The Ultimate 3 Day Weekend Trip To Vancouver
Vancouver is an exciting coastal city with beautiful mountains. In town, a classy urban center jam-packed with high-end boutiques, cultural fun, and acclaimed restaurants. Pair that with 2 gorgeous city parks, Queen Elizabeth Park, and Stanley Park, and you have one of the most beautiful cities. In other words, from delicious cuisine, awesome breweries, and stunning landscapes, Vancouver has it all. Because of this, a weekend trip to Vancouver is becoming extremely popular. If you were looking for the best Vancouver itinerary, look no more.
So you’ve got this far, and now the big question is, how will you spend your weekend trip to Vancouver? Most probably, you will be preparing an itinerary ahead of time. Well actually, that is a good idea, but preparing an itinerary is not easy, especially if you are not familiar with the different Vancouver attractions and places.
Either way, if you’re planning to stay and visit Vancouver, here’s how to spend your 72 memorable hours in a city that provides amazing adventures around the corner. We will be listing some of the beautiful places as well as things to do in Vancouver.
So if you are interested, then keep reading this content to make your trip to Vancouver a memorable one.
Note: Assuming you will be staying at the Fairmont Hotel. And landed at Downtown Vancouver early in the morning and will be leaving late Sunday night. If you are confused with the public transit system, my Vancouver public transit guide was made for you. Save money and get around quickly and effectively.
Vancouver Itinerary Day 1 (Friday)
Starting off in Downtown
Time is too short on this trip. Since you arrived early and stay at the Fairmont Hotel, why not eat some breakfast at one of the many coffee shops and restaurants on busy Robson Street. In fact, this street is a major spot for people who love watching and window shopping.
One of the famous cafes in Robson Street is the Musette Café. This café offers mouthwatering dishes at a very affordable price. Also, it is only a 10 minute walk from the Fairmont Hotel.
After eating breakfast, head up the street for a wander over the highly praised Vancouver Art Gallery which is 1.0 km away Musette Café via Hornby Street. This art gallery has over 10,000 pieces on display during most exhibits.
Your weekend trip in Vancouver will not be complete if you did not visit one of the biggest public capital projects in the city, the Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch. The Library is only 650m away from the art gallery via W Georgia St. You may not be interested in books but the library is a must-see. In fact, Vancouver considers it as one of their architectural gems.
After you have spent some of your time nurturing your brain at the public library, it is now the right time to feed your hungry tummy. Since you are already in one of the famous cities for food in the world, do not settle for a normal lunch experience. Instead, try something with a bit of cultural flair.
Dim sum is one of the famous foods today. In fact, this cultural food is made up of steamed delicacies of all kinds of possible ingredients. Even so, in some cities, dim sums are hard to find, but not in Vancouver.
With America’s biggest-largest Chinatown which is 1.7 km away from the Vancouver’s public library, this Vancouver neighbourhood rejoices more than hundred years of legacy in the city. Chinatown, on the other hand, features lots of authentic cuisine like dim sum.
After feeding your stomach with a great Chinese dish, it is time for another realistic experience. From blending rock, amazing architecture, plants, and water to a serene landscape, the Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden has it all. From Chinatown, you will only need to travel 250m via Carrall Street and Keefer Street to reach this Chinese garden. Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden is the first-ever customary Chinese garden constructed outside of China.
Shopping In Robson and Enjoying Gastown
Nevertheless, while Robson Street is known as the popular shopping destination in Vancouver, the Gastown district, which is only a short trip from Chinatown holds its own. This locality that is pedestrian-friendly features plenty of drinking and dining options, galleries, fashion, and specialty shops.
Finish off your first day trip to Vancouver by having a late dinner at one of the greatest Vancouver neighbourhoods the West End. This residential district home has more than 40,000 individuals. As a matter of fact, West End is packed with a surprising number of diners, from great fine dining restaurants to coffee shops that are all visited by locals.
Weekend Trip To Vancouver Day 2 (Saturday)
Exploring the different parks in Vancouver is a good idea, and in fact, there are lots of beautiful parks in the city. Since you only have a limited time and for sure, you will not be able to visit all the parks, in this article we will show you the two famous parks in Vancouver the Stanley Park and Queen Elizabeth Park.
During the second day of your weekend trip to Vancouver, visiting Stanley Park is worth considering. The park is gorgeous and offers a bunch of different activities for you or your family. It is only a 20-minute bus ride from the Fairmont Hotel. Simply walk to W Pender and Burrard street and board the 19 (Stanley Park) bus. Get off at Gilford street. You will be located at the entrance of the park.
Once you have reached your destination, you can freely explore the park. You can explore it on your own or accompanied by a tour guide. In fact, you can do a lot of things and activities. Either way, here are the activities that you can do in Stanley Park.
- Skate or Bike the Seawall
- Ride the Stanley Park Tiny Train
- Explore Art in the Stanley Park Including Sculptures and Monuments
- Visit Vancouver Aquarium – The largest Aquarium in Canada
On the other hand, the Stanley Park is open every day from sunrise to sunset. In addition to that, the Stanley Park also offers event during the summer months. But nevertheless, this park is open till evening, meaning to say you will be able to take a picture and watch the beautiful sunset.
Playing Pitch and Putt at a Stanley Park:
This is one of my favorite things to do at Stanley Park. For a beginner at golf Stanley Park is perfect. There is only one hole of 100 or more yardage, and it is exactly 100. There aren’t many hazards or bends you have to be wary of. On the course there are geese, squirrels, and even a skunk; so there is no shortage of wildlife to catch your eye. For a person with less golfing experience that may be a bit harder to convince, the course is kept in spectacular condition and has some amazing views (with a bench at the start of every hole!). If you’re looking to beat the crowds I recommend coming before 4pm, or after 7:30pm. Stanley Park can get especially congested due to office team building games, and that seems to happen at that time. There are plenty of bins for your cans, please keep that in mind and keep cans out of bushes. In addition, there are usually people collecting the cans; so do them a favor and leave the can on the rim!
Other things to do in Downtown Vancouver
If you want to watch a sunset at the beach, then visiting English Bay is worth considering. In fact, the English Bay is only 4.4 km away from Stanley Park. So including this on your Vancouver itinerary is a good idea.
And since you will be leaving the city late Sunday night, you can consider visiting the bay during the last day of your trip so that you will enjoy the beautiful sceneries of Stanley Park. The English Bay is very close to the Fairmont Hotel. It should take you 20 minutes to get there if you catch the 005 bus.
Nevertheless, aside from the stunning views, there are also lots of classic restaurants in this park. As a matter of fact, they are offering many different cuisines. Some of the popular restaurants in Stanley Park are Waterfall Café, Stanley Park Pavilion, and Prospect Point Café. Make your weekend trip to Vancouver complete by exploring some internation cuisine nearby.
Going out of Downtown Vancouver to Queen Elizabeth Park
Your weekend trip to Vancouver will not be completed without visiting the city’s horticultural jewel, Queen Elizabeth Park. If you’re starting from Fairmont Hotel, it is a simple trip to the park. Simply walk to the Canada line Vancouver City Centre Station. Once there, board the Canada line to YVR-airport/Richmond Brighouse. Get off at King Ed and walk north. The park will be on the eastern side just a few blocks up.
However, if you decided to stay in Stanley till 12 in the afternoon and spend the rest of the time at Queen Elizabeth Park then that is also a good idea. Either way, when you leave Stanley Park and head to Queen Elizabeth Park it will take about an hour by public transit. Take the Stanley park bus park the other way, and get on the Canada line.
Queen Elizabeth Park, on the other hand, offers spectacular views as well as mountains. In fact, it has also an elegantly landscaped quarry garden. Plus a collection of native and exotic trees, and sculptures. Aside from enjoying the beautiful sceneries, you can also experience diverse recreational activities such as pitch and putt, tennis, and lawn bowling.
Finish off the second day of your weekend trip to Vancouver by having a picnic or enjoy fine dining at Season in the Park. Moreover, the Queen Elizabeth Park is also a perfect setting for stargazing. And perfect for a walk through its splendid rose garden and amazing trees. Finish off by watching some ducks hang out in the pond.
The Third and Final Day in Vancouver (Sunday)
A morning trip to Cypress Mountain
Your weekend trip to Vancouver needs at least one hike. Vancouver offers both the ability to see the oceans and mountains on the same day. One of the famed mountains in the Vancouver is the Cypress Mountain. Just a thirty-minute drive from the downtown Vancouver you will able to experience lots of activities such as mountain biking, snowshoeing, snow tubing, cross-country skiing, and hiking. This place is a must stop for hikers. St Marks Summit is recommended for beginners/novice hikers. It will take about 4-5 hours and offers one of the most gorgeous views of the Howe sound that you can find. Either way, if you want to learn new sports and explore the mountains, then visiting Cypress Mountain is a good idea.
Returning to the Downtown for the End of Your Weekend Trip to Vancouver
Since you will not be able to spend all of your time in the Cypress Mountain, why not devote your remaining time walking around the city. And what a perfect way to finish your trip to Vancouver than enjoying some architecture. In fact, there are lots of cool and iconic buildings to Vancouver. One of which is the Marine Building, it is an architectural blinding that is absolutely gorgeous.
Jameson House is also an iconic building that is located in downtown Vancouver. This building features melodramatic curved windows as well as balconies. In fact, it is considered as one of the city’s most treasured buildings. Nevertheless, the Fairmont Hotel in Downtown Hotel is near both the Marine Building and Jameson House.
There is no doubt, that after your three-day weekend trip to Vancouver, you will leave feeling like 72 hours just was not enough.
Hello There! My name is Oscar and I am the author and creator of this website. I have lived in Vancouver my whole life (42 years) and want to share some city tips with everyone. When I am not working I like to explore my town and the surrounding areas. My passions include hockey, hiking, and swimming! If you want to know more about Vancouver and myself, check out our ‘About Us’ page