Vancouver stands out above all for the quality of life it affords: in spite of its size (with 600,000 inhabitants, it is the third biggest city in Canada), the city manages to preserve a pleasant atmosphere, not to mention a mild climate, that many other cities envy. The city has a very modern aspect since its rather confined area led to the appearance of many skyscrapers in order to optimise space. Wide avenues make it easy to circulate and the locals like to use their bicycles for leisure.
Nicknamed "Lotusland", the city is surrounded by mountains and nature that has remained perfectly preserved; it is the ideal place for hiking and sport activities. If that weren't enough, the ocean right next to it provides plenty of opportunities for excursions on the water and in discovery of an environment that is quasi-unique in the world. The city's museums, meanwhile, are a great place for a cultural stroll. This city is a real little gem combining nature and urbanity, which visitors enjoy discovering again and again.
In winter, the surrounding mountains offer up their slopes for skiing!
In summer, these are used for hiking. Covering almost 1,000 acres, there is no way to avoid Stanley Park in the city centre! Nearly eight million visitors stroll along its 124 mi of paths every year! It is a genuine little nature reserve.
The sea stretches out before you and sailing and so yachting enthusiasts will be in their element, especially on the large Vancouver Island facing the city.
The whales while on an offshore excursion. You can even dock on some of Vancouver's islands.
To admire the underwater fauna up close, go to the Vancouver Aquarium! Dolphins and seals swim next to more exotic species like piranhas.
You just can't miss the numerous museums in the city. Among them is the Museum of Vancouver, focusing on the city's history, the Museum of Fine Arts, the University of British Columbia, and the Museum of Anthropology, which offers several exhibitions on ancient civilisations.
It rains rather often here, especially in winter. Make sure to bring along a good umbrella!
Getting around on foot. Vancouver is a big city nevertheless and to really take advantage of the surroundings, you will need to hire a car.
Vancouver is a cosmopolitan city and its cuisine only benefits from this fact! The large Asian community here means there is an excellent offering of Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese and Thai restaurants.
The proximity of the sea means that fans of shellfish will be able to indulge themselves, but we recommend finding out the best places to go beforehand.
Keep in mind that the food on Granville Island is known for being expensive and not of the best quality.
At the Granville Market you will be able to find numerous souvenirs (obviously try to opt for foods that won't go off).
In the district of Gastown, the number of souvenir shops doubles!
Metrotown is a huge shopping centre with nearly 450 stores where you will inevitably find what you are looking for!