Vancouver is located in beautiful British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada. It boasts a mild climate, stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the North Shore Mountains, as well as an ethnically diverse population (pop. 2.4 million in Greater Vancouver Area). Here is our Vancouver City Guide to help you prepare for your travels after summer camp.
FOOD – This is the city of small, trendy and eclectic restaurants where you’ll find food just as diverse as its people! Stop by Medina (780 Richards St), for breakfast close to the hostel, or The Templeton (1087 Granville St) for a quick, Canadian, home-style meal. Another great option is The Capital (1178 Davie St), which is only a few steps away from the hostel and everything on their menu is $5.95! Vancouver is also known for their great, cheap sushi; we recommend checking the online reviews before eating at a sushi restaurant, and trying something new! If you are looking to see how diverse the food can get, take a walk down Main Street for the most hip restaurants in town, swing into Pho-licious (550 West Hastings St.) for a quaint meal, or check out any of Downtown Vancouver’s eclectic bakeries, such as Meat & Bread (370 Cambie St). However, if you are a true Quebecois poutine at Frites (1011 Granville St.). f you happen to be in the city on a Wednesday, take advantage of the Wings Wednesday special that most restaurants around the city have, or you can visit Wings (1162 Granville St), where they have wing specials every day from 3 pm to 6 pm. Finally, you can take a sea bus over to Granville Island and visit the world famous Roger’s Chocolates (1571 Johnston St) for an amazing ice cream with some of the best selections.
DRINK – The legal drinking age in British Columbia is 19. In Downtown Vancouver, there are many bars or pubs that you can visit. For a variety of options, you can visit Granville St, which is one of Vancouver’s most popular streets with plenty of bars and restaurants to visit. You could stop by The Cambie (300 Cambie St), the Library Square Public House (300 West Georgia St), or Tap & Barrel in the Olympic Village (1 Athletes Way), which has a patio (great for the summer time). All of these bars are great places to go watch sports, enjoy some live music, play pool, meet other international people, or go dancing.
PLACES TO VISIT – Walking around Downtown Vancouver, where your hostel will be, is quite easy and you can find many wonderful places to visit in this area. Stanley Park is a must for anyone visiting Vancity, you can walk around the park and explore its many beaches, kilometres of trails, and Canada’s largest aquarium. You could take the Stanley Park train, or rent a bike in English Bay and make a day out of your visit. Gastown is also a neighbourhood you will want to check out, with the popular Steam Clock, a unique decoration and lighting down its streets, and plenty of bars and restaurants to visit, this can be a great neighbourhood to spend one of your evenings in. Just a few steps away from Gastown, you can also find the famous Canada Place with some of the best views of the city and of North Vancouver.
There are also many beaches you can visit in the Downtown and Kitsilano areas, such as Spanish Banks and Jericho Beach, or if you are in Vancouver for a few days, you could make a trip north to The Lighthouse Park, or Grouse Mountain which is the best place for hikes in the summer and skiing in the winter.
CAMP SUPPLIES – If you are looking for some supplies for camp, you could check Canadian Tire (2290 Cambie St) for cheap basics, and also Mountain Equipment Co-op (130 West Broadway) for a variety of outdoor clothing and technical gear.
GETTING AROUND – Everything you need can be found at a walking distance from your hostel in Downtown. However, if you wanted to explore the surroundings of the city, you can use the transportation system in Vancouver called Translink. You can travel anywhere in the city by taking different buses, using the Skytrain (which is the name of the train system), a SeaBus (used specifically to travel from Downtown to North Vancouver), or a Water Taxi (a small boat taking you around the Vancouver harbour). A single bus fare is $2.85, which you can pay in cash when you get on a bus or at a transit station, where you’ll receive a small card with ‘Compass card’ written on it. A single fare allows you to transfer as many times as wanted for 90 minutes as long as you tap your card on the Compass card machines located at the front of the bus. You can also buy a Stored Value Compass Card, which can be purchased at most transit stations. This is a $5 reloadable, plastic card that can be used to ‘tap’ in and out of buses, trains, or SeaBus at a discounted price. The Vancouver Translink system is broken into ‘zones’, depending on how far you travel, and it costs at least $2.20 to travel per zone. You can buy a Compass card in all these different locations. As a general rule, buses are the cheapest transit option.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES – City of Vancouver is a great resource where you can find information about the city, different parks or areas to visit, and transportation. You could also check out DailyHive to learn about events happening in the city that may interest you.