Vancouver: Introduction

A multicultural metropolis with snowcapped crags, city-hugging beaches and waterfront forests

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Vancouver is a relaxed and modern city consistently rated as one of the most liveable cities in the world. It’s easy to see why: beaches, mountains, forests and a truly diverse and buzzing city are all part of Vancouver’s package.

Although it’s easy to drive out of Vancouver itself and take in the views, skiing and hiking trails of nearby Grouse Mountain, the city itself is home to Stanley Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America. The beautiful English Bay beach is also part of the Downtown area, so those wishing to relax and commune with nature are well served even within the heart of the city.

However, if your tastes are more Puccini than picnic don’t despair – Vancouver offers visitors a fine range of arts events and venues (although the city’s annual Bard on the Beach open-air Shakepeare festival combines the best of both worlds).

Even a simple stroll through the different neighbourhoods can provide ample entertainment: the artisanal charm of Granville Island, the humming Chinatown, the sophistacated shops and restaurants of the Downtown area are just some of the areas to wander through and explore.

If it all gets too much for you, then do as they do in Vancouver: take it easy with a coffee and a bento box. Vancouver is renowned for its sushi and its coffee, although don’t worry if neither of these takes your fancy. Vancouver has a wide range of restaurants, bars and cafes to suit every taste and pocket.