Other big cities of the world have famous towers, bridges and churches. Vancouver’s calling card is its incredible natural beauty. Set in the midst of mountains and ocean, the city has a happy, resort-like feel all year round. You are sure to stumble upon some secrets on your own, but here is a quick introduction to the key pleasures that you will experience, even if you are there for just a couple of days.
Take a ride on the Skytrain—it will get you from the airport to the heart of downtown in 22 minutes flat. While arriving on time, you will also savour some of Vancouver’s most stunning views from your window. The train goes over the world’s longest cable-Supported bridge over Fraser River.
Enjoy maple syrup: you are in Canada, after all! The best way to get the most pleasure from this delicious syrup is to drench your buttery croissants and fluffy pancakes in it. Don’t forget to buy a bottle or two for back home—it makes a great gift, too!
Join the rush hour: Rush hour on Monday in Delhi and Mumbai versus peak time in Vancouver will have your eyes popping out. No packed-like-sardines trains and buses, no traffic jams. It’s just a cool line up of long Lamborghinis, fast Ferraris and hot Harley Davidsons easing their sleek bodies on the smooth tar, dazzling in the sunshine. Well, that’s your introduction to Vancouver’s work force!
Take a walk in Stanley Park: Early in the morning or late in the evening, this sprawling Park is Vancouver’s pride and joy. Spread over a little more than 1000 acres, Stanley Park nudges downtown Vancouver and loops around the English Bay. Stop and smell the flowers, catch a concert, or delve into its secrets—some of the rocks here are more than 32 million years old!
Stay in an apartment hotel: on or close to Denman Street is the best location, because it puts you right across from the stunning, sparkling English Bay. Fresh produce from farmer’s markets and supermarts is always just around the corner, and you will enjoy buying your groceries to dish up a home-style or exotic meal in the comfort of your apartment.
Shop at Robson Street: this is British Columbia’s hippest street for shopping, entertainment and nightlife. Whether you want to splurge or just people-watch, this is the street to be on.
Watch the sunset at English Bay: Kick off your sandals. Feel the sand between your toes. Watch the sky turn a rich shade of marmalade. Sip roadside lemonade, watching bronzed bodies sprawled all around; some absorbed in beach reads, some lost in each other. Watch out for the golden retriever bounding behind a ball. Steer clear of that handsome jogger in the yellow tee. But do lean close to the bushes that line Stanley park, because big bunches of berries hide within. Sensory Overload Alert!
Take the Seabus into Granville Island: here, Vancouver’s best coffee is brewed and the city’s freshest salmon is served. But besides the gastronomic delights, this middle-of-the-city island is abuzz with theatres, pubs, shops, studios, galleries and much more. Kids will love the Adventure Zone here.
Take the cable car up to Grouse Mountain for some gorgeous views from the North Shore peak which sits 4000 metres high. The one-mile aerial tram ride is wonderfully scenic. In winter, this is ski and snowboarding heaven, with exciting hiking trails in springtime.
Best Time to Go: Year-round. Winters are mild and wet, with the best hotel and activity rates. Spring is filled with daffodils, and summer is when the city bursts into festival mode.
Vancouver International Airport
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is situated on Sea Island, 10km (6 miles) south of downtown. All major international airlines have connections to Vancouver.
For more information: http://www.tourismvancouver.com