss this one.

Because this gondola ride is so far from Vancouver, it wasn’t one of the first things we did when we moved here. However, it is a beautiful experience because of the landscape it covers. Unlike the other gondola rides in the area, this lift doesn’t go from base to summit. Instead, you start near the top of Whistler and finish near the alpine region of Blackcomb. If you’re here to ski, this can be especially helpful as you can change mountains easily on the same day!

In addition to being the farthest from Vancouver, this ride is also the most expensive. You can purchase your ticket here, and prices start around $131 CAD per rider. Keep in mind it’s cheaper to book your ticket online than in person!   

Related Read: If you can’t get enough of Vancouver from above, consider adding a helicopter flight or seaplane ride to your trip!

Our Favorite Gondola in Vancouver

People in the Skyride on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
Up we go!
Bailey poses for a photo at the top of Grouse Mountain, Vancouver in Canada during summer
It’s a beautiful place to explore!

Without a doubt, our favorite gondola ride in Vancouver is the Grouse Mountain Skyride. Grouse Mountain is the closest to the center of the city since it’s located in North Vancouver. It’s the easiest to access, and there are so many amazing activities to do at the top of the gondola. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can zipline across the alpine landscape. You’ll reach speeds of 80 km/hr (50 mph), so this ride is definitely for the adrenaline junkies in your travel group. The zipline tour includes 5 ziplines with stellar views of forests and the north shore. Plus, once you’re done, you’re free to explore the top of the mountain since your gondola ticket is included when you book online.

However, if you’re like us, you might want a more peaceful way to explore the mountaintop. Grouse Mountain has lots of these opportunities, too! There are tons of walking trails or if you’d like a bonus gondola ride, the Peak Chairlift is also included in your Skyride gondola ticket. It’s a 14-minute ride to the top of the mountain and I think the views are even better up here!

There’s also the Wildlife Sanctuary you can visit on top of the mountain. It’s home to two grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola. If you want to see them from beyond the lens of a hibernation camera, make sure you visit in the spring, summer, or early fall. 

Daniel at the top of the Peak Chairlift on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
Daniel at the top of the Peak Chairlift on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver

During the summer, there’s entertainment at the top including the famous Lumberjack show if you want to see some insanely strong people take part in log rolling and axe throwing. Birds in Motion puts some seriously impressive birds on display and I loved watching the golden eagles and owls! Admission is included with your gondola ticket.

It’s also worth noting that Grouse Mountain has some unique restaurants with everything from a coffee shop and fondue spot for light bites to a bistro and an indulgent locale called The Observatory, which offers unparalleled views. I love the outdoor patio – that’s where you’ll find me during a visit in the summer!

We love Grouse Mountain because there really is something for everyone there! If you’d like to have a stress-free way to visit, our pick is this North Shore Day Trip. You’ll ride the gondola up Grouse Mountain and have free time there along with the epic add-on of visiting the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The tour includes transportation and admission to both, so you get all the views and none of the hassle of arranging the trip yourself!

Or for more of our recommendations, check out our top 3 tours to Grouse Mountain from Vancouver!

Vancouver Gondola Comparison

1. Grouse Mountain

View out the window of the Skyride on the way up Grouse Mountain
View out the window of the Skyride on the way up Grouse Mountain.
Coola the bear swims at Grouse Mountain, Vancouver in his enclosure
Coola the bear!
  • Price: Adults (19-64) $80 CAD, senior (65+) $70 CAD, youth (13-18) $60 CAD, children (5-12) $40, tot (0-4) free, family (2 adults, 2 children) $205 CAD
  • Location: Grouse Mountain is located in North Vancouver, across the Lion’s Gate Bridge, about a 20-minute drive from downtown.
  • Open from: Monday-Thursday: 9 am – 9 pm, Friday: 9 am – 10 pm, Saturday: 8 am – 10 pm, Sunday: 8 am – 9 pm. Hours can vary by season – check the website for up-to-date hours.
  • Best for: Families with children of all ages, individuals or groups who don’t want to travel too far outside Vancouver, and anyone looking to enjoy Canadian scenery!

Best features of Grouse Mountain Skyride

Peak Chairlift – Taking the Skyride up Grouse means you also get access to the Peak Chairlift to the top! It’s included with your gondola admission, so it’s a bit of a 2-for-1 experience and the views are even more spectacular up here.

Wildlife Refuge – If you’re visiting Grouse Mountain because you love nature like we do, don’t miss the Wildlife Refuge. You’ll see animals in their natural habitat, like two grizzly bears! 

Mountain zipline tours – When you book a zipline tour, you can explore Grouse Mountain from even greater heights! This 2.5-hour tour will take you soaring above the treetops across 5 epic ziplines. 

Winter activities – Whether you’re visiting Grouse with children or just looking for a fun way to spend the afternoon, stop by the skating pond and the sledding hill. Rent some skates and a sled, and you’re good to go! 

The Observatory – End your day with dinner at one of the mountain’s most luxurious restaurants – The Observatory. Choose a meal that includes two or three courses and enjoy the best views of Grouse. 

Grouse Grind – For more of a challenge, hike up the Grouse Grind, a 2.5-kilometer (1.5-mile) trail that brings you from base to summit. Its nickname is “Mother Nature’s StairMaster” to give you an idea of how challenging it is! You can’t hike back down, so you’ll need to catch the Skyride back to the base of Grouse.

View from the dinning are on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
I mean who wouldn’t want to enjoy a drink here!

Tickets and Tours to Grouse Mountain Skyride

Even though Grouse Mountain is technically located in Vancouver, it can be a little difficult to reach if you’re visiting without a rental car. Plus, if you try getting there during rush hour, you’ll waste time in traffic and finding parking that you could have used exploring the mountain. 

We have a full guide on how to get to Grouse Mountain from Vancouver, but spoiler alert – there’s a free shuttle!

When you book your ticket in advance, you’ll get complimentary transportation to the mountain during the busy summer season. Ticket prices start at $80 CAD per person, and you can reserve yours here

If you’d prefer to stop at Grouse Mountain as part of a tour, these are our top picks:

Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

This tour includes two of Vancouver’s top sights as you’ll first visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge for a beautiful walk through the forest treetops. You’ll feel tiny as you walk over the forest and admire the beautiful views of Vancouver’s skyline. Then it’s off to Grouse Mountain for some amazing panoramas and to enjoy all of the awesome activities that are included with your mountain admission pass.

The tour can be booked here and includes roundtrip transport, a knowledgeable guide, and admission tickets to both the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and Grouse Mountain. It’s a great way to experience Vancouver’s beautiful North Shore in a day, and prices start at $237 CAD per adult.

People walk accross the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver
Capilano is one of the most iconic attractions in Vancouver!
Grouse Mountain, Vancouver parking lot
The upper parking lot.

Vancouver Mountain to Mountain

The North Shore is home to three of Vancouver’s most popular mountains – Grouse, Cypress, and Mount Seymour. This private tour takes you to each mountain, so you can experience their unique personalities and get the most out of your day.

At Grouse, you can enjoy panoramic city views and go ziplining, hiking, or skiing, then at Cypress you can see where the 2010 Winter Olympics were hosted and explore the surrounding trails, before heading to Mount Seymour for a peaceful afternoon of snowshoeing. Book this tour for $775 CAD per person which includes private roundtrip transportation, as well as lots of photo opportunities and plenty of time to explore each destination.

Pros and Cons of the Grouse Mountain Skyride

Pros: 

  • Lots to do on the mountain
  • Close to Vancouver
  • Open year-round
  • Family-friendly
  • Beautiful views

Cons: 

  • Can be more crowded than other gondola rides
  • More expensive than Sea to Sky gondola
  • Trails can close due to inclement weather
  • Grizzly bears aren’t visible year-round
  • Limited parking during busy months

What we think of the Grouse Mountain Skyride

Overall, we think this is the best gondola in Vancouver. It’s also the closest to the city, and you can easily add it to your city plans. It’s a must-do, even if you only have two days in Vancouver!

2. Sea to Sky Gondola 

Sea to Sky Gondola, Squamish
Bailey stands on a viewpoint at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola, BC
This is such a great viewpoint!
  • Price: Adult (19-64) Monday-Thursday $74 CAD, Friday-Sunday $77 CAD, senior (65+) Monday-Thursday $67 CAD, Friday-Sunday $69 CAD, youth (13-18) $43 CAD, child (6-12) cost: $29 CAD, 5 and under are free
  • Location: The Sea to Sky Gondola is located just south of Squamish along the Sea to Sky Highway, about 45 minutes from downtown Vancouver
  • Open from: November 10 – May 16 daily from 9 am – 5 pm
  • Best for: People and families traveling with young children or dogs, adventure-seekers, travelers with an extra day or two to spend outside Vancouver. 

Best features of Sea to Sky Gondola

Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge – Walk across the 100-meter (328-foot) Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge. This is one of our favorite ways to get some of the best views of Howe Sound. 

Viewing platforms – Want a great view without the bridge? No problem! Access one of the mountain’s three viewing platforms for a great view of the Canadian wilderness. 

The Praguery – Whether you visit in winter or summer, it’s always a good time for a sweet treat! Stop by The Praguery at the base of the gondola to sample some hand-rolled chimney cakes before you board. 

Via Ferrata – The Via Ferrata experience is one of the most beautiful places in the world to take on this “safer” style of rock climbing. You’ll follow steel cables, ladders, and metal rings along the rock wall. It’s a way to get an adrenaline rush and epic views at the same time! The experience can be booked here.

Snow tubing – The Tube Park at the top of the mountain is fun for kids of all ages (we had a blast!) and only costs $5 CAD for unlimited rides for the day.

Nordic skiing – Try your hand at Nordic skiing once you reach the summit of the mountain. You’ll have 2.2 km (1.3 mi) of groomed trails to try your hand at this fun activity! You can rent skis at the Summit Lodge.

Spirit Viewing Platform on the Sea to Sky Gondola, BC
Spirit Viewing Platform

Tickets and Tours

This is a popular gondola among travelers looking for an easy day trip outside Vancouver. Tickets are available online starting at $72 CAD and can sell out fast, especially during the high season. Don’t miss your chance to experience this incredible gondola ride, reserve your ride here

If you’d prefer to have an experience planned for you, these are our top picks for tours that include a gondola ride!

Whistler and Sea to Sky Gondola Tour

This group tour of Whistler is the ideal way to combine a gondola ride with a visit to Whistler! The tour takes approximately 10 hours, and the meeting point is at Canada Place in downtown Vancouver. It costs $219 CAD per person and includes a super-enthusiastic tour guide, as well as two epic stops on the Sea to Sky Highway, before having some free time to explore Whistler. 

Your first stop on the Sea to Sky Highway is Shannon Falls Park, where you can hike through the lush rainforest and to the base of the mighty Shannon Falls. Your next stop is the iconic Sea to Sky Gondola, where you can take in the enchanting views of the Howe Sound and the surrounding coastal rainforest. You’ll jump off the gondola at Summit Lodge, from where you can have a coffee and take in the views, go for a short hike, or walk over the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge (our top suggestion!).

After the gondola, it’s a short drive to Whistler, where you will have three hours of free time in Whistler Village. You can book a spot on this epic day trip from Vancouver online here.

Bailey at Shannon Falls, BC
Shannon Falls!
The Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, Sea to Sky Gondola
The Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, Sea to Sky Gondola

Whistler and Sea to Sky Gondola Tour (including Squamish)

This tour will pick you up from your hotel in Vancouver to drive the famous Sea to Sky Highway. There are three incredible stop-offs included in the price, and the first is Shannon Falls Provincial Park, home of Shannon Falls, aka the third tallest waterfall in BC!

Next, you will arrive in Squamish, where you will hop on the incredible Sea to Sky Gondola. The gondola rises a whopping 2,900 feet (885 meters), providing unbeatable views of the Howe Sound! From the summit, you can go for a hike or walk across the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge.

Then, it’s time to explore Whistler – for four hours, to be exact. We recommend wandering the village stroll and stopping into some of the town’s finest restaurants for some delicious food. Honestly, Whistler has so much to offer you definitely won’t be bored during your four hours here. 

It’s a long day, and you will return to your Vancouver hotel between 8:30 and 9 pm. This tour costs $199 CAD per person, which includes your ticket to Shannon Falls and the Sea to Sky Gondola as well as hotel pick-up and drop-off. It’s also easy to book a spot with the buy now, pay later option with Viator.  

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

Bailey and Daniel pose for a photo at the Spirit Viewing Platform on the Sea to Sky Gondola
What a view!

Pros and Cons of the Sea to Sky Gondola

Pros: 

  • Great for couples and families
  • An easy day trip from Vancouver
  • Cheapest gondola ride in the area
  • Lots of dining options on the mountain

Cons: 

  • Limited activities on the mountain
  • Located 45 minutes outside Vancouver
  • Must find own transportation to the mountain
  • More restricted hours of operation than Grouse

What we think of the Sea to Sky Gondola

This is another fantastic gondola and one we also suggest doing – you can read our full review of the Sea to Sky Gondola here! Although it’s further from Vancouver, you get an entirely different experience than you would if you stayed in the city. Plus, if you have the time, we think it’s a great idea to add both this gondola and Grouse Mountain to your Vancouver bucket list! 

Related Read: If you’re heading to the Sea to Sky Gondola, check out our road trip guide for driving from Vancouver to Squamish for all the best stops!

3. Peak 2 Peak Gondola

View out the window of the Peak to Peak Gondola in Whistler, Canada
Daniel and Bailey pose for a selfie on the Peak to Peak Gondola in Whistler, BC
The Peak to Peak Gondola!
  • Price: Adult (19-64) $131 CAD, senior (65+) $110 CAD, teen (13-18) $104 CAD, child (7-12) $61 CAD
  • Location: Summits of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, which you can access via gondola ride from Whistler Village
  • Open: Mid-November to Mid-April from 10 am to 3-4 pm for winter sightseeing and then reopens in the summer (typically on the May long weekend) from 10 to 5-6 pm and only on weekends in September
  • Best for: Families with teens and younger children, visitors looking for a once-in-a-lifetime view of two of the area’s most popular mountains, and anyone who has the time to stay in Whistler for a few days. 

Best features of Peak 2 Peak Gondola

Visit two mountains for skiing – If you’ve never tried skiing or snowboarding before, these are great mountains to visit. Get your first lesson from some of the area’s most experienced instructors before you head out on the slopes. Or if you’re an experienced skier or snowboarder, use the gondola to transfer mountains for a whole different experience on the same day!

Whistler Village – Start enjoying the mountain vibe before you even reach the summit! Whistler Village is located at the base of both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, and it has tons of restaurants, hotels, and things to do.

Cloudraker Skybridge – Get unbeatable views of the mountains when you walk along the Cloudraker Skybridge pathway from Whistler Peak to West Ridge. For a different vantage point, visit Raven’s Eye, a viewing platform that gives you a 360-degree view of Whistler. 

Snow wall hiking – If you’re visiting Whistler in early summer, you can’t miss hiking amidst these giant snow walls on Pika’s Traverse. For a very short time each year, you can take an easy stroll through this maze of walls. They’re carved from all the snow the area received the previous winter, so make sure you visit before they melt! 

Multiple gondola rides – Before you even reach the Peak 2 Peak gondola, you’ll have to ride one another gondola from the base of Whistler Mountain or Blackcomb Mountain. Enjoy a different look at the same scenery you’ll get to experience on your next ride from above. 

Tons of restaurants – Whether you’re looking to grab a bite on Whistler or Blackcomb, there are so many different restaurants you can try. Enjoy the sunshine at the top of Blackcomb when you dine outdoors at Horstman Hut or savor delicious cinnamon buns at Chic Pea on Whistler Mountain.

The view out the window of the Sasquatch Zipline in Whistler as another cart moves by.
Whistler Peak to Peak Gondola!
The view out the window of the Peak to Peak Gondola in Whistler, BC
It’s a long way down!

Tickets and Tours to Peak 2 Peak Gondola

The easiest way to book your ticket for the Peak 2 Peak Gondola is to do so online. Prices start at $131 CAD and you can book tickets here

If you rather include a gondola ride as part of a Whistler tour from Vancouver, we have you covered! These highly-rated tours leave enough free time in Whistler that you can ride the Peak 2 Peak Gondola and fit in a ton of other activities!

Whistler Sightseeing Tour from Vancouver

This small-group tour is the ultimate way to see Whistler in a day! It starts with pick-up from your downtown hotel in Vancouver before driving by some of the famous sights (hello Stanley Park!) and crossing the Lions Gate Bridge to head to Whistler.

The tour guide, Charles, is exceptional! He pointed out all the interesting spots we passed by on the way and even did a little drive around Whistler when we arrived to help us get our bearings. Then we had four hours in Whistler to explore. Our group had enough time to ride the gondola up Blackcomb, take the Peak 2 Peak Gondola over to Whistler Mountain, and then head back down.

I even snuck in a bit of shopping and lunch in Whistler before we had to meet back up again. There were also bonus stops at the beautiful Shannon Falls waterfall and Porteau Cove Provincial Park. The entire day is only $250 CAD, although you will have to purchase your gondola tickets once you arrive. Book your spot on this 5-star sightseeing tour here!

Brandywine Falls, Canada
Brandywine Falls!
Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at the Whitler Olympic rings in Whistler Town

Unforgettable Whistler (Full-Day Private Tour)

If you’d prefer to have a personalized Whistler experience, then this private tour is the way to go. You’ll have someone else driving, so you can spend time looking out the window at the sights along the famous Sea to Sky Highway before arriving in Whistler.

Along the way, there are stops at not one, but two waterfalls. I can never get enough of the waterfalls in BC and Shannon Falls and Brandywine Falls will both get checked off your bucket list with this tour! Then you have three hours to explore Whistler and ride the Peak 2 Peak Gondola between the two spectacular mountains here. It’s enough time to take in the views, but still be back in Vancouver for the evening.

I think this tour is perfect if you’re traveling as a family or even on a honeymoon! You don’t have to worry about transportation or parking and it feels like a true VIP experience since it’s a private tour. Dates tend to sell out for this one, so reserve a spot here.

Pros and Cons of the Peak-to-Peak Gondola

Pros: 

  • Whistler Village is great for families
  • Skiing and snowboarding lessons available
  • The only gondola ride of its kind in the area
  • Includes multiple gondola rides with your ticket 
  • Allows you to experience two popular mountains 

Cons: 

  • Most expensive gondola ride
  • Not an easy day trip from Vancouver
  • You need multiple days to enjoy the mountain
  • Limited parking, especially during busy months
  • Lodging options in Whistler Village can sell out quickly

What we think of the Peak-to-Peak Gondola

It’s a really cool gondola, but it’s very far from Vancouver. If you are planning a tour to Whistler from Vancouver or planning to stay in Whistler, it’s well worth doing. However, you’ll need more than a day or two in Whistler to get the most out of your trip. It easily takes half a day to explore the mountains. It’s well worth planning a little getaway to Whistler though if you can – we love it here!

Related Read: While you’re in this part of BC, take a trip from Vancouver to Victoria. BC’s capital city is stunning – not to mention the world-famous Butchart Gardens that are here!

Other Things to do while you’re in Vancouver

Bailey walks on the Lynn Canyon suspension Bridge, Vancouver
The Lynn Canyon suspension bridge is a must!
Bailey sits at the Boatshed Restaurant in Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC
Enjoying the sunset from The Boatshed restaurant in Kitsilano.

Vancouver is a city filled with tons of things to do and see. So after your gondola ride, be sure not to miss some of the other top attractions and activities:

  • Go whale watching – It’s not just people who flock to Vancouver every year! From the beautiful black and white orcas to the lively humpbacks, going whale watching in Vancouver makes for a truly unforgettable memory. This half-day whale watching tour offers an amazing experience with a guarantee you’ll see whales!
  • Eat ALL the food! – Vancouver is a foodie destination. Showcasing cuisine from all around the world in top-rated restaurants, you really need to eat out a few times while in Vancouver. For breakfast, Jam Cafe or Medina are our go-tos. For Asian cuisine, you can’t pass up Minami for sushi or Danbo for ramen. You can also join this highly-rated food tour that takes you to some of the city’s best restaurants in Gastown.
  • See Granville Island – Granville Island has such a fun energy and you can easily spend an afternoon wandering through the streets seeing the street performers or checking out the famous Granville Public Market. If you’re short on time or want a stress-free stop, there are some Granville Island tours we love like this VIP market access tour where you’ll get to sample all the best food!
  • Explore Kitsilano – One of our favorite areas in all of Vancouver is Kitsilano. This suburb is super trendy and has many cute stores, cafes, and restaurants that are well worth checking out. On top of that, Kitsilano Beach is one of the best beaches in Vancouver and the perfect place to relax. It’s also our favorite place to watch the sunset.

Where to Stay in Vancouver, Canada

Hyatt Regency Vancouver
Photo credit: Hyatt Regency Vancouver

Vancouver is one of the most popular cities in Canada. The fact is that in the summer and winter, the city books up very fast. Booking your hotel or hostel well in advance is the only way to secure the best place to stay for you!

For more info on the best areas and hotels, check out my complete guide on where to stay in Vancouver that breaks down everything you need to know before choosing the right hotel! Or have a look at my recommendations below for my favorite hotels and hostels in Vancouver.

Hyatt Regency Vancouver – $$$

The Hyatt Regency Vancouver has the perfect location halfway between Stanley Park and Gastown. As you can imagine, it’s a luxury stay in a large hotel chain that is very highly reviewed! It has an outdoor hot tub, a gym, a Starbucks on-site, and is within walking distance to top sights.

Rooms start at $233 CAD and are clean, spacious, and very well-kept. So if you can afford to spend a little more, we recommend treating yourself to this hotel! You can check availability, prices, and book your stay here.

Times Square Suites – $$

For a beautiful hotel close to Stanley Park, you should opt for the Times Square Suites. It’s very hard to fault this hotel, and we think the location is amazing. Plus, the suites are spacious yet have a cozy feel with kitchenettes and gas fireplaces. This hotel feels luxurious yet still affordable, with prices starting at $196 CAD when you book ahead online.

The Cambie Hostel Gastown – $

The Cambie Hostel Gastown is an overall good budget choice. The location is in the heart of Gastown and close to lots of bars and restaurants. Attached to the hostel is a very lively bar too. The rooms are clean, but we felt the bathrooms were a little cramped.

It’s perfect for backpackers on a budget and is relatively cheap for being so central (starting at $90 CAD). Yet, it still offers quality accommodations. To snag this deal, you’ll want to reserve a room on Hostelworld.com or Booking.com!

Click here to browse all hotels in Vancouver!

Renting a Car in British Columbia

A rural road with Mt Currie in the background
Road trips are the best way to explore Canada!

If you’re arriving in British Columbia via plane, then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. British Columbia is a large province, and traveling between the best places to visit in BC requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions, this means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Car rental in Canada isn’t relatively cheap, but it’s not that expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pick-up and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though, depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Discover Cars. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Discover Cars all over the world, including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic, you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at the top of Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
Thanks for reading!

One of the best ways to take in some of the epic scenery around Vancouver is on a gondola! I hope our comparison of the three gondolas around Vancouver has helped you choose one you want to visit. We’ve done all three and they each have their perks. No matter which one you go with, make sure your phone is fully charged or you have a camera along – you’ll want to take lots of photos!

Have a look at our other blogs if you’re headed to the Vancouver area. We even wrote a full guide on if Vancouver is worth visiting that may be helpful (spoiler alert: it is!). We have a ton of Canada road trip ideas for inspiration for your upcoming trip!

How to Spend 4 Days in Vancouver – By a Local!

The BEST Vancouver Sunset Dinner Cruise +Tips Before You Book

10-Day Vancouver Island Itinerary That Hits All the Highlights!