Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee!

Walking Tour of Vancouver's West End (Self Guided), Vancouver

The West End is a large residential area in Vancouver famous among tourists for Robson Street, the home of numerous trendy shops and hot boutiques. This district also features a number of parks, beaches and other fun attractions. This walking tour will guide you to the most significant attractions in the West End of Vancouver.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Walking Tour of Vancouver's West End Map

Guide Name: Walking Tour of Vancouver's West End
Guide Location: Canada » Vancouver (See other walking tours in Vancouver)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.0 Km or 4.3 Miles
Author: clare
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Vancouver Art Gallery
  • St. Andrew's Wesley United Church
  • English Bay Beach
  • Roedde House Museum
  • Stanley Park
  • Vancouver Aquarium
  • Girl in a Wetsuit
  • The 9 O'clock Gun
Vancouver Art Gallery

1) Vancouver Art Gallery (must see)

The Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) is the fifth-largest art gallery in Canada and the largest in Western Canada. It is located at 750 Hornby Street in Vancouver, British Columbia. Its permanent collection of about 10,000 artworks includes more than 200 major works by Emily Carr, the Group of Seven, and illustrations by Marc Chagall.

The VAG's collection of about 10,000 works of art represents the most comprehensive resource for visual culture in British Columbia. Established in 1931 with the founding of the Gallery, the collection grows by several hundred works every year. It is a principal repository of works produced in this region, as well as related works by other Canadian and international artists.

Why You Should Visit:
High-quality artworks and superb exhibitions displayed in an open, airy and beautiful space.
There is everything here – from the bizarre to the terrifying, to more chilled-out areas such as the ambient music room.

When the line up is long, get on your phone and buy the tickets online; better yet, buy tickets before you leave the house and show them upon entry to the gatekeeper.
Remember to visit the café and, weather permitting, take a table on the balcony / outside courtyard – very pleasant, with fine food, reasonable prices, and beautiful salads.

Opening Hours:
Mon, Wed-Sun: 10am-5pm; Thu: 10am-9pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
St. Andrew's Wesley United Church

2) St. Andrew's Wesley United Church

St. Andrew's Wesley United Church is located in Vancouver's West End. The church itself is built in a Gothic revival style, and features a tall Gothic tower, stained glass windows, a vaulted nave, a cross-like shape, and plenty of natural light. These features make St. Andrews pretty unique among churches in Vancouver- not many of them have a real cathedral appearance.

St. Andrew's Wesley United Church is the product of two separate congregations, that of St. Andrews, and that of Wesley. The congregation is part of the United Church of Canada, a union formed from Canada's Methodist, Presbyterian, Local Union, and Congregational churches. The denomination was formed in 1925, and construction on St. Andrew's Wesley United Church was completed in 1933. It has been designated as one of Canada's heritage sites, which has allowed this beautiful church to escape modern urban development on its lot, and avoid having its graceful Gothic revival style ruined by careless renovations.

Aside from its appearance, the church is also unique for having Jazz Vespers. Jazz Vespers occurs every Sunday from 4 to 5 PM, and gives visitors a chance to listen to some of Vancouver's finest jazz musicians in its stunning, Gothic atmosphere.
English Bay Beach

3) English Bay Beach

English Bay is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, west of the downtown peninsula, which separates the bay from Burrard Inlet connecting to the northwest, and False Creek to the southeast. English Bay Beach, near the city's West End residential neighborhood, is the most popular sunbathing, swimming, and sunset-watching beach in the downtown Vancouver area. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, English Bay Beach was home to Vancouver's first official lifeguard, the legendary Joe Fortes, who taught hundreds of the city's early residents how to swim, and patrolled the beach from his cabin on its shore.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Roedde House Museum

4) Roedde House Museum

George Wainborn Park is a 2.5 hectare waterfront park located in downtown Vancouver. It is complimented by a circular water feature designed to mimic the Vancouver area's many natural water features, and a combination of formal and informal plantings. Though the area has a very definite “urban park” feel, fans of natural settings will enjoy the informal tree plantings and bosque of birch trees.

The upper area of George Wainborn Park looks out over False Creek, with yellow steel Adirondack chairs that provide ample seating. The lower area of the park is where the lawns, children's playground, walkway leading to the seawall, and promontory are located. 2006 saw the installation of a forty foot tall wind sculpture by artist Doug Taylor. Called “Khenko,” the Coast Salish work for heron, this sculpture is designed to honor the return of Vancouver's native herons to the area.

George Wainborn Park is named for George Wainborn, Vancouver's longest serving Park Board Commissioner. Wainborn contributed to Vancouver's parks for thirty three years, and lead the creation of Stanley Park's miniature railway, played a pivotal role in starting the Carol Ships program, and helped begin the tradition of lighting the Beach Avenue elm trees each Christmas season.
Stanley Park

5) Stanley Park (must see)

Stanley Park is a large urban park situated in downtown Vancouver. It occupies 1,001 acres, making it roughly ten percent larger than New York City's Central Park. The park sees about two and a half million visitors every year, who visit it to cycle, skate, and walk around its 5.5-mile seawall path.

One of Stanley Park's most notable features is its large number of old growth trees. It's estimated that about half a million trees cover the lot, several of which are hundreds of years old. It's also almost completely surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and houses Beaver Creek and Beaver Lake. These areas provide habitat for indigenous waterfowl and other wildlife, including beavers, geese, ducks, herons, and swans. Modern recreational facilities coexist alongside the unspoiled natural areas in the park, including the seawall path and about 120 miles of trails and paths.

In addition to its old growth trees and natural habitat, Stanley Park is adorned by several monuments and statues. There is a statue of the poet Robert Burns, Girl in a Wetsuit by Elek Imredy, totem poles, the Lumberman's Arch, a replica of the RMS Empress of Japan's figurehead, and more.

Though many visitors to Vancouver go to see the city's attractions, no trip to Vancouver would be complete without a walk through the beautifully forested Stanley Park.

Why You Should Visit:
Great place for play and picnics and family outings which affords beautiful views of downtown, the mountains, the sea, and Lion's Gate Bridge – and it's all free.
With old growth forests, lakes, trails, and beaches, this park is quirkily enough as pleasant to stroll around as it is to pass through.

Be aware of the arrows and symbols. There are some paths that are strictly for pedestrians, and some paths that are one-way.
It's important to plan where you start and end your journey as the Stanley Park Seawall walk is one-way.
Make sure you get a map so you can see all of your options!
Sight description based on wikipedia
Vancouver Aquarium

6) Vancouver Aquarium (must see)

Vancouver Aquarium is one of Stanley Park's many attractions. The large public aquarium is not only a tourist spot but also a major center for aquatic research and conservation. The aquarium itself covers nearly 100,000 square feet, and the exhibits hold nearly 10,000,000 liters of water spanning 166 displays.

The displays in Vancouver Aquarium cover a wide variety of geographical areas and aquatic life. There's the Pacific Canada Pavilion, which houses fish from the Strait of Georgia; Arctic Canada, which houses Beluga whales, arctic fish, and invertebrates; The Wild Coast, which displays Pacific White-sided dolphins, sea otters, harbor porpoises, and several hands-on exhibits of invertebrates; Tropic Zone, which houses tropical species, including a green sea turtle; and Amazon Rainforest, which holds Amazonian fish, invertebrates, snakes, caimans, sloths, birds, and other species, among others. Vancouver Aquarium is also the only facility in the world to have a captive harbor porpoise, named Daisy.

Vancouver Aquarium and its animals have been featured in TV shows, movies, and viral internet videos. It's exhibits and interactive displays make it one of Vancouver's biggest tourist attractions, while its size and state-of-the-art facility make it one of the world's most important aquatic conservation and research venues.

Why You Should Visit:
There are significant interior spaces that concentrate on certain ecosystems, with an intense focus on the local environment and the types of life in British Columbia's waters.
There are outdoor areas as well, where different instructional shows occur, providing additional context for the life on display and their behaviors in the wild.
If you are hungry there are a cafeteria (featuring sustainably caught fish), café, and ice cream stand, and for shopping, there's a souvenir & gift shop.
The added bonus is that just outside is one of the best parks in the world, so there's no shortage of experiences after you've ended your visit.

Check the aquarium website for additional information on activities for the family such as behind the scene interactive 'touch' exhibits.
You can buy your tickets either online or at the automated booths to the left outside the aquarium for a discount and to skip the queue.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Girl in a Wetsuit

7) Girl in a Wetsuit

Girl in a Wetsuit is one of the attractions in Stanley Park. This bronze statue was intended to mimic Copenhagen's famous statue of Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid. When the Park was unable to secure the rights to replicate the Copenhagen statue, Hungarian sculptor and painter Elek Imredy was commissioned to make a modern variation of it for Stanley Park, instead.

Girl in a Wetsuit is a life-sized bronze statue of a girl seated on a boulder, located just before Lumberman's Arch and the waterfront park. Instead of resembling Copenhagen's Little Mermaid, the Girl in a Wetsuit is a modern variation wearing swim fins, a wetsuit, and a diving mask. The statue was placed on June 9th of 1972, and has remained in place ever since.

At first blush, it's easy to mistake the Girl for a harbor seal. When the water level is high, she appears to be hovering on the surface of the water. Canada geese swim nearby, and seagulls perch on the Girl's head and knees. Over the years, the bronze statue has weathered to a subtle verdigris patina, that matches the blue-green of the water and the moss clinging to the boulder.
The 9 O'clock Gun

8) The 9 O'clock Gun

The 9 O'clock Gun is a twelve pound, muzzle loaded naval cannon that was originally cast in 1816. After its use as a naval cannon, it was brought to Stanley Park in 1894 to serve as an alarm to warn fishermen of the close of fishing at 6 PM every Sunday.

Later on, after warning fishermen was no longer a necessity, firing the gun was used as a time signal for the general population, and as a means of allowing ship's clocks to be accurately calibrated to Vancouver time while in port. Before the use of the 9 O'clock Gun, lighthouse keeper William Jones used to detonate a stick of dynamite, instead.

Today, the 9 O'clock Gun is fired every day at 9 PM PST. It is still loaded with black powder each day, and an electric trigger sets the charge off each night. It has functioned continually since its installation with the exception of five separate occasions- once in WWII when the gun was captured and “ransomed” for a donation to the BC Children's Hospital, once in 2007 during a strike, once when it was inexplicably painted red by UBC engineering students, and once on May 20th 2011 for no apparent reason. Now, the gun sits in a stone and metal enclosure to prevent theft or tampering, with signs warning pedestrians of its loud report.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Vancouver, Canada

Create Your Own Walk in Vancouver

Create Your Own Walk in Vancouver

Creating your own self-guided walk in Vancouver is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

It would be a pity to leave Vancouver without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Vancouver, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.6 Km or 0.4 Miles
Top-Rated Gay Venues of Vancouver

Top-Rated Gay Venues of Vancouver

The nightlife in Vancouver is diverse enough for everyone to find a suitable spot to relax and let loose. The gay and lesbian community certainly has a great selection of clubs and bars to choose from, all with great music and great drinks. Take the following tour to experience Vancouver's top rated gay clubs.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.5 Km or 0.3 Miles
Walking Tour of Chinatown in Vancouver

Walking Tour of Chinatown in Vancouver

Vancouver's Chinatown is North America's second largest Chinese-centered area. It attracts many tourists with its expressive culture, food, and fabulous traditional architecture. This walking tour will guide you to the most significant attractions in Chinatown.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles
Vancouver Introduction Walk

Vancouver Introduction Walk

The third largest city in Canada, Vancouver is a dynamic and vibrant metropolis in British Columbia known for a variety of world-class attractions. Take this orientation walk and get familiar with the most popular spots of the city.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 Km or 3.5 Miles
Vancouver Walking Tour: Mount Pleasant

Vancouver Walking Tour: Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant was one of the very first neighborhood zones developed in the city of Vancouver. Here you can find lively coffee shops, bistros, trendy boutiques, galleries, and much more. Take this walking tour to discover all the great attractions of the Mount Pleasant area.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Walking Tour of Yaletown in Vancouver

Walking Tour of Yaletown in Vancouver

For many years Yaletown has been the thriving industrial heart of Vancouver. This area of the city looks unlike any other and is considered to be the home of Vancouver's "elite" society. This walking tour will take you to the most significant Yaletown spots.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

16 Distinctively Canadian Things to Buy in Vancouver

16 Distinctively Canadian Things to Buy in Vancouver

British Columbia, in general, and Vancouver, in particular, are among the top Canadian destinations worth being explored. The amalgam of aboriginal and western cultures, Vancouver is a treasure trove of distinctively Canadian delights that are not found anywhere else. Most of these items make for an...