First Time in Vancouver



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Although Vancouver is a city that's busy and bustling, it's packed in quite tightly amongst sea and mountains. It's compact nature makes getting around very easy, whether you're using your feet or Vancouver's public transportation. The new Canada Line makes hopping from the airport, to Yaletown, over to Downtown and Gastown a twenty something minute breeze! Plus, it's reasonably priced too and runs every few minutes.

If you're here for the beaches, the West End, Kitsilano and West Vancouver have the best sand to lay a towel on. Don't be surprised to see people picnicking, playing volleyball, swimming or running at any given time of the year. The Polar Bear Swim happens every year on New Year's Day in English Bay.

The West End is also the city's most colorful neighborhood and offers a warm vibe for gays and lesbians. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and shops in the West End for everyone.

Gastown is Vancouver's oldest neighborhood and while you're there, you will be delighted with old architecture, unique boutiques (Gastown has the best independent designer shops), happening restaurants and many of Vancouver's favorite landmarks. Gassy Jack and the Steamclock are always surrounded by curious tourists, which makes spotting them quite easy.

Yaletown is full of trendy restaurants, great boutiques and places to lounge your Saturday night away in style. Dogs run the show in this neighborhood, so if you have a pet along for the ride - Yaletown (and most of Vancouver) welcome furry creatures.

Chinatown is filled with many intriguing delights! Spend an afternoon wandering the streets and checking out the interesting produce and shops. You can find some great, inexpensive souvenirs to take home in Chinatown. If you're interested in noshing on some ethnic eats, Chinatown is a great place to find some. Little India on Main Street and Commercial Drive are also great spots for that too.

To get around Vancouver, locals usually use everything from their feet, to the Skytrain, Canada Line, buses, taxis and water taxis. If it's your first time in Vancouver and you're heading to Granville Island from Downtown, you should definitely take the AquaBus or False Creek Ferries. They're worth the little bit of extra money for a nice motor along the water.

Vancouver has so much to offer and if this is your first time in the city, you better book your next flight back because you're going to fall in love with this city.

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Author: Natasha_Vancouver


Day 1 - Vancouver


Your first day in Vancouver may be somewhat overwhelming as you look outside and think of all the fun activities that eagerly await you.

Vancouver is a popular haven for you outdoorsy folk. If you have come to this beautiful city to take full advantage of the crisp air, lush greens or white powder - Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge have your name written all over it. Fortunately, they're both also in North Vancouver and you won't have to waste much of your day getting from place to place.

Want to just stroll, have a picnic, ride a bike or kick a ball around? If you like the outdoors, but you're looking for something a little more low-key, Dr, Sun Yat-Sen Gardens, English Bay and Stanley Park's Sewall are great places to spend a sunny afternoon. They are each great for all ages and varying tastes in activities.

The Vancouver Aquarium is one of the best aquariums around. Locals buy yearly passes so that they can keep going back, year-round. As you educate yourself about BC's wildlife, you will also be donating to wildlife conservation.

Finally, if shopping is higher on your priority list, Vancouver will do right by you and your wallet. Granville Island is great if you're looking for fresh produce or local crafts and art. Yaletown is full of fancy boutiques where you will find one of a kind dresses and shoes. Gastown has great furniture shops and independent designers for your eyes to drool over.

After your busy day, you must be hungry...


1

Grouse Mountain

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Location:

6400 Nancy Greene Way
North Vancouver
V7R 4K9 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: +1 604 984 0661 / +1 604 980 9311
fax: +1 604 984 6360
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2

Capilano Suspension Bridge

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Location:

3735 CAPILANO RD
V6G 1Z4 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: +1 604 451 1600
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3

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

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Location:

578 Carrall St
V6B 5K2 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: +1 604 662 3207
fax: +1 604 682 4008
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4

Yaletown

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Location:

Pacific Street
(Between Pacific Boulevard, Homer and Nelson Streets)
V6B 2T9 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: +1 604 683 2000 (Tourist Information Center)
fax: +1 604 682 6839


5

English Bay

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Location:

Beach Avenue
V6G 1Y9 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: +1 604 683 2000(Tourist Information)
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6

Gastown

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Location:

145-332 Water Street
(Gastown Society)
V6B 1B6 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: +1 604 683 5650
fax: +1 604 683 4118
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7

Granville Island

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Location:

1661 Durnaleau St
(Under the Granville Street Bridge)
V6H 3S3 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: +1 604 666 5784
fax: +1 604 666 7376
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8

Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre

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Location:

845 Avison Way
Stanley Park
V6G 3E2 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: +1 604 659 3474
fax: +1 604 659 3515
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9

Stanley Park

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Location:

Stanley Park Causeway
Stanley Park
V6G 3E2 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: +1 604 257 8400 (Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation)
fax: +1 604 257 8427
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10

Stanley Park Seawall

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Location:

Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

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Day 2 - Vancouver


Vancouver is one of the best city's to dine in. We're sandwiched between Asia and Europe, making it a hot pot of culinary delights!

Medina Cafe and Chambar are sister restaurants and a popular choice amongst locals. Start your day off at Medina for breakfast (lavender milk chocolate with waffles?!), stay for lunch and head to Chambar, which is right next door, for dinner and try the Congolaise mussels. The restaurants are not quite in Gastown, but they're not quite Downtown - we call this small block "Crosstown".

Sciué has the city's best pizza. It's thin, it's crispy and they offer enough variety that everyone will be happy. The menu also caters to brunch and offers traditional Roman cuisine. It's quick and casual, but you can take your time and sip on a glass of wine if you like.

Rodney's is loud, bustling and always busy. The all male bar staff are entertaining at the best of times, but also offer stellar service. You can never go wrong with anything on the menu. Crab cakes and freshly shucked oysters are a popular favorite.

Au Petit Chavignol is for all you cheese lovers. Located on East Hastings, it's a bit off the beaten path, but well worth a trip there. They even have a sister cheese shop, Les Amis du Fromage, next door where you can pick up some cheese to take home.


1

Au Petit Chavignol

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Location:

845 East Hastings St
V6A 1R8 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: 604 255 4218
fax: 604.692.0720
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2

Sciué Italian Bakery Café

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Location:

800 West Pender Street
V6C 2V6 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: +1 604 602 7263
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3

Rodney's Oyster House

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Location:

1228 Hamilton Street
(bet. Davie & Drake Sts.)
V6B 2S8 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: 604 609 0080
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4

Medina Cafe

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Location:

556 Beatty St
V6B Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: 604 879 3114
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5

Chambar Belgian Restaurant

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Location:

562 Beatty St.
(bet. Dunsmuir & W. Pender Sts.)
V6B 2L3 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: 6048797119x
fax: +1 604 879 7118
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Day 3 - Vancouver


Vancouver's night life is quite varied, which lends itself well to visitors. If you're looking to catch a live concert, the Commodore Ballroom on Granville Street is a popular venue amongst hip bands and artists. Granville Street is full of bars and clubs that attract a younger crowd, but the Commodore puts on all types of concerts.

If you're into something a little more reserved and relaxing, Bacchus oozes old school class with it's well dressed servers, velvet chairs and warm fireplace. The complimentary nuts are a delicious treat!

Bar None is in Yaletown and is always busy on weekends. It's in a great location because you can start your night off at any of the fabulous restaurants and other lounges in Yaletown, before you head out to dance the night away at Bar None.

The Yale is a Vancouver classic in the Jazz and Blues scene. Perched right on the edge of Granville Street, right before the bridge, you can hear the sweet tunes of brassy instruments belting out the front door. Have a drink and get your groove on, or happily sit, relax and enjoy the sounds.

The Irish Heather is a popular choice in Gastown. For all you scotch, whiskey and beer lovers, this is the spot for you. The charming atmosphere and pub fare will keep you going all night long. There are plenty of other lounges, clubs and bars in Gastown to start or finish the night off at too.


1

Bacchus Piano Lounge (Wedgewood Hotel)

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Location:

845 Hornby St.
V6Z 1V1 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: 604 689 7777
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2

Commodore Ballroom

Location:

868 Granville Street
V6Z 1K3 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: 604 739 4550
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3

Bar None

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Location:

1222 Hamilton Street
Between Davie and Drake Street
V6B 2S8 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: 604 689 7000
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4

The Yale

Location:

1300 Granville Street
The Yale Hotel
V6Z 1M7 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: 604 681 9253
fax: +1 604 681 9353
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5

The Irish Heather

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Location:

217 Carrall St
V6B 2J2 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: 604 688 9779
fax: 604 688 9737
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Day 4 - Vancouver


Us locals have our favorite spots that we feel makes Vancouver such a great city.

The Steam Clock in Gastown is an iconic Vancouver landmark and no trip would be complete without visiting this little gem. It's hard to miss because you will see that many of your fellow visitors have also come to take a picture with it. After checking out the clock, you're right in Gastow, so stay a while and take a gander.

The Vancouver Police Museum is certainly not something that many people think of, when they think of Vancouver. But, there's something neat learning about Vancouver's underbelly and seeing old tricks of the trade.

Lighthouse Park is over on West Vancouver's shore and totally worth the trek. It's easy to get there by bus, so you don't need to hire a car to get there. Once you're there, venture on one of the many trails. Ideally, you will pack a picnic and find a spot to sit on the smooth rock and enjoy the salt laden air as it tickles your face.

The Vancouver Art Gallery has new exhibitions all the time, which makes it feel new every time you go back. It's right on Robson Street in the middle of things, so it's convenient to get to. There's also the Art Gallery Cafe attached to the gallery itself and this is a personal favorite spot to spend lunch on a weekend. It's pure bliss in the summer when the sun is shining on the patio and the classical music sways through the trees.

Chinatown is a neat little neighborhood where you will find all sorts of interesting treats. Whether you're looking for unique vegetables, Peking Duck, dim sum or quirky homeware - Chinatown will have it.


1

Vancouver Police Historical Society and Centennial Museum

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Location:

240 East Cordova St
V6A 1L3 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: +1 604 665 3346
fax: +1 604 665 3585
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2

Lighthouse Park

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Location:

South of Highway 1/99, on the mouth of Burrard Inlet
Caulfield Drive
Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: +1 604 925 7275
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3

Vancouver Art Gallery

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Location:

750 Hornby St
(Near Robson)
V6Z 2H7 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: +1 604 662 4700
fax: +1 604 682 1086
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4

Gastown Steam Clock

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Location:

305 Water Street
V6B 1B9 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: +1 604 873 7011(Tourist Information)


5

Chinatown

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Location:

508 Taylor Street, Vancouver
V6B 6M4 Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

tel: +1 604 632 3808
fax: +1 604 632 3809
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