Vancouver In A Day | The Best 24 Hour Itinerary For Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver view

Perhaps you’ve got a work trip and only have a day in Vancouver. Maybe you have a stopover en route to another city in Canada. Maybe you are in Vancouver for one day before you head north on a cruise to Alaska. Whatever your trip plan is, you only have 24 hours in Vancouver. Don’t worry, I’ve got you!!

*Updated March 2019*

Vancouver is my hometown. Most of my life was spent there and now I go home for return visits several times a year. Sometimes I go home for months at a time. Friends and other travellers going to Vancouver will often ask me for tips and recommendations. This is my ideal one day in Vancouver itinerary. 

Need budget-friendly accommodations? Try Air Bnb

Air Bnb

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may make a commission.

VANCOUVER TRAVEL POST

TRIP PLANNING STARTS HERE

HELPFUL GENERAL TRAVEL TIPS

  • Flights: Find a cheap flight using Skyscanner or Momondo. I like these two booking sites because they both search all websites and airlines around the globe including budget airlines.
  • Accommodations: I use Booking.com or Tripadvisor to find the best rates on hotels
  • Get up to $40 off your first Air Bnb stay by using this code!
  • Travel Insurance: Having gotten sick on my travels in the past, I never travel without being insured. You never know when something may happen. For my round the world trip and extended long-term travel, I use World Nomads. For other trips, I have used Roam Right and they cover activities like extreme sports.

Research Vancouver hotel rates with cancellation below:

 



Booking.com

Vancouver 24 Hour Itinerary | www.rtwgirl.com

The Best 24 Hour Itinerary For Vancouver

7 AM – Coffee 

After many years of Starbucks on every corner, Vancouver’s coffee scene is improving. Gastown has some of my favourite cafes in the city like Revolver or Timber Train. Below is a blog post with coffee shop recommendations in the different Vancouver neighbourhoods. 

Read more: A Vancouver Coffee Guide

Matchstick Coffee - 24 Hours In Vancouver

Morning coffee at Matchstick

8 AM – Breakfast In Vancouver

If I was having my perfect Vancouver day, I would eat breakfast at Cafe Medina. The restaurant can get quite busy during weekends, just a warning. If you do happen to go, order a waffle with some dipping sauce, a lavender latte, and their tagine with merguez sausage. YUM!

Other go-to breakfast venues

  • Yolks on Hastings in East Vancouver or if you’re in a hurry, go to their food truck
  • Belgard inside the Vancouver Urban Winery

Read more here: The Best Brunches And Breakfasts In Vancouver

Medina Vancouver - 24 Hours in Vancouver

Cafe Medina’s waffle!! OMG!

9 AM – Stanley Park

Stanley Park was voted the best park in the world by users of Tripadvisor. In my humble opinion, I think it’s the best too! If you like biking, rent a bike on Denman Street (try Spokes) and go cycling around the seawall. You can also drive or walk around the park. It really is the best park in the world so a visit is a must. Below is a link to my Stanley Park guide with more details, helpful tips and photos. 

Read more here: Stanley Park – A Guide To The World’s Best Park

Stanley Park - 24 Hours in Vancouver | www.rtwgirl.com

Stanley Park’s totems

Stanley Park Seawall * www.rtwgirl.com

The Stanley Park Seawall

11:00 AM – Gallery / Museum

By now I’m craving a bit of culture. If you love museums, the Vancouver Art Gallery is not huge but it usually has a really great visiting exhibit. If you’re in town on a Tuesday, in the evening entry is by donation. 

Vancouver Art Gallery - 24 Hours In Vancouver

Other galleries/museums:

12 PM – Coffee + Snack 

Time to re-up coffee. There’s a great hidden cafe in the West End Called Green Horn or there’s JJ Bean behind Robson Street on Alberni and Bute. 

Greenhorn West End| www.Rtwgirl.com

1 PM – Aquabus 

Make your way to Yaletown from the art gallery. Yaletown is not my favourite neighbourhood in Vancouver (it’s Yuppie-Ville) but there is an Aquabus stop here. The Aquabus is an adorable water taxi that’s cheap, gives you great water views of the city, and will bring you to my next recommendation.

Read more here: Vancouver’s Aquabus – The Best City Views From A Water Taxi

Vancouver Aquabus

Cheap yet gorgeous cruise on the water!

1:30 PM – Granville Island

Granville Island is home to a public food market, theatre, restaurants, an art school, a brewery, a distillery, artisans making everything from rice grown in BC sake or handmade brooms, retail shops, and more. The public market houses row after row of vendors selling produce, seafood, meat, baked goods, and gourmet food. It’s a popular place for locals and visitors to come.

Every time I come home, I pop in for a visit to Granville Island. You’ll probably snack your way through the market so you may not be hungry for an official lunch. There are a lot of great places to eat on Granville Island, Go Fish for fish and chips is one of my favourites.

Read more here: Granville Island – A Vancouver Gem Loved By Travellers And Locals

Granville Island Market

3 PM – Walk To Olympic Village And Mount Pleasant and Riley Park

Olympic Village has changed in the last few years since…..the Olympics. There are restaurants, shops, and condos galore. From Granville Island walk eastward to the Seawall and make my way to Mount Pleasant.

Olympic Village Birds

The Birds sculpture by Myfanwy MacLeod (one of them anyway)

Mount Pleasant sometimes gets a bad rap from Vancouverites. It’s known as a hipster neighbourhood but like all cities, there’s a part of town where they tend to congregate or reside. But usually, those neighbourhoods is where you find great food, coffee, drinks, and shops.

If you love beer, there are some great craft breweries in the area. My favourite is Brassneck on 7th and main. Like donuts? Next door is Cartems Donuterie. If you are hungry, there’s usually a food truck parked outside of Brassneck. In the mood for shopping? Walk south or up the hill and you’ll find some great shops along Main Street. 

Read more here: Craft breweries in Vancouver

Brassneck Brewery Vancouver BC

I’ll take a craft beer flight, thank you very much!

Cartems Donuterie - 24 Hours In Vancouver

A delicious donut from Cartems

5 PM – Early Dinner in Gastown or Chinatown

After hanging out around Mount Pleasant, head to Gastown for dinner and then drinks. There are several restaurants that I recommend. Try the Mexican food and drinks at Tacofino Bar. Even though I live in California and eat tacos several times a week, I’m a fan. Other places I frequent is Guu for Japanese tapas, Nuba for Lebanese (vegan-friendly!) or Bestie in Chinatown for some sausages and beer!

Tacofino - 24 Hours In Vancouver
Read more here: The Best Places To Dine In Vancouver Under $20
7 PM – Bella Gelateria 

Bella’s gelato gives me life! It can be very busy in the summer but it is really amazing. Award-winning and the owner went to gelato university, no joke!

Bella Gelateria Vancouver BC

8 PM – Cocktail Time!

When I go home to Vancouver, I’ll often end my night with friends over cocktails. A few places I like to go for drinks are Hawksworth and Boulevard. Both are a bit posh but they have incredible drinks. Bacchus at the Wedgewood Hotel is another favourite. It’s sort of an old man bar vibe…FYI. Near Gastown? Alibi Room is my standby location that can accommodate a big group. 

Boulevard Vancouver Whiskey Sour

A whiskey sour at Boulevard

And there you have it!! These places would be on my itinerary if I only had 24 hours in Vancouver. Of course, you can sub in different activities. Every traveller is different and has different interests or needs. Keen on outdoor activities? Go for a hike at Pacific Spirit Regional Park by UBC. Prefer to be near the water? Head to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. If you want to see one of Vancouver’s suspension bridges, there’s Lynn Canyon which is free or Capilano which has an admission fee. Deep Cove is another favourite and it combines a great hike, delicious snacks, and great shopping. Read more about it here.

LIKE GUIDED TOURS? CHECK OUT THESE VIATOR VANCOUVER TOURS:

 

What are your recommendations for 24 hours in Vancouver? 

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24 Hours In Vancouver

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may make a commission.

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