Vancouver, Canada

City Guide: 48 hours in Vancouver


Located in the province of British Colombia, Vancouver is one of Canada’s most cosmopolitan, coastal cities. With its fair share of beautiful parks, great shopping opportunities and an eclectic food scene, it’s little wonder Vancouver is such a popular stopover for holidaymakers. 
If you have 48 hours to spare in this vibrant coastal city, here’s our key suggestions to make the most of your time in Vancouver.


Day One

Breakfast

Start the day bright and early with a hearty breakfast at Jam Café, offering delicious homemade fare in a rustic-city atmosphere. Favourites include the sumptuous Farmer’s Breakfast Skillet, Huevos Rancheros with house made corn bread, delicious Red Velvet Pancakes and the classic Brioche French Toast. For a celebration, why not enjoy a breakfast cocktail such as a mimosa or Classic Jam Caesar with Bacon cocktail, made with all the spices and garnished with a house bacon garnish.

Morning

Spend the morning exploring beautiful Stanley Park, Vancouver’s first and largest urban park, covering 400-hectares. Stroll, jog, cycle or skate along the famous Seawall, relax on the beaches, admire the blooming gardens and visit the famous landmarks including Lost Lagoon, Siwash Rock and Prospect Point.

Lunch

For an unforgettable dining experience, head to The Teahouse, situated in Stanley Park with breathtaking views of English Bay. Enjoy fresh local produce in a comfortable, contemporary atmosphere. Alternatively, dine here in the evening to witness what is regarded as the best sunset in the city.

Afternoon

This afternoon, explore Downtown Vancouver and pick up a bargain along Robson Street Shopping, a shopper’s paradise for brand names. Continue your sightseeing at Canada Place, one of the most recognisable buildings in Vancouver and a Canadian icon distinguished by the five white sails sitting atop the building. Take a stroll along Canada Place’s west promenade, The Canadian Trail, a unique walk that takes you from east to west and north to south where you can learn more about each province and its communities.
 
For art and culture lovers, be sure to visit Vancouver Art Gallery, one of North America’s most respected and innovative visual arts institutions. Showcasing artworks by British Colombia’s finest artists and internationally renowned Vancouver-based artists including Jeff Wall, Stan Douglas and Roy Arden.

Evening

Watch the city’s lights come to life from the Lookout at the Harbour Centre, rising 167-metres above the city. Here you can enjoy a bird’s eye view over Vancouver as the sun sets from the panoramic observation deck. Afterwards, grab a pre-dinner drink in Gastown, Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood. Lined with cobblestones and circular lamps, Gastown is home to Victorian architecture houses and has some of the liveliest bars and a fabulous food scene.
 
Whilst you’re in Gastown, you cannot miss the Gastown Steam Clock, the world’s first steam powered clock, built by Canadian horologist Raymond L. Saunders. Positioned at the northeast corner of Water and Cambie Streets, this antique-looking clock whistles the Westminster chimes every quarter hour and gives out a single whistle on the hour.
 
Dinner

For an upscale dining experience, try Bauhaus Restaurant, recently listed as a restaurant to watch by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ Diner’s Discovery Series. Sourcing only the best quality ingredients, dine from one of the three crafted menus, the six course Chef Tasting menu, A La Carte and the German Classic menu.

Stay

After a busy day of exploration, enjoy a stay at the historic Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, known as the ‘Castle in the City’. Offering timeless luxury, this registered heritage property symbolises grandeur and elegance throughout. Perfectly positioned in the heart of downtown Vancouver, all of the city’s major attractions are on your doorstep including Granville Island, Gastown and Robson Street shopping. 

Day Two

Breakfast

Begin your day with a truly exceptional breakfast at Café Medina, a Mediterranean-inspired eatery just 550 metres from the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Famous for its Liege Style Waffles, be sure to arrive before 9am due to demand for these famous waffles. Top your waffles with heavenly delights including dark chocolate, raspberry caramel, mixed berry compote or maple syrup. For more savoury options try the Fricassée, comprising two sunny eggs, braised short ribs, roasted potatoes, caramelised onions, smoked cheddar, arugula and grilled focaccia, whilst meat lovers will rejoice with the Wolves Breakfast.

Morning

This morning head to Granville Island by a mini-tugboat ferry across False Creek. Once home to factories, plants and sawmills, today Granville Island is home to the popular Public Market alongside theatres, artisan workshops and craft studios. Shop for souvenirs at the Market, and gourmet and artisan stores for unique gifts, exclusive tea and B.C wines. Wander along Railspur Alley to view the artisan studios and watch the artists, jewellers and glassblowers ply their crafts.

Lunch

Whilst you’re at Granville Island, grab a light lunch of cheese, bread, charcuterie and fresh produce from the vendors and eat al fresco. Alternatively, dine on fresh seafood at The Sandbar Seafood Restaurant, with every seat enjoying water views. Indulge yourself with oysters from the fresh oyster bar or sample the sashimi from Hoshi Sushi bar.

Afternoon

Take to the sky this afternoon, as you ascend Grouse Mountain by Skyride gondola. If you’re feeling active, you can walk up the Grouse Grind instead. Get close to the wildlife and say hello to the resident grizzly bears, experience the daily Lumberjack Show and admire the breathtaking views across the city and neighbouring peaks, the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf Islands.

Evening

Enjoy an evening performance at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre which regularly plays host to acclaimed opera and musical performances, Broadway shows and other amusements. Watch the Great Russian ballet of Giselle or perhaps enjoy the operatic production of Faust.

Dinner

End your Vancouver city stay with dinner at Lupo, just a few minutes’ walk from the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Enjoy Italian favourites with a modern twist including Gnocchi di Ricotta, Linguine Vongole and local quail. After dinner, end with drinks in nearby Yaletown or return to Gastown to sample more of its pubs and bars.
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