Vancouver stands magnificently on the bank of a marvelous harbor, surrounded by tall green mountains. This city was proclaimed to be the best city on the planet three times! Besides, it’s the most fast-growing city in Canada. It astonishingly combines modern comfort and proximity to nature. Here, the cultures of many nations are intertwined. One can sail and ski from the mountain on the same day only in Vancouver. This incredibly green and cozy city is renowned for its parks, nature reserves, wonderful beaches and museums that have been loved by tourists a long time ago.
Districts of Vancouver
The city consists of 23 districts. Each of them has a particular atmosphere. The following districts are the most interesting destinations for tourists:
- Downtown is a business center of the city which attracts with the diversity of popular entertainment centers and respectable restaurants.
- West End delights guests with the splendid Stanley Park in the north.
- Gastown is a part of the city that is loved by all the history fanciers. Here you can admire the architecture of the Late Victorian Style.
- Yaletown offers numerous charming parks, piers, design boutiques and stalls.
- Chinatown is a real small China in Vancouver which attracts tourists with a special Asian atmosphere.
- Commercial Drive is extremely popular among all the fans of ethnic cuisine and vegetarianism. It’s not hard to guess that here you can find restaurants and cafes that serve national dishes of various nationalities and vegetarian food.
Marvelous parks and beaches, fascinating museums and exhibition halls, fantastic contemporary buildings and ancient houses, picturesque markets and cozy restaurants – hospitable Vancouver prepared its best for its tourists. A week won’t be enough to see the most popular places in the city. You should try to build your route in advance, taking into account the most desired attractions.
A brief history
When the world was absorbed into a gold rush, dozens of thousands of gold miners came to the banks of Burrard Inlet in the middle of the XIX century. A city called Gastown was founded on the spot of modern Vancouver in 1867. Its appearance is connected with the opening of a wood plant. In 13 years, the government of the colony renamed the city to Granville.
The golden age of Granville began in 1884 when it became the final station of the Canadian Pacific Railway. A convenient port that could accept sea ships was a reason it became possible.
Vancouver received its modern name in 1886. Only 1000 people used to live in the city back then! However, in 15 years, the populations reached 26 thousand citizens.
Today, Vancouver is the largest city in the province of British Columbia. It’s considered to be one of the cleanest, greenest, and wonderful places on the planet.
Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:
|from 118 $/night||from 213 $/night||Start - 2.68 $, 1km - 1.45 $||1.19 $/liter||61 $ for 2 person|
The best time to visit Vancouver
The grandiose “Celebration of Light” takes place in the city every year. It’s a show of fireworks that gathers teams and guests all over the world. Just imagine that gorgeous fiery bouquets bloom in the sky accompanied by the symphonic music! This event lasts for a couple of days on the bank of English Bay. Citizens and guests also love the theatrical festival called “Bard on the Beach” and competitions on Chinese dragon boats.
The UBC Apple Festival is the favorite family festival of both locals and travelers. The holiday is thrown in the Botanic Garden of Vancouver where dozens of sorts of apples grow. Here you can taste various kinds of apples, pastry with this fruit, and a flavorous cider.
Vancouver is frequently called “Northern Hollywood” as it often becomes a film set of many Hollywood movies.
Public transport in Vancouver includes buses, trolleybuses, surface metro Sky Train, Sea Bus ferries. The driver accepts the payment for your ticket. However, you should mind that he doesn’t give the change. The cost of a ticket depends on the transport zone. We recommend you to buy a ticket for one day that operates in all three zones. You can buy it at the transfer station and in some supermarkets. If you are thinking of renting a car, you should keep in mind that car rental companies often refuse drivers with a driving experience of less than a year.
Don’t get surprised if you have to pay more at the cash desk supermarkets than you expected. The majority of shops indicate prices without tax. It is on average 12%. Thus, you must add this percentage from the sum indicated on the tag.
Try not to violate regulations and rules in Vancouver. Otherwise, you will need to pay heavy fines. It’s forbidden to smoke in public, including in the zones of apartment houses, offices, restaurants. Don’t leave garbage in places not provided for this matter. If you go on a picnic to the park, you should sit in special designated areas.
What should a tourist do in Vancouver?
The city enchants you with clear air, a wonderful harbor, and the dynamic of the developing megalopolis since the first minutes you see it. If you want to see all the miracles of Vancouver, you should include favorite tourists’ spots in your route:
- Get acquainted with the scientific and technological achievements in the “Science World” center. The building itself is already a fabulous sight! A sphere that is 47 meters in diameter is situated on a tall platform. That’s not an average but an interactive museum. Here you can easily peek in the human body, conduct scientific experiments, listen to a lecture, touch animals’ skeletons.
- Rest in the renowned Stanley Park. It’s located on the territory where the first British sailors landed. The length of the hiking trails in the park is 250 km. The majority of the territory is occupied by a wild forest that managed to stay untouched. You should also check out and admire beautiful rosarium and sculptures. If you don’t feel like walking, consider renting a bicycle or roller-skates to explore its paths.
- Stroll down the ancient streets of the historical center of the city, Gastown. That’s the place where the first immigrant from Europe used to live. It’s not hard to guess looking at ancient houses in the Victorian style and narrow streets with gateways. Sit in a stylish restaurant located in one of the backyards. They managed to save the charm of the time when Queen Victoria was reigning.
- Visit the oldest aquarium in Canada located in Stanley Park. It offers its guests more than 50 thousand representatives of the animal world. Displays of the aquarium are devoted to separate parts of the world-wide ocean. Here you can see shows and entertaining programs, or listen to a lecture about the inhabitants of the impenetrable depths of the sea. Exotic and rare species of the waves arouse particular admiration. For example, the Arctic beluga whales. Visitors can also see a unique collection of tropical butterflies of various shapes, colors, and even sizes in the aquarium.
- Spend one day in the favorite recreation spot of all citizens, Queen Elizabeth Park. The picturesque landscape and park zone have become a popular spot for photoshoots a long time ago. It gathers all representatives of the rich flora of the country. Don’t forget to attend the Winter Garden. Its building is semispherical and consists of thousands of “bubbles”. Inside, you can admire more than 500 species of exotic plants from all over the world.
- Explore the halls of the Museum of Anthropology and get acquainted with the history of the world-wide culture development and the peculiarities and traditions of the native citizens of the country. The museum offers more than 600 thousand of archaeological and ethnographic items. They include Indian totems, artifacts from Africa, collections of Japanese engravings and Chinese ceramics, examples of textile and art.
- Cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge located 70 meters above a river. The bridge is 137 meters in length, and its metallic construction doesn’t have any piers. The first suspension bridge was constructed here at the end of the XIX century. It was made of ropes and wood. However, it quickly deteriorated. The modern construction carries up to 800 thousand tourists per year.
- Use a cable-railway to ascend Grouse Mountain located in the suburbs of Vancouver. The city view from its peak is mind-blowing! Order a cup of coffee and relax in the panoramic cafes, enjoying the landscapes. In winter, you can ski or snowboard from the mountain. In the snowy period, the mountain turns into a gorgeous skiing resort.
- Devote one day to lazy laying on the beach. You can choose any beach in Vancouver and enjoy the ocean, sun, and pleasant breeze. Kitsilano Beach is an excellent choice for all the fans of comfortable tourist infrastructure. And if you want to admire a marvelous sunset, head to English Bay Beach. Keep in mind, that the water here is mostly cool - around +18 degrees.
- Drop by an atmospheric market called Granville Island. It’s an extraordinary picturesque market where you can purchase fresh seafood, production of local farmers, original souvenirs. You shall find a diversity of cafes, restaurants and even a pavilion with street food on the territory of the fair.
- Taste and evaluate the local cuisine in cafes and restaurants. Dishes made of fish and meat are especially popular in Vancouver. Try filet brochette (BBQ made of bacon, pork, champignons, and onion), roasted venison, pasty, and cheese. You should order dished with the gastronomical symbol of Canada. Of course, we are talking about maple syrup. Don’t hesitate to order a roasted chicken leg, pies, or pancakes.