This coastal city is a shopper’s paradise, with numerous neighbourhoods touting distinct retail experiences. Follow our guide to discover the best places to shop in Vancouver, from sprawling shopping malls to quaint enclaves of independent boutiques.
The first wave of Chinese immigrants arrived in Vancouver in the 1800s to build railroads. Today, the city has Canada’s largest Chinese population and a thriving Chinatown
, full of authentic shopping experiences, leisure activities and culture. During summer evenings, shoppers browse handmade goods and authentic Chinese food in stalls lining the streets of the Chinatown Night Market. This unique neighbourhood is also a great place to stock up on inexpensive gifts and exotic ingredients.
Generations of immigrants and an artistic counter-culture scene have made “The Drive
” one of the most diverse areas in Vancouver. This is the spot to score vintage clothing, vinyl records, smoking paraphernalia and unique books—not to mention, it’s the ideal neighbourhood for sampling ethnic and vegetarian cuisine.
Rainbow flags hang from utility posts in this lively West End neighbourhood. Famous for its thriving gay and lesbian community
, Davie Village also is home to cool bookstores, adult shops, fashionable clothing boutiques and thumping nightclubs.
Glimpses of Vancouver’s origins are preserved in the Victorian buildings and cobblestone streets of this once bawdy frontier post. Today it’s an official historic area with antique streetlamps, shops and bars, First Nations art galleries
, and the famous 2-tonne Gastown Steam Clock.
A pedestrian-friendly, picturesque peninsula awaits on Granville Island
, just across the bridge. Street musicians, aromatic delicacies and artist studios are set against an amazing cityscape backdrop. Visitors can enjoy shops, bookstores and the famous Granville Island Public Market, which features fresh produce and colourful crafts from local artisans.
Cutting right through downtown is Vancouver’s main entertainment district, featuring bustling shops during the day and happening clubs and bars at night. Spend some time in the Pacific Centre
, where you’ll find more than 100 brand name shops and services. For a sampling of authentic Vancouver fashions, visit the trendsetting shops dotting the blocks between Robson and Drake streets, where you can find the latest styles in apparel, club gear and accessories.
Bordered to the north by two popular beaches, “Kits” is an artsy upmarket neighbourhood on the West Side, full of yoga studios, independent bookstores, organic coffee shops and natural grocers. During the warmer months, this area is the ideal spot for checking out one of Vancouver’s Farmers’ Markets
before heading to the beach.
Lonsdale QuayA popular North Vancouver destination with a fabulous harbour view, the quay is home to more than 90 shops and services, including a fresh foods market, apparel shops, international cuisine, a play area and a first-class hotel.
Punjabi MarketIndia’s silky fabrics, glittering jewelry, exotic groceries and lively music make the five blocks around Main Street and 49th Avenue the place to go for a taste of life in Vancouver’s large Indo-Canadian community.
Known as the best shopping street in the city, Robson Street
is a fashionable mix of high-end boutiques, jewellery stores, beauty shops and bookstores. Most of the action is centralized between Burrard Street and Jervis Street. Take a break from browsing by enjoying coffee at a nearby sidewalk café, or pull up a chair at one of the area’s trendy bars or restaurants.
YaletownUrban professionals flock to this up-and-coming neighbourhood, where home décor stores, art galleries and high-end boutiques occupy the stalwart former warehouses; in the smaller spots, cozy shops sell everything from gourmet chocolate to custom diamond bracelets. Charming restaurants and chic nightspots add to the energy.
Find What You Love – Metropolis at Metrotown
is home to 400 shops with the biggest selection of fashion, accessories, sporting goods and apparel, beauty boutiques, restaurants, theatres and in-mall events. It's a quick 15 minutes skytrain ride from downtown Vancouver and if you’re driving parking is free. Metropolis is open seven days a week with shopping until 9pm Monday to Saturday.
Located about 15 minutes from downtown, the impressive Kerrisdale shopping district
has more than 200 stores and services; it runs along West 41st Avenue between Maple and Larch streets. The mix of the area’s older bungalows and newer large homes showcases a variety of Vancouver architectural styles and reflects the area’s ongoing transformation.