Vancouver Day Tours: Vancouver in Three Days

Enjoy a self-guided three day Vancouver sightseeing tour by bus and SkyTrain

Have you only got three days in Vancouver? Follow this step-by-step three day tour of Vancouver exactly, or use the resources on our site to make changes reflecting your personal interests.

By planning ahead and following a logical path you can cover a lot of area each day. We recommend purchasing a day pass for each day of your tour because it allows you to ride the SkyTrain, buses and Seabus all day long without having to stop and purchase additional fares.

You may want to consider the weather forecast to help you decide the best order in which to do these tours. In the following example day one is the best choice for a rainy day as it features more indoor activities. You will want the best weather for day two and especially day three to take full advantage of the mountain views. You can add an additional day to any of our suggested tours with either a Fort Langley Day Trip or BC Ferries Day Trip which are both a full day outing on their own.

Day One

Leg 1 - Take a walk through Gastown

Steam Clock in Vancouver's Historic Gastown Start your day by taking the SkyTrain to Waterfront Station. Exit the station and stroll east along the cobblestone pavement of Water Street into Gastown. Explore some of the unique shops and be sure to see the famous Steam Clock and the statue of 'Gassy Jack'; the enjoy a morning tea or coffee at one of the cafes before making your way back to Waterfront Station.

Time: 1 Hour

Leg 2 - Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver Art Gallery seen from Robson Square

From Waterfront Station ride the Expo Line train one stop to Burrard Station. From Burrard SkyTrain Station take the Burrard Street Exit and walk one block south on Burrard to Georgia Street. Go left one block along Georgia to Hornby Street where you will find the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Time: 2.5 Hours

Leg 3 - Head to Vanier Park and visit the H.R. MacMillan Space Center Planetarium, Museum of Vancouver and the Vancouver Maritime Museum

HR McMillan Space Center (Planetarium) and Vancouver Museum From the Vancouver Art Gallery walk to your west back to Burrard Street and cross over to the bus stop southbound on Burrard Street just past Georgia for the #2 and #22 Macdonald bus. Take either bus to the Cypress Street Stop on Cornwall Avenue (less that 10 minutes). Walk back along Cornwall Ave. to Chestnut Street and go left. The park and Space Center are straight ahead. You can see all three attractions in the park with a Vanier Park Explore Pass for $36.00 per Adult or $30.00 for Youth and Seniors other wise you can visit whichever ones you which and pay the admissions individually. I'd suggest arriving by 1 pm at the latest to give yourself ample time to see these attractions prior to the 5 pm closing. Note: the Space Centre and Museums are closed on Mondays.

Time: 5 Hours

Return Leg

Walk back to Cornwall Ave. and Cypress Street and catch the #22 Knight bus to Burrard Station. Navigate back to you hotel via SkyTrain and or Bus from there.

Time: 30 Minutes plus time to Hotel

Total Time: 9 Hours plus hotel connections

Day Two

Leg 1 - Explore Vancouver's Chinatown

Chinatown's Dr. Sun-Dat Chinese Gardens Make your way to Stadium - Chinatown Station on the Expo Line. From Stadium - Chinatown Station take the Expo Blvd. / Abbott Street exit. Walk to your left just one block north along Abbott to Keefer Street where the entrance to the International Market (Tinseltown) is located. One block farther north is Pender Street. Historic Chinatown including the Millennium Gate and the Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden occupies the next 4 blocks to the east along these 2 streets. Explore this colourful neighbourhood on foot and perhaps try some authentic Chinese before heading onto the next leg. Note: the Chinese Gardens are subject to admission charges and are closed on Mondays. After spending some time in Chinatown make your way to a #19 Stanley Park bus stop westbound on Pender Street in Chinatown

cc licensed photo by David Pul Ohmer

Time: 3 Hours

Leg 2 - Stroll along the seawall in Stanley Park

Stanley Park Seawall with Lions Gate Bridge in background From Chinatown catch the #19 Stanley Park bus going west on Pender into Stanley Park. From the Stanley Park bus loop make your way toward Vancouver Aquarium and check out the free viewing area on the west side. Follow the path north from there to the seawall and go for a walk in either direction along the seawall for about 30 minutes then double back to the aquarium area and west back to the bus loop. Take the #19 Metrotown bus back to Pender and Burrard and walk south 1 block to Burrard Station.

Time: 2½ Hours

Leg 3 - See the City from SkyTrain

SkyTrain Bridge At Burrard Station catch an Expo Line Train heading east to Surrey King George and ride it all the way out to Scott Road Station. You will see good views over much of Metro Vancouver along the way as most of the track is elevated. Just before Scott Road Station you will cross the world's longest transit only bridge as you pass high above the Fraser River. Exit the train at Scott Road and follow the signs to make your way to the westbound platform and catch the next train going back to Columbia Station in historic New Westminster (once the capital of BC).

Time: < 1 Hour

Leg 4 - Explore Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area and Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University Academic Quadrangle At Columbia Station follow the signs to change platforms for a train heading to Production/University Station. From there, catch bus #145 SFU up to the Upper Bus Loop at Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area and Simon Fraser University. Note: the #145 bus can be very busy when University is in session, however it is only about 7 minutes between buses, so if you can't get on the first bus you won't have a long wait for the next one. Explore the interesting architecture of the campus and have a lunch or dinner at one of the numerous restaurants adjacent to the bus loop. If there is still at least an hour of daylight and the weather is good, take any bus from the upper bus loop or the transportation centre (just past the 'tunnel' your bus first passed through coming to the University) to the University residences stop (first stop past the 'tunnels') and follow the trail to the west that begins behind the bus stop for a 15 minute walk to the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area. Enjoy the views of the city, mountains and Burrard Inlet along with totem poles, sculptures and the rose gardens before walking back to the University residence stop.

cc licensed photo by miss_curse10

Time: 3 Hours

Return Leg

If you are making your way back to downtown Vancouver catch bus #135 Burrard Station for the 50 minute ride back into downtown. If you are staying in North Burnaby, New Westminster or Surrey take the #145 bus back to Production Station and navigate back to your hotel, or if staying near Metrotown take bus #144 Metrotown.

Time: < 1 Hour
Total time: 9½ Hours plus hotel connections

Day Three

Leg 2 - Ride the Seabus and visit Lonsdale Quay Public Market

Entrance to Lonsdale Quay Public Market Board the Seabus for the 15 minute crossing over to Lonsdale Quay Public Market in North Vancouver. Spend some time exploring the many shops and services in the Public Market and grab quick lunch or snack before walking to Bay 8 for the next leg.

photo by Arnold C

Time: 1½ Hours

Leg 2 - Walk across the Capilano Supsension Bridge and explore the park

Capilano Suspension Bridge (Note: The #236 bus is used for all of the remaining legs of this tour. It runs every 15 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes during evenings so your daytime waits will not be very long.) From Bay 8 at the Lonsdale Quay bus loop catch the #236 Grouse Mountain bus and take it to the Suspension Bridge Stop on Capilano Road (about 15 minutes). This popular attraction features a foot bridge suspended 230 feet above the Capilano River. Treetops Adventures which is a series of seven footbridges suspended between large Douglas Fir trees. Guests can also view nature trails, gardens and totem poles.

cc licensed photo by d0ndy

Time: 2 Hours

Leg 3 - See the Cleveland Dam

Breathtaking look over the edge of Cleveland Dam Catch the #236 Grouse Mountain bus again across the road from the Capilano Suspension Bridge and take it to Prospect Avenue on Nancy Greene Way (about 5 minutes). Walk back and cross the road and the parking lot to Dam Road where you can walk right onto the top of Cleveland Dam. There is also a walkway down to a lookout part way down the side of the gorge.

photo by Arnold C

Time: 1 Hour

Leg 4 - Take the Skyride to the top of Grouse Mountain and enjoy the unparalleled views and attractions

Grouse Mountain Skyride high above Capilano Lake Catch the #236 Grouse Mountain bus once again across the road from the Cleveland Dam parking lot on Nancy Greene Way and ride the rest of the way to the base of Grouse Mountain (Just a couple more minutes on the bus. Take the Grouse Mountain 'Skyride' gondola car up to the chalet at the top of the mountain, enjoying some spectacular views along the way as well as at the top. Explore the attractions and trails at the top and have some dinner and before returning to the parking lot at the bottom.

Time: 4 Hours

Return Leg

Take the #236 Lonsdale Quay bus back to Lonsdale Quay and ride the Seabus back to Waterfront Station in Vancouver where you can navigate the SkyTrain system back to your hotel.

Time: < 1 Hour
Total time: 9½ Hours plus hotel connections

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