Finally, I am back to writing on my blog today. My mum decided to visit us in Canada, so in the last two weeks I have been traveling around BC and Alberta. We had a great time exploring everything and I was glad to show her the Canadian way of living.
The first stop for us was Vancouver. Vancouver is a beautiful city located next to the ocean surrounded by mountains. I had been there for a few times before and asked locals for recommendations on what to do in only one day (and a half), since our time was limited.
So here is my recommendation on how to see Vancouver in a day and a half:
I would recommend to use public transit when you are staying in downtown Vancouver. The skytrain takes you directly to Granville St. .Once you are downtown it is pretty easy to walk around or take the bus. Just remember to always have exact change on the buses.
We woke up early in the morning to get the most out of our day. If possible find a hotel downtown, it is an excellent starting point to all the important places that you need to see. We decided to start our day with a walk to Gastown to have a small breakfast. Gastown is Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood. It is located close to the water and the street is filled with charming small cafes and restaurants. It is particularly known to be the creative part of town with a lot of independent design, culture, fashion and food. You will recognize it by it’s famous steam clock that is right in the middle of everything. I have now been to Gastown many times and I would recommend to go there at at day and at night if possible. A lot of people I know go there to enjoy live bands, theaters or even armature burlesque shows.
Canada Place is located next to the ocean and full of water airplanes that frequently start and land. It is a great place to sit down and just enjoy the view.
From Canada Place we walked up to Granville Street and took a bus to Granville Island. The peninsula, a former industrial area, is one of the most beautiful sights in Vancouver. You can walk through the little shops next to houseboats and finally end up at Granville Island Public Market. A little hidden, but once you find it you enter a complete different word full of colorful stalls. We enjoyed the homemade products, the smell of baked goods and flowers and finally ended up having our afternoon coffee and delicious tart next to the water watching a street artist perform.
Aquabus to Science World
We wanted to have a nice view on the Science World building and so we decided to take the Aqua Bus from Granville Island to Science World. We had an outstanding view over the city and also got to travel on a boat, which is usually a little more expensive.
Walk back to downtown via China Town
Thinking of our next stop, we finally decided to walk all the way back to downtown via China Town. China Town is a city for itself. Once you enter the area, you are exposed to little Chinese shops. For a moment you forget that you are in Canada. I was very impressed by how much that part of town was integrated into the city and by how much the city embraced cultural diversity.
However, leaving China Town and entering a completely different area (Hastings St) quiet frankly shocked us a little. Seeing so much wealth, beautiful buildings, clean streets, and skyscrapers, suddenly we were in the middle of the drug scene. Sure, this exist in any major city, but what really left us speechless was to see how beauty was next to sadness and pity.
The picture below shows a very old, shabby building next to a obvious new building. But after all, seeing this part of town was worthwhile, simply for the sake of the experience of the ‘whole’ city.
We finalized our tour with a shopping spree on Robson St. and had dinner at Joey right next to our hotel. And I can say, they honestly have the best Sangria! So good!
Before my mum left to Germany the weather was beautiful and we decided to take her to Stanley Park. If the weather is nice, I highly recommend a walk in the park. It gives you this beautiful view over the ocean and the city with the marina in front of it. When you drive up the park all the way to the top you can have a great view on the other side that shows you the open ocean and Lions Gate Bridge.
It is a beautiful part of town. The beach is right next to the water and especially in the warm summer months this is a great place to relax. If you’re an early riser, this place is great to spot a sunrise.
If you love dessert…
My biggest weakness in trying to eat healthy is definitely dessert. Vancouver is a paradise when it comes to late night sweets. I definitely highly recommend two places. One of them is Cheesecake etc. right on 2141 Granville St (walking distance from Granville Island) and Sweet Revenge a little off downtown on 4160 Main St. And it’s so ROMANTIC!
Again if you can get off the downtown area, I recommend a breakfast at “The Whip” located on the corner of Main and 6th Ave. My friends and I went there a few times on my previous visits and I took my mum this time. I absolutely am in love with there salmon eggs benny. The best!
I hope you find these recommendations helpful. If you need any more advise or suggestions on where to eat out or what to see in Vancouver, feel free to email me or contact me over twitter.
Have a great Tuesday night!