Vancouver made some headlines recently around the world, as Taylor Swift (of course) announced she would be ending her Eras Tour in December. With three dates in the B.C. city scheduled in December, speculations are leading to Vancouver being THE end of the Eras (tour). So if you are one of the plenty planning on visiting Vancouver for a couple of days this year, for the big T Swift concert or before then, this guide is for you. From restaurants and bars to places to stay, here’s how to spend 48 hours in Vancouver.

Granville Island: Morning or early afternoon


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Granville Island (@granville_island)

First thing to know is Vancouver is generally very walkable in the downtown area. A recommended morning or early afternoon visit, the Granville Island Public Market can’t be missed while visiting Vancouver. Granville Island is accessible on foot, or by bike, car, or one of the local ferries. It’s a great indoor market featuring a lot of local foods and stalls where you can have breakfast or lunch (or both!). If you really want to get the most out of the Island, you can book a Food Tour.

Stanley Park: Afternoon

Vancouver’s first, largest, and most beloved urban park is a must-visit year round. You can definitely walk or bike to Stanley Park, which is surrounded by scenic views of waters and mountains, and is home to its famous Seawall. You can explore parts of the 400-hectare natural West Coast rainforest on your own, or can take a guided walking tour to learn about the history of the land. Canada’s largest aquarium is also located at this park! Whatever you do here, make sure you spend time on the Seawall.

English Bay Beach: Afternoon or early evening

Along the Seawall, you will find English Bay Beach. This is Vancouver’s most popular downtown beach, with many running, biking or walking along the Seawall and into the sandy beach. There’s a concession here, and a popular Cactus Club Cafe location in case you’re hungry. The views will not disappoint, and this is open year-round.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park: Afternoon

While you can’t walk to it, you can take a free shuttle from Canada Place downtown to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. This park is home to the suspension bridge which is 450 feet long, but also has a total of 1.8 kilometres of paved stone paths and boardwalks, along with a thrilling “Cliffwalk.”

Bars and restaurants: Evening


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Minami Yaletown (@minamiyaletown)

The one thing you will love about Vancouver is the amount of restaurants in the city. There truly is no shortage of spots for you to try. Having its Michelin Guide also really helped elevate Vancouver’s dining scene globally. One spot on the guide that you should plan to visit is Published on Main, but ensure you make a reservation early! While it is not in the downtown core, it is a quick Uber drive to the restaurant.

Vancouver is certainly known to be a sushi hot spot, and Minami in Yaletown is the spot for Aburi style or flame seared sushi. It is also conveniently located downtown, in the vibrant Yaletown neighbourhood. They also offer a wide variety of beverages and cocktails.

If Italian is more your vibe, you can walk over to Robson Street, among its retail stores you will find CinCin. Known as a destination for authentic Italian flavours, CinCin’s modern Italian cuisine is prepared over its new Grillworks Inferno, a two-metre behemoth of stainless steel that features a massive grill and rotisserie. It is also is a very central location.

If you’re looking for a top bar, Vancouver’s Botanist sits at the #24 spot on this year’s North America’s 50 Best Bars. It is recognized for its sophisticated, airy atmosphere and seasonal cocktail and mocktail menu.

Also on the list The Keefer Bar.  Located in the city’s historic Chinatown, The Keefer is known for its “apothecary-inspired drinks” and happy hour specials, which include half-priced dim sum and a selection of six cocktails priced between $6 and $8.

For those visiting during the summer months, the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver has an exclusive pop-up patio for its hotel and spa guests. Aqua Lounge is hosted with Veuve Clicquot on the hotel’s 17th floor, with panoramic views of False Creek and the city’s skyline. It’s an ideal spot for summer sips under the sun, and also features a relaxing hydrotherapy tub, yoga space and chaise lounges.

Where to stay

If you’re looking for a central boutique hotel, the DOUGLAS Autograph Collection is in a perfect location in Yaletown, and close to Olympic Village. It’s walking distance to Yaletown and all of the restaurants, cafes, and shops in the area. If you are going to BC Place, this hotel is almost attached to the venue, so you won’t have to plan an Uber when you leave. The DOUGLAS is located at 45 Smithe Street.

Located right next to the DOUGLAS is the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver, which is home to the Spa by JW (you’ll need it if you walk around during your trip!), a casino (for those late nights), and The Victor, featuring a contemporary and seasonally inspired menu – along with delicious sushi. JW Marriott Parq Vancouver can be found at 39 Smithe Street.

Getting to and from the airport

Probably one of the easiest cities to get downtown from the airport, YVR is on the Canada Line rapid transit system. Once you exit the airport, signs will guide you to the Canada Line, which takes you to most downtown hotels in 30 minutes. Alternatively, an Uber or cab will take about 35-45 minutes depending on traffic.

For whenever you decide to go, be sure to check out our Vancouver ‘Things to do’ page for more up to date information on what’s happening in the city!

Have a great time in Vancouver!


This author was hosted by JW Marriott Parq Vancouver, The DOUGLAS, and Destination BC.