With its vibrant culinary scene, assortment of characterful neighborhoods, and spectacular next-to-nature setting, Vancouver has lots to keep curious travelers engaged. For those on a tight schedule, and here’s our 1-day Vancouver itinerary with all the must-dos.
Vancouver is a city of contrasting neighborhoods, from the glossy skyscraper-packed Downtown to quaint, cobbled Gastown and beachy, laid-back Kitsilano. The best way to see as much of this diverse city as possible is on a highlights tour. Opt for a coach tour or a bike tour and travel between top sights, such as Stanley Park, Olympic Village, and Chinatown. Finish up your morning sightseeing at the futuristic Flyover Canada, a simulated flight ride that takes you on an exhilarating 8-minute virtual journey across all of Canada, from the Rocky Mountains all the way to its east coast.
In Vancouver, the presence of nature looms large, with snowy summits visible beyond the city skyline. The North Shore, which is less than 20 minutes’ drive from the city, is the best place for time-tight travelers to experience the epic landscapes of British Columbia. Head to Grouse Mountain, an outdoor playground with various attractions including a gondola, lumberjack shows, hiking trails, ziplines, and a grizzly bear refuge. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is another popular North Shore escape, primarily known for its 460-foot-long (140-meter) swaying suspension bridge and glass-floored Cliffwalk.
With the city lights dancing on the water and the dark silhouettes of distant mountain peaks framing the view, Vancouver’s cityscapes look even better as dusk falls. Head for the Vancouver Lookout, a panoramic 450-foot-high (170-meter) observation deck in a downtown skyscraper, or take off into the air on a late-evening seaplane tour over the city. Another good vantage point from which to view the sparkling city lights is from the deck of a boat on a dinner cruise around Vancouver Harbour.