Vancouver Police Museum & Archives

Top choice in Gastown & Chinatown

Police Museum exterior

©John Lee/Lonely Planet

Illuminating Vancouver's crime-and-vice-addled history, this quirky museum has had a recent makeover, uncovering the former coroner's courtroom (spot the elaborate cross-hatched ceiling) and sprucing up exhibits including a spine-chilling gallery of real-life cases (weapons included). The star attraction is the old autopsy room, complete with preserved slivers of human tissue; bullet-damaged brain slices are among them. Add a Sins of the City area walking tour to learn all about Vancouver's salacious olden days; tours include museum entry.

Aside from its walking tours, the museum hosts an inventive array of additional activities, including a speaker series, September to April movie screenings, and late-opening adult nights (bar service in the morgue included). Check the website events page for upcoming happenings.