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Vancouver - a fun city!

By Ola Endress

Vancouver, there is SO much to explore in this city. So much fun to be had in the city with so much hiking adventure that after living there for a year, I didnt even scrape the surface with how many hikes there are.
So many possibilites, so much ground to cover you literally need as much time as possible in this city.I will cover all the must do's in Vancouver so that if you have a limited time here you know all the best spots to experience.I highly recommend if you are looking for a new city to move to, that Vancouver is one of the places you should have an overseas work experience in.
There are a few down sides to this city, living wise especially if you are coming from a country such as Australia where the minimum wage is over $20 an hour and the rent matches living costs. So if you are planning to move to Vancouver, (I really should do a seperate blog on this),  then make sure you have the funds to support yourself.
Minimum wage is $13 an hour with very expensive rent! Vancouver in summer time is incredible! in saying that winter is also a magical experience!

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Where to stay:If you are visiting I highly recommend staying downtown Vancouver, it is a small city so it is super easy to get around but plenty to offer so get your wallets ready for some fun experiences!I would recommend staying somewhere in the West End, Air BnB is your best bet as hotels (unless you get a good deal) are a touch expensive, with the Fairmont Hotel being the most extravagant hotel in Vancouver and Canada in general. Before I continue on , I'm going to just put some things out here of what NOT to do even though some people suggest you do it anyway.
Do not go down East Hastings st downtown. Trust me don't do it, it will ruin Vancouver for you. 1000s of homeless people injecting themselves on the street, high on meth and heroin, its not a fun experience to witness. If you do decide to go anyway (you rebel) then whatever you do, do not, i repeat do not go into the large teepee on East Hastings thinking its a place to buy things.
I know someone who went in there when I advised not to and went shopping where the homeless are selling and buying stolen goods, or some things that lets say aren't sanitised. This person I know went and bought a bottle of water and it was dirt water lol, seriously just don't do it.
Everyone will tell you, you have to try a Japadog while you are there and you will see them everywhere "they are famous". They are pretty much a Japanese hot dog. They have meat and plant based options, so I was excited! I finally had one after a year of being there and they DO not taste good. Its all a hype, if you want some good food recommendations, I will give you some top places to try out that are SO much better. I was so disappointed, we got two of their "best sellers"  one meat and the other plant based and I couldn't eat it!
Ok so lets get on with this blog- straight to the point now.

Where to eat - with vibes!

Steamworks - Gastown

If you love beer then you will 100% love this place! So much beer on tap with a really good variety! and the food here is DELICIOUS! so much fun, the atmosphere is great and there are a few different bars within the restaurant to explore! Theres even a cigar lounge downstairs!

Local - Gastown

This place is AWESOME in summer!!! so much atmosphere with vibes. You can soak up the sun rays outside or cool off inside. Lots of beer options and decent food! You can even do half servings if you are like me and get full after a few bites. The food here is delicious!

THE WAREHOUSE

Now if you are like me, you will LOVE a good deal (especially after living on minimum wage, I lived at this place) the food quality is great especially for the price of $5 for EVERYTHING on their entire menu! YASSS! amazing! You can get a full meal of pasta, salads, burgers with the lot! and fries! wings, pizza and my favourite even plant based options! $5!!!!! Locations: All over Vancouver downtown - Gastown, Davie St,  lookout for The Warehouse in Canada, they are everywhere! even in Whistler!

MEET - in Gastown or Yaletown

Now Im not recommending this place just because its plantbased/vegan im raving about this place because the food tastes AMAZING! every option you can think of without the cruelty and my carnivore eating boyfriend LOVESSSSSS the burgers there. The cocktails are yummy af with so many options! Decent price so again it wont break the bank. Both locations have really good ambience so you will have fun at either one!

Cactus Club - English Bay
 
Go here (trust me, just go here) more info on this below!

Earls for happy hour in Yaletown!

Earls is good because the food quality is up there, now dont just go there anytime and not to anyone. Go to the one in Yaletown, its the best out of all the locations I have been to. Vancouver is known for their happy hours so go either 12-3pm or 9pm-Midnight. Happiest hours at the happiest prices! including cockails! SUPER AFFORDABLE and SO GOOD! think $5 for some meals and $3 for beers and cocktails! - try a Peach Bellini! my mouth is drooling just at the thought!

Nero Belgian Waffle - Robson St

Best Dessert - EVER! Seriously go do yourself a favour, don't eat for the whole day then eat this, you wont be able to move after. The waffles are incredible and your sweet tooth will be 100% satisfied and then go to Bubble Tea on Robson to flush down your waffles for some more waffle goodness!

The Bubble Tea Shop
Best Bubble Tea ever and Dessert (again)!

So many different flavours and they look so pretty and impressive!probably the best bubble tea place I have ever been to. You will NOT be disappointed! 

Water St Cafe - Gastown

I love brunch and theres lots of places to go in Vancouver to enjoy this however the best place I have found is in Gastown. Not only are the views beautiful, sitting right next to the iconic steam clock, the restaurant feels like you could be in Paris! The prices are so reasonable compared to other places in town and a wide variety of choices! - arrive on an empty stomach and you're tummy will be so full and satisfied (I suggest also ordering a mimosa or two because what's brunch without some midday liquid courage ;) )

What to do in Vancouver

Must do:

Cherry Blossom Festival - All over

Pending on the time of the year you arrive, if you get there in Spring then you definetely need to check out the Cherry Blossoms. There are so many places where you can see them as they basically are all over but where they don't advertise - this is the best place to see them. On Alberni St at the very end towards lost lagoon. Just there, you will see the fullest Cherry Blossoms in a pretty setting - You're Welcome!

Sunflower Festival - Chilliwack

If you arrive in summer then you MUST! highly recommend you check out the Chilliwack Sunflower Festival! so pretty, its a farm land which 1000s of sunflowers and if you pay $5 you can go out into the field and get your very own boquet of sunflowers, picked by you! you get your own basket to put them in - HOW FUN! def insta worthy!To get out here, you will need a car, so hire a car 2 go for the day (so cheap) just download the app if you don't have access to a car and you are on your way!

Guilt & Co - Gastown

Want to step back in time? have you ever seen the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" this place will remind you of it so much and this bar is the coolest jazz bar I have ever been to ! Its underground and every time I have gone I have had the best time. Order a cocktail, bring it to your cute little table and watch the live jazz band in front of you, also while you're at it have a cheeky swing dance too!

Lions Gate Bridge

Nice day in Vancouver? these don't come by easily but in summer its sun shine most days so I highly recommend hiring a bike (cheap bike rentals corner of Robson & Denman st - $5 an hour) and riding the Stanley Wall. It is so much fun, good exercise while taking in the sights. You can only go one way when you are biking around the wall so you will go through Stanley Park, under Lions Gate bridge ( so pretty), through Second and Third beach followed by English Bay! you will loop back to the bike rental shop - have fun!

If theres anywhere im going to suggest to watch sunset its on English Beach! So little beaches in Vancouver so if you are like me, this is the closest thing to a pretty beach lol. The lines get pretty intense for sunset which is around 10pm in summer so I would try get there early and sit upstairs in the dining area to get a panoramic view of the gorgeous sunset! (its 1 of a kind). If however you want more atmosphere then I suggest going downstairs, where there's lots going on!

Watch Sunset at Cactus Club cafe with a delicious meal right on the beach

Beer Tasting at breweries - full day/night out!

There is a whole strip dedicated to breweries! so if you can, rent a bike or catch a bus over to main st! from there, you will find a variety of different breweries! so much fun!

Drum Circle - Third Beach

Get your tribal moves ready, an open mind, no judgements and get ready to experience something trippy lol.This is on every Tuesday in Summer. Arrive at 7pm to get there when there's hype and buzz. Now if you really want to make the most of it, get there around 10pm and level up when it gets dark. So much fun, never experienced anything like it before. Think magic mushroom vibes but very entertaining!

Tap N Barrel - North Vancouver

Must do! catch a ferry from downtown Vancouver over to North Vancouver. It is a 15 min ferry ride, before you know it you will be on the other side .I suggest going to Tap N barrel for some beers (I recommend ordering a flight of beers) and having a meal if you wish to do so while sitting outside overlooking the pier and the city scape of Vancouver in front of you!While you are here I also recommend checking out the
Shipyards Night Market - North Vancouver
They happen every Friday in summer and they offer good food and authentic crafty products (and did I mention special made vodkas with free tastings?!)

Again, you will need a car to get here but it is worth it. One of the places where you get a taste of summer vibes. It is a beautiful lake with one of the warmest waters in all of Vancouver, the entire lake is surrounded by pine trees and it is gorgeous! I love this lake! Get here early as it does get busy, but mostly with locals only. Bring a floatie, some snacks,enjoy the heat and cooling off in the lake! 

Hike!!!
Vancouver offers so many hikes and man are they beautiful! let me share with you a few of my favourites that offer some stunning views
Hikes

Eagles Bluff 

My favourite hike in Vancouver and it is a bit intense but the views - omg the views, just do this hike you wont regret it! 

Seymour Mountain
This is beautiful in winter with the snow (hire snow shoes to do this) super magical and breathtaking walk (pretty easy, but a good hike for the day) in summer it is just as pretty with all the greenery and scenery. You will probably need bear spray for this one, if you are doing this in summer.

Bowen Island Hike
F
or this one you will need to catch a super short ferry from Horseshoe Bay. It is an affordable ferry ticket ($8) where you only pay one way. The island is very small but very cute! Hike the main mountain and when you're finished get yourself a nice snack from the pier and sit down on some nice big white arm chairs over looking the water. 

Quarry Rock
Now this one is popular but if you are in Vancouver you have to head over to Deep Cove. It is the cutest little township with incredible views all over! so you can imagine the hike up to Quarry rock over looking all of Deep Cove. After your hike have some well deserved pastries at the famous donut shop (they are soooooooooooo good!!!!) 

Popular things to do which is advertised everywhere (I have to put this in, these are musts if you are visiting Vancouver)

Explore Stanely Park- Explore the harbour downtown and watch the ferry cruise (if Disney is there, it is an impressive cruise ship!)

- Go shopping
downtown in Pacific Centre (its ok for shopping, Metropolis in Metrotown in Burnaby is huge with a better selection and you will spend all your money here!To get to Metrotown shopping centre catch a train approx 30 mins from downtown (Burrard,Waterfront  or Granville station) and stop off at Metrotown station. You cant miss it! Have fun!

Vist Granville Island 

When you visit Vancouver this is something you have to check out!Catch a cute little ferry from english bay ($3 one way) and take in the sights of the harbour, after 5 minutes you will be on Granville Island where you can shop local produce, eat some awesome food, drink at some breweries and of course do some shopping. I also highly recommend watching some improv while you are there as it is a very artsy island with lots of talented people showcasing many things.

Nightlife

If you want some nightlife action then I highly recommend walking through Granville St on a Friday or Saturday night. The road is closed off with your choosing of bars and nightclubs on either side. Start in Yaletown for some pre drinks first! (earls for happy hour of course ;)).

Thats it on Vancouver!
Hope you enjoyed reading this blog!
If you have any comments you want to make feel free to comment below or if you have any feedback or suggestions you can contact me via the contact page

Enjoy exploring!
Vancouver it has so much to offer and a place to should add to the bucket list for sure!

Ola xx

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