*City Centre (map). The financial, shopping and entertainment centre of the city. It has many of Vancouver’s most notable landmarks and easy connections to other parts of the city and the Lower Mainland. With its multitude of accommodation and restaurant options, it is the ideal, if pricey, place to base yourself for exploring the city.
*Gastown-Chinatown (map). The original townsite of Vancouver. Gastown is a mix of kitsch, heritage and urban chic. Chinatown was historically one of the largest Chinatowns in North America.
Many of the city’s landmarks and historical buildings can be found downtown. Canada Place (map), with its distinctive sails, the nearby Olympic Cauldron (map), the intricate Art Deco styling of the Marine Building (map) and the old luxury railway hotel of the Hotel Vancouver (map) are in the central business district.
Stanley Park (map), along with its neighbouring Coal Harbour walkway (map) and the Vancouver Aquarium (map) are in the West End and Gastown, the original town site of Vancouver, has a number of restored buildings and its steam clock is a popular spot to visit.
Modern architecture worth visiting also includes Shangri-La (map), the tallest building in the city, and the Sheraton Wall Centre (map). Another popular city landmark, the bustling markets and shops of Granville Island (map), is just to the south of downtown in South Granville.
If you’re looking to learn about the people of the Northwest Coast and some of its history, one good spot is the impressive Museum of Anthropology (map) at the University of British Columbia.
The city’s Chinese heritage comes alive during Chinese New Year. *Chinatown (map), in the east side of downtown, is awash in colour and has many festivities, including a parade. June sees the annual Dragon Boat Festival on False Creek.
EAT! Vancouver – The Everything Food + Cooking Festival takes place every year. The festival takes place in early November. Celebrity chefs, popular local restaurants, wineries, food & beverage manufacturers, cookbook authors, retailers, artisans, & many others from the culinary world come together for a 6-day event.
Cannabis can be purchased from private dispensaries or the government run BC Cannabis stores, which also offer online sales. It’s legal for adults over 19 to consume and possess up to 30 grams of cannabis. It is not permitted to smoke or vape cannabis anywhere tobacco use is prohibited.