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Vancouver Holiday Guide

Universally acknowledged as one of the world's most beautiful cities, Vancouver is also rated as being one of the most livable cities in the world. This is a city where it's possible to go skiing, play a round of golf and swim in the ocean all in the same day.

The Coast Salish Nation were the first occupants of the area and their culture and influence are a very integral part of the cultural fabric to this day. European exploration dates from 1792, followed by the Hudson Bay Company in 1827. The Fraser River gold rush of 1858 was the start of the influx of people that has continued to this day.

The population of the greater Vancouver metropolitan area exceeds two million, and over 50% of those people do not speak English as their first language. The residents of today's Vancouver trace their ancestry to  First Nations people plus British, Chinese, Japanese, German, Pakistani, French, Italian, Dutch, Scandinavian, Ukranian, Filipino and Greek.

This diverse cultural mix is most evident in the dining experiences available throughout the city which has a deserved reputation as being a gourmet's delight. Vancouver hotels are world class and advance bookings are recommended as the city hosts lots of events that create an influx of visitors. Price conscious travellers should click here to see comparisons of all the leading Vancouver accommodation choices. 

Once you arrive in Vancouver, the super efficient and modern Translink network of airport shuttles, buses, trains and ferries make it very easy to get around this well sign-posted and visitor-friendly city.

Vancouver Highlights

Stanley Park: Cycle or stroll along the park seawall, a 10-km loop offering magnificent, uninterrupted mountain, ocean, forest and city views. Pay visit to the acclaimed Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, one of the world's largest aquariums.

Granville Island: Hop aboard one of the small, bathtub shaped water taxis that cruise across False Creek to the island. Spend an enjoyable few hours at the famous, year-round, indoor farmer's market, the boutique micro-brewery, be entertained by street buskers and live theatre and visit the artisan studios.

Grouse Mountain: The more adventurous (and fitter) may prefer to hike to the top via the Grouse Grind, (aka "Mother Nature's Stairmaster"). Visitors will probably prefer to ride the 100-passenger tram to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views across the Lower Mainland.

Robson Street: Vancouver's famous shopping and cruising strip is Robson Street, home of high fashion, trendy restaurants and bars, the coffee-shop glitterati and even a little star spotting. This is the Hollywood of the North, and Robson Street is a favourite spot for celebrities and wannabes to congregate.

UBC Museum Of Anthropology: The location of one of the most incredible collections of First Nations totem poles, carvings and artifacts. The museum is housed in an award-winning glass-and-concrete building based on traditional Northwest Coast post-and-beam structures.

Capilano Suspension Bridge: Just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver, those with a head for heights will find this shaky, swaying suspension bridge located in the middle of a lush west-coast rainforest!  It's scary but worth the 135 m walk across for thrilling views to the river 70 m below.

Gastown: This is where Vancouver began. Take a stroll down the charming cobbled streets, explore the historic buildings, browse the unique stores and dine in restaurants that range from quirky to gourmet.

Chinatown: One of the largest Chinese communities in North America lives in Vancouver. The Chinatown precinct has historic buildings (including the world's narrowest), exotic markets and herbal apothecaries, not to mention bargains on imported goods such as fabrics and kitchen supplies

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