The Ultimate Travel Guide for First Time Travelers to Vancouver

Vancouver is a beautiful seaport city in Western Canada. In addition to being the third-largest city in Canada, Vancouver is also North America’s third-largest film production center. The city is unique in that it is an urban center surrounded by sea and mountains; hence it offers the best of both worlds.

When to visit 

The city of Vancouver has a reputation for having unceasing rain, hence, a good month to plan a visit is in August. This guarantees you long warm sunny days, and in addition, this is the month that records the least rainfall.

Where to Stay

You have a choice of several neighborhoods, each with unique attributes:

Downtown Vancouver

This is the center of the action and an excellent location for first-time visitors. The top sights and activities are within reach, in addition to which there is an efficient public transport system.

Yaletown 

Known as the trendy area of downtown Vancouver, it is recommended for upscale accommodation. This is a waterfront neighborhood, with marinas, the seawall, and a high concentration of excellent eateries. There are several green spaces in the vicinity including David Lam Park, one of the biggest parks in Vancouver.

Coal Harbour 

An area situated downtown right on the water, this is a laid back area with neighborhood cafes, lots of pubs serving a great selection of local craft brews, and a vibrant night-life.

The West End

If you want to get a taste of how the locals live, the West End is the place to stay. The main attractions here are its parks and beaches. The West End is surrounded by water on three sides, hence you can spend enjoyable hours visiting the beaches. Alternatively, you can choose to explore Stanley Park which is nearby.

Where to Go

Stanley Park

This popular park borders the downtown area of Vancouver. Situated on a peninsular, it is a leading tourist attraction with beautiful beaches and blooming gardens. In addition, it is estimated that there are 500,000 firs, hemlock, and cedar trees here. There is no shortage of things to do here. In addition to great walking trails, there is also the option of walking or biking the seawall. Alternatively, you can visit the aquarium or the Brockton Point totem poles.

Granville Island

This island water park is a great favorite, packed with history and art. Visitors particularly enjoy a visit to the vibrant market. Stall owners display their handmade crafts here, and farmers and butchers sell their produce.

While on the island, you can watch a live show, or have a meal at one of the numerous excellent restaurants that are found here. The culturally inclined can browse the art exhibits to their heart’s content.

Pay a visit to Gastown

Famous for its beautiful Victorian-style architecture, Gastown is Vancouver’s most historic neighborhood. It has charming cobbled streets and landmarks such as the steam-powered clock at the junction of Cambie and Water street. Gastown is also home to the best restaurants in the city.

If you fancy a spot of shopping, you will find numerous boutiques that feature local designers, furniture and interior design stores as well as men’s fashion outlets.

The above are but a drop in the ocean of the available activities you can indulge in when you visit Vancouver. You will no doubt make it a goal to pay another visit to this beautiful part of Canada.