I have so much more content to share about Vancouver. It was my home for over two years after all, even if isn’t my forever home. Today I’m starting off by sharing my favourite places around the city to photograph the skyline.
I wrote a similar post for Melbourne, so I thought it was only right to share where to photograph the Vancouver skyline too. Here are 15+ places to capture the best Vancouver views.
Granville and Burrard Street Bridges
Both Granville and Burrard Street Bridges connect Vancouver’s downtown area to “mainland” Vancouver. Burrard leads you to Kitsilano, while Granville coincidentally takes you to Granville Island. You can see a lot from the bridges, such as the Yaletown/West End neighbourhoods, the boats moored below, the surrounding mountains and the False Creek area.
Hands down the best place to photograph the Vancouver skyline is from North Vancouver. Located directly across the water from the city, you can see all of Vancouver’s iconic buildings, as well as Stanley Park. Get the Seabus from Waterfront Station to Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver, as the public transport ferry has its own winning views.
Once at Lonsdale Quay, you can walk left to Waterfront Park, or right to the Shipyards. Personally, I have visited the Shipyards several times to work at the Shipyards Night Market and I love the view from the pier. I highly recommend visiting at sunset.
Going south from the Cambie Street and West Broadway intersection (around Vancouver City Hall), there’s an awesome view of the city. It gets bonus points because it includes the interesting exterior of BC Place and the UFO-style Vancouver Lookout. Although I’ve been around this area on occasion, I never got a photo.
Meanwhile, you can also get a good photo on nearby Main Street, if you can stand in the middle of the street for a hot second (just don’t hurt yourself).
Queen Elizabeth Park
Queen Elizabeth Park is in my number two position behind North Vancouver. When I lived in Vancouver for the first time, I never visited this park (WHYYYY). But I definitely changed this and went back on a couple of occasions during Vancouver round two. Through some Culture Trip research I discovered that the park is Vancouver’s highest point, which is why the views are just the best.
Head up to the Bloedel Conservatory and check out the Vancouver vistas, backdropped by the North Shore mountains. The best thing is, the scenery from Queen Elizabeth Park looks good in every season.
Cypress and Grouse Mountains
I’ve only ever visited Grouse Mountain (and well, Mount Seymour twice, if we’re counting). But you can imagine how good the city looks from up there, right? I’ve heard the view of Vancouver is just as good, if not better, from Cypress. Once again, I recommend sunset, because seeing the city come to life and sparkle at night would be awesome.
Stanley Park is huge! I recommend checking out the area near the Rowing Club for this photo of Coal Harbour’s skyscrapers. Otherwise, continue on the seawall for views of the skyline around the other side.
Vancouver Convention Centre
This is a bonus one, as it’s all about the North Vancouver skyline from the Vancouver Convention Centre. Walk along the water at golden hour and be amazed at the view. The sun literally paints the buildings in different colours, from light pinks to rich golds. It’s a sight to see, even when you’re freezing in -4°C. True story.
I love Olympic Village. Don’t visit the area without your camera, as you can photograph Science World, the mountains and the Vancouver skyline from this vantage point. Tap & Barrel at Olympic Village has my favourite patio in the city. It can be difficult to find a seat once the sun begins to shine though, as most locals love hanging out here.
This is the UFO-style building that dominates the Vancouver skyline. Every city skyline needs a defining building though, right? Although I’ve never been up to the lookout, because I hate paying for views 😉 it definitely gives you an unique viewpoint.
One of my favourite walks in Vancouver is heading from Granville Island to Kitsilano Beach via Vanier Park. From the park, you can capture this photo. I love how it puts Stanley Park’s location and dominance in perspective. The mix of urban with nature (from both the park and the surrounding mountains) makes my heart swell every time.
The view is just as good from Kits Beach too. I recommend heading high up near the pool for the best skyline viewpoint. You could also continue along the coast here to Jericho Beach, which offers a similar—but more wide angled—view.
CRAB Park at Portside
I never visited CRAB Park, but I have seen photos of the views from here and it’s a worthwhile stop when touring Vancouver’s downtown area.
This is a little bit off the beaten path, but I loved the view of Vancouver from Boundary Road in North Burnaby. If you head north from Hastings Street, you will find a stunning view featuring the PNE, the skyline, Burrard Inlet and North Vancouver. This was on my weekly neighbourhood walking route.
There it is – my complete guide to the best places to view the Vancouver skyline. If you happen to use this guide and post a photo on Instagram, tag me. I’d love to see your photos!