Where to Stay in Vancouver First Time: 14 Best Areas & Neighborhoods

In this post, I will help you to find where to stay in Vancouver first time, the best areas to stay in Vancouver(with a map and video), best hotels Vancouver for all budgets (including the hotel where I stayed), and the safest places.

Vancouver is situated in the southwestern corner of British Columbia, Canada. It is known for its stunning natural beauty, surrounded by mountains, forests, and the Pacific Ocean.

The city attracts numerous tourists due to its picturesque scenery, outdoor activities, and cultural offerings. Popular attractions include Stanley Park, Granville Island (known for its market and arts scene), the Vancouver Aquarium, Science World, and various museums and art galleries.

Vancouver has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, SkyTrain (a rapid transit system), and the SeaBus (a passenger ferry service). The city is also known for promoting cycling as a means of transportation, with many bike lanes and cycling-friendly policies.

Where to stay in Vancouver first time?

The best areas to stay in Vancouver for first-timers and tourists are Downtown, Yaletown, West End, Coal Harbour, Gastown, Chinatown. These are popular and safe places that offer a wide range of attractions and amenities.

Downtown is the overall best area to stay in Vancouver for first-time visitors due to its central location and proximity to major attractions. If you stay here, you will be located in the heart of the city, within easy access to many sights, retaurants, bars, and shops.

Some of the best neighborhoods in Vancouver for families are Downtown Vancouver, Coal Harbour, Yaletown, West End, Kitsilano (Kits), and North Vancouver. These areas offer a wide range of family-friendly accommodations and activities for children of all ages.

Coal Harbour and the Waterfront area are some of the best places to stay in Vancouver for couples. They can enjoy leisurely strolls along the seawall, dine at waterfront restaurants, and stay in a waterfront hotel with scenic views.

Vancouver is generall a safe city to visit. The city consistently ranks among the safest cities in North America. But as in any big city, you should aware of pickpockeing or scams, stick into well-known districts, and avoid poorly-lit or isolated areas at night,

Downtown and West End are some of the safest places in Vancouver for tourists because it is very busy with tourists and locals for most hours of the day.

Where did I stay in Vancouver?

When I first visited Vancouver, I stayed for 3 nights at the EXchange Hotel Vancouver. It has a prime location, great base to explore the city ,close by to the Waterfront, Gas district, Yaletown, and Stanley Park. I had a comfortable bed, a modern room with heated floors in the bathroom. My breakfast was excellent.

💖 Best Area for first-timers:Downtown
💎 Best luxury hotel:Hyatt Regency Vancouver
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Coast Coal Harbour Vancouver Hotel by APA
💰 Best budget hotel:Victorian Hotel

Below is the Map of areas and neighborhoods in Vancouver. You can scroll down to view the interactive map:

Where to Stay in Vancouver Map of Best Areas & Neighborhoods
Map of Best Areas & Neighborhoods

How to get around Vancouver without a car?

Getting to Vancouver is easy by air, train, and bus. Vancouver International Airport is located 12 km from downtown Vancouver. From the airport, you can take a taxi, Lyft, Uber, Canada Line rail system, or rent a car to reach your destination.

You can consider taking Amtrak Cascades, which runs between Seattle and Vancouver, offering a scenic journey. The terminus for VIA Rail and Amtrak trains is Pacific Central Station, located at Main and Terminal streets, east downtown.

Getting around Vancouver is also easy, on foot, Mobi by Shaw Go bike-sharing system, and public transportation. The TransLink system is extensive and covers most areas of the city, including buses, SkyTrain (light rail), SeaBus (ferry service), and West Coast Express (commuter train).

To use public transit, you’ll need a Compass Card. Ticket prices are very reasonable, and if you plan to do a lot of exploring, you should purchase one of the special tickets that allow unlimited travel on the network for the whole day.

Finally, Vancouver is a walkable city, especially in the downtown area and many neighborhoods. Walking is a great way to explore the city’s vibrant streets and beautiful parks.

Downtown, Gastown, Chinatown are the best places to stay in Vancouver without a car due to their central location, proximity to major sights, and excellent connections to transportation. You can easily explore on foot and by public transport without the need of having a car.

Best areas to stay in Vancouver for first-timer and tourists are:

1. Downtown Vancouver

Where to stay in Vancouver first time - Downtown

Downtown is the best overall place to stay in Vancouver for first-timers due to its central location, wide range of tourist attractions and amenities such as hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops. Staying here allows you to be located in the middle of everything!

Vancouver’s downtown area encompasses a network of streets running from False Creek up to Vancouver Harbour. Neighborhoods in Downtown are Waterfront, Coal Harbour, Yaletown, Gastown, Chinatown, Granville Entertainment District, English Bay, West End, and Davie Village.

Downtown is generally a safe area for tourists, especially the touristy areas such as Gastown, Yaletown, Davie Village, and Stanley Park. You should avoid the Downtown East Side because it has high crime rates.

Downtown is the home of the city’s financial district, so it’s convenient if you’re visiting on business. Also, this area is packed with shops and the streets around Granville mall are a shopper’s dream. 

Downtown is also home to many restaurants reflecting the city’s multicultural roots. So whether you want eastern delights at Thai House, Italian classics at Italian kitchen, or for that matter food from any nation you can think of, you’re sure to find it here.

Many of Vancouver’s cultural attractions are located in the downtown area. The Vancouver Art Gallery and the Bill Reid Gallery Of Northwest Coast Art have impressive collections including the celebrated jewelry of Bill Reid himself.

On the main road Georgia Street, you will find the Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver Public Library, and the Hotel Vancouver. Robson Street is a popular street for many interesting shops.

Culture lovers should check out the listings at the Vancouver Opera and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra cultured entertainment at surprisingly reasonable prices.

Other highlight attractions such as open public space at the corner of Robson and Howe, Robson Square, and an iconic national landmark on the Burrard Inlet waterfront, Canada Place.

Canada Place is home to the Port Metro Vancouver cruise ship terminal, FlyOver Canada, Vancouver Convention Centre East, Pan Pacific Hotel, VINCI Park parkade, and World Trade Centre office tower. The Palace host number of events like Canada Day and National Aboriginal Day.

Downtown offers easy access to Stanley Parkn, the most famous attraction of Vancouver. If you’re not a runner, jogger, rollerblader, or the like, then you can still visit and jump on the free bus service that visits all the significant points of interest in the park. 

Downtown is one of the best places to stay in Vancouver without a car due to its excellent public transportation. It has ferry services around Vancouver Harbour at the SeaBus terminal, as well as several SkyTrain stations and bus services connect downtown with the rest of the city.

Stay in Downtown If you’re a first time visitors, families, couples seeking central location; you don’t plan to hire a car and want excellent transport links; you want to be close to the main attractions; you’re on business, you want great nightlife.

Best places to stay in Vancouver Downtown for first-timers:

luxury ($$$): Hyatt Regency Vancouver, 5-star hotel, great base for first-time visitors, families, and couples, as it is located in the heart of Vancouver, within walking distance from major attractions such as the Pacific Centre Mall, Stanley Park, and Vancouver Aquarium.

mid-range ($$$): Coast Coal Harbour Vancouver Hotel by APA, 4-star hotel, one of the best places to stay in Vancouver for couples, located in Coal Harbour District, offering views of the North Shore Mountains. close to Robson Street and Vancouver Convention Centre.

budget ($$$): Victorian Hotel, 3-star historic hotel, one of the best places to stay in Vancouver on a budget, located in Gastown district. Within walking distance from Granville Skytrain station and Robson Street shopping district.


2. Yaletown

Where to stay in Vancouver first time - Yaletown

Yaletown along with many neighborhoods in Downtown is the best area to stay in Vanouver without a car because it has a super central location. You can easily explore the neighborhood by foot, bike, or public transit.

Yaletown is a safe and nice neighborhood in Vancouver that is well secured and heavily patrolled. Bordering Homer Street, Robson Street and False Creek, it is one of the most modern and trendy districts of central Vancouver.

This old waterfront community used to be full of dilapidated warehouses and open space. All that changed as urban reclamation projects rejuvenated this part of town with upmarket hotels, big green spaces, high-end shopping, trendy dining centers, and restaurants, plenty of galleries, and renovated warehouses.

In the heart of Yaletown on Hamilton and Mainland Streets, you will find plenty of bars and restaurants. Yaletown is situated on the southern shore of False Creek and looks across the water to the tower blocks of downtown Vancouver. It’s one of the most attractive views of the city.

But despite being across the water, this District is well connected with the city center by the SkyTrain service. There are four SkyTrain stations here that can conveniently take you all around Vancouver. Also, Creek ferries operate a local ferry service.

There are a few things to see in this area including:

  • the Olympic village, the home of the competitors in the 2010 winter Olympics.
  • the Science World, a museum full of kid-friendly activities related to the sciences.
  • The waterfront footpath Vancouver Seawall, great for pedestrians and cyclists.

Yaletown is home to several green spaces and parks such as David Lam Park, George Wainborn Park, and Yaletown Park. It is a great place to relax and hang out with friends and families.

Other places of interest are the Terry Fox Statue, Science World, Yaletown Brewing Company, Yaletown’s Engine 374 Pavilion, Rodney’s Oyster House, Vancouver Flea Market, and Jennifer Kostuik Gallery.

The shopping in Yaletown reflects the wealthy young and upwardly mobile residents. You can find stores selling expensive designer wear and pricey home furnishings and decor items.

If you love sport, you should know that Yaletown is home to Vancouver Whitecaps soccer games, BC Place Stadium, Rogers Arena – the home of the Vancouver Canucks hockey team.

Yaletown has a couple of hostels but doesn’t specialize in catering to budget travelers, and other parts of the city are better equipped if funds are tight. But the district has some excellent mid-range and more expensive hotels.

These are prestigious modern hotels that provide chic and sophisticated accommodation to discerning travelers. Many hotels offer on-site restaurants and bars, swimming pools, a gym, free wifi, and spacious and stylish guestrooms.

Stay in Yaletown if you want upscale nightlife, you want to stay close to Granville Island, you want a luxury holiday in Vancouver with classy boutique hotels; you don’t plan to hire a car;

Best places to stay in Vancouver in Yaletown for first-timers:

luxury ($$$): Opus Hotel, 5-star hotel, one of the best hotels in Vancouver, featuring rooms for couples and families with kids. Located in the Yaletown, a few steps from Yaletown-Roundhouse Canada Line Station. It has a Tesla Charging Station and free valet parking for green cars.

mid-range ($$): Hotel BLU, 4-star family-friendly hotel, Situated in the real heart of Vancouver. It is within easy walking distance from BC Place and Yaletown-Roundhouse SkyTrain station.

budget ($): Rosedale on Robson Suite Hotel, great 3-star hotel, one of the best places to stay in Vancouver on a budget, featuring family rooms, located within 5-minute walk from BC Place Stadium.


3. West End

Where to stay in Vancouver first time - West End

West End along with Downtown is one of the safest neighborhoods in Vancouver. Vancouver’s West End is a thriving central city area with the distinction of being right next door to the fabulous Stanley Park. This neighborhood is quiet and peaceful with big green spaces and a sandy beach.

Stanley Park occupies over 1,000 acres of wilderness at the tip of the peninsula on which most of Vancouver is situated. It’s an incredible urban park that gives Vancouver a lot of its open feel. After you visit Stanley Park, you’ll wish that every city had somewhere like this.

Stanley Park is covered with footpaths, cycle routes, and trails. The Seawall is the name for the perimeter path that circuits the park offering fabulous waterfront views. The Lost Lagoon at the southern entrance to Stanley Park is a great walk to see wildlife.

If you’re traveling with family, your kids will love the miniature railway, and the Vancouver Aquarium on the eastern fringes of the park has a fabulous collection of marine ecology.

Stanley Park has some excellent beaches too over on the western side, but if you want to swim, then I recommend you hop in the heated outdoor swimming pool at English Bay BeachSecond Beach rather than braving the frigid waters of the sea. Sunset Beach is also nearby.

So that was Stanley Park but what about the West end neighborhood next door? Well, it’s a fabulously lively area that has some of the city’s most exciting shopping around the Robson Street area. The West End is packed with great restaurants and cafes featuring many world cuisines and fusion food.

Between Burrard and Jervi, the Davie Street area is the heart of Vancouver’s LGBT community and is the location of Vancouver’s August Gay Pride Parade and festival, a hugely popular and entertaining event. Denman Street and Davie Street offer great selections of cafes, restaurants, and bars.

Vancouver’s West End has plenty of accommodation at slightly lower rates than Downtown. Budget travelers will find several hostels with dorm beds, but much of the accommodation here is in mid-range hotels. You can find 3-star, 4-star hotels with beachfront restaurants, an on-site fitness center, free wifi, and breakfast included.

But don’t forget to explore the possibilities for apartment rentals, which can be quite economical if you’re traveling as a group or with family.

Stay in West End and English Bay if you’re traveling with family, you want to be close to the nature and beaches of Stanley Park, you want great dining and nightlife; you want to stay in a safe area.

Best places to stay in West End for first-time visitors:

luxury ($$$): The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver, 5-star hotel, located within walking distance from Vancouver Convention Center. It has Spa and wellness centre, parking for car, and rooms for families and couples of all ages.

mid-range ($$): The Listel Hotel Vancouver, great 4-star hotel, located 10 minutes’ walk from Stanley Park. It has on-site restaurant, serving daily Breakfast and weekend brunch with a variety of British Columbia dinner specialties.

budget ($): Times Square Suites, 3-star popular family-friendly hotel, located in in Vancouver’s West End, just 3 minutes from Stanley Park. It has fully furnished suites with equipped kitchens.


4. Coal Harbour and Waterfront

Where to stay in Vancouver first time - Coal Harbour

One of the quietest areas in Vancouver, Coal Harbour is part of downtown Vancouver, a district that occupies the North shore of Vancouver’s peninsula. It is situated to the north of the city’s West End and next to the top part of Stanley Park. It’s conveniently placed for transport since the city’s Waterfront area with its ferry terminals is just to the east. 

Coal Harbour is one of the best places in Vancouver to stay if you’re looking for a quiet area with a top-class hotel. This part of town has several prestigious international chain hotels that occupy gleaming towers overlooking the fabulous waterfront with views across Dead Man’s Island and Stanley Park.

Coal Harbour is the home of Vancouver’s cruise ship terminal, so it’s a convenient place to stay if you’re exploring the city before or after a cruise.

Attractions in this neighborhood are Canada Place, the Jack Poole Plaza, the Vancouver Convention Center, Harbour Green Park, the Marine Building, Seaplane Terminal, and Stanley Park with its Vancouver Aquarium and the Sea Wall.

Vancouver’s Waterfront area is on the northern side of Downtown. This is one of the most convenient parts of the city for transport, especially if you plan to get around by ferry since the Central Ferry Terminal is here. Waterfront is a good place if you want to explore Vancouver’s North Shore.

Waterfront Station is the center of land-based transport in this part of Vancouver, and it is the nexus of two SkyTrain lines and the West Coast Express rail line. The station is an imposing red brick building that dates back to 1914.

Coal Harbour is a prestigious and well-heeled area and home to wealthy urban-dwelling city residents. The hotels here are pretty expensive, and so are the restaurants and bars in this area, particularly the ones with waterfront locations where you’ll pay a premium for the view.

But if you want to have somewhere a little more affordable then the eclectic shops and restaurants of the West End aren’t far away to the Southwest.

Stay in Coal Harbour and Waterfront if you are a business traveler who wants a ritzy 5-star hotel with a great view of Coal Harbour, you’re families with kids or older travelers who want quiet nightlife, you’re not traveling on a budget, you’re taking a cruise ship.

Best places to stay in Coal Harbour for first-time tourists:

luxury ($$$): Pan Pacific Vancouver Hotel, 5-star hotel, one of the best places to stay in Vancouver for couples, located on Vancouver’s waterfront next to the Canada Place cruise ship terminal and short walk from Waterfront Station skytrain.

mid-range ($$): Coast Coal Harbour Vancouver Hotel by APA, 4-star hotel, featuring a rooftop deck with a swimming pool and hot tub and offers views of the North Shore Mountains.

budget ($): The Westin Bayshore, great waterfront resort-style accommodation offers access to the Vancouver Seawall and iconic Stanley Park. Great base for families and couples, both young and old.


5. Gastown

Where to stay in Vancouver

If you want to stay in a part of Vancouver full of old-world character and charm, then look no further than Gastown. This city district has some of Vancouver’s oldest architecture and you’ll even find some cobbled streets and low-rise brick buildings here. It is the oldest and best-preserved neighborhood in Vancouver.

But that doesn’t mean that it is an old-fashioned place, quite the contrary. In recent times Gastown has been reinvigorated by a young and cool crowd, tourist-friendly area and you’ll find an impressively vibrant community here.

Gastown has enjoyable shopping, particularly if you like curios, antiques, and little art galleries. The chain stores are in other parts of the city, but here is where you’ll find unique and interesting items, especially if you have the budget for it.

Gastown has decent accommodation for most budgets and types of travelers. There are hostels that cater to budget and independent travelers and some excellent boutique mid-to-upper range hotels too. Gastown is also an excellent place to look for apartment rentals if you don’t need hotel comforts and instead prefer more freedom and space.

Gastown is a central Vancouver suburb located just east of the Waterfront District. Most of the central city’s sights are within a reasonable walking distance, or a short SkyTrain or bus ride. Vancouver’s Chinatown is just to the south with its wealth of dining options and vibrant culture. 

Gastown has excellent dining and nightlife since it has one of the most popular night scenes in the city with a profusion of hip restaurants, cool bars, and happening nightclubs.

Other things to do in Gastown include checking out Vancouver Look Out, Steam Clock – an iconic landmark in Gastown, the Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery, Vancouver Police Museum, Forbidden Vancouver, “Gassy” Jack’s statue, or checking out some restaurants and pubs such as the Lamplighter Public House,  the Water Street Café,  L’Abattoir Restaurant, and Diamond.

If you’re staying in Gastown, you should remember that it is a revitalized city center neighborhood that still has some rundown and seedy spots. Just keep your city street smarts about you, and you will be okay.

Stay in Gastown if For great nightlife; For attractive old buildings; You want a hip and happening district; You want good accommodation for all budgets.

Best places to stay near Gastown for first-timers:

  • luxury ($$$): Rosewood Hotel Georgia, 5-star hotel, located across the street from the Vancouver Art Gallery, short walk from the Robson Street Shopping District.
  • mid-range ($$): Skwachàys Lodge, 3-star family-friendly hotel that has Aboriginal themed, within walking distance from Stadium-Chinatown Skytrain station and Chinatown.
  • budget ($): Victorian Hotel, 3-star kid-friendly hotel, located easy walk from The Granville Skytrain station and the Robson Street shopping district.

6. Chinatown

Vancouver’s large Chinatown District is the center for one of the largest Chinese and Asian communities in North America and a National Historic Site. It’s a bright, bold, in-your-face part of the city that is lots of fun and has something to see on every corner. 

As you’d expect, you’ll find fabulous Chinese restaurants here, as well as foods from many other parts of the world. There are some pretty Chinese temples, and the Chinatown Night Market on Keefer Street is a fascinating place to explore in the summer months.

Chinatown has some great bars in addition to all of its restaurants. Many places here are microbreweries, so it’s an excellent place to sample delicious homemade beers. Many bars open until the small hours and double up as nightclubs, playing music as diverse as country and hip hop.

The lively district of Gastown borders Chinatown to the north and there are lots going on here too, so this part of central Vancouver is one of the best places to stay for the nightlife.

Chinatown has some excellent hostels catering to backpackers and independent travelers, so if you’re a budget traveler, it’s one of the best places to stay in Vancouver. 

As with Gastown, you need to remember that Chinatown is a central urban neighborhood with issues with prostitution, drug use, and the like. If you’re staying here, especially on the eastern side of the district, then be aware of this. As long as you’re comfortable with inner-city environments, then you’ll be fine.

Chinatown doesn’t have much in the way of green spaces since it’s such a central district, but the exception is Andy Livingston Park on the south side.  Don’t miss out on Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and the Sam Kee Building.

Being so central Chinatown has excellent transport links and is well-connected with the rest of the city. The Stadium: Chinatown SkyTrain station is the quickest way to get into the downtown area of Vancouver.

Stay in Chinatown if you love Chinese food, you’re visiting Vancouver for the Chinese new year, you’re couples and friends who want a lively night scene, you want to the vibrant central city area, you’re traveling on a budget.

Best places to stay near Chinatown:


8. Kitsilano

Where to Stay in Vancouver - Kitsilano

Also known as Kits by locals, Kitsilano is a large suburban district of Vancouver located to the southwest of downtown across False Creek’s waters. Highlight attractions are the Vanier Park home to Vancouver Museum and Planetarium, and Kits Beach & Kits Pool.

It’s an attractive suburb with a pretty beach at Vanier Park. There are some exciting things to see in this lovely waterfront park including the Museum Of Vancouver, the Vancouver Maritime Museum, and the HR MacMillan Space Center And Planetarium.

The Museum of Vancouver is the city’s biggest museum. It has an enormous collection of exhibits that documents the history of the city from its ancient roots through to the present day. It’s an excellent place to take the children since many of the exhibits are designed with youngsters in mind.

Vancouver’s Maritime Museum is another popular visitor attraction, with an extensive collection of displays documenting Canadian maritime history.

The HR Macmillan Space Center And Planetarium is a perfect destination for anyone, especially children, interested in space, stars and the great beyond.

These museums aren’t the only cultural attractions of Kitsilano since the area has long been a hotbed of artistic and musical creativity. Ever since the late 60s, this part of town has been home to Vancouver’s musical and alternative community.

These days it’s a great place to see live bands, and especially in the summer months, there are lots of different music and art festivals so make sure you check the calendar before you travel to see what events you can take in while you’re here.

Kitsilano has excellent dining that ranges from multicultural street food to classy and pricey restaurants like Tojo’s Japanese delights or the award-winning West.

Kits Beach is one of the popular beaches in Vancouver and is situated on Cornwall Ave at the north end of Yew St. The outdoor saltwater swimming pool Kits Pool is open from May to September. Every summer, the famous Shakespeare festival takes place outdoors in Kitsilano Beach.

Be sure to check out the Boathouse Restaurant which specialties in seafood and wine from British Columbia.

Kitsilano doesn’t have a huge range of accommodation although there are some good Bed and Breakfast and a few hostels. One of the best ideas for staying in this area is renting a private apartment. Whatever you choose, you’ll find that most places are in the budget or mid-range categories.

Stay in Kitsilano if you want an attractive waterfront suburb, you’re traveling with family, you want an out-of-town suburb with good transport links to the city.


9. Commercial Drive

If you like cities, but the cut and thrust of downtown isn’t for you, then you should consider staying in the charming Commercial Drive neighborhood. The name is actually a bit of a misnomer since Commercial Drive is pretty much the opposite of commercial, being a primarily residential district of Vancouver.

Commercial Drive is one of the cheapest areas of Vancouver to stay, so if you’re traveling on a budget, it’s a great choice. The low-key atmosphere and lower rent of this area have made it popular with local artists and it’s now one of the centers of Vancouver’s arty, party crowd. 

Perhaps the biggest appeal of Commerical Drive is the sheer mixture of cultures and people you’ll encounter here. There are restaurants and cafes representing the cuisines of most of Vancouver’s immigrant communities.

Commercial Drive is a fabulous place to enjoy economical and delicious international foods ranging from Japanese, Mexican,  and Vietnamese to the Middle East and North Africa. It’s a cultural melting pot without the grimy feel of some of the inner city suburbs.

Commercial Drive is on the eastern side of Vancouver and is a few kilometers out of the city center. Having said that, the excellent SkyTrain service has several stations serving the district and it can be reached easily from Main Street. They’re also several bus routes connecting Commerical Drive with the other areas of the city.

Commercial Drive is home to the city’s “Yeast Van” Brewery District. There are many breweries here, so if you’re a beer fan, you can arrange tours to explore them on a beer crawl. The Cultch theatre on Venables Street and the Rio Theatre on the intersection of Broadway and Commercial are also worth a visit!

Best places to stay near Commercial Drive:


10. Mount Pleasant and Main Street

Best areas to stay in Vancouver  - Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant is an attractive and suburban district on the south side of Vancouver heading out from the city into the suburbs. Main Street is the main street in Mount Pleasant. It’s the most hipster neighborhood in Vancouver with plenty of lovely restaurants, cafes, boutique shops, and art galleries.

If your idea of a great place to stay is a neighborhood that used to be run down but is well on the way to redevelopment and is home to a hip and a happening social scene, then you’ll love Mount Pleasant. The area is full of local-friendly bars, restaurants, and cafes.

Mount Pleasant doesn’t offer much in the way of tourist activities or notable architecture, but that’s kind of the appeal. An attractive feature of the neighborhood is Queen Elizabeth Park. This is a large urban hillside park with immaculately landscaped gardens that are a real breath of fresh air. While you’re here, you should visit Bloedel Floral Conservatory, a botanical garden full of tropical plants.

Other places to visit in Mount Pleasant are Earnest Ice Cream, Main Street Brewing, Dude Chilling Park, Boutique Shopping, 33 Acres Brewing, and Brassneck Brewery.

An advantage of staying in mount pleasant is the proximity to Vancouver International Airport, a short drive by car to the south. If you are arriving or leaving by air and want to ensure a trouble-free transfer, then this is an excellent place to stay.

Mount Pleasant has a good mix of accommodation with some larger hotels mainly in the mid-range category and plenty of private apartment and home rentals.

Stay in Mount Pleasant if you want to stay in one of the coolest suburbs of Vancouver, you want a Bohemian atmosphere, you want an affordable multicultural suburb, you don’t mind traveling to the city by bus, train, or ferry, you want to stay close to Vancouver International Airport.

Best places to stay near Mount Pleasant:Cambie LodgeWindsor Guest House


11. Granville Island and Olympic Village

Where to stay in Vancouver - Granville Island Vancouver

This small island is a sandbar below Granville Street Bridge. It was formerly an industrial area with sawmills and factories but since the 1970s, it has been transformed.  The facilities on offer today include bars and restaurants, theatres and galleries, a community center, and a marina. 

The Public Market is a bustling place, selling everything from fresh produce to handicrafts. There are places to eat and watch the activities and because the market is covered, you need not worry about the weather.

A ferry service can take you to the island and back although it is accessible overland.  Some visitors enjoy kayaking around it or using a paddleboat. Your guide will explain the island’s history as you go. 

On the island itself, there is just the expensive Granville Island Hotel but there is affordable accommodation nearby. Whether you take it or not, you should surely visit during your time in Vancouver.

Located in Southeast False Creek, The Olympic village is the home of the competitors in the 2010 winter Olympics. It becomes residential housing after Olympics with many shops, restaurants, and bars, and well-connect public transport with easy access to other parts of the city.

Best places to stay in Granville Island: Granville Island Hotel


12. South Vancouver

Where to stay in Vancouver - South Vancouver

This is a largely residential district without any of Vancouver’s main attractions but that does not mean it does not make a good base. If you want to learn more about local life in Vancouver, this is a place to consider.  It is quiet with plenty of bars and restaurants in its tree-lined streets. You will be mostly mixing with locals if you use them.

The city of Richmond is directly south and offers plenty to see and do, including some very interesting museums such as the Steveston Museum & Visitor Centre, the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, Richmond Museum, and the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site.

If you stay in South Vancouver, you have easy access to the countryside with its walking trails, fauna, lakes, and beaches. 

Other attractions are Steveston Village, River Rock Casino Resort, Richmond Sunflower Festival, London Heritage Farm, International Buddhist Temple. For a shopping experience, you can visit Aberdeen Centre, IKEA, Lansdowne Centre, and Richmond Centre.

There is limited accommodation, but what there is falls into the affordable category. It is primarily B&B and inns, both of which are a good way to meet locals.  You will have to book in advance because of the limited choice so do your research if South Vancouver appeals to you. 

Best places to stay in South Vancouver:


13. North Vancouver

Where to stay in Vancouver - North Vancouver

This waterfront district offers many of the best accommodation choices in Vancouver and fits most budgets. Head further and you are in a rural environment that is surely worth exploring on a day of your time in Vancouver. 

The Grouse Mountain Skyride takes you to the summit of the mountain from where you get spectacular views over the city. With restaurants, shopping, and a theatre here, you can easily spend a whole day here. 

There is a trail of almost 2 miles up the mountain that rises almost 3,000 feet. If you are there during the summer, try it. There are plenty of outdoor activities on the mountain.  If you are a winter visitor, the activities include skiing and snowboarding. 

The Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver is 230 feet above the river and there are trails, a museum, and historical exhibits here. Lonsdale Quay Market with shops and restaurants is a further attraction.

Best places to stay in North Vancouver:


14. Vancouver International Airport

Vancouver International Airport is 15km from the city center of Vancouver, about a 20-minute drive by car. If you have a late arrival or early flight, staying near the airport is a smart choice.

Some of the Best hotels near Vancouver International Airport are:

luxury ($$$): Fairmont Vancouver Airport In-Terminal Hotel, 5-star hotel, one of the best places to stay in Vancouver airport, located inside of Vancouver International Airport, offering on-site dining and an indoor pool, on-site spa, and fitness center. T

luxury ($$$): Versante Hotel, 5-star hotel, located 2km from Vancouver International Airport, offering a 24-hour front desk, FREE airport transfers, a concierge service, and car rental service. The area is popular for hiking and cycling.

budget ($): Holiday Inn Express Vancouver Airport-Richmond, an IHG Hotel, 3-star hotel, one of the best places near airport on a budget, featuring a daily hot breakfast and a FREE airport shuttle to Vancouver International Airport.

Where should I stay in Vancouver for the first time?

Downtown Vancouver is the best area to stay in Vancouver for first-timers due to its central location. If you stay here, you will be located in the heart of the city, within walking distance to the top attractions, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.

What are the best areas to stay in Vancouver?

Downtown, Yaletown, West End, Coal Harbour, and Gastown are some of the best areas to stay in Vancouver for tourists because they are the most popular and safe areas that offer a wide range of attractions and amenities.

Where to stay in Vancouver without a car?

Downtown, Gastown, and Chinatown are some of the best areas to stay in Vancouver without a car. These central locations are walkable and well-connected by buses, SkyTrain rails, and ferries, making them best neighborhoods for car-free travelers in Vancouver.

Where to stay in Vancouver with a car?

You don’t need a car in Vancouver and most hotels in Downtown offer paid parking. If you are looking for a hotel with free car parking in Vancouver, look into Sunset Inn and Suites.

What is the safest area to stay in Vancouver?

Downtown and West End are the safe places to stay in Vancouver for tourists with plenty of things to do and see. It is recommended to always practice common sense as you travel to any big city. 

Where not to stay in Vancouver?

You should avoid Downtown East Side, Whalley in Surrey because they have a high crime rate. You should also always stay alert, and pay attention to your surroundings.

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In conclusion, Downtown, Yaletown, West End, Coal Harbour, Gastown, Chinatown, and Kitsilano are the best places to stay in Vancouver for tourists, families and couples, both young and old. They offers wide range of accommodations for all budget travelers.

Overall, Downtown is the best area to stay in Vancouver for first time due to its prime location and proximity to attractions. Staying here provides easy access to major sights, reaurants, bars, and shops. With its walkablity and well-connected to public transport, Downtown is also the best base for those travel without a car.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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