A debt owed to its relative youth as a city, Vancouver will not have the sheer number or grandiosity of cultural institutions of other major cities in Canada. On the other hand, its youth denotes the fact that Vancouver culture is happening now, not trapped in display cases for you to view at your leisure. There aren't too many places as vibrant and modern as Vancouver, an easy-to-navigate city with plenty of nods to contemporary art and culture that also maintains a vision that commemorates the First Nations tribes that preceded British occupation.
The largest number of attractions are located in the Central Business District, led by the incredible architecture of Canada Place, which resides on the Burrard Inlet. Other interesting stops on the waterfront include the brick-lined Jack Poole Plaza and the Harbour Centre, where you may enjoy the 360 degree Vancouver Lookout. Moving away from the bay, there is Robson Square (the only place to ice-skate outdoors) and the Vancouver Art Gallery, which is notable for its Emily Carr collection. Head east from downtown near Yaletown to access the Rogers Arena, home to large scale events that include games by the city's hockey sweethearts, the Canucks. For those interested in sports, the BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is located at BC Place Stadium.
Because various districts are packed in closely, making them easily accessible on foot and through a very reliable public transport system, you could spend a day wandering from downtown to nearby neighborhoods. Tiny Granville Island is a popular area for a stroll, with its popular shops and markets, while Gastown is the site of the original Vancouver and has deteriorated into a bit of a tourist catch-all. Despite its barely restrained kitsch, it can be worth a stop for its stone avenues, and the “steam” clock on the corner of Water and Cambie Streets. Other attractions worth mentioning around the city include the Vancouver Aquarium on the edge of Stanley Park and famous Robson Street, which is where you'll see the most visitors to the city milling about for its shopping and dining.
There are other attractions just outside of the city, including the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Fort Langley, and other activities that are more reminiscent of Vancouver's past.
Whether it is a sense of history or an understanding of the moment, this city has plenty to supplement its place as an adventure-lover's city. Look into our individual listings for more details.