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vancouver harbour at sunset from burrard bridge

5 Days in Vancouver: Plan the Perfect 5 Day Itinerary

Finding things to do in 5 days in Vancouver doesn’t have to be hard.

Of course, whether it’s your first visit or you’re a well-traveled guest, you’ll probably need some local help to get it done.

Let’s get right into my 5 day Vancouver itinerary and get your vacation planned!

How I Planned This 5 Day Trip to Vancouver

I grew up in Vancouver so I like to think I know a little bit about how to plan a trip.

This has inspired me to create a five-day itinerary for Vancouver, aiming to showcase the city’s top attractions while providing a peek into the everyday life of Vancouverites.

Whether you’re in search of outdoor adventures in Vancouver, keen on discovering cultural landmarks, or eager to taste the finest local cuisine, this guide is designed for you.

Sorry! A quick one: We’re just two brothers trying to compete with Tripadvisor, so some links here may be affiliate links. This means that, at no extra cost to you, we may earn a commission. The revenue helps keep our site ad-free and gets us one step closer to doing this for a living – so thank you so much.

So, what can you expect from this 5 day guide?

My 5 day itinerary features 2-3 major attractions each day, including a journey through one of Vancouver’s unique neighbourhoods, complemented by recommendations for lunch, dinner.

I’ve also organized everything to minimize travel time and maximize your enjoyment.

What to Do in Vancouver: 5 Day Itinerary

a visitor looking at coastal first nations artwork at the museum of anthropology at ubc in vancouver bc canada
Museum of Anthropology: Vancouver 5 day itinerary

Day 1: Understanding Vancouver Culture & History

If I want to get my hand on Vancouver’s cultural pulse, I’m starting my day at the Museum of Anthropology to delve into the history of British Columbia’s First Nations people.

Of course, it’s about 20 minutes from downtown so if you need a closer alternative, the Bill Reid Gallery is a fine plan b.

I’d also check out Vancouver Art Gallery to see works from both local and international artists. From here, I’d walk along the famous Robson Street and check out Vancouver’s retail scene.

Later, I’m walking over to Gastown and hopping on the Lost Souls of Gastown Tour to get my Vancouver history degree! Via macabre stories of a violent, troubling past.

Finally, dinner at one of Gastown’s best restaurants is surely in order – it’s the culinary heart of the city.

➡️ Tip: The patio at the VAG is one of Vancouver’s hidden gems – a coffee there breaks up the day perfectly.

grouse mountain patio restaurant with bird's eye view of vancouver harbour
Patio at Grouse Mountain: Vancouver 5 day itinerary

Day 2: Discover Vancouver’s Outdoor Wonders

There’s no way you should miss Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, an exciting outdoor attraction featuring a 450-foot-long rope suspension bridge, treetop adventures, and cliffside walkways.

From here, it’s just a short trip over to Grouse Mountain, the city’s outdoor playground, which offers skiing in winter and a variety of summer activities.

capilano suspension bridge and grouse mountain tour banner for 2024

I’d grab a beer on the patio and soak in the views, or go visit the mountain’s local grizzly bears Grinder and Coola.

Then, you can wrap up your day in North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay, a unique seaside marketplace with an array of shopping and dining options.

➡️ Tip: Tap & Barrel Shipyards (at Lonsdale) is one of the best local beer patios + a seaside view.

a fruit vendor puts out baskets of fruit at granville island in vancouver bc canada
Fruit Vendor: Vancouver 5 day itinerary

Day 3: Explore Granville Island + Killer Whales

On day three of this 5 day trip to Vancouver I wanna start you off at Granville Island, a vibrant marketplace known for its lively artisan community and fresh produce, seafood, and handcrafted goods.

If I had only two places to shop, I’d splash out on Lee’s Donuts and the candied salmon from Longliner Seafoods.

Here, you can also sift through Vancouver’s top artisan stores like Make, Granville Island Brewing, and the Wickannanish Gallery.

From here, it’s easy to start the afternoon with one of Vancouver’s best whale watching tours to see orcas, humpback whales, and bald eagles.

➡️ Tip: A dinner at Sandbar is a great way to discover Vancouver’s elite Pacific seafood offerings.

Canada geese and Lions Gate Bridge: Vancouver 5 day itinerary

Day 4: Stanley Park & Gourmet Dining

It was hard to leave this 5 day itinerary activity until day 4, but here we finally get to legendary Stanley Park – a sprawling public park with picturesque trails, beaches, and wildlife.

If the weather is good, I’m strolling along the Vancouver Seawall, a scenic 22 km paved path with stunning views of the city skyline and mountains.

vancouver whale tour banner

If it’s not, or if I’m traveling to Vancouver with kids (or I just like fish!) I’m gonna do the Vancouver Aquarium, home to over 50,000 animals, including beluga whales and sea otters.

Finally, have dinner in Yaletown, where some of Vancouver’s finest restaurants reside, such as Tasty Indian Bistro, Cioppino’s and the Blue Water Cafe.

➡️ Tip: To see the city as it was meant to be seen, rent a bike or e-bike downtown and cycle the entire seawall – leaving it a Science World.

the gastown steam clock chiming in gastown vancouver bc canada
Gastown Steam Clock: 5 day trip to Vancouver

Day 5: Tour Vancouver’s Diverse Neighborhoods

In five days in Vancouver, I wouldn’t dream of not including authentic neighbourhoods that locals go to when they’re hungry, thirsty, and looking for fun.

I’d start with a coffee at Soccavo on Commercial Drive, also known as Vancouver’s Little Italy, famous for its eclectic mix of cafes and shops.

Check out Arts Off Main for access to the finest art collective in the city – if you’re looking for unique local gifts this is where it’s at.

Also, you can head over to the trendy boutiques and vintage stores along Main Street, between 26th and 16th.

Cap off the day heading to Chinatown, North America’s second largest such neighbourhood – ideally with a dinner at Chinatown BBQ.

➡️ Tip: A wild card could be going out to the Golden Village in Richmond, a food and shopping area that’ll make you feel like you’re in Asia.

5 Days in Vancouver Itinerary FAQ

What to do in 5 days in Vancouver?

When visiting Vancouver for five days you should check out attractions like the Museum of Anthropology, Grouse Mountain, and Capilano Suspension Bridge plus explore Granville Island, Yaletown, and Commercial Drive.

How much spending money for 5 days in Vancouver?

Priceoftravel.com’s Vancouver backpacker rating is $107.27 USD (or $144.11 CAD), so for the basics you should expect to pay about $720.55 for five days in Vancouver.

Naturally, if you want to stay at more expensive hotels (or eat top notch meals) you’ll be looking at closer to $200.00 a day.

Can you spend 5 days in Vancouver?

Yes, spending five days in Vancouver is a sweet spot of sorts, as it allows you to visit all of the major attractions as well as fit in visits to attractions outside the city centre.

Is five days in Vancouver enough?

Yes, five days in Vancouver is enough if you’re looking to check off the major attractions, visit the city’s most unique neighbourhoods, and sample some of the area’s best food.

Vancouver 5 Day Itinerary

So, 5 day trips from Vancouver don’t have to be hard, do they?

I hope I’ve covered all the highlights and shown you a few local secrets to keep you moving.

If you’ve got any more questions, feel free to drop me a line in the comments below!


I've lived in 5 countries and created content for travel websites like eDreams and Amex Essentials, but here I finally get to work my passion project - my hometown, Vancouver!

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