Located between the rising mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and serves as a major gateway to the rest of North America. From here, all travellers have a huge selection of activities and destinations to choose from.
Most travellers come to Western Canada to experience the beautiful scenery located in national parks, such as Banff and Jasper. However, Vancouver is an ideal stop to make along the way, as it is a major North American hub and a breathtaking city. Downtown Vancouver appeals to travellers of all ages and the surrounding areas have much to offer as well. After spending a few days in the city, you will almost wish that you could postpone your onward journey!
You can easily find a nice place to stay when you arrive, as there are plenty of backpacking hostels scattered throughout downtown. If you are looking for some privacy, you can also find mid-range and luxury hotels in Vancouver. One you are settled, you will be happy to discover that the shopping is excellent in Vancouver. There is a full range of petite boutiques as well as larger malls and stores. Be sure to walk down Robson Street and visit the Pacific Centre, where you'll find over 165 stores.
There are many schools and universities in and around Vancouver, so there is an abundance of students and other young people hanging out all over the city. As a backpacker or young traveller, it’s easy to get in touch with locals. Canadians are very firendly to international travellers, so be sure to ask for the best restaurant, bar, or nightclub in town. Among the city's nice eateries are an abundance of delicious Asian restuarants. Vancouver is the major North American gateway to China and other Asias countries, so locals have a taste for this cuisine. On the contrary, if you are on the lookout for a real Canadian steak, you should have no trouble finding it.
Downtown Vancouver is packed with medium-sized skyscrapers and nice shopping streets. However, if you really want an adventure, you should take a trip to Grouse Mountain. From there, you can ride a cable car to the top and enjoy a perfect view of the entire city.
If you are really into heights, then the Capilano Suspension Bridge is a real thriller. Built more than a hundred years ago, it is one of the world’s longest suspension bridges for pedestrians and a major Vancouver landmark. The bridge crosses the Capilano River 70 meters below, so you will feel a rush of adrenaline while standing in the middle of the bridge as it sways back and forth. On the other side, you can take a walk in the treetops and enjoy the beautiful nature.
If you are planning a visit to Western Canada, please consider that May-September is the best travel period. Snow-capped peaks and skiing opportunities are certainly nice during the winter, but if you want the best experiences, you should go during summer. Sadly, Vancouver is known for its rainy climate and there’s no way to avoid it. Vancouver has a particular tendency to attract heavy rain clouds during the spring and autumn, so don’t forget to bring the correct outfit for the season. That said, we hope that you won't allow the weather to scare you away. Truthfully, it’s rainy all over the Pacific Northwest, but that is part of what makes the region so beautiful.
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