Our epic 2 week Canadian adventure started in the city of Vancouver.
Having never been to Canada before, Vancouver gave us our first taste of this beautiful country. It is definitely up there as one of my favourite cities!
Coastal cities are great as I love being by the water and you get the best of both worlds – beautiful views but also the exciting city atmosphere.
There is so much to do and see in and around Vancouver – here is what we managed to fit in in 3 nights:
Arriving in Vancouver Airport at midday with AirTransat, we jumped on the Sky Train to downtown for about $9 each.
We stayed at The Blue Horizon hotel. We were upgraded to a beautiful room with fantastic views!…
After settling in we headed to Gastown to visit the famous Steaming Clock.
We chilled out with some cheese and wine at the Water Street Cafe during happy hour (3-5pm) and listened to the clock do its thing every 15 minutes. It is pretty cool! (Can you spot the socks and sandals combo in the photo?)
Next up was the Vancouver Lookout. Tickets are $17.50 each, they also do a student rate at $12.50. The ticket is valid all day so you can go up at both day and night.
We were aiming to go back up after dinner but the jet lag beat us and we missed out!
It was a great way to see the city when we arrived to get our bearings.
We had a yummy dinner at the Keg Steakhouse.
Breakfast was thoroughly enjoyed at Abode – the restaurant at the hotel. We actually had breakfast here every day! It was so yummy and we were also eager to get on with our day rather than try and seek out somewhere new each day.
A free shuttle bus runs from the hotel to the Capilano Suspension Bridge – we hopped on at 08:50 and were there in about 20 minutes. If you’re staying at the Blue Horizon, ask them for a discount voucher. Full price tickets are $46.95 (students $34.95).
Exploring Capilano took us about 2 hours:
Next up we caught the number 236 bus from the other side of the road to take us to the foot of Grouse Mountain ($2.85 each). We were going to hike up the famous Grouse Grind trail but it was closed so we took the BCMC trail. It was really hot when we were there and super sweaty. Make sure you bring lots of water with you and you’ll probably want to take regular breaks! We did the climb in 1 hr 25 mins…
At the top, there are loads of things to do: visit their grizzly bear sanctuary (free), do a heli-tour, ziplining, a chairlift, and also snow sports in winter.
If you’d prefer not to do the walk you can take the gondola instead but it is quite expensive at $56 return. We were knackered after the hike, well, mostly me, so we got the gondola down for $15 each.
After a gorgeous pad thai at Rice & Noodle , we had a relaxing couple of hours in the room before heading out for the evening.
We walked over to English Bay Beach to enjoy the famous sunset and it did not disappoint!
Dinner was fantastic at Beach Bay Cafe and Patio – lovely views, great service and some healthy options on the menu too.
On Wednesday we began with exploring Stanley Park.
We hired bikes from ‘Bikes on Robson’ for $8 an hour and did a whole lap of the sea wall before stopping at the main attractions:
- The totem poles
- Prospect point
- Third beach
- The Lost Lagoon
- The Rose Garden
- Beaver Lake
After lunch (another pad thai, guilty) we headed over to Granville Island Market . We hopped on a boat with False Creek Cruises for $5.50 return, the boat ride is only about 5 minutes. Who doesn’t love a food market? We loved visiting all the stalls – and sampling all the samples – and then enjoyed some ice-cream before heading back into the city.
We had dinner at Earls.
We picked up our hire car from AVIS on Hornby Street at 08:30 and set off on the road to our next destination! More posts coming soon…
I wish we’d had time to visit Vancouver Island, we have been told many times how beautiful it is.
Butchart Gardens is on our list too – it looks like something from The Wizard of Oz!
Did we miss anywhere else? I’d love to hear about your trips! Let me know in the comments below.
Planning your own Canadian road trip? You might want to check out my city guide to Calgary, where we ended our trip.
Also, check out my YouTube video highlighting the best bits of our trip!: