Ultimate 1 Week Vancouver and Victoria Itinerary

Ultimate 1 Week Vancouver and Victoria Itinerary

Living in BC for 10 years, we've spent a lot of time in both Vancouver and Victoria and have discovered many unique things to do in both cities.

Vancouver and Victoria each offer their own unique experiences that make them worth visiting. Known as "Hollywood North," Vancouver is cosmopolitan with a renowned dining scene and one-of-a-kind natural sights.

Meanwhile, Victoria offers a laid-back atmosphere with its local creative scene and a variety of fun activities, like hot tub boats and floating spas.

Our 1 week Vancouver and Victoria itinerary includes local hot spots, jaw-dropping sights and unique experiences that are worth the hype.

We recommend spending 7 days in Vancouver and Victoria to get the best out of both cities. This allows for short day trips outside of Vancouver to see its stunning natural surroundings.

Overview: 1 Week in Vancouver and Victoria

  • Vancouver and Victoria itinerary 7 Days โคต
  • Days 1-4: Vancouver - take scenic walks through the city, dine at local hot spots and visit unique attractions that are worth the hype.

    Days 5-7: Victoria - explore the capital's quirky neighbourhoods, dine on West Coast cuisine and rejuvenate with ocean views.

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1 Week Vancouver and Victoria Itinerary

Days 1-4: Vancouver

Resting at Third Beach in Stanley Park

Your journey starts in Vancouver. The coastal city stands out by seamlessly blending its cosmopolitan lifestyle with its natural surroundings of sandy beaches, rainforests, and mountains.

Day 1

Explore Davie Village, eat a fresh sushi lunch, walk along the harbourfront to the historic old town and dine at a quaint Italian restaurant.

Check into your hotel

Drop off your bags and get on your way to exploring! We recommend staying downtown since you'll be within walking distance of Stanley Park and can easily access the skytrain to reach other parts of the city.

Our top hotel picks downtown Vancouver:

Best for a local feel: Sonder at Revival just steps away from English Bay.

Best for a boutique feel: Loden Hotel in Coal Harbour or OPUS Hotel in Yaletown.

Best for luxury: Fairmont Pacific Rim in Coal Harbour.

๐Ÿ›๏ธ Browse more stays in Vancouver

Explore Davie Village and eat a sushi lunch

Head down Davie Street, a lively LGBTQ-friendly village with rainbow adorned sidewalks and tons of independent restaurants, shops and bars. It's one of Vancouver's most famous strips.

Drop by Tom Sushi for lunch, one of our favourite spots for fresh and affordable sushi. Because of Vancouver's Japanese community and access to the ocean, it's known to have one of the best sushi scenes in the world. There are plenty of mom-and-pop shops offering quality sushi at excellent prices.

After filling up on tasty sushi, walk through the quiet residential quarter of the West End to Cardero Cafe for an afternoon pick me up. You'll be surprised you're still downtown with charming heritage houses and trees lining the streets. It's one of our favourite places to walk in Vancouver.

Walk along the Coal Harbour seawall and explore Gastown

After your coffee break, head north to Coal Harbour and walk along the seawall to Gastown. You'll have views of the mountains, Stanley Park, North Vancouver and float planes taking off. It's gorgeous, especially on sunny days when the mountains are crisp.

Gastown is Vancouver's historic old town, with cobblestone streets and brick buildings filled with fashion boutiques, vintage shops, home decor stores and trendy eateries. It's an excellent neighbourhood for shopping.

Not a big shopper? Check out FlyOver Canada, a simulated flying experience that takes you across Canada. The 25-minute attraction was a lot more fun than we expected. Book your ticket.

Dine at charming Ask for Luigi

After exploring Gastown, dine at Ask for Luigi, a quaint Italian eatery located off-the-beaten path on a quiet street corner. This local favourite serves up flavourful pasta dishes. Their menu isn't big, but every dish I've had is fantastic. With a bowl of their pasta and a glass of red wine, I'm always in my happy place.

Ask for Luigi has been recognized by the Michelin guide and we've even heard it's one of Blake Lively's favourite places to dine in Vancouver.

The restaurant is small so we recommend making a reservation far in advance.

Day 2

Eat breakfast at a local hot spot, bike around Stanley Park, eat lunch overlooking English Bay, explore Granville Island and dine in hip Chinatown.

Eat breakfast at art-filled Cafe Portrait

Cafe Portrait is a breakfast gem located in the West End. The art-filled cafe serves Turkish breakfast skillets as well as some classics. It's our favourite breakfast joint in Vancouver and it's always packed with locals.

Bike around the seawall in Stanley Park

Stanley Park seawall

After breakfast, rent a bike from one of the shops along Denman Street for your scenic journey around Stanley Park. Slightly larger than Central Park in NYC, Stanley Park is Canada's most famous park.

The 10km seawall loop circles the park and offers stunning ocean and mountain views. It's one of the most stunning urban bike rides in the world.

Head northeast on Denman Street until you reach the seawall path. When biking the seawall, be sure to go counter-clockwise since the bike path is a one-way route.

The paved trail is easy and flat. Stop at Siwash Rock for a picture and take in the views at Third Beach with your toes in the sand.

โœ”๏ธ Top Tip: don't forget to bring a beach blanket!

Eat lunch overlooking English Bay

Once you reach English Bay, grab lunch at Cactus Club - it offers the best views since it's located right beside the beach. Their patio operates on a first-come, first-served basis, but it's easy to join the waitlist with their text-based system. While you wait, relaxing on the beach is a great option.

Cactus Club is located on Denman Street, so it's easy to drop off your bikes before or after.

Take a water taxi to Granville Island

Although Granville Island is touristy, it's a fun place to explore. The small peninsula located underneath Granville Bridge on False Creek is packed with boutique shops, markets and restaurants.

A fun way to get there is by water taxi, with nine dock locations and one-way fares ranging from $4 to $12, depending on your starting point.

Check out the market, but avoid eating anything at the food court - we've eaten there twice and it feels like a tourist trap.

Stop in at Granville Island Brewing for a flight of beer and continue your boozy tour to Liberty Distillery to try their award-winning artisanal spirits. Their Caesars are delicious.

โœ”๏ธ Top Tip: to get to Granville Island from English Bay, take the scenic walk down Sunset Beach and grab the water taxi from the Aquatic Centre Ferry Dock.

Dine in hip Chinatown

Kissa Tanto

Chinatown is one of Vancouver's hippest neighbourhoods, known for its award-winning restaurants and cocktail bars. Both our favourite restaurant and cocktail bar are located here: Kissa Tanto and Keefer Bar.

Kissa Tanto is one of the coolest spots to grab a bite in the city. Its fusion of Japanese and Italian flavours and sleek interior inspired by 1960s Tokyo jazz clubs give it a unique edge. We've eaten here many times and it's always terrific.

In 2016, enRoute Magazine named Kissa Tanto Canada's best new restaurant. Plus, it's recently earned a Michelin star and holds the #10 spot on Canada's 100 Best Restaurants list (2024). Make your reservation far in advance.

After dinner, walk a couple blocks to Keefer Bar, a dimly lit apothecary-themed bar that crafts its cocktails with all kinds of interesting ingredients, like medicinal plants and mushrooms. It's ranked #8 on Canada's 50 Best Bars list (2024). Reservations are recommended.

Day 3

Start your day with a fabulous brunch, take a day trip along the Sea-to-Sky Highway to see jaw-dropping views, and treat yourself to aburi sushi.

Start your day with breakfast at The Botanist

Fill up on a fabulous brunch at The Botanist, one of Vancouver's best fine-dining restaurants. Their eggs benny is excellent here and it pairs lovely with their green juice.

Take a day trip to Squamish and ride the Sea-to-Sky Gondola

We've travelled to over 55 countries and to this day think the drive on the sea-to-sky highway from Vancouver to Squamish is one of the most beautiful in the world. Rent a car on a clear day for a breathtaking drive along the ocean.

๐Ÿš— Compare car rental rates from Vancouver

Drive to the Sea to Sky Gondola and take the cable car up to see an extraordinary view of Howe Sound and the surrounding mountains. At the top is a suspension bridge, restaurant, bar, cafe and hiking trails.

Prefer not to drive? GetYourGuide and Viator offer highly-rated day tours to the Sea to Sky Gondola and Whistler:

Try aburi sushi at Miku

After your day in nature, treat yourself to dinner at Miku, one of Vancouver's top sushi restaurants. They brought the flame-seared delight of aburi sushi to the city.

Their oshi sushi is a must try - pressed rectangular pieces of rice are topped with either flame-seared salmon, ebi (shrimp), or mackerel. The salmon and ebi are our favourites, both having the perfect explosion of umami flavours. Take one bite and we swear your taste buds will be on cloud nine.

Reserve your table.

Day 4

Immerse yourself in nature with a fun activity, visit Vancouver's art gallery, dine in Mount Pleasant and enjoy a nightcap at a hidden bar.

Eat a creative breakfast skillet at Cafe Medina

Start your morning right with a Mediterranean breakfast skillet from Cafe Medina. The award-winning restaurant is one of the city's most popular spots for brunch.

Immerse yourself in nature with a fun activity

For your last day, we have a few options based on what season it is:

Summer: sunbathe at the beach

Whether you're swimming, sunbathing, or having a beach picnic, Vancouver's sandy ocean beaches offer something for everyone. Here are our top beach picks:

โ˜ฎ๏ธ Best for culture: Wreck Beach - a clothing-optional beach with a free-spirited vibe, where sunset drum circles are a regular thing. Located near UBC, it requires a hike down (and back up) about 400 stairs.

๐Ÿ–๏ธ Best quiet beaches: Jericho Beach & Locarno Beach - located in the Point Grey neighbourhood, these serene beaches are perfect for a peaceful day away from the crowds.

๐Ÿ Best for activities: Kits Beach - located across the Burrard Bridge from downtown, Kits Beach is lively and offers plenty of outdoor activities like beach volleyball and tennis.

Spring/Fall: cross the Capilano suspension bridge

Even on rainy days, walking the Capilano suspension bridge is a stunning sight. The bridge crosses the Capilano River and is surrounded by a lush rainforest.

Other than the 450 ft suspension bridge, the park also has a boardwalk trail that takes you above the forest floor and a cantilevered cliff walk with views of the canyon.

Winter: snowshoe on Dog Mountain

For those cold winter days when you see snow up in the mountains, take the opportunity to snowshoe in North Vancouver. Dog Mountain is our favourite place to snowshoe nearby. The snow covered trees make it feel like a winter wonderland. Check out the trail map.

The hiking distance there and back is 4.5km with a 35 meter elevation gain.

โ„๏ธ ๐Ÿฅพ Top Tip: rent snowshoes from the Snowshoe Centre at Mt. Seymour Resort where the Dog Mountain trail begins.

If time permits, check out an exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The art museum has shown works by big names like Monet and Murakami, and it holds immersive experiences like Beyond Van Gogh. See what's on.

๐Ÿฅ‚ Top Tip: if the weather is warm, one of our best-kept secrets for an aperitif is on the outdoor terrace of the bistro at the museum.

Spend the evening in Vancouver's eclectic neighbourhoods

For your last evening in Vancouver, we bring you to two tasty spots in Mount Pleasant, an alternative neighbourhood with a local creative scene, and to a hidden bar in edgy Chinatown.

๐ŸŒฎ Stop 1: Order a fish taco from Tacofino - the taco joint started as a food truck in Tofino and their tacos are so good that they've expanded to Vancouver and Victoria.

๐Ÿ•Stop 2: Devour AJ's Brooklyn pizza - this fun dinner spot serves up mouthwatering Brooklyn-style pizza with cup-style pepperonis.

๐Ÿฅƒ Stop 3: Finish your evening with a nightcap at Lawaoi Bar - this hidden speakeasy inspired by 1920s Shanghai is located in the back of a dumpling shop. To get inside, you have to order dumpling "number 7", which is not on the menu.

Days 5-7: Victoria

Time to head to a new city! Victoria may be smaller than Vancouver, but it has a rich history and is packed with a lot of unique experiences. Located on Vancouver Island, the city has more of a laidback atmosphere and creative feel than Vancouver.

Getting to Victoria from Vancouver

There are two ways to get to Victoria from Vancouver:

By ferry: catch the ferry from the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, which takes 95 minutes to reach Swartz Bay. From there, it's a 30-45 minute drive to downtown Victoria. If you're not driving, you can also take a bus, Uber or taxi to reach downtown. Make your ferry reservation through BC Ferries.

By float plane: fly to Victoria Harbour from either Vancouver Harbour or YVR South in just 30 minutes and enjoy scenic views over the ocean and Gulf Islands. Book with Harbour Air or Seaair.

Where to stay in Victoria

Fairmont Empress Hotel

Victoria offers a wide variety of places to stay, ranging from historic hotels to oceanfront retreats. Here are our top picks:

  • ๐Ÿ‘‘ Best for history: Fairmont Empress - perfect for history buffs, this waterfront landmark since 1908 has been welcoming royalty over the years. With rumours of a haunted past, it adds a hint of mystery to its elegant atmosphere.
  • โœจ Best boutique hotel: Magnolia Hotel & Spa - located in the heart of the city, this luxury hotel offers rooms with Parliament Building views and its room service comes straight from The Courtney Room, one of Victoria's top restaurants.
  • ๐Ÿ— Best for a romantic stay: Abigail's Hotel - the adults-only 1930s Tudor mansion offers a romantic retreat with its beautifully restored old-world charm.
  • ๐ŸŒŠ Best for ocean views and amenities: Oak Bay Beachfront Hotel - this oceanfront resort features three outdoor mineral pools and poolside service overlooking the Pacific. Note that it's a 15-minute drive from the hotel to downtown Victoria.

What to do in Victoria

See our comprehensive 3 Day Victoria itinerary, which includes where to eat and fun activities you don't want to miss.

Here are the highlights:

  • ๐Ÿง–โ€โ™€๏ธ Relax and recharge with hydrotherapy aboard a floating spa
  • ๐Ÿงง Walk through Canada's oldest Chinatown
  • ๐Ÿฐ Treat yourself to a fabulous afternoon tea
  • ๐Ÿ›๏ธ Explore Victoria's local neighbourhoods
  • ๐ŸŒŠ Spend time on the water in a hot tub boat or soak in mineral pools with ocean views
  • ๐Ÿฆช Eat seasonal West Coast cuisine at Victoria's top restaurants
  • ๐Ÿธ Discover the city's cocktail scene

Read the full 3 day itinerary here

Enjoy your 1 week in Vancouver and Victoria!

Get started on planning your trip to Vancouver and Victoria

  • 🌃 Accommodation: Booking.com is our go-to for finding places to stay. Sort by top reviewed.
  • 🚗 Car rental: see Rentalcars.com to compare car rental prices across different companies.
  • โ›ฉ๏ธ Browse tours with local guides in Victoria: through GetYourGuide and Viator.
  • ๐Ÿš  Browse tours with local guides in Vancouver: through GetYourGuide and Viator.
  • โœˆ๏ธ Compare flights: with Skyscanner

Combine your trip to Vancouver and Victoria with one of these beautiful destinations just a drive away.

  • Tofino - for surfing and storm watching on the wild West Coast
  • Salt Spring Island - to discover BC's artisan culture and farm-to-table lifestyle
  • Whistler - for fun outdoor activities

Don't miss our list of the 17 best weekend getaways from Vancouver.

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