If you are visiting Van City and looking for things to do in Vancouver at night, well stick around. We’ve got you!
We had the pleasure of spending some time in Vancouver as we prepared to leave for our Alaskan Cruise. A few days before, and a few days after. It is a vibrant city nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the majestic Coast Mountains. With its abundance of outdoor activities, diverse cuisine, and lively nightlife, it’s no wonder that so many people flock to this beautiful destination each year.
Where is Vancouver?
Vancouver, ahem, Van City, is located in the province of British Columbia, Canada. It is situated on the west coast of Canada, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the coastal mountains to the north. Vancouver is known for its stunning natural beauty, including mountains, forests, and picturesque waterways. It is the largest city in British Columbia and a major cultural, economic, and tourist hub in Canada.
While the daytime had a plethora of things to do that were obvious, we had to figure out the nightlife. Whether you’re coming for the first time or returning to explore some new hidden gems, here are the top things to do in Vancouver at night.
What is there to do in Vancouver at night?
The Vancouver nightlife is one that is overlooked. It’s not hard to do. When you arrive in Vancouver, more than likely the Vancouver International Airport, you are immediately taken in by the view. We had never visited Canada before, so it was a treat to experience Canadian culture through the guise of Van City. Oh, we discovered that Van City is the nickname for Vancouver so we feel very chic using that lingo.
So, what fun things can you find to do at night? We’ll share some of our favorites!
Gastown is one of Vancouver’s oldest neighborhoods and it has managed to retain its historic charm while still offering plenty of modern amenities. This vibrant area is home to eclectic boutiques, trendy restaurants, and lively bars so you can shop ‘til you drop or grab a bite to eat before heading out for drinks. It’s also very close to Granville Island which is worth checking out too.
If you are a foodie, you may want to dive into the Gastown Walking Food Tour. Indulge in the delightful experience of savoring handcrafted local beers, relishing the succulent Japanese Kar-age style chicken, and savoring the exquisite flavors of freshly prepared Sicilian Tortellini, all perfectly complemented by the finest selection of local wines.
This is THE place where the nightlife in Vancouver is at its peak. Think Time Square meets the Vegas Strip, though not as busy as New York City, but not as seedy as Las Vegas. On Granville Street you can grab a delicious craft beer, have a cocktail and people watch, or stroll up the street taking in all of the sights. Granville street is one of the top things to do in Vancouver at night.
Speaking of Granville, Granville Island is one of Vancouver’s most beloved attractions due to its unique blend of art galleries, public markets, and entertainment venues all within close proximity. You can spend hours browsing through unique stores or simply take in all the sights and sounds while watching street performers perform their magic tricks on Granville Street Bridge. The nightlife is just as fun as the daytime.
A notable mention of Granville Island is the VIP Access Market Tour. Embark on a journey to Vancouver’s renowned Granville Island Public Market, where you can immerse yourself in a world of culinary delights. Delight your palate with an array of delectable offerings sourced from independent farmers and skilled food artisans hailing from the city and its surrounding areas.
Ok, this isn’t technically at night, but it will be night while you are on the sunset cruise. You must do this while you are in Vancouver. It is one of the top things to do! You will find yourself wanting to take your phone out to grab a photo or 50 of them, but be sure to enjoy the moment. Even though this is mid-blog, this should be on the top of your list of things to do in Vancouver at night.
Step into the captivating world of Biltmore Cabaret, an enchanting venue that offers an eclectic blend of captivating entertainment. Immerse yourself in mesmerizing burlesque shows, groove to soulful tunes spun by talented DJs, and let the electrifying energy of punk bands ignite your spirit. Discover a rich tapestry of performances and artistic expressions that will leave you spellbound. At Biltmore Cabaret, there’s always something unique and exciting happening, ensuring a truly memorable experience for all who venture through its doors.
Night Market Vancouver
You can keep track of upcoming market nights on their events page. Night Market Vancouver, is a monthly gathering that embodies the spirit of our community and showcases the vibrant local scene. As Vancouver’s premier cultural hub, this monthly event supports and promotes local makers, artists, and independent businesses.
At each event, immerse yourself in a lively and adventurous retail atmosphere, brimming with an impressive variety of vendor goods. Discover unique handmade crafts, stunning jewelry, captivating art, fashionable clothing, and stylish housewares.
Indulge in delectable vegan baked goods, flavorful tacos, gourmet sauces, and even refreshing cocktails. With live music, a DJ to keep the energy high, dance lessons, and ever-changing entertainment. Best of all, our events are open to the public of all ages, creating a family-friendly environment that brings our community closer together.
Skyride Gondola and cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge
Sure, this is an exciting adventure during the day, but at night?! Chef’s kiss! The North Shore Capilano suspension bridge is lit, has the most gorgeous views, and is something you cannot miss. The tour includes the thrill-seeking Capilano Suspension Bridge including Cliffwalk and dinner at Altitude Restaurant atop scenic Grouse Mountain.
Christmas Lights in December
If you happen to be visiting Van City during December and early January, you may want to book your tickets to the Christmas Tour with Light Festival.
A Few Daytime Recs for Vancouver
We’d be remiss if we gave you the top things to do in Vancouver at night, and didn’t mention the day. Even if you have a lot going on, here are a few things that we recommend you look into while you are in Vancouver.
If you went to Vancouver and did not see a whale, did you really go to Vancouver? Check out this whale watching tour. Embark on an unforgettable adventure aboard a cutting-edge, covered Salish Sea catamaran, where you can witness majestic whales and other captivating marine animals up close.
The tour guarantees sightings of these incredible creatures, creating a truly remarkable and awe-inspiring journey. Trust us, you have to do this! We took a similar tour in Juneau and it was life-changing!
Sure, this is a tourist trap, but it is a must-see! This entry ticket is your gateway to an unforgettable experience. Ascend 168 meters (533 feet) in a sleek glass elevator, granting you access to an unparalleled vantage point offering a complete panoramic vista. Delight in a mesmerizing 360-degree view that encompasses the lush beauty of Stanley Park.
You can also look upon the charming allure of historic Gastown, the majestic Northshore mountains, and the bustling energy of the downtown core. Experience the sheer grandeur of the surroundings as you absorb the breathtaking sights from this elevated perch, creating an indelible memory of Vancouver’s captivating landscape.
Vancouver to Victoria
Take a ferry from Vancouver Island to Victoria for a day trip tour. Travel comfortably by coach and ferry, keeping a lookout for marine life during the scenic journey. Enjoy a leisurely stroll among the blooming flowers of Butchart Gardens and take in the charm of downtown Victoria during your free time.
Admire the Victorian architecture that adds a touch of elegance to the city. This comprehensive excursion allows you to explore the natural wonders and cultural delights of Vancouver Island and Victoria, creating cherished memories of your adventure.
No matter what your ideal nightlife activity is, Vancouver has something special waiting just around every corner, beginning at dusk. From unique dining experiences to nightlife entertainment – you won’t be disappointed by all that this amazing city has to offer. Let us know what you enjoyed or want to try when you visit one of Canada’s most vibrant cities – Vancouver! Is there anything you would add to the list of the top things to do in Vancouver at night? Let us know.
FAQs | Frequently Asked Questions
No, Granville Island and Granville Street are not the same thing. Granville Island is a peninsula and shopping district located in the city of Vancouver, Canada. It is known for its vibrant public market, artistic community, and various shops, restaurants, and theaters. Granville Street is a major street in Vancouver that runs through the downtown core. It is known for its bustling nightlife, entertainment venues, shops, and restaurants. While they are both located in Vancouver, Granville Island, and Granville Street are distinct areas with their own unique offerings.
It depends on what you mean by freely. Traveling from Vancouver, Canada to Alaska as an American citizen usually requires crossing the international border between the two countries. This would involve passing through Canadian immigration and customs when departing Vancouver and then entering the United States at the Alaskan border. It’s recommended to consult official government websites or contact the relevant authorities or consulates for the most up-to-date information.
The nickname “Van City” is often used as a term of endearment or as a shorthand way to refer to the city. It has gained popularity and has been embraced by locals and visitors alike. Fun fact: Ryan Reynolds’ Instagram handle is @vancityreynolds because he is from Vancouver.