Vancouver – World-Class Urban Destination

World-Class Urban Destination

Story by David Burke | Images By Joern Rohde

Vancouver at night. Downtown Vancouver. Stanley Park.
This past spring, TIME included Vancouver on its list of World’s Greatest Places 2023, a compendium of extraordinary travel destinations around the globe. The list of countries, regions, cities and towns includes 50 places chosen by the magazine’s international network of correspondents and contributors, focussing on destinations that offer new and exciting experiences for the traveller.

“Having Vancouver included in this list validates all the work our industry has done over the past three years to rebuild a resilient and sustainable visitor economy,” Royce Chwin, Destination Vancouver’s president and CEO, said in a statement, “and it shows that our work to keep Vancouver top of mind as a desirable destination, particularly for U.S. travellers, continues to bear fruit.”
The article highlighted the city’s ability to attract upcoming events such as the 2025 Invictus Games and 2026 FIFA World Cup, as well as the famed Stanley Park, its vibrant dining scene, its walkability, and its arts and culture. The latter is boosted by this summer’s planned opening of the permanent location of the Chinese Canadian Museum.

Stanley Park Seawall

Granville Market

With Burrard Inlet, English Bay and the North Shore mountains serving as one of the world’s most stunning urban backdrops, Vancouver features a downtown core that’s ringed by water on three sides. Stanley Park, the 1,001-acre, forested oasis that is consistently ranked as one of the world’s best urban parks, features the famed Stanley Park Seawall pathway (popular with cyclists and rollerbladers), a network of gravel paths, and the Vancouver Aquarium, among other attractions.

False Creek, to the south, is a great place for a stroll, with a pathway that connects destinations such as the geodesic dome of Science World ( and the fascinating and always lively Granville Island Public Market (

Science World on the edge of False Creek.

Bill Reid Gallery

To reach the market from the downtown side of False Creek, you can ride a water taxi that makes several stops along the “creek” — which is really more of a broad inlet, hence the “false” moniker.

The northern side of the downtown peninsula, along Coal Harbour, features the Canada Place cruise ship terminal, Vancouver Convention Centre and Jack Poole Plaza, site of the Olympic Cauldron that burned brightly during the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Gastown, a historic district featuring cobbled streets, the popular Steam Clock, and unique shops, is a short walk away. It’s from just in front of Canada Place that many board hop-on, hop-off busses that provide a unique way to visit destinations such as Robson Street, Chinatown, Yaletown and cultural sites such as the Vancouver Art Gallery and Bill Reid Gallery.


For a view of the city from the water, board the Seabus just down the street from Canada Place for a 15-minute ride across Burrard Inlet to North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay Market ( and neighbouring Shipyards District (, an emerging public space featuring galleries and a unique selection of pubs and eateries.

Summertime in Vancouver is filled with festivals and special events. Bard on the Beach, in Vanier Park just south of False Creek, runs from June 8 to Sept. 30, 2023, showcasing adaptations of Shakespeare’s popular plays — this year including an encore performance of the 2018 blockbuster production of As You Like It that features hits from the Beatles.
The Honda Celebration of Light is the longest-running offshore fireworks competition in the world, welcoming more than 1.25 million people to the shores of English Bay for three nights of breathtaking fireworks by the world’s top pyrotechnic teams. This year’s displays occur on July 22, 26 and 29.

Vanier Park on the edge of False Creek

If you are looking for beach time or a romp with the dog, Jericho Beach Park and Spanish Banks Beach, west of downtown along English Bay, are great places to stretch out, enjoy a picnic, and lounge in the sand, with great views of the Vancouver skyline and the North Shore mountains. The dog off-leash area is at the west end of Spanish Banks — named by a British naval officer in 1859 to acknowledge that Spaniards had previously explored the area. Its First Nations name is “Poochka,” which means “back of the whale rising and falling.”
For more information on Vancouver parks, visit To find out more about other Vancouver attractions, visit or phone 604-682-2222.