Vancouver has plenty of options for easy sightseeing and shopping add-ons for travelers who just have a couple hours to kill. Follow this itinerary for a streamlined way to experience the city in one, two or three hours.
If you only have an hour to spare, use it to walk down Robson Street. Known as one of the Vancouver’s most vibrant shopping areas, this major thoroughfare stretches from BC Place Stadium to Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park. It’s a great place for people watching, browsing high-end stores and walking through landmarks such as Library Square, Robson Square and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Make sure to shop the blocks from Burrard Street to Jervis Street, which are concentrated with designer stores, funky boutiques and notable restaurants.
After strolling through Robson Street, meander over to nearby Gastown, a historic district that juxtaposes old buildings and landmarks with new developments and nightlife venues. Walk down the cobblestone streets and take a picture in front of Victorian buildings or next to the iconic Gastown Steam Clock on the corner of Cambie and Water streets. The district is teeming with endless options for enjoying a beer or cocktail. Try a wine flight at the Salt Tasting Room, where you can pair wines with artisanal cheeses and small-batch cured meats.
Nothing compares to the array of authentic Asian cuisine in Vancouver’s Chinatown, which is the third-largest Chinatown in North America. Sample traditional dim sum, taste a lineup of handmade steamed dumplings or sip delicate Chinese tea in one of Chinatown’s many tea shops. Head to the Chinese Cultural Centre, the Sam Kee building (the world’s narrowest commercial building) or the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, where lily-pad-topped ponds, traditional Chinese pagodas and flowering trees provide a serene escape from the bustling city.
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