On the western coast of British Columbia, Canada, one will find the bustling city of Vancouver. This densely populated city is incredibly beautiful due to the many natural attractions and mountains in the immediate vicinity. Furthermore, it has much to offer travelers who plan to spend some time here. There’s Coal Harbour that’s ideal for enjoying evening strolls, Grouse Mountain that’s worth hiking to the summit for those amazing panoramic views of the city, and Canada Place that has a plethora of excellent facilities that are conveniently located in one place. Check out our comprehensive guide to what to do in 36 hours in Vancouver, Canada, and plan your upcoming trip accordingly.
Day 1: Afternoon
Wander around Stanley Park
Spending the afternoon in the wondrous Stanley Park may just be what the doctor ordered. The gorgeous park has much to offer, such as beaches, mountains, walking trails, and wildlife. There are even several eateries and an aquarium in the vicinity, which means that you’ll never go hungry or get bored. But don’t leave without watching and photographing the setting sun.
Address: Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4, Canada
Website: Stanley Park
Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)
Day 1: Evening
Stroll along Coal Harbour
Vancouver has many beautiful areas, one of which is Coal Harbour, which is worth a visit. Ideally, you’ll visit in the evening to walk along the Seawall while admiring the neon-lit cityscape. And if you take the time to look around, you’ll discover several good restaurants such as Cactus Club Cafe Coal Restaurant, Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar, and Nightingale, to name a few.
Address: Coal Harbour, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
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Check out the Gastown Vancouver Steam Clock
Gastown is the oldest and, quite possibly, the coolest neighborhood in Vancouver. The neighborhood’s iconic Victorian architecture looks stunning, especially in the evening when the lights come on. And, one of the most notable things you’ll find here is the Steam Clock that draws quite a crowd. Once you’re done with photographing the clock, you’ll want to check out the many drinking haunts, eateries, and souvenir shops in the area.
Gastown Steam Clock
Address: 305 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B9, Canada
Website: Gastown Steam Clock
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
Day 1: Night
Stop by Alibi Room for a nightcap
The Alibi Room is no ordinary watering hole as it’s a modern tavern that provides patrons with quality craft beers. This establishment has been in business since 2006 and is situated inside a heritage site near the railyard. A few of the tasty snacks that you can order include Chili Cheese Fries, Lemon & Herb Grilled Chicken Burger, and Macaroni salad. But you shouldn’t leave without trying out their Dageraad Belgian Style Session Ale, Steel & Oak Pale Ale, or Superflux Hazy IPA.
Address: 157 Alexander St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1B8, Canada
Website: Alibi Room
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 4:30pm - 10:30pm; Fri - Sat: 4:30pm - 11pm
Day 2: Morning
Have a hearty breakfast at Cafe Medina
Medina is a stylish cafe that’s great for grabbing breakfast. They have a comprehensive menu of delicacies with plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options. We recommend their mouthwatering Fricassée Champignon, Sandwich au Porc, and Wolves Breakfast. They also serve tasty beverages such as Americano, Matcha Latte, and Steeped Loose Leaf Tea.
Address: L'Hermitage Vancouver, 780 Richards St, Vancouver, BC V6B 3A4, Canada
Website: Cafe Medina
Opening hours: 8am - 3pm (daily)
Day 2: Afternoon
Hike up Grouse Mountain (or take a cable car)
Vancouver is full of natural gems that you need to discover. It would be a waste to visit this amazing city without hiking up or taking a cable car up Grouse Mountain. If you’re elderly or not very fit, we recommend the second option. Once you’ve reached the summit of the mountain or the observatory, you’ll enjoy the most stunning panoramic views of Vancouver. Do keep in mind that there are eateries, cafes, and skiing facilities on Grouse Mountain.
Address: 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9, Canada
Website: Grouse Mountain
Opening hours: 9am - 9:30pm (daily)
Price: 25 - 47 USD
Day 2: Evening
Wander around Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
One attraction that’s a huge hit with tourists is Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. What makes it so popular is its network of suspended bridges that offers participants stunning aerial views of the Kia’palano river and landscape. Also, the park boasts a new cantilevered walkway and treetop adventure that’s situated above a gorgeous rainforest area.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Address: 3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4J1, Canada
Website: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Opening hours: Check park schedule
Price: 14 - 42 USD
Day 2: Night
Have dinner at a restaurant in West End
West End is one of the safest and trendiest neighborhoods in Vancouver, which makes it a joy to stroll and discover amazing bars and restaurants. You’ll find everything from gay bars through to ramen shops, and this shows the diverse range of offerings here. Several of the establishments that you’ll find include BeetBox Veg, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, Dinesty Dumpling House, Damso Restaurant, Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House, JoongWon Korean Chinese Restaurant, Kingyo, Le Crocodile, Score on Davie, Shabusen Yakiniku House, Stepho’s Souvlaki Greek Taverna, Sura Korean Royal Cuisine Restaurant Vancouver, Tom Sushi, and Zabu Chicken, to name a few.
Address: West End, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
Head to Canada Place
Canada Place is an important landmark at the waterfront and houses a variety of facilities. These include the cruise ship terminal, FlyOver Canada virtual ride, Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel, Vancouver Convention Centre, and Vancouver’s World Trade Centre. Locals and out-of-town visitors often congregate here for the many exciting events that take place throughout the year. If you’re in the vicinity on an important date such as Canada Day, do pop by to check out the spectacular live event that features renowned music artists and ballet groups. But don’t leave without checking out the amazing fireworks display that will leave you in awe.
Address: Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre Seaplane Terminal, 999 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 3T4, Canada
Website: Canada Place
Opening hours: Check the events schedule
Day 3: Morning
Explore Granville Island Public Market and grab some fresh produce
While there are many excellent grocery stores and supermarkets in Vancouver, ideally, you should be purchasing your fresh produce from one of its premier public markets. At Granville Island, you’ll find a plethora of stores, including a farmer’s markets that stock the freshest fruits and vegetables. There’s also a kid’s market, water park, several restaurants, and a variety of boutique stores in the immediate vicinity. It’s also incredibly easy to catch an aquabus or taxi, as there are several transportation hubs on the island.
Granville Island Public Market
Address: Public Market, 1689 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada
Website: Granville Island Public Market
Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)
Many gems for you to discover
Vancouver is a massive multicultural city that has much to offer tourists who want to experience many things. It has several excellent natural attractions that will ensure you spend plenty of time outdoors. But the city’s many great urban attractions will keep you enthralled for many hours.
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