Travel

First time in Vancouver.

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[OP]
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Mar 14, 2004
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North Etobicoke

First time in Vancouver.

Spending 4 days in Downtown Vancouver. Will be near waterfront (Hastings and Seymour) . What are famous places and area for visitors. Would like to visit Victoria Island, how to by transit? Nice seafood, pasta places or Caribbean foods. TIA .
Please ignore thread if you have a Covid comment.
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Sep 6, 2002
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Happy to help offer advice when you target your questions a little bit more

Forget about Carribean in Vancouver. There’s one spot downtown and if you look at the prices you’ll have jerk sauce coming out your nose. Mediocre quality. Calabash on carrell street (which is littered with Vancouver heroin. Problem)

Riddum and spice on commercial is a hole in the wall serving mediocre food at over $10 prices. If you’re coming from Toronto. Just forget about it.

There is “the patty shop” in arbutus Which is good but more of a Trinidadian style of pasty. It’s a ways from downtown and has odd hours.

I wrote a little waking tour in another thread I’ll dig up later and post back. You can cover most sites ina day or two. None of this is hidden info and you can do some research on the major sites.

Seafood - joe fortes - carderos all excellent. Keep in mind with seafood that due to our heat wave much of the seafood is from the east coast. West coast oysters are hard to come by or at least was when I was with my oyster loving friend visiting In july. Fanny bay oysters is good too and less expensive. Blue water cafe is also incredible

Keep in mind despite us being on the coast, much of the fishing is done very far out and seafood is frozen at sea.

Pier 7 in north Vancouver has wonderful sunset view and the seabus (part of transit system) is a fun ride from waterfront to londsdale quay (where pier 7 is) nice view of the city

I’m not a huge pasta guy. Italian kitchen is very popular among my co workers when visiting but I never found it that impressive. Certainly not bad.

If you got the coin. “Aquafarina” is open. It’s like fixed menu and no cell phones at the table. It’s in an old bank lobby and seems very impressive. Few reviews on it. Haven't been but the wine cellar is huge. It’s going to be $100+ for fixed dinner maybe more. Food even dine in or take out in BC is only subject to 5% gst. Alcohol is 15%

CAVO on Granville has great food and my friend swears by the seafood pasta and carbonara. They have a nice back patio and front patio however you will be asked for change numerous times on the front patio.

Basil express does like a $12 take out pasta which I think is great value. They let you choose toppings and sauce.

Commercial drive is a couple km out and somewhat of the “Italian “ part of town. I’ve had the calzone and lasagna at Lombardos on commercial and I would be very surprised if their pasta isn’t top notch

Be sure to look at “happy hour” in bc generally 3-6. And sometimes after 9. Drinks can be substantially cheaper and sometimes food as well. Alwyas ask as it’s not alwyas advertised

As for Victoria island. Lol I’m in a good mood today so I’ll be nice. Victoria is the capital of BC and it is on Vancouver island. Google maps will tell you how to get there by public transit. If you only have 4 days in BC I’d recommend you take a seaplane to Victoria from downtown harbour. Promotional tickets one way are around $180 one way and up advantage here is you leave from downtown Vancouver and you arrive in Victoria harbour. You can balance the cost by take the ferry back. There is also helijet service front waterfront or near Victoria harbour (about 5 min away) and promo tickets can be had for $180 one way pp on a helicopter!!! I think that’s great value.


Victoria is a very long day to do on a day trip. I usually leave at 7am from downtown and take the 8pm ferry back but my friend usually picks me up at the port and I taxi back from downtown Victoria to the ferry port (approx $80 no uber ) I usually low ball em to $50 and settle at $60. That’s only leaving downtown. Don’t think you’ll get any deals leaving the port. Cabs are a holes there as they know Uber’s gonna come eventually. They drive like absolute morons too and say stuff like ohhh your taking last ferry back I drive you there and I won’t have any business to come back too. Ughhh jerks. Credit debit is routinely accepted without issue in cabs but if you’re low balling then I like to wave a $50 note at them. The port is about 30-45 depending on traffic.

The ferry is a nice ride and an attraction in and of itself. Google maps will tell you how to do this but basically.

Sky train to richmond. Switch to express bus to port (45-1.3 hours) ferry leaves every hour about 2 hours to Victoria. ($18 each way)

The. You’ll need to take a very slow public transit bus or some shuttle where if there’s 2+ people a taxi makes sense. Note that the ferry conveys cars and trucks but pedestrians get off first. All those cars and trucks are headed into Victoria on the one road. So use thr bathroom before the boat arrived and get in a taxi ASAP. The road to Victoria is littered with lights.

Frankly I’d recommend sea plane or helijet for a 4 day trip. I do day trips kuz I just go there to eat food and get drunk, most of my friends think I’m crazy for doing the day trips but I enjoy the ferry ride as it’s somewhat new to me.

I don’t have time to edit this thread properly but hopefully you got some info.

Happy to help but man you gotta do some research.

If you haven’t booked your flight yet or you have a change available (common on air Canada ) recommend you fly into Victoria from Toronto even if you need to transfer at YVR. Then fly back from YVR. The airport is next to the ferry port but you’d cut off a bit of back tracking

Not that much to do in Victoria but it’s a cute little town lots of patios and craft markets live music in street. Great restaurants. The other big attraction is the gardens which are out of town. You won’t be able to explore the city and do the gardens.

With 4 days you might want to just slow down and enjoy Vancouver 4 days is perfect.

I recently welcomed my friend with a 4 year old so if you need tips on what to do with a younger kid let me know. There’s a pirate theme boat ride that my friend his son and parents all had a blast on. Water canons. An evil pirate on another boat shows up and the kids shoot water at him.


You’ll have a great time here. However you will see the dark side of Vancouver quite quickly. The city has changed quite a bit with covid and the absence of tourist. Heroin, meth, people shooting up everywhere. Passed out peope medical emergency mixed with mental unbalance. I like living here however the small size of downtown Vancouver and r relocation of some homeless camps has pushed the downtown east side all over.

They are generally harmless and way too messed up to do much more than ask for change. However the mentally ill likely also on drugs can be a variable. Shouldn’t be an issue. However watch your bags and don’t leave cell phones on patio tables. Petty crime here is not super common but don’t expect the police to do much even if they nab the guy they takes your girls purse.

I lived in downtown Toronto for a long time. I guess the difference here is the small size of downtown vs Toronto. Obviously Toronto has its problems it’s just more diluted or spread out.
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Sep 1, 2005
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How many ppl are going?
Budget for stuff?
Interests?
Do you drive?...if you do and there's more than just you, highly recommend you enrol for EVO car share. Paying for 2 ppl on transit is almost the same $ vs using EVO.

Things to do [famous places/things to do] - info is available on the internet. What you do depends on budget and interests
> rent a bike and do Stanley Park [rent them outside the park]
> shop/visit Granville Mkt for food stuff
> walk see beaches - Kitsiliano is great for sunset viewing [eat in Kitsilano with a 530/6pm reservation and post dinner walk to beach to view sunset.]
> Grouse Mountain - the free shuttle is shut down for summer so this is another reason to do EVO.
> Capilano suspension bridge or cheap man version Lynn Canyon
> walking the city [Yaletown (night time sightseeing), English Bay beach, Gastown, Robson St [main shopping street]
> Gardens - QE Park, VanDusen, UBC Botanical Garden, Sun Yat Sen Garden
> if you want to do whale watching - Steveston

For eats, some of the places I have been to:
>Raisu - japanese -> make a reservation and have them reserve the bento
> Maenam - Thai
> Blue Water - seafood/high end eats
> Lunch Lady - Viet
> Memory corner - Taiwanese
> Medina - brunch
> VIJ's - Indian
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
[OP]
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Mar 14, 2004
3260 posts
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North Etobicoke
Wow, Thank you both for the detailed responses. it will be 2 persons, late 40's. Just sightseeing, gardens, parks, resto, historical stuff in area. shopping is the plan for now.
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Jan 9, 2011
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You'll be within walking distance of the Gastown and Chinatown historic districts. Dr Sun Yat-Sen Gardens is also within walking distance. Take the guided tour.
Avoid the 3-block stretch of Hastings between Cambie and Gore. You won't be in any real danger if you wander down there, but it ain't pretty. https://www.google.com/maps/@49.2814398 ... 384!8i8192
One block over on Pender it's a different world. https://www.google.com/maps/@49.2804358 ... 384!8i8192

Getting to Victoria on transit is cheap and easy. Take the Canada Line train to Bridgeport Station in Richmond, bus #620 to the ferry, walk on the ferry, bus #70 from Swartz Bay to downtown Victoria.
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Menthol wrote: Wow, Thank you both for the detailed responses. it will be 2 persons, late 40's. Just sightseeing, gardens, parks, resto, historical stuff in area. shopping is the plan for now.
Van Dusen gardens isn’t too far from downtown if you can’t make the one in Victoria

As for gastown and Chinatown. I used to like gastown but it’s gotten worse with covid. Go see the Steam clock I guess and walk down water street some good restaurants there but downtown east side has been slipping into gastown

New safe injection site at pender and abbott (which is next to an existing one) has made that intersection even worse. Lots of vacant businesses so it’s just not what it used to be

I recommend this Moroccan restaurant in gastown. Great food. Unique beautiful decorations it’s small though so make reservations

https://www.moltaqarestaurant.ca/

I was never impressed by Chinatown Vancouver visually. Dirty and cluttered. However there are lots of good restaurants if you’re into Asian food. I’m not big on it but some Chinese friends have taken me to good spots I wouldn’t walk into

This place is very popular

http://phnompenhrestaurant.ca/

With 4 days in Vancouver I think shopping is a waste of time but i realize woman may not accept that view. I can’t see your location but assuming Toronto. I don’t think there is much here you can’t find in Toronto the new daiso store on Granville has huge line ups when it opened but now died down

Around Granville island market there are some craft and art stores which have some cool looking stuff. I’m sure it’s higher priced due to location but seems unique.

With 4 days I think you’re going to waste way too much time going to Victoria unless you seaplane or helijet in and out. Or at the very least take an early flight in and the last ferry back.
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GangStarr wrote: Van Dusen gardens isn’t too far from downtown if you can’t make the one in Victoria

As for gastown and Chinatown. I used to like gastown but it’s gotten worse with covid. Go see the Steam clock I guess and walk down water street some good restaurants there but downtown east side has been slipping into gastown

New safe injection site at pender and abbott (which is next to an existing one) has made that intersection even worse. Lots of vacant businesses so it’s just not what it used to be

I recommend this Moroccan restaurant in gastown. Great food. Unique beautiful decorations it’s small though so make reservations

https://www.moltaqarestaurant.ca/

I was never impressed by Chinatown Vancouver visually. Dirty and cluttered. However there are lots of good restaurants if you’re into Asian food. I’m not big on it but some Chinese friends have taken me to good spots I wouldn’t walk into

This place is very popular

http://phnompenhrestaurant.ca/

With 4 days in Vancouver I think shopping is a waste of time but i realize woman may not accept that view. I can’t see your location but assuming Toronto. I don’t think there is much here you can’t find in Toronto the new daiso store on Granville has huge line ups when it opened but now died down

Around Granville island market there are some craft and art stores which have some cool looking stuff. I’m sure it’s higher priced due to location but seems unique.

With 4 days I think you’re going to waste way too much time going to Victoria unless you seaplane or helijet in and out. Or at the very least take an early flight in and the last ferry back.
Agree that going to Victoria with a 4 day timeline is not worth the travel time....I haven't been to Victoria ever because I don't think I'm really getting anything I can't get staying in and around Vancouver and outskirts.

Nothing to shop for in Vancouver that you can't shop for in Toronto as already said...go to smaller shops perhaps while you're walking around.

UBC Botanical Garden is smaller than VanDusen and they have a treewalk if you're into some scary adventure walking. $24 pp for garden and tree walk. Nitobe is small Japanese garden and entry is only $5. The famous Wreck Beach is a good long walk down a trail [remember if you walk down, you gotta walk back up] in UBC if you want to see the clothing optional beach. You can do all of that and Jerico Beach and a Kitsilano restaurant and sunset viewing on a all Kitsilano day.

Going to Grouse, Capilano and or Lynn Valley etc is OK. You might think since you're over on the NorthShore, see North Vanc and Lonsdale Quay and area....==>> don't bother.

Did you sign up for EVO car share....yet?
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
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Aug 31, 2017
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I agree to skip Victoria, doesn't make sense with 4 days and your first time. Go enjoy some beautiful sunsets on English Bay beach. Gangstarr has you covered though!
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Aug 3, 2017
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I’ll second Carderos and Joe Forte’s, I’m finally back in YVR for business in two weeks and will certainly be hitting them up again.
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dolfan1980 wrote: I’ll second Carderos and Joe Forte’s, I’m finally back in YVR for business in two weeks and will certainly be hitting them up again.
But those restaurants don't have any airport locations, and poor you being stuck at the airport for two weeks lol. Ok ok I jest. As far as airport codes go, Vancouver is less like Calgary and more like Toronto. We use it to mean just the airport and not the downtown or whole metro area.

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