So, spring has sprung and you need to get back on the Instagram horse. Well, you’re in luck, because Vancouver has no shortage of spots that are beautiful inside and out. From libraries to museums and even municipal spots, here’s where you need to go to show off your new outfit.

And the best part? All of these are open to the public. Here is our list of the coolest buildings in Vancouver!

Vancouver Central Library


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This one is a no-brainer. Stark yet inviting, the library occupies a full city block and looks like a modern coliseum. Snag a pic outside, then head inside and make a story as you browse the zine collection. Yeah, they have a zine collection.

Where: 350 West Georgia Street

Museum of Anthropology

ubc moa

Arguably the best example of Arthur Erickson’s architectural mastery. Massive windows combine with concrete to make this a staple of West Coast design. Head over in the evening to capture the sun as it goes down.

Where: 6393 NW Marine Drive

UBC Aquatic Centre

aquatic centre

One of the most recent additions to UBC, and way better than the eyesore that is The Nest. Super easy to snag a pic in the morning or late at night on a weekday when no one is there. What? You don’t swim in beautiful pools? That’s not very Frank Ocean of you.

Where: 6000 Student Union Blvd

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rennie museum

roof rennie

A private museum that you have to book to get into, but definitely worth the minimal effort required. Make a story out of the exhibition, and take a main page post on the roof, it’s a win-win scenario. Definitely one of the coolest buildings you can check out in Vancouver.

Where: 51 E Pender Street

Polygon Gallery

polygon gallery

A modernist masterpiece that sits on the water in North Van. And, admission is by donation! Ironically, this is one of two places on this list where Nemesis Coffee will be setting up shop. Sponsored content? Nope, they just have good taste, we guess.

Where: 101 Carrie Cates Court

Bloedel Conservatory


It’s a giant greenhouse filled with tropical birds and plants. Come on, this one is just as beautiful inside as it is outside. Perfect for the rare triptych Instagram post- exterior/bird/plant.

Where: 4600 Cambie Street in Queen Elizabeth Park

Science World

science world

Kind of overplayed (like the Central Library) but a ‘coolest buildings in Vancouver’ list wouldn’t be complete without it. First off, no one can deny that it looks cool at night. And second, that ball looking thing is a geodesic dome, the cornerstone of the futurist aesthetic, shoutout to Buckminster Fuller.

Where: 1455 Quebec Street

The Marine Building

marine building

A fantastic example of Art Deco design. While it’s now home to a bunch of offices, nobody is going to stop you from messing around in the lobby for five minutes to get your shot.

Where: 355 Burrard Street

The New Emily Carr Building

flower building

While the main building itself is pretty cool, it’s that red flower that will catch everyone’s attention once it’s open. We’re just waiting on our friends at Nemesis Coffee to announce the opening date.

Where: 565 Great Northern Way

Outside the city

Richmond Olympic Oval

richmond olympic oval

Honestly, this spot is a triumph of modern engineering. Built for the Olympics (you don’t say?), the Olympic Oval features crazy courts, a pool, and a skating track. Also batting cages and a climbing wall. It’s a day of well-designed fun.

Where: 6111 River Road

Surrey City Centre Library

surrey city centre library

Arguably one of the craziest buildings in Greater Vancouver, and definitely the pointiest. While it’s hard to rationalize making the trip out just to visit this one, it could be a fun stopover on your next day trip or something.

Where: 10350 University Drive, Surrey

And there you have it! Some of the best designed public spots in the city. Stay tuned for our next guide, when we will show you the best weird buildings instead.