Top things to do in Downtown & West End

Top Choice Park in Downtown & West End

Stanley Park

This magnificent 404-hectare park combines excellent attractions with a mystical natural aura. Don’t miss a stroll or cycle (rentals near the W Georgia St entrance) around the 8.8km seawall: a kind of visual spa tre…
Top Choice Japanese in Downtown & West End

Guu with Garlic

One of Vancouver's best izakayas (Japanese pubs), this welcoming, wood-lined joint is a cultural immersion. Hotpots and noodle bowls are available but it's best to experiment with some Japanese bar tapas, including …
Top Choice Books in Downtown & West End

Paper Hound

Proving the printed word is alive and kicking, this small but perfectly curated secondhand-book store opened a couple of years ago and has already become a dog-eared favorite among locals. It is a perfect spot for b…
Top Choice Live Music in Downtown & West End

Commodore Ballroom

Local bands know they've made it when they play Vancouver's best mid-sized venue, a restored art-deco ballroom that still has the city's bounciest dance floor – courtesy of tires placed under its floorboards. If you…
Top Choice Canadian in Downtown & West End

Forage

A champion of the local farm-to-table scene, this sustainability-friendly restaurant is the perfect way to sample the flavors of the region. Brunch has become a firm local favorite (turkey-sausage hash recommended),…
Top Choice Coffee in Downtown & West End

Mario's Coffee Express

A java-lover's favorite that only downtown office workers seem to know about. You'll wake up and smell the coffee long before you make it through the door here. The rich aromatic brews served up by the man himself a…
Top Choice Cinema in Downtown & West End

Pacific Cinémathèque

This beloved cinema operates like an ongoing film festival with a daily-changing program of movies. A $3 annual membership is required – organize it at the door – before you can skulk in the dark with other chin-str…
Top Choice Gallery in Downtown & West End

Vancouver Art Gallery

The VAG has transformed itself in recent years, becoming a vital part of the city's cultural scene. Contemporary exhibitions – often showcasing Vancouver's renowned photoconceptualists – are now combined with blockb…
Waterfront in Downtown & West End

Stanley Park Seawall

Built between 1917 and 1980, the 8.8km seawall trail is Vancouver's favorite outdoor hangout. Encircling the entire park, it offers spectacular waterfront, mountain-fringed vistas on one side and dense forest canopy…
Cafe in Downtown & West End

Musette Caffé

Vancouver's best hangout spot for bike nuts, the walls of this bright, high-ceilinged cafe bristle with nostalgic cycling memorabilia, from sleek racing shirts to several wall-mounted bicycles, much of it collected …