Vancouver is Canada’s most populous city on the west coast, and is arguably the most popular tourist destination in British Columbia, having hosted over 10 million visitors in 2016.
A popular filming location for Hollywood movies, Vancouver is close to the gorgeous mountainscape of the Canadian Rockies. With its exciting art, culture, and entertainment, the city offers a unique heritage as North America’s most ethnically diverse city.
Begin your foray into Vancouver by visiting these iconic attractions.
The Refurbished Old Dame: Woodward Building
Look for a big “W” on Vancouver’s horizon: it’s the new sign of its historic Woodward Building.
Originally built in 1903 in downtown Vancouver, Woodward Building was redeveloped in 2006 on the former location of Woodward’s Department Store. Once North America’s biggest supermarket, this historic site has now become a residential and office complex housing downtown campuses of several leading Canadian universities.
Visibly sharp and pointy when viewed from the junction of W Cordova Street and Cambie Street, the 122-metre tall building has a unique triangular shape.
If you are sightseeing from the nearby Vancouver Lookout, you can see the entirety of the Woodward Building from the top down, plus a 360-degree view of Vancouver city.
Appreciate Japanese Botany at the UBC Botanical Gardens
Located at the University of British Columbia, UBC Botanical Gardens is Canada’s oldest university botanical garden, established over 100 years ago in 1916. Entry rates vary depending on which sections you are heading to: check its website for details.
Featuring some 50,000 curated plants from temperate climates and approximately 5,000 different taxonomic groups, the garden’s traditionally Japanese-style Nitobe Memorial Garden is considered to be one of the most authentic Japanese gardens with a teahouse in North America.
Spread over one hectare of forest, the garden has each plant and stone carefully placed to emphasise harmony among natural elements. Cherry blossoms bloom in spring, irises in summer, and fiery maples in autumn. A koi pond, stone lanterns, and pagodas dot the landscape and complement any photo.
The Heart of the City: Vancouver City Hall
Snap a photo of the statue of Captain George Vancouver by renowned sculptor Charles Marega. Gracing the front of City Hall, it pays tribute to the 18th century English officer who charted the west coast of Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the US.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Considered the first Chinese “scholar’s” garden built outside of China, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Classical Garden is located right in the middle of Vancouver’s Chinatown area.
Adorned with beautiful pavilions and a jade green pond filled with koi fishes, the garden features a rare collection of 150-year-old miniature trees and tai hu rock specially imported from China. Built by 53 master craftsmen from China, the entire garden was built without any glue, screws, or power tools.
Steveston Harbour in Nearby Richmond
Home to over 500 commercial fishing vessels and pleasure craft, Steveston Harbour is the largest small craft commercial fishing harbour in Canada.
Located in the Richmond area, Steveston Harbour boasts restaurants and cafes featuring the freshest Canadian seafood on the Pacific coast. The Steveston Heritage Fishing Village also features artisan shops and boutiques, as well as a historic museum and visitors’ centre that narrates the location’s unique history.
Capilano Suspension Bridge
Thrilling visitors since 1889, Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of Canada’s most popular outdoor attractions.
Suspended over the picturesque Capilano River, the 137-metre long and 70-metre high Capilano Bridge offers visitors a unique experience combining British Columbia’s nature, culture, and history through interpretive signs and knowledgeable staff.
Perched on a granite precipice along the Capilano River, the more newly opened Cliffwalk features narrow cantilevered bridges, platforms, and stairs winding through a lush rainforest. Visitors can also explore the adjoining Treetops Adventure which takes guests into the mid-story of a coastal rainforest, traversing across seven suspension bridges.
Stanley Park Seawall
See the Stanley Park Seawall from Vancouver’s 28-kilometre Seaside Greenway—the longest continuous waterfront path in the world. Stretching from the Vancouver Convention Centre to Spanish Banks Park, joggers and cyclists can soak in the sun and enjoy the crisp, clean air in the outdoors. Move anti-clockwise around the Seawall path to go around the picturesque Stanley Park,
Constructed in 1917 under the supervision of master stone mason James Cunningham, the entire Seawall loop around the 400-hectare Stanley Park will take you 13,123 invigorating steps to walk around completely.
Stay at the Pan Pacific Vancouver where you will be just a few steps away from the convention centre with panoramic views of the Coastal Mountains, Coal Harbour, and city landmarks in Vancouver. Pick a Pacific Club room or suite for club access and a host of privileges!
Need more reasons to visit Vancouver? We offer you six more on the Pan Pacific blog.