Vancouver, sometimes mistaken for British Colombia’s capital city (it’s actually Victoria) is nestled between stunning mountains and glorious seaside.

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.

Where to Stay in Vancouver

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Vancouver.

Best Airbnb in Vancouver: Sophisticated colorful Apartment

Sophisticated colorful Apartment

This newly redecorated apartment combines light patterns and pops of color with natural textures and soft furnishings. Come back after a day exploring and curl up in front of the 50? smart TV and enjoy an evening of conversation in this light, airy, modern and sophisticated home away from home.

Best Hostel in Vancouver: HI Vancouver Downtown

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.

If the HI is completely full, there are plenty more hostels in Vancouver to check out!

Best Hotel in Vancouver: Victorian Hotel 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.

Vancouver Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN VANCOUVER
Yaletown skyline
FIRST TIME IN VANCOUVER

Yaletown

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.

ON A BUDGET
Vancouver West End
ON A BUDGET

West End

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. It’s the best area to stay in Vancouver for those on a budget.

Granville Street
Granville Street
Granville Street

NIGHTLIFE

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.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Gastown Vancouver
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Gastown

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.

FOR FAMILIES
Kitsilano Beach Vancouver
FOR FAMILIES

Kitsilano

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.” It’s hands down the best area to stay in Vancouver for families.

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. A number of Vancouver homestays are in Gastown.

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.

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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.

1. Yaletown Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Vancouver for the First Time

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.

Yaletown, Vancouver
source: formulanone (Flickr)

Best Airbnb in Yaletown: Deluxe Junior One Bedroom with 2 Beds

Deluxe Junior One Bedroom with 2 Beds

Located just one block away from the world-famous Robson street there are a lot of various restaurants, stores, groceries are nearby. The condo building has a swimming pool, sauna, exercise gym, and jacuzzi.

Best Hostel in Yaletown: YWCA Hotel

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

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.

Things to See and Do in Yaletown

Yaletown ttd vancouver
  • 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.

2. West End Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Vancouver on a Budget

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 first time in Vancouver.

West End, Vancouver
image source: Socceronly (Wikimedia Commons)

Best Airbnb in West End: Luxury Coal Harbour apartment with a twin bed

Luxury Coal Harbour apartment with a twin bed

Beautiful bright private small room in a luxury Coal Harbour apartment. The room has a twin bed, a large window that opens up to a view of the downtown and the north shore mountains, a spacious closet and full height mirror, a desk, and a chair. Shared bathroom and shower with another guest, clean towels, Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. In-unit washer and dryer.

Best Hostel in West End: HI Vancouver Downtown

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.

Best Hotel in West End: English Bay Hotel

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.

Things to See and Do in West End

West End ttd Vancouver
  • 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.

3. Granville Street – Where to Stay in Vancouver for Nightlife

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. The area can be lively if you visit Vancouver on the weekend so bear that in mind.

Granville Street, Vancouver

Best Airbnb in Granville Street: Sophisticated Colorful Apartment

Sophisticated colorful Apartment

This newly redecorated apartment combines light patterns and pops of color with natural textures and soft furnishings. Come back after a day exploring and curl up in front of the 50″ smart TV and enjoy an evening of conversation in this light, airy, modern and sophisticated home away from home.

Best Hostel in Granville Street: SameSun Vancouver

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

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.

Things to See and Do in Granville Street

Granville ttd Vancouver
  • 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.
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4. Gastown Neighborhood – Coolest Place to Stay in 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.

Gastown, Vancouver
source: Joe Mabel (Wikicommons)

Best Airbnb in Gastown: Trendy Converted Loft

Trendy Converted Loft

This converted warehouse loft is one of the top homes in all of Vancouver. Featuring french doors, large windows and views of the beautiful cobblestone roads, you’ll love the unqiue vibe of this Airbnb. On the rooftop, you can make use of the BBQs and have fabulous views of the water and Northshore mountains. There are two beds available, meaning that you can even bring some friends along. It’s located in a super hip area, with lots of things to explore around you.

Best Hostel in Gastown: Cambie Hostel 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

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’s one of the best places to stay in Vancouver to visit the city.

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.

Things to See and Do in Gastown

gastown ttd vancouver
  • 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.

5. Kitsilano Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Vancouver for Families

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.

Kitsilano, Vancouver

Best Airbnb in Kitsilano: Charming Cottage in Garden Quarter

Cottage in the backyard of a 100 years old house in the Garden Quarter

Located on the ground level of a 100 years old Kitsilano craftsman character house. The apartment’s south & west facing windows makes it bright with lots of light throughout the day. Enjoy privacy as you have your own separate entrance, spacious 1 bedroom with a queen-size comfy bed & full closet & cozy living space & full kitchen.

Best Hostel in Kitsilano: HI Vancouver Jericho Beach

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: Quiet 3BR Family House

Quiet 3BR Family House

Travelling with the whole family can often be stressful when it comes to finding places to stay. Instead of splitting up into different accommodations, you can stay together in this stunning family home. There are three bedrooms in total, meaning that it’ll even accommodate big families. The house is super spacious and has received the best reviews from previous guests. There’s a charming garden where kids can play and a big living area (perfect for socializing). On top of that, it’s located in a quiet and safe residential area as well.

Things to See and Do in Kitsilano

kitsilano ttd vancouver
  • 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!

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, 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.

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