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First Time Visiting Vancouver/Whistler - Recommendations?

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First Time Visiting Vancouver/Whistler - Recommendations?

We are travelling from Australia and spending 7 nights in Vancouver & Whistler

How long would people suggest we spend in Whistler compared to Vancouver?

Also, are there any good hotel recommendations up to about $120 per night. We would like to stay near the good nightlife areas.

Lastly, what are the must do things for our 7 days in Vancouver & Whistler?

Niagara Falls...
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1. Re: First Time Visiting Vancouver/Whistler - Recommendations?

What time of year are you going? The answers to your questions can vary with the seasons.

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2. Re: First Time Visiting Vancouver/Whistler - Recommendations?

Early May

Whistler, Canada
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3. Re: First Time Visiting Vancouver/Whistler - Recommendations?

May in Whistler is a bit slow, but theres lots to do. If you enjoy hiking you'll be in luck. Alpine hiking is a really popular option. You can also go glacier or heli skiing while your here. During may there is usually lots of specials at the restaurants. The piquenewsmagazine is usually a good source for any specials going on in town here.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: First Time Visiting Vancouver/Whistler - Recommendations?

Both Vancouver and Whistler are absolutely beautiful...but unfortunately they are expensive destinations to visit. You are visting both in the off season (particularly Whistler) so accomodations will be less expensive than normal. But you will stil be pushing your accomodation budget in both Whistler and Vancouver unless you are looking for backpacker hostels.

What type of hotels are you looking for?

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: First Time Visiting Vancouver/Whistler - Recommendations?

Welcome to the forum, Isabelle ~

My vote would be for 5 nights Vancouver and 2 Whistler. I would even go so far as to say get up to Whistler from the airport ( 3 hours drive or coach) for the first 2 nights and then relax in Vancouver so that getting back to the airport is easier.

What are you planning about transportation? You don't need a car at all in Vancouver or Whistler. There is a coach directly from the airport to Whistler and from Vancouver to Whistler.


For hotels at that price you'd be a little hard pressed unless you went through Hotwire or Priceline.

The good nightlife areas will be on the Granville Entertainment Strip. The following hotels are in this area, either Granville or Howe Streets. But perhaps for more than your budget.

Best Western Plus Downtown Vancouver: …bestwestern.com/bestwestern/…

Ramada Inn Downtown: http://www.ramadavancouver.com/

Best Western Plus Chateau Granville: http://www.chateaugranville.com/

Inn at False Creek: http://www.innatfalsecreek.com/

Howard Johnson: http://www.hojovancouver.com/

Holiday Inn: http://www.holidayinnvancouverdowntown.com/


If the idea of street noise, bars and pubs letting out well after midnight and all the accompanying bits and pieces that go with bar/club/lounge closing time don't appeal to you, you might also want to consider the following. You might like to know that a taxi fare anywhere in the downtown core will cost $10-15.

The Blue Horizon, in the centre of town, within easy walking distance of everything: http://www.bluehorizonhotel.com/

Times Square Suites, at the west edge of Vancouver, very close to Stanley Park and English Bay, easy transport to other attractions. http://www.timessquaresuites.com/

YWCA Hotel, in the centre of downtown, easy transport, close to Gastown. IMO, the best value in Vancouver for the money. It is a hotel not a hostel, has a choice of room styles and bathroom styles. http://www.ywcahotel.com/

Another one I will put last on the list is the Victorian Hotel, which comes with breakfast. It's in central downtown but an older part. The building will be older and the neighbourhood is a little more gritty, but still okay. http://www.victorianhotel.ca/

The "Things to Do" in the left side bar of the forums, including the Whistler Forum, will allow you to choose the things that interest you. In Whistler, I would highly recommend the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre. The highlights I like to post for Vancouver in response to questions like yours are as follows:


Stanley Park, including the Aquarium



Robson Street

Bill Reid Gallery at 639 Hornby St. between Dunsmuir and Georgia

Vancouver Art Gallery, with its great Gallery Café

The Marine Building at 355 Burrard St. for the exterior, facade, entrance, foyer and the inside of the brass-doored elevators. Notice the marine and ship themes. Office hours only.


Grouse Mountain

Lynn Canyon Susp Bridge (free)

Capilano Susp Bridge ($$$)



Granville Island and False Creek

Maritime Museum - www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com/page216.htm

Van Dusen Gardens

Queen Elizabeth Park and the Bloedel Conservatory


Museum of Anthropology at UBC

Nitobe Memorial Gardens at UBC - http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/nitobe

Greenheart Canopy Walkway at UBC Botanical Gardens –



Gulf of Georgia Cannery Museum www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/bc/georgia/index.aspx

Steveston Village




Steveston is about 45-60 minutes by transit from Vancouver, an interesting village with historical significance. The Cannery demonstrates the historical salmon canning process from fishing boat to tin can.

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: First Time Visiting Vancouver/Whistler - Recommendations?

<<We are travelling from Australia and spending 7 nights in Vancouver & Whistler>>

Is that all? I have trouble believing you are going to travel all the way from Australia for a 7 day trip. It helps us to make recommendations when we know what else you will be seeing. For ex - if you are also planning to go to the Rockies, then Whistler will pale by comparison (from a scenery standpoint anyway), and so we often suggest alternative destinations.

<<How long would people suggest we spend in Whistler compared to Vancouver?>>

A lifetime. Seriously. I've been here most of my life and still have a pretty long list of things to see and do around here.

<<Also, are there any good hotel recommendations up to about $120 per night. We would like to stay near the good nightlife areas.>>

From what we found in Australia, $300/night is pushing it. There are options in that price range, but you really need to get up around $200/night to give yourselves some options.

<<Lastly, what are the must do things for our 7 days in Vancouver & Whistler?>>

That depends entirely on 1. When you are coming (which has been solved). and 2. What you enjoy doing. I could give you a long list of things that I would spend my week doing and you might despise every one of them. More info will garner better answers.

Chilliwack, Canada
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7. Re: First Time Visiting Vancouver/Whistler - Recommendations?

As with many of the posters, I would say 5 in Vancouver and 2 in Whistler. In Whistler, you will walk around, maybe do some hiking, biking, golfing, dine out...then want to look for something else to do. Whistler is great in the winter if you are skiing and nice in the other seasons as well, but I personally am Whistlered out after about 2 days. Vancouver on the other hand has a vast number of things to do and see....many of which are similar to what you can do in Whistler. You can hike, bike and golf in the Vancouver area and a whole lot more. But, to say you have been to Whistler is definitely a feather in the travel cap.

When in Vancouver, if you are looking for the most bang for your buck, you may want to consider this hotel:


It does not have the most amazing reviews. Having said that I have stayed there personally and it is totally adequate as a place to call home base (sleep) while exploring Vancouver. It is downtown and close to many of the major attractions. It is within walking distance of the two main Stadiums (across the street). You could watch soccer, a concert, a hockey game (if they play this year). You can take a water taxi to Granville Island....which is a must. There is a casino nearby if you are into that sort of thing. It is near Granville Street for nightlife and shopping, Gastown for shopping, restaurants. I am from this area and one thing I love to do in Vancouver is rent a bike on Denman Street and bike the seawall around Stanley Park and False Creek. You get to see a lot of great things and it is an excellent way to see the city and the park.

Some great things to see near Vancouver in my opinion are (in no particular order):

Deep Cove

Steveston Village

Commercial Drive

Granville Island

Stanley Park

Wandering around town just exploring

Boat trip up Indian Arm (beautiful)

Seaplane trip from Coal Harbour to downtown Victoria for a day...why not!

As someone mentioned, you could not see everything in a week or 5 days. Hopefully you get enough ideas here to make a "hit list" and go from there. Key thing is to enjoy and soak in the experience.

8. Re: First Time Visiting Vancouver/Whistler - Recommendations?

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