Travelling along Canada’s west coast? Figuring out where to stay in Vancouver will be an important part of planning your adventure.
Vancouver is the third-biggest city in Canada and the largest in British Columbia. And like other major Canadian cities, Vancouver spreads far and wide. For travellers, most of the best hotels in Vancouver lie in & around downtown. If you want to escape the city centre, there are other interesting areas, districts & neighbourhoods elsewhere, too. Each area in Vancouver sparkles with its own unique vibe.
You can stay among art galleries, theatres & music venues in downtown Vancouver. Or you can sip craft beers and wander past historic architecture in Gastown. Wherever you choose to stay, there’ll be a great hotel or lodgings nearby to make your visit to Vancouver unforgettable.
Ready to find the perfect Vancouver accommodations? Start your search with this complete guide to the best places to stay in Vancouver.
Best places to stay in Vancouver
From the urban centre to the scenic spots outside the city, Vancouver has something for everyone. One of the biggest challenges comes with figuring out which area to stay in Vancouver.
If you’ve only got one day in Vancouver or two, you’ll likely want to stay within travelling distance of the main attractions. For most travellers, the areas & neighbourhoods around Downtown Vancouver are the top choices. These areas are home to most of the best places to stay in Vancouver.
Located near the waterfront, each area in central Vancouver has its own features. You’ll find everything from converted warehouse districts to family-friendly residential neighbourhoods.
When planning a longer trip to Vancouver, you should also check out the areas to the north & south of the waterfront. Neighbourhoods like North Vancouver or Granville Island are great alternatives to downtown. They have fewer tourists, but will place you further from the centre of town.
No matter where you choose to stay, it’s a good idea to compare hotels and check out the locations of the nearest landmarks.
The best areas to stay in Vancouver are:
- Downtown Vancouver is the most central neighbourhood & best area to stay in Vancouver for first-time visitors. As the main business district, downtown is also home to most of the top-rated hotels in Vancouver.
- West End is located just west of downtown. The West End is the top-rated area for nightlife. It’s also a great choice for budget travellers. There’s a wide variety of affordable accommodations options here.
- Gastown is one of the city’s most historic neighbourhoods. Gastown is the most interesting district in Vancouver for experiencing the city’s vintage charms. It’s also a superb base for exploring Vancouver’s eating & drinking scene.
- Yaletown is a trendy area located south of downtown. Yaletown is the best place to stay in Vancouver for families. The neighbourhood also offers visitors plenty of chic restaurants and shopping boutiques.
✔ Best area to stay in Vancouver for first-time visitors & convenient access to the city
Some of the top-rated areas to stay for travellers are found around Downtown Vancouver. While the surrounding suburbs & neighbourhoods also offer plenty, they don’t have a lot of hotels.
Staying in & around the centre of the city provides more options and convenience. You’ll find yourself within walking distance of the top tourist attractions in Vancouver. The area is home to many of the city’s most popular galleries and theatres.
The downtown area is also the city’s main business district. It’s the busiest part of Vancouver, full of people going to and from work along with throngs of tourists checking out the skyscrapers.
You’ll also have lots of opportunities to eat or shop as you travel from site to site. There’s no shortage of coffee shops, restaurants, and shops squeezed into the ground floors of the towering buildings.
Downtown Vancouver is within walking distance of the waterfront to the north and south. You’re just a few blocks away from the seafood restaurants lining Vancouver Harbour and the warehouse districts in Yaletown.
If you get tired of downtown, you can also quickly reach the sprawling parks in the West End. Or you can take a trip across the bay to reach the sandy beaches in Kitsilano.
Recommended hotels in Downtown Vancouver
The downtown area has some of the best hotels in Vancouver. The district is where most first-time visitors and business travellers choose to stay. This area also has the widest selection, ranging from budget chains to five-star hotels.
- Blue Horizon Hotel is located on Robson Street in the heart of downtown Vancouver. This mid-range hotel has corner guest rooms with full balconies and views of the city. After a long day, unwind in the indoor pool, sauna, or fitness centre.
- Hotel BLU is a four-star hotel with spacious rooms and every amenity imaginable. This place truly helps guests relax in comfort. It’s a short walk from Yaletown and located near several shopping centres and theatres.
- L’Hermitage Hotel is another four-star hotel with a great location. Staying here places you near the Vancouver Art Gallery and BC Place Stadium. It’s also a short stroll from dozens of restaurants. To relax, you can enjoy the solitude of the hotel’s garden patio and courtyard.
- Moda Hotel is a highly rated boutique hotel offering affordable rooms and on-site dining. It has two restaurants and two bars along with a 24-hour front desk. Fill your stomach with Italian cuisine at one of the restaurants or taste local craft beers at the bar.
✔ Most popular area to stay in Vancouver for nightlife & budget travellers
Just west of downtown, you’ll find the West End. It’s a mostly residential neighbourhood with a relaxed atmosphere and dozens of take-out food restaurants. Budget travellers tend to prefer this area. It offers plenty of affordable dining options and accommodations.
Families that want to stay close to the beaches and parks should love this area. As you walk the tree-lined residential streets of the West End, you’ll pass many public parks and gardens. It’s the greenest part of the city and has its own waterfront with several kilometres of sandy beaches.
Along with great prices and green spaces, the West End is known for its vibrant nightlife. While it’s quiet during the day, the neighbourhood buzzes with activity at night.
If you’re looking for nighttime entertainment, dining, or drinks, walk to Robson Street or Denman Street. These areas are among the busiest in the evening. They’re home to dozens of restaurants, bars, and cafes.
It’s also a short trip from downtown Vancouver, taking about 10 minutes on foot. The only drawback is the lack of public parking. Skip the rental car and explore the area on foot or familiarize yourself with the bus routes.
Recommended hotels in West End
Accommodations in the West End include a mixture of budget mid-range hotels, hostels, and apartments. Hotel options are limited compared to downtown Vancouver, but there’s still something for everyone.
- The Sylvia Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel overlooking English Bay. The hotel is just a two-minute walk from the sprawling Stanley Park. The on-site restaurant and lounge serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tables are located both indoors and outside on a bistro patio.
- Best Western Plus Sands is a popular chain hotel offering great value, thanks to its affordable rooms and location. The on-site lounge has views of English Bay and occasional live music. You’ll enjoy a wide selection of seafood dishes at the on-site restaurant.
- The Westin Bayshore Vancouver is a four-star hotel located on the harbour. The lodgings stand out for their views of the waterfront and convenient location. You can quickly walk to almost any spot in the West End, Coal Harbour, or downtown Vancouver.
- The Listel Hotel Vancouver is located on Robson Street. This mid-range hotel is closer to the centre of Vancouver and the eastern edge of the West End. It’s right on the busiest shopping street in the city. If you don’t feel like going out, enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant.
✔ Top-rated place to stay in Vancouver for a vintage atmosphere & seafood
The historic neighbourhood of Gastown contains many examples of early 20th-century architecture. The old cobblestone streets, boutique shops, and small restaurants add to the vintage charm.
This old neighbourhood sits just north of downtown Vancouver and east of the West End. Vancouver Harbour hovers to the north. Near the waterfront, you’ll see several colourful brick buildings. Inside, they house various cocktail bars and microbreweries along with a few corner bars.
Even if you don’t stay in Gastown, add it to your Vancouver itinerary. It has several interesting attractions, including the whistling Steam Clock. You’ll find various art galleries located inside its Victorian buildings.
The selection of restaurants is also diverse. You’ll find pizza parlours, ice cream shops, sandwich shacks & seafood restaurants throughout Gastown. Many of the area’s finest eating joints dwell on Water Street.
Water Street is the main tourist hub in this neighbourhood. The cobblestone street is lined with vintage lamp posts and many more bars and gift shops.
After a day of shopping, get a panoramic view of the city from the Vancouver Lookout. The tower stands 167 metres above the city. The views of the city, sea & mountains from the top are spectacular!
While Gastown is not the largest neighbourhood in Vancouver, it’s the city’s most unique.
Recommended hotels in Gastown
Gastown doesn’t have the largest selection of hotels. Most accommodation options are located a block or two from the centre of the district. However, if you only have limited time in Vancouver, these hotels provide a convenient place to stay. You’ll have access to the harbour, downtown, and the rest of Vancouver.
- Fairmont Waterfront sits on the Vancouver waterfront. This luxurious resort has unbeatable views of the mountains and the harbour. It’s a few minutes away from the centre of Gastown and surrounded by high-end commercial establishments.
- Victorian Hotel is a historic Vancouver hotel, built in 1898. The hotel has industrial-style rooms with exposed bricks and period antiques. It’s technically just south of Gastown, a few blocks from the Steam Clock and the waterfront. It’s also one of the more affordable three-star hotels in the area.
- Skwachays Lodge: is a boutique three-star Gastown hotel offering comfortable rooms. It also provides multiple work studios for an Aboriginal artist-in-residence program. Staying at the lodge helps support Aboriginal artists.
- Delta Hotels by Marriott Vancouver Downtown Suites is an excellent four-star hotel in the centre of Gastown. While the rooms are relatively small, the floor-to-ceiling windows provide sweeping views of the harbour area. They help make the rooms appear a little larger.
✔ Most recommended area in Vancouver for families and boutique shopping
Yaletown has become one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in Vancouver. Formerly a warehouse district and home to the city’s skid row, it’s gone through a major revitalization in the past couple of decades.
Part of the revitalization included the redevelopment of the waterfront at False Creek North. While Gastown and the West End have their own waterfront, Yaletown’s features more attractions. Things to do here include visiting seafood markets and embarking on boat tours.
Yaletown is also a family-friendly neighbourhood with a youthful vibe. The residential parts of the district include a mixture of young professionals and young families.
Thanks to the younger population, Yaletown has a lot of chic establishments. You’ll come across dozens of boutiques and small cafes located off the cobbled streets near the waterfront.
It’s a little more active compared to the relaxed atmosphere in the West End but often has fewer tourists. Foodies should also appreciate the diverse range of restaurants and bars. You can enjoy several craft breweries on your Yaletown sightseeing experience.
As with the other choices for where to stay in Vancouver, Yaletown is within walking distance of the attractions in the downtown area. It’s just south of central Vancouver and a little further from the West End and Gastown.
Recommended hotels in Yaletown
Yaletown doesn’t have a lot of hotels. Most of the best options are found on the outskirts of the neighbourhood, bordering downtown or Granville. You’ll still find something to suit any budget or personal taste.
- Best Western Plus Chateau Granville Hotel is a massive four-star hotel. It has a wide variety of rooms as it caters to both business travellers and tourists. The hotel is connected to a large conference centre and has an on-site restaurant and lounge. Some of the rooms also feature views of the city.
- JW Marriott Parq Vancouver is a luxurious hotel just east of Yaletown, next to BC Place Stadium. Rooms are spacious & contemporary. The hotel features modern architecture and design elements that create a futuristic atmosphere. It’s located near the waterfront and still within walking distance of downtown Vancouver.
- Opus Hotel is located in the centre of Yaletown. This quirky boutique hotel has vibrant furnishings and décor. You can also enjoy views of Yaletown and dine on site at the hotel’s restaurant. In the evening, relax with cocktails and music at the hotel’s bar.