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How to Spend 1 Day in Vancouver

How to Spend 1 Day in Vancouver

With its vibrant culinary scene, assortment of characterful neighborhoods, and spectacular next-to-nature setting, Vancouver has lots to keep curious travelers engaged. For those on a tight schedule, and here’s our 1-day Vancouver itinerary with all the must-dos.  

Morning: City Sights and Beyond

Vancouver is a city of contrasting neighborhoods, from the glossy skyscraper-packed Downtown to quaint, cobbled Gastown and beachy, laid-back Kitsilano. The best way to see as much of this diverse city as possible is on a highlights tour. Opt for a coach tour or a bike tour and travel between top sights, such as Stanley Park, Olympic Village, and Chinatown. Finish up your morning sightseeing at the futuristic Flyover Canada, a simulated flight ride that takes you on an exhilarating 8-minute virtual journey across all of Canada, from the Rocky Mountains all the way to its east coast.

Afternoon: Explore the Great Outdoors

In Vancouver, the presence of nature looms large, with snowy summits visible beyond the city skyline. The North Shore, which is less than 20 minutes’ drive from the city, is the best place for time-tight travelers to experience the epic landscapes of British Columbia. Head to Grouse Mountain, an outdoor playground with various attractions including a gondola, lumberjack shows, hiking trails, ziplines, and a grizzly bear refuge. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is another popular North Shore escape, primarily known for its 460-foot-long (140-meter) swaying suspension bridge and glass-floored Cliffwalk. 

Night: See the City Lights

With the city lights dancing on the water and the dark silhouettes of distant mountain peaks framing the view, Vancouver’s cityscapes look even better as dusk falls. Head for the Vancouver Lookout, a panoramic 450-foot-high (170-meter) observation deck in a downtown skyscraper, or take off into the air on a late-evening seaplane tour over the city. Another good vantage point from which to view the sparkling city lights is from the deck of a boat on a dinner cruise around Vancouver Harbour.

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7 Tours and Activities

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Vancouver Seaplane Tour

Vancouver Seaplane Tour

star-4.5
424
Soar above the scenic city of Vancouver, enjoying a bird's eye view of its picturesque harbor and nearby mountain peaks, on this 20-minute, small-group seaplane flight. Hop aboard your seaplane as you leave the tourist crowds in downtown Vancouver behind, as you glide above the city's beautiful skyline and take in an aerial view of its Olympic facilities. This small-group flight, limited to just 14 guests, also includes a carbon offset levy.
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  • 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$127.74
Price varies by group size
From
$127.74
Price varies by group size

Vancouver Harbor Sunset Dinner Cruise
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Vancouver Harbor Sunset Dinner Cruise

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430
Looking for an enchanting and unusual way to spend an evening in Vancouver? Take a leisurely dinner cruise along the city’s gorgeous waterfront. Listen to live music and savor delicious Pacific Coast-style cuisine as you float through Vancouver’s Inner Harbor. Stroll the deck at sunset, indulge in a freshly prepared buffet, and take in the beautiful sights including Canada Place, the North Shore Mountains and the West Vancouver skyline after dusk.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$112.59
From
$112.59

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Ticket
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Capilano Suspension Bridge Park Ticket

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820
Immerse yourself in nature’s splendor moments from downtown Vancouver. History meets the great outdoors at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, where you wander through the stunning temperate rain forest. Soar over the Capilano River as you cross the suspension bridge, climb through old-growth fir trees on the Treetops Adventure, and rise high above the canyon along a towering wall of granite on the new Cliffwalk.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$55.44
From
$55.44

Vancouver City Sightseeing Tour: Granville Island & Stanley Park
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Vancouver City Sightseeing Tour: Granville Island & Stanley Park

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826
Make the most of your time in beautiful Vancouver on a half-day tour of the city’s highlights. Your driver escorts your group to popular attractions such as Stanley Park, Granville Island, Chinatown, and Gastown. See totem poles, wander through food stalls and craft galleries, and get great city views from lookouts like Prospect Point. As you ride, listen to fascinating stories about the city, from the First Nation’s People to contemporary culture.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$58.00
From
$58.00

Grouse Mountain Admission

Grouse Mountain Admission

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217
Escape to the picturesque alpine landscape just outside Vancouver with this admission to Grouse Mountain, a cultural and outdoor park that's perfect for the whole family. Enjoy the chance to observe endangered animals like owls and bears, or watch the park's collection of birds of prey as they soar through the air. You can also enjoy a ride on one of the longest aerial trams in North America, go snowshoeing, and watch a lumberjack show, plus much more. Along with your Grouse Mountain admission, a shuttle is available (first-come first-serve basis) from downtown Vancouver and ride on the park's peak chairlift.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$56.66
From
$56.66

Vancouver Highlights Bike Tour - The Grand Tour
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Vancouver Highlights Bike Tour - The Grand Tour

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781
Discover the beauty and culture of Vancouver on a small-group bike tour—great for riders of all levels. Accompany your guide on a leisurely ride along dedicated bike routes. Explore the city’s natural wonders like Stanley Park's rain forest and historic neighborhoods like Gastown and Chinatown. Cruise along the seawalls for gorgeous views of the North Shore Mountains, False Creek and more.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$84.02
From
$84.02

FlyOver Canada Flight Ride

FlyOver Canada Flight Ride

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364
Get epic aerial views of Canada’s dramatic landscape without leaving the ground on this simulated flight ride! Start with an entertaining presentation on the history and culture of Canada, then brace yourself for take off. From your seat under the high-dome screen, you’ll careen through the sky, hurdle over mountains, feel the wind in your face and take in the woody scents of alpine forests. At eight minutes long, this simulated flight is the longest in the world! Halloween Experience: Oct 1 - Nov 1 Scary season is getting off to a flying start at FlyOver Canada. This limited-run Halloween show includes an additional 2-minute flight ride experience, HollOver, a special HowlOver Canada themed pre-show, and lots of creepy Halloween-themed decorations. Costumes are encouraged and everyone is welcome to join. Hurry, while there's still broom!
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  • 25 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$28.58
From
$28.58