A newbie guide to Vancouver

PHOTO: Kyle Thacker / UNSPLASH

By: Daniel Salcedo Blond

Don’t worry, today I’m not speaking about science at all, I’m actually going to talk about my experience in Vancouver so far. Vancouver is such a beautiful and diverse placeand like most cities, there are tons of things to do. This is theremed towards the new arrivals rather than Vancouver veterans, but maybe even locals will find something interesting to do if you keep reading.


As I said, Vancouver is a beautiful and diverse city, not only in its people but also in its foods, from getting breakfast on Granville Island to enjoying the Richmond Night Market. Here are some of my recommendations if you ever want to eat out:

IKEA 9.5/10

I don’t care what Disney says, IKEA is the real “happiest place on Earth.” Imagine, you just moved into the city, and you need some furniture for your new place: where do you go? IKEA, of course. So after what feels like five hours of aimlessly walking around and realizing you only have the budget for a chair, a fork, and one hanger, you find yourself in their restaurant ordering some Swedish meatballs and poutine. And why is it so good? Is it dehydration from being lost for the last five hours? quien knows; just put your earphones on, play ABBA’s greatest hits, and enjoy the wonders Sweden has given us.

Tim Hortons 8/10

I’ll begin by saying I love Tims. Harvest Breakfast Sandwich on an English muffin, a sour cream glazed doughnut, and an iced coffee? I would order it every single day if I had the money. The only reason I’m not giving it a higher note ithere isn’t much variety in their sandwich menu, but their baked goods compensate for it. Also, if you prefer Starbucks over Tim Hortons, I’ll fight you.

Honey Donuts & Goodies 10/10

These doughnuts. God. . . no words. Try every single flavour, but the must-try is their specialty: the honey-glazed donuts.

vonns 8/10

This tiny restaurant is located right by English Bay. To be completely honest, the hamburgers are good, but not impressive. But their truffle fries are mouth-wateringly tasty. These are french fries with truffle and parmesan cheese. My recommendation is, don’t eat there, just order some fries to-go and take them to English Bay to watch the sunset. Just be sure to clean up after yourself and be careful with the seagulls!

Of course, there are so many more restaurants out there that you should try. I love eating in a Japadog every now and then and Donair Dude has become a staple after a night at Cambie. Before moving to the next section, I want to give an honorable mention to some of my favorite Canadian snacks: I can easily down a whole bag of Ketchup chips, All-Dressed, and Canadian Oreos (Iu know, those maple leaf-shaped cookies with maple cream filling) are beyond delicious.

The Hikes

Okay, I want to start by saying that I’mscared and also impressed at how casual some Vancouverites are with the chance of crossing paths with a bear on many hikes. On the other hand, I totally understand — there are some beautiful hiking trails out there that are totally worth the risk of running into a bear. So far my favorite trails have been:

Lighthouse Park | west vancouver

Not sure if this can be considered a hiking trail or just a park. Anyways, this is a relatively small hike that will eventually take you to the Lighthouse viewpoint, which is quite pretty. There’s another path near the cabins that will take you all the way to the shore where you can catch a beautiful view of the Lighthouse during the sunset. Also, if you are lucky enough, you might get to see a sea lion poking their head out of the sea. Do I need to say more?

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge | North Vancouver

Do you want to see the Capilano Bridge but don’t feel like spending $40 on the entrance fee? Then Lynn Canyon is for you! Whilst small, this trail still offers great views of the suspension bridge and the Twin Falls bridge. The trail is incredibly well kept and you can feel at peace with nature here. In my opinion, this is probably the best trail to go with some sandwiches, coffee, and just chill by the river.

Ten Views Trail | anmore

To be honest, I kinda hate and love this trail. On one hand, the views (or at least the one view I got to see) are beautiful; on the other hand, getting to the first viewpoint is brutal. I know I don’t have the best stamina out there, but I swear the first 2km are ridiculously steep. I almost quit before getting to the first viewpoint, but thankfully I’m a stubborn Latino and I managed to get to Punta del Este. I must say, totally worth it. I’m also giving extra points to Diez Vistas because Buntzen Lake is literally only a 10-minute walk from the start of the trail — this is literally the perfect day plan.

Activities and others

The ten-stop Vancouver Bike trail

You’ve probably been recommended to do the Stanley Park seawall trail, and yeah, you totally should. Rent a bike near Coal Harbor and then move towards the start of the Stanley Park seawall. Enjoy some of the best views towards the north shore and the Lions Gate bridge, and take a quick break on either the Third or Second Beaches before getting to English Bay Beach. Afterwards, you should move towards Sunset Beach and continue the path along False Creek: you’ll pass by Science World and eventually end up at Granville Island.

Once in Granville, take a short break, grab something to eat, and maybe some blue raspberry gelato from Pizza Pizza. Fresh and ready to move on? Probably not, we’ve been biking all day. Anyways, your next stop after Granville Island should be Kitsilanor Beach, you can either stop here and look for a restaurant or just keep going all the way towards Jericho Beach. To themost done! Keep cycling all the way towards UBC alongside Wreck Beach and finish your trail at the Pacific Spirit Regional park.

Before even beginning, be mindful, this trail is over 32km. You’ll probably spend a good part of the day doing it. Make sure you bring enough water, snacks, and sunscreen!

Richmond Night Market

We might be a bit late for this one, but keep it on your list for next year. Are you hungry for a sushi taco, a deep-fried bao bun and some South American-inspired drinks? Then the Richmond Night Market is for you. There’s so much to do that my only recommendation is to go on an empty stomach. Take your time and enjoy everything the market has to offer — believe me, it’s a lot, so you’ll probably need to go a couple of times.

Of course, there are many more things to do in Vancouver than what I can write about in this guide. Yet, I hope you found something new to do or something you’ve already done and want to try again. If you have any recommendations or you truly want to fight me over Tim Hortons being better than Starbucks, I suggest you contact me and write an article on your own personal guide to Vancouver!

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