With stunning scenery, picture-perfect beaches and endless entertainment, it’s easy to see why so many people have fallen in love with Vancouver. After living and working in the city for three months, I have made it my mission to return someday. Flights are reasonable (taking approximately 10-12 hours to get there) and there is plenty of good quality accommodation to choose from.
Whether you’re looking for a main summer holiday or a winter get-away, I would recommend Vancouver as the perfect holiday destination and here are the reasons why:
Where else can you have access to stunning mountains, beaches, parks and the bustle of city life all in one location? Whether it’s the snow on the mountains in winter or the beautiful beaches in summer, Vancouver is an attractive city whatever the season.
2. Friendly People
I’ve been to some amazing cities where the locals are not too fond of tourists, but Vancouverites are typically friendly, open and interested in visitors. I can even forgive the one I met who thought that people from Scotland didn’t speak any English!
You certainly couldn’t say that Vancouver isn’t an active city. Whether it’s mountain climbing, cycling through Stanley Park or ski-ing in Whistler, there is a sport for everyone, even if it’s just watching the BC lions play football (or in my case eating nachos while you pretend to understand what’s going on in the game).
A charming little town primarily known for it’s ski-ing but also fun to visit if you’re not a skier. A great place to take in the view of the mountains whilst drinking a hot chocolate.
5. Stanley Park
There’s not much you can’t do at this 1,000 acre park located right in the heart of Downtown Vancouver. Beaches, boating, cycling, rollerblading, an aquarium and a busy calendar of events means there’s always something going on.
6. Robson Street
For seasoned shoppers like me, Robson Street is a must. The trendy main shopping street was one of my favourite hang-outs. Here you will find department stores, clothes stores and gift shops along with some great restaurants. Even if you are on a tight budget like I was, Robson Street is still an exciting place to be.
7. Festival of Light
Every summer, countries take part in this competition to put on the best fireworks display, which is held at the beach over four nights. It’s a magical experience; one of my favourite memories of the trip is sitting on the beach with friends having a picnic and watching the amazing fireworks.
8. Capilano Suspension Bridge
This is not for the faint-hearted – or if you are slightly hungover, as I was when I attempted to walk across this bridge which is 230ft above the river Capilano. Don’t make the same mistake as I did and wait until you are halfway across to discover you don’t like heights! A really unique experience though.
9. Cleanliness of the City
Vancouverites take great pride in ensuring their city is kept clean. The streets are tidy and interesting to walk around (and you will do a lot of walking in Vancouver). Among the sights you will see as you wander around downtown are plenty of unusual water features, sculptures and different painted bear statues. I made it my mission to try and get a photograph of me with all of them, much to the embarrassment of my friends.
10. The Revolving Restaurant
This restaurant in the heart of Vancouver turns slowly while you eat, giving a great view all over the city. Going here on my last night in Vancouver is one of my favourite memories – I have decided that this is where I would like to be proposed to someday (yes, I’m an old romantic at heart!).