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Is Olympic Village in Vancouver Worth Visiting? Here’s all you need to know

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Is Olympic Village in Vancouver Worth Visiting? Here’s all you need to know

Back in 2010, Vancouver proudly hosted the Winter Olympics, and as a lasting legacy, we now have the Olympic Village right here in the city.

There’s another one up in Whistler, which you can access via the Sea to Sky Highway (Sea to Sky Highway) from Vancouver. But this one in the city, nestled near the waterfront and other neighborhoods downtown, is equally worth a visit.

From a quick history refresher to a rundown of top-notch dining spots, we're excited to spill our insider secrets and help you make the most of your visit to Vancouver’s Olympic Village!

What happened to Olympic Village in Vancouver?

The Olympic Village in Vancouver has transformed into a mixed-use community, with residential units, refreshing green spaces, and a thriving commercial scene. It has become one of the city's most sought-after destinations, particularly in the summer.

The village was initially designed to host over 2,800 athletes and officials coming to the city for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. After playing its vital role, the village was returned to the City of Vancouver, which converted the accommodations to residential housing.

Before being prominent as a Winter Olympics venue, the same area located Southeast of False Creek used to be an industrial zone mainly filled with parking lots. The Millenium Development Group completely redeveloped the area from the ground up.

What happened to Olympic Village in Vancouver
(Image by Ben Stock on Shutterstock)

Things to Expect in Olympic Village in Vancouver

The Olympic Village in Vancouver had a slow start in forming a residential neighborhood, but now it has approximately 1,100 residential units according to the City of Vancouver. 

The age group, according to Real Estate Coal Harbour, ranges between 20-49 years old, with the median age being 34.8.

Aside from the residential community, the Olympic Village thrives as a hub with delightful dining and drinking establishments nearby. As it sits in the Southeast False Creek area, it also offers views of the waterfront and the city’s skyline. 

Centrally located, the Olympic Village enjoys proximity to the downtown area where a lot of attractive amenities can be found. The village’s location along the Seawall not only offers beautiful surroundings but also caters to those who embrace an active lifestyle.

The City also takes pride in the village’s status as one of the greenest communities worldwide. It’s recognized by the C40 Cities as a successful implementation of sustainable development, with its energy-efficient systems and eco-friendly way of life.

Time Zone

Pacific Standard Time (PST) (UTC-8)

Best Time to Go

The best time to visit the Olympic Village in Vancouver is during the summer months when the weather is warm and sunny, and outdoor activities are in full swing.

You can go hiking, cycling, and kayaking, or immerse yourself in the food festivals, markets, and concerts that make the area lively. 

Note though that the village is a magnetic attraction, drawing crowds during peak tourist season. If your preference leans toward a quieter experience, consider timing your visit during the shoulder seasons of spring or fall.

Things to Know

Currency: Canadian Dollar

Language: English

Calling Code: +1

How to Get Around Olympic Village in Vancouver

Trains: Olympic Village has its own SkyTrain station, which is located on the Canada Line. If you need to get on the Expo Line, there’s the Main Street-Science World, 17 minutes away from the village.

Buses: The city has a reliable bus network, so it’s not going to be a problem going around Olympic Village by bus. For instance, there’s TransLink 15 – Cambie/Olympic Village Station which departs from Marine Drive Station and ends at Olympic Village Station.

You can also check out the Hop-on, Hop-off (hop on hop off vancouver) sightseeing bus and look for the nearest drop-off like the Olympic Village Square.

Biking: Biking is a popular way to get around Olympic Village, and there are several bike rental shops in the area. There are also bike rental programs like Mobi which will enable you to rent a bike and return it to one of their designated locations.

Where to Stay in Olympic Village in Vancouver

YWCA Hotel Vancouver

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

Phone: +1 604 895 5830

Pricing: $$

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Located across BC Place Stadium, this hotel conveniently lies within walking distance of the Olympic Village. You’ll need around 20 minutes to walk or five minutes to drive across Cambie Bridge to Olympic Village Square, for example.

YWCA Hotel extends budget-friendly options too, so all kinds of travelers are welcome to stay. Plus, as a social enterprise, guests who opt for this hotel contribute to a noble cause during their stay.

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Vancouver-Downtown

Address: 111 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2A8, Canada 

Phone: +1 604 602 1008

Pricing: $$$

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Another hotel that sits across the BC Place Stadium is the Hampton Inn & Suites. Aside from its central location, the hotel offers spacious rooms equipped with amenities that guests typically look for in accommodations.

It’s also near the Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal, for those who are arriving from a cruise or hopping on one after their stay.

Georgian Court Hotel, WorldHotels Elite

Address: 773 Beatty St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2M4, Canada

Phone: +1 604 682 5555

Pricing: $$$

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The Georgian Court Hotel is a boutique hotel that boasts 180 well-appointed guest rooms. If you opt to stay here, you can avail of their complimentary bikes or catch their shuttle bus to explore nearby attractions.

Here’s a pro tip for fashion-forward guests: The Orchid Floor offers guest rooms thoughtfully equipped with amenities such as curling irons and makeup remover pads.

Hotel BLU

Address: 177 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2A8, Canada 

Phone: +1 604 620 6200

Pricing: $$

Book Now

Located on Robson Street (What is Robson Street known for), Hotel BLU is just a few steps away from Stanley Park and Rogers Arena. With the Olympic Village easily accessible as well, it’s a prime pick for travelers eager to explore the local scene.

Within Hotel BLU, the rooms are thoughtfully designed with comfortable beds, premium amenities, and a contemporary touch. The hotel also boasts a heated outdoor pool, a welcoming hot tub, and a well-equipped fitness center.

For those looking for a hotel with a good on-site breakfast dining option, there’s Azure Lounge within the hotel. It’s a good place not only for its dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, but also for its cozy atmosphere.

JW Marriott Parq Vancouver

Address: 39 Smithe St, Vancouver, BC V6B 0R3, Canada 

Phone: +1 604 676 0888

Pricing: $$$

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JW Marriott Parq is another attractive option if not for its strategic location, then for its eight top-tier restaurants and lounges all led by James Beard Awardee-nominated chefs. Talk about world-class dining!

For those who prefer to stroll from the hotel to Olympic Village, budget around 20 minutes to get to Athletes Way if you take the Pacific Boulevard route. Science World is already on the way, so you can already plan a brief detour en route.

Where to Eat in Olympic Village in Vancouver

Tap & Barrel

Address: 75 Athletes Way, Vancouver, BC V5Y 0B1, Canada 

Phone: +1 604 685 2223 

Pricing: $$$

Website

Tap & Barrel at the Convention Centre doesn’t shy away from pushing boundaries. While their Steak Frites could use some enhancement, the Zatar Flatbread and Fish and Chips are just impressive.

Their patio is also perfect for all weather conditions, and if you’re seated on the second floor, you’ll enjoy ample natural light without any concerns. Plus, you’ll get stunning views of the Science World and Rogers Arena from there.

The Flying Pig

Address: 127 W 2nd Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1B8, Canada

Phone: +1 604 569 1111

Pricing: $$$

Website

The Flying Pig has become a local favorite, especially during their inviting happy hours. They have it all day on Mondays, and 3 to 6 PM and 10 PM to closing time through the rest of the week.

We loved their organic beets salad and bison carpaccio!

Terra Breads 

Address: 1605 Manitoba St, Vancouver, BC V5Y 3B7, Canada

Phone: +1 604 877 1183

Pricing: $$

Website

Situated just a few steps away from the waterfront, Terra Breads caters to both leisurely diners seeking a view and those in a hurry and only craving a speedy sandwich fix.

Their parmesan and chive scones stand out as a delightful treat but they have an excellent variety if you have a sweet tooth. One thing’s for sure, their bread, plain or with savory or sweet toppings, is a lovely complement to a cup of coffee.

Prepare about CAD 3-6, and you can kick off your day with a piece of good bread in hand!

Earnest Ice Cream 

Address: 1829 Quebec St, Vancouver, BC V5T 2Z3, Canada

Phone: +1 778 379 0697 

Pricing: $

Website

This one right here could be a candidate for the best ice cream we’ve ever had. Their salted caramel, matcha, lemon tart are all unforgettable but based on the samples we had? It’s safe to say all of their flavors are fantastic.

The staff is also very friendly and patient. While the wait might stretch a bit longer, they ensure to give you their undivided attention when it’s your turn.

CRAFT Beer Market False Creek

Address: 85 W 1st Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Y 0C4, Canada

Phone: +1 604 709 2337

Pricing: $$

Website

CRAFT Beer Market is an excellent choice if you’re meeting up with friends or just looking for a good place for socializing in general. 

Their wide range of beers (around a hundred!) is impressive and their food – although it may fall into the typical pub fare category – goes nicely with the drinks.

They have a good variety of food to choose from. But if you want to make sure you’re getting a no-fail hit, consider grabbing one of their burgers. 

Gusto A Taste of Italy          

Address: 1610 Salt St, Vancouver, BC V5Y 0E4, Canada

Phone: +1 604 874 8786

Pricing: $$

Website

It’s a nice Italian cafe that offers a wide selection of food, from pizza and pasta to famous desserts. 

The prices are a little steeper compared to your usual coffee shop, though, but the quality of their food makes it worth it. Among all the options, their scrocchiarella stands out to us with its fresh and crispy crust.

Mahony’s Tavern False Creek

Address: 601 Stamps Landing, Vancouver, BC V5Z 3Z1, Canada

Phone: +1 604 876 0234

Pricing: $$

Website

Mahony’s Tavern gives off a west coast pub vibe with its beers on tap and hearty (and more remarkable than usual) pub grub. The service can be hit-or-miss, perhaps depending on how busy the hour is, but the sunset views make the patio dining so worthwhile.

What to Do in Olympic Village in Vancouver

Walk the False Creek Olympic Village Seawall Route

Walk the False Creek Olympic Village Seawall Route
(Image by Lissandra Melo on Shutterstock)

A circular 2.9-kilometer trail along the Seawall  (Vancouver seawall), the False Creek Olympic Village walking route can give you a little close to 4000 steps. If you want to soak in the local vibe, we recommend getting up early and walking this route.

What’s even better, this route seamlessly connects to the Seawall network, so you can explore Stanley Park and Kitsilano while also passing several attractions like the Olympic Aboriginal Welcome Work and BC Place Stadium along the way.

Don’t miss the chance to tread on the same ground where the Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremonies took place. 

Admire MacLeod’s The Birds

Admire MacLeod’s The Birds
(Image by meunierd on Shutterstock)

There are a lot of dining establishments worth exploring around Olympic Village Square. But one important item in the plaza is the pair of house sparrow sculptures, the first major public art commission made by artist Myfanwy MacLeod.

These sculptures, named “The Birds” after Alfred Hitchcock’s film of the same title, stand at an impressive 18-foot height, which makes them quite unmissable! 

This public art intertwines various concepts dear to the artist – from migration (as house sparrows aren’t native to BC), to the juxtaposition of city life and nature, and even a nod to the area’s shipyard history reflected by the sparrow tattoos of sailors.  

With such a rich mix of ideas, looking at the installations can only add an intriguing dimension to your visit to the Olympic Village Square.

Unwind at Hinge Park

Unwind at Hinge Park
(Image by Lynden Chan on Shutterstock)

Spanning over 2 acres, Hinge Park boasts natural wetlands, picnic areas, play structures for kids, and an off-leash area for dogs.

Amidst the surrounding condos, this park serves as a tranquil oasis with creative features, like a bridge made from an old sewer pipe, and sometimes, public art installations, too. 

You can also venture to nearby Habitat Island, an urban sanctuary for birds and other animals and a home for more than 200 native trees. Just make sure to contribute to Vancouver’s conservation efforts to safeguard this precious oasis.

Go to Science World

Go to Science World
(Image by Tada Images on Shutterstock)

Although not exactly part of Olympic Village, Science World is just a stone’s throw away and easy to get to. 

It’s located at the far end of False Creek to the east, while Olympic Village is nestled in Southeast False Creek, so its close proximity makes it a convenient stop for those exploring the village.

You can walk or bike from Olympic Village to Science World without any fuss, so it’s a great idea to include a visit to Science World when you’re exploring Olympic Village. Check out their website to know their latest shows and activities.

Launch Your Kayak from Olympic Village

Launch Your Kayak from Olympic Village
(Image by kwho on Shutterstock)

The Olympic Village is a great spot to launch your kayaking escapades, especially during the summer when False Creek is bustling with kayakers.

You can glide along the waterfront for a unique perspective of downtown, or venture out to Granville Island, Stanley Park, or even down to Kitsilano Beach.

If you’re worried about gear, you’ll find several kayaking rental companies like Creekside Kayaks. They even offer lessons and guided tours, perfect if you want some extra practice and guidance to boost your confidence in paddling.

Where to Shop in Olympic Village

T-shirt

Address: 24 W 2nd Avenue, Vancouver, BC CA V5Y 1B3 Canada 

Phone: +1604 629 8262

Website

Carrying brands like Gildan, King Fashion, and Canvas, T-shirt sells blank apparel that’s great for screen printing. 

You can say the brand name is too generic, but the serendipitous backstory is quite cool – the owner just saw the domain T-shirt.ca became available again in 2003, so they grabbed the chance and now, they’ve been using it for 20 years!

Legacy Liquor Store

Address:1633 Manitoba St, Vancouver, BC V5Y 0B8, Canada

Phone: +1 604-331-7900

Website

If you’re planning to have some cocktails while staying in the city, one of the best places to visit is Legacy Liquor Store. They have beer, whiskey, cider, sake, among others.

In the back of the store, they have a tasting bar that would be good to check out. They host a lot of wine tasting events so drop by for a spontaneous night out or check their website to know what’s happening when you visit.

Canna Cabana 

Address: 191 W 2nd Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1B8, Canada

Phone: +1 604-416-5141

Website

As a licensed cannabis retailer, Canna Cabana is your one-stop local shop for all things cannabis. You can order online or drop in the store – just make sure you’re the right age and you have your ID ready for verification.

MEC Vancouver

Address: 111 2nd Ave East Vancouver, British Columbia V5T 1B4

Phone: +1 604 872 7858

Website

MEC is now known as Mountain Electric Company, but it offers the same kinds of outdoor recreation gear and clothing. 

If you’re planning to do water sports and cycling around the area, even camping and skiing in faraway locations, make sure to drop by to purchase the gear you need.

And if you have your own gear but need repairs, they offer repair services as well. It’s a convenient one stop shop for your recreational needs while you’re exploring Olympic Village.

What to Expect from Olympic Village Weather

Spring: In spring, Olympic Village is mild, with temperatures from the mid-40s to mid-60s Fahrenheit (7-20˚ Celsius), while nights are a bit cooler, around 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) lower. Rain showers are common during this season.

Summer: Summer is a perfect time to visit and explore Olympic Village. Days see temperatures ranging from mid-60s to 70s Fahrenheit (19˚C – 23˚Celsius). It’s hottest in August, while June and July gives ideal weather for outdoor fun.

Fall: Fall brings mild weather to Olympic Village, from the low-40s to mid-60s Fahrenheit (5-18˚ Celsius) with some rain showers. From September to November, it cools down a bit, but in general, fall is a wonderful time to spend time in parks and long bike rides.

Winter: Winter (Winter in Vancouver) in Olympic Village is quieter and cooler, with temperatures ranging from low-30s to low-40s Fahrenheit (0-5˚ Celsius). While snow is rare, you might see a little dusting here and there.

Apps to Download for a Trip to Olympic Village in Vancouver

Vancouver Maps and Walks: Discover self-guided routes around the Olympic Village
iOs | Android

Vancouver Transit Live: Navigate the public transit system within the city

iOs | Android

Uber: Order food delivered to your doorstep or get a ride when you need it

iOs | Android

OpenTable: Reserve tables at restaurants to avoid having to wait

iOs | Android

Too Good to Go: Get alerts on available discounted surplus food from stores

iOs | Android

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