Photo credit: Anthony Maw | Flickr
With BC Place Stadium at one end, Stanley Park at the other, and the city’s best-known shopping precinct in between, Robson Street is a must-stroll for most visitors to Vancouver. One of Vancouver’s oldest commercial streets, it was once known as Robsonstrasse for the sheer number of German and European stores that opened up after the Second World War. The international character of the street still exists. Being right in the heart of the downtown core, you’ll find yourself walking right alongside locals on their way to the office, sports fans heading to the game, and Asian students lining up outside noodle shops.
Seeing and Doing
Starting at the east end of Robson Street, sports fans will enjoy a visit to BC Place Stadium, home of two of Vancouver’s professional sports teams: the BC Lions Canadian Football League team, and the Vancouver Whitecaps—the city’s team in the North American professional soccer league, the MLS. Even if it’s not game day, check out the BC Sports Hall of Fame, housed within the stadium, with galleries such as those dedicated to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the city’s professional teams, and hometown heroes like Terry Fox. There’s also a sculptural tribute to Fox right outside on the plaza. Head west along Robson and you’ll walk past the Coliseum-like Vancouver Public Library, before coming to the iconic Vancouver Art Gallery, which is part of Robson Square. Under the street you’ll find a covered event space that hosts ballroom dancing evenings in the summer, and a free, public ice skating rink in the winter.
Eating and Drinking
In keeping with Robson Street’s historically international flavour, you’ll find a bit of everything along the strip. Down at the east end, you’ll find plenty of casual eateries, perfect for a burger and a beer before the game, replete with big screen TVs in case you weren’t able to score a ticket. Towards the middle of Robson, you’ll find some excellent higher-end option, many of which are above street-level, giving you a good perch for some people watching. Head further west towards Stanley Park and you’ll find an excellent choice of well-priced Asian restaurants, packed with locals. Try an izakaya—similar to a Japanese pub, explore Korean cuisine, or slurp your way through a bowl of ramen. If you’re looking for a caffeine refueling you won’t have to walk far; every fourth storefront along Robson appears to be a café.
Shopping and Souvenirs
Shopping is what Robson Street is famous for. Whether you’re looking to give your credit card a thorough workout, or window shopping is more your speed, Robson Street will hit the spot. The main retail shopping area starts around Granville Street, which is where you’ll find the Nordstrom department store and the entrance to the Pacific Centre shopping mall, stretching down to Jervis Street. In between, you’ll find most of the major North American fashion brands, along with a lively mix of sporting goods, accessories, homewares, beauty and wellness purveyors. You’ll find a number of international luxury brands a block off Robson, around the intersection of Burrard and Alberni streets.
For more information, visit the Robson Street Business Association online.