Totem poles and toques, sushi and surf, Vancouver has it all. This multi-cultural mecca is a mosaic of First Nations, Asian, and European art, culture, and cuisine. With so much to see and do, follow these insider tips to make the most of your trip. While Canada is only open for national tourists at this time, rumors of a border reopening with the U.S. could be announced within weeks.
Where To Stay
Looking for cozy, private accommodation for your stay in Vancouver without paying the extravagant hotel price? Some of the best places in town are found on Air BnB, where you can snap up guest houses and B&B’s like this cute little spot for less than $100 per night. There are some unique and romantic options as well: like this sailboat with a great location in downtown Vancouver. On the other hand, if you’re looking to meet people and make some travel companions, you can check out The Cambie Hostel – Gastown. Gastown is a quirky bohemian area with lots to do and see, and this hostel offers all of the comforts of home with the option to book a private room or share the super cheap dorm room.
What To Eat
There are so many food options in Vancouver that it’s hard to know where to start. You will quickly notice that there is an immense Asian population in Vancouver, offering an abundance of cheap and tasty treats. For fresh seafood with an Asian persuasion, try out one of the many sushi shops like Tom Sushi, and don’t forget to try the B.C. Roll – a Canadian creation. However, If you want a taste of real Canadian cuisine, you have to head over to Salmon & Bannock for a taste of First Nation’s Heritage. Although the mains are a bit more pricey, the traditional bannock bread and candied salmon are cheap, delicious, and authentically Canadian snacks. If you need to grab a bite on the go, use the Street Food App to find uniquely Vancouver food trucks such as the popular Japanese hotdog vendor Japadog. At the end of the day try the best dessert in town, a Nanaimo Bar from Bjorn Bar Bakery.
How To Get Around
Getting around Vancouver is easy with the Compass card, pick one up and use it to conveniently travel around town on the bus, Sky Train, and Sea Bus. If you need some help getting around town, download TransitDBVancouver to plan your route and check for live estimates on bus and train arrivals. If you’re feeling energized, stop by one of the city’s many Mobi Bike Share racks to rent a bicycle. Just register for a payment plan, grab a bike and enjoy a leisurely cycle around the city. Then drop off the bike at the nearest rack when you’re done!
What To See
Vancouver is a beautiful city, with many distinctive natural sights to enjoy. Get in touch with nature and Canadian history as you stroll through Stanley Park, walk along the sea wall, soak up the sun on the beach, or admire the art of the colorful First Nations totem poles. Then take the ferry out to Vancouver Island and spend a day at the harbor watching the whales. From May to October, the area around Vancouver is a prime place to see humpback whales, gray whales, orcas, and other marine mammals like sea lions, and otters. With all the money you’re saving on your trip, you might want to consider booking a whale watching tour with one of the many Victoria touring companies.
What To Do
While you’re on Vancouver Island, you’ll want to take the opportunity to try surfing in one of Canada’s best surf spots: Tofino. This surfer’s paradise offers tons of classes and camps for beginners, although they can get pricey. To cut the cost, stay the night and book your lesson through Tofino Hostel or HI Whalers on the Point Guesthouse to get 10% off. If you’re not interested in hanging loose, take a hike! Literally. Lynn Canyon is just a short bus ride from downtown Vancouver, and although the suspension bridge is closed you can still hike the trails and swim in the rock pools beneath the twin falls. Once you’ve gotten all that energy out of your system, spend a relaxing day strolling around Gastown. One of the most vibrant areas in town, be sure to check out the award-winning restaurants, distinctive boutiques, speakeasy-style clubs, and renowned art galleries. When it’s time to find the perfect souvenir try the Richmond Night Market, the annual summer market where vendors from around the world sell their tasty treats and exotic accessories.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories