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Vancouver - anyone been there?

6 replies

808state · 22/07/2004 18:21


If so, what did you think of the city and the surrounding areas?



OP posts:
Crystaltips · 22/07/2004 18:35

I was there for 2 days following a trip from WHistler. Although loads of people I spoke to absolutely raved about the place - I am afraid ( that from a touristy point of view ) that I was left a tad disappointed.
DH and I BOTH said however that if we were EVER to emigrate this would be a great contender !!

I found it VERY hard to get a taxi from the harbour ( with 2 tired kids this was hard going )

We followed alot of the guide books and visited the many attractions

a) Aquarium
b) Science Museum
c) The Park
d) The "village" - cannot remember the name ( sorry ) - If you've been to cambden market this is rather lame
And I must admit they were very jaded. They were all built about 10 years ago and THEN they were stateof the art .... but even my home town ( BELFAST ) has better equivalents ( theough we are SO backwards - our attractions only opened a couple of years ago!!)

A friend of mine also visted Vancouver and said that you MUST go Whale-watching ... we did not have the time and that Vancouver island is great.

I love the city as it was very cosmopolitan and it felt very safe - but maybe I was expecting too much


gold123 · 22/07/2004 18:41

My brother lives there, the last time I went there was 10 years ago when he got married.

I thought it was a lovely place, we visited many places including Vancouver Island and the Capilano suspension bridge (must do), if you need specific information, I can e-mail him for further details

highlander · 27/07/2004 20:48

I'm living here at the moment and it is FAB!

Crystaltips is right - some things about Vancouver are a bit dated e.g the cinemas are really old and manky.

The downtown area (Robson street) is a real tourist trap and the food around there is awful. But I guess, like all tourist cities, you have to just reach out that wee bit further for the genuine article (West 4th Avenue in the Kitsilano area - also lots of young families live there so lots of kids in restaurants etc).

Granville Island is cool (big food market) and has its own kids toy market (v.v.vv. popular with the locals).

Capilano Suspension bridge costs a bomb and the Lynn Valley bridge 15 mins away is just as good!

All the beaches (1 on north shore; 4 around town) are lifeguarded in summer with designated swimming areas. You are not allowed booze on the beaches - the cops randomly stop cars and check. There are also 2 outdoor (chlorinated) pools (Kitsilano and Stanley park).

The cable car up Grouse mountain is well worth a visit. In summer they have a birds of prey show and a lumberjack show every hour. There is also a bear refuge (although the bears tend to snooze during the heat of the day).

Shopping is not as cheap as the US and the global brands (e.g. GAP) work out the same price as the UK, although you'll get the sales tax back, making it cheaper.

Granville Street - avoid the end nearest Granville Bridge as that's where all the cannabis and sex shops are.

Chinatown well worth a peek as it's huge and EVERYTHING is in Chinese.

I'm not a huge fan of Stanley park as it's very touristy, although the bit nearest English Bay is nice, with lots of kids stuff going on.

The biggest attraction with Canada is the outdoors - that's where all the emphasis goes for tourism. Most holidaymakers stay in town for 3-4 days, go whale watching on Vancouver Island for a couple of days, then head off up to the mountains for a weeks or so. Best time to catch the whales is May and September/October.

Contact me through MN if you want and I can post you loads of tourist bumpf. The guidebook called 'The Irreverent Guide to Vancouver' is also very good - has the most child-friendly hotels etc.

LunarSea · 27/07/2004 22:31

Granville Island and the toy market is a handy stop-off when we have a few hours to kill before heading back to Vancouver airport. It can be a bit awkward to park in the area though.

edam · 27/07/2004 22:52

God, I could rave about Vancouver all night long. I loved it, especially Granville Island, the beaches and Stanley Park. Went sailing for a few days which was excellent (but didn't see any whales ). Sea plane to Vancouver Island was another highlight.
CDs were a lot cheaper than in England (except English imports) otherwise agree with Highlander about shopping.
Spent a few days in a really lovely guesthouse in the old part of the city (arts and crafts style weatherboarded houses, equivalent to the part of San Francisco that was really big in the Sixties (Haights-Asbury, something like that?) will look guest house up if you are interested, let me know. Bless her, the woman who ran it was a fount of information about where to go, what to see, baked fantastic muffins and provided complimentary condoms alongside the soap and shampoo in the en suites .
But best part of the trip, for me, was the University's art museum ? again, sadly can't remember exactly what it was called but suddenly native west-coast Canadian art made sense and I discovered just how amazing the artistic culture and history of British Columbia was. Plus there are some very lovely gardens nearby; a Japanese garden near the university and a Chinese garden in the city. God, I sound middle-aged, was only 29 when I went there but happened to find gardens when we were doing touristy things .
Also went to an ice-hockey game ? great chance to see Canadians, who are generally teased for being quite restrained and polite, really get passionate. They do applaud the opposing team's goals in a very polite manner though!
Nice restaurants too... very good posh Indian called Vij's, I think.

edam · 27/07/2004 22:55

Don't bother driving when you are just travelling around the city, it has a fantastic public transport system (extensive, reliable, cheap... maybe this just made a huge impression because I was living in London at the time, ho, ho).

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