What to Do when Visiting Vancouver?

1. Enjoy the Many Views that the City has to Offer When VisitingVancouver

When visiting Vancouver take the opportunity to spend some time being outside. You can either go to Stanley Park in the West End of Downtown, the second biggest park in North America after Central Park in New York, or discover Granville Island, an island South of Downtown Vancouver where there is a public market every day, or take the ferry going to North Vancouver and Lonsdale Quay Market. Vancouver is “spectacular by nature” as the Tourism Vancouver website rightly states. When you get out of the city centre you immediately get back to nature while still being in Vancouver. Many walks and hikes are possible just minutes from Downtown, and tjey take you to wonderful panoramic views. This always present nature is the huge advantage of Vancouver. And when it’s raining other activities are possible…

2.Enjoy the many activities that you can do inside when it’s raining in Vancouver

With an average of 165 rainy days per year, 20 and 19 days in November and December, you have to find activities to do inside in Vancouver, otherwise you’re risking a pneumonia… (needless to say I got a cold only 10 days after getting here!) Here are a few of them. I’ll update this post when I discover new things to do.

a. Spend a day at the Vancouver Aquarium

The Vancouver Aquarium is one of the most loved aquarium in the world, and it deserves its title. Indeed, it’s a non-profit organization, and all its earnings go directly to marine protection in British Columbia through research, education and direct action. Its action goes from animal rescue, to the reproduction of endangered species of frogs, to the observation of fish behaviours in the aquarium, but also to the construction of sustainable facilities in the aquarium.

The aquarium also plays a great role in rasing awareness on the impact of climate change on the environment and marine life. During the various activities proposed by the aquarium, like the beluga show, very interesting descriptions are given of the animals’ life and their difficulties they are facing due to climate change. I learned that the Canadian Arctic takes up more than 40% of Canada’s total area, and it’s in that area that climate change is the most visible. Canada is very engaged in the efforts to reduce its impact.

These activities are very interesting and informative, so you can easily spend the day at the aquarium. The Vancouver Aquarium is a good activity to do on a rainy day, with or without kids. Come there early to avoid lines. The aquarium is open every day from 10am to 5pm and can be reached with the 19 bus at the Stanley Park Bus Loop, the last stop.

b. Discover the Granville Island Public Market

You can enjoy Granville Island on a sunny day by walking around the island, but also on a rainy by going to the public market that’s indoors. They are many vendors selling a variety of fresh products. It’s a beautiful market when you can also grab a bite.

c. Eat…

Vancouver is known for the quality of its cuisine, and once again it doesn’t disappoint. Here you can escape anywhere you want through food. 45% of the vancouverite population comes from Asia, so Asian food is the one you should really try when visiting Vancouver. And you will have a festival of flavors when eating in Vancouver. Dim-sum, sushi, ramen, samosa, bibimbap, phở, or japadog, a japanese style hot-dog… You won’t know what to eat because of the choice is vast here.

d. And Go Out!

Vancouver is full of bars each one unique in its own way. We went with a guide from the hostel Granville Island Brewing, a brewery that makes its own beer but also sells many local and international beers. I tasted a special Halloween beer with a pumpkin taste. With Claire, my new French friend, we tried the bar of the Pourhouse Restaurant to drink custom-made cocktails to our taste. We listened to live music while enjoying the cocktails. It was a great experience.

I went to a concert of the Cherub, a group from Nashville, at the Imperial. I went there with my Flemish friend Rilke, and we arrived at 8pm, the time written on the tickets. 8pm was actually the time the doors were opening, the concert only started at 11pm. That was a good lesson to learn a small difference between Belgium and Canada. We heard the group that was playing first at 9.30pm, Hippie Sabotage. This group is known for remixing the famous hit High of Tov Lov. During the concert they explained to us that before mixing this song they were living on the street… Everything really is possible in America!

We also went to the Belmont where there is live music every night.

In conclusion I would say that there is always something to do and to see in Vancouver rain or shine, and I still have a lot of things to discover! Tomorrow I’m doing my first hike!

Read this article in French.

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