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Located on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada, Vancouver is home to an international community with flavours, sights and celebrations from around the globe. Whether you’re drawn to urban beaches, quiet art galleries or the disco ball-like sparkle of Science World, Vancouver holidays offer the perfect mix of low-key and high culture.
Pack your parka so you can explore local parks on rainy afternoons, dust off your opera glasses for a concert at the Orpheum Theatre and polish your dancing shoes to hit the club scene—or you could bust a move outside the science centre for a similar effect.
As you plan for a Pacific Coast adventure, you’ll be happy to hear that finding hotels in Vancouver is easy peasy, especially near the downtown waterfront. For convenient accommodation near Vancouver Airport, book your stay in the Marpole neighbourhood or in Richmond, a suburb directly south of the airport.
To enjoy some seaside living without straying far from big-city Vancouver accommodation and amenities, lay your towel on the sand at Sunset Beach in the West End or take a ferry to Granville Island for some gallery hopping, and oh yeah, pirate reenactments. Arr, matey!
Next, swap the sandy shore for underwater exploration at Vancouver Aquarium, where you can journey to otter space—sorry, it was too easy—and make a few finned and floating friends. Want to take home a little piece of the city? Indulge your inner shopaholic with designer finds on Robson Street or check out the colourful architecture and street performances in Chinatown.
When the scent of spice markets makes you hungry, get some dim sum to whet your appetite and sample a world of flavours on a Gourmet Food Truck Tour through the city. You’ll eat some of the best food in Vancouver without even making reservations.
Touch down at Vancouver International Airport (YVR), about 13km south of downtown Vancouver hotels and attractions. Getting around Vancouver is a cinch, which is perfect for your easygoing holiday self. Public transportation is affordable and efficient, with buses and rail services weaving through the metro area.
The city is divided into transit zones and many of the most popular sights are located in Zone 1. Just sit yourself down on a cross-town light rail train, or hire a car or bike to navigate the seaside streets on your own.
Hey, if you’ve got just one day in Vancouver, join a party! As summer winds down, don’t worry for one second that Vancouver is going into hibernation. Each autumn (September–November), the summer crowds go home and the local celebrations are in full swing, like the International Fringe Festival, Vancouver Writers Fest and Bard on the Beach, among others.
Not sure about a hanging out with a salty bard? Well, it’s just the city’s way to celebrate the life and works of William Shakespeare—and we all know the answer to the question “To beach or not to beach?”
If autumn is too soon for a getaway, but you’re free as a bird between the end of November and early January, spend an evening enjoying the glitter of Bright Nights in Stanley Park. Take a train ride through holiday light displays and guzzle hot cider to your heart’s content.
Vancouver may be one of the most populated cities in the world, but there’s plenty of green space to explore, from the quiet Stanley Park and VanDusen Botanical Garden to the high-flying Lynn Canyon and Capilano Suspension Bridges that offer tree-top views.
In the western edge of city centre, Stanley Park is a local favourite and a holiday-maker’s dream jaunt; the surrounding neighbourhood happens to be one of the prettiest places to stay in Vancouver. Nosh on a picnic of your favourite street cuisine or spend an arvo at the zoo—there’s room for just about anything.
With about 8 million visitors each year, Stanley is a pretty popular place to say the least, but when you take a walk through the woods you just might feel like José María Narváez, one of the first European pioneers to explore the Vancouver Peninsula. Not the “wilderness type”? Check out the meticulously manicured VanDusen Botanical Garden right in the middle of the city. Just follow the scent of cherry blossoms…and pack your allergy pills.
If you’re thinking, “Wait, there’s a suspension bridge?” the answer is, “Heck, yes. Two, actually”. Just 16km northeast of the city centre, you can look down on the gurgling Lynn Creek from your perch atop the swaying wood-plank bridge, 50 metres above the canyon floor. If you think bigger is better, then the Capilano Suspension Bridge needs to be your next stop, stretching 70 metres above Capilano River. It’s a walk in the park for adventure seekers like you and just 9km northwest of downtown, so you have to go, right?
You can’t visit Canada’s beloved West Coast city without whiling away the hours at Canada Place. By day, the dockyard is bustling with street performers while travellers and locals alike get some fresh sea air as the ships come in. Snack on delectable seafood or shop at open market stalls and wait till sundown when the building lights up and the roof looks like sails on the high sea. If you aren’t setting sail on a dinner cruise, join an outdoor event or concert on the waterfront.
Ready to explore “Rain City”? Believe it or not, there are plenty of sunny days to go around, and cosy cafes for sitting through the drizzle. So, pack your bags for coastal climes and book awesome flights to Vancouver with Wotif! We’ve found the sweetest deals on airfares and accommodation in Vancouver so you can start your holiday right…now!
Hotels in Vancouver start at AU$115 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.