Nestled between blue ocean waters and glorious snow-capped mountains, Vancouver is a great spot for an exciting British Columbia vacation. The city is a major destination for shopping, dining and culture, not just for Canadians, but also for visitors from around the world. With the many miles of city waterfront and the proximity to mountain and ocean activities, the large city of Vancouver is surprisingly outdoorsy. Deciding where to stay across Vancouver's attractive neighborhoods can be difficult. Here is a selection of great areas to book a hotel in. From gleaming high-rises to cozy neighborhood accommodations, visitors are spoiled for choice.
Where to stay
Best Areas to Stay for Culture
With numerous cultural attractions and more than 50 professional theater companies, Downtown Vancouver and nearby neighborhoods are exciting and diverse. Stay in West End or Gas Town to visit nearly a dozen theaters along the northern section of Granville Street. Running perpendicular, Davie Street has numerous clubs and bars especially serving the LGBTQ community. Book a hotel in Davie Village at its western end. Accommodations across the harbor in North Vancouver and West Vancouver are convenient to explore works in a dozen art galleries, including First Nations art not often found outside Canada. Kitsilano is always a great place to stay, where Vanier Park features several museums and the popular Bard on the Beach summer Shakespeare festival.
Known for its captivating waterfront views, popular shops, and acclaimed art galleries, there's plenty to explore in Downtown Vancouver. Top attractions like Robson Square and Christ Church Cathedral are major draws. Catch the metro at Vancouver City Center Station or Burrard Station to see more of the city.
Great Neighborhoods for Shopping
Vancouver draws shoppers from across North America for its excellent shopping in boutiques and malls, especially for the fashionable activewear so popular in this outdoor-loving city. Stay near Robson Street in West End, where a high concentration of stores mean the choices are practically unlimited. Book a hotel in South Granville for high-end shopping and gallery hopping. Gastown is known for its interior design stores; find a hotel here and shop to furnish your accommodations back home. Stay across the harbor in North Shore to browse the stores at the large Park Royal shopping area. Yaletown features trendy clothing boutiques in old warehouses while Kitsilano is noted for activewear and outerwear. About a 20-minute drive from Downtown Vancouver, a hotel in Burnaby is great for shopping at the 400 stores of Metropolis at Metrotown. Get away from the city and stay in Langley, which has shopping at Fort Langley.
Where to Stay for Events and Festivals
With exciting and rather unique festivals, Vancouver's neighborhoods offer extra appeal during special times of the year. In Richmond, book a hotel early for July 1 Canada Day, when events at Steveston Harbour feature live music, food and fireworks. To the south, stay in White Rock, where live music at the pier draws crowds all summer. Stay in Kitsilano to attend a performance of a Shakespeare play at Vanier Park's Bard on the Beach Festival from June through September. Hotels near Waterfront Park in North Vancouver are convenient for attending Caribbean Days, a fun July celebration that might seem unlikely in this northern climate. Perhaps more expected and equally as fun is the celebration of salmon during the Coho Festival in September in West Vancouver, also a great place to stay for August's Harmony Arts Festival.
Great Neighborhoods to Stay for Outdoor Activities
Stroll along the Vancouver Waterfront and notice the blues and greens of the city, a sure indication that outdoor activities are plentiful. Book a hotel in Kitsilano or Coal Harbour to follow the long Vancouver Seawall connecting the two neighborhoods, including a loop from West End around Stanley Park and its pretty beaches. The popular route has separate lanes for biking and walking. On the east side of the city, staying in Surrey offers convenient exploration of the Fraser River and Surrey Nature Center. Hotels in Burnaby provide the perfect gateway to outdoor activities at a regional park and conservation area. Likewise, accommodations in North Vancouver are convenient to the city, but make getting to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain gondola less than a 30-minute drive.
Best Places to Stay for Dining
Fresh is a fitting description for Vancouver's dining scene, with the day's seafood catch and produce harvest appearing on menus across its neighborhoods. Start with brunch in Davie Village, a popular spot for al fresco cafes. Step out of your hotel in North Shore and visit one of its farmers markets. Restaurants here feature farm-to-table specialties. Stay on the south side of the harbor in Gastown, where restaurants are known for seafood, a locavore's dream of sea-to-table specialties. With its high population of Chinese residents, Vancouver has authentic and delicious Asian food. Stay in Richmond for the unique opportunity of dining on dim sum, noodles, rice and seafood at nearly 20 restaurants along the Dumpling Trail heading into Richmond City Centre. If you enjoy late-night dining, book a hotel in Yaletown, known for its pubs and clubs.
Richmond City Centre
Known for its first-class casinos and popular shops, there's plenty to explore in Richmond City Centre. Check out top attractions like Richmond Night Market and Richmond Centre Mall, and jump on the metro at Lansdowne Station or Richmond-Brighouse Station to see more of the city.