3 Days in Vancouver

Jul 10, 2018

Looking to spend 3 Days in Vancouver? We’re sharing a detailed Vancouver itinerary and guide with everything you need to know before you visit including where to stay, what to eat, the best things to do in Vancouver, and more! Ready to plan your own Vancouver adventure? Keep on reading!

One of the best things about living in Seattle was how close we were to Vancouver, BC. It has definitely become one of our favorite cities we have ever visited. The mix of city life and nature is insanely gorgeous and makes for a fun and diverse getaway. Plus, the currency exchange rate is pretty awesome! 

We’re excited to share our go-to 3 days in Vancouver itinerary and guide that hits up our must-see spots, especially for first-timers. You could definitely spend more than 3 days in Vancouver, but this is a good starting point to see the big highlights of the city and surrounding areas!

When we lived in Seattle, we used to take day-trips to Vancouver to save money (we’d usually leave around 5 AM to give ourselves enough time to explore) and this guide can be easily modified into 3 different day-trips if you’d rather do that as well!

Looking for more ideas of things to do in Canada? Check out our Canada guides and vlogs!

When to Visit Vancouver

Vancouver Weather

While the temperatures are bearable year round in Vancouver and snow isn’t a huge issue in the city, Vancouver, similar to Seattle, can be a bit rainy during certain times of the year.

The best time to visit Vancouver (in our opinion) is between June-September (May and October can also be great, but sometimes more of a gamble). The summer time in Vancouver is absolutely incredible! The temperatures are perfect, the sun is out, and there is way less rain. The snow in the mountains is also melting, which means that more hikes are accessible.

However, we have visited Vancouver many times during the rainier months and have always had a blast! Even during days with lots of rain, we have found tons to do, like suspension bridges and indoor markets, to still have fun despite the weather. The rainier months will definitely be less busy and cheaper, so if you don’t mind getting a little wet, the late fall, winter, and spring may be a great time for you to visit!

Getting to Vancouver

If you’re flying into Vancouver, you’ll likely be flying into Vancouver International Airport (YVR), which is just 14.7 km/9 miles from downtown Vancouver. This airport is huge and has tons of international flights and most US airlines, like American Airlines, Delta, United, and Alaska Airlines fly into it.

Vancouver is also only a 2.5 hour drive from Seattle, so if you have some extra time on your trip, we highly recommend crossing the border to visit Seattle or other amazing destinations in Washington!

Getting Around Vancouver

Photo by Diego Mazz on Unsplash

If you plan to hang out in downtown Vancouver and the surrounding areas (Day 1 of this Vancouver itinerary), you can definitely get around by a combination of walking, taking Uber or Lyft (which are new to the city and not as plentiful yet), hailing a taxi, and using Vancouver’s awesome TransLink public transportation system. We took the SkyTrain during one trip and they were great!

For days 2 and 3 of this Vancouver itinerary, you will definitely need to rent a car to explore the trails and nature outside of the downtown area.

​Where to stay in Vancouver

3 Days in Vancouver: Where to stay in Vancouver, Things to do in Vancouver, Vancouver Things to do, Vancouver BC, Where to eat in Vancouver, Vancouver Food, Best Food in Vancouver, What to do in Vancouver, When to visit Vancouver, Best time to visit Vancouver, Vancouver Itinerary, Vancouver Three Day Itinerary

Downtown Vancouver has the most options for lodging and is close to everything, but if you want a more laid back, local feel (and want to spend a little less), we’d recommend also checking out the neighborhoods surrounding Vancouver. Here are some of the best places to stay both in downtown and in the neighboring areas!

Airbnbs

  • Option #1: A 1 bed, 1 bath apartment in Mount Pleasant
  • Option #2: A modern 1 bed, 1 bath guesthouse in North Vancouver
  • Option #3: A studio guest suite in Kitsilano
  • Option #4: A super cool loft in Gastown

PS: If it is your first time staying at an Airbnb, click this link to get $40 off your first stay!

Hotels

Day 1

  1. Brunch at Jam Cafe! Get here right before they open to avoid long lines—it’s a small little place and it gets busy!
     
  2. Grab some caffeine at Revolver Coffee, one of the best coffee shops in downtown Vancouver!
     
  3. Rent bikes and explore Stanley Park! This park is a bit larger than New York’s Central Park and is full of city views, mountain views, water views, beaches, and so much more! We recommend renting bikes from Spokes to get around the park. The path around the park is 9km (about 5.6 miles) and takes 1-2 hours depending on how often you stop.
     
  4. Visit the Prospect Point viewpoint for a nice view of North Vancouver and the Lions Gate Bridge. Tip: take the short trail behind the cafe to walk along the bridge!
     
  5. Walk and shop around Granville Island, an island with an indoor public market, plus tons of outdoor vendors. Some good spots to visit:
     
  6. If it’s a warm day, head over to Kitsilano beach and catch some rays or the sunset. This beach has beautiful views of the city and mountains!
     
  7. Have dinner at La Taqueria Pinche, which is one of our favorite taco spots!
     
  8. Want dessert? (The answer is always yes!) Enjoy some delicious ice cream at Rain or Shine.

Day 2

3 Days in Vancouver: Where to stay in Vancouver, Things to do in Vancouver, Vancouver Things to do, Vancouver BC, Where to eat in Vancouver, Vancouver Food, Best Food in Vancouver, What to do in Vancouver, When to visit Vancouver, Best time to visit Vancouver, Vancouver Itinerary, Vancouver Three Day Itinerary
  1. Have coffee & breakfast at 49th Parallel. We love this coffee shop, which also has great donuts and we always make a stop here when we’re in Vancouver!
     
  2. Spend the day exploring more of Vancouver’s beautiful nature! First stop: Lynn Canyon Park, which is a free park with a cool suspension bridge and trails. We recommend getting here early, as it gets super busy!
    • Note: there is a very popular suspension bridge in Vancouver called Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. It’s home to a suspension bridge, cliffwalk, and treetops adventure. However, it costs $43 CAD/$33 USD a person and is always jam packed. We prefer Lynn Canyon over Capilano because of the price and its smaller crowds, but if you want to experience multiple bridge attractions, Capilano is really cool!
       
  3. Hike to St. Mark’s Summit (6.84 miles, 1,509 ft elevation gain) or to Bowen Lookout (2.5 miles, 361 ft elevation gain), which can be a side trip on your way to St. Mark’s Summit or a hike of its own. We suggest bringing a lunch to enjoy at the top!
     
  4. Stroll around Lighthouse Park, which is a beautiful park in West Vancouver with trails, a lighthouse, and views of Vancouver.
     
  5. Head back to downtown Vancouver and explore the Gastown neighborhood. Some top things to do:
     
    • Make a coffee stop at Timbertrain Coffee Roasters
    • Watch the steam clock go off (every 15 minutes)
    • Walk the tree lined, cobblestone streets and check out some of the shops
       
  6. For dinner, check out The Flying Pig or Tuc Craft Kitchen!

Day 3

  1. Have coffee and breakfast at The Federal Store. We recommend their feta & avocado toast!
      
  2. Drive part of the Sea to Sky Highway! This is one of the most beautiful drives and part of what makes the Vancouver area so incredible. Check out our Sea to Sky Highway Guide with all of our tips for the drive and the best stops between Vancouver and Whistler. But for a half day trip, we recommend stopping at:
    • Shannon Falls–A quick stop to see the third highest waterfall in BC.
    • Go on the Sea to Sky Gondola! This costs $40 CAD/$28 USD roundtrip if you buy in advance and on a nice day, it’s worth the cost. You can either hike to the top (4.67 miles one way, 3,012 ft elevation gain) or take the gondola to the top, but either way you’ll have incredible views of Howe Sound and the mountains. There is a suspension bridge at the top and some shorter trails to different viewpoints. 
        
      Don’t want to pay for the gondola? Here are some free hikes in the area that will give you a similar view:
    • Porteau Cove–A nice spot to stretch your legs, admire the scenic Howe Sound from ground level, and walk around on the pier.
        
  3. After exploring the Sea to Sky Highway, head back into Vancouver for dinner! We recommend trying a classic Canadian dish: Poutine at Fritz European Fry House! This is a tiny grab and go spot with lots of poutine options, including gluten free! We recommend getting pulled pork on yours.

If you have extra time…

Food

Coffee

Sweets

Activities

  • Head up to Whistler! Need some ideas of things to do there? Read our Sea to Sky Highway Guide for some of our favorite things to do in Whistler.
  • Stuff your face at the Richmond Night Market! The market is only open from mid-May to mid-October every year, so if you’re in town during these months we highly recommend checking it out!
  • Check out Capilano Park and Cleveland Dam!
  • Hike up Stawamus Chief–6.84 miles, 1,969 ft elevation gain.
  • Hike up Grouse Grind–1.8 miles one way, 2,799 ft elevation gain. This hike is referred to as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster” due to the 2,830 steps you climb up. You hike to the top and then take the gondola down.
  • Visit Deep Cove + Quarry Rock. Deep Cove is a cool little area in North Vancouver. It’s also home to Quarry Rock, a popular and easier hike that’s 2.4 miles and has a 328 ft elevation gain.

Heading to Vancouver?

Pin this 3 Days in Vancouver itinerary to help plan your trip!

about us

Hi y’all! We’re Adam, Kathryn, and Kona, an adventurous married couple (+ pup!) living on the road in our self-converted sprinter van! You can often find us driving all around the US and Canada, scoping out the best coffee shops, eating tacos and ice cream (we’re a 5+ taco and 2+ scoop household), and enjoying nature.

search

affilliate disclosure

This website contains affiliate links from websites such as Amazon.com, Booking.com, and Rentalcars.com. If you use the links provided and make a purchase, we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only recommend products we truly love, actually use during our adventures, and think you can benefit from too!

instagram

airbnb

Never miss an adventure

Sign up below to get our travel blogs, guides, and other resources delivered straight to your inbox.

0 Comments

© 2020 Adventures of A+K. All Rights Reserved. Website built with love by Gariele Wright.