Where to Stay in Vancouver – Neighborhoods & Area Guide

An amazing juxtaposition between urban glamour and on-your-doorstep wilderness-infused mountains and seascape, Vancouver, a thriving west coast city in British Columbia, Canada, is among the most ethnically diverse cities in the country. Ranked highly among the most livable cities in the world, and with its countless outdoor adventures, stunning beaches, metropolitan sophistication, and its distinctive cuisine, it’s not hard to see why.

Canada’s most densely populated city, Vancouver welcomes more than 9 million visitors annually. That combined with the inhabitants of this beautiful coastal city often makes the traffic conditions quite intense, but thanks to Vancouver’s nearby striking landscapes, walking amongst the lakes, mountains and beaches gives plenty of opportunities to escape.

Let us now explore some of the most prominent neighborhoods in the city so you can plan where to stay in Vancouver when you visit this brilliant, larger-than-life Canadian marvel.

Downtown Vancouver

Downtown Vancouver

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Downtown Vancouver

 

The primary business and entertainment district of Vancouver, Downtown Vancouver is arguably the most important neighborhood in the coastal city. While the neighborhood comprises several sub-neighborhoods, including Yaletown, Chinatown, and Gastown, the City Center is considered as the beating heart of the region. A great base to explore the rest of Vancouver, the Downtown area is dotted with shops, restaurants, art galleries, shopping malls, and several other tourist businesses. The area is also extremely popular for its nightlife scene and culinary delights. Robson Street, the main shopping district of not only the neighborhood but the city of Vancouver itself, is home to some of the most upscale shops in the area. If you are a food lover and have a special inclination towards Japanese cuisines, Downtown’s Japantown area is known to have some of the best Japanese restaurants outside of Japan. If you are here around Canada Day, don’t miss out on the celebration and fireworks which happens here.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Vancouver Public Library, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, BC Place, Rogers Arena, and Cathedral Of Our Lady Of The Holy Rosary.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • L’Hermitage Hotel – Boasting a hot tub, a heated outdoor saltwater pool, and a 24-hour fitness center, the remarkable hotel offers luxurious rooms and suites within a short walk from the beach. Important attractions, such as Rogers Arena and Vancouver Art Gallery, are within walking distance from the property. Suitable for solo travelers and couples.
  • Trump International Hotel & Tower Vancouver – Located within the financial district and near the major dining, shopping, and entertainment area in the city, this opulent hotel features an indoor pool, a full-service spa and wellness center and a nightclub. But, the most amazing feature of this splendid property is its Champagne lounge where guests can relax and enjoy its high-end Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.
  • Auberge Vancouver Hotel – A short walk from the Vancouver Convention Center, Auberge Vancouver Hotel offers spacious, well-appointed rooms with latest amenities an state-of-the-art on-site facilities such as an indoor pool, a sauna, an amazing bar and restaurant, a fully-equipped fitness center, and a Turkish bath. Great for all kinds of travelers.

Chinatown

Chinatown, Vancouver

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Chinatown

The largest of its kind in the country, Vancouver’s Chinatown is a sub-neighborhood of the larger Downtown area and is one of the biggest historic Chinatowns in North America. The neighborhood, with its traditional businesses and new Chinese establishments, is ever changing and ever growing. Needless to mention, this is also the neighborhood where you get some of the best Chinese food in Canada. The neighborhood’s recent accomplishment, the International Village Shopping Center, a 300,000 square feet shopping and entertainment venue, is one of the primary attractions for locals and tourists alike. Ripe with history, Chinatown is an inseparable part of Vancouver’s cultural diversity. Admire the simple yet interesting Chinese lamps adorning the streets in this neighborhood, and if you are here during summer, pay a visit to the night market.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Victory Square, Rennie Museum, Chinatown Heritage Alley, Sam Kee Building, Andy Livingstone Park, and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Georgian Court Hotel, BW Premier Collection – A classy boutique hotel within a 5 minutes’ walking distance from Queen Elizabeth Theatre, this swanky hotel property features wonderfully-designed guestrooms, a well-equipped fitness center, and a steam room. Guests can immerse in a delightful dining and wining experience at the on-site bar and restaurant. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Hyatt Regency Vancouver – Featuring a heated outdoor pool, a business center, a travel desk, and multiple dining options, Hyatt Regency Vancouver features stylish guestrooms fitted with cable TV, free Wi-Fi, and a private bathroom with free toiletries. Pacific Center Mall is just a short walking distance from the property. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • The St. Regis Hotel – A stone’s throw away from the beachfront, this locally-owned affluent hotel is known for its avant-garde facilities and services and marvelous cuisine. The complimentary daily breakfast comprising bacon, sausage, and omelets served at the hotel is the perfect way to start your mornings. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.

Coal Harbour

Coal Harbour, Vancouver

Source: Dean Fikar / shutterstock

Coal Harbour

Despite being a sub-district of the larger, busier Downtown area, Coal Harbour, nestled right along the waterfront, retains its calm, laid-back atmosphere. A former shipyard, the neighborhood stretches from Canada Place to the east and Stanley Park to the west. A fascinating combination of commercial and residential structures, Coal Harbour is home to the famous Vancouver Convention Center. Another notable attraction in the vicinity is Jack Poole Plaza that houses the Olympic Flame from Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games that were held in the city in 2010. Locals and tourists come here to hangout by the sea wall and enjoy at one of the numerous cafes and restaurants along the marina. If you are lucky, you might even spot a seal here. The most astonishing feature in the area, however, is the spectacular Stanley Park – take a seat on one of the many park benches and enjoy the harbor life as cyclists pass, float planes land at a distance, with the stunning mountains as a backdrop.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Harbour Green Park, Coal Harbour Community Center, Marine Building, Vancouver Christmas Market, and Seawall Water Walk.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • The Westin Bayshore Vancouver – Offering spectacular views of the Burrard Inlet, the Westin Bayshore Vancouver features signature Westin Heavenly extra-large double beds, cable TV, and private bathroom in all its guestrooms. Guests can work up an appetite at the walking track around the property and then enjoy a sumptuous meal at one of the two fine-dining restaurants on-site. Suitable for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 5 members.
  • Fairmont Pacific Rim – Boasting a rooftop swimming pool with a hot tub and fire pits, Fairmont Pacific Rim features well-appointed, classic guestrooms with tons of facilities. Adding to the luxury, there is a massive fitness center and a world-class spa and wellness center on-site. While here, treat yourself to live music while you savor a delightful sushi delicacy and a glass of handcrafted cocktail. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.
  • Harbourfront – Providing beautifully-designed guestrooms and up-to-date amenities, Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront is one of the most sought-after properties in the neighborhood. Overlooking the Coal Harbor, the hotel restaurant specializes in contemporary delicacies, most of which are lovingly created out of regionally sourced produce. Great for all kinds of travelers.

West End

West End, Vancouver

Source: Steve Rosset / shutterstock

West End

If you want to experience local Vancouver live, West End is perhaps the place where you should base yourself. One of the easiest to explore, the neighborhood’s biggest accomplishment is its status as the “gateway to Stanley Park,” but that is not all it is. Revered as Vancouver’s first upscale district, the vivacious streets of West End is home to the city’s gay community, especially around the Davie Village area. While Stanley Park and English Bay are the two most important highlights of the neighborhood, West End is also extremely popular for its outdoor activities and dining scene. If you like adventure during your travels, this is the place where you could try stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking through the waters of English Bay. However, if fascinating cuisines from around the world is what gets your heart racing, you should probably head straight to Denman Street – from burger diners to taco joints and international restaurants, this street has it all.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Vancouver Aquatic Center, Roedde Museum, English Bay Beach Park, Inukshuk, Scotiabank Theatre Vancouver, and Sunset Beach Park.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • The Listel Hotel Vancouver – A short walking distance from Stanley Park, the Listel Hotel Vancouver offers a business center, a 24-hour front desk, and an on-site restaurant serving a variety of British Columbia specialties. Guestrooms at the hotel are all equipped with a cable TV, a desk, and tea/coffee making facilities. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver – Boasting a world-class spa center, this swanky 5-star hotel, in the heart of West End, is known for its posh amenities and unprecedented services. Additionally, the full-service gourmet restaurant and bar features an amazing collection of international wines which is a must-try. Suitable for all kinds of luxury travelers.
  • Blue Horizon Hotel – A short, pleasant drive from the English Bay, Blue Horizon offers well-appointed guestrooms with cable TV and pay-per-view channels, free Wi-Fi, and coffee-making facilities within a contemporary hotel property. Business travelers have access to an on-site, well-equipped business center. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.

North Vancouver

North Vancouver

Source: Spiroview Inc / shutterstock

North Vancouver

North Vancouver is where you will find nature and tranquility near to the mountains. A highly popular area among adventure lovers and nature enthusiasts, North Vancouver can be reached via a short Sea Bus ride across to the other side of Burrard Inlet. If you happen to take the ride from Waterfront Station to Lonsdale Quay, you will find yourself in the Lower Lonsdale area – home to an energetic public market and a great many parks, this sub-neighborhood offers some of the most unparalleled views of Vancouver’s Skyline. The Capilano Suspension Bridge, at 70 meters above the river and 140 meters long, is the area’s oldest attraction with over 800,000 visitors annually.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Park & Tilford Gardens, Capilano Canyon, Lynn Canyon, Lonsdale Quay Market, and Mackay Creek Greenbelt.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Comfort Inn & Suites North Vancouver – Located in a tranquil setting a short distance away from the buzzing streets of North Vancouver, this elegant property offers well-furnished guestrooms with comfy beds, cable TV, coffee machine, and free Wi-Fi. Additional amenities at the property include a seasonal outdoor pool and a rejuvenating hot tub. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • The Lonsdale Quay Hotel – Situated on the mesmerizing North Shore, this charming boutique hotel features well-equipped guestrooms with cable TV and a balcony that overlooks the city. Guests can make use of the on-site fitness center and connect with other travelers at the common lounge. An optional breakfast is available daily. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier – Boasting a refreshing pool, an on-site gourmet restaurant, and well-appointed fitness center with a yoga studio, Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier offers beautifully-furnished guestrooms with a work desk, mini refrigerator, and a cable TV. Fresh seafood and local specialties can be enjoyed for dinner at the property. Free bike rentals are available for guests who wish to explore the area. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.

Yaletown

Yaletown, Vancouver

Source: cdrin / shutterstock

Yaletown

The former Western terminus for Canadian Pacific Railway, Yaletown rose to glory after the False Creek Waterfront hosted the World Fair. Since then, the neighborhood, along with its adjoining districts, has transformed into one of the hippest areas in the city. Filled with green spaces, trendy restaurants, cool shopping avenues, and residential loft spaces, Yaletown’s biggest draw are its many waterfront parks, including the famous George Wainborn Park and David Lam Park. Locals and tourists both enjoy spending time at the seawall, walking, jogging, and inline skating. This area is also a prominent spot to admire exceptional public art. With plenty of relaxed bistros, celebratory seafood joints, and lively pubs, the wining and dining scene in Yaletown is second to none.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, Yaletown Park, David Lam Park, 374 Engine Pavilion, and Terry Fox Statue.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Opus Hotel – Featuring a well-equipped fitness center, an on-site restaurant, and in-room massage service, Opus Hotel offers neatly-furnished guestrooms fitted with extra-large double bed, satellite TV, and iPod dock. The hotel is within a short walking distance from the beach but bicycles can also be rented at the front desk. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Rosedale on Robson Suite Hotel – A pleasant stroll from the beach, this exclusive all-suite Vancouver hotel offers self-catering units featuring a seating area, a desk, and cable TV. A fitness center, a garden terrace, and an Original Joe’s restaurant are available on-site. BC Place Stadium is within a 5 minutes’ walking distance from the property. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Comfort Inn Downtown Vancouver – Boasting a bar and restaurant, a nightclub, and a well-equipped business center, Comfort Inn Downtown Vancouver features luxurious accommodation in the heart of Vancouver’s entertainment district. Guests staying at the hotel not only enjoy the property’s prime location but also benefit from guest passes to the nearby Steve Nash Fitness Center. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.

Gastown

Gastown, Vancouver

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Gastown

The oldest neighborhood in the city, Gastown was once limited to a single tavern founded in 1867 by John “Gassy Jack” Deighton. With its historic charm and free spirit intact till today, the area is home to one-of-a-kind art galleries, architectural houses, décor boutiques, and some of the best culinary experiences in Vancouver. A pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, Gastown is highly frequented by vogueish locals. Stroll around Water Street to admire cobblestone paths, the famous Street Clock, an impeccable collection of historic buildings, and most significantly, a statue of the man behind this awe-inspiring district. Vancouver Lookout, a 167-meter high vantage point, gives a perfect 360° panoramic view of the city. If you are on a limited time and want to shop to your heart’s content, Gastown is probably the best place for you. From traditional souvenir shops to new-age galleries, this place has it all.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Gassy Jack Statue, Vancouver Police Museum & Archives, Gastown Vancouver Steam Clock, and CRAB Park at Portside.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Skwachàys Lodge – Featuring a unique 40-foot totem pole and an art gallery dedicated to Aboriginal artwork, Skwachàys Vancouver offers its guests with an exciting opportunity to stay within an Aboriginal-themed hotel. A gift shop with different Aboriginal items is available on-site. The pet-friendly hotel offers free Wi-Fi in all guestrooms. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Ramada Limited Downtown Vancouver – A short walk from Vancouver Convention Center, Ramada Limited Downtown Vancouver provides comfortable accommodation options fitted with cable TV, tea/coffee making facility, and private bathroom. A superb complimentary continental breakfast is served daily. Suitable for all kinds of luxury travelers.
  • Delta Hotels by Marriott Vancouver Downtown Suites – An epitome of luxury and state-of-the-art facilities and services, this glamourous property located within a walking distance from the beach features all-suite units with free Wi-Fi and cable TV. Guests can enjoy working out at the 24-hour fitness center and relish a fancy meal at the on-site gourmet restaurant.

Granville Street / Granville Island

Granville Street

Source: Josef Hanus / shutterstock

Granville Street

When you hear people talking about Vancouver’s Downtown being the ultimate entertainment district in the city, Granville Street is what they are referring to. Especially popular during the weekends, this neighborhood is speckled with countless eateries, lively bars, and famous Vancouver nightclubs that give you plenty of reasons to party the whole night away. Also, a main thoroughfare, Granville Street was once believed to have the highest concentration of neon lights globally (behind Shanghai that is). Since its opening in 1929, Commodore Ballroom has played host to a number of artists from Dizzy Gillespie to Snoop Dogg. A short distance from the street is Granville Island. Though technically not an island, the neighborhood sits rights under the Granville Bridge and is one of the most notable cultural districts in Vancouver.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
The Milkman @ Granville Island Market, Granville Island Water Park, Granville Bridge, Orpheum Theatre, Granville Loop Park, and Queen Elizabeth Park.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Best Western Plus Chateau Granville Hotel & Suites & Conference Centre – Situated in the heart of Central Vancouver and a short walking distance from the lively Robson Street shopping area, the property features sophisticated guestrooms with HDTV, private bathroom, and balcony with a view. Business travelers can make use of the 4-room conference center equipped with audio-visual facilities. Great for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 5 members.
  • GEC Granville Suites Downtown – Featuring contemporary suites and guestrooms with newest amenities, GEC Granville Suites Downtown is a quick walk from the beach. Guests can relish American delicacies at the on-site lounge and restaurant and enjoy a game of table tennis during their leisure time. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Granville Island Hotel – One of the most preferred hotel properties in the region, Granville Island Hotel features plush guestrooms with cutting-edge amenities within a short distance from the beach and the famous Granville Island Public Market. Guests can access the 24-hour business center for their work needs and work out at the fully-equipped fitness center to stay in shape. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
Where to stay: Best Hotels in Vancouver, Canada
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List of Image Sources

Where to Stay in Vancouver – Neighborhoods & Area Guide:

Downtown Vancouver

  • Downtown Vancouver: inacioluc / shutterstock
  • Chinatown: DeymosHR / shutterstock
  • Coal Harbour: Dean Fikar / shutterstock
  • West End: Steve Rosset / shutterstock
  • North Vancouver: Spiroview Inc / shutterstock
  • Yaletown: cdrin / shutterstock
  • Gastown: i viewfinder / shutterstock
  • Granville Street: Josef Hanus / shutterstock