Whether you are just passing through Vancouver or plan to stay for several days, get a quick introduction to the city with a downtown Vancouver walking tour that's doable in just a couple of hours. It will be worth every minute. See route map
Start your downtown Vancouver walking tour at Canada Place, recognizable by its five white sails resembling a ship. Walk Canada Place's self-guided tour with a succession of sculptures and informative plaques along the promenade.
Stop in at the Vancouver Visitor Centre to pick up free maps and brochures or to speak with the helpful staff.
Next, head southwest on Burrard Street toward the Fairmont Hotel. Stop at the Christ Church Cathedral. Go inside this beautiful Gothic Revival building to admire the stained-glass windows, three of which are by the noted designer William Morris.
From there, go one more block southwest and turn left on Robson Street. Just one block down on Robson, you'll hit the sprawling Robson Square, recognized by the dome in the centre. Take a break to sit near the cascading waterfall and people watch. On Friday evenings in the summertime, you'll find free ballroom dance classes going on here.
Cross Robson and head into the Vancouver Art Gallery. Be sure to check out famed B.C. artist Emily Carr's paintings on the fourth floor.
On the north side of the art gallery, have your picture taken in front of the iconic Vancouver 2010 Countdown Clock, which counts down the time until February 12, 2010, when the 2010 Winter Games kick off in Vancouver.
If you're ready to spend some time shopping, this area offers plenty of choices. Go north on Howe Street to the underground Pacific Centre shopping mall, packed with high-end retailers, including luxury department store Holt Renfrew. Then head west on Robson for a huge selection of boutiques and restaurants.
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