Vancouver is the gateway to the skiing at North America’s largest ski resort – Whistler, British Columbia.  Nestled between the mountains and the ocean, brimming with parks, lakes and beaches, Vancouver is a natural and urban playground.

With such a breathtaking backdrop and vibrant, chic city atmosphere it’s not surprising that Vancouver has been voted the third most ‘livable’ city in the world.  With so much to do and see, it’s an ideal choice for a short city break on your way back from the mountains.

You’ll find Vancouver easy for urban exploration with several diverse and distinctive neighbourhoods all within walking distance. Each neighbourhood is brimming with culinary delights, culture and a multitude of outdoor activities including sea-wall bike lanes and Vancouver’s jewel in the crown – Stanley Park.  There’s even night skiing on the north shore at Grouse Mountain.

Here’s the inside track on some of the ‘must-do’ things to tick off your list when exploring Vancouver.

Visit Gastown

Ski Whistler, Visit Vancouver

Gastown is Vancouver’s cobbled old town district.  Steeped in history the Victorian buildings now play host to some of the cities coolest bars, boutiques, galleries and shops.  Wander around Water Street to take in the vintage lampposts and Gastown’s iconic steam clock.

Stanley Park Sea-Wall

Ski Whistler, Visit Vancouver

Stanley Park is Vancouver’s largest park located right in the middle of the city, with ocean on three sides of the park.  It’s the social hub of the city brimming with activities.  Encircling the park is the seawall which offers a three hour walk around where you can take in spectacular waterfront views on one side and the dense forest canopy on the other.  If you don’t fancy the 22km walk you can always hire bikes and cycle around!

Granville Island Public Market

Granville Island public market is the epi-centre for all foodies.  You can source everything from fresh fish to deli snacks here.  It’s a great place to pick up everything you’ll need for a picnic at Stanley Park or grab some food to sit in at the international food court.

Grouse Mountain

Ski Whistler, Visit Vancouver

Grouse Mountain sits on Vancouver’s north shore.  Known locally as the ‘Peak of Vancouver’  this is a small local ski area with easy and intermediate terrain, but it’s also a great spot to be at sunset as it offers night time skiing – worth heading across just for the views of the city.  Spectacular!

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Ski Whistler, Visit Vancouver

The Capilano Suspension Bridge is the world’s longest and highest suspension bridge which sways gently as you walk across the Capilano Canyon.  When you reach the other side there is a tree top adventure to explore as well.

Vancouver Lookout

Ski Whistler, Visit Vancouver

Standing at a height of 430 feet, the Vancouver Lookout Tower is situated in the Downtown Harbour Centre and is the perfect place to take in the stunning 360 degree panoramic views of the city, mountains and ocean.  Don’t forget to take your camera!

FlyOver Canada Experience

This is the ultimate flight simulator.  You sit suspended in the air while the 20ft spherical screen takes you on an exhilarating 8 minute journey across Canada from East to West.  There’s even some skiing scenes thrown in!

Vancouver is one of the nicest cities we’ve been to and with so many great things to see and do you may find that 48 hours just isn’t long enough!