5 Days in Vancouver: Plan the Perfect 5 Day Itinerary - Vancouver Planner (2024)

Finding things to do in 5 days in Vancouver doesn’t have to be hard.

Of course, whether it’s your first visit or you’re a well-traveled guest, you’ll probably need some local help to get it done.

Let’s get right into my 5 day Vancouver itinerary and get your vacation planned!

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How I Planned This 5 Day Trip to Vancouver

I grew up in Vancouver so I like to think I know a little bit about how to plan a trip.

This has inspired me to create a five-day itinerary for Vancouver, aiming to showcase the city’s top attractions while providing a peek into the everyday life of Vancouverites.

Whether you’re in search of outdoor adventures in Vancouver, keen on discovering cultural landmarks, or eager to taste the finest local cuisine, this guide is designed for you.

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So, what can you expect from this 5 day guide?

My 5 day itinerary features 2-3 major attractions each day, including a journey through one of Vancouver’s unique neighbourhoods, complemented by recommendations for lunch, dinner.

I’ve also organized everything to minimize travel time and maximize your enjoyment.

What to Do in Vancouver: 5 Day Itinerary

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Day 1: Understanding Vancouver Culture & History

If I want to get my hand on Vancouver’s cultural pulse, I’m starting my day at the Museum of Anthropology to delve into the history of British Columbia’s First Nations people.

Of course, it’s about 20 minutes from downtown so if you need a closer alternative, the Bill Reid Gallery is a fine plan b.

I’d also check out Vancouver Art Gallery to see works from both local and international artists. From here, I’d walk along the famous Robson Street and check out Vancouver’s retail scene.

☄️ Need custom help? Join our Vancouver Vacation Help Facebook group – you can ask any question you want and we’ll respond with custom advice – for free!

Later, I’m walking over to Gastown and hopping on the Lost Souls of Gastown Tour to get my Vancouver history degree! Via macabre stories of a violent, troubling past.

Finally, dinner at one of Gastown’s best restaurants is surely in order – it’s the culinary heart of the city.

➡️ Tip: The patio at the VAG is one of Vancouver’s hidden gems – a coffee there breaks up the day perfectly.

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Day 2: Discover Vancouver’s Outdoor Wonders

There’s no way you should miss Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, an exciting outdoor attraction featuring a 450-foot-long rope suspension bridge, treetop adventures, and cliffside walkways.

From here, it’s just a short trip over to Grouse Mountain, the city’s outdoor playground, which offers skiing in winter and a variety of summer activities.

I’d grab a beer on the patio and soak in the views, or go visit the mountain’s local grizzly bears Grinder and Coola.

Then, you can wrap up your day in North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay, a unique seaside marketplace with an array of shopping and dining options.

➡️ Tip: Tap & Barrel Shipyards (at Lonsdale) is one of the best local beer patios + a seaside view.

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Day 3: Explore Granville Island + Killer Whales

On day three of this 5 day trip to Vancouver I wanna start you off at Granville Island, a vibrant marketplace known for its lively artisan community and fresh produce, seafood, and handcrafted goods.

If I had only two places to shop, I’d splash out on Lee’s Donuts and the candied salmon from Longliner Seafoods.

Here, you can also sift through Vancouver’s top artisan stores like Make, Granville Island Brewing, and the Wickannanish Gallery.

From here, it’s easy to start the afternoon with one of Vancouver’s best whale watching tours to see orcas, humpback whales, and bald eagles.

➡️ Tip: A dinner at Sandbar is a great way to discover Vancouver’s elite Pacific seafood offerings.

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Day 4: Stanley Park & Gourmet Dining

It was hard to leave this 5 day itinerary activity until day 4, but here we finally get to legendary Stanley Park – a sprawling public park with picturesque trails, beaches, and wildlife.

If the weather is good, I’m strolling along the Vancouver Seawall, a scenic 22 km paved path with stunning views of the city skyline and mountains.

If it’s not, or if I’m traveling to Vancouver with kids (or I just like fish!) I’m gonna do the Vancouver Aquarium, home to over 50,000 animals, including beluga whales and sea otters.

Finally, have dinner in Yaletown, where some of Vancouver’s finest restaurants reside, such as Tasty Indian Bistro, Cioppino’s and the Blue Water Cafe.

➡️ Tip: To see the city as it was meant to be seen, rent a bike or e-bike downtown and cycle the entire seawall – leaving it a Science World.

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Day 5: Tour Vancouver’s Diverse Neighborhoods

In five days in Vancouver, I wouldn’t dream of not including authentic neighbourhoods that locals go to when they’re hungry, thirsty, and looking for fun.

I’d start with a coffee at Soccavo on Commercial Drive, also known as Vancouver’s Little Italy, famous for its eclectic mix of cafes and shops.

Check out Arts Off Main for access to the finest art collective in the city – if you’re looking for unique local gifts this is where it’s at.

Also, you can head over to the trendy boutiques and vintage stores along Main Street, between 26th and 16th.

Cap off the day heading to Chinatown, North America’s second largest such neighbourhood – ideally with a dinner at Chinatown BBQ.

➡️ Tip: A wild card could be going out to the Golden Village in Richmond, a food and shopping area that’ll make you feel like you’re in Asia.

5 Days in Vancouver Itinerary FAQ

What to do in 5 days in Vancouver?

When visiting Vancouver for five days you should check out attractions like the Museum of Anthropology, Grouse Mountain, and Capilano Suspension Bridge plus explore Granville Island, Yaletown, and Commercial Drive.

How much spending money for 5 days in Vancouver?

Priceoftravel.com’s Vancouver backpacker rating is $107.27 USD (or $144.11 CAD), so for the basics you should expect to pay about $720.55 for five days in Vancouver.

Naturally, if you want to stay at more expensive hotels (or eat top notch meals) you’ll be looking at closer to $200.00 a day.

Can you spend 5 days in Vancouver?

Yes, spending five days in Vancouver is a sweet spot of sorts, as it allows you to visit all of the major attractions as well as fit in visits to attractions outside the city centre.

Is five days in Vancouver enough?

Yes, five days in Vancouver is enough if you’re looking to check off the major attractions, visit the city’s most unique neighbourhoods, and sample some of the area’s best food.

Vancouver 5 Day Itinerary

So, 5 day trips from Vancouver don’t have to be hard, do they?

I hope I’ve covered all the highlights and shown you a few local secrets to keep you moving.

If you’ve got any more questions, feel free to drop me a line in the comments below!

5 Days in Vancouver: Plan the Perfect 5 Day Itinerary - Vancouver Planner (2024)


5 Days in Vancouver: Plan the Perfect 5 Day Itinerary - Vancouver Planner? ›

It's enough time to do the city justice or to combine a stay in Vancouver with a second destination like Whistler or Vancouver Island. Read on to discover how you can make the most of Vancouver's North Shore Mountains, Salish Sea, and of course, the plentiful shopping, dining and cultural activities in the city.

Is 5 days in Vancouver enough? ›

It's enough time to do the city justice or to combine a stay in Vancouver with a second destination like Whistler or Vancouver Island. Read on to discover how you can make the most of Vancouver's North Shore Mountains, Salish Sea, and of course, the plentiful shopping, dining and cultural activities in the city.

How many days do you need for Vancouver? ›

While you should stay for longer if you have the time (ain't that always the case!), three days in Vancouver is an ideal time to experience the best things to do in Vancouver. This Vancouver 3 day itinerary is pretty active, and is packed with biking, city walks, hiking, and even snowshoeing in winter.

How much money do you need per day in Vancouver? ›

You should plan to spend around $141 (CA$194) per day on your vacation in Vancouver. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average for one day: $31 (CA$43) on meals.

What is the best time to travel to Vancouver? ›

With its array of indoor and outdoor attractions, make sure to add visiting Vancouver to your itinerary. The best times to visit Vancouver are from March to May and from September to November. It is when the weather is mild and hotel prices are reasonable.

Is Vancouver a walkable city? ›

Notable (and Walkable) Neighbourhoods & Landmarks

Vancouver is known for being a very walkable city with a compact downtown core, so you'll likely find many of the places you want to go are just a short walk from your hotel.

Is Vancouver expensive for tourists? ›

Vancouver isn't an inexpensive place to visit. You probably should be considering at least $350/day plus vehicle rental, if applicable. Hotel rates will vary, but you shouldn't be surprised at a couple of hundred dollars/day, unless you're staying in a really cheap hotel.

Is Vancouver easy to get around without a car? ›

On Foot or Bike

Central Vancouver is very easy to navigate on foot because it is so condensed and the streets are aligned on a grid. You could also take a bike to the paths that weave throughout the city.

Where to stay in Vancouver for the first time? ›

The Best Places to Stay in Downtown Vancouver
  • The Burrard: A Hip, Affordable Option.
  • The Loden: A Stylish Boutique Hotel in a Good Location.
  • Delta Hotel by Marriott: A Solid Option on the Border of the Neighborhood.
  • Skwachàys Lodge: A Cool Boutique Hotel Featuring Indigenous Art.
Mar 29, 2024

What is Vancouver Canada famous for? ›

With its scenic views, mild climate, and friendly people, Vancouver is known around the world as both a popular tourist attraction and one of the best places to live.

Do I need Canadian dollars in Vancouver? ›

Currency. We recommend all visitors use Canadian currency (the Canadian Dollar - CAD) when travelling within Canada. Visitors can exchange currency at Canadian chartered banks, trust companies, credit unions, or at offices of foreign exchange brokers, but it is advised to have local currency on hand prior to arriving.

What is the average price of a meal in Vancouver? ›

The average cost of food in Vancouver is $25 per day. When dining out, vacationers can get prepared to pay about $10 per meal, per person.

Is Canada expensive to eat out? ›

Expect to pay anywhere from $12–40 for a main dish at most places, and considerably more at fancier establishments. The average cost of a dinner for two, with wine, would be roughly $60–80.

What is the rainiest month in Vancouver BC? ›

Vancouver's wettest months are November and December with an average precipitation of 182mm. And - with an average of just 41mm of precipitation - July and August are the driest months in Vancouver. Vancouver also ranks 34th for the least sunshine year round and 26th for the fewest sunny days.

Can you see the northern lights in Vancouver? ›

The Northern Lights can be seen near Vancouver, especially in the winter months. To catch this spectacular celestial show, the first thing you'll want to check is the Kp index forecast. Kp refers to geomagnetic activity that causes the Aurora Borealis.

How to travel from Vancouver to Banff? ›

Rider Express operates a bus from Vancouver, BC to Banff, AB once daily. Tickets cost $90–150 and the journey takes 12h 15m. Alternatively, Rocky Mountaineer operates a train from Vancouver, BC - Rocky Mountaineer Station to Banff, AB on demand, and the journey takes 27h.

Is 4 days in Vancouver too long? ›

As a visitor to Vancouver, you're probably wondering how long it will take to see the highlights. You'll want to really get a feel for the city. As a native Vancouverite, I can say with certainty that 4 days is the ideal amount of time! If you have more time, I would suggest a romantic getaway on Vancouver Island!

Is there enough to do in Vancouver for a week? ›

If you're visiting Vancouver for a week you should see major attractions like the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain, explore exciting neighbourhoods like Gastown, Commercial Drive and Granville Island, and lock in outdoor activities like the city's beaches & Queen Elizabeth Park.

How long can you stay in Vancouver as a tourist? ›

Most visitors can stay for up to 6 months in Canada. If you're allowed to enter Canada, the border services officer may allow you to stay for less or more than 6 months. If so, they'll put the date you need to leave by in your passport. They might also give you a document.

Should I spend more time in Vancouver or Victoria? ›

Although both Vancouver and Victoria are worth visiting, my personal opinion will always be that Victoria should be the priority if you have limited time in your Canada itinerary.

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