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Vancouver is an awesome city with so many fun things to do that you would REALLY struggle to get bored here (and we lived here for a long time, so we’re speaking from firsthand experience!).
What makes Vancouver so special is that it’s got a ton of culture to discover, as well as plenty of outdoor adventures, like hiking and whale watching. Whether you prefer hanging out downtown, wandering through Stanley Park, or exploring the great outdoors, you can definitely get your fill of fun here.
There are so many Vancouver city tours available that can help you get acquainted with Vancouver. Taking a tour ensures that you get to see the best of what this city has to offer even if you’re only in Vancouver for a short time, and it can be much more convenient than trying to plan everything yourself.
During our time living in Vancouver, we visited pretty much all of the city’s top attractions and we did tons of tours with friends and family who came to visit. Some were amazing, and others not so much, which is why we’ve put together our ultimate unbiased guide to the absolute BEST tours in Vancouver.
We want you to love this city as much as we do, so make sure you check out our top picks to add to your Vancouver itinerary below!
- Our Top Picks for Tours in Vancouver
- The BEST Tours in Vancouver
- 1. Whale watching
- 2. Sunset dinner cruise
- 3. Gastown food tour
- 4. Seaplane sightseeing flight
- 5. Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge
- 6. Bicycle tour in Stanley Park and downtown
- 7. Fraser Valley wine tour
- 8. Butchart Gardens day trip to Victoria
- 9. Whistler and Sea to Sky Gondola
- 10. Sightseeing tour of Granville Island and Stanley Park
- 11. Behind-the-scenes brewery tour
- 12. Lost Souls of Gastown walking tour
- 13. Two-hour private boat tour in Deep Cove
- 14. Lynn Canyon suspension bridge
- 15. Culinary tour of Chinatown
- Thanks for reading!
- Where to Stay in Vancouver, Canada
- Renting a Car in British Columbia
Our Top Picks for Tours in Vancouver
Best evening tour:
You know a tour is a personal favorite if I came back for a second time bringing my mom along! This luxury sunset dinner cruise ticks all the right boxes – the food is out-of-this-world and the tour has tons of stellar reviews too! Tickets for this tour cost $209 CAD per person and can be booked online here.
Best tour for epic views:
Ok – I might be cheating a little here, but hear me out! I’m definitely partial to a gondola ride or two, which is why this full-day tour with Sea to Sky Gondola admission sits at the top of my favorite scenic tours here. It’s not technically *in* Vancouver – the gondola is 2 hours away – but the views more than make up for the journey!
You can grab tickets online here for this tour for $214 CAD per person, which I think is great value considering it’s a full-day tour.
Best brewery tour:
We adore a pint or two (or three) of craft beer, so we had to include our favorite brewery tour in Vancouver on this list. This 3-hour tour gives you the perfect taste of what happens inside three top-rated breweries, with the drinks flowing all the while.
With tickets at $125 CAD per person, it’s safe to say this tour is a TON of fun, so don’t forget to book your tickets online here in advance to secure your ideal date.
The BEST Tours in Vancouver
1. Whale watching
We are super passionate about whale watching and we do it pretty much whenever we get the chance. If there are whales to be seen, you better believe that we’ll be heading out on a tour to catch a glimpse of these majestic creatures. We never get tired of it!
Between April and October, you can take a half-day whale watching tour from Vancouver and travel by boat around the San Juan Islands, the Gulf Islands, and Howe Sound in search of humpback whales and orcas.
We saw loads of humpback whales on this tour and a pod of orcas swimming together, which was super exciting as we had never seen orcas in the wild before! We spotted lots of sea lions, seals, otters, and sea birds too. There’s a reason we think it’s one of the best boat tours available in Vancouver, after all!
You won’t be traveling on a standard open-air boat, either. This tour uses a heated catamaran with indoor and outdoor viewing decks, so you can stay dry and warm while you look for whales.
The crew is also super friendly and very passionate about what they do, and they answered all of our questions as well as sharing lots of cool info about the areas we cruised around and of course the whales themselves. We’ve been on lots of whale watching tours all over the world and this one was definitely one of the most informative!
This tour costs $225 CAD per adult, $182 CAD for youths (aged 13-17), and $140 CAD for children. It includes a guarantee that you’ll see whales, and if you don’t, you’ll get to go on another tour for free on the next available date. Unlike most tours, this is actually a lifetime guarantee, so if you don’t have time for another tour during your current trip, you can come back at literally any point in the future and head out again for free!
Complementary hot drinks are included in the price of the tour, and there’s a maximum group size of 95 passengers, plus 3-4 expert guides. You’ll also receive a free photo package at the end of a tour, including a personal photo of you and your friends or family, which is a really nice memento.
You can easily book this whale watching experience online here which includes the option to book now and pay later if that works best for you.
Related Read: Heading to Victoria? There are also some pretty amazing whale watching tours in Victoria that you should consider!
2. Sunset dinner cruise
Dinner, drinks, and a sunset cruise on the harbor … if you ask us, it doesn’t get much better than this.
We’ve actually done this tour twice – once as a couple, and then we had such a great time that Bailey took her mom when she came to visit Vancouver. It’s a super special way to spend an evening and the food is seriously delicious. We’ve put together a full guide on how to book this Vancouver sunset dinner cruise because it’s THAT good.
You set out from the wharf on Denman Street, near Coal Harbour, and then cruise past Canada Place and under the Lions Gate Bridge, and onto Kitsilano, watching the sunset along the way with the North Shore Mountains in the background. It really is beautiful.
There’s a dinner buffet with lots of choices, including oven-baked salmon, roast beef, rice pilaf, loads of great salads, and either chocolate cake or blueberry NYC-style cheesecake for dessert. If you don’t feel like they’re going to have to roll you off of the boat afterwards, then you’ve done it wrong!
There’s also live music on board which further adds to the ambiance, and alcoholic drinks are available but they will cost you extra. We decided to indulge and ended up with sore heads the next day, but it was worth it.
The cruise can be booked online for $209 CAD for adults and $196 CAD for kids aged 3-11, so it is a bit of a splurge, but we definitely think it’s worth it. You get to see Vancouver from a totally different perspective, enjoy some amazing food, and just generally feel like royalty for the evening.
The tour runs from May – October, and there’s a maximum of 100 passengers per boat, so it doesn’t feel too crowded and commercial. Even if you only have 2 days in Vancouver, this is worth adding to your trip!
It’s perfect for a romantic evening (this is a great tour if you’re planning a honeymoon in Vancouver!) but just as enjoyable for groups of friends or even a sophisticated family outing! I recommend booking your sunset cruise tickets online soon so the night you want to go doesn’t book up!
3. Gastown food tour
Food, glorious food.
Gastown is a neighborhood in Vancouver’s old town, and it’s home to heritage buildings, lots of history, great pubs, and of course, its dynamic food scene! It’s a super trendy area that’s perfect for enjoying some drinks or a bite to eat, and we absolutely loved the food tour that we took.
You get 7 food and 3 alcohol tastings on this walking tour, so the $125 CAD price tag is well worth it. We had delicious dishes from some of the best restaurants in Gastown, and there were lots of great stories about the history of the area, so we came away not only stuffed full of delicious food, but also with a newfound appreciation for this iconic part of Vancouver.
Traditional Canadian poutine was definitely a highlight of this tour, and if you’ve never heard of it before, poutine is basically french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. It’s an absolute classic and you really can’t say you’ve experienced Vancouver until you’ve tried it. There’s also craft beer (our favorite), Japanese-style chicken, waffles, and cheesecake on the menu, so it really is a feast.
As the first settlement in Vancouver, Gastown has a very colorful history, from its founder “Gassy Jack” to a devastating fire and such a reputation for vice that the term “Skid Row” was actually born here. Our guide was an improv comedian who regaled us with some great stories about this historic neighborhood and kept us laughing throughout.
The maximum group size is 16, so you’ll usually be part of a pretty lively group, and the tour takes around 2.5 hours. This food tour is perfect for a fun night out with friends, or even as a family. Kids are welcome, but they can’t partake in alcohol tastings since the drinking age in BC is 19.
4. Seaplane sightseeing flight
Nothing beats soaring over Vancouver on a scenic seaplane flight, and honestly, this is our favorite thing that we ever did in the city! Planes take off and land in the harbor all day long, and if you have room in your budget, then it’ll be worth every penny.
You’ll get a view of Vancouver like no other as you soar over the city on a 20-minute flight and see the beautiful cityscape from high above. Flying over iconic sites like Stanley Park, Lions Gate Bridge, and the North Shore Mountains gave me goosebumps! For more in-depth details, check out all our tips on booking a Vancouver seaplane flight.
You can take a seaplane flight over Vancouver at any time of year, although it’s best to try and get a good weather day. We always book with Viator so that we can reschedule our flights up to 24 hours beforehand and get the best conditions possible.
An adult ticket costs $160 CAD while kids aged 2-11 fly for $87 CAD, and under 2s can sit on laps and go for free. This is a great activity for pretty much anyone – you can take the whole family, go with friends, or even make it a romantic trip! There’s a maximum group size of 14, so this really is nothing like a commercial flight.
It’s also natural to be nervous before taking off in a seaplane, especially during takeoff and landing. I’ll be the first to admit that I was nervous, but Vancouver seaplanes have a stellar safety record. Hundreds of flights take off and land each day. It’s such a cliche, but it really is safer than driving a car!
This is a popular activity, so book a spot online before it sells out!
Related Read: Taking a seaplane is also a great way to get from Vancouver to Tofino!
5. Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge
Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge are two of Vancouver’s most famous attractions, and they’re conveniently located very close together – just 4 km (2.5 miles) apart, to be precise.
There are a ton of exciting things to do at the top of Grouse Mountain, especially during the summer. You can go ziplining, visit the resident grizzly bears in the wildlife sanctuary, or catch a lumberjack show, to name but a few activities! Plus, the Skyride up the mountain is an awesome attraction in itself. We love visiting Grouse Mountain and went up there a whole bunch of times when we lived in Vancouver because there’s just so much to do.
Meanwhile, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is home to the famous 137-meter (450-foot) long bouncy bridge and an array of other attractions, including the adrenaline-spiking Cliffwalk and a cultural center where you can learn about the area’s Indigenous heritage. For us, this is easily one of the most beautiful places in Vancouver and we always took our visiting friends and relatives to check it out!
Both Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge offer amazing views and a chance to connect with nature, so we recommend getting a combo ticket that covers both attractions so that you can tick off both in a single day. Plus, with this tour you don’t need to worry about navigation, planning ahead, or parking – you can just sit back and enjoy the ride.
What we really love about this tour is how friendly the drivers and guides are. They’re always super happy to answer your questions and will share lots of interesting local insight into the area. This is a really great family day out, as long as everyone is fine with a lot of walking and okay with heights!
The combo tour can be booked online for $214 CAD for adults and $107 CAD for children, including all entry fees, taxes, and transportation, but not food or drink. However, there are cafes and restaurants available at both destinations, or you can bring a packed lunch to save some cash! Hotel pickup and dropoff from downtown Vancouver are also included.
You can visit both Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge all year round, but this tour only runs from April – October, which is when the weather is best and there’s more to do at each destination.
6. Bicycle tour in Stanley Park and downtown
I always think that a bicycle tour is a pretty great way to get to know a city because you can cover quite a lot of ground in just a few hours while enjoying the open air. It’s much more fun than being stuck inside a tour bus, and you can stop whenever something catches your eye.
Stanley Park is one of the most famous parks in Canada thanks to its forests, beaches, walking trails, and of course the seawall. I always recommend that first-timers go and check out Stanley Park, and it’s one of my must-do activities in BC. If you’re only here for a day or two, then a bike tour of downtown and Stanley Park is the perfect way to fit in some sightseeing.
As you explore downtown by bicycle, you’ll get to see famous sights like the Mole Hill Community and Robson Square while you soak in the atmosphere and get a feel for what life in the city is like. Then you’ll go to the waterfront and see the Olympic Cauldron before heading to Stanley Park, where you can explore the trails, gardens and beaches.
This tour costs $79 CAD and lasts for about 3 hours. The maximum group size of 8, which is the perfect size for a bicycle tour as huge groups can be a bit overwhelming and make it difficult to cover a lot of ground.
The best thing about this tour for us was our guide, Jeremy, who knew a TON about Vancouver and some amazing recommendations of places to check out after the tour ended. He was super friendly and made the whole experience that much more entertaining with his anecdotes and insider tips. It definitely made this one of our favorite Stanley Park tours we’ve taken!
This tour is perfect for families, friends, or even to join as a solo rider, so book here to guarantee your spot!
7. Fraser Valley wine tour
Fraser Valley is a gorgeous wine region in British Columbia about two hours away from downtown Vancouver. It’s best known for its cool climate wines, like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and its gorgeous scenery. I love drinking wine in general, but there’s really nothing like tasting lots of different varieties at beautiful wine farms in the middle of nature.
I always recommend taking a wine tour to anyone who wants to check out the Fraser Valley, because that way you don’t have to worry about driving! Plus, it’s a really great way to learn about the wines, get to know the producers, and of course, meet other like-minded wine enthusiasts.
This wine tour takes you to four of the region’s best wineries, including the Glass House Winery, where you can sample artisanal wines, and the Backyard Winery, where you can enjoy a charcuterie board outside among the vines. I never pass up the opportunity to go wine tasting, and this tour is one of the best I’ve ever done!
The tour costs $165 CAD including all of your tastings, a cheese or charcuterie board, and hotel pickup and drop-off. There’s a maximum group size of 20, so you’ll be with enough people for things to be lively and fun, but not so many that it feels overwhelming.
The tour can be booked online and lasts for around 6 hours in total, and no one will judge you if you nod off on the way back to the city after a day of drinking wine in the sun!
8. Butchart Gardens day trip to Victoria
Victoria is an incredibly beautiful city with a strong European vibe. It’s got charm coming from every corner, and it’s a great place to spend the day. The city is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, and most people take the ferry between the two – although you can jump on a tour to Victoria from Vancouver as another option if you’re looking for a day trip from Vancouver.
One of my favorite things to do in Victoria is to visit the Butchart Gardens. It’s absolutely incredible – in fact, huge publications like Conde Nast and CNN Travel have rated it among the best gardens in the entire world. There are over 900 plant varieties, five different garden styles, and 26 greenhouses – it really is amazing.
What’s awesome about these gardens is that everything comes back to the vision of one woman, Jennie Butchart, who wanted to transform her family’s quarry into a place of beauty. Over a hundred years later, the Butchart family still owns and runs the gardens, and visitors from all over the world flock to see them for themselves.
For one of the best tours in Victoria, my pick is this full-day tour that takes you on a cruise past the Gulf Islands and over to Vancouver Island, where you’ll explore the Butchart Gardens before heading to downtown Victoria to explore the Parliament Buildings, Chinatown, and the historic charm of Government Street. I always recommend this tour to friends and family who want to see Victoria but don’t have a lot of time to spend there.
This tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off, as well as all of your transport, so you don’t have to worry about the logistics of traveling between Victoria and Vancouver.
It costs $250 CAD per person and it lasts for 12-13 hours, so you’ll get plenty of time to explore the gardens and Victoria. The tour can be booked online and operates with a maximum of 30 people, so it’s not like a cattle-herding situation!
Related Read: Another beautiful spot on Vancouver Island is the little holiday town of Qualicum Beach!
9. Whistler and Sea to Sky Gondola
Whistler is an amazing ski town located just two hours away from Vancouver. It’s best known as a skiing destination and many of the 2010 Winter Olympic events were held here. It’s a very cute town that feels like something out of a fairy tale at any time of year, and it’s surrounded by stunning mountains that appear to go on forever. I definitely recommend a visit and even staying in Whistler for a couple days if you can.
Meanwhile, the Sea to Sky Gondola is along the Sea to Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler. It takes you to 885 meters (2,900 feet) above sea level for breathtaking views of the Howe Sound and the mountains, of course! I absolutely LOVED my gondola experience and I think it’s a total must-do near Vancouver.
You can combine a day trip to Whistler with a ride on the gondola with this full-day tour which will allow you to take in some of the most beautiful scenery in this part of Canada. It costs $200 CAD and includes your Sea to Sky Gondola ticket, as well as all of your transportation, with live commentary on board which I always think is great for first-time visitors.
You’ll also have several hours of free time in Whistler so that you can explore independently and check out the cafes, boutiques, and attractions that most interest you. If you’re not all gondola-ed out, then we highly recommend the Peak 2 Peak gondola as well!
What we also love about this tour is the fact that it includes a stop at Shannon Falls to check out this awesome feat of nature. Plus, it has a maximum group size of 30 so it doesn’t feel like you’re part of a massive herd. It’s also very well organized and everything runs super smoothly, so you don’t waste time hanging around when you could be exploring!
Related Read: There are a TON of fun tours in Whistler too – think ziplining, helicopter rides, and even axe-throwing!
10. Sightseeing tour of Granville Island and Stanley Park
Okay, so Granville Island is technically a peninsula, but whatever – no trip to Vancouver is complete without checking out this awesome part of the city! It’s known for its vibrant public markets, where you can find all kinds of goodies, from amazing food to local artisan wares. There’s also an awesome craft brewery, which is one of our favorites in the city (and anyone who knows us knows that we LOVE our craft beer!).
This sightseeing tour takes you not only to Granville Park, but all of Vancouver’s coolest neighborhoods, including Chinatown and Gastown, and on a tour of Stanley Park. You’ll be driven around the city in a coach, so you can cover everything in half a day, and your guide will tell you all about the history and culture of each area as you explore.
Don’t get me wrong, I do generally prefer to take my time and explore cities bit by bit, but that isn’t always an option! This tour is absolutely perfect for anyone who doesn’t have long in Vancouver and can’t fit a long time at each of these destinations into their itinerary, or it could also be a great way to get your bearings if you’re staying for longer.
We booked this tour with visiting friends after living here for a while, and we thought that it was a really good introduction to the city. Plus at $73 CAD for adults and $42 CAD for kids, it’s a pretty affordable way to get an overview of the city!
11. Behind-the-scenes brewery tour
Okay, this one is a personal favorite of ours because we LOVE craft beer – in fact, you might struggle to find a blog post of ours where we don’t mention at least one place to grab a pint! So naturally, we think that this behind-the-scenes brewery tour is one of the very best things to do in Vancouver.
Vancouver is known for its brewery culture, so there really is no better place to take a brewery tour. This one will take you to three of Vancouver’s best breweries, and you’ll get a VIP tour of each one where you’ll get to see how the beer is made, which we loved! Plus, the guides are super passionate about craft beer and there’s a max group size of 14, so you can get to know your fellow beer enthusiasts and make some new friends. You could book onto this tour solo and still have a great time because there’s such a good atmosphere throughout.
The tour can be booked online in advance and costs $110 CAD, so it’s not the cheapest but it has won multiple awards and the company received a pretty glowing review from CNN traveler! You’ll get to try loads of different beers and get a free glass to commemorate your experience. Pickup and drop-off is at the Waterfront Station downtown, and you get priority seating at all of the breweries, so no need to worry if they look busy when you arrive.
You do need to be at least 19 to go on this tour and it’s best to bring some ID to prove your age – especially if you’re lucky enough that someone might question whether you’re able to legally drink in Canada!
12. Lost Souls of Gastown walking tour
As we mentioned earlier, Gastown has a pretty checkered past, which makes it the perfect place for a spooky nighttime tour!
Gastown is named after “Gassy” Jack Deighton, a mariner and saloon owner who lived in New Westminster. Gassy Jack realized that some of his customers had walked over five hours from the Vancouver Island Sawmill Company just to get a drink in his bar. (Now that’s dedication!).
We won’t spoil too much of the tour, but long story short, Gassy Jack loaded up a canoe full of whiskey and traveled to the Burrard Inlet, where he set up another saloon and paid the construction workers in whiskey. Other businesses soon followed suit and Gastown was born. It quickly became a hotbed of brothels and opium dens, so, unsurprisingly, there are some very dark secrets to uncover here.
The Lost Souls of Gastown tour will take you to all of the spookiest hotspots in Canada’s former wild west, and you’ll hear stories of the thieves and vagabonds who called it home. The guides are actors who will be in character the whole time as they recount some of the city’s most grisly stories and show you some of the fascinating historical sites.
We absolutely loved learning about Gastown’s grim history, and the tour was super atmospheric. Gastown’s historic buildings and cobblestone streets definitely have a spooky air about them, and it feels less like a tour and more like stepping into a time machine.
At $38 CAD, this tour is also a pretty affordable way to spend an evening in Vancouver. It runs from February until Halloween, and it begins at 7 pm every night. There’s some pretty mature subject matter discussed in these tours – Gastown was the red light district for a long time, after all – so it’s generally recommended for teens aged 14 and over, although over 10s are welcome at their parents’ discretion.
We think this is a great activity to enjoy with friends or (adult) family members, and it’s definitely one of the most unique tours on offer in Vancouver. Anything with even a vague interest in history or the paranormal will love this tour.
Related Read: For another fun evening activity, we recommend checking out the Richmond Night Market in Vancouver!
13. Two-hour private boat tour in Deep Cove
Deep Cove is a picture-perfect little town in North Vancouver, and although many tourists neglect to venture this far, it really is a must-see spot. It’s located along the Indian Arm, a stunningly beautiful fjord that’s just begging to be explored!
We always find that the locals are super friendly (even more so than your average Canadian) and there’s a lot to do in Deep Cove in the summertime, like kayaking, SUPping, and the famous Baden Powell hike.
If you do decide to visit Deep Cove (and you should!), then we highly recommend this 2-hour chartered boat tour which will take you along the Indian Arm for breathtaking views of the fjord. We saw a ton of wildlife on this tour, including deer, sea birds, and cute harbor seals. If you’re really lucky, you might even spot some orcas!
What’s cool about this tour is that it’s just you and your group, so you can tailor it to your own interests and feel like a total VIP. The boat owner and operator, Michael, is super friendly and has over 30 years of marine experience around Vancouver, so he’s a total expert on this area and will see to it that you have the best time possible out on the water.
Really, nothing says “vacation” like chartering a boat, and at $390 CAD for a group of up to six passengers, this is a pretty affordable way to do it. We think that this tour is perfect for a group of friends or a family, and it’s such an awesome way to experience a different side of Deep Cove.
Since this is a private tour, I recommend booking online early to guarantee you get the day you want!
14. Lynn Canyon suspension bridge
Naturally, you’re going to want some great pics #forthegram from your trip to Vancouver, and this photography tour is an awesome way to get those perfect snaps. We love capturing amazing pictures of our travels – and not just to post on our blog, either – so we thought why not combine a rainforest hike with a photography lesson?
The Lynn Canyon suspension bridge is the perfect spot for this. It’s a 48-meter (157-foot) long bridge over the canyon in the middle of a rainforest. On the trek, you’ll not only cross the bridge and hike a beautiful trail along which you’ll see pretty streams, impressive waterfalls, and beautiful natural pools, but you’ll also learn how to capture them all like a pro!
There’s a maximum group size of 6 for this tour, and we received a lot of personal attention from our instructor. In a big group, you probably wouldn’t learn much, which is why we love this more intimate tour. You’ll pick up some awesome tricks and tips that you can use on your travels all over the world, not just in Vancouver.
Crossing the suspension bridge is a pretty incredible experience and the forest hike is just beautiful, so the fact that you learn how to photograph it all is an awesome addition! This tour is perfect for anyone who wants to sharpen up their camera skills and capture more than just selfies or point-and-shoot iPhone pics. And if you don’t have your own DSLR camera, you can also borrow one from the tour company.
Your guide will also snap pictures of you and the group as you go, so you’ll get some great photographs to remember the tour that you actually feature in, too!
The tour lasts for around 3 hours and costs $107 CAD per person, including pickup and drop-off outside the Starbucks on Pender Street downtown. We really rate this tour company highly for its mission to teach both the art of photography and promote a deeper appreciation of nature!
15. Culinary tour of Chinatown
Almost a third of Vancouver’s population is Chinese, which means that Vancouver is home to one of the liveliest and most vibrant Chinatowns we’ve ever visited! And of course, when visiting Chinatown, sampling some of the delicious local cuisine is practically mandatory.
This culinary “wok” around Chinatown (I know, we love the name too) is a deep dive into this awesome neighborhood. They say that the best way to get to know a place is through its food, and this tour will have you tasting mouth-watering dishes like barbecued crispy duck, steamed dumplings, and squid. There are also some sweet dishes, which are always cool to try because I feel like most westerners only ever eat savory Chinese food!
You’ll also visit Traditional Chinese Medicine stores to learn about the ancient art of herbal medicine and sample traditional teas. This was actually one of the most interesting parts of the tour for me!
There’s also a stop at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, which is a real urban oasis. It’s quite small but super pretty, and a nice little reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Chinatown.
Chinatown is one of those neighborhoods that you can get lost for hours in, so this tour is an awesome way to get your bearings and really get to know the culture. The tour costs $115 CAD and lasts for around 4 hours, starting and ending at the Classical Chinese Garden. The max group size is only 10 people, so you get to chat a lot with your guide and get to know the other participants. We always way prefer smaller groups to larger ones on these types of tours!
Another thing we love about this tour company is that it’s owned by a Chinatown local with a huge passion for sharing the culture and history of the area, so the tour feels super authentic and not at all gimmick-y. If you ask us, booking this tour is the best way to experience Chinatown!
Related Read: Another must-visit part of the city is the waterfront area in North Vancouver known as Lonsdale Quay!
Where to Stay in Vancouver, Canada
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:
The Cambie Hostel Gastown – This budget hostel is an overall good budget choice. The location is 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 but the bathrooms are a little cramped. It’s perfect for backpackers on a budget and is considerably cheaper than others offering comparable quality. Easily book a stay here through Hostelworld.com or Booking.com.
Times Square Suites – For a beautiful hotel close to Stanley Park you can’t go past the Times Square Hotel. It’s very hard to fault this hotel and the location is perfect. The fully equipped kitchens and gas fireplaces are a nice touch in all of the rooms and the suites have living rooms and a washer and dryer! For being affordable it has a lot of amenities.
Hyatt Regency Vancouver – For those wanting the perfect location halfway between Stanley Park and Gastown, the Hyatt Regency is a perfect choice. The floor-to-ceiling windows help to bring in light and there is a small fridge, work desk, and toiletries in the bathroom. Conveniently enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the Mosaic Bar and Grill off the lobby. As you can imagine, it’s a luxury stay in a large hotel chain that is highly reviewed!
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!
Renting a Car in British Columbia
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!
Hopefully, you enjoyed our roundup of the best tours in Vancouver! We’ve spent a ton of time exploring Vancouver and these are the tours that really stood out for us. No matter if you’re an adventurous traveler or looking for some relaxation, there’s a tour that will be a good fit. If you have any questions about our experiences on these tours, feel free to leave us a comment below!
If you’re looking to explore more amazing places in BC, take a look around our other blogs about traveling in Canada. We would love to help plan your trip with activities, tours, restaurant recommendations, and road trip guides.