Canada Place - cruise ship terminal, convention center, Imax theater and Vancouver landmark
The Central Business District and Yaletown are the heart of Vancouver's downtown and contain the city's Financial District, two entertainment districts, trendy condos and many of its hotels, clubs and historical buildings. For the visitor, it's a good place to make a base to explore Vancouver because of its easy access to public transit, shops and restaurants. And if you want to sample Vancouver's cuisine or nightlife, or take in the mountains and harbour, it's a great place to be.
The Central Business District is the destination for most transit users, so it's not much of a stretch to say all roads, buses and trains lead here. Waterfront Station is the main hub (Cordova, at the foot of Granville St), with the Skytrain, Seabus and many bus routes terminating there. A large number of buses also pickup outside Burrard Station (corner of Burrard & Dunsmuir Streets).
Driving into and around downtown isn't usually a problem outside of rush hour, but it can be a nuisance (particularly parking), so your best bet is to leave your car outside of the city center and use SkyTrain (from the east) or SeaBus (from the North Shore) to enter the area. If you drive, Georgia Street is the main street through the CBD and continuing on through the Vancouver/West End, Stanley Park and onto the North Shore. Access from the south is by bridge over False Creek (the Burrard, Granville and Cambie bridges). All of them will lead downtown so just take the one closest to you.
Parking downtown is as you would expect for a city center: expensive and, at times, hard to find. Expect to pay between $12-20/day for parking in a parkade. On-street parking meters are in effect from 9AM-8PM, 7 days a week. Many of the streets become no parking zones during rush hour.
Map of Vancouver City Center
- Vancouver Lookout, 555 West Hastings Street (top floor of Harbour Centre), ☎ +1 604-689-0421, . Daily 9AM-9PM (winter), Daily 8:30AM-10:30PM (summer). Located on the top floor of the Harbour Centre, the Lookout offers a full 360-degree panoramic view of the city from 130m up. You'll see the downtown area, Stanley Park, the North Shore mountains and even the skyline of nearby Burnaby. The ticket is good for two trips during the day, so you can see it in the daytime and return for the sunset view. $13, discounts for children, seniors and students available; best prices if bought at Tourism Vancouver office.
- Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby Street, ☎ +1 604-662-4719, . You can see and learn a lot about Emily Carr in the permanent collection, but the rest of the gallery varies in quality depending on what they have been able to attract as special exhibits. Take advantage of admission by donation on Tuesday evenings (5pm - 9pm) and sample what is there before paying the full admission. $15 admission ($11.90 students).
- Vancouver Public Library, 360 West Georgia Street, ☎ +1 604-331-3600, . The modern and attractive central branch of the City of Vancouver's Public Library is located in an architecturally interesting building, designed by Moshe Safdie. It was chosen in a public design competition and is based on a Roman Colosseum. There are large public spaces around the building and a nice atrium space in the lobby. Most of the internet terminals require a library card (residents only). However, many terminals allow access to selected resources (bus schedules, government pages, etc) and there are a few that allow wider access to the internet without a library card.
- Yaletown and the Vancouver Marina. A beautiful micro-community in the heart of downtown. Take a walk through this area, check out the yuppie side of Vancouver. Hamilton & Mainland Streets are in actuality lanes (or back-alleys) with old loading docks, but have been converted into European-style high-curb streets.
- BC Place and GM Place, . The homes of the BC Lions CFL football team and Vancouver Canucks NHL hockey team respectively. Both buildings are also home to many conventions/tradeshows and big name concerts, although these days GM Place is preferred for concerts due to its superior acoustics. BC Place has the distinction of being the largest air supported dome in the world, and can pack in 60,000 people. Both buildings are located off the Georgia Street Viaduct at Pacific Blvd. near the shore of False Creek.
While Vancouver may not be famous for its architecture, the City Center is home to some unique buildings both new and old.
- Christ Church Cathedral, 690 Burrard Street. Vancouver's oldest surviving church was completed in 1889. Often in the shadow of its neighbour, the 23 story Cathedral Place, you should visit in the afternoon to see the sun shining through the stained glass windows.
- Marine Building, 355 Burrard Street. This 22 story Art Deco office tower was completed in 1930. Because of the great depression, only four floors were occupied for the first several years. Note the attention to detail on both the exterior, and in the lobby.
- Hotel Vancouver, 900 West Georgia Street. The third such hotel in this spot, the Hotel Vancouver was built over 11 years and completed in 1939. As with all Canadian Pacific hotels in Canada, the chateau style is truly impressive. The hotel's first guests were King George and Queen Elizabeth. Bring binoculars for a close up view of the building's many gargoyles.
- Robson Square, 800 Block Robson Street. Designed by Vancouver wunderkind Arthur Erikson (also famous for the Museum of Anthropology and Simon Fraser University) this building which houses Vancouver's Provincial and Supreme Courts was completed in 1979 allowing the Vancouver Art Gallery to take over its former digs across the road. This organic building featuring flowing water and greenery allows you to literally walk all over it.
- Canada Place, 999 Canada Place. Built for Expo 86 as Canada's exhibit, today the building serves as a cruise ship terminal and convention centre, and is also the site of an IMAX theatre and the luxurious Pan Pacific Hotel. Walk around the unique sailed structure and take in views of the building itself, Coal Harbour and the North Shore. It use of white with a roof of "sails" or "waves" has made it a modern gem.
- Library Square, 350 West Georgia Street. Designed by Moshe Safdie (who also designed the National Gallery in Ottawa). Constructed as a 'square within a circle', this building is reminiscent of a modern Roman Colosseum. Completed in 1995.
- One Wall Centre. Voted the world's best new skyscraper in 2001 by Emporis.
- Harbour Centre. This is a beautiful Brutalist buidling that uses tinted concrete in a boxy format. It is minimal and uses punched windows and atop is a retro observation deck that is, well, "well rounded" with a space theme akin to Space Needle.
- Vancouver Opera, 835 Cambie St, ☎ +1 604-683-0222, . Offers world-class performances from some of the world's best composers.
- Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, ☎ +1 604-876-3434, . A great night out at reasonable prices.
- Pro Sports. The Vancouver Canucks are Vancouver's NHL club . The season runs from October into the spring. The games are played at GM place, it will be difficult and expensive to get tickets since all games sell out. BC Lions play in Canada's most elite football league the CFL. The Vancouver Whitecaps play professional soccer, but it is amateur compared to European leagues. Vancouver also has several minor league teams such as the Vancouver Giants of the WHL and the Vancouver Canadian's of single A baseball.
- City Salsa Vibe (Empire Landmark Hotel), 1400 Robson St, ☎ +1 778-TO-DANCE (863-2623), . Fridays: Doors open 8:30PM, Free lesson 9PM, party 10PM-1:30AM. Free salsa lessons, followed by a salsa party with expert performers and a sophisticated crowd. Fully licensed bar. Street and Hotel parking. Dress Code: upscale casual or better, no torn jeans, no tennis shoes, collared shirts preferred for men. $12 cover for party.
- Vancouver Five in One, . A convenient admissions pass to combine with a Hop-on, Hop-off tour of the city. The card gives entry to Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver Aquarium, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden, IMAX at Canada Place, and the Vancouver Lookout. $70 for adults, $47 for children.
- Big Bus, . Offers hop-on, hop-off bus tours of Stanley Park, Vancouver Aquarium, English Bay Beach, Granville Island, Chinatown, and the Robson Street shopping district. $35.
- The Vancouver Trolley Company, ☎ +1-888-451-5581, . Offers "hop-on, hop-off" tours on replica turn-of-the-century trolleys. The drivers narrate the history and peculiarities of the city along the way with stops in numerous places around town including downtown, Stanley Park, Chinatown, Gastown and Granville Island. You are limited to one time around the loop. The City Attraction tour is $35 for adults, $18.50 for children.
Events & Festivals
- 4:20. On April 20th people congregate at the Vancouver Art Gallery to smoke marijuana and celebrate this unofficial holiday, a reflection of British Columbia's relaxed attitudes towards cannabis.
- Canada Day at Canada Place, 999 Canada Place (On a pier stretching north from Canada Place (a street) between Burrard and Howe streets), ([email protected]), . July 1 only, 10am–7pm. A large, engaging, though somewhat corporate celebration of Canada's national holiday. The citizenship ceremony can be moving. There are usually several bands, fun activities for the kids, and exhibits of Canadian Forces and other bits of Canadiana. Free.
- Canada Day Fireworks, ☎ +1 604-925-1912 ([email protected]), . July 1 only, 10:30pm-11pm. Restarting an old tradition, there is a fireworks display after dark on Canada Day. In 2008, this was a coordinated two-barge show, one barge off Canada Place and the other off West Vancouver. Free viewing from streets, premium Canada Place seating for a fee.
- Vancouver Zombie Walk. Usually either in the summer or near Halloween, anyone can choose to dress up and act as the living dead during this parade through Downtown. Although this has only been in Vancouver for about 2 years, thousands of people have already participated, and at least 500 people each year join in on this zombie walk. It is free, and mostly for plain fun, and is also an unofficial event. Each year, there is a set meeting spot. Everyone then walks throughout Downtown and up streets and parks all in one large group. Information on this event is usually found with a quick search on Google.
- Robson Street downtown is the main high end shopping district.
- Yaletown is the newest Urban Residential area of Vancouver. Rather yuppie, you will find many beauty shops and self-improvement facilities (such as cosmetic dentistry and plastic surgery). Start your tour at Davie & Hamilton, walk along Mainland St, Pacific, Homer and finish at the spectacular Marinaside Crescent. This was formerly a warehouse district that is now a high end residential area with many upscale and mid-range stores. As an illustration of the neighbourhood's character, one cosmetic surgery office has valet parking in front.
- BCMP Bookstore (BCMP), 307 West Hastings St, ☎ 604-682-1172 ([email protected]), . usually open to 9:00 pm. The BCMP "Bookstore" is arguably the center of the marijuana subculture of Vancouver. It is the party headquarters for the provincial marijuana party as well as a store and lounge. Proceeds from the BCMP go towards the party and the legal battle against the extradition of the party leader who faces life in prison in the USA. The front half of the store is taken up by display shelves of bongs, pipes, rolling papers and pretty much anything you could imagine. The New Amsterdam Cafe next door, which is owned by the same people, permits the smoking of marijuana on its premises. $5 per hour (lounge only).
- Book-off, 636 Hornby Street (between W. Georgia and Dunsmuir St.), ☎ +1 604-605-8887, . Daily 10AM–8PM. A Japanese language bookstore plunked down in Vancouver. Buys and sells books, CDs, and DVDs from Japan and in the Japanese language. Also has some English-language and foreign-language books. Good for the student of Japanese and the homesick Japanese visitor.
- H-Mart, 590 Robson Street (at Richards St), . Daily 9AM–9PM. Hidden on the second floor is a large grocery store featuring a wide range of high-quality, primarily Korean groceries. Part of a North American chain of Korean stores. The food court offers a number of good lunch choices, too.
The different parts of the City Center have diverse characteristics. The central business district has, as you would expect, a high number of coffee shops and lunch places, the West End has a wide variety of restaurants, Yaletown has a number of high end restaurants and Chinatown has many Chinese restaurants. Vancouver is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and this is reflected in its cuisine, particularly Asian. Some of the best Japanese food outside of Japan is in Vancouver and its Cantonese and Korean offerings are also world-class.
- Samurai Japanese Restaurant, 1108 Davie Street (at Thurlow), ☎ +1 604-609-0078. until 24h. Well known for having huge portions for small prices. It also has fresher sushi than some more expensive places. During meal times, it can be very difficult to get a seat. In the summer, it can be nice to get take out and walk down to Sunset Beach (4 blocks southwest on Thurlow, ~20min). Be sure to try their toro (fatty tuna), and salmon sushi/sashimi. Stay away from their tuna sushi/sashimi because it tends to be too frozen. There are other location at Cambie Street and 43rd Ave in Vancouver South, and on Fraser Street in East Van. $10.
- Stepho's Souvlaki Greek Taverna, 1124 Davie Street, ☎ +1 604-683-2555. Daily. A Greek restaurant in downtown Vancouver, famous for long lines of customers waiting for a table, hungry for Stepho's abundant and delicious platters of Greek favourites. Almost all under $10.
- Fritz Frie House, 718 Davie Street (near Granville), ☎ +1 604-684-0811. This restaurant boasts what is arguably the best poutine in town. The curds are imported from Quebec. The garlic lover's mayo is fantastic too. Cleverly located next to the local Fitness World. $5 for a medium. Open until the wee hours in the morning, frequented by night clubbers. Regularly wins local awards for fries.
- Moonpennies, 456 Howe Street, ☎ +1 604-899-1271. Simple food and great coffee in a friendly atmosphere. $6-$8.
- Pita Wrap Cafe, 565 Dunsmuir St, ☎ +1 604-681-7634. M-F 8AM-4PM. The usual falafels, souvlakis, shawermas and Greek plates, but very well executed. $5-$8.
- Denny's 888 Burrard St. Open 24 hours a day Denny's is part of the large chain of diners. Decent fare at low prices make this a popular location at any time of the day. Main dishes start from just $6.
- Ezogiku Noodle Cafe. 2 locations on Robson St. One near the north end (1329 Robson St, +1 604 683-6111) and the other closer to the Vancouver library and GM Place (270 Robson St, +1 604 685-9466). The speciality here is the Sapporo miso ramen ($6.55), a Japanese noodle soup flavored with miso paste and served with a heap of veggies on top; add in $2.20 for a serve of gyoza dumplings on the side. The servings are large, with a hearty broth and an authentic abundance of ingredients. Vegetarian soups and broths available. Cash only.
- Baghdad Cafe, 430 W. Pender (at Richards), ☎ +1. Mediterranean cuisine, well prepared, in a charming knick-knack laden interior with friendly staff. Respectable array of vegetarian options. lunch $10.
- Elbow Room, 560 Davie St (at Seymour St), +1 604 685-3628. "Food and Service is our name and Abuse is our game (so have some fun)". A restaurant that is famous for abusing its customers. Expect to line up to get in on weekends. Open for breakfast and lunch.
- Wild Rice, 117 W. Pender St (between Abbot and Beatty Streets), +1 604 642-2882 . Wild Rice has a fresh, very tasty reinterpretation of Chinese cuisine, with pan-Asian and North American influences mixed in, set in a sleek black decor. Small plates $6-10, entrees $13-25, desserts $7. Fine teas $3-7 . Dinner for two $45-50 without wine. Located in Chinatown near the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and BC Place, on the north side of a bleak Pender Street block. Lunch Mo-Fr 11:30-4PM. Dinner Su-Th until 12AM midnight, Fr-Sa until 1AM.
- The Irish Heather, 217 Carrall St (at the east end of Gastown), +1 604 688-9779, . Seven days a week, noon-midnight. Nice atmosphere, excellent pheasant, and apparently the only place in Vancouver that serves real Guinness. About $10 for lunch or $15 for supper (not including drinks).
- Earls On Top, 1185 Robson Street. Part of the nation chain of restaurants, Earls offers a moderate selection of contemporary foods ranging from steak and chicken to seafood and pizza. More hip and happening than most of the chains outlets this isn't the place for a quiet meal. Good service and food make this a popular spot.
- Taki's Taverna, 1106 Davie Street, ☎ +1-604-682-1336. Another Greek Taverna with long lines. A good overflow alternative to Stepho's down the block.
- Umberto's is a chain of restaurants throughout Vancouver, most of which are upscale joints serving west-coast variations of Italian classics.
- Caffè Artigiano. Excellent coffee shop featuring "latte art," but it's still great. IntelligentsiA coffee available. Great espresso.
- Tree's Organic coffee & roasting house, 450 Granville Street, ☎ +1-604.684.5060 ([email protected], fax: +1-604.684.5026), . Mon – Wed 6AM to 8PM, Thurs & Fri 6AM to 10PM, Weekends & Holidays 8AM to 7:30PM. A coffeehouse featuring carefully selected, 100% certified organic, coffee. Famous for its cheesecake. Another location is in Richmond.
- Kamei Royal, 1030 W. Georgia St, ☎ +1-604-687-8588 (fax: +1-604-687-8488). This is the Japanese restaurant to which you can bring your homesick Japanese business partners. Excellently prepared, professional-grade sushi, rice dishes, kushiyaki, and cooked-at-the-table sukiyaki. An authentic Japanese atmosphere, from the irasshaimase greeting to the pretty pictures in the bilingual menus to the serene decor. Tucked above a Tiffany's store on the second floor, you look out over the crowds on Georgia and Burrard, or inside at the chefs in the glass-walled kitchen. Another branch is on West Broadway in Kits. dinner $20.
- Glowbal grill & satay bar, 1079 Mainland Street, ☎ +1-604-602-0835, . Daily, afternoon menu 3PM - 5PM, dinner 5PM - 12AM midnight; Mon-Fri lunch 11:30AM - 3PM; Sat-Sun Brunch 10:30AM - 3PM. Glowbal is a trendy hit in the heart of the Yaletown restaurant row. Brunches are famous, but dinners are also outstanding. Don't be surprised if the chef stops by to offer some custom-made treat if the menu doesn't suffice, and expect the flavours to be marvellous. Attentive, friendly, and uniformly black-clad service. A top-notch operation in every way. Valet parking Thursday-Saturday nights. Also does catering. Brunch $10-16, Dinner $18-35.
- Sanafir, 1026 Granville Street, ☎ +1-604-678-1049 ([email protected], fax: +1-604-602-7523), . Daily from 5PM. Morocco meets Granville Street and serves tapas. Draws from North African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranian. and Indian. Corporate sibling of Yaletown's Glowbal. Valet parking Thursday-Saturday nights. Tapas $14.
- Coast, 1257 Hamilton Street (in Yaletown, near Davie), ☎ +1-604.685.5010 (fax: +1-604.602.7523), . Daily from 4:30PM. Fresh seafood from coastal regions throughout the world. Try the Chef' s Community Table, where the chef prepares the food for up to 14 diners right at the table. Corporate sibling of Yaletown's Glowbal. Valet parking Thursday-Saturday nights. Dinner $30-60/person plus wine.
- Italian Kitchen, 1037 Alberni Street, ☎ +1-604-687-2858 (fax: +1-604-687-2859), . Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30AM on; Dinner daily from 4:30PM. Corporate sibling of Yaletown's Glowbal. Valet parking most hours the restaurant is open. Reservations recommended. Lunch $11-16, Dinner $18-28.
- Thai House Restaurant, 1116 Robson Street, ☎ +1-604-683-3383, . Daily 11AM to 10:30PM. Thai and Thai fusion food. Has received awards for Best Thai and Best Asian. A local chain with locations Downtown Robson, Kitsilano and Richmond, plus some differently-themed restaurants. Dine in, take out, or free delivery. $15-30.
- Chilli House Thai Bistro, 1018 Beach Ave, ☎ +1-604-685-8989, . Daily 11AM to 10:30PM. Sophisticated Thai cuisine with a Vancouver Twist and a great view from the seawall. Specialises in live seafood. Free parking.
- Samba Brazilian Steakhouse, 1122 Alberni Street, ☎ +1-604-696-9888, . Vancouver’s 1st and only Brazilian Steakhouse. Showmanship includes "Passadores" carrying meat to your table on swords. Also a salad bar and hot buffet. Live Latin music and dance show.
- Waves Coffee, 1263 Pacific Boulevard (between Helmecken and Drake), ☎ +1-604-689-1299, . Daily 24 hours/day. A coffeehouse of the comfortable sofa variety. Features free wireless internet service and staying open all night. Part of a small local chain.
- Kam's Place, 1043 Davie Street (Between Thurlow and Burrard), ☎ +1-604-669-3389. Mon-Fri 11:00AM-2:30PM, 5:00PM-9:30PM; Sat-Sun 12:00N-2:30PM, 5:00PM-9:30PM. It calls itself a "Singaporean" restaurant, but the menu has a strong segment of Thai along with the Chinese and Malaysian. Generous portions mean you should share entrees or plan to take so home. Good vegetarian selection; the Spicy Lettuce Wrap ($7.95) is a particular treat. "Boo Boo's Special" lychee and coconut milk is delicious as a drink or a light dessert. Free delivery to downtown or West End after 5pm. dinner $9-15/person; lunch specials from $5.75.
- Plus Alpha, 1099 Richards Street (Richards at Helmecken), ☎ +1-604-633-0355, . Tue-Sat 5PM - 1AM; Sun 5PM - 12AM; Mon closed. "Plus Alpha" is a Japanese term meaning "a little extra", and this compact fusion of polished Japanese with trendy Yaletown provides a little extra interest, a little extra style, a little extra fun. New interpretations of contemporary Japanese standards such as Pumpkin Croquette and "Pimp My Tofu". Lychee martinis in a futuristic glass. A good place to get a dinner with that "plus alpha". dinner $20/person.
- Okada Sushi (おかだ寿司), 688 Nelson Street #M101 (at Hornby, on 3rd floor above courtyard), ☎ +1-604-899-3266 (fax: +1-604-899-3277), . Lunch Mon-Fri 11：30AM – 2:15PM; Dinner Mon–Sat 5PM–10PM. A fine sushi restaurant. Given the ambience and the Japanese heard among chefs, servers, and diners alike, you'll imagine yourself in Tokyo. An extensive list of specials, plus a range of sashimi, sushi, maki rolls, and small dishes. Sit at the 10-person counter for a dazzling view of the chefs in action. $20 and up/person for dinner.
- Shabusen Yakiniku House 202 - 755 Burrard Street +1 604 669-3883 Daily lunch and dinner. A Japanese and Korean BBQ House specializing in a large all-you-can-eat menu. Fun part of eating here is that you can order raw meat and cook it yourself on the provided grill installed in the table. There is another location in South Granville.
- Elixir, 350 Davie Street +1 604-642-0557. M-Sa 6:30AM-2AM, Su 6:30AM-Midnight. Charming French brasserie inside the stylish Opus Hotel. Chef Don Letendre's menu is authentic French country cuisine with a modern panache. Roasted sable fish, braise du jour, bacon wrapped petit tenderloin, roasted veal chop and warm sticky toffee pudding are but a few bistro highlights.
- Hy's Encore, 637 Hornby Street, (604) +1 604 683-7671. The most amazing service in Vancouver. This steak house is some fifty years old. Charcoal steaks are the house specialty, although the service is even better. The servers do an incredible job and the food is excellent.
- Joe Forte's Seafood & Chop House, 777 Thurlow St, (604) +1 604 669-1940.  Open daily for lunch and dinner; reservations strongly recommended. Usually mentioned amongst the top 5 restaurants in Vancouver, here you will find great food and great service. In the lavishly decorated open space, you may even catch a glimpse of a celebrity as you savour the oysters that are a specialty here. With glamour comes a price; expect to spend about $70/person for a complete dinner.
- Art Gallery Cafe, 750 Hornby Street. It's a little pricey, but it's definitely worth it.
Many of Vancouver's nightclubs are located in the Entertainment District along Granville Street from Robson to the Granville Street Bridge. To see a full list of clubs and what's going on, check the Vancouver section of Clubzone , Clubvibes  or Granville Street .
- Caprice Night Club and Lounge, 967 Granville Street, ☎ 604-681-2114, . One of the more exclusive clubs in Vancouver. Features R&B and hip-hop.
- The Cellar/Doolins, 654 Nelson Street, (604) 605-4343. Doolins is a very popular Irish pub with a night club called the Cellar below.
- Commodore Ballroom, 870 Granville St, (604) 683-9413. This is a large venue frequent location for live concerts. Has a large famous 'sprung' dance floor. Capacity is 900 people. On most nights, tickets are required to get in.
- Opus Bar, 350 Davie Street, +1 604-642-0557 . Painfully ‘hip’ bar/lounge inside the much-hyped Opus Hotel in Yaletown. Beyond the fashionable clientele and contemporary décor there’s tapas, cocktails and an extensive list of imported and domestic wines and spirits. Signature small plates include 'O' Dim Sum, merguez corn dog and shish kebob, and Yuzu-spiced garlic wings.
- The Railway Club, 579 Dunsmuir Street (Dunsmuir & Seymour), ☎ 604-681-1625, . More bar than dance club, it also features live small independent music performers.
- The Roxy, 932 Granville Street, ☎ 604-331-7999, . Long-time Vancouver club which features top 40 rock. The house band, Dr. Strangelove, covers some of the best of the recent 'classic rock' and dance music.
- Richard's on Richard's, 1036 Richards St, ☎ 604-687-6794, . Another long-time Vancouver club and one of the best spots to catch up and coming bands.
- Samba Brazilian Steakhouse, 1122 Alberni Street, ☎ +1-604-696-9888, . 11:30AM to 11PM. A Brazilian steakhouse featuring nightly live Latin music, Brazil's signature cocktail the "Caipirinha", and a Brazilian dance show in the lounge.
- Wine Tastings In Gastown, [email protected], ☎ 604 230 3682. varied. Long time Vancouver wine consultant Stephen Bonner hosts great wine tastings for small groups 6-10 in his loft in historic Gastown. Varied themes and prices but the BC wine and cheese tastings are a big hit with visiting foodies. $30 - $100.
Downtown Vancouver is home to Canada's finest hotels, a list that keeps growing. Vancouver will be the first city in North America to have a hotel from Asia's prestigious five star Shangri-la chain when the 61 story tower is completed in 2008. Downtown is the most densely populated part of Canada and as a result real estate is very expensive and thus so are most hotel rates.
If you are planning to stay in a hostel downtown, it is probably better to ensure it is located west of Main street and caters mainly to backpackers (tourists on a budget.) Staying downtown keeps much of the frequently visited spots in walking distance. If you were planning to find a cheap (significantly less than $90) hotel downtown, you should know that it is likely to be located in the "East Side", infamous for its prostitution and drug problems.
- American Backpackers Hostel, 347 West Pender St., ☎ +1 604-688-0112, . The rooms are average but the dorms are to be considered by only the poorest of travelers. There are benefits like free beer on summer Saturdays. Book on their website and get a $5 discount on the first night. Minimum age 17, maximum age 35. Dorm bed $10, Single $20, Double $35/night.
- Cambie Hostel - Seymour, 515 Seymour Street (between West Pender and Dunsmuir), +1 604-684-7757, toll free +1 866-623-8496, .
- HI-Vancouver Central, 1025 Granville St, (604) 685-5335 .
- HI Vancouver (Downtown), 1114 Burnaby St, +1 604 684-4565 . Hostelling International's first downtown Vancouver location. $20-$28 for a bed in a 4-person room.
- SameSun Vancouver, 1018 Granville St, (604) 682-8226 . Where the party animals rest their weary heads, the SameSun Vancouver embodies the lively atmosphere of the street it is located in. Recently renovated, the hostel features modern amenities decorated by bright splashes of colours on the wall.
- Bosman's Hotel, 1060 Howe St, +1 604 682-3171, toll free +1 888 267-6267 . Two blocks from Robson Street's shopping and one block from Granville's nighlife, Bosman's Hotel is a very good deal for downtown Vancouver. Outside pool patio, and on-site bar. Price range from $69-$89.
- Burrard Inn, 1100 Burrard Street, ☎ +1 604-681-2331, . Recently renovated hotel. Some rooms have kitchenettes. Guest parking is $13/night. $75-$130.
- Comfort Inn Downtown, 654 Nelson St, ☎ 1-888-605-5333 (toll-free) or +1 604-605-4333, . A reasonably-priced, well-situated hotel with some decent package deals as well. The smallest room in winter will cost you $89.
- Hampton Inn & Suites, 111 Robson Street, ☎ +1 604-602-1008 (fax: +1 604-602-1008), . Near BC Place stadium. From $129.
- Kingston Hotel, 757 Richards Street, ☎ 1-888-713-3304 (toll-free) or +1 604-684-9024, . Single, twin and double rooms with shared washrooms. The continental breakfast is free. $55-$170.
- The Metropolitan, 645 Howe Street, ☎ +1 604-687-1122, . Luxury hotel featuring marble washrooms and soaker tubs.
- Victorian Hotel, 514 Homer Street, ☎ 1-877-681-6369 (toll-free) or +1 604-681-6369, . A historic hotel that has recently been renovated. Close walk to most attractions, but note that it is near a rough area of town. Some rooms have shared bathrooms. Prices range from $79-139 in the summer.
- YWCA Hotel, 733 Beatty Street, ☎ 1-800-663-1424 (toll-free) or +1 604-895-5830,, . A modern hotel (12 years old) with a range of room sizes and prices. Close walk to most attractions and near BC Place Stadium. All rooms are private but some have shared bathrooms. Prices range from $64-155 in the summer..
- Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver, 1128 West Georgia Street, 1 (604) 689-1120 . A downtown luxury hotel located in the tallest building in Vancouver with 119 guest rooms, executive suites and space for meetings and events. The hotel also offers MARKET by Jean-Georges, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Canadian debut, and access to the Chi spa.
- Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel (downtown, steps from Coal harbour)  1128 West Hastings Street, Phone: 1-604-684-1128, Toll-free: 1-800-207-4150. The Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel is steps away from Coal harbour and cruise ship terminal and offers a weddings and meetings hotel in downtown Vancouver featuring facilities that include fitness centre, indoor lap pool and whirlpool. Rates from $159 CAD/night.
- Renaissance Vancouver Hotel Harbourside (newly renovated guestrooms on the waterfront in downtown Vancouver)  1133 West Hastings Street, Phone: 1-604-689-9211, Toll-free: 1-800-905-8582. The Renaissance Vancouver Hotel Harbourside is located on the waterfront in downtown Vancouver within walking distance of the Alaska Cruise Ship Terminal and Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, Historic Gastown and Stanley Park. Rates from $159 CAD/night.
- Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, 900 W. Georgia St, +1 604 684-3131 . Vancouver's grand old hotel. Beautifully decorated and a firmly established part of Vancouver's history. From $250-$400.
- The Fairmont Waterfront, 900 Canada Place Way, +1 604 691-1999 . The Fairmont Waterfront has a stunning view wherever there's a window. This 5-star hotel is located right across from Canada Place.From $300-$500.
- Four Seasons Vancouver, 791 West Georgia St, ☎ +1 604-689-9333 (fax: +1 604-684-4555), . Classy luxury hotel in the heart of Vancouver, decorated in classic style but with modern amenites. It features a pool, gym and the excellent restaurant and bar "YEW". $270 and up.
- Hotel Le Soleil, 567 Hornby St, ☎ 1-877-632-3030 (toll-free) or +1 604-632-3000, . A 119-room deluxe intimate luxury downtown Vancouver hotel with stylish sophistication and old world elegance. Located in the financial, shopping and business districts. Rated "One of the Top 100 Hotels in the World" - by Resorts & Great Hotels Magazine. $215-$270 in summer.
- Opus Hotel, 322 Davie Street, ☎ +1 604-642-6787, . Stylish and swanky boutique hotel in Yaletown that has made it to Conde Nast's gold list four years running. Reviewers like the modern decor and friendly staff but don't recommend it for families. $300 and up.
- Pan Pacific, 300-999 Canada Place, +1 604 662-8111 . A harbor location just steps away from Stanley Park. If you are staying here, consider paying extra for a view of the coast mountains. At these prices, it would be a shame to miss out on the view. $300-$500.
- Sutton Place Hotel, 845 Burrard St, ☎ 1-866-378-8866 (toll-free) or +1 604-682-5511, . Classic-styled luxury hotel with spa, gym, concierge and the usual room amenities. Reviewers like the ambiance, the friendly staff and the location, but find the wifi signal weak and thought some of the furnishings looked a bit dated. $320-$500 standard rate in peak season.
- Terminal City Tower, 837 Hastings Street, . 60 room full service luxury boutique club hotel in downtown Vancouver BC offering lodging accommodations near tourist attractions, convention centre and cruise ship terminal.
- Wedgewood Hotel and Spa, 845 Hornby Street, ☎ 1-800-663-0666 (toll-free) or +1 604-689-7777, . European-style boutique hotel listed on Conde Nast's gold list. The decor isn't modern but reviewers like the elegance and class of the hotel and found the rooms well appointed and comfortable. Amenities include a spa and fitness center and business center for internet access (no wifi in rooms). $300-$425 for a room/suite in peak season.
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