Autumn trees along Stanley street park
Stanley Park

Fringed by snow-capped mountains, temperate rainforest and the Pacific Ocean, the beauty of Vancouver is unquestionable. While the city is most famous as an oasis for outdoor activities, its ever-evolving dining scene, cultural hot spots and museums will keep the indoorsy types occupied just as well. Use our travel guide to plan your trip to Vancouver, where adventure awaits.

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Places to stay

Vancouver is full of areas to explore and accommodation options to suit your budget, tastes and preferences. Stay downtown to be close to restaurants, shops and public transport services that connect you to the rest of the city. For a local experience, stay in Kitsilano or the eclectic Commercial Drive.

You'll find everything from luxury hotels with ample amenities and services to the intricate details of boutique stays. Those travelling with kids will have no problem finding a family-friendly hotel and Vancouver’s size means many options for those on a tight budget, while travel apartments are available for long-term stays and provide a real sense of local life. 

Travelling further afield? Stay in old-school fishing villages and surf towns, or for a remote island escape make the journey to Vancouver Island. If you need a place to drop your skis, some of North America's best ski fields are easily accessed from the city and have plenty of quaint slope-side chalets you can snuggle up in. From picturesque neighbourhoods to away-from-it-all finds, there are plenty of places in this region to fit your itinerary and travel style.

Things to do

Whether you're on bike, boat, skis or foot, there is plenty to explore in this captivating Canadian city. Wake up with the rest of Vancouver and go for an early morning cruise along the West Side Beaches. Stop off at the 49th Parallel Café & Lucky's Donuts in Kitsilano for a coffee and a cheeky breakfast doughnut.

If the weather is warm, hit the water for a paddle and take in the spectacular scenery of Howe Sound and Horseshoe Bay from a kayak. Stroll around the forest, wetlands and beaches that fill the oldest and largest park in the area, Stanley Park, or venture further and hike up the face of Grouse Mountain before catching the leisurely gondola back down.

Hiked up an appetite? Seafaring foodies can chuck oysters back with British Columbia brews at Chewies Smoke & Oyster Bar. If you'd prefer a beer and bucket loads of chicken wings, follow the trail of sports bars that lead to the Rogers Centre (home of the Vancouver Canucks ice hockey team), or better yet, head to the stadium to catch a match - you won't regret it.

Sightseeing options take you from city to nature. Board a hop-on hop-off bus or explore the city centre on foot and you’ll be surrounded by laidback locals in unique downtown neighbourhoods like the hip Gastown, beachside West End area, upscale Yaletown or historic Chinatown.

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A Quick Guide to Skiing near Vancouver

How does a post-ski cocktail in one of the world’s most beautiful capitals sound? Whistler, about a two-hour drive away, is divine but you don’t need to travel that far (or pay a small fortune) because there’s great skiing in Vancouver. Here are our tips for enjoying the snow and the city...

Read more on Travel Insider

Where to go

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Visit the ski fields

Looking for the world's best powder or a cosy fireplace to pull your woolly socks up next to? Vancouver is a hop, skip and jump from some of North America’s most prestigious slopes.

Less than two hours’ drive away is the famed Whistler. Spend time on the slopes here or venture just a bit further to stay at Canada's largest ski-in, ski-out resort village, Big White Ski Resort. You can also find fun fields of fresh snow closer to Vancouver at Grouse and Cypress Mountains.

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Granville Island

A magical escape within the city and favourite among visitors and locals alike, Granville Island is home to a fantastic food market, quaint shops and even a craft brewery all nestled in and among historical warehouses and architecture. 

Browse the art studios, grab a jar of birch to bring home as a gift or chow down on poutine or lobster cakes. Whatever you decide to do on Granville Island, make sure you visit on an empty stomach!

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Getting around

From the airport: There are several options to go between Vancouver International Airport and downtown including taxis, car rentals, trains, ride-share and buses. A one-way train trip from YVR to downtown takes only 25 minutes.

In and around the city: Vancouver is known as Canada's most walkable city, and the comprehensive network of bike paths also make bike rental a great option for exploring. The Vancouver transit system, TransLink, is made up of a network of buses, the SeaBus and SkyTrain so getting around the city is convenient and easily accessible.

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Disclaimer: + Meals, entertainment and service offerings vary between flights and cabins.

Disclaimer: ^ You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.

^You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Join online now. Membership and the earning and redemption of points are subject to the  terms and conditions of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. Members will earn 6 Qantas Points per A$1 value when booking offers at Qantas Points will not be earned on cancelled or refunded bookings.

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