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15 Easy Day Hikes in Vancouver, BC (2024 Guide for Beginners!)

15 Easy Day Hikes in Vancouver, BC (2024 Guide for Beginners!)

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If you ask anyone in Vancouver, British Columbia, what their hobbies are, they will most likely say hiking. And for good reason! There are SO many amazing places to hike in Vancouver!

Vancouver is located on the west coast of Canada, so it has the Pacific Ocean on one side and mountains on the other. In between are a whole lot of forests, lakes, rivers, and other awesome hiking destinations! In fact, hiking is one of the best things to do in Vancouver!

Every hike on this list is a day-hike option and accessible within a 1.5-hour drive from downtown Vancouver, making for a great day trip from the city. They vary in distance and difficulty, so there’s really something for everyone!

After living in Vancouver and tackling most hikes in the area, here are 15 of our favorite easy day hikes in Vancouver!

Don’t have time to read the full article? There are too many good easy hikes in Vancouver to list them all! So here are our top choices and experiences:

  1. Quarry Rock Hike is gorgeous – even more so on this hike and photography tour.
  2. Stay in the city and hike around Stanley Park.
  3. Looking for a hidden gem? Check out High Knoll!
  4. Stawamus Chief’s guided hike lets you learn all about the area. 
  5. Sasamat Lake will give you a relaxed beach day with a hike!

15 Easy Hikes in Vancouver

1. Lynn Loop in Lynn Canyon

Lynn canyon, Vancouver
Lynn Canyon, Vancouver. If you want to see the bridge like this get there early!
  • Distance: Varies depending on the trail and route you take
  • Elevation gain: 100 meters (328 feet)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 2 hours
  • Type of trail: Loop
  • Distance from Vancouver: 30 minutes

A lot of people visit the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge on their visit to Vancouver (you should too –check out #4!), but not as many people know about Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge! This one is free and, better yet, accessible by a gorgeous hike through the forest.

This one-way loop hike will take about 1.5 hours and is fairly easy. Due to its low elevation, you can enjoy it year-round.

You will start at the parking lot of the Regional Park, and start walking past the yellow gate towards Lynn Creek. You’ll walk over the suspension bridge, so make sure to snap some pics and enjoy the water rushing under your feet. The trail starts with a steep section at the beginning for about 10 minutes but will level out after that. Enjoy the rest of the loop, walking through the cedar and hemlock trees and enjoying views out over Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

This trail can be accessed via public transport and arriving early is recommended to avoid the crowds. Lynn Canyon is one of the best free activities in Vancouver, and as such, can be a busy place – especially on the weekends during summer.

However, if you don’t have a rental car and don’t want to take public transportation, a guided hiking tour is always a great way to learn about Vancouver’s ecosystem. This guided hike is 10 kilometers (6 miles) and will take about 3 hours. It includes hotel pickup and is a small group of 8, so it stays personalized and you can make a friend along the way! You can book this tour for $79 CAD in advance here.

If you love snapping photos while you hike, this Lynn Canyon hike and photography tour is a beautiful way to experience the area. It doesn’t matter if you have a top-of-the-line DSLR or just your phone camera, your guide/photography instructor will spend 3 hours giving tips, directions, and insight into nature photography. Plus, you’ll get a nice little hike in! This tour is $115 CAD and includes transportation and you can borrow a DSLR for the day – be sure to book this top-rated tour in advance!

Hot Tip: Lynn Canyon is much less busy on a rainy day, so gear up and brave a little water. For this reason, visiting Lynn Canyon is often considered one of the best things to do in Vancouver when it rains.

2. Quarry Rock Hike from Deep Cove

Bailey at Quarry Rock in Deep Cove, North Vancouver, Canada
The hike is easy and the views are breathtaking!
  • Distance: 3.8 km round trip (2.36 mi)
  • Elevation gain: 100 meters (328 feet)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 1.5 hours
  • Type of trail: Out and back
  • Distance from Vancouver: 30 minutes

This hike is one of the most popular in Vancouver, making parking a challenge! For that reason, I recommend trying to go during the week and avoiding the middle of the day. You could also join this hike and photography tour, which provides transportation from downtown Vancouver so you can avoid parking – but more on that in a minute!

The Quarry Rock hike starts in Deep Cove, which is a cute little town in North Vancouver, this out-and-back hike will take about 1.5 hours to complete. It starts off with a bit of an incline and then levels out to a few moderate ups and downs throughout.

This hike is mostly through the forest and has stairs, boardwalks, and bridges to help you navigate over the streams and rocky sections. It is quiet and beautiful along the trail, with lots of forest views along the way. You’ll end up at the lookout point – Quarry Rock – which overlooks the Indian Arm inlet. The views are stunning so get your camera ready!

When you’re ready to head back, turn around and retrace your steps back to the quaint town of Deep Cove. The best part of this hike? The post-hike treats at Honey Doughnuts, who are legendary in this area – you won’t be disappointed!

If you’ve got an eye for photography and want to experience Quarry Rock in a unique way, this 4-hour photography and hike tour is your best bet. I personally think these sorts of tours are great because you get to hang out with a local, learn more about photography, and the stress of navigating a new trail (and that dreaded parking) is taken care of for you! You don’t have to be an expert photographer or a beginner for this tour, the guide can tailor it to your skill level. Even if you don’t have a camera you can use your phone or borrow a DSLR.

This tour is $115 per person and can be canceled 24 hours before departure if need be. Check out the details and book this tour in advance here!

3. The Grouse Grind

Views on the Grouse Grind, Vancouver
Yep, the hard work is totally worth it!
  • Distance: 3 km one way (1.86 mi)
  • Elevation gain: 850 meters (2,789 feet)
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Time needed: 1.5-2 hours
  • Type of trail: Hike up, gondola down!
  • Distance from Vancouver: 30 minutes

Those who have completed the Grouse Grind wear it as a badge of honor, and for good reason. It’s one of the more difficult hikes in Vancouver on this list, but totally worth it. Grouse Mountain is a local ski and snowboard mountain in North Vancouver, so this hike is only seasonally open from June to September when there isn’t snow covering the trail! Alternatively, if you want to make this hike really easy (I mean skipping it altogether) you can still get the amazing views by riding the gondola to the top!

But, for those avid hikers out there, the trail begins just next to the Grouse Mountain Gondola parking lot. Head up past the gate, over a small bridge, and you will immediately begin your ascent. This hike is impossible to get lost on, as there are signposts all along the way showing you where to go and marking the distance.

Most of the hike is pretty steep and you will walk up wooden steps the majority of the way. It really is a grind – you will cover 850 meters (2,789 feet) of elevation in under 3 km(1.86 mi). Bring your water and take breaks if needed!

Once you’re at the top, you can enjoy the absolutely stunning views from the top of Grouse Mountain, called the “Peak of Vancouver.” Here you can overlook the city, ocean, and surrounding mountains. Luckily, there’s also a café and bar at the top, so grab a drink and relax a bit. The only way down from here is the gondola, so enjoy the ride back to the parking lot. Note there is a $20 CAD cost for a one-way ticket to take the gondola down.

I included this as an easy hike in Vancouver because you can opt to use the gondola one way to make the trail easier. Or just skip hiking altogether and ride the gondola both ways. It costs $81 CAD per adult. Once at the top, you can enjoy the sunset and view – a very romantic activity and perfect for a couple on a honeymoon in Vancouver.

And if you’re looking for a chance to enjoy the gondola and still get an easy hike in, this combo tour takes you to Capilano Suspension Bridge as well as Grouse Mountain Gondola. This is the next hike on our list, but I love this tour option because you get the best of both worlds in one convenient day trip. This includes transportation and all admission fees for $229 CAD.

Related Read: If you don’t have long in Vancouver, make sure to check out our 4-day Vancouver itinerary so you can fit in other cool activities in between hiking!

4. Capilano Suspension Bridge Walk

Views of the treetop walk at the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver, BC
The bridge is only part of the attraction. The treetop walk is so stunning!
  • Distance: 2.6 km (1.6 mi) round trip
  • Elevation gain: 100 meters (328 feet)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 1 hour, plus longer to hang out in the park
  • Type of trail: Loop
  • Distance from Vancouver: 30 minutes

Capilano Suspension Bridge is a very popular tourist destination and costs $66 CAD for tickets to enter the park. It’s a bit on the pricey side but is a truly iconic destination, and I guarantee you’ll want to snap some Instagram pics along the 140-meter-long (466-foot) suspension bridge!

You’ll walk over the suspension bridge right away after entering the gates. It truly is an experience like no other! Walk over the bridge and take in the scenery and river rushing under you. If you’re afraid of heights, this might be a bit nerve-wracking – but it’s worth it, trust me!

Once on the other side, you can follow the trail and boardwalk paths through the trees. There is also a tree-walk experience, where you can walk over suspension bridges between trees high up in the area.

Note that this is a tourist attraction, and a popular spot on many Vancouver city tours, so it can get busy. The benefit, though, is that it is highly accessible and easy for everyone. It is the best of the best in terms of west coast scenery – big trees, rushing rivers, and mountain views. For this reason, many include it in their Vancouver itinerary.

Admission to the Capilano Suspension Bridge is included in the combo tour mentioned above. Providing transportation from Vancouver, you can visit the Grouse Mountain Gondola, this suspension bridge, and a fish hatchery (a true BC experience!) on a convenient day trip. This is a great option if you don’t have a rental car or want to learn more about the area, as there is a lot of fascinating history here. Check out the details and book this tour in advance!

Or if you’re fine with just visiting one, you can book your Capilano Suspension Bridge tickets in advance here.

5. Stawamus Chief

A lady walks up the Stawamus Chief track in Vancouver, BC
For its difficulty, this hike is very rewarding!
  • Distance: 11 km (6.8 mi) round trip
  • Elevation gain: 600 meters (1,969 feet)
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Time needed: 6 hours
  • Type of trail: Out-and-back
  • Distance from Vancouver: 1 hour

Affectionately known as “The Chief,” this is another iconic hike in Vancouver. The Chief is an hour’s north of Vancouver towards the city of Squamish. This route is the scenic Sea to Sky Highway, which is an epic road trip from Vancouver to Whistler.

You’ll find the trailhead off of the Sea to Sky highway, right behind the Sea to Sky Gondola. This hike starts on a wide trail and quickly turns into a steep section of stairs. This is the most challenging section, so push through and take rests if needed.

Continue up the trail, through a trail junction with the Sea to Summit Trail, and continue towards one of the three peaks of The Chief. They are marked and depending on your fitness level, you can do one or all three.

There is a section of ladders to climb to actually get up to the viewpoint, so be ready for a bit of technical hiking. Once at the top, you will enjoy sweeping views of the region! It is a total “we did it!” kind of moment, so soak it all in.

To make the trail easy only hike up the first summit and back down. Climbing the other peaks requires more time and is much harder. This trail is also considered one of the best things to do in Whistler!

There is also a fantastic guided tour that provides transportation from Vancouver to The Chief. Best of all, it includes a stop at a local brewery at the end, because how else do you celebrate the end of a hike!? While you can certainly drive yourself, sometimes it’s nice having a guide to find the trailhead, help you get through the more challenging sections, and coordinate the logistics for you. This 6-hour tour is $225 CAD per person and will let you see the Stawamus Chief trail in an entirely new way – book it in advance here.

6. Stanley Park and Seawall

A lady walks through Stanley Park in Vancouver
  • Distance: 6.5 km (4 mi) round trip
  • Elevation gain: Minimal
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 2 hours
  • Type of trail: Loop
  • Distance from Vancouver: 10 minutes

If you only have a couple of days in Vancouver, you can stay right in the city for this hike. Stanley Park is a world-renowned 45-hectare (111-acre) park in Vancouver, beloved by locals and tourists alike. Along the outside of the park is the seawall, a flat, paved path giving you beautiful views of the surrounding ocean and Vancouver Harbor.

If you want a bit more of a hike or trail walk, you can utilize the trails throughout the park itself. I recommend that you start off near the Rose Garden, where you can park. Walk along Pipeline Road and then follow signs for the South Creek Trail. You’ll love this trail, full of massive cedar and hemlock trees.

You’ll hit Beaver Lake, say hello to the ducks, and then carry on to the Rawlings Trail, heading west towards Third Beach. This is one of the most popular Vancouver beaches in the summertime, with a large sandy area and gorgeous views. Keep walking along the seawall for a bit, and then head back into the park by the Lost Lagoon, eventually ending back where you started.

There are tons of different routes besides this one, so don’t be afraid to just go and get a little lost! Or, stick to the seawall for something easy. The seawall is also very popular for biking and rollerblading if you’re into that!

You can also find a ton of tours that take you to Stanley Park, whether you’re looking for a walking tour (a little urban hiking, anyone?) or a biking tour, this lets you dig into all the park has to offer!

Related Read: While in Vancouver consider joining a food tour. I love these tours in Vancouver as you get to see the sights and eat along the way!

7. Gold Creek Falls at Alouette Lake, Golden Ears Park

Views on the Gold Creek Falls at Alouette Lake, Golden Ears Park
I love the stunning rivers with mountain backdrops!
  • Distance: 5.5 km (3.4 mi) round trip
  • Elevation gain: Minimal
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 2 hours
  • Type of trail: Loop
  • Distance from Vancouver: 1.5 hours

Golden Ears Park is in Maple Ridge, still technically in the Greater Vancouver Region, but a little further out (on the way from Vancouver to Hope). This one is perfect for a day trip from Vancouver that includes a hike and then you can spend the rest of the day at Alouette Lake, an absolutely gorgeous (but freezing!) lake set right in the park.

The Gold Creek Falls hike is pretty easy, with minimal elevation gain. You can start right from the parking lot and head towards the trail. The views are typical for this area as a west coast rainforest – dense trees and moss-blanketed forest floor.

After 15 minutes of hiking, you’ll see Gold Creek on your left as well as views of the mountains all around. You’ll likely hear the falls before seeing them! Once at the Gold Creek Falls, enjoy the sound of rushing water before continuing on to complete the loop.

Once your hike is done, head to Alouette Lake Beach, take out a blanket, and have a relaxing picnic lunch and afternoon at the beach.

8. Brandywine Falls

Brandywine Falls, Squamish, BC
It’s one of the most accessible and most beautiful waterfalls near Squamish!
  • Distance: 1 km (0.62 mi) round trip
  • Elevation gain: 56 meters (184 feet)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 0.5 hours
  • Type of trail: Out and back
  • Distance from Vancouver: 1.5 hours

Brandywine Falls Trail is the perfect stop if you are driving up the Sea to Sky Highway to Squamish or Whistler. It’s a short hike, just 30 minutes, but will take you to a stunning waterfall.

The trail starts from the parking lot, where you will then cross a wooden bridge. Head right across the train tracks and continue on until you reach the platform overlooking the waterfall. The falls themselves drop 70 meters (230 feet) and are surrounded by dramatic cliffs.

Once you’re finished, turn around and head back the way you came to the parking lot.

This is the perfect pit stop on your road trip from Vancouver to Whistler, so get out, stretch your legs, and enjoy a waterfall view!

9. Velodrome Trail on Burnaby Mountain

Velodrome Trail on Burnaby Mountain
Beautiful days in Vancouver are best spent on the Velodrome Trail!
  • Distance: 3 km (1.86 mi) round trip
  • Elevation gain: 240 meters (787 feet)
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Time needed: 1 hour, plus some time at the top to explore or get a drink
  • Type of trail: Out and back
  • Distance from Vancouver: 30 minutes

This trail is located in Burnaby and is often called Burnaby’s Grind, a nod to #3 on this list, and takes you up to the top of Burnaby Mountain, also home to Simon Fraser University.

The Velodrome Trail trailhead starts at Burnaby Velodrome, a sports complex along Barnet Highway. You can park here and start the trail from the gravel parking lot. The trail goes up the north side of Burnaby Mountain and will take you up more than 500 stairs before connecting with the Pandora trail.

The trail is marked and easy to follow and will lead you up to a park with Japanese totem poles. It’s worth a stop here to take a look at the totem poles as well as the views out over the Indian Arm and Burrard Inlet.

From here you can either turn around and head back down the way you came, or you can push on a bit further up to the campus of Simon Fraser University. There are lots of coffee and food options here if you need to grab some refreshments before heading back down.

10. Buntzen Lake

Buntzen Lake, Vancouver BC
After rain, the picnic area can flood a little!
  • Distance: 10 km (6.2 mi) round trip
  • Elevation gain: 110 meters (361 feet)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 3.5 hours
  • Type of trail: Loop
  • Distance from Vancouver: 1 hour

Buntzen Lake is a beautiful lake set near the city of Port Moody, about an hour’s drive east of Vancouver. There is a lot of hiking in this area, with Buntzen Lake being one of my favorites.

You can start the trail right from the beach, accessible through the large parking lots inside of the park. Head to your left and walk along the beach to come to the trailhead. The signs will direct you clockwise around the lake. You’ll come to a floating bridge, and then just continue in a clockwise loop around the lake.

This trail is relatively easy, with some ups and downs, but not overly strenuous. It’s a beautiful forested area to walk through, with glimpses of the serene lake along the way.

Once you’re back at the beach, stay here for a picnic. Or, you could also head back into town and hit up Brewer’s Row in Port Moody, a street with 4 craft breweries on one street – super popular with the locals, and a great post-hike activity!

Related Read: If you love to hike, be sure to head over to Vancouver Island. There are some really nice easy hikes near the town of Courtenay, BC.

11. High Knoll

Views from High Knoll Trail, Vancouver
You don’t need to climb that high to get breathtaking views!
  • Distance: 10 km (6.21 mi) round trip
  • Elevation gain: 180 meters (591 feet)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 2.5 hours
  • Type of trail: Out and back
  • Distance from Vancouver: 1 hour

The High Knoll trail is probably one of the lesser-known hikes in the region, primarily because it’s a little further outside of Vancouver, in the community of Port Coquitlam. It’s set in Minnekhada Park, which has tons of walking and biking trails. The benefit of this trail being lesser known is that it isn’t as busy as some of the other popular hikes on this list!

You can park in the Quarry Road parking lot in Minnekhada Park and start the trail right from there. You’ll start off on a gravel path at the beginning, before moving into the more typical rock and root-covered trail. Keep an eye on the signs and follow the trail for the High Knoll.

This trail is fairly flat until the very end, which has a significant steep section at the end. It’s totally worth it though because you’ll end up at a viewpoint with sweeping views of the Minnekhada Park flatlands and the Fraser River. Once done, head back down the way you came.

12. Sasamat Lake

Sasamat Lake, Vancouver, BC
Sasamat Lake is so beautiful!
  • Distance: 3.2 km (2 mi) round trip
  • Elevation gain: Minimal
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 1 hour
  • Type of trail: Loop
  • Distance from Vancouver: 1 hour

Sasamat Lake is the perfect option if you are looking to combine a hike with a relaxing day at the beach! Sasamat Lake (also called White Pine Beach) is located in the community of Belcarra near Port Moody, just an hour’s drive away from Vancouver.

Once you park at the beach, head down to the lake, where the trailhead starts. It’s very easy to follow this trail, as it is an obvious and clearly marked trail that goes directly around the lake. The trail is mostly narrow with roots and rocks to look out for. It is through a beautiful forested area, with glimpses of the lake along the way.

Sasamat is a popular beach during the summer months in Vancouver – the water is warm and excellent for swimming, and the beach is equipped with picnic tables, restrooms, and a concession stand. So, once you are done with the hike, stay for a while and go for a swim!

13. Norvan Falls

  • Distance: 14 km (8.9 mi) round trip
  • Elevation gain: 195 meters (640 feet)
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Time needed: 5 hours
  • Type of trail: Out and back
  • Distance from Vancouver: 40 minutes

Norvan Falls is the perfect hike to experience a day immersed in a west coast rainforest, full of dense forest, streams, and moss-covered ground. Because of its low elevation, it is suitable year-round. It is rated as intermediate primary because of the length, as there is not a lot of elevation gain and it is a fairly easy hike to complete.

You will park at the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park and start the hike by walking across Lynn Creek Bridge. Continue to the left and walk along a wide gravel road until you reach a junction, at which point the trail narrows and you’ll start walking right through the trees.

Follow the signs along the way and keep your ears open for the sound of the rushing water, letting you know you’re close to Norvan Falls! Once you get there, stop and have a snack and enjoy the sights and sounds of this powerful waterfall. Once done, head back the way you came!

14. St. Mark’s Summit

Bailey at the top of St Marks Summit at sunset in Vancouver
The view is so spectacular!
  • Distance: 11 km (6.8 mi) round trip
  • Elevation gain: 460 meters (1,509 feet)
  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Time needed: 5 hours
  • Type of trail: Out and back
  • Distance from Vancouver: 45 minutes

St. Mark’s is one of those hikes that makes you work for the view, but it is so worth it! There is a bit of elevation gain to this one, making it suitable only during the dry months of the year from summer to fall.

This hike is part of the Howe Sound Crest Trail, which is a 30 km (18.6 mi) hike. St. Mark’s is one section of the route that starts from Cypress Mountain, which is another local ski hill in North Vancouver.

You will begin the hike in the Cypress Mountain parking lot for downhill skiing and head towards the Howe Sound Crest Trail sign near the chairlift. Follow this until you reach a gravel road, turn left, and continue on to the trail. You will see markers along the way.

As you’re hiking, look out for the Lions, which is an iconic mountain range in the area (not an actual lion!). You can also see the Howe Sound, the Tantalus mountain range, and on a very clear day, Vancouver Island. There are lots of viewpoints along the way, with the most amazing one right at the top. You will be blown away by the scenery, so make sure to take a picture to remember it!

15. Fort-to-Fort Trail

The beautiful Fraser River on the Fort to Fort Trail, Vancouver
The Fraser River!
  • Distance: 8 km (5 mi) round trip
  • Elevation gain: Minimal
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: 2.5 hours, plus longer to stop for a coffee or shop in Fort Langley
  • Type of trail: Out and back
  • Distance from Vancouver: 1 hour

The Fort-to-Fort trail is located across the Fraser River in the town of Langley. It connects the Fort Langley National Historical Museum in Fort Langley with the original Fort near Derby Reach Park. The fort was built back in the 1800s when the area was used as a trading post along the river during the times of fur trading and gold exploration!

You can start the trail in either Fort Langley or Derby Reach Park. The trail itself is a well-marked and mostly gravel pathway. Sections of it are directly next to the river, while others take you through some trees or meadow areas. It is very picturesque along the way, easy to walk, and generally cool with the breeze off of the river. It is accessible year-round and is also a popular biking path!

Once you’re done with your hike, make sure to spend some time in Fort Langley. This is a very quaint little historical town – movies are frequently filmed here! – and is full of cafes, antique shops, and local artisans to check out!

Related Read: For another exciting area in Vancouver to explore, head to Granville Island. There are plenty of fun things to do on Granville Island that you’ll love!

Hiking in Vancouver FAQs

A lady hikes through the forest in Vancouver, BC
Just imagine surrounding yourself with such beauty!

Other Things to do while you’re in Vancouver

View out the window of a sea plane over Vancouver, Canada
Views from a seaplane are epic!
Bailey sits at the Boatshed Restaurant in Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC
Enjoying the view at sunset from The Boatshed restaurant in Kitsilano.

Vancouver is filled with tons of things to do and see. So while you’re here, be sure not to miss some of the top attractions and activities:

  • Whale Watching – Without a doubt, the most popular tour in Vancouver is whale watching. Set off from the city on a half-day of on the ocean looking for whales. If you’re lucky, you might even see Orcas (also known as Killer Whales.) This whale-watching tour is a ton of fun, and at only about $236 CAD it is good value too!
  • Ride in a Seaplane – One of our favorite memories in Vancouver was riding in a seaplane. Taking off and landing on the ocean is super exciting, and then the views from the air are breathtaking. This seaplane ride lasts for 20 minutes and costs $168 CAD. It departs and returns to Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver. The best part is that seaplane tours in Vancouver operate all year round, so even if you’re visiting Vancouver in the winter you can take to the sky!
  • Eat ALL the food! – Vancouver is a foodie destination. Showcasing cuisine from all around the world in top-rated restaurants, you really need to make an effort to eat out a few times while in Vancouver. For breakfast, Jam Cafe or Medina are our go-to’s. 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 the area of Gastown.
  • 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

Vancouver city skyline
Vancouver skyline

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

Some great hotels and hostels in Vancouver that we love are:

Hyatt Regency Vancouver – $$$

Can’t decide whether you’d prefer to stay near Stanley Park or Gastown? Well, the Hyatt Regency might just be right for you, as it’s located right between them! Rooms here enjoy gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows that help to bring in light and there is a small fridge, work desk, and toiletries in the bathroom too.

You can also conveniently enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner at their beautiful Mosaic Bar and Grill just off the lobby. As you can imagine, it’s a luxury stay in a large hotel chain that is highly reviewed! So if you’re looking to celebrate something special, or just fancy taking your vacation to a whole new level, then staying here will definitely do the trick.

I’ve seen a one-night stay at the Hyatt Regency going as low as $232 CAD per night, although the rooms here on average are more around the $300-$500 CAD mark. So, for the best price, don’t forget to reserve your room in advance.

Times Square Suites – $$

For a beautiful hotel close to Stanley Park, the Times Square Hotel is a fantastic choice! It’s very hard to fault this hotel, and the location really is perfect. The fully equipped kitchens and gas fireplaces are a nice touch in all of the rooms, plus the suites have living rooms and a washer and dryer.

For being pretty affordable, it has a lot of amenities, which is just one of the reasons we love staying here! You can book a room here from $232 CAD per night, but as this is a popular stay, I recommend checking your dates and booking ahead of time to secure your preferred room type!

The Cambie Hostel Gastown – $

The Cambie Hostel is a great budget-friendly hostel that’s located right in the heart of Gastown and close to lots of bars and restaurants and attached to the hostel is a very lively bar too. The rooms are clean, although the bathrooms are a little on the small side (part of the fun when you’re staying cheap, though!).

It’s perfect for backpackers on a budget and is considerably cheaper than others offering comparable quality. A bed in a dorm here starts at around $50 CAD, and you can book a stay here through Hostelworld.com or Booking.com.

Didn’t find exactly what you’re looking for? Click here to browse all hotels in Vancouver!

For more info on the best areas and hotels, check out my complete guide on where to stay in Vancouver. It breaks down everything you need to know before choosing the right hotel!

Getting Around Vancouver 

Aquabus or Water Taxi to Granville Island in Downtown Vancouver
This is a unique way to get around Vancouver!

Transportation and ease of navigating a new city are super important to consider when planning a trip. It will help you determine where to stay and what you’ll be able to visit while in the city. In Vancouver, there are a few different options for transportation in and around the city.

Driving

This is probably the best form of transportation if you want to explore anywhere outside of downtown Vancouver and participate in activities like hiking or skiing, which require getting a bit further away. Traffic in downtown Vancouver can be fairly busy, just like any city center.

There is ample parking available both on the streets and in parkades, though it can be expensive. Some hotels provide parking, so check ahead of time. 

If you can rent a car so you can explore Vancouver with ease! Just be prepared to pay for parking unless your hotel includes it.

Car share

A great option besides renting a car is using a car share service like Modo or Evo. These services allow you to rent a car and pay based on the time it’s used (i.e., pay for 30 minutes, two hours, or the full day, depending on how long you drive).

You can pick up and drop off the car at specific checkpoints around the city and the best part is they get lots of free parking. This makes it super easy to use a car for just the time that you need it. 

Public transportation

Vancouver’s public transit system is not as extensive as many other major cities, but it is still a good way to get around to main attractions. The SkyTrain provides excellent access to some of the neighboring cities, such as Burnaby, New Westminster, or Surrey, so it offers a good option if you plan on exploring outside of downtown. It also runs from the airport, so again, a good option to get into the city from the airport. 

There are also many buses in the city that run frequently. Note that public transportation options are extremely limited overnight, with only a couple of night buses and no SkyTrian options after around 1 am. All public transportation is run by the company TransLink and is fairly affordable – a single trip costs $3.15, and a day pass costs $11.25 CAD.

Taxis and rideshares

Taxis are available throughout the city, as are Uber and Lyft. These are good options in the downtown core but can get pricey if you are going further outside of that region. For example, the taxi cost from YVR to Vancouver is about $30-50 CAD.

Aquabus

The Aquabus is one of the more unique ways to get around Vancouver. These small boats visit 8 locations in the harbor all the way from The Village to Granville Island. The Aquabus costs $19 CAD for a full-day pass or round-trip tickets start at $3.75 but prices vary depending on the route you take. You can check out all their routes and prices here.

Walking and biking

Vancouver is a very walkable city, and it is possible to walk just about anywhere in the downtown core.

Biking is also a good option, as there are dedicated bike lanes throughout most of the city. You can rent bikes all over the city and pretty much ride everywhere you want to downtown. I love doing this, especially on a beautiful day!

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!

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie at the top of St Marks summit in Vancouver, Canada
Thanks for reading!

This is really just a handful of the amazing hikes in the region. But they are our favorites and definitely worth a visit! We have done many of these countless times, and plan on doing them again and again. I hope you enjoy getting outside and active on your next trip to Vancouver, British Columbia!

Thanks so much for reading our blog. If you found it helpful this blog be sure to check out some of our other Canada blogs or these articles below!

How to Spend One Day in Vancouver, BC: An Ideal 1-Day Itinerary

50 EPIC Things to do in Banff, Canada

5 BEST Tours from Vancouver to Butchart Gardens (+ Our Review!)