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Focus on Vancouver

Vancouver is up there on every "worlds best cities" lists and with good reason. It is easy to combine the best of city living – top restaurants, shops, bars, art galleries and nightlife, with the outdoor lifestyle – skiing, swimming, climbing or sailing. It is also an incredibly safe and laid back city to explore and an aesthetically pleasing one too with Whistler framing the city skyline. A perfect destination then for part of that trip of a lifetime, whether you are planning a gap year, career break or extended holiday.

Highlights include:

Stanley Park
North America’s largest park at 400 hectares. The aquarium within the park is also a must see.

Capilano Suspension Bridge
Give your insides a shake up with a walk across the worlds highest suspension bridge.

Grouse Mountain
Take the cable car up for the best view of the city below. There are also some great hiking trails here in summer.

Kitsilano Beaches
Accessible, clean and a great arty scene in this relaxed neighbourhood of Vancouver.

Like skiing? You will love Whistler. This epic mountain needs no introduction to ski enthusiasts but is also a great place to spend a holiday.

Jostling street markets and busy, steamy restaurants. Vancouvers ethnic community is loud and proud and does some of the best food around. Visit the Chinese gardens to unwind after a hectic day.

Vancouver Island
Take a sea plane to the Inner Harbour then travel back via ferry through some of the most amazing scenery in the world.

Fast facts

  • From London Heathrow you can fly direct or via a US or European hub. Airlines include British Airways, Air Canada and KLM.
  • Vancouvers weather is the mildest in Canada. The best time to visit is between June and October. Ski season peaks in January.

Insider tips

  • Take a ferry to Victoria to look for killer whales.
  • Take the bright green Airporter bus instead of a taxi to get from the airport into town.
  • Check out Granville Island for its live theatre and craft shops.
  • Seattle is only a three and a half hour drive away should you have the urge to hop over to the USA.
  • Stop off at Horseshoe Bay in between Whistler and Vancouver for a stunning view of the North Shore.
  • Take a trip to South Main, Vancouvers bohemian district. Full of quirky art shops, vintage designer wear and delicious food in boutique cafes.
  • Visit West Hastings for an alternative picture of Vancouvers lifestyles and economies.
  • Try Main Street instead of the better known Robson Street for clothes and gifts.
  • If you have time try to explore North Vancouver, a relaxed lesser known area of the city.
  • The Central Library is a great place to relax. There are also lots of cultural shows and exhibitions on.

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