Metro Vancouver is home to the City of Vancouver, 20 other municipalities and hundreds of parks, attractions, festivals and things to do.
Most of the region’s most famous places are within Metro Vancouver. Many, however, are also in other nearby parts of the Lower Mainland including in the Sea to Sky region, the Whistler area and the Fraser Valley.
This article contains information about the following areas:
Metro Vancouver Video
The following video showcases some of the sights and scenes of the Metro Vancouver area. The video takes you on a virtual tour around Vancouver, the North Shore, Richmond and Burnaby. It was made by Vancouver’s Best Places as part of a series of videos presented by Carnaval del Sol in 2020. We hope you enjoy it!
Cities Within Metro Vancouver
For information about the best places within the over 2800 square kilometres of land, ocean shores, lakes and mountains that make up Metro Vancouver and the surrounding area, check out the following cities.
Burnaby – the third largest city in Metro Vancouver and home to such best places as Burnaby Mountain, Burnaby Village and the giant Metropolis shopping centre at Metrotown.
North Vancouver – a city and district on the North Shore that are surrounded by some of Metro Vancouver’s finest nature and best places to visit in the outdoors.
World-famous places of interest in North Vancouver include Grouse Mountain and Mt. Seymour ski hills, Capilano Suspension Bridge, and Lonsdale Quay and its market. There is also beautiful Deep Cove, the Cleveland Dam, and dozens of world-class parks and hundreds of kilometres of walking, hiking and mountain biking trails.
Richmond – Metro Vancouver’s fourth biggest city and home to YVR airport, Steveston Village, the Richmond Summer Night Markets and a large percentage of the region’s significant Chinese population.
Surrey – the second largest city in BC, and one of its ethnically most diverse. Surrey has a substantial East Indian population and is home to Bear Creek Park, the annual Cloverdale Rodeo every May, Fraser Downs Racetrack and Casino, and Crescent Beach.
City of Vancouver
City of Vancouver – the largest and most famous city within Metro Vancouver. Its districts of particular interest include Coal Harbour, UBC in Point Grey, Yaletown, Chinatown, Kitsilano, English Bay, Gastown, False Creek, Granville Island and Stanley Park.
The City of Vancouver’s top attractions include the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, various parks and museums, shopping districts, the beaches and all its many fine restaurants.
West Vancouver – one of the Lower Mainland’s wealthiest municipalities and, along with North Vancouver, home to some of the region’s best outdoor and mountain activities.
Best places in West Vancouver include Cypress Mountain for skiing, Ambleside for walks along the ocean, and places like Whytecliff Park, Lighthouse Park and Horseshoe Bay (which is home to one of the BC Ferries terminals to Vancouver Island).
Other municipalities and government bodies that make up Metro Vancouver include Abbotsford, Anmore, Belcarra, Bowen Island, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, Lions Bay, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, the Tsawwassen First Nation and White Rock.
Although not within Metro Vancouver itself, other important regions in the Lower Mainland are listed below.
Fraser Valley – the region between Metro Vancouver and the community of Hope, leading into the interior of BC.
It is an agricultural region where you’ll find such top attractions as the Greater Vancouver Zoo, Abbotsford Airshow, Fort Langley, Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake Provincial Park, and Bridal Veil Falls, plus farms selling everything from cranberries to blueberries to produce of all kinds.
Langley is within Metro Vancouver but also considered to be part of the Fraser Valley. It actually consists of two municipalities – the City of Langley and the Township of Langley.
Sea to Sky Region
Sea to Sky Region – the region between Vancouver and Whistler. It includes Britannia Beach and Squamish. These communities aren’t in Metro Vancouver. They are, however, often considered to be a part of the Lower Mainland.
Along the highway connecting the region are places like Britannia Mines (an interesting copper mine museum), Shannon Falls (one of BC’s highest waterfalls), Stawamus Chief (a popular mountain for climbing), and Alice Lake (an excellent provincial park for camping, canoeing and exploring).
Whistler – host city of the 2010 Olympic Games along with Vancouver. It’s outside Metro Vancouver, but less than 2 hours away.
To learn more about the region see the Metro Vancouver website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- The A to Z’s of Vancouver
- Vancouver Rainy Day Activities
- Lower Mainland Parks & Nature
- Vancouver Activities for Children
- Vancouver’s Festivals & Events Calendar
- Lower Mainland Restaurants
- Vancouver Hotels and Places to Stay