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.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Built in 1986, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical 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 – and highly recommended (especially if you take the guided tour).
Located at 578 Carrall Street in the heart of Chinatown, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Garden is wheelchair accessible and family friendly, with entry including a scavenger hunt for children.
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 very interesting, informative and highly recommended. If you miss the tour, you’ll miss out on a lot.
Admission to the Garden
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is open daily at the following times (except for Mondays from November to April, as well as Christmas Day and New Year’s Day when it’s closed):
- SPRING: May 1 – June 14 from 10 am to 6 pm
- SUMMER: June 15 – August 31 from 9:30 am to 7 pm
- AUTUMN: September 1 – 30 from 10 am to 6 pm
- WINTER: October 1 – April 30 from 10 am to 4:30 pm
Admission to the garden costs adults about $12-14, seniors $10-11, students (with ID) $9-10 and children under 5 free. A family rate for two adults and two children under age 17 is also available for $25-28. Rates are higher in the busy season (from May to September) and lower in the non-peak season (from October to April).
For more information on the garden, see vancouverchinesegarden.com.
Tips to Enhance Your Experience
Below are some tips to help you make the most out of your visit to the garden.
TIP #1: Be sure to take the free guided tour – it’s this that makes Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden so 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. 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: Another way to save money is to use a coupon from the Entertainment Coupon Book which can be purchased through dozens of local charities in autumn or online throughout the year.
TIP #4: If you are a senior and resident of BC, show your BC Gold Care Card and get in free at any time of day on the third Wednesday of each month.
TIP #5: 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.
Special Events at the Garden
A number of special events take place at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden over the course of the year. At Chinese New Year, for example, which takes place in either January or February, there is the Temple Fair on the Sunday of the Chinese New Year Parade. On that day the garden is open to public by donation.
Also around Chinese New Year, since 2017, the venue has hosted the Lanterns in the Garden festival which showcases the lantern artwork of a famous Chinese artist. The event runs for about three weekends and features lantern displays, live music and other festive activities. It’s also highly recommended.
The Winter Solstice Lantern Festival meanwhile takes places on December 21st at Dr. 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.
For information on other events at the garden, including special exhibits, check out the Garden’s Event Calendar.
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.