This chic, locally famous neighbourhood is located right in the heart of downtown Vancouver – but what are the best things to do in Yaletown?
From delicious food to expansive green spaces to unique shopping experiences I’m gonna break it down for you.
Here’s my list of fun things to do in Yaletown.
Best Things to Do in Yaletown
EXPLORE YALETOWN’S DINING SCENE
One of the best things to do in Vancouver is exploring Yaletown’s food lover paradise.
One of the must-visit places in Yaletown is The Flying Pig. This restaurant is famous for its hearty Canadian fare, and its brunch menu is a particular standout.
Those looking for something a little more prototypical west coast will enjoy the seafood at Blue Water Cafe.
Nearby Cioppino’s is one of only 20 restaurants worldwide to be awarded three forks in the Gambero Rosso Top Italian Restaurant Guide.
Another popular spot is Brix & Mortar, a restaurant housed in a beautifully restored 1912 heritage building. The menu here is innovative and features a range of modern Canadian cuisine.
Related: Best Restaurants in Gastown
VISIT THE HISTORIC ENGINE 374 PAVILION
When many people discuss Yaletown’s railroad yard past, it is typically mentioned as pejorative.
But, the neighbourhood played a massive role in Vancouver’s growth into Western Canada’s largest port.
Consider that as late as the 1880’s, it was still virtually impossible to travel across Canada. That is, until the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which was finished on November 7th, 1885.
Where did this budding new rail line terminate? You guessed it, right here in Yaletown.
As part of any Vancouver itinerary I suggest you learn more about their sacrifice and see the first intercontinental passenger train that left Montreal for Vancouver in 1887 on display at the Yaletown Roundhouse.
The best part of all? It’s free.
Related: What is Vancouver Known For?
CHILL IN ONE OF YALETOWN’S NUMEROUS GREEN SPACES
Despite being located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Yaletown also has plenty of green spaces where you can relax and unwind.
One of the most popular spots is David Lam Park, which features a large pond and plenty of picnic areas.
Nearby Coopers’ Park is known as the area’s local dog park and houses several public art installations. Closer to the Granville Street Bridge, George Wainright Park is known for its expansive lawn and beautiful views of False Creek.
These urban oases are connected to Yaletown’s section of Vancouver’s famous Seawall.
This scenic walkway extends for 28 kilometres from Kitsilano to Stanley Park. This makes for the perfect spot to go for a morning stroll or bike ride.
Related: Queen Elizabeth Park Vancouver
GO PATIO HOPPING DURING HAPPY HOUR
As Vancouver in winter gives way to sunnier days, Yaletown’s vast array of patios fills up with sun-starved Vancouverites. The attraction? Some of the city’s cheapest drinks in a neighbourhood that isn’t typically so welcoming to those on a budget.
The lively Banter Room is good for younger patrons seeking cheap drinks and loud music. Those looking to get started early might prefer the Parlour, whose happy hour runs from open to 6:00 pm all week – meaning the deals start as early as noon, depending on the day!
Yaletown Brewing Company is always the go-to for beer lovers. And if you’re looking for something a little posher, you can’t go wrong with West Oak.
And don’t forget, local chains like Cactus Club, Earl’s and Hapa Izakaya shouldn’t be slept on by those looking for selection and affordability.
Related: Best Vancouver Food Tours
TAKE A TOUR OF FALSE CREEK ON THE AQUABUS
Since you’re already down on the waterfront, I’d recommend hopping on one of the iconic False Creek Ferries at David Lam or Yaletown Dock.
The Aquabus is a fun and convenient way to explore False Creek, one of Vancouver’s most scenic areas. With multiple stops along the way, it’s easy to hop on and off to explore the many attractions that the area has to offer.
Science World and Granville Island are both served by their own stations. At the same time, several of Vancouver’s best museums can also be reached via Vanier Park Station.
The vessels can also be a conduit to hit up some of Vancouver’s best beaches.
Either way, exploring the city with the wind blowing through your hair is undoubtedly preferable to spending your day stuck in the downtown core’s notorious traffic.
Related: Best Vancouver Boat Tours
ENJOY YALETOWN’S VIBRANT NIGHTLIFE
Yaletown is also known for its lively nightlife, with a range of bars, lounges and clubs that cater to a variety of different tastes. Whether you’re looking for a quiet drink or a night of dancing, you’ll find it here.
One of the most popular spots in Yaletown is Bar None. This club has been around for over 25 years and has a reputation for hosting some of the best parties in the city.
Another popular spot is The Spritz Bar in the Opus Hotel. This chic and modern cocktail bar provides a worthy homage to Italian aperitivo culture.
For something a bit more low-key, check out The Parlour. This cozy bar has a speakeasy vibe, making it the perfect spot for a casual night out.
Or, for the ultimate in luxury, you can visit the aptly named Pierre’s Champagne Lounge, which aims to provide Vancouver’s most exclusive lounge experience.
Related: Best Bars in Vancouver
SHOP TILL YOU DROP IN YALETOWN’S BOUTIQUES
If you’re a fan of Vancouver shopping, then Yaletown won’t disappoint. The neighbourhood is home to a variety of independent boutiques and designer shops, so you’re sure to find something unique.
One of the most popular shopping destinations in Yaletown is Fine Finds Boutique. This shop features a carefully curated selection of women’s clothing, accessories, and home decor items from local designers.
Global Atomic Designs is another independent, fashion-forward boutique that features apparel from across the globe.
Another must-visit spot is The Cross Decor & Design, which has gained international acclaim for its creative aesthetic in home decor and furnishings.
YALETOWN GENERAL INFO
Yaletown is a vibrant neighbourhood in the downtown area of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
It is known for its mix of heritage buildings and modern developments, trendy restaurants and cafes, and proximity to parks and waterfront areas.
Despite its industrial beginnings, it is now primarily an urban district home to young professionals.
Yaletown has a population of approximately 10,000 people, with a mix of young professionals, families, and retirees.
The median age is 38 years old, and the neighbourhood has a higher-than-average household income. As such, the area is filled with condo towers, trendy cafes, posh restaurants, and independent boutiques catering to their needs.
THE HISTORY OF YALETOWN
Before Yaletown became the trendy neighbourhood it is today; the area was once the Western terminus for the Canadian Pacific Railway and thus an industrial hub filled with warehouses, rail yards, and factories.
However, in the latter half of the 20th century, Vancouver began its transformation from a hub for resource-based industries like logging, mining and fishing into the cosmopolitan metropolis we see today.
But the arrival of the Expo 86 World’s Fair was the true harbinger of change for Yaletown.
To prepare for the world’s eyes, the city began transforming the area into a residential and commercial district, resulting in the Yaletown we know and love today.
It is now primarily an urban district home to young professionals between the ages of 20-39.
As such, the neighbourhood is filled with condo towers, trendy cafes, posh restaurants, and independent boutiques catering to their needs.
Where is Yaletown?
You’ll find Yaletown in Downtown Vancouver on the southside of the downtown peninsula along False Creek just outside the Central Business District.
The 1.96 km2 neighbourhood is bordered by Pacific Boulevard to the south, Richards St. to the west, and Robson St. to the northeast.
Are you having trouble getting oriented? Well, travellers will be thrilled to know that Yaletown is the only district in Vancouver that provides free wifi.
So, getting around should be a breeze, even if it’s your first time in Vancouver.
Luckily, the area is within walking distance from most of Vancouver’s most popular neighbourhoods and Downtown hotels.
But maybe after reading this article on things to do in Yaletown you’d like to stay nearby! In that case, we’ve curated a list of the top Yaletown hotels.
Getting to Yaletown by Skytrain (Canada Line)
Yaletown is well-served by the Vancouver transportation network and is just a 20-minute Skytrain ride from YVR Airport. Just get off at Yaletown Station, which is located at the intersection of Davie and Mainland.
It’s about a ten-minute walk from the Stadium District, City Centre or the West End.
Getting to Yaletown by Bus
Though it’s possible to walk to Yaletown from anywhere downtown, you can also get there quickly by bus from some other top areas in the city:
Before you attempt to navigate the Vancouver public transit system, be sure to check out our Vancouver Public Transport mega guide.
Where is Yaletown located in Vancouver?
Yaletown lies in the southeast corner of Vancouver’s downtown peninsula. Officially, the area is bordered by Richards Street to the west, Robson Street to the north and False Creek to the south and east.
What is the best way to get to Yaletown?
Yaletown’s main transportation hub is Yaletown-Roundhouse Station which services the Skytrain’s Canada Line. It can also be reached via the #6, #17, #23, and N15 buses which connect the neighbourhood to the West End, Chinatown and Fairview, respectively.
The kitschy False Creek Ferries also connect Yaletown to Science World, Olympic Village, Granville Island and Vanier Park via Yaletown Station in the Quayside Marina.
Is Yaletown safe?
Vancouver is generally considered quite safe, and Yaletown itself is no different. Even though the area is sandwiched between two of the city’s seediest areas (the Granville Strip & Chinatown), it is likely the safest area in the downtown peninsula.
While some of these elements may periodically spill over, the neighbourhood is typically secure, well-patrolled, and safe for visitors and those that can afford to reside there.
Ready to Visit Yaletown Vancouver?
I’ve done my best to highlight the best things to do in Yaletown, but maybe I forgot something that you’re just dying to know.
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Enjoy Yaletown 🙂
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