How to spend winter in Vancouver

Winter isn’t all about skiing in British Columbia, with an array of other alpine experiences easily accessible from Vancouver, including snowshoeing at Grouse Mountain. And this gorgeous city – regularly voted the world’s most liveable – has a mild climate and rarely any snow. Winter is a perfect time to explore its fascinating neighbourhoods, museums and art galleries, and shop in its fantastic independent boutiques, farmers’ markets, and many other venues.

How to spend winter in Vancouver

This gives you the best of both worlds: a city break and an outdoor adventure in a gorgeous setting between ocean and mountains. We’ve picked out our favourite non-ski winter experiences in and around Vancouver, but most of the following are offered year-round.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

This is Vancouver’s most popular attraction for its combination of natural beauty, history, and family-friendly activities. After crossing the iconic bridge, you can stroll through a rainforest canopy with Treetops Adventure and take a thrilling walk above the canyon with Cliffwalk, a series of narrow walkways and platforms as high as 30 storeys above the Capilano River Canyon. Within the park, the Kia'palano has displays on the lives of British Columbia's First Nations people, including original totem poles. And in winter, Capilano’s Canyon Lights experience brings the rainforest to life with lovely illuminations.

Cycling the seawall on a guided tour

At 28km, Vancouver’s Seaside Greenway is the longest uninterrupted waterfront path in the world. The best bit is the Stanley Park Seawall, which is divided into two sections - one for cyclists and inline skaters, and one for walkers and joggers. Guided tours help you make the most of it; starting in Stanley Park, they take a route that showcases highlights including Stanley Park totem poles, Beaver Lake, the largest old growth maples, and Second Beach.

Harbour air sightseeing tours

Seaplane tours are a great way to see where the city, the water, and the mountains meet. You can choose anything from a 20-minute highlights flight, taking you soaring over quintessential Vancouver landmarks that include Stanley Park, English Bay, the Lions Gate Bridge, and the North Shore Mountains, to a day-long adventure going further afield to Salt Spring Island to see organic vineyards and there's even the opportunity to go whale watching in Victoria.

Vancouver Aquarium

Canada’s first aquarium, open since the 1950s, includes the country’s only dedicated marine mammal facility – a hospital for sick, injured, or orphaned marine mammals. It’s a great place to come to learn about different ocean species and the amazing aquatic life of the region through interactive, hi-tech experiences ranging from touch pools and a wet lab to 4D screenings.

The food scene

Vancouver is earning a reputation as one of the world’s most unique and exciting cities in which to eat out, with an intoxicating multicultural mix of local ingredients with European and Asian influences. Must-dos before your visit include swotting up on the Michelin Guide to the city’s restaurants and booking a table at one of its Michelin-starred eateries to ensure you get to experience the fantastic dishes on offer during your stay.

At the end of January, the Dine Out Vancouver Festival, Canada’s largest annual celebration of food and drink is a very special way to discover the city’s vibrant culinary scene in all its diversity. Canada’s biggest annual food and drink festival, it brings together more than 300 restaurants offering multi-course fixed-price menus, food-focused events, and culinary experiences.

Before you travel, make sure you have applied for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA). The process is pretty quick and most applications are actioned within 24 hours. But to avoid unnecessary stress, it’s best to apply in plenty of time before your departure date.

To book your winter holiday in Vancouver, call your Travel Counsellor today.

A tropical getaway to Barbados

26 February 2024

A blissful tropical climate softened by Atlantic trade winds, pinkish-white, sugar-soft beaches, fabulous scuba diving, and laid-back catamaran cruises… These are just some of the fabulous experiences to be savoured in one of the Caribbean’s most popular and welcoming destinations - Barbados.

Every luxury included with Regent Seven Seas Cruises

26 February 2024

For over thirty years, Regent Seven Seas has been synonymous with luxury cruising, consistently wowing us with its "Every Luxury Included" ethos. This prestigious cruise line dazzles with unrivalled experiences that go beyond the ordinary, from its exemplary service and gourmet dining to its extraordinary onboard facilities. We’ve highlighted several breathtaking voyages from Regent's current portfolio, each offering amazing adventures at sea with savings of up to 50%!

Luxury cuisine and travel with Emirates

26 February 2024

From champagne and caviar to showering in a luxurious nose-cone spa suite, Emirates is an unparalleled way to traverse the globe, with flights from seven UK airports to thrilling global destinations, including the Middle East and the Maldives.