Vancouver is British Colombia’s capital city nestled between mountains and the sea.
Best known for its surrounding beauty and scenery, you can visit Vancouver year-round for skiing, climbing, hiking, and even surfing.
The city itself offers a vibrant nightlife, restaurant, and shopping scene as well as great parks, walks, and city beaches.
You can truly do it all on a vacation here, but where to stay in Vancouver?
We wrote this guide to help you navigate the inflated prices and expenses in Vancouver as well as help you narrow down which area is best to stay in for your interests.
Whether you want to explore the nearby beaches and islands, take a hike in the mountains, or wander around Vancouver’s coolest neighborhoods, we’ll cover where to do it all below.
Read on to discover the neighborhoods we’ve ranked as the best places to stay in Vancouver.
Table of Contents
- Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Vancouver
- Where to Stay in Vancouver
- Vancouver Neighborhood Guide
- 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Vancouver
- 1. Yaletown Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Vancouver for the First Time
- 2. West End Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Vancouver on a Budget
- 3. Granville Street – Where to Stay in Vancouver for Nightlife
- 4. Gastown Neighborhood – Coolest Place to Stay in Vancouver
- 5. Kitsilano Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Vancouver for Families
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Vancouver
- Where to stay in Vancouver first time – Yaletown
- Where to stay in Vancouver on a budget – West End
- Best area to stay in Vancouver for nightlife – Granville Street
- Coolest place to stay in Vancouver – Gastown
- Best neighborhood in Vancouver for families – Kitsilano
In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:
- Ignite your imagination at Science World at TELUS World of Science
- Catch a concert or major sporting event, like a B.C. Lions football game at B.C. Place
- Enjoy good food, tasty drinks and a great atmosphere at Yaletown Brewing Company
Where to Stay in Vancouver
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Vancouver.
Best Hostel in Vancouver: HI Vancouver Downtown
This West End hostel is the best place to stay in Vancouver if you’re on a budget. Situated at the center of this safe and beautiful neighborhood, this hostel is close to shops, restaurants, bars, and the beach.
Offering private and shared accommodations, each stay includes bed and bath linens, a comfortable mattress, and free daily breakfast.
Best Hotel in Vancouver: Victorian Hotel Vancouver
The Victorian Hotel Vancouver offers guests affordable luxury in the centre of the city. This charming three-star hotel is within walking distance of the city’s top attractions, best shopping, and trendiest restaurants.
It features a wide variety of modern amenities, including a gym and ski lockers. Each room is outfitted with iPod docking stations, a flat-screen TV and personal coffee/tea making facilities.
Best Luxurious Downtown Hotel: Opus Hotel
Want a bit more luxury? Then check out the Opus Hotel in the heart of Vancouver’s downtown district. You’ll be surrounded by shops, restaurants, and bars as well as Vancouver’s famous sights.
The hotel itself is modern and chic, offering a fitness room, massage and beauty services, and a spa & wellness center.
Vancouver Neighborhood Guide
Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Vancouver
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Vancouver is a modern and cosmopolitan city located on the west coast of Canada. Nestled between the mountain and the sea, Vancouver is famous for its majestic natural beauty and stunning scenery.
There’s a lot to do, see and experience in Vancouver from sampling exciting local cuisine and vibrant shopping to enjoying world-class sporting events and lively nights out.
Vancouver has a population of more than 2.4 million, with more than 630,000 people living in the downtown core. It is the largest metropolitan area in Western Canada and the third largest in Canada.
The city is divided into a number of distinct districts. We recommend that you visit at least three or four depending on the nature of your trip.
Yaletown is a downtown district and one of the trendiest areas of Vancouver. It’s where you’ll find great shopping, delicious food and very hip bars. It’s close to other areas of the city and perfect for first-time visitors.
To the west of Yaletown is the West End. A laid-back and relaxed neighbourhood, this is where you’ll find great beaches, charming independent shops and tree-lined avenues.
East of the West End is Gastown. One of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, Gastown is also one of the coolest places in Vancouver and home of bars, charming streets and architecture.
At the heart of the city is Granville Street. A bustling pedestrianized zone, this is where you’ll find the best bars and liveliest nightclubs.
South of the city centre, you have the Kitsilano neighbourhood. A perfect combination of laid-back and chic, with everything on offer like shops, bars, beaches, and parks.
Still not sure where to stay in Vancouver? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered below.
5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Vancouver
Vancouver is well-connected thanks to its robust public transit system which includes land and sea buses and light rail. The city is very safe and is pedestrian and bike friendly. No matter where you stay in the city, you’ll be able to visit the various neighbourhoods with relative ease.
Certain neighbourhoods in Vancouver are better suited than others to specific interests. Do you want to drink and dance at the city’s hottest clubs? Maybe you want to explore its exciting and innovative culinary scene?
Perhaps you want to have the beach and seaside at your doorstep. All of these things are possible if you’re in the right neighborhood. Here are the five best neighbourhoods in Vancouver broken down by interest.
Yaletown is located in downtown Vancouver. On the waterfront, this neighbourhood is a revitalized industrial zone that is now one of the city’s hottest areas. It’s home to a number of chic hotels and independent boutiques as well as modern restaurants and trendy bars.
Well connected to other areas of the city, Yaletown is a great location for anyone visiting Vancouver for the first time. It’s within walking distance of the city’s hottest shopping street, Robson, and a good variety of nightlife locations.
Enjoy charming cobblestone streets and modern features in this downtown Vancouver neighbourhood.
Things to See and Do in Yaletown
– Ignite your imagination at Science World at TELUS World of Science.
– Catch a concert or major sporting event, like a B.C. Lions football game at B.C. Place.
– Enjoy good food, tasty drinks and a great atmosphere at Yaletown Brewing Company.
– Browse the shops and stalls at Vancouver Flea Market where you can find everything from sweets and treats to furniture and appliances.
– For a quintessential coastal experience head to Rodney’s Oyster House where you’ll enjoy fresh seafood and stunning views.
– Rent kayaks and explore the waters of False Creek where the views of the city are unbeatable.
– Walk along the seawall, a paved waterfront walkway that leads all the way into and around Stanley Park.
– Come in and enjoy a great lineup of programming, including DJs, drag shows and more at The Cobalt, the classiest dive bar in the city.
– Grab a seat outside (weather permitting) and enjoy a relaxing and delicious patio brunch at the Hurricane Grill.
Best Hostel in Yaletown: YWCA Hotel
Located near BC Place, this downtown Vancouver hostel is the closest to the Yaletown neighbourhood. Offering private accommodations, this hostel has rooms that are perfect for solo, duo and small groups of travellers.
Each room features air conditioning, a mini-fridge, and a private bathroom. Well connected to the rest of the city via public transportation, this hostel is perfect for travellers of all ages and styles.
Best Hotel in Yaletown: Opus Hotel
This luxurious four-star hotel is located in the heart of Vancouver’s trendy Yaletown neighbourhood. Surrounded by shops, restaurants, bars and attractions, this hotel is within walking distance of all of Vancouver’s most famous tourist sights.
Each room is equipped with air conditioning and a flat-screen TV, desk and mini bar. Enjoy daily breakfast and a magnificent stay in the centre of Yaletown.
Located on the western edge of Vancouver’s downtown core is the West End neighbourhood. Home to some of the city’s best beaches, the West End is where relaxing nature and the bustling city blend seamlessly.
This charming and laid-back neighbourhood is also where you’ll find the best value accommodation options. With low-cost hostels and boutique hotels, the West End has something for travellers of all styles and budgets.
Well connected to the rest of the city, it’s the perfect base for your time in Vancouver.
Things to See and Do in West End
– Relax and enjoy stunning views of the mountains and sea from English Bay Beach, one of the best beaches in the city.
– Visit the world-famous Japadog hot dog stand that serves up hot dogs with delicious and unique Japanese-style toppings.
– Grab a spot on a log or stretch your legs in the sand at Sunset Beach, one of the best places to be when the sun is setting over Vancouver.
– A family owned and operated distillery, Long Table Distillery brews handcrafted small-batch gin that’s absolutely delicious. Pop by and sample some of their most unique blends.
– Homemade noodles and delicious dishes await you at the Legendary Noodle House, one of the best places for cheap eats in Vancouver.
– Wander through Morton Park and see the interesting, intriguing, and downright weird statues that dot this urban green space.
– Grab a pie and enjoy an inexpensive and filling snack at Peaked Pies.
– Rent bikes and ride along the seawall, making your way around the island of Vancouver.
Best Hostel in West End: HI Vancouver Downtown
This West End hostel is the best place to stay in Vancouver if you’re on a budget. Situated at the centre of this safe and beautiful neighbourhood, this hostel is close to shops, restaurants, bars and the beach. Offering private and shared accommodations, each stay includes bed and bath linens, comfortable mattress, and free daily breakfast.View on HostelWorld
Best Hotel in West End: English Bay Hotel
English Bay Hotel is located in the heart of the West End. Surrounded by restaurants, bars, beaches, and shops, this hotel is well situated for exploring the city.
Made up of 52 rooms, it offers a range of features to ensure guests have a pleasant stay. Enjoy stunning views and a great location in the West End.
The Granville Street neighbourhood is one of the most energetic and vibrant neighbourhoods in the city. Located in the heart of downtown, this is a lively neighbourhood where nightlife rules and the party carries on all night long.
The entertainment district is a pedestrian zone which spans several blocks on one of the city’s main thoroughfares. Home to the hottest clubs, bars, and late-night restaurants, Granville Street is the ideal location for anyone looking to enjoy a wild night out in the city.
From in the club to out on the street, this is the best place to sing, dance and party all night long.
Things to See and Do in Granville Street
– Catch a show at the Orpheum Theatre, home to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and other great performances.
– Rock out to local and international artists at the Vogue Theatre, an art deco theatre that was built in the 1940s.
– Dance the night away at Venue Nightclub, a two-level, 600-person space that hosts live DJs and performances every night of the week.
– A Vancouver staple, The Commodore Ballroom hosts great live performances from local and world-renowned bands.
– Enjoy a wild night out at the Roxy, one of the city’s most infamous nightclubs and a favourite haunt of professional athletes, including the Vancouver Canucks and visiting NHL players.
– Visit the gritty and eclectic Republic Vancouver for a night of great music, unparalleled service, and a moody and spirited atmosphere.
– For one of the best night’s in the city head to Celebrities on nearby Davie Street. This iconic location has been hosting the best alternative nightlife in Vancouver for more than 30 years.
Best Hostel in Granville Street: SameSun Vancouver
The Samesun Vancouver hostel is located at the heart of the city’s entertainment district. Situated right on Granville Street, this hostel is within walking distance of the city’s liveliest bars, clubs, restaurants and shopping.
A fun and fabulous hostel, Samesun Vancouver features an on-site café, the Beaver Bar where you can indulge in drinks and snacks day or night. Enjoy a comfortable stay and friendly atmosphere in downtown Vancouver.
Best Hotel in Granville Street: Howard Johnson Hotel Vancouver
You won’t find a better location on the Granville strip than the Howard Johnson Hotel Vancouver. In the heart of downtown, this three-star hotel is surrounded by restaurants, bars, clubs and great shopping.
It features an in-house restaurant and lounge as well as a coffee bar, Jacuzzi, and sauna. Enjoy a comfortable stay and modern amenities in the heart of Vancouver.
Gastown is one of the oldest and most charming neighbourhoods in Vancouver. Located at the northeast end of Downtown Vancouver, this area is made up of cobblestone streets and stunning heritage architecture.
Thanks to the plaques that adorn many of the streets, this is the neighbourhood where Vancouver’s history truly comes alive.
Gastown is also one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the city. This trendy and historic district is where you’ll find a great variety of creative cocktail joints, hip microbreweries and chic boutiques. Enjoy classic charm with a modern twist in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood.
Things to See and Do in Gastown
– Ride the glass elevator 170 meters up to the top of the Vancouver Lookout and enjoy a 360-degree, panoramic view of the city, sea and mountains.
– Visit the Steam Clock and stand at the spot where the city began.
– Browse works of art by First Nation People, including paintings, sculptures, carvings and ceramics, at the Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery.
– Good drinks and a great atmosphere await you at the Lamplighter Public House, a classic and modern pub at the heart of the city.
– Spend a cool evening sipping on refined cocktails at Chambar.
– Enjoy a variety of great food at the Water Street Café, a staple of Gastown’s culinary scene.
– Dine on Canadian, French and European fares at ultra-hip and cool L’Abattoir Restaurant.
– Drink unique and exotic cocktails at the Diamond.
– Visit the Alibi Room for a great lineup of cocktails, beer, drinks and food.
Best Hostel in Gastown: Cambie Hostel Gastown
This hostel is situated at the centre of one of Vancouver’s coolest neighbourhoods. Located in Gastown, this hostel is a short walk to all of the city’s top attractions. The common room features a full kitchen and a comfortable seating area.
The hostel is even home to Oreo the cat who loves to make friends with guests. Perched atop The Cambie, one of Vancouver’s best bars, you won’t have to go very far to find a good time in Gastown.
Best Hotel in Gastown: Victorian Hotel Vancouver
The Victorian Hotel Vancouver offers guests affordable luxury in the centre of the city. This charming three-star hotel is within walking distance of the city’s top attractions, best shopping and trendiest restaurants.
It features a wide variety of modern amenities, including a gym and ski lockers. Each room some outfitted with iPod docking stations, a flat-screen TV and personal coffee/tea making facilities.
South of the downtown core, Kitsilano is a stylish and family-friendly Vancouver neighbourhood. Known locally as “Kits,” this area had a long history of coffee culture, poetry readings and was the home to many “flower children.” Today, this neighbourhood is where you’ll find chic yummy mummies and fashionable young professionals.
Home to sandy beaches and public pools, Kitsilano is one of the best neighbourhoods for families in Vancouver. It’s made up of charming tree-lined streets and lush public parks.
Well connected to Granville Island and Downtown Vancouver, Kitsilano is the perfect base for a stay in Vancouver.
Things to See and Do in Kitsilano
– Rest and relax on Kitsilano Beach, one of the most popular beaches in the city.
– Take a dip in Kitsilano Pool, a seaside saltwater pool with long lanes and stunning views.
– Enjoy a delicious and filling meal at Rocky Mountain Flatbread, which specializes in wholesome homemade flatbread pizza.
– Visit the White Spot Restaurant in Kitsilano, where kids will love chowing down on the beloved pirate pack.
– Cool down on a hot day by grabbing a scoop of ice cream at Rain or Shine.
– Enjoy an amazing brunch at the famous Sophie’s Cosmic Café; Get there early to beat the rush.
– Visit nearby Granville Island where you’ll find a number of quirky shops, a robust farmer’s market and a variety of great restaurants, cafes and bars. This is also where you can hop aboard the ferry and travel across False Creek.
– Explore the city’s rich history at the Museum of Vancouver where you can browse exhibits and exhibitions that share stories, objects and memories.
– Rent bikes and cruise along the seaside, riding all the way from Kitsilano to Stanley Park and beyond!
Best Hostel in Kitsilano: HI Vancouver Jericho Beach
The closest hostel to the neighbourhood is located slightly east of the border on Jericho Park. Just 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver, this hostel boasts unbeatable views of the city, mountains, and sea.
This hotel offers both private and dorm-style accommodations. Features include hot showers, a common room, BBQs and a book exchange.
Best Hotel in Kitsilano: Kitsilano Home 2 Home
Located just one block north of vibrant 4th Avenue, this property is at the heart of Kitsilano. Ideal for families and small groups, this property is outfitted with a variety of features to ensure a comfortable stay.
Close to major public transit routes, this hotel is well-connected to Vancouver’s top attractions, including Stanley Park, Robson Street, and Science World.
It’s within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and activities perfect for the whole family.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Vancouver
In this guide we covered where to stay in Vancouver depending on your interests, offering the best hotels and hostels by area, and a list of awesome things to do in each neighborhood.
If you need a bit more inspiration, check out this list of the 25 best free things to do in Vancouver. Chances are, you’re also visiting Vancouver to get in touch with nature, so make sure to take a hike! Here are some of the best day hikes in Vancouver.
If you’re still not sure where to stay in Vancouver, we highly recommend HI Vancouver Downtown in the West End if you’re on a budget.
This hostel is comfortable, offers free breakfast, and is conveniently situated near shops, restaurants, bars, and the beach.
For a bit more privacy and luxury, the affordable Victorian Hotel Vancouver includes a gym and ski lockers. Rooms feature plenty of modern facilities.
And don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – , or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.
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Need More Inspiration?
- Backpacking Canada on a Budget
- The Best Hostels in Vancouver to Crush your Travels
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- Backpacking Vancouver Travel Guide: Travel Tips and Itineraries
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