Vancouver, in British Columbia, Canada, is consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful places in the world. Whether you're visiting Vancouver over a long weekend or for just a couple of days, or you are lucky enough to live in the city, you'll be able to find a range of lookouts offering great views of this stunning city.
With a landscape featuring ocean, mountains, skyscrapers, and forests, you don't want to miss out on experiencing panoramic views. By heading to any of these 15 locations with the best viewpoints in Vancouver, you'll be able to enjoy the amazing landscape, and of course, snap an Instagram photo or two!
All of these viewpoints are either downtown or within a short drive or public transport ride from Downtown Vancouver, making seeing some impressive views memorable and convenient!
If you're looking to see phenomenal views in a big city, many have observation towers that are perfect for just that. Vancouver is no different. The Vancouver Lookout, located downtown at the Harbour Centre, is an excellent choice for those who want 360-degree city views.
The observation deck sits at 168.6 m high and is accessible in 40 seconds via a high-speed glass elevator. Once at the top, you'll be able to see Downtown Vancouver and well-known locations, like Gastown, Coal Harbour and Canada Place, and Stanley Park. You can additionally see the North Shore, Grouse Mountain, and more.
What's great is that a ticket gives you all-day admission. This means that you can take in the views during the day, at sunset, and at night if you'd like! There is also a revolving restaurant at the top of the lookout, allowing you to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner as you take in the views.
There are a few spectacular lookouts at Cypress Mountain, in West Vancouver, that provide breathtaking views. It’s also a great hiking location in Vancouver with many viewpoints being located along the hiking trails.
The Cypress Mountain Viewpoint and Bowen Lookout offer panoramic lower-mainland views. You can see downtown as well as to UBC (the University of British Columbia (UBC)) in the west and Coquitlam in the east. The Bowen Lookout, which you can reach in about an hour and a half when hiking, also offers views of Bowen Island and the Howe Sound.
If you feel like a longer hike, you can hike the trail to Eagle Bluffs. This trail takes about four hours round-trip. You’ll be able to see Metro Vancouver as well as Lighthouse Park and Horseshoe Bay.
The Prospect Point Lookout is one of the best lookouts in Vancouver. Located in Vancouver’s large downtown urban park, Stanley Park, it’s very easily accessible.
The lookout is situated along the seawall that goes all around the park and to False Creek and David Lam Park. Once at Prospect Point, you’ll see views of the inner harbor and Lions Gate Bridge. You’ll additionally be able to see across to the North Shore.
At this location, you can also see the Prospect Point Lighthouse and the well-known (and well-photographed) Siwash Rock. You can additionally stop for a snack at Prospect Point Bar and Grill while enjoying more of the magnificent views.
English Bay, located downtown, is one of the most scenic places in Vancouver. The main attraction here is the urban beach, English Bay Beach. Along with being a great place to hang out, the views are incredible. English Bay Beach is found along the Stanley Park Seawall between Second Beach and Sunset Beach.
When here, you’ll get to revel in views of Kitsilano and Point Grey across the bay. You’ll also get views of West Vancouver to the North and the city of Vancouver to the East. It’s a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the ocean, mountain, and city views in all directions.
You can also walk or cycle the seawall while taking in the view. Alternatively, experience the landscape and atmosphere with tasty food and drinks at Cactus Club English Bay. Positioned right on the beach, with terrace seating available, you’ll get amazing uninterrupted views.
False Creek is an inlet that separates Downtown Vancouver from other parts of the city. You can walk the seawall along False Creek starting underneath the Burrard Street Bridge and ending below the Cambie Street Bridge.
While walking along False Creek (or while sipping a drink at a waterside bar or relaxing on Sunset Beach), you’ll be able to see straight over to the iconic Granville Island.
Alternatively, you can walk along False Creek from Olympic Village and Charleson Park with views of downtown. Both walks will also allow you to enjoy the harbour view with many boats and yachts in the water.
Located across False Creek from downtown is the well-known Granville Island. This shopping area features the indoor market, Granville Island Public Market, plus many independent shops and bars and restaurants. Along with the great shopping and dining, you’ll have excellent views.
Visitors to Granville Island will be able to see over the creek to Downtown Vancouver, and its beaches and sea wall. Like with False Creek’s views, you’ll be able to see Science World in the east and the mountains and ocean in the west.
You will get striking views while travelling to Granville Island, too. If coming from downtown, you can take the aquabus across False Creek. Or, you can walk to the other end of the Burrard Street Bridge, stopping to enjoy the fantastic city views along the way.
Canada Place and Coal Harbour are some of the most easily accessible areas in Vancouver to get incredible views. Start at Canada Place, where the waterfront path that includes the Stanley Park Seawall begins.
As you walk toward Coal Harbour, you’ll get to see the large cruise ships that dock here (including the fun Disney cruise ship!), and can watch seaplanes take off.
As you follow the path, you’ll instantly see the stunning views. You’ll be able to see the Burrard Inlet and tall, snow-capped mountains. You can also see down to the industrial area of Vancouver in the east and across to North Vancouver. You may even see whales or seals!
Once at Coal Harbour, you’ll also be able to see Stanley Park, a range of yachts moored in the dock, and a charming boat gas station, right in the middle of the inlet.
While here, stop by Cactus Club or Tap & Barrel, both located near the water, to relax with a drink and the magnificent scenery. From here, you can carry around the walkway through Stanley Park and the downtown beaches.
Grouse Mountain is a popular spot to visit for lots of reasons, including romantic date nights in Vancouver! There is a range of activities here, from hiking and tackling the Grouse Grind to skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.
There are also fantastic views of Metro Vancouver, the Burrard Inlet, and the surrounding alpine forest. You can even see Mount Baker on clear days!
There are a few ways to get to Grouse Mountain's peak, all of which allow you to enjoy the incredible views. Those looking for a workout can do the Grouse Grind, a climb of 2,830 steps.
Alternatively, take the Grouse Skyride. You can either travel inside the gondola, or the more daring can go on an outside "balcony." No matter what you choose, you'll get to take in the breathtaking, 360-degree views of Vancouver.
Thrill-seekers can even revel in the views while zip-lining in the summer! Once at the peak, you can relax and take photographs. There's also a selection of restaurants and cafes where you can grab a drink and a snack amongst amazing scenery.
Finish your trip to Grouse by visiting the Eye of the Wind. This view-pod offers panoramic views of Vancouver.
Lonsdale Quay, on Vancouver’s North Shore, is just a quick SeaBus ride away from downtown. It’s most well-known for its market, of course, along with its amazing views!
You will be able to see fantastic cityscapes from all areas of Lonsdale Quay. The Waterfront Plaza is a good spot to head to though to experience these views. You can see the Downtown Vancouver skyline as well as Stanley Park and the Lions Gate Bridge.
Another popular attraction here is the Q sign. Stop to take a picture and climb up the 77 steps to the top of the sign to enjoy even more vistas. Make sure to also explore the market and other shops and restaurants, and visit the love locks at the pier.
Burnaby Mountain is located in the Metro Vancouver city of Burnaby. It’s part of the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area and offers amazing views, along with being one of the most beautiful places around Vancouver. The mountain is just a 20-minute drive from Downtown Vancouver and is accessible by public transport.
Once at the top of the mountain, you’ll get views of Downtown Vancouver to the west and the Indian Arm to the east. It’s a great place to hike and appreciate the sights during the day, or head here in the evening to enjoy the sunset.
Queen Elizabeth Park is a must-visit location if looking for magnificent panoramas of the Vancouver skyline. As the highest point in Vancouver at 125 m above sea level, it’s one of the city’s best viewpoints.
From the top plaza, you can see the Vancouver skyline in full, including iconic landmarks like the Vancouver Lookout and BC Place. You can also see across to the North Shore Mountains, with the best views being on bright and clear days.
Be sure to also explore this 130-acre park, visiting attractions like the Dancing Fountains and Quarry Gardens. To enjoy the vistas even more, stop for lunch or dinner at Seasons in the Park, Queen Elizabeth Park’s high-end hilltop restaurant.
Jericho Beach is found to the west of Kitsilano, about a 20-minute drive from Downtown Vancouver. This beach is much less crowded than Kitsilano Beach and downtown beaches like English Bay. This beautiful sandy beach also offers excellent views.
As you relax on the beach, you’ll be able to see across the water to Downtown Vancouver. You can also see West Vancouver and the North Shore mountains in the distance. There’s additionally a few bars and restaurants here where you can sit on terraces and take in the scenery.
You can also explore a small park and lagoon and walk towards Spanish Banks Beach easily. This equally chill and quiet beach offers some fantastic landscape shots as well.
If you’re looking for a quieter, less well-known location to see lovely views in Vancouver, then Capitol Hill is a good choice. Capitol Hill Reservoir Park is a small residential park in Burnaby. It’s easy to get to by driving or taking public transport from downtown.
This location offers views of Burnaby’s Metrotown skyline and Downtown Vancouver’s skyline in the distance. You’ll also be able to see the North Shore Mountains, the Burrard Inlet, and Lions Gate Bridge on clear days.
It’s an awesome spot for panoramic views of Metro Vancouver. Capitol Hill is also a good choice for those looking to watch the sunset over Vancouver.
The Lions Gate Bridge is a renowned suspension bridge that connects the city of Vancouver to the North Shore over the Burrard Inlet. The bridge can be seen from many areas in Vancouver. It’s usually a top landmark to see from various Vancouver lookout points, but it’s also a notable viewpoint itself.
You can walk or cycle across the bridge and stop to enjoy the sights. It’s easiest to access the bridge from Prospect Point in Stanley Park. Once on the bridge, you’ll get great views of the Burrard Inlet, Downtown Vancouver, and Stanley Park. You’ll also be able to see Vancouver harbor, the North Shore Mountains, and North Vancouver.
Don’t forget to also take a picture of the two famous stone lions that guard the entrance to the bridge. These lions represent The Lions, a pair of mountains on the North Shore.
Ambleside Park, and the adjacent Ambleside Beach, offer amazing views of the downtown area. Located in West Vancouver, the park and beach are easily accessible over the Lions Gate Bridge. You can walk, cycle, drive, or take the bus across the bridge.
The park and beach themselves are clean and relaxed. You’ll find a lot of locals here jogging, walking dogs, and just hanging out! From Ambleside Park and the beach, you’ll be able to see through the Burrard Inlet to Stanley Park. You’ll also enjoy views of English Bay and Kitsilano. On clear days, you may even see UBC.
This area is great for a chilled-out beach and/or park day. It’s the perfect place to have a picnic and hang out in nature as you take in the surroundings. There’s also a children’s park and a dog park here if you’re exploring the area with kids and/or your dog.
Vancouver offers the most amazing views, and by visiting any of the above-suggested viewpoints in Vancouver, you'll be able to enjoy them!
Additionally, if you plan on a getaway from Vancouver, consider traveling by seaplane if possible. Or, simply take a seaplane tour over Vancouver. Doing so will let you experience impressive aerial views of Vancouver and its surrounding islands. A very worthwhile activity for those who love stunning vistas!
This article was edited by Loredana Elena and was first published on Aug 1, 2020 17:35 UTC.
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