Explore Vancouver & More Information

Information collaborated by the International Peer Advisor Rebecca Foley.

Visit the International Student Advisors at International House Mon-Fri 1-4 for drop in advising at 1783 West Mall or email them at isa@students.ubc.ca

All directions are given from UBC.  All transit directions within Vancouver can be found by going to www.translink.ca and using the Trip Planner OR use Goggle directions.

University Of British Columbia:

Pacific Spirit Park– contains 73km of biking, hiking, horseback riding trails. Entrances can be found all over campus but the most accessible is behind Fairview/Acadia residence. Be sure to bring a map.

Wreck BeachClothing optional sandy beach, views of the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island. Access is located at Trail 6 behind Place Vanier.

Tower BeachClothing optional rocky beach, views of Howe Sound, Vancouver Island, and Sunshine Coast Mountains. Access is located at Trail 3 at the Northwest corner of SW Marine Dr and NW Marine Dr, East of the Museum of Anthropology.

Museum of AnthropologyRenown for its display of world arts and cultures. Free Admission with UBC student card. 10am-5pm Wed-Sun, 10am-9pm Tues, Closed Monday. Located North of Campus at 6393 N.W. Marine Drive.

Beaty Biodiversity MuseumNatural history museum, voted “Best Collection of Weird Things in Drawers” in 2013. Free admission with UBC student card. 10am-5pm Tues-Sun, closed Monday. Located mid-campus at 2212 Main Mall.

Pacific Museum of the EarthExhibits on rocks, minerals, fossils, weather, oceanography and earthquakes. Admission by donation, open 10am-5pm Mon-Fri. Located in the Earth and Ocean Science Building at 6339 Stores Road.

Pharmacy BuildingStory of Medicines interactive exhibit, with historical artifacts and hands-on displays. Located on the ground and mezzanine floors of the Pharmacy Building, 2405 Wesbrook Mall, open 8am-6pm Mon-Fri.

Rose Garden- Small rose garden with beautiful views of Howe Sound, Burrard Inlet, and the Sunshine Coast. Located in north campus above the Rose Garden Parkade, next to the Chan Center (6265 Crescent Road)

Nitobe Memorial GardenA traditional Japanese Tea and Stroll garden, one of the most authentic Japanese gardens in North America. Located at 1895 Lower Mall. Free admission with UBC student card. 10am-2pm Mon-Fri.

UBC Botanical GardenHome to over 8,000 different plants and various gardens such as Asian garden, alpine garden, food garden and physic garden. 9:30am-5pm daily, free with UBC student card. Located 6805 SW Marine Dr.

UBC Rec Events & Intramurals

Aquatics, Drop in Sports, UBC Thunderbird Games, Ice Skating

Kitsilano: A neighborhood of Vancouver sometimes called Kits bordered by Alma St (west), 16th Street (south) and Burrard St (east). Buses running through Kits include the 4-Downtown, 84-VCC Clark Station, 44-Downtown, 99-B-Line, 9-Broadway, 14-Hastings, 22-Knight, 2-Burrard Stn.

Kits Explore Locations

Spanish Banks BeachA series of sandy beaches located along the shores of English Beach. Directions: take the C-19 to the Spanish Banks Loop stop on weekends. On weekdays take the 4-Downtown to Tolmie stop and walk north downhill to the beach.

Jericho BeachA sandy beach located west of Kits, a park and a pond surround it. Directions: take the 4-Downtown or 84-VCC Clark to 4100 Block and cross to the North side of the road.

West 4thThis shopping district contains 240 unique businesses located along West 4th. There are also many restaurants and shops are open late Thursday and Friday nights. The primary area of West 4th is from Balsam to Burrard St. Take the 4-Downtown, 84-VCC Clark, or 44-Downtown to Vine Street or Burrard Street.

Kits BeachOne of the most popular beaches in Vancouver, it is also home to a salt-water swimming pool. Directions: take the 84-VCC Clark or the 99-B-Line to the Macdonald stop and transfer to the 2-Burrard or the 22-Knight to the Yew Str stop.

West BroadwayBetween Alma and Macdonald Street along West Broadway are many bars and restaurants. These are easily accessed by the 14-Hastings and the 99-B-Line.

Vanier Park- In Vanier Park you’ll find the Maritime Museum, Museum of Vancouver and the H.R. MacMillian Space Center. You can get to Vanier Park by taking the 84-VCC Clark or 99-B-Line to Macdonald stop and transferring to the 2-Burrard Stn or 22-Knight to the Cypress stop, walk north till you reach Vanier Park.

Hours & rates for the museums are as follows:

Museum of Vancouver: 10am-5pm Tues-Sun, $10 with student id

H.R. MacMillian Space Center10am-3pm Weekdays and 10am-5pm Weekends, Daytime: $18 and Evening: $13

Maritime Museum10am-5pm Tues-Sun, $8.50 with student card

Granville IslandIs a peninsular which contains a shopping and culture district; in particular a public market with daily produce and unique vendors. It is across False Creek from Downtown Vancouver and you can catch an Aquabus or False Creek Ferries to Yaletown, Olympic Village, and Science World from the Island. To get there by bus: take the 4-Dowtown or the 84-VC Clark, get off at Fir Street stop and walk onto the island through the pedestrian access approx. 25 mins.

The Public Market is free and is open from 9am-7pm daily.

East Vancouver: East Van Explore Locations

Science World at Telus World of Science- A science center dedicated to educating British Columbians about science and technology. It has standing exhibits and rotating special exhibits.  To get here take the 84-VCC-Clark to Ontario Street stop and walk north on Quebec Street. 10am-5pm Tues-Fri, 10am-6pm Weekends & Holidays. Admission $18.50 with student id.  

ChinatownOne of North America’s largest Chinatowns, this is a great place to sample Chinese delicacies, admire beautiful heritage building and get a feel for what life was like for early Chinese pioneers. Chinatown is mostly located between Pender St and Hastings and Georgia and Taylor. Main St, Pender St. and Keefer St. are the principal areas of activity.  To get here, take the 99-B-Line to Commercial-Broadway stop, board the Expo or Millennium Skytrain headed for Waterfront and get off at the Stadium-Chinatown stop, or take the 14-Hastings to Carrall Street. approx 45 mins.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden- Designed and built by Chinese artisans and craftsman with traditional techniques, these gardens are beautiful to stroll through, rain or shine. Winter Hours: 10:00am-4:30pm, $9 with student id.  To get here use the directions for Chinatown and walk to 578 Carrall Street (corner of Carrall and Keefer). 

Main Street- One of Vancouver’s most vibrant and eclectic shopping districts. Shops on Main range from 2nd all the way to 32nd Ave, which takes approximately 37 minutes to walk. To get there take the 99-B-Line to Main Street at Main & Broadway (9th), or take the 84-VCC-Clark to Main Street at Main & 2nd, or take the 25-King Edward to Main Street at Main & King Edward (25th).

Commercial DriveIs a unique neighborhood and shopping district in Vancouver. It extends 21 blocks from Venables in the north to 13th Ave in the South and is over a mile long. It frequently hosts unique street festivals and events. The best way to get there is to take the 99-B-Line to Commercial.

Playland at the Pacific National Exhibit- Famous for it’s large 1958 wooden roller-caster, Playland is Vancouver’s only amusement park. Playland is also known for Fright Nights around Halloween where the park turns into a large horror house. $32.50 for a one-day pass Playland is open primarily during the summer and usually opens early May.  To get there take the 14-Hastings all the way to Renfrew St.  approximately 1 hr.

Downtown Vancouver:

Downtown Explore Locations

Robson Square- The central square in downtown Robson Square contains the Vancouver Art Gallery and Robson Square Ice Skating. The Art Gallery costs $10 with student id and is open from 10am to 5pm and Tuesdays till 9pm. On Tuesdays from 5-9pm entrance is by donation. Robson Square Ice Skating is open through Feb 28th. Ice Skating is free and outdoors and skate rentals is $4 and is open 9am -9pm Sunday through Thursday and 9am-10pm Friday and Saturday. To get to Robson Square take the 4-Downtown or 14-Hastings to the Georgia Street stop and walk one block back toward Robson & Granville and follow Robson Street to Robson & Howe or Hornby. Open only until Feb 28th.

Sunset Beach and English BayLocated in the West End these are beautiful, sandy, west facing beaches that are very popular in the summer. To get there take the 4-Downtown or 14-Hastings to Davie Street. From there you can walk northwest along the sea wall to the beaches or take the C23-Davie to Bidwell Street.

YaletownIs a trendy, upscale, renovated warehouse district known for shopping and restaurants. Yaletown extends from Pacific Street in the southwest to Richards Street in the northwest to Robson in the northeast and False Creek in the southeast. To get there take the 4-Downtown or 14-Hastings to Davie Street and walk south toward the Yaletown area.

BC Place– is a multi-purpose stadium situated on False Creek. It’s easily recognized from its distinct roof. It is the home of the BC Lions (CFL) and Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS).  It also contains the BC Hall of Fame. To get there take the 4-Downtown or 14-Hastings to Smithe Street stop and walk southeast toward BC Place.

Rogers ArenaHome to the Vancouver Canucks, Rogers Arena also has many concerts and events. To get there take the 99-B-Line to Commercial Drive and transfer to the Waterfront Bound Skytrain to the Stadium-Chinatown Station.

Gastown Is Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood and is home to many art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and gift shops. In Gastown you’ll find the famous Steam Clock (a steam operated clock that chimes every 15 minutes and is one of the most photographed things in Vancouver) as well as Blood Alley (one of the most haunted sites in Vancouver) and the Statue of Gassy Jack (a riverboat captain that Gastown is named after). To get there take the 4-Downtown to Homer Street or the 14-Hastings to Pender Street.

Vancouver Lookout Towera 170m-observation town that provides a 360-degree of Vancouver. Here you can request a free tour where guides will point out Vancouver landmarks and give you advice on what to do and see. It is open from 9am to 9pm in the winter and is $10.75 with student id. To get here take the 14-Hastings to the Seymour St stop or the 4-Downtown to the Granville St stop.

Canada Place and the Convention Center- Canada Place was build for the Expo and is shaped like a large ship; it serves as a meeting center and a cruise ship terminal. It also has a new attraction Flyover Canada. The Convention Center was built for the Olympics and on Burrard Landing you’ll find the Olympic torch, the Lego whale and the start of the Seawall. To get here take the 14-Hastings to Pender Street or the 4-Downtown to Hastings St.

Stanley Park Is a large park north of the downtown core. Around the outside you’ll find the Seawall which runs from Canada Place all the way around the park, down the west end and around False Creek (22km total length). You can walk, ride your bike and rollerblade on the seawall, but for biking and rollerblading make sure you go in a counter-clockwise direction around the park.  Along the seawall, you’ll see the Totem Poles, these come from all around BC and are one of the most photographed things in Vancouver. To get to the park and the aquarium: Take the 14-Hastings to Pender Street and transfer to the 19-Stanley Park which will take you all the way into the park and to the Aquarium.

Vancouver Aquarium Located inside Stanley Park, here you’ll find sea otters, beluga whales, jellyfish, tropical birds, and every sort of fish. The aquarium is open from 10am-5pm and is $18 with a student id.

North Vancouver:

North Vancouver Explore LocationsLonsdale Quayfeatures a fresh food market, international food court and an amazing view of Vancouver from the North Shore. You can get there by Seabus, take the 4-Downtown to Hastings St or the 14-Hastings to Seymour Street then go to the Seabus terminal and take it across the harbour, the Seabus is free with your UPass.

Lynn Canyon Is a park, suspension bridge, and ecology center. It is completely free to use and has many hiking trails and great picnic spots. To get here take the 14-Hastings to Pender Street then transfer and take the 210-Upper Lynn Valley to Phibbs Exchange and transfer to 277-Lynn Valley Center.

Capilano Suspension BridgeOne of the most iconic tourist locations in Vancouver it’s also referred to as  “Cap Bridge”. It features a long suspension bridge, canopy tree walk, and cliff walk. Cap Bridge is located at 3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver. It’s winter hours are 9am-5pm and it is $25.95 with a student id.  To get there take the 14-Hastings to Georgia Street and then transfer to the 246-Highland to Norcross Way or go to Lonsdale Quay via Seabus and take the 236-Grouse Mountain to Capilano.

Grouse MountainKnown in the summer for the grueling Grouse Grind Hike, Grouse has a host of fun things to do all year long. From snowshoeing and skiing in the winter to lumberjack shows and a grizzly bears exhibit in the summer! To get there take the 14-Hastings to Seymour Street and then take the Seabus to Lonsdale Quay then take the 236-Grouse Mountain.

Deep Covea community at the easternmost part of North Vancouver, located at the base of Mt. Seymour. It features ocean sports, parks, trails and quick access to the mountains and is great for kayaking. To get there take the 14-Hastings to Pender Street transfer to the 210-Upper Lynn Valley to Phibbs Exchange then transfer to the 212-Deep Cove.

North Shore Skiing:

Seymourthe easternmost mountain, Seymour is known for its terrain park. They have night skiing in addition to tubing and snowshoeing. Tickets are $53 for a full day adult. To get here take the 14-Hasting to the SeaBus, take the SeaBus to Lonsdale Quay and then take the Seymour Shuttle Bus.

Grousethe most well known mountain, Grouse features spectacular views from the ski trails of Vancouver. Tickets are $58 for a full day adult. To get there take the 14-Hastings to Seymour Street and then take the Seabus to Lonsdale Quay then take the 236-Grouse Mountain.

CypressHome of many of the events of the Olympic games, Cypress also offers much in the way of views, cross country, snowshoeing and tubing. An Adult day pass is $49. To get here Take the 14-Hastings to Seymour Street transfer to the SeaBus to Lonsdale Quay where you can catch the Cypress Mountain Express Bu

Sea to Sky LocationsSea to Sky Region: 

Lighthouse Park- located in West Van, it is one of the most scenic parks on the West Coast, with plenty of hiking trails and picnic spots. To get here take the 4-Downtown to Georgia Street then transfer to the 250-Horseshoe Bay to Beacon Lane approx. 2 hours.

Britannia Beacha stop on the Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99) Britannia Beach as a world famous Mine Museum that is it’s main attraction. To get there you will likely need a car, however you can also take a Greyhound Bus from downtown Vancouver. Approx. 1hr.

Squamish is known as the outdoor recreation capital of Canada.  Most famous for the Stawamus Chief hike (also called The Chief). This is a great stop on the way to Whistler. To get here you’ll need a car to take the Greyhound Bus. Approx 1 hr 15 mins. 

Whistler is the resort town where the ski area Whistler Blackcomb is located, one of the most famous ski areas in the world. Whistler offers a host of activities from snowshoeing, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, tubing and the Scandinave Spa.  It is definitely worth staying a few days in Whistler to truly experience all there is to offer. To get there you’ll need a car or take a Greyhound Bus. Approx 2 hrs by car.

Screen shot 2014-01-29 at 3.03.15 PMVancouver Island: 

Tofinoa small community on the west side of Vancouver Island. Tofino is known for it’s surfing and storm watching. To get here you’ll likely need a car, or without one you can take the 14-Hastings to Georgia Street transfer to the 257- Express Horseshoe Bay. Take a BC Ferry to Nanaimo and then take the Island Express Tofino Bus. 

Sunshine Coast:

Bowen Islandis a small gulf island 20 minute ferry ride from Vancouver. Known for its art community and hiking it also has one of the best hot chocolate cafes. To get here take the 14-Hastings to Georgia Street and transfer to the 257-Express Horseshoe Bay. The take a BC Ferry to Bowen, the ferries to Bowen run every hour.  BC Ferry tickets can be purchased at the ferry terminal but on Bowen you can use your UPass for transportation.

Sunshine Coastthe sunshine coast in known for its beautiful nature, hiking, and outdoor activities. There are several cities including Powell River, Sechelt and Gibsons. To get there take the 14-Hastings to Georgia Street and transfer to the 257- Express Horseshoe Bay. Then take a BC Ferry to the Sunshine Coast. Ferries are less regular so plan your trip in advance.

Gulf Islands:

Salt Spring Island there are many Gulf Islands, but the largest and most popular to visit is Salt Spring Island. To get there, and to all the other gulf islands, take the 99-B-Line to Cambie Street and then take the Canada Line to YVR. Get off at Bridgeport Station and go to the Bus terminal downstairs where you take the 620-Tsaww. Ferry. At the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal you can find BC Ferries to Salt Spring and all of the Gulf Islands.

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Victoria: Victoria is the capital of BC and there are many amazing things to do there that make it worth a weekend trip. To get there: take the 99-B-Line to Cambie Street and then take the Canada Line to YVR. Get off at Bridgeport Station and go to the Bus terminal downstairs where you take the 620-Tsaww. Ferry. At the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal you can take a BC Ferry to Swartz Bay. The ferry trip takes about an hour and a half and once you arrive at Swartz Bay you will take the 70-Downtown/Airport bus into downtown Victoria (get off the ferry fast as this bus fills quickly). Almost all the attractions below are within walking distance from the downtown core (along Government Street), with the exception of Buchart Gardens, so you don’t need a car in Victoria.

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BC Parliamentlocated on the banks of the inner habour, this is where the BC Government passes laws and makes decisions about the province.

Empress HotelThis turn of the century hotel has beautiful architecture and world renown high tea. While I wouldn’t recommend staying there it is a beautiful building to visit. Located inside Victoria’s Inner Harbour (walking distance from downtown.

Royal BC Museum– home to permanent exhibits on First Nations and BC’s natural history and many famous temporary exhibits. Located at 675 Belleville Street in the Inner Harbour. It is $10.25 with a student card and the museum is open 10am – 5pm daily.

Inner Harbour– the hub of activity in Victoria, the inner harbour is home to most of the popular tourism activities, sightseeing attractions, and stores.

Beacon Hill Park– a popular urban park it is located on the southern tip of Victoria (and Vancouver Island) and has amazing views. It is walking distance from the inner harbour, follow Douglas Street or Dallas Road to get there.

Buchart Gardens– located just outside Victoria in Brentwood Bay, these gardens are world-renown, they are open year round and are most known for their collection of roses. Winter hours are 9am-3:30pm and costs $22.85 for an adult. To get there via public transit take the Route 75 bus.

If you have any questions or would like to know more contact the International Peer Advisor Rebecca at rebecca.foley@ubc.ca

For more information about what to do and see around UBC and Vancouver follow the IPA on Facebook!!