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Things to do in Vancouver Downtown

Our most recommended things to do in Vancouver Downtown

Classic Vancouver Panorama Tour by Seaplane

1. Classic Vancouver Panorama Tour by Seaplane

Enjoy the most popular tour of Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains. This ideal introduction to seaplane aviation departs from downtown Vancouver’s Coal Harbour and provides a complete aerial view of the city, as well as its surrounding parks and beaches. As if the scenery isn't enough, the thrill of flying will really carry you away. The exhilarating spray of the water is always a highlight during take-off and landing. With over 50 aircraft currently, your hosts operate the largest all-seaplane fleet and the first carbon neutral airline in North America. DeHavilland DHC-3 Turbine Single Otters and Twin Otters service regularly scheduled flights between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. DHC-2 Beavers service the Gulf Islands. Cessna 185 aircraft are available for charter.

Vancouver: 24 or 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Pass

2. Vancouver: 24 or 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Pass

See the sights of Vancouver at your own pace with a 24- or 48-hour pass for the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus. Choose from a variety of options to suit your interests. Listen to an informative on-board commentary to help you choose where to hop off. Experience the hustle and bustle of downtown Vancouver and the serene natural beauty of the local parks. Jump off at Science World or indulge your passion for sport at the Olympic Village. Stroll the rainforest pathways of Stanley Park, enjoy a bite to eat on Granville Island, visit the iconic Gastown Steam Clock or shop 'til you drop on Robson Street. Benefit from multiple stops, including Coal Harbour, English Bay Beach, Chinatown, and the Sports District. Make the most of your experience in Vancouver with additional options. Choose experiences like seeing the city from the water on a relaxing harbor cruise, or taking a tour of the city in the evening.

Vancouver, BC: Whale Watching Tour

3. Vancouver, BC: Whale Watching Tour

Experience the awe and inspiration of seeing whales in their natural environment on this unique whale-watching excursion from Vancouver. Cruise along in an open zodiac boat on the Salish Sea, and get the chance to spot orcas, humpback, minke, and gray whales, as well as porpoises and seals. Depart from Granville Island in downtown Vancouver on a high-speed, custom-built, luxury catamaran that takes you on a 3- to 5-hour fully-guided whale watching and marine wildlife tour. As you set out from Vancouver, choose whether you want to stay inside the heated cabin or head outside and pick from 3 different viewing areas on 2 levels that are perfect for photography. Marvel at the beauty of the Strait of Georgia on this outdoor adventure. As you sail, learn about the history of the area and the local marine wildlife from your knowledgeable crew. Immerse yourself completely in this incredible experience while we take free high-resolution photos of the wildlife, yourself, and your loved ones! It is the quintessential whale-watching experience for every adventurer. Select the half-day cruise, or opt for the sunset option to watch the sun go down over the water.

Vancouver Bicycle Tour

4. Vancouver Bicycle Tour

Explore Vancouver's highlights on a guided bike tour to the city's top sights and districts. See more in less time as you peddle by Beaver Lake and along English Bay. Take a ferry across False Creek and view the Olympic Village complex and Gastown.  Meet your group at the bike rental shop in downtown Vancouver and put on your helmet. Listen to a safety briefing before taking off along flat, protected bikeways. Travel at a leisurely pace, allowing you to soak up the city's vibrant culture. Start with a tour of the world-famous Stanley Park including the stunning seawall and the mesmerizing forested trails within. Wave to the beavers at Beaver Lake and marvel at the towering trees. Cycle through English Bay, home to some of the hottest beaches in the city. Hop on a ferry over False Creek to discover amazing food and art at Granville Island. You'll have a one-hour break, leaving you time to find some lunch in the area. Travel along the seawall that follows False Creek. Take in the city skyline framed by the North Shore Mountains. Pass by the Olympic Village complex and Science World. Hear about Expo ’86 and the 2010 Winter Olympics. Finally, travel back in time to check out Vancouver’s vibrant Chinatown including a visit to the Dr Sun Yat Sen Chinese Gardens and history-rich Gastown. Learn about the city’s beginnings as a logging outpost and hear about infamous Gassy Jack. See Vancouver's first pub before heading to the seawall and making your way back to the bike shop through Coal Harbor. One last look at waterfront provides a great view of marinas and seaplanes taking off and landing.

Vancouver and Capilano Suspension Bridge Canyon Lights

5. Vancouver and Capilano Suspension Bridge Canyon Lights

Start your holiday tour of Vancouver by exploring the highlights of downtown. See landmark monuments and locations, such as the home of the 2010 Olympic Cauldron at Canada Place. Wind through impressive modern and historic architecture, and go to the Vancouver Arts District, where community awareness is raised for public arts through diverse creative expressions. Look at the high-rise buildings of the Financial District and discover the fashion hub of Robson Street. Enter the 1,000-acre urban rainforest of Stanley Park to get a unique perspective of the city from a quiet wooded setting. Visit the First Nations Totem Poles as you continue along the water across English Bay to Granville Island. Spend some time at Granville Island Market and its many shops and eateries. Then, go to Lions Gate Bridge and explore Vancouver’s scenic North Shore. Approach Capilano Suspension Bridge Park to experience once of the most beautiful festive attractions in the city. See thousands of lights emanating from the park, and then take an exhilarating walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge to find many unique and informative experiences, like the Treetops Adventure.

Vancouver & Capilano Suspension Bridge Sightseeing: Half-Day

6. Vancouver & Capilano Suspension Bridge Sightseeing: Half-Day

Vancouver’s fascinating past and present come together in this engaging tour that traverses through urban cityscapes, seaside parks, and ancient rainforests. Begin with the highlights of downtown, including Canada Place, home of the 2010 Olympic Cauldron.  Wind through impressive modern and historic architecture, past the Arts and Financial Districts and the fashion mecca of Robson Street. Enter the 1,000-acre urban rainforest, Stanley Park, for a unique perspective of the city from a quiet forest setting. Continue across the Lions Gate Bridge to Vancouver’s scenic North Shore and the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Don’t miss the impressive collection of First Nations artwork and the historic Story Centre.  From the spectacular Cliffwalk, gaze out over towering cedars and the Capilano River winding through the valley far below. Take an exhilarating walk across the Capilano Suspension Bridge to the other side, where many unique and informative experiences await, including the TreeTops Adventure.  Do not miss the amazing Cliffwalk above the canyon. Return to downtown Vancouver via Stanley Park and English Bay, and get ready to engage all of your senses as you step out into Granville Island Market. This market is an artisan haven for all things local and handmade, including delicious food, coffee, tea, eclectic artwork, and West Coast music.  Carry on through bustling Chinatown, a tribute to the Far East. Continue to historic Gastown, the heart of Vancouver, where it all began.

Vancouver: Guided City Highlights Tour

7. Vancouver: Guided City Highlights Tour

Make the most of your time in Vancouver on this ultimate sights and landmarks tour with a local guide. The tour starts with a drive through Gastown, Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood, and continues through the culturally rich Chinatown, a melting pot of Asian cuisines and stores. Next, enjoy a visit to Stanley Park, where you can see one of the most impressive collections of totem poles in downtown Vancouver. Go past English Bay Beach and on to Granville Island, home of Vancouver’s most famous food market. Don't miss a thing with a guide that will point out all the hidden gems on the island during your trip. After an action-packed half-day of sightseeing, the tour ends with drop-off back at the pickup location.

Vancouver Highlights 4-Hour Private Tour

8. Vancouver Highlights 4-Hour Private Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel, or from the port in Vancouver, and then start your private sightseeing tour of the city at Library Square. Admire the public library's original architecture, built in 1995 and a prominent feature of movies such as "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" and TV series, including "Battlestar Galactica." Then, stroll around historic Gastown and see Water Street, where fancy coffee shops mingle with restaurants and gift stores. Continue to Canada Place, location of the landmark Vancouver Convention Centre and Cruise Ship Terminal, where 5,000 tourists a day disembark from their Alaska cruises to spend the day in the city.  Continue to Stanley Park and experience the most visited natural park in British Columbia. Take a look at the iconic Totem Poles and get panoramic views from Prospect Point. Look over the Pacific Ocean, and at the mountains of North Shore, and see the commercial port and beautiful Lions Gate Bridge from the highest point in the park. Next, drive through a major shopping district and along Beach Avenue to English Bay to encounter the first beach in the city. En route to Granville Island, drive through the Olympic Village, where 2,400 athletes stayed during the Winter Olympics 2010. Reach Granville Island and stop to wander around the art studios, craft galleries and Granville Island Public Market, where you can find unique hand-made products and fine dining delights. Take a 15-minute walk through Queen Elizabeth Park to get panoramic views of the Vancouver skyline and North Shore mountains. See the stunning Bloedel Floral Conservatory, where around 500 species and varieties of plants from deep jungle to desert climates are kept in the glass dome. Explore Vancouver's Chinatown, established in 1885 and declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 2011. Today, it is the second largest Chinatown in North America after San Francisco and a hive of activity and popular tourist attraction. Then, get complimentary drop off at any hotel in downtown Vancouver or at the cruise terminal.

Vancouver: Stanley Park & Downtown Morning Bike Tour

9. Vancouver: Stanley Park & Downtown Morning Bike Tour

Cycle around Vancouver for three hours of sightseeing and history on this exciting guided bike tour. Peddle from Vancouver's West End to the colourful Davie Street Village and on to the historical Mole Hill neighbourhood. After learning about Vancouver's Greenest City Action Plan, cycle across town on AAA grade bike paths (All Ages and Abilities). Stop in Robson Square to see the heart of the city and the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza. Admire the combination of modern architecture and historical buildings surrounding the square, and uncover more of the city's history and future plans. Enjoy gorgeous panoramic views of the North Shore mountains as you cycle to the waterfront Convention Centre area. Spot highlights such as the Olympic Cauldron and Digital Orca sculpture. Ride along the Vancouver seawall to Stanley Park. Enjoy the natural setting and hear about the park's unique flora and fauna. Then, discover the history of the local aboriginal peoples at Totem Park. Experience firsthand the incredible totems produced by First Nation artists of the Pacific Northwest. Spot attractions such as Lady in a Wetsuit and the Empress of Japan figurehead as you continue your cycle along the coast to Beaver Creek Path, where you can dismount and explore. Then, ride beneath the iconic Lions Gate Bridge to Siwash Rock and Third Beach before finishing your tour at English Bay (First Beach) where the tour began.

Vancouver: Fly & Dine to Bowen Island

10. Vancouver: Fly & Dine to Bowen Island

Escape by seaplane from downtown Vancouver’s vibrant Coal Harbour to tranquil Bowen Island for a memorable seaside dinner and enjoy a West Coast style meal at Doc Morgan’s restaurant. Enjoy ocean views before boarding the ferry from Snug Cove to Horseshoe Bay and be met by your car service. Then experience the city lights as you return to downtown Vancouver. This truly west coast evening will surely become one of the highlights of your trip. Harbour Air Seaplanes started as a two airplane operation in 1982 to service the BC forestry sector and has grown into North America’s largest seaplane airline and only fully carbon-neutral airline. With a showcase fleet of Canadian-made De Havilland aircraft, enjoy flying aboard a DHC-3 Turbine Single Otter, DHC-6 Twin Otter, or DHC-2 Beaver.

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What people are saying about Vancouver Downtown

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,408 reviews

We had Dave as our guide and he was awesome and informative. He made sure we had enough time at all our stops (15 at Stanley Park, 1.15 hour at Granville and 2.15 at Capilano Bridge) and gave tons of information on our drive go and from. H knew all the tricks and tips to make our day exciting and special. Would highly recommend.

Wonderful guides. One took my kids to the top of The Chief and the other went 1/3 of the way up with me and my partner ( as much as I could handle) and then took us to hike around Alice Lake, which was gorgeous.

A fast and efficient tour! It's definitely something I'll use again when I'm traveling.

Experienced guides, after the trip they send you there pictures for free!

The canyon lights were amazing, definitely worth the price.