City Name
Home » Recent posts » The Best Guide for a 2-Day Trip to Vancouver

The Best Guide for a 2-Day Trip to Vancouver

Guide for 2 Day Trip to Vancouver
We extensively test and research all services we review. Here's why you can trust us.

Did you know that Vancouver has been named the fifth-most livable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit? This made us want to find out exactly what makes it that way!

From iconic sites to hidden gems, we’ve crafted a local’s roadmap for an unforgettable 48 hours. Ready to immerse yourself in the best of Vancouver? Let the exploration begin—dive into the guide!

Time Zone

Pacific Standard Time (PST) (UTC-8)

Best Time to Go

The best time to go to Vancouver is from June to September. That’s when the weather is mild, and there’s only a small chance of rain. 

It’s also the best time to do some sightseeing, grabbing stuff from the shops, plus you get like 13 hours of solid sunshine every day.

Things to Know

Currency: Canadian Dollar

Language: English

Calling Code: +1  

How to Get Around 

Skytrain: the city’s Skytrain system is a convenient way to get to Commercial Drive. Ride the Skytrain from any station that connects to the Expo Line, and get off at Commercial-Broadway Station.
Buses: There are several bus routes that pass through the area, including the 20, 9, and 99. Check the TransLink website or use their mobile app, available for both iOS and Android.
Taxis: There are several taxi companies in the city like Yellow Cab and Black Top & Checker Cabs that provide reliable transportation services.
Car Services: There are also car services available in the city, such as Uber and Lyft, if you’d like to have a more private and convenient mode of transportation.

Travel Tips for a Trip to Vancouver

  • Use public transit: Vancouver’s public transit system is quite efficient and easy to navigate, making it a convenient way to get around the city. You have the Skytrain, Seabus, and buses.
  • Get the Compass Card: this reloadable fare card lets you pay for public transit in Vancouver. Get one as soon as you’re in the city. You can buy them online, at Compass Vending Machines (CVMs), select retailers, and by phone.
  • Bring activewear: Because this is an outdoor city, make sure to pack your activewear for adventures.
  • Exchange currency prior to arriving: this will save you time and potentially money by avoiding high exchange rates at the airport or in tourist areas.
  • Bring a raincoat: In Vancouver, it rains approximately 192 days throughout the year so it’s wise to be prepared for wet weather.
  • Take advantage of free WiFi: Vancouver offers over 590 free public WiFi locations. You can easily connect to these networks by searching for the network names (#VanWiFi, COV-Public, or VPL).
  • Check out these free attractions: there are a lot of free things to do in Vancouver so make sure to stop by these popular spots such as Stanley Park, Granville Island, and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Day 1 in Vancouver 

Things to Do

Head to the Granville Island Public Market

Media credit: granvilleisland_publicmarket

Address: 1689 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada

Phone: +1 604-666-6655


To start your first day in Vancouver, hit up Granville Island, where the legendary public market is the go-to spot. It’s a paradise for foodies, trust us.

From 10 am to 6 pm every day, you’ve got a ton of shops, restaurants, and art galleries to explore, all run by local vendors—bakers, butchers, cheesemongers, and chocolatiers doing their thing.

Don’t miss out on Lee Donuts, Oyama Sausage, Go Fish, and the Stock Market—they’re must-visits. But hey, if the choices are making your head spin, consider a food tour. You can snag over 20 Canadian delights in just 2 hours.

Stroll Along Gastown

Media credit: mygastown

Address: Gastown, Vancouver, Canada

Phone: 604-683-5650


Once you’ve soaked in enough at the Granville Island Public Market, make your way to Gastown. This neighborhood is a real gem with its cobblestone streets, Victorian-style buildings, and that antique steam clock that throws you back in time.

You can take a relaxed stroll through the historic district, checking out the cool boutiques, art galleries, and hip restaurants. Oh, and don’t forget to swing by the iconic steam clock—it chimes every 15 minutes.

If you’re up for more views, head over to the Vancouver Lookout nearby. This observation tower lets you take in the city from 553 feet up. Tickets are around $15, and it’s a sweet way to see Vancouver and its harbor from a whole new perspective.

Eat Lunch at Chinatown

Media credit: visitchinatown

Address:  Vancouver, Canada


Just a quick 2-minute drive from Gastown, Chinatown is the perfect spot to recharge. The neighborhood has a killer selection of Chinese cuisine—think dim sum, noodles, and some seriously flavorful stir-fried dishes.

But it’s not just about the food; Chinatown’s also rocking some unique Chinese goods. From traditional clothing and herbal remedies to crafts and tea, you’ll find it all.

And after a tasty lunch, make your way to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. This place brings the elegance of traditional Chinese gardens right into the heart of the bustling city—a tranquil oasis you won’t want to miss.

Watch a Show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Media credit: vancivictheatres

Address: 630 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5N6, Canada

Phone: +1 604-665-3050


After that filling feast, cap off your first day with some entertainment at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. 

This place is top-notch, hosting everything from classical concerts to contemporary acts. It’s the perfect way to wrap up the day after that satisfying feast. Enjoy the show!

Where to Eat

Bao Bei

Media credit: baobei1

Address: 163 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1X4, Canada

Phone: +1 604-688-0876

Pricing: $


Bao Bei’s been rocking Vancouver with some seriously good Chinese-ish grub since 2010. Tucked in Chinatown, they’re all about this awesome fusion of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, and more.

We went all in with the beef tartare, wontons, white kimchi, and chickpea tofu to share. Everything was fresh and had this cool twist in flavor—total game-changer.

Chambar Restaurant

Media credit: chambar_restaurant

Address: 568 Beatty St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2L3, Canada

Phone: +1 604-879-7119

Pricing: $$$


If you’re into modern casual dining vibes, hit up Chambar Restaurant. They’re serving up Belgian-inspired dishes like Ratatouille, Shakshuka, Brochette de Porc—you know, all that fancy stuff.

Our top pick? The Congolese Moules Frites—seriously delicious. Do yourself a favor and grab some extra bread to dip into that goodness. Highly recommend it.

Where to Stay

Holiday Inn Vancouver-Centre

Address: 711 W. Broadway, Heather St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 3Y2, Canada

Phone: +1 604-879-0511

Pricing: $$

Book Now

Chillin’ near the Olympic Village Underground Station, the Holiday Inn Vancouver-Centre hooks you up with slick rooms to match their perks—gym, indoor heated pool, and a spot to grab a bite and chill.

And let us tell you, there’s a bunch of top-notch restaurants around. Super handy being near the Skytrain system, too.

YWCA Hotel

Address: 733 Beatty St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2M4, Canada

Phone: +1 604-895-5830

Pricing: $

Book Now

The YWCA Hotel is right next to BC Place Stadium and Rogers Arena, and you can hop on the Stadium-Chinatown Skytrain in just 5 minutes. It’s smack dab downtown, close to tons of cool stuff, with two metro stations and plenty of buses nearby.

You can grab a bite at the lobby cafe, and they have three kitchens ready to roll. Plus, there are meeting rooms and TV lounges.

Where to Shop

The Shop Vancouver

Media credit: theshopvancouver

Address: 88 E Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2R7, Canada

Phone: +1 604-568-7273


The Shop Vancouver is your go-to for men’s clothing with a badass motorcycle-inspired vibe. They’ve got the good stuff—high-end denim jeans, leather jackets, and more.

Everything up for grabs at The Shop is top-notch, carefully chosen, and of the highest quality. Sure, it might be a bit pricey, but hey, these pieces are built to last. 

Much & Little

Address: 2543 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3E5, Canada

Phone: +1 604-709-9034


Much & Little is this awesome local gem, an indie boutique that’s all about carefully chosen home goods, women’s clothing, gifts, accessories, and a bunch more.

Their selection is on point, filled with thoughtfully curated products. If you’re in Vancouver, definitely swing by—trust us, you won’t be let down!

Stoxx Thrift & Vintage

Address: Kingsgate Mall, 370 E Broadway Unit 118, Vancouver, BC V5T 4G5, Canada

Phone: +1 604-875-9691


Stoxx Thrift & Vintage is a go-to spot for curated vintage clothes. The old-timey aesthetic is right up your alley, and the selection is seriously diverse.

You can totally see that each piece is handpicked, and the quality is top-notch on a bunch of the clothes. It’s a vintage lover’s dream.

Day 2 in Vancouver

Things to Do

Cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Media credit: capilanosuspensionbridge

Address: 3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4J1, Canada

Phone: +1 604-985-7474


Alright, let’s start day two! Head on the Seabus at Waterfront station to North Vancouver. Get off at Lonsdale Quay, and from there, you can grab public transit or a taxi to head over to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.

This place is a big deal, and rightly so. The suspension bridge, built back in 1889, is just the beginning. The park now has all kinds of activities for everyone, from treetop walkways to a cliffside path.

Explore Stanley Park

Media credit: doetsreizen

Address: Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4, Canada

Phone: +1 604-681-6728


Next up, we’re going back to Vancouver. We now head to Stanley Park, the largest and most well-known park in Vancouver. This 405-hectare park makes up the northwestern half of Vancouver’s Downtown peninsula.

This park is amazing—great views of the water, clean and paved trails for both cyclists and pedestrians, abundance of wildlife such as seagulls, geese and even sea lions.

It’s a great spot for walking for a long time. You can easily have a ten-to-twenty-kilometer walk in this beautiful park and be enchanted by the sights and not be bored one bit.

Shop and Dine at Yaletown

Media credit: iyaletown

Address: Yaletown, Vancouver, Canada

Phone: 604-689-0022

Yaletown, surrounded by Homer Street, Robson Street, and False Creek, is a perfect spot to chill in the afternoon. This neighborhood has this awesome mix of history and modern vibes.

Picture this: charming streets flanked by heritage brick buildings, top-notch restaurants, stylish boutiques, and a lively nightlife. Yaletown is always buzzing with something happening, making it an ideal spot to spend your afternoon.

Watch the Sunset at David Lam Park

Media credit: _ariadnabg_

Address: 1300 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Y1, Canada

Phone: +1 604-873-7000


End your day by watching the sunset at David Lam Park. It’s just a 2-minute drive from Yaletown. This park boasts killer views of False Creek and Yaletown. 

You’ve got sports courts and playgrounds surrounded by lush greenery, and a spacious open lawn—ideal for flying kites, soaking up the sun, or hosting outdoor festivals.

Oh, and there’s a bonus: several cool sculptures are scattered along the waterfront, adding an extra touch of intrigue to the park.

Where to Eat

Blue Water Cafe

Media credit: bluewatercafe

Address: 1095 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5T4, Canada

Phone: +1 604-688-8078

Pricing: $$


Situated in Yaletown, the Blue Water Cafe is the city’s go-to spot for seafood. They’ve got a raw bar, some creative twists on seafood, and they’re cool with handling dietary needs.

Honestly, everything we tried was top-notch, but let us tell you about the sablefish—it was out of this world, hands down the best fish we’ve ever had. Cooked to perfection, no kidding.

Hawksworth Restaurant

Media credit: hawksworthrest

Address: 801 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC V6C 1P7, Canada

Phone: +1 604-673-7000

Pricing: $$


The Hawksworth Restaurant, right at the core of the city on Georgia and Howe Streets, is a game-changer with its impressive contemporary cuisine. The way they balance flavors is like a culinary symphony—each course is legit a work of art.

We dove into a seasonal 3-course meal and let us tell you, it was a ride. Started with the salmon tataki, rolled it into some beef brisket, and wrapped it up with eggnog ice cream.

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House

Media credit: joefortesvan

Address: 777 Thurlow St, Vancouver, BC V6E 3V5, Canada

Phone: +1 604-669-1940

Pricing: $$


Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House has been killing it since ’85, rocking the classic American cuisine scene. Picture this: they’re dishing out more than 30 types of fresh fish, premium oysters, and thick chops every single day.

Now, let us tell you about our go-to picks—the chicken and waffles, absolute winners, and the seafood linguine, next level. You gotta try those, no question.

Where to Stay

Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre

Address: 1000 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2R9, Canada

Phone: +1 604-331-1000

Pricing: $$

Book Now

The Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, spans across the North and South towers, offers floor-to-ceiling views of the city. Staying here places you near Stanley Park and Rogers Arena.

They got this swanky restaurant with cool glass stuff, and a laid-back bar. Oh, and there’s a gym with a lap pool, sauna, and hot tub, too.

Hotel At The Waldorf

Address: 1489 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V5L 1S4, Canada

Phone: +1 604-253-7141

Pricing: $

Book Now

The Hotel at the Waldorf in East Vancouver is this cool spot where art, music, food, and culture all vibe together. The rooms are lively, with funky decor and furniture in all kinds of colors.

They’ve got this chill cafe with an island vibe, dishing out Italian grub, especially wood-fired pizzas. And don’t miss the quirky tiki bar for some live entertainment.

Skwachàys Lodge Indigenous Hotel and Gallery

Address: 31 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1R3, Canada

Phone: +1 604-687-3589

Pricing: $

Book Now

For a truly unique stay, the Skwachàys Lodge Indigenous Hotel and Gallery is where it’s at. It’s the first Indigenous boutique art hotel, and the decor is absolutely stunning—totally Indigenous-themed.

It has 18 suites with individual works of art. Local Aboriginal artists and Vancouver interior designers teamed up to craft each room, telling these amazing visual stories about the First Nations.

Where to Shop

Old Faithful Shop

Address: 320 W Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1E8, Canada


Old Faithful is this charming store with an adorable vibe, and their collection of designy artifacts is on point. The space is lovely, and the products are diverse enough to keep your mind entertained while being seamlessly presented.

From paintings and decor to plants, it’s all set up to brighten your day. And let’s talk about those books and magazines—they’re chosen with such great indie taste that you won’t find anywhere else in Vancouver.

Woo To See You

Address: 3671 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3N6, Canada

Phone: +1 604-874-3622


Woo To See You is a haven for women’s clothing, and let us tell you, you’re walking out of there with something—no doubt about it.

The owner’s got this knack for sourcing stuff from local designers, Korean, and other international labels, and it’s all seriously cool and surprisingly well-priced. It’s a win-win for your wardrobe and your wallet.

Apps to Download for a Trip to Vancouver

Vancouver Travel Guide: Interactive city guide with tourist info on all must-see attractions in Vancouver.
iOs | Android

Vancouver Transit Live: real time bus schedules and live updates on buses coming to the stops near you.
iOs | Android

Paybyphone: Pay for meter parking with the touch of a button, set text reminders, and have your receipts emailed to you.
iOs | Android

GPSmyCity: Self-guided walks over 1,000 cities in Vancouver, with built-in GPS navigation functions. Works both online and offline.
iOs | Android

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

The Best Vancouver expert reviews directly to your inbox (and absolutely no spam!)