Things to do in Vancouver

Explore Vancouver Landmarks: A Journey Through Scenic Wonders

Gardens, parks, museums, and more, these Vancouver landmarks are sure to delight.

Vancouver is the crown jewel of British Columbia. It sits on Canada’s western coast, offering unparalleled views of the Pacific Ocean. If you’re not in the mood for an all-night party, don’t worry. Plenty of things to do in Vancouver will have you in bed at a reasonable hour. Join us on a journey through the city's scenic wonders.

Parks and Gardens

When you think of Vancouver landmarks, what comes to mind first? Maybe you envision the skyscrapers soaring above Coal Harbour or the city’s world-class museums. You’re on the right track but don’t forget about Vancouver’s parks and gardens. Radiant blooms, lush greenery, and winding paths create an oasis in the middle of a bustling metropolis.

1. Stanley Park

Stanley Park is the largest park in Vancouver, so there’s no shortage of things to do. As part of the West Coast rainforest, it offers breathtaking views of mountains, beaches, and centuries-old trees.

The park also has multiple monuments, gardens, and sculptures. Be sure to visit the Garden of Remembrance, which honors members of the Royal Canadian Air Force. You're in luck if you don’t feel like packing a picnic basket. Stanley Park has a wide variety of restaurants.

At the Teahouse, patrons enjoy scenic views of English Bay. The Waterfall Cafe has a patio overlooking the Vancouver Aquarium, making it a popular spot for families. You can also grab a bite at Prospect Point Cafe or Stanley Park Pavilion.

Photographer: Max Harlynking

2. Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park is a popular attraction for gardeners. It’s home to Bloedel Conservatory, a tropical oasis in the heart of the city. The park is also the highest point in Vancouver, making it one of the busiest wedding venues in the city.

Once you’ve had your fill of flora and fauna, you should head outside for some physical activity. The park has something for everyone, from lawn bowling to miniature golf. We love to stop in on Sundays when the Seasons in the Park restaurant serves its signature prime rib with Yorkshire pudding.

3. VanDusen Botanical Garden

Stretching 55 acres, VanDusen Botanical Garden is home to over 7,500 plant varieties. Children love wandering through the Elizabethan maze and trying to complete the Junior Birder Challenge. For grown-up fun, sign up for a class in botany or photography.

VanDusen Botanical Garden is also a premier destination for horticultural events. The Alpine Garden Club of British Columbia, the Vancouver Orchid Society, and the Desert Plant Society of Vancouver meet there at least once yearly.

4. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Vancouver’s Chinatown is a vibrant community that honors the past while looking to the future. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden recreates the traditions of the Ming Dynasty, making it one of the neighborhood's most important cultural attractions.

A traditional Chinese pagoda rises to greet you, hovering over a serene pond covered with lilies. The design incorporates winding paths, interesting rock formations, and gorgeous greenery. Let the calm wash over you as you enjoy the tranquil setting.

Photographer: Ronin

5. Bloedel Conservatory

Located in Queen Elizabeth Park, Bloedel Conservatory is home to more than 500 plant varieties. Even if your thumb isn’t very green, you can surely appreciate the beauty of their petals, leaves, and stems. The conservatory also serves as a habitat for African parrots, Chinese pheasants, and other exotic birds.

6. Lynn Canyon Park

Lace up your hiking shoes and head to Lynn Canyon Park for the adventure of a lifetime. The park is home to the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, one of Vancouver's hidden gems.

Although the bridge is narrow, we highly recommend you gather courage and trek across the canyon. Your bravery will be rewarded with spectacular views of Twin Falls.

Did someone say adventure? Our performers defy conformity by using thrilling acrobatics, groundbreaking technology, and unforgettable costumes. Cirque du Soleil ECHO showcases their talent and engages the senses. Watch this performance after a jaunt through the park to make your trip more memorable.

7. Lighthouse Park

As you enter Lighthouse Park, you'll be greeted by a rocky formation and a white tower basking in the sun. You'll want to have your lens cap unfastened as you approach this seaside beauty since the landscape portrait of this sight belongs on a postcard. Follow the Lighthouse Park Viewpoint Loop for a moderate walk with exceptional views.


Vancouver’s location makes it the ideal destination for beach-loving tourists. Whether you want to spend the day swimming or relaxing with a book, you can’t go wrong with a visit to one of these Vancouver beaches.

8. Kitsilano Beach

Kitsilano Beach is more than a place to sunbathe. It also has picturesque views of the North Shore mountains, Burrard Inlet, and the Vancouver skyline. From Victoria Day to Labor Day, Kitsilano Beach even has an aquatic wheelchair, increasing accessibility.

If you feel like being active, shoot some hoops or practice your backhand on one of the tennis courts. It's one of our favorite places to unwind in between performances.

Photographer: Jia Ge

9. Jericho Beach

Jericho Beach is the perfect place to relax as you gaze across English Bay. Like Kitsilano Beach, it has tennis courts and a floating wheelchair during the summer, making it ideal for people of all ages. Located in West Point Grey, it offers a much-needed break from the neighborhood’s busy shops and restaurants.


Several Vancouver landmarks have religious and cultural significance. Even if you don’t practice a particular faith, you can still enjoy the eye-catching architecture and meaningful artifacts found in these places of worship.

10. Christ Church Cathedral

To see the oldest surviving building in downtown Vancouver, head to Christ Church Cathedral. The building has many characteristics of Gothic architecture, including stained glass, pointed arches, and elaborate ornamentation. Some decorative details, such as three salmon designed in the traditional Salish style, honor the First Nations of Canada.

11. St. John’s Shaughnessy

St. John’s Shaughnessy was previously the largest Anglican church in the country. Although the congregation is much smaller now, the church plays an important role in the community.

If you’re planning an architecture tour, don’t forget to visit St. John’s. The same architect who created Victory Square designed the Art Deco building.

12. Holy Rosary Cathedral

Two steeples tower above Richards Street, drawing the eye toward Holy Rosary Cathedral. The architect used several design elements to create a Latin cross, making this one of the most visually appealing French Gothic buildings in North America.

Inside, the cathedra (bishop’s throne) features a large oak piece and sacred images. If you have time to explore, you can view the sanctuary up close. Pointed arches, stained glass, and a large crucifix create a refuge for community members.

Museums and Galleries

Local artists find inspiration in Vancouver’s beauty, making it an art lover’s paradise. Don’t leave town without visiting a few of these museums and art galleries.

13. Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver Art Gallery's neoclassical design makes it one of the city's most important landmarks. A large pediment tops Greek columns, making visitors feel as if they’re entering the Parthenon — before some of it was destroyed, of course.

The gallery has two lion sculptures flanking the steps to the entrance. Museum staff always create new exhibits and rotate collection items, so you can visit dozens of times and never see the same objects twice.

Vancouver Art Gallery features artists like Denyse Thomasos, Pedro Reyes, and Emily Carr. Exhibits devoted to preserving the culture of First Nations communities are also common.

14. Science World

There’s a reason Science World is one of the most iconic Vancouver landmarks. It’s housed in a geodesic dome, a spherical structure connected by lines.

The museum exists to help people of all ages develop a love of science, technology, engineering, art and design, and mathematics, so there are plenty of hands-on exhibits to delight young visitors.

If you have limited time at Science World, we recommend starting with the BodyWorks Gallery. You’ll learn everything from how the skin works to how DNA makes us different even though we belong to the same species. Science World is also home to Ken Spencer Science Park and The WorkSafeBC Gallery.

Photographer: ArtTower

15. Museum of Vancouver

Before you visit Kitsilano Beach, stop by the Museum of Vancouver to learn more about how we’re all connected. Several exhibits focus on the contributions of the First Nations peoples who lived on Vancouver Island long before European settlers arrived and Britain turned it into a colony.

To ensure high levels of authenticity and cultural sensitivity, this museum often invites representatives from the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam Nations to share their experiences. You can even learn about using mushrooms to dye textiles or watch a demonstration on how to turn fish skin into leather.

Photographer: Yuta Koike

16. Vancouver Maritime Museum

If you’ve always wanted to sail the high seas, stop by the Vancouver Maritime Museum to try your hand at navigating an old-fashioned schooner. The museum is home to more than a dozen sloops, lifeboats, tugboats, and other ships that float in Heritage Harbour. More than a museum, it’s one of the most scenic landmarks in Vancouver.

It also has exhibits dedicated to fireboats, lighthouses, shipwrecks, and other nautical novelties. Local families love to spend time at the Children’s Gallery, a whimsical place filled with educational exhibits designed to help kids learn about boats and marine life. The gallery even has a toddler-approved climbing area.

17. H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

Go to infinity and beyond at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. The planetarium has a rotating menu of shows designed to educate and entertain science-minded visitors. Head to the Planetarium Star Theatre, settle in, and wait to be dazzled by close-up views of stars, planets, and galaxies.

H.R. MacMillan Space Centre also hosts special events to spark a love of astronomy in all who attend. If you have a burning question about space, tune in to Ask an Astronomer. The YouTube series live streams twice monthly, giving participants plenty of opportunities to learn about space exploration, shuttle technology, and more.

18. Chinese Canadian Museum

Although it didn’t open until 2023, the Chinese Canadian Museum quickly made its mark on Vancouver. Museum staff are committed to preserving the heritage of Chinese Canadians, celebrating their triumphs, and honoring their struggles.

The museum has permanent and traveling exhibitions, making its artifacts more accessible to residents of British Columbia and beyond. Don’t miss Odysseys and Migration, which tells the story of Chinese Canadians who emigrated from Thailand, Singapore, and South Africa.

The Chinese Canadian Museum also houses the Period Rooms exhibit. These rooms faithfully recreate those found at the Vancouver Chinese Independent School in the 20th century.

19. Beaty Biodiversity Museum

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia has more than 500 permanent exhibits dedicated to natural history. Whether you’re visiting from out of town or looking for a way to entertain your kids on the weekend, you’re in the right place.

Do you love creepy crawlies? Check out some insects on display. Are furry friends more your speed? Explore the exhibits devoted to mammals. You can even walk in the footprints of dinosaurs and admire authentic dinosaur fossils during your visit.

Discovering the Heart and Soul of Vancouver Through Its Landmarks

Fine dining, high-end galleries, scenic wonders, and more. Vancouver has it all. Once you visit these landmarks, take a weekend trip to Grouse Mountain, cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge, or use the Vancouver Lookout to access panoramic views of the city below. No matter how long you’re here, you’ll never run out of things to do.

Before you leave, transport yourself to a world of wonder at one of our shows in Vancouver. The awe-inspiring acrobatics and haunting music will have you on the edge of your seat as a spell-binding storyline plays out before your eyes.

Our performers make it their mission to impress you with their unforgettable artistry, making every show an immersive experience you’ll never forget.

More articles about