[Guest post on Vancouver written by Caroline from the travel blog Searching El Dorado]

Vancouver is a dynamic city, often at the top of the most liveable cities list. It is also one of the warmest cities in Canada, and the temperature rarely goes below zero. Caroline was lucky enough to live there for 6 months. This is the reason why we asked her to draw an itinerary for our 48 hours in the city.

Vancouver 1st day – morning

To begin your short stay in Vancouver, head to Granville Island Public Market. This market is accessible from the city centre by the Granville Bridge. Lose yourself in the alleys, among artisans and artists. Take the opportunity to taste the pastries if you have not had breakfast yet! It’s the only place where you can find real French cheese!

Leaving the market, head to the Sea Village where you can see real floating houses. Even their mailboxes, very colourful, are worth the trip!
Granville Island is also rich in street art, do not hesitate to take a detour to admire the beautiful frescoes or colourful giants (painted on concrete silos) randomly appearing in the streets. To finish the morning, I advise you to take the ferry Aquabus which will offer you a nice stroll by taking you back quietly towards the city centre.

When lunch time is approaching head to Denman Street where there are lots of food. As Vancouver is one of the largest immigration centres in North America, you can find food from all over the world.

Vancouver 1st day – afternoon

Afternoon, for digestion, it’s time to rent bikes and get lost in Stanley Park. I advise you to do the seawall around Stanley Park and you can see a lot (the collection of totems, lion’s gate bridge, beaches with stone stacking balance, a statue that has a strong resemblance with the statue of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, etc.). If you are not a fan of cycling, the ride is also very well on foot. At the end of the ride, return the bikes and go laugh with a-maze-ing Laughter: the laughing bronze statues located at Morton Square! For the end of the day, do not forget to rest your legs a little. The beaches of English Bay or Sunset Beach are perfectly located to admire the beautiful sunsets.

For your evening, head for Davie street. It’s the gay neighbourhood of Vancouver. Very colourful and very lively, you will easily find some nice places to eat. And for the most persevering, the evening continues in one of the many clubs of Granville street.

Vancouver 2nd day – morning

Capilano suspension bridgeFor your second day in Vancouver, I suggest you move away a little. Because what makes Vancouver so charming is all the places to visit around. A very nice park and easy to access from downtown Vancouver is the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. As its name suggests, the park is known for its large suspension bridge but it also offers many other impressive views. The entrance fee is a little expensive so for the budget, I recommend going to Lynn Canyon. You will also find a suspension bridge (smaller but nice anyway) and no entrance fee. Here, fewer points of view, but a very pleasant walk in the forest.

Vancouver 2nd day – afternoon

After this breath of fresh air, return to Vancouver, in the centre, at Robson Square. The place is very lively and depending on the season, you will find people doing ice skating or dancing salsa! If you are hungry, I recommend one of the many street vendors, they are all more appetising than each other. Just around the corner is a beautiful and huge bookstore (Indigo) that is definitely worth a visit. Then head for Vancouver Harbor, where you can admire the Olympic Flame and seaplane departures. While searching a little, you will also find some unexpected works of art: a pixel orcs (it’s not a joke!) And a giant drop of water!

If you still have enough energy, go for a walk in Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s Chinese Garden. It was the first Chinese garden built outside of China. You are now close to the Gastown district. it’s one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Vancouver and when you go in the evening, the atmosphere makes it feel like you’re back in time. Have a look at the steam clock. She “rings” every quarter of an hour with throwing vapours and small music. After this little show, it’s time to find a pub with cheap beers. And with a little luck, you will come across a pub that makes a trivia night: Fun assured!

Gastown steamclock

Like us, Caroline is passionate about travelling.Visit her blog searching el dorado!

If you would like to explore more of British Columbia take a look at our article on a Whistler getaway. To discover more about the country, check out our other blog articles on Canada. You can also read our more personal accounts on Canada from our September and October world tour newsletters.

We had the chance to spend a month in Canada at the beginning of our world tour. It is such a beautiful country for a honeymoon. Our starting point was the city of Vancouver, we arrived there by boat from Alaska. After a few days in the mountains at Whistler, we took a plane to the East side and the cities of Québec and Montréal.