The Lower Mainland has hundreds of top attractions including museums, parks, beaches, ski hills and gardens. Below are Vancouver’s top 24 places.
Our list includes our favourite year-round places of interest, which means they are open for most of the year, or at least during most the peak tourist season. We have other favourite places that are more seasonal too, like the Chilliwack Tulip Festival in the spring, or holiday attractions at Halloween and Christmas.
The City of Vancouver is an attraction in itself and one of the best ways to explore it is on a guided tour. See our article about Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours for a variety of fun and informative options.
24 Best Vancouver Attractions
- Bloedel Conservatory – an indoor garden at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park. It’s home to more than 100 exotic birds and 500 species of tropical plants. It’s in a glass-domed heritage building and boasts amazing views of Vancouver from just outside its entrance.
- Britannia Mine – a historical copper mine museum located up the Sea to Sky Highway 45 minutes from Vancouver.
- Burnaby Village Museum – a reconstructed historical village.
- Capilano Suspension Bridge – an array of bridges through the trees and over the Capilano River.
- Cleveland Dam and Capilano River Regional Park – the best views of the Lions (Vancouver’s most famous mountain peaks) and location of beautiful Capilano Reservoir, walking trails, and the Capilano River Salmon Hatchery.
- Cypress Mountain – the highest ski hill with the most terrain, lifts and vertical drop in Metro Vancouver, so a best place for snow sports in winter.
- English Bay – Vancouver’s most famous beach, conveniently located by trendy Denman Street.
- FlyOver Canada – a fun flight simulation attraction at Canada Place.
- Fort Langley – although mostly a rebuilt replica of the original fort, this is an interesting place if you like history and nice walks along the river.
- Gastown – the old historic part of the City of Vancouver. It’s full of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops. It’s also a great place to explore at night with Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours.
- Granville Island – an area of Vancouver that’s famous for its public market, art studios, shops, restaurants, theatres and views of False Creek and downtown Vancouver.
- Grouse Mountain – the best year-round hill with its winter skiing, tram up the mountain, movie theatre, restaurants, grizzly bear habitat and summer Lumberjack and Birds in Motion shows.
- Gulf of Georgia Cannery (and Steveston Village) – the national historic site is interesting and the village is a beautiful place to explore.
- H.R. MacMillan Space Centre – home of Vancouver’s planetarium located next to the Museum of Vancouver.
- Kitsilano Beach – one of several first-rate beaches in Metro Vancouver, with a giant outdoor pool plus views of both the city and North Shore Mountains.
- Lynn Canyon Park and Lynn Headwaters Regional Park – location of hiking trails to Lynn Canyon suspension bridge and Rice Lake.
- Mount Seymour – the best North Shore ski hill for beginners and very young families.
- Museum of Vancouver – the place to learn about Vancouver history, located adjacent to the planetarium.
- Science World – great IMAX Theatre and lots of cool science stuff to see.
- Sea to Sky Highway Region – an area between Vancouver and Whistler that includes such best places as Britannia Mine (a historical copper mine museum), Sea to Sky Gondola, Shannon Falls, Stawamus Chief (for mountain climbing) and Alice Lake (for camping, canoeing or just walking around).
- Stanley Park – an enormous world-class public park with a beautiful 10 km seawall featuring stunning views.
- VanDusen Botanical Garden – beautiful manicured gardens that are also home to some of Vancouver’s most interesting and popular events.
- Vancouver Lookout – 360 degree views from the observation deck – especially interesting on a sunny day.
- Vancouver Aquarium – home to beluga whales, sea otters, a million fish and a 4D theatre.
Vancouver’s best places to visit aren’t limited to just the above top two dozen attractions. Click Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places for a full list of all the best places in the entire region (where you’ll find a listing of all places of interest in alphabetical order).
Also, recognizing that what’s interesting to one person isn’t necessarily interesting to someone else, check out Vancouver’s Best Places’ listing of top attractions sorted by activity, season, age group appropriateness, interests and more.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- The A to Z’s of Vancouver
- Vancouver’s Festivals & Events Calendar
- Lower Mainland Activities for Children
- Vancouver Rainy Day Activities