7 Days In Vancouver Itinerary (By A Local)

Are you looking for a 7 days in Vancouver itinerary?

Being born and raised in Vancouver, I know the city inside and out and can help you plan your week in Vancouver.

Vancouver, on the West Coast of Canada, offers diverse experiences, from exploring parks and mountains to enjoying multicultural neighbourhoods and delicious cuisine or hanging out on or by the ocean.

Here’s a fun-filled and jam-packed itinerary that will get you to do and see things in Vancouver and outside the main city.

7 Days In Vancouver Itinerary Overview

Here is a brief overview of the week in Vancouver. If you have the extra time, I suggest adding one or two more days to your trip so you won’t feel rushed and miss out on specific places.

  • Day 1 — Downtown Vancouver (Gastown, Coal Harbour, Stanley Park)
  • Day 2 — Granville Island & Kitsilano
  • Day 3 — North Vancouver (Capilano & Grouse Mountain)
  • Day 4 — Squamish & Whistler Day Trip
  • Day 5 — Queen Elizabeth Park & VanDusen Botanical Gardens
  • Day 6 & 7 — Victoria or Tofino & Ucluelet
Small inlet off the South False Creek Seawall with sail boats on the water and the Yaletown bulding skyline on the other side of the inlet. It's also a cloudy but sunny day.

Day 1 – Explore Downtown Vancouver “Relax Day”

The day after your flight, you probably feel disoriented, possibly tired, or not fully adjusted to your surroundings — what better way to get acquainted with the city on your first day than exploring Downtown Vancouver.

Gastown

A narrow triangle shaped building in the middle of the street with cars coming from the right waiting at the crosswalk while a person is walking across. there are buildings on either side and mixed cobblestone and cement sidewalk. A 7 days Vancouver itinerary should include exploring Downtown.

As Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood, Gastown. Cobblestone streets, vintage lampposts, and the iconic Gastown Steam Clock give this area a unique character.

There are other trendy local pubs and restaurants, coffee shops and retail stores where you can buy Canadian souvenirs.

Places To Check Out In Gastown

Here are some places to check out in Gastown.

If you want some history and background on Gastown, I recommend checking out this historic Gastown Historic Walking Food Tour.

Enjoy a three-hour food tour Led by engaging tour guides; the experience intertwines tales of Vancouver’s “Wild West” history.

You’ll experience a curated selection of local delights, including local craft beer, Japanese Karage chicken, Sicilian Tortellini made with local wines, vegan sweet and chilli cauliflower, Canadian poutine, waffles, and hot chocolate (I love eating all of those foods listed).

➡️ Check Prices & Availability for Gastown Historic Walking Food Tour

MeeT In Gastown

I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, but some of my friends are. They introduced me to MeeT, and as a meat eater, MeeT is my favourite vegan and vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver. My favourite dishes are the Thai Noodle-Y Thai and the Sweet Chilli Cauliflower appetizer. 

There are two other locations in Vancouver, MeeT on Main Street and MeeT in Yaletown. They all offer the same and similar items on the menu. They use peanuts as an ingredient, so let your server know if you have a peanut allergy.

Coal Harbour

Coal Harbour is a neighbourhood known for its breathtaking views and luxury living. The area is characterized by its high-end condominiums, modern skyscrapers, and a marina with luxury yachts.

Coal Harbour is also home to the Vancouver Convention Centre and several high-end hotels, making it an ideal destination for business travellers and tourists seeking sophistication.

Places To Check Out In Coal Harbour

These are some places to check out when exploring Coal Harbour.

Canada Place
The water with part of the skyline of Coal Harbour to the left and part of Stanley park in the distance with teh mountains in the background on the right. There is also  the Cheveron boat gas station in the water.

Canada Place is a prominent symbol of the city’s maritime heritage. The iconic facility features distinctive white sails inspired by ship sails.

Panoramic views along the outdoor promenade surround Canada Place, which has views of the harbour, mountains, Stanley Park, and North and West Vancouver. 

It also houses the Vancouver Convention Centre, the Pan Pacific Hotel, and the immersive FlyOver Canada attraction, which is a simulated 25-minute flight. It’s also the hub known for its role as a cruise ship terminal.

➡️ Check Prices & Availability for FlyOver Canada

Olympic Cauldron
The Olympic Cauldron in Jack Poole Plaza is a four glass tubes meeting in the middle to have the cauldron on top. There's water underneath. And the mountains  in the backgorund. With the Digital Orca peaking in the beachground too.

Vancouver was the host city for the 20210 Winter Olympics. Beyond its Olympic significance, the Olympic Cauldron has become a permanent fixture in the city, a constant reminder of the historic event and its impact on Vancouver’s cultural landscape.

It’s an excellent photo op location, and sometimes it’s lit for special occasions.

Vancouver Christmas Market

One of my favourite Christmas events in the city is the Vancouver Christmas Market in Jack Poole Plaza, which transforms the plaza into a festive hub during the holiday season.

With charming wooden stalls, festive lights, and a carousel ride, the market captures the essence of a traditional German Holiday Market, offering a variety of seasonal treats, handcrafted gifts, and holiday entertainment.

Stanley Park

The famous Stanley Park is within walking distance from Coal Harbour, offering abundant recreational opportunities and the iconic Seawall for walking and biking.

One of the best ways to experience Stanley Park is through Stanely Park bike tours. Regular bikes or E-bikes informative guides will take you on tour inside or along the Seawall and other locations in Downtown Vancouver.

Places To Check Out In Stanley Park

There are many viewpoints and informational spots to check out along the Seawall. However, these are the most famous and notable things many people check out in the park.

Nine O’Clock Gun

An evening occurrence at 9 PM in Vancouver is when the Nine O’Clock Gun goes off. If you do, check it out when it goes off. Stand back and cover your ears if needed.

Vancouver Aquarium

Featuring diverse exhibits showcasing marine life from the Pacific Northwest, the facility emphasizes interactive programs and presentations to educate you about marine conservation and environmental awareness. 

From touch pools for hands-on experiences to live shows, the Vancouver Aquarium offers a dynamic and informative experience for individuals of all ages. It contributes to a deeper understanding of marine ecosystems and the importance of their protection.

Prospect Point
After sunset where you can still orange and yellow hues on the left of the mountains. While the other side is dark with lights from buildings and houses and it's also cloudy on that side. The ocean is also in view. Prospect Point in Stanley Park is somewhere you want to check out while visiting a week in Vancouver.

Prospect Point in Stanley Park is a notable landmark with stunning views and a popular stop for those exploring the park. Prospect Point is positioned at the park’s northern tip.

It provides panoramic views of the Burrard Inlet, Lions Gate Bridge, and the North Shore Mountains.

Other locations you could add to the list in Downtown Vancouver:

  • Robson Street – a popular restaurant and shopping street in Downtown Vancouver.
  • Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden (Chinatown) – a replica of a traditional Chinese Botanical Garden.
  • Sunset Beach & English Bay Beach – two out of eight beaches located in Vancouver.

Where to Stay In Vancouver

Rosewood Hotel Georgia

✅ Excellent Location
✅ Highly Rated Customer Service

Best Western Plus Sands

✅ Excellent Location
✅ 24-Hour Front Desk

If you’re looking for places where to stay in Vancouver for the first time, I suggest you take a more in-depth look at which neighbourhoods and areas may suit you.

Day 2 — Granville Island & Kitsilano

Granville Island and Kitsilano are only a bus ride away from each other. So it’s easy to get to once you’re finished in one location.

Granville Island

Bottom angle of the Granville Island Bridge on the right with a Vancouver Aquabus with people waiting on the small dock and buildings along the waterfront.

Granville Island is a top destination in Vancouver, showcasing the city’s cultural and artistic spirit. This unique spot in False Creek is a favourite among locals and tourists.

Granville Island features galleries, studios, theatres, eateries, restaurants, and local craft shops.

Places To Check Out In Granville Island

Here are a couple of places to check out in Granville Island. You can walk around the entire area.

Granville Island Public Market

Granville Island Public Market is a bustling marketplace popular with locals and tourists, offering fresh produce, meats, food, and handmade crafts.

A popular spot for food inside the foodcourt area is A La Mode. They offer a selection of homemade savoury pies and sweets. Pot pies are among the most popular things to order from them.

A La Mode's pasteries, sweet treats, and pot pies. There are different pot pies such as corn shower, clam chowder, mushroom,beef stew, salmon, french onion. Also quiche such as quiche lorranie, spinach quiche, broccoli, mac & cheese. And savoury pies like beef hand pie, beed shepards pie, pacific salmon pie.
Kids Market

Suppose you’re looking for a place to take children on your week in Vancouver. In that case, the Kids Market caters to children, providing toy stores, games, and activities.

It’s a family-friendly destination where young visitors can explore, play, and enjoy a variety of entertainment options. I loved going through the small door beside the regular-sized door when I was younger.

Kitsilano

There are many shops, restaurants, and retail stores in Kitsilano. It’s an excellent place if you’re looking for dinner options.

During the summer, a one-day event called Khatsahlano Day is hosted along West 4th Avenue. The largest street event in Vancouver is free. It has musical entertainment, booths from the storefronts, food trucks, and beer gardens.

Massive crowds of people on the street. There are tents on either side of the sidewalk from stores and restaurants.

Day 3 – North Vancouver (Capilano & Grouse Mountain)

North Vancouver deserves a day on its own. It’s easy to get to as all you have to do is take the SeaBus from Waterfront Station to Lonsdale Quay.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a famous attraction in Vancouver, Canada. It’s a 137-metre (450-foot) bridge suspended above the Capilano River and offers stunning forest views.

You can also explore elevated walkways among the treetops and enjoy a cliffside adventure on the Cliffwalk. The park provides educational displays about the area’s history and nature. Everyone can visit, and there are seasonal events such as Canyon Lights.

Grouse Mountain

Grouse is one of three mountain ranges that you see when you look at Vancouver in photos or videos. It’s a popular local mountain year-round for things to do in Vancouver in winter or summer.

Grouse Grind (during summer) offers a challenging hike. It’s famous for its beautiful sunsets and the view that overlooks Vancouver and beyond.

Or you can take The Skyride Gondola, which provides stunning views during the scenic ride to the mountain’s summit.

During the winter, the mountain becomes a hub for skiers and snowboarders of all different skill levels, going down “The Cut” or other trails.

Other locations you can add to the list in North Vancouver:

  • Lynn Canyon – smaller suspension bridge, 30-foot pool, and many trails for hiking.
  • Deep Cove – a popular kayaking, canoeing, and paddle-boarding location. One of my favourite places to kayak in Vancouver.

Day 4 – Squamish & Whistler Day Trip

Along the Sea to Sky Highway are two popular day trip locations: Squamish and Whistler. While you may have heard about or looked up whether the drive from Vancouver to Whistler is safe, it is. However, you should still drive cautiously, as accidents are inevitable.

Squamish

Famous as the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada,” it’s a paradise for adventure lovers. The iconic Stawamus Chief attracts rock climbers and hikers, while the Sea-to-Sky Gondola offers panoramic views.

Mountain biking, hiking trails, and water activities like kayaking and rafting are popular. The area’s Indigenous heritage is celebrated through art and cultural events around the town.

Massive granite rock known as The Stawamus Chief. It's a claer sunny day and there are trees on the rock.

Places To Check Out In Squamish

Here are some places to check out while you’re in Squamish.

Sunflower Bakery Cafe

The Sunflower Bakery Cafe is a popular local spot in Squamish. It’s always busy, with a lineup out the door. You can order delicious doughnuts or sweets such as creme brulee, scones, and danishes.

Empire Of Dirt

Empire of Dirt is where you should look if you’re looking for an excellent second-hand thrift store. I like going into the store to check out all the nick-nacks they have on display.

Fox And Oak

A new trendy coffee shop in Squmish is Fox and Oak. They have handcrafted doughnuts made daily from scratch with seasonal ingredients.

I enjoy their hot chocolate and doughnuts. Their selection rotates, so there may be a different selection of doughnuts than what I have had.

Whistler

Is Whistler worth visiting? Absolutely! A world-renowned ski resort is known for its outdoor attractions. Winter brings world-class skiing and snowboarding at Whistler Blackcomb.

If you’re looking for non-skiing things to do in Whistler, you can experience the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, which offers stunning mountain views and takes you to a restaurant on top of the mountain. 

Whistler Village is a bustling hub with shops, restaurants, and galleries. The town’s Olympic Plaza annually hosts events, festivals, and art galleries.

Moreover, summer transforms the area into a mountain biking haven with competitions and events. Hiking is also popular around Whistler during this time of year.

Whistler was also a location for events during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Five silver Olympic Rings statue in Whistler Village. The background has a open grass area.

Day 5 – Queen Elizabeth Park & VanDusen Botanical Gardens

Queen Elizabeth Park, or “Queen E,” as we locals call it, and VanDusen aren’t far apart. You can walk four blocks or take the bus; either route takes approximately 15 minutes.

Queen Elizabeth Park

Sunny day with many plants, trees, pond, and well maintained cut grass in the large garden. Queen Elizabeth Park is an excellent place to propose in Vancouver.

Queen Elizabeth Park is a beautiful and local favourite public park in the heart of Vancouver. The park has attractions, such as The Bloedel Conservatory, which houses exotic plants and colourful rescued birds.

Meanwhile, the Quarry Garden features beautifully arranged flowerbeds, green trees, and bushes. Queen Elizabeth Park is also one of Vancouver’s best places to propose.

You can enjoy stunning views of Downtown Vancouver, the North Shore, and the mountains from the park’s high point or from the Seasons in the Park restaurant.

VanDusen Botanical Gardens

VanDusen Botanical Garden is close to Queen Elizabeth Park. The garden features themed areas, including the Hedge Maze, Meditation Garden, Stone Garden, and more, showcasing a variety of plant collections.

The garden holds its annual Festival of Lights during the Christmas season in Vancouver. The garden is transformed into a festive display with thousands of Christmas lights and displays decorated throughout the botanical garden.

Another location you can add to the list:

  • Main Street — a couple of blocks from Queen Elizabeth Park, there are many restaurants, coffee shops, and local boutiques.

Day 6 & 7 – Victoria Or Tofino & Ucluelet

While you may only have a couple of days to explore Vancouver Island, you can always come back to Vancouver and do a separate Vancouver Island road trip because there are so many things to see and do on the island.

Now you can visit the capital of British Columbia, Victoria, or Tofino and Ucluelet, because you can’t do all three locations in two days. However, while possible, it won’t be easy, and I wouldn’t recommend it.

You’ll have to travel two different ferry routes. You can get to Victoria from Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, and you can get to Tofino and Ucluelet from Horseshoe Bay.

Victoria is worth visiting if you want to be in a touristy location with many things to do; it’s also the capital of British Columbia.

Tofino is worth visiting because it’s the surf capital of Canada and is best for storm-watching. Ucluelet is also worth visiting because it’s a 37-minute drive from Tofino. Still, Ucluelet has beautiful rocky landscapes and a different vibe than its sister town.

Victoria

Victoria is known for its history, scenic landscapes, and vibrant culture. Highlights include the beautiful British Columbia Parliament Buildings, the Royal BC Museum, and Fan Tan Alley.

Outside the city, Butchart Gardens showcases stunning year-round flowerbeds and other decorations.

Birds eyeview over Victoria. There is the ocean in the background and the inlet. There are many buildings and trees. Victoria is the biggest city on Vancouver Island.

Places To Check Out In Victoria

These are some places to check out in Victoria.

The Fairmont Empress Hotel

Constructed in 1908 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Fairmont Empress is a historic chateau-style hotel built to cater to their affluent clientele hotel across from Inner Harbour.

With its elegant architecture, the hotel overlooks the city’s landmarks, providing breathtaking vistas of the ocean and mountains.

You can experience high or afternoon tea at the hotel, a cherished tradition in Victoria, offering a delightful blend of elegance and culinary delight.

Fisherman’s Wharf
Colourful boat homes known as Fisherman's Wharf in Victoria. They're right on the water.

Fisherman’s Wharf, a 15-minute walk from the Inner Harbour, presents a distinctive and delightful ambiance. This one-of-a-kind floating village in Victoria features various colourful and unique houseboats.

Victoria Bug Zoo

The Victoria Bug Zoo offers a unique attraction where you can explore and discover fascinating facts about insects and arachnids.

You also have the opportunity to observe various bugs up close and even interact with some friendly specimens — I’ve held a stick bug a few times now.

Other locations you can add to the list In Victoria:

  • Victoria Butterfly Gardens
  • Craigdarroch Castle
  • Miniature World
  • Beacon Hill Park

Where To Stay In Victoria

The Magnolia Hotel & Spa

✅ Excellent & Helpful Staff
✅ Full-Service Spa

Hotel Grand Pacific

✅ Private Balconies
✅ Excellent Location

Tofino And Ucluelet

While they’re a 30-minute car ride from each other, both small towns showcase their similarities, uniqueness, and beauty.

Long Beach is between Tofino and Ucluelet, so no matter where you stay, you can access the beach from both ends.

Tofino

Tofino is known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant surf culture. The area offers excellent surfing opportunities and is a part of the stunning Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Tofino is also a fantastic spot for whale watching, and some of the best storm-watching hotels are in Tofino.

Places To Check Out In Tofino

These are a couple of places to check out while visiting Tofino.

Tacofino
The silver Tacofino foodtruck, it has an area to handout food to customers. there are many stickers stuck to the truck. The menu is peaking out on the right. Tacofino was created in Tofino and worth checking out for a bite to eat. Espeically their fish tacos.

Tacofino is a local favourite. Originating from a food truck in Tofino, the company has expanded to locations in Vancouver and Victoria. Their popular fish tacos and burritos are worth the wait and delicious.

Chesterman Beach

Chesterman Beach was one of the beaches I liked exploring in Tofino. We went during low tide, so there were plenty of sandy shores to explore. You can also watch local people kayak in the waves or stand-up paddle boarding.

Other locations you can add to the list In Tofino:

  • Rhino Coffee House – I enjoyed the hot chocolate.
  • Cox Bay Beach
  • Mackenzie Beach
  • Tonquin Beach/Park

Where To Stay In Tofino

Ocean Village Resort

✅ Direct Beach Access
✅ Indoor Pool

Hotel Zed Tofino

✅ Free Private Parking
✅ Hot Tub/Jacuzzi

Ucluelet

Ucluelet is a quiet, laid-back coastal town offering a relaxing escape with plenty of opportunities to connect with nature and enjoy outdoor adventures. You’ll notice that Ucluelet has more rugged and rocky black rock shorelines compared to Tofino.

Places To Check Out In Ucluelet

Here are a couple of locations to check out when visiting Ucluelet.

Amphitrite Point Lighthouse & Lighthouse Loop

A popular activity in Ucluelet is exploring the Amphitrite Point Lighthouse or Lighthouse Loop. It’s an easy 2.9-kilometer (1.8-mile) trail that takes around 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

My boyfriend and I thought it was an excellent trail, featuring numerous lookout points and access to a couple of small beaches.

The loop is accommodating for strollers, wheelchairs, and leashed dogs. There are two parking lots; the first allows you to start at the trail’s beginning, while the second provides direct access to the Lighthouse.

Big Beach
Beautiful evening sunsetting with a rocky shoreline and the ocean in the background. There are some long grass patches growing between rocks on the sand. There is a building  on the right handside in the distance.

My favourite location in Ucluelet was discovering Big Beach by accident. We found tiny crabs beneath overturned rocks during low tide and observed small tidal pools.

Before entering the beach, a display features an eagle’s wingspan, followed by information on eagles. Additionally, an ancient tree stump, recognized as The Tree of Life, shares historical information dating back to the 1200s.

Other locations you can add to the list in Ucluelet:

  • Ucluelet Aquarium
  • Little Beach
  • Ancient Cedars Loop Trail
  • Nuu-Chah-Nuulth Trail & Florencia Bay

Where To Stay In Ucluelet

Black Rock Oceanfront Resort

✅ Outdoor Pool
✅ Spa Facilities

Waters Edge Shoreside Suites

✅ Many Wellness Options
✅ Ocean or Mountain Views

Best Time To Visit Vancouver

If you want to avoid rain during your Vancouver visit, the optimal time is May to September. Remember that this is the peak tourist season, and prices tend to be higher due to summer demand.

If you’re okay with rain or chilly weatherOctober and April offer more budget-friendly options.

Snow might be present in the Lower Mainland from mid-November to February, so aiming for the fall or summer would help avoid snow. However, these winter months are also the rainiest of the year.

How To Get Around In Vancouver

These are the two efficient ways of getting around Vancouver.

Car

A car is the most convenient and efficient when exploring outside of Vancouver. If you don’t want to rent a car but want to drive, you can sign up for Evo car-sharing company. You’ll need a valid government-issued license card to use Evo.

Public Transit

Using the public transportation system of SkyTrains, buses, SeaBus, and Canada Line will make it much easier for you to explore Downtown Vancouver and other surrounding neighbourhoods.

You can purchase Compass Passes at any SkyTrain or Canada Line Stations and select London Drug stores.

7 Days In Vancouver Itinerary — FAQs

If you’re still wondering if is Vancouver worth visiting or still unsure, here are some frequently asked questions for a week in Vancouver.

Is There Enough To Do In Vancouver For A Week?

Yes, there’s plenty to do in a week in Vancouver. You can cover most of the tourist locations in a week.

Is Vancouver A Walkable City?

Yes, Vancouver is a walkable city. Downtown Vancouver is compacted, so walking around is easy. The average time for walking from one neighbourhood to another is approximately 10 to 25 minutes.

Is Vancouver Cheap To Visit?

No, but you can save some money while you’re here. Honestly, Vancouver isn’t cheap to visit. It’s one of the most expensive provinces in Canada.

However, you can save money by walking to destinations or not eating out every day. But, overall, Vancouver is an expensive city.

Is Vancouver Downtown Safe To Walk At Night?

I would say yes and no. If you’re wondering if is Vancouver safe, yes, overall as a city; however, walking at night can still be a bit dangerous, depending on where you’re in Downtown Vancouver.

Granville and Robson Street have the most foot traffic of people getting off work or heading to the SkyTrain.

You’ll want to avoid Chinatown and Gastown (at night). Over the years, unfortunately, the homeless population has risen in Vancouver, and they tend to congregate in those areas.

Conclusion

As your seven days in Vancouver wrap up, you have explored the city’s natural beauty, Vancouver Island, and more. From nature to coast, I hope that you enjoy your week exploring Vancouver and beyond.

Have a good day 🙂