Discover Vancouver's Arts & Culture
Discover hidden cultural gems around the city while enjoying Vancouver’s spectacular surroundings.
Vancouver boasts such a robust public art program that knowing what to seek out can be a challenge. Take to two wheels on Cycle City Tours’ “Art Wheelers” excursion and you’ll have a professional guide lead you to some of the city’s most notable public works while explaining their cultural, social and historical context. Because the tour is mainly on the flat sea wall path, it’s suitable for all levels of fitness.
In the afternoon, venture into Stanley Park, the city’s best known green space and a jewel at the end of the downtown peninsula. At 400 hectares, the park is home to a number of notable monuments and statues, as well as Klahowya Village, an aboriginal cultural attraction showcasing First Nations experiences, traditions and culture. Take in a cultural performance, watch a traditional craft demonstration, and pick up authentic aboriginal souvenirs at the Artisan Marketplace.
Tonight, explore the Yaletown neighbourhood, one of the city’s oldest areas, just south of the city centre, on the downtown peninsula. Historically the area was a warehouse district at the end of the trans-Canada railway line. These days, those historic buildings are home to high-end galleries, boutiques and restaurants. Check out museum-quality First Nations works at spots such as Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery. After checking out some of the best in First Nations artwork, explore Yaletown where there is an abundance of lounges and restaurants to choose from!
This morning, take the opportunity to see Vancouver through a different lens, the lens of your camera. Vancouver Photowalks offers small, outdoor photography classes that give visitors a chance to explore different neighbourhoods while improving their holiday snaps! The two-hour classes are held in areas such as Gastown, Stanley Park, Chinatown and Olympic Village, and also tackle different themes including graffiti, art and “iPhoneography.”
After your tour, head to Chinatown to sit down for a traditional dim sum lunch. Floata Seafood Restaurant is the largest Chinese restaurant in Canada, and can accommodate up to 1,000 guests! The restaurant offers freshly made dim sum every day, and is a great introduction to the sights, sounds and smells of Chinatown. After lunch, stroll around the Chinatown neighbourhood, making sure to stop at the tranquil Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden. This was the first classical Chinese garden built outside China when it opened in 1986. Like similar gardens, the elements of the structure, garden and pavilions are all loaded with symbolism. Unlock these meanings by taking a guided tour of the garden, included with your admission.
Get a true taste of coastal First Nations culture with dinner at Salmon n’ Bannock Bistro. A short taxi ride from downtown, this restaurant offers a contemporary menu that includes wild fish, organic and free range meats, and bannock (a traditional bread) in dishes inspired by First Nations traditions.