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Vancouver’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden from the Park

Named the World’s Top City Garden by National Geographic, Chinatown‘s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a cultural oasis in downtown Vancouver.

The garden is open throughout the year. It also hosts events from time to time including at Lunar New Year.



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To learn more about Tiqets.com, and for a list of other attractions you can save 10% with, see our article about Tiqets.com Attractions and Savings.


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Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden

Built in 1986, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden features beautiful pavilions, covered walkways, a jade green pond with koi fish, and a collection of 150-year-old miniature trees. It’s a small intimate garden – so ideal for people who don’t want to do a lot of walking. It’s a recommended place to visit, especially if you take the guided tour.

Located at 578 Carrall Street in the heart of Chinatown, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden is family-friendly, with entry including a scavenger hunt for children. Most (but not all) parts of the venue are also wheelchair-accessible.


Complimentary Guided Tours

Informational brochures on the gardens are available, but the way to get the most from your experience is to enjoy one of the free guided tours.

In the summer the tours start about once every hour, and in other seasons they run just a few times per day. The tours take up to about 45 minutes and are interesting, informative and highly recommended. If you skip the tour, you’ll miss out on a lot.

Speaking of tours, if you want to explore and learn about the rest of Vancouver’s Chinatown district, then consider checking out Historical Chinatown Tours. They are run by a very knowledgeable lady and are highly recommended.


Chinese Canadian Museum

Historical Chinatown Tours


Admission to the Garden

Sun Yat-Sen Garden is usually open daily at the following times (except for Mondays and Tuesdays in the summer, as well as Christmas Day and New Year’s Day when it’s closed):

  • SPRING: March 1st – May 31st from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • SUMMER: May 1st – September 30th from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm
  • AUTUMN: September 1st – October 31st from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • WINTER: November 1st – May 31st from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

As of late 2023, admission to the garden costs adults about $16, seniors $13 and students $12 (ages 6 to 17 or with ID if age 17+). Children ages 5 and under are free. A family rate for two adults and up to three children under age 17 is also available for around $32.

Note: Rates are sometimes higher in the busy season (from May to September) and lower in the non-peak season (from October or November until April). Also, the venue’s hours of operation are subject to change.


Silhouettes at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden at Chinese New Year


Special Events at the Garden

A number of special events take place at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden over the course of the year. They include Chinese New Year activities in the late winter, the Lanterns in the Garden event, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival in the fall and the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival around Christmas time.


Chinese New Year Events

At Lunar New Year, which takes place in either January or February, there is usually the Temple Fair on the Sunday of the Chinese New Year Parade.

At the Temple Fair each year typical activities include Chinese storytelling, crafts, tea tasting, live music and lion dancing. There are also usually half a dozen or so vendors selling artisan products.

Celebrations usually take place on the last weekend of January and the first weekend of February. Activities at the Temple Fair include craft activities, Chinese calligraphy demonstrations, live music, lion dancing and more. Admission is by donation (with $5 being the minimum suggested amount). Special Lunar New Year activities happened at the garden again in 2023 on the weekend of January 21st and 22nd.

To learn more about the Lunar New Year events at the garden see our article about Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden at Chinese New Year.


Lanterns in the Garden

Also around Chinese New Year, the venue has hosted the Lanterns in the Garden festival which showcases the lantern artwork of a famous Chinese artist. The event ran for about three weekends in 2017 and featured lantern displays, live music and other festive activities. It was highly recommended.

(Note: The Lanterns in the Garden event doesn’t take place every year. It did happen in 2017 and 2018, but not since then.)


Vancouver's Chinese Classical Garden at Night
The Garden at the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival


Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden takes place in September. It includes pretty lights and live entertainment. There is also tea to sample, moon cakes to eat, and sometimes even opportunities to try on traditional Chinese clothing.

In 2022 the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival took place on Saturday, September 10th, until Sunday, September 11th. Admission each day was by donation (with at least $5 being the suggested amount). 2023 will likely be similar, although exact details are to be confirmed.

Activities during the festival include poetry contests, Chinese tea-tasting opportunities, moon cake demonstrations, lantern displays and live music.


Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park


Fire Dragon Festival

Another late September event, the Fire Dragon Festival takes place at multiple venues in Chinatown. The festival is organized by the Chinatown Legacy Stewardship Group and debuted in 2021. The goal of the event is to celebrate Chinatown’s history and culture. Admission to the festival is by donation and the 2022 date was September 17th. The festival in 2023 takes place on the Saturday and Sunday of September 23rd and 24th.

Activities include tea ceremonies, lantern-making, a full-size authentic Fire Dragon and traditional dance ceremonies. For more information visit the Fire Dragon Festival website.


Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden at Night
The Chinese Gardens at Night


Winter Solstice Festival

The Winter Solstice Lantern Festival takes places on December 21st at Sun Yat-Sen Garden most years, as well as at various other venues. The event features live music, fire performances, lantern making and illuminations around the garden.


Other Garden Events

For information about other festivals and events at the garden, including special exhibits, check out the Garden’s website.


Winter Solstice Lantern Festival
Winter Solstice Festival


Tips to Enhance Your Experience

Below are some tips to help you make the most of your visit to the garden.

TIP #1: Be sure to take the free guided tour. The tours are excellent and make Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden especially interesting and worth paying to see.

TIP #2: If you want to save on admission, visit during the last 30 minutes of the day when the cost is half price (or at least it has been in the past). It means missing the guided tour, which we don’t recommend missing, but the garden is a small place so if you skip the 45-minute tour then 30 minutes is probably close to enough time if you rush.

TIP #3: The attraction is pretty and worth visiting any time of year, but best times to visit are during the summer, late spring and fall, as well as during special events.

TIP #4: There is Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park. They are next to each other, but they are not the same. The first costs money to see, includes a guided tour and is both part indoors and more authentic. The second is a public park that’s free to explore. They complement each other and are both worth checking out.

TIP #5: The next time you’re in Chinatown, be sure to also check out the Chinese Canadian Museum. It’s new as of the summer of 2023 and it’s very good!


Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden and Park
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden and Park


Other Information

For more information about the attraction, see the Garden‘s website.

If you like Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, other places you might be interested in visiting include Stanley Park, VanDusen Botanical Gardens and UBC’s Japanese Nitobe Memorial Garden, the first of which is free and the last of which is the most similar. The buildings and garden at Richmond’s International Buddhist Temple are also beautiful (and they are free to see).

Other articles that might be of interest include the following:



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