Spending 2 days in Vancouver is a great way to get your hand on the pulse of our city without going overboard.
With this Vancouver weekend itinerary you can take in the main attractions, have some great local food, and even slot in some epic outdoor escapes that make Vancouver famous.
Let’s draw up a 2 days in Vancouver itinerary like a local would!
2 Days in Vancouver Itinerary: Day One
Bill Reid Gallery
Any good two day Vancouver itinerary will start in downtown Vancouver.
Many of the best things to do in Vancouver are found on this dense peninsula – but if you’ve only got two days in Vancouver I’m suggesting starting with this epic Northwest Coast Art Museum.
The Bill Reid Gallery is a stunning intro to the history of indigenous cultures who called this land home long before contact – through the lens of one of the most brilliant artists these lands has ever produced.
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Robson Square & The Vancouver Art Gallery
Just a short walk from the gallery you’ll find this 1,300,000 sq foot square – it’s surrounded by some of the best shopping in Vancouver and it’s a great place to people watch.
At one end you’ll find the Vancouver Art Gallery: a repository for Vancouver’s best artists as well as one of the best exhibition galleries in Canada.
Soak in the city here. Grab a bite at one of the Vancouver food trucks in front of the art gallery. Get some souvenirs or go clothes shopping on Robson Street.
One of North America’s biggest urban parks, Stanley Park is more of an unspoiled old growth rain forest.
In Vancouver in summer it’s great to walk around the famous Vancouver Seawall to soak it all in:
- Prospect Point
- The Vancouver Aquarium
- Second Beach
- Brockton Point
- Siwash Rock
- Stanley Park Totem Poles
For this weekend itinerary there’s also a stunning pitch and putt golf course and a seasonal railway ride if you’re visiting Vancouver with kids.
Granville Island is Vancouver’s cultural heart. It’s an old industrial area whose warehouses are now the home of artisans who make top end brooms, silks, hats, and even gin.
They’ve got some of the city’s top souvenir shops (which are actually galleries) and the food market is home to all of Vancouver’s best local delicacies.
I usually walk out of here with maple candied salmon, maple syrup butter, a Nanaimo bar (a local dessert made with coconut and chocolate ganache), and a bunch of cheeses.
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Assuming you’ve had an early start, getting here in the early evening leaves you plenty of time to check off the best things to do in Gastown.
This old neighbourhood famous for cobblestone streets and Vancouver’s best bars is the perfect place to explore if you’re looking for Vancouver history.
Grab a happy hour drink here at a place like Clough Club.
Loosened up a bit? The Lost Souls of Gastown tour does a better job than anybody else of teaching the history – via some tragic tales of murder, deception, and gold rush fever.
Finish it off at one of the best restaurants in Gastown – this area has some of the most cutting edge restaurants in town.
Related: Best Walking Tours in Vancouver
What to Do in 2 Days in Vancouver: Day Two
Capilano Suspension Bridge
On day two we’re switching gears from the culture of downtown to the nature of North Vancouver.
At Capilano Suspension Bridge you’ll find a majestic, 460 foot long swing bridge dangling 230 feet above the raging Capilano River.
The area is also home to the world’s largest private collection of totem poles.
They’ve also recently added the Cliff Walk (20 inch platforms jutting out of granite cliffs) and Treetops Adventure (a series of bridges allowing you to walk above the forest floor).
For the visit and trip expect around two hours in total.
Still in North Vancouver, it’s here that you can visit Vancouver’s outdoor playground.
Grouse Mountain, reached by a spectacular gondola ride offering views of the city and sea, offers a variety of epic outdoor activities:
- Grouse Mountain skiing in Vancouver in winter
- The Peak Chalet: restaurants, a patio bar, and gift shop
- Theatre in the Sky: theatre offering educational wildlife videos
- Wildlife Refuge: birds of prey, grizzly bears, and more
- Ziplining, hiking, mountain ropes adventure, lumberjack shows
- Snowshoeing, sliding, and Santa’s North Pole (during Vancouver Christmas)
You’ll spend 3-4 hours here to soak it all in.
Don’t feel like going up the mountain? I’ll suggest taking one of Vancouver’s best whale watching tours instead.
🚗 Don’t have a car? You can get a combined Capilano Suspension Bridge + Grouse Mountain tour where you don’t have to lift a finger.
Dinner in Yaletown
When speaking of tourism in Vancouver, Yaletown is decidedly short on hotels but heavy on, well, everything hip.
This old warehouse district is now home to the best restaurants in Vancouver.
There are some amazing happy hours here to get you started. I recommend Hapa Izakaya or Tasty Indian Bistro.
From there you can slot in a great restaurant like Cioppino’s or Robba da Matti. For the full Vancouver experience though I suggest the epic Pacific seafood joint Blue Water Cafe.
A Night on the Town
OK, so there’s no need to go nuts on a Vancouver two day itinerary but a little fun never hurt did it?
I’m gonna suggest a few ideas to spend your last night in Vancouver:
- Going to one of Vancouver’s best casinos (I recommend Parq)
- Heading over to Commercial Drive for some craft beer or Italian amari
- Checking out Chinatown and grabbing drinks at Keefer Bar
Of course, there’s no shame wrapping up your Vancouver weekend itinerary early.
You could just head back to your hotel and call it a night – I won’t judge!
🍺 Wanna explore Vancouver beer? Check out the best brewery tours in Vancouver.
2 Days in Vancouver Tips
If you’re spending two days in Vancouver it doesn’t have to be complicated.
That said, to make things operate a bit more smoothly, and learn/experience the city at a higher level I’m going to suggest:
- Finding the best area to stay in Vancouver (try and avoid any hotels along East Hastings Street)
- Timing your visit with Vancouver’s best festivals (most are spring/summer)
- Booking all your Vancouver attraction tickets in advance to avoid lines/sell outs
- Mixing in some top monthly events: June, July, August, September, October
- Booking one of the top Vancouver sightseeing tours
- Considering Vancouver’s best food tours
What to Do in Two Days in Vancouver FAQ
What to see in Vancouver in two days?
You should pencil in some of the city’s major attractions: Grouse Mountain, Granville Island, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Stanley Park, and Gastown. You may also want to blend in some museums like the Bill Reid Gallery and the Museum of Anthropology.
How to spend two days in Vancouver?
One day in Vancouver should be spent exploring the neighbourhoods of downtown. Gastown, Chinatown, and Yaletown are the best places to start. The second day should be dedicated to exploring more outside the city, with Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain being the best examples.
Is two days enough in Vancouver?
It should be enough to see the city’s top attractions, try some local food, and experience some of the great British Columbia outdoors. That said, it isn’t enough to get a true feel for the city and its many diverse neighbhourhoods.
Related: How Many Days in Vancouver?
Where to stay for a two day trip to Vancouver?
With limited time you should ensure you find a place to stay in the downtown core. This will allow you to explore some of the city’s top sights on foot if needed, and put you near the best bars and restaurants. Suggested areas include the Stadium District, Yaletown, and Gastown.
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Related: Best Hotels in Gastown
Still Wondering What to See in Vancouver in Two Days?
I can only show you how to visit Vancouver in two days using my own personal experience.
That said, if you have something different in mind just write me in the comments below! Whether it’s planning two days in Vancouver or anything else I’m here to help.
Enjoy your weekend in Vancouver itinerary🥂
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