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Is Vancouver Worth Visiting? My Honest Review After Living Here!

Is Vancouver Worth Visiting? My Honest Review After Living Here!

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If you’re planning a visit to Canada, you might be wondering if Vancouver is worth visiting. It’s one of the largest and most famous cities in the country, so since we’ve visited countless times and actually lived here, we thought we’d give you the lowdown. 

Vancouver is such a fun and exciting city to visit. Thanks to its beaches and mountains, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities to enjoy here, as well as a bustling downtown, beautiful parks, and skiing during the winter. 

And if all of that weren’t enough, there are also some epic day trips you can take. Vancouver is a fantastic city in its own right, but it’s also the gateway to places like Whistler, Squamish, and the Sea to Sky Highway.

We’ve written a full review of Vancouver, so keep on reading to discover the pros and cons of visiting, as well as the best things to do, and the prime time to go. As locals, we’ve included tons of tips that a lot of other blogs might not tell you!

Is Vancouver Worth Visiting?

Bailey poses for a photo at Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver
Welcome to Kits!
Bailey walks the Vancouver seawall in Yaletown
We love walking the seawall!

We’ll cut to the chase here: yes, Vancouver is 100% worth visiting. In fact, it’s easily one of the best cities in Canada. The mountains meet the ocean in this beautiful city, and it’s also easy to reach so many other gorgeous destinations in British Columbia from here. 

But Vancouver’s not just a gateway. The city itself is filled with interesting history, delicious food from all over the world, and a ton of cool things to see and do. Honestly, I can’t imagine ever getting bored here!

I really do believe that every trip to Canada should either start or end with a visit to Vancouver. The airport here is fantastic and well-connected, so it’s easy to fly in and out of, and it won’t take you long to fall in love with the place. We couldn’t get enough on our many visits, and so we ended up calling it home. After you visit, you may well be tempted to do the same! 

Pros of Visiting Vancouver

1. Gateway to Whistler and many more amazing places

The view out the window of the Sasquatch Zipline in Whistler as another cart moves by.
Whistler Peak to Peak Gondola!
People walk accross the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver
Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of the most iconic attractions in Vancouver!

When you visit Vancouver, you haven’t just got an incredible, thriving city on your doorstep – it’s also the gateway to many other amazing spots in BC. For us, one of the best things about living in Vancouver was having easy access to so many beautiful places.

Whistler is only 1.5 hours away by car, so it’s really easy to take a day trip to Whistler from Vancouver. It’s home to the largest ski resort in North America, and it’s a fantastic mountain playground all year round. You can go and explore by yourself, or book a sightseeing tour like this one to make sure that you get to experience the best of this gorgeous alpine town in just one day (and ride on the epic Sea to Sky gondola!).

Speaking of the Sea to Sky highway, it makes for an epic road trip from Vancouver. With over 15 scenic stops along the way, this beautiful stretch of road really has the wow factor. We love stretching our legs with the short hike to Shannon Falls, and you can’t miss the chance to climb up Stawamus Chief for epic views over the Howe Sound. 

Meanwhile, the amazing Capilano Suspension Bridge is only 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver, as is Grouse Mountain, which offers amazing views of the city and a ton of fun activities like one of Vancouver’s best gondolas

We also love going wine tasting in the Fraser Valley, where you can try some delicious cool climate wines amid vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see. It’s also worth visiting the often-overlooked town of Hope, where you can visit the historic Othello tunnels, check out tons of waterfalls, and hang out at Kawkawa Lake.

For an outdoorsy day out, in the summer you can go hiking in Mt. Seymour Provincial Park, which is just a 30-minute drive from Vancouver, or enjoy an exciting day of skiing there during the winter! 

And when we lived in Vancouver, we also loved escaping the hustle and bustle for a relaxing day by the water at Alouette Lake, which is a bit of a local hidden gem. 

2. Tons of amazing foods to try

Eggs benedict at Jam Cafe, Vancouver
Jam Cafe!
Chicken dish at Nuba, Vancouver
Nuba!

Vancouver is a foodie’s paradise, and there’s just so much to eat here, from global cuisine to Canadian classics. I had some of the best lobster of my entire life at Blue Water Cafe in Yaletown, which is a trendy fine dining spot, and if you’re craving steak you can’t go wrong at the sophisticated but lively Black + Blue.

We also love going for brunch at Jam Cafe in Kitsilano, and for an affordable meal, you can stuff your face at Nuba, an authentic Lebanese restaurant that has locations all over the city. Another favorite of ours is Tacofino, which started as a food truck outside a surf shop but has now become a thriving local chain. We especially love eating at their spot in Kitsilano because it has a burrito bar! 

Meanwhile, the historic neighborhood of Gastown is home to a ton of awesome hole-in-the-wall spots. These can be tricky to find on your own, but we took this walking food tour and couldn’t believe how many hidden gems we found. We tried everything from cheese curds to handmade ice cream and were also treated to 3 alcohol tastings on top of all of that food. You can easily book the same food tour we took online here for around $100 CAD including all your food and drinks!

3. A great city to visit without a car

Waterfront view in Lonsdale Quay, Vancouver
The public ferry goes right to Lonsdale Quay!

One of the (many!) great things about Vancouver is that you don’t need a car to get around. The city has a safe, affordable, and extensive public transport network that makes it easy to get from A to B. 

The city center is well connected by bus, and you can also take the SkyTrain if you’re going a little further afield. Meanwhile, you can also get from downtown Vancouver to the North Shore by SeaBus! Plus, most public vehicles have free WiFi that you can use. 

It’s a good idea to download the TransLink trip planner app onto your phone before heading out in Vancouver, as this will allow you to plan your route, calculate fares, and see schedules and live times. 

4. Cool neighborhoods all over the city

Bailey relaxing at Kitsilano Beach at sunset in Vancouver
Kits Beach!

Vancouver is like a patchwork quilt of vibrant neighborhoods, and each one has its own character, history, and charm. 

Honestly, you’ve got to visit Kitsilano while you’re in the city. This neighborhood is best known as the home of Kits Beach, which is easily one of the best beaches that Vancouver has to offer, as well as tons of fantastic cafes, restaurants, and cute independent stores. There’s a very laid-back, hippie feel around here and it truly is the place to be during the summer in Vancouver, but you can still enjoy a dip in the beachfront Kitsilano Pool on cooler days because this saltwater pool is heated! 

We also love Yaletown on Vancouver’s south side. It used to be a warehouse district, but now the buildings have been converted into cool bars, restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries. There’s a cool, creative feel to Yaletown, and many local celebrities choose to live here! When I lived nearby in the Olympic Village, I loved taking an afternoon walk along the Seawall to enjoy the views and sipping on craft beer at the Yaletown Brewing Company

Hanging out in Gastown is also a must. It’s arguably the city’s most famous neighborhood, and it’s certainly the most historic! There are tons of fantastic eateries here, and old-timey pubs, including the Lamplighter Public House, which is the oldest one in the city.

We discovered lots of awesome watering holes on this Gastown pub crawl, and also met some great people, including a few fellow locals! The pub crawl happens every Friday night and includes free shots, cover, and skip-the-line entry which is a huge plus as bars in Vancouver get busy on the weekends! It’s only $26 CAD when you book online here!

5. Safe city for tourists

Three people enjoy pizza at Cypress Pop-Up Village in Vancouver
Oh, Vancouver!

Vancouver is a very safe city, and the crime rate is low. In fact, it’s almost unheard of for serious crimes to happen to tourists, and you can feel comfortable walking around here at any time of day (or night!). So even if you’re traveling alone or with young children, you don’t need to worry about safety here, aside from the basic precautions you’d take in any city. 

6. Warm weather in summer and mild winter

Vancouver City in Winter
Vancouver in winter!

One thing that I love about Vancouver is that it never gets too hot or too cold. It’s a Goldilocks city, weather-wise! 

During the summer, the warm weather allows you to enjoy lots of outdoor activities without overheating, as the temperature tends to hover between 20-22°C (68-72°F). This is ideal for hiking, enjoying a sunset harbor cruise, chilling out at the beaches, and exploring the city on foot. 

Meanwhile, the winters in Vancouver are mild – especially compared to the rest of Canada! Temperatures vary between 3-8°C (37-46°F), so while you’ll need a coat, you won’t be wading through waist-deep snow or worrying about frostbite. Plus, there’s a ton to do in Vancouver in the winter.

You can go skiing nearby in places like Whistler or Grouse Mountain, enjoy the Christmas lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, go snowshoeing, or warm up with lots of yummy food on this secret food tour

Related Read: See our guide to where to stay in Whistler for more info on the best areas and top-rated hotels if you plan to stay there overnight.

Cons of Visiting Vancouver 

1. Busy city

Birds eye view of the Richmond Night Market, Vancouver
The Richmond Night Market!

One downside to visiting Vancouver is that it is a busy city. Because it’s so great, lots of tourists come to visit each year, and it’s home to around 675,000 residents. It’s actually one of the most densely populated cities in Canada, so it’s not the most peaceful place to visit, but then again it’s nowhere near as crowded as somewhere like New York City

In fact, my tip for avoiding the crowds in Vancouver would be to visit in the spring. In May, the skiing crowd has left but the peak summer season is yet to begin, so it’s one of the quietest months of the year. 

2. Hotels are expensive

EXchange Hotel Vancouver
Photo credit: EXchange Hotel Vancouver

Accommodation in Vancouver is pretty pricey, topping the list of the most expensive cities in Canada. You’re looking at a couple hundred Canadian dollars per night to book a hotel here, so it’s definitely not a cheap place to stay. However, thanks to the city’s fantastic public transport network, at least it won’t cost you a lot to get around! 

3. Traffic

The traffic in Vancouver can be pretty bad, so if you want to rent a car here we definitely suggest trying your best to avoid rush hour, which is between 6 am and 8:30 am, and 4:30 pm until 7 pm. The public transport network here is great, though, and easy to use, so this can be avoided. 

4. Can rain a lot (even in summer)

Wandering Stanley Park while its raining in Vancouver
Rainy days in Stanley Park!

One of the things that we love about Vancouver is its moderate and comfortable temperatures, but unfortunately, it does rain a lot here. With 140 to 170 rainy days every year, chances are that you will experience some rainfall while you’re in the city, even if you visit during the summer. 

Having said that, there is definitely less rain during the summer months in Vancouver, but you still can’t rule it out. Still, on the upside, there are lots of cool indoor things to do in Vancouver, and some places – such as the Capilano Suspension Bridge – actually look even more beautiful in the rain. 

Related Read: We’ve got an entire guide to the best things to do in Vancouver when it rains including exploring the Vancouver Aquarium and visiting the city’s breweries.

When is the Best Time to Visit Vancouver?

Vancouver City on a sunny day in False Creek
Vancouver is stunning!

Summer (June to September)

Overall, the best time to visit Vancouver is during the summer months, which are from June to September. I love being in Vancouver during the summer because you’re able to explore the great outdoors and enjoy weather over 20°C (68°F) most days. It’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of all of the fantastic activities that this city has to offer! 

Winter (December to March)

The main reason that people visit Vancouver during winter is to ski and snowboard. Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain, and Mt. Seymour Provincial Park are all amazing places to carve, and you’ve also got Whistler just 1.5 hours away.

Both the city and ski resorts are very busy during winter, but they’re also beautiful and have lots of fun, festive events to enjoy. However, we think that the prime time to ski is in January and February. This is when the snow is at its best, but the runs aren’t as busy as they are in December.

May 

May is actually one of my favorite times to be in Vancouver! It’s usually warm without being busy because the summer tourists haven’t arrived yet. You can still explore most of the mountain trails, and the temperatures are ideal for hiking. However, it can also be cold or rainy during this time, depending on the year. There’s an average of 14 rain days per month in May. This is mostly in the form of short showers – but you never quite know what the Vancouver weather is going to do! 

10 Best Things to do in Vancouver

There are so many incredible things to do in Vancouver, so we’re really just scratching the surface by listing 10. For even more ideas, be sure to check out our full list of the 50+ best things to do in Vancouver and we’ve also got specific lists for summer and winter as well! 

1. Visit Granville Island

Bailey drinks a beer at Granville Island Brewing
You had me at craft beer!
Bailey wonders the Granville Island Market in Vancouver, BC
The Granville Island Market!

No trip to Vancouver is complete without checking out Granville Island. For those who don’t know, Granville Island is a small island (well, kind of, it is technically attached to the mainland) accessed by either boat or car right in the downtown area. On Granville Island, there are a few different things to do and explore. My personal favorite, though, is the Granville Island Public Markets.

The markets offer fresh produce, meat, and fish, souvenirs, as well as many stalls where you can have a tasty meal. There is literally so much food at the Granville Island Markets – it’s a great place to go for lunch!

One of my favorite stalls is Lee’s Donuts which is well known as the best place to get donuts in Vancouver. I also really love the stalls with fresh pasta. I often pick some up when I have friends coming to visit!

Other things to do on Granville Island include shopping, watching street performers, going on a boat tour, visiting the Kids Markets, or even checking out the brewery.

2. Explore Stanley Park

Bailey rides through Stanley Park on a tour in Canada
I think exploring Stanley Park by bike is best!

This is possibly the most iconic thing to do in Vancouver. Stanley Park is one of Canada’s most famous parks, and it’s conveniently located right in the heart of the city. Even if you’re only spending one day in Vancouver, I highly recommend you make time to visit Stanley Park.

Stanley Park itself is huge! That is why cycling in Stanley Park has become so popular. In particular, people bike along the seawall, which has an allocated bicycle lane.

The cycle trail around the Stanley Park seawall is 12 kilometers/7.5 miles long and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to cycle at a moderate pace. There are many different bicycle shops near the entrance to Stanley Park, where you can rent a bike. Expect to pay around $20 CAD for an hour-and-a-half rental.

You can also just join a bicycle tour in Stanley Park. Our pick is this particular bicycle tour that includes cycling around Stanley Park and going to a few other main attractions such as Gastown, Chinatown, and taking the Aqua Ferry over to Granville Island! And the best part? It is a full-day guided tour that doesn’t cost much more than you would pay for a bicycle rental for the day! You can book the tour online here.

Of course, if you don’t overly love riding bikes, you can also enjoy a walk through Stanley Park. Be warned though, the park is huge, and you can’t walk it all in a day!

3. Walk the Capilano Suspension Bridge

Capilano Suspension Bridge
Capilano Suspension Bridge!

Visiting the Capilano Suspension Bridge is another iconic Vancouver activity. The Capilano Suspension Bridge is located only a 20-minute drive from Vancouver city center. Here, you can do the treetop walk and cross the world-famous Capilano Suspension Bridge.

The Capilano Suspension Bridge is the name of the entire area (including the huge bridge with the same name). Here, you can explore various trails through the forest and read information boards about the area. You’ll also embark on a treetop walk, including crossing various hanging bridges. There’s a pretty cool (or scary, if you’re afraid of heights) glass-floor lookout.

You only need an hour or two to explore, and the entrance fee is $67 CAD for adults. They also run a free shuttle from downtown, so you don’t have to worry about getting there.

They limit the number of people who can enter at any one time, so it’s a great idea to buy your tickets in advance online here. When you purchase your tickets, you’ll select a time and date to guarantee your entry.

4. Ride in a seaplane

View of English Bay from a sea plane traveling from Vancouver to Tofino
Flying out of Vancouver on seaplane!

One of the most iconic features of Vancouver is the seaplanes that take off and land in the harbor every day, all day. These seaplanes are not only a form of transport but also the gateway to the best seat in the house with views over Vancouver.

To me, this was the most exciting thing I have done in Vancouver! The scenic flight I did was the 20-minute Vancouver city seaplane tour. Although short, it was such a fantastic experience, and we got to see so much of the city and surrounding mountains. The best part is that it only costs $168 CAD per person! Can you believe that?

There are a ton of seaplane tours to choose from in Vancouver, depending on where you’re heading and your budget. There are flights to TofinoVictoria, and even Seattle! There are actually even seaplane tours that also combine with whale watching for a really special day.

Although there are plenty of different seaplane tours to choose from in Vancouver, the one next on my list would be this tour that visits alpine lakes. You’ll depart in Vancouver and get to see the city from above before heading out to Whistler Mountain where you’ll get to land on a secret alpine lake! You’ll also see beautiful blue lakes and glaciers from above! It is a 1-hour flight, so it is also longer than many of the others. You can book online here for this bucket list tour!

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.

5. Visit Kitsilano

Bailey sits at the Boatshed Restaurant in Kitsilano, Vancouver, BC
Enjoying the view at sunset from The Boathouse at Kits Beach.
Ramen from Ramen Danbo in Vancouver, BC
The famous Ramen from Danbo – one of the best restaurants in Kitsilano!!

Without a doubt, my favorite beach in Vancouver is Kitsilano Beach, or as we locals call it, Kits Beach.

But Kitsilano is more than just a beach. It’s a neighborhood filled with trendy bars, restaurants, and shops. Going for a stroll on the beach for sunset and then heading out for dinner and drinks afterward is a perfect way to spend an evening in Vancouver.

My recommendation is to make sure you visit the beach for sunset, especially in the peak summer months. If you love seafood and fantastic views, I highly suggest dinner and drinks at The Boathouse Restaurant. The restaurant has the best view of the beach, and I’ve spent many sunsets up there enjoying cocktails and seafood.

Another place in downtown Kits, a short walk from the beach, is Danbo Ramen. It’s well-known as one of the best ramen restaurants in Vancouver, and I love it! You need to book in advance, and there is often a 45-minute wait, so plan ahead.

There are also lots of other activities in Kitsilano, including the waterfront public swimming pool, kayaking, biking, the Kits Farmers Market, as well as the Maritime Museum.

6. Get outside and go hiking

man sitting at the top of Tunnel Bluffs Hike
Tunnel Bluffs!

Vancouver is the number one major city in Canada for hiking. There are hikes you can do all over the surrounding mountains. Seriously, you need to get out of the city and go hiking at least once while in Vancouver.

But what are the best hikes in Vancouver? Well, I’m glad you asked. As a hiker myself, I know tons of hiking trails around Vancouver. Some of my favorites include:

Tunnel Bluffs – Tunnel Bluffs is a more unknown hike in Vancouver located around 45 minutes outside the city. It’s one of my favorite sunset hikes and is 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) each way. I rate it as moderate, and most of the trail is on an access road. There is a small parking lot at the trailhead, which requires paid parking, but it’s so worth it. Allow around 4 hours (for the hike and parking).

Grouse Grind – 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. Despite being only 2.5 km (1.5 mi) each way, the trail climbs a whopping 850 meters (2,788 feet) in elevation – no wonder its nickname is Mother Nature’s Stairmaster! It’s one steep hike, but it ends at the top of Grouse Mountain. Of course, if you don’t want to hike the trail, you can also take the gondola up and down.

St Marks Summit – St Marks Summit is a very similar hike to Tunnels Bluffs, but St Marks is a busier trail. The trail begins from Cypress Ski Resort and is 11 km (6.8 mi) return. There is a moderate elevation gain of 450 meters (1,476 feet), and you should allow 4 hours. The view from the top is out of this world!

7. Go whale watching

Pod of orca swim near a whale watching boat on a tour from Vancouver
A pod of Orcas spotted near Vancouver!

Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Vancouver is to go on a whale-watching tour. From out on the open water, you’ll have to opportunity to spot various types of whales, including Humpback whales and, my favorite, Orcas. But besides whales, you’ll also have the opportunity to see other wildlife, including seabirds, seals, and otters.

You’ll cruise around the Gulf and the San Juan Islands, taking in the picturesque scenery while keeping a close lookout for whales. With so many around, it’s very likely you’ll see a few! In fact, the cruise I did guarantees you’ll see them, or you can return for a free cruise. On our cruise, we saw lots of whales, including a pod of five Orcas!

The best time of year to go whale watching in Vancouver is from May to October. You can expect to pay about $236 CAD per person for the half-day whale-watching tour I did. Tea and coffee are included on the tour as well as expert naturalists to teach you all about the whales and area.

Related Read: Some activities in the city can get pricey, so we’ve put together an entire list of the best free things to do in Vancouver to give your budget a break!

8. Visit Grouse Mountain

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

Grouse Mountain is one of Vancouver’s most popular ski hills. Although a popular ski resort, Grouse Mountain isn’t just for those looking to hit the slopes. In fact, all year round you can ride their Skyride (cable car) to the top of the mountain, where you’ll get views of Vancouver as well as have access to a variety of different activities.

Some of the most popular activities include a visit to the Wildlife Refuge (where you can usually see Grizzly bears), the Lumber Jack show, ziplining, a ropes course, and there are even restaurants!

In the winter, the activities differ slightly, but they have an ice skating rink, light walk, snowshoeing, and evening a “Sliding Zone” for sledding.

You can skip the line if you buy your admission tickets to Grouse Mountain (including the gondola ride and other included activities and shows) online here! A ticket costs $81 CAD and you can ride the shuttle from downtown to Grouse Mountain for free!

Tip: Check out our guide on how to get to Grouse Mountain from Vancouver for more info!

9. Go skiing/snowboarding

Lining up at the ski lift at Grouse Mountain
Lining up at the ski lift at Grouse Mountain

In the winter in Vancouver, you need to go skiing or snowboarding!

The most popular and closest places for hitting the slopes in Vancouver include Mt Seymour, Cypress Mountain, and Grouse Mountain. These three mountains are within 45 minutes of downtown Vancouver. A day of skiing or snowboarding costs around $70 CAD per person depending on which resort you visit – that’s some of the cheapest skiing in Canada!

You can rent gear and even just get a day pass if you only want to spend one day here. Of course, there are also multi-day and season passes available, too. The ski resorts near Vancouver typically open in December and close in May each year, depending on the weather conditions.

In the summer, these ski mountains turn into awesome places for hiking or even mountain biking! I personally enjoy walking the trails from the top of Mt Seymour. Mystery Lake is a great short hike that can be done in an hour or so!

10. Check out a festival or event

Ladies cook at the The Greek Festival in downtown Vancouver!
Yummy! The Greek Festival in downtown Vancouver!

There always seems to be something going on in Vancouver. Festivals, shows, events – you name it! Some of the most popular annual events include the Pride Festival, music festivals, and film festivals. But there are literally hundreds more!

We actually went to the Greek Festival, and there were just blocks and blocks of vendors! There was tons of food, performers, and different stalls to check out.   

Another favorite is the Richmond Night Market showcasing some of the best and most interesting Asian cuisines in Vancouver. This includes things such as sushi tacos, deep-fried squid, dumplings, and more. On top of that, you can find Canadian treats such as smoked meats, poutine, and even beaver tails (the dessert). There are also rides and carnival games and a market selling things from unique handcrafts to cheap clothing and toys. It’s one of the largest markets I have ever been to!

The Richmond Night Market operates from May to October on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. The event is pretty much all cash, and food items are not overly cheap so be sure to bring enough.

How long should you spend in Vancouver?

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie while on a zodiac tour to Bowen Island from Vancouver
Exploring on a zodiac tour in Vancouver!

My advice would be to spend between 3 to 5 nights here. I think that 4 nights is the sweet spot for having enough time to settle in, explore, do some fun tours, and check out the city’s amazing restaurants.

Of course, if you have longer, why not stay a while! I personally fell in love with Vancouver after my first visit and always dreamed of living there. That dream turned into a reality and Vancouver will always have a piece of my heart!

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!

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey try craft beer at a brewery in Vancouver, BC
Thanks for reading!

Clearly, we think Vancouver is fun and exciting enough to make it worth visiting! There’s so much to enjoy here from the beaches to the mountains that Vancouver is hard not to love. After all, we liked it so much that we ended up living here!

Hopefully, this guide has helped you prepare to plan your own visit to Vancouver. While you’re here, be sure to check out our other blogs about Canada. Here are a few related blogs I think you might like:

How to Plan the MOST ROMANTIC Vancouver Honeymoon

21 BEST Stops on the Drive from Calgary to Vancouver

13 BEST Tours in Whistler, BC (that you don’t want to miss!)