We took a 5 hour flight from Toronto over to Vancouver which was a pretty smooth process. As it was a flight within Canada there was no border security once we landed so we were through the airport in no time.
We took ‘mobi bikes’ around Stanley park. A great way to explore the area rather than the lengthy walk. It is a beautiful area with paths running around the coast line. You’ll be sure to get some amazing views back over the city and of the spectacular Lions gate bridge. There are plenty of beaches and even an outdoor public swimming pool to relaxing a take a dip along the way if you fancy. Save a few hours for this! Pro tip: even though we didn’t make it during our trip, our AirBnb host recommended the ‘drum circle’ evening which takes place on Tuesday nights on Third beach. An evening full of music and dancing on the beach as the sun goes down.
Again we biked all along the shoreline here. It was lovely to see the changes in scenery ranging from the beaches, harbours, parks, beautiful contemporary housing and the quirky Telus Science World building. All of which had the amazing mountains in the background.
This was a great opportunity to go across the water and watch over the Vancouver Skyline. There’s a few restaurants and cafes along the shoreline too.
Granville Island is a peninsula on the shore of Vancouver with a huge public market on there. The main attraction for us was the food market. It has a huge variety of foods on offer to suit everyone! You’re very unlikely to leave empty-handed!
Neither of us have ever seen such a beautiful backdrop to a city before! The mountains are just spectacular. The city seems to have everything to offer. The mountains, the waterfront, the beaches, the nature and the big city lifestyle.
We lived further out of the city in New Westminster so having good public transport was important to us. The Skytrain was always on time, easy to navigate and most important of all – it was above ground! We got to see the areas we were travelling past each day which is much better than being stuck underground.
The city seems to have traffic well under control. The roads were never jam packed or too overcrowded. It was nice in respects to both walking around the streets, and whenever we needed to catch a cab or bus!
We didn’t realise until arriving in Canada how much they openly suffer with a drug problem. I think in Europe it is much more of a ‘quiet’ problem which is dealt with in private. Here they openly admit they have a problem and try to solve it head on. We’ve seen many, many people suffering from drug problems within broad daylight, injecting themselves right on the street or within a childs playpark. They also have needle disposal pots everywhere in the public and within public toilets. They also have safe injection sites in many places with nurses on site incase there’s any problem. It isn’t something we are used to experiencing or thought we would in Canada and did make us feel uncomfortable at times. However we do admire their head on approach in tackling the problem and hope it works!
A negative for us in comparison to Toronto is this city does feel very industrial still. The water is very much still used for transport of goods with those big ships seen in the water. Also, around the city many cranes and industrial machines are present. I suppose it just didn’t have as much of a WOW factor as Toronto!
First of all we would again emphasis doing this on bike. The whole length of the outskirt of Stanley Park is 10km so much easier on bike than walking!
If you’re riding a bike, you have to go round ANTICLOCKWISE as it’s a one way route. Luckily we were told this before we set off and we are so glad we were!
If you’re going to be using the Skytrain we would highly recommend just paying for the day pass at $10.25. It gives you unlimited use for that day and can also be used for the seabus and buses. Individual journeys (dependent on the route) will cost anywhere from $2 - $6 so it can add up!
They do also now accept contactless card payments but ours for some reason over charged us so we just stuck to the daily pass after that!