Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountains, Vancouver tops many “must-see” travel lists. From bustling neighborhoods to serene parks, the city promises an unparalleled experience for travelers of any taste. One of the best ways to explore this beautiful Canadian city is by taking a tour – and Vancouver has a lot of them! To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best tours in Vancouver that will help you see the city in a whole new light.
We’ve created handy categories for you to browse, so you can find the best tours by foot, by bike and watercraft, by neighbourhood, or by interest!
Best Bike and Watercraft Tours
Vancouver, British Columbia is an outdoor lover’s paradise – it’s no wonder that bike and watercraft tours are popular in this stunning Canadian city. With its breathtaking natural scenery, diverse wildlife, and endless opportunities for adventure, Vancouver provides an unparalleled backdrop for exploring on two wheels or by water.
The Grand Bike Tour- Cycle City Tours
There’s no better way to see Vancouver than on a bike! This tour is a perfect introduction to Vancouver, and we recommend taking this tour on the first day of your trip to get ideas of where to return to during your stay. The five-hour tour goes by in a flash- and it’s great for all experience levels with flat riding and many stops along the way. See all the best sites in Vancouver and stop for lunch at the iconic Granville Island. You’ll learn about the city, its history, and ecosystem, as well as have plenty of opportunities for photo ops!
Vancouver Water Adventures’ City & Seal Tour is one of the best tours by watercraft in Vancouver. This one is an exhilarating Zodiac boat tour along Stanley Park, West Vancouver, Lighthouse Park, and False Creek. Discover the stunning beauty of the city’s coastline while getting up close and personal with adorable seals. Vancouver Water Adventures also offers a wide range of tours and rentals including seadoos, kayaks, and stand up paddle boards.
If you’re looking for a more laid-back approach to a boat tour, we recommend the Sunset Dinner Cruise held on a cruise ship. Indulge in an unforgettable evening as you sail along the scenic waters, taking in breathtaking views of Canada Place, the mountains of the North Shore, and Stanley Park. Enjoy a delicious dinner while watching the sun dip below the horizon.
Vancouver is an extremely walkable city. There are plenty of Vancouver walking tours to choose from, so how are you supposed to choose which ones are right for you? We’ve got you covered with our top walking tours in Vancouver!
The Lost Souls of Gastown Tour- Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours
As of September, 2023 this tour is the #1 Walking Tour on TripAdvisor, so it had to make our list! It’s part tour, part roving one-person play, where the guide is an actor in character and period costume leading you through the true sordid history of early Vancouver. Follow along the cobblestone streets of Gastown and hear tales of the Great Fire, smallpox, heartbreak, and murder.
Granville Island Market Tour- Vancouver Foodie Tours
Exploring Granville Island’s delights can be overwhelming for first timers! The market is usually packed, and the line-ups are no joke. Enter Vancouver Foodie Tours- the experts when it comes to Granville Island. Their close relationships with the market vendors mean you get to try all the best treats and skip the lines! Think handmade cheeses, local charcuterie, donuts, macarons, and more.
Part self-guided sightseeing tour, part mystery game, Ghost Patrol takes players through the city centre as they investigate four hauntings and collect clues. Along the way you’ll see iconic architecture, public art, and iconic sites. Why not have a little fun and hunt some ghosts while you take in the sites?
Whether you’re a local or a visitor, touring Vancouver’s diverse neighborhoods is a thrilling adventure that offers a unique perspective on the city’s beauty and history. These are the tour companies that stand out from the crowd and offer exceptional services, experienced guides, and unforgettable experiences.
SEE EVERYTHING: The Grand Tour- Cycle City Tours
There’s no better way to see a LOT of Vancouver in one day than our Grand Bike Tour! The route hits all of Vancouver’s main neighbourhoods and sights including Coal Harbour, Stanley Park, English Bay, False Creek, Granville Island, Olympic Village, Chinatown, and Gastown.
GASTOWN: The Gastronomic Gastown Tour- Vancouver Foodie Tours
This curated experience takes visitors on a culinary journey through Vancouver’s historic Gastown district, where they can indulge in a wide variety of delicious food and beverages from some of the top restaurants in Vancouver. With knowledgeable guides leading the way, participants can sample local delicacies, learn about the neighborhood’s history, and discover hidden gems.
CHINATOWN: A Wok Around Chinatown- Robert Sung Tours
This immersive experience takes you on a culinary journey through Chinatown, allowing you to explore its rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse flavors. You’ll discover hidden gems, sample delicious authentic dishes, and gain a deeper appreciation for the Chinese community’s contributions to Vancouver’s multicultural tapestry.
DOWNTOWN: The Monumental Scandals Tour- Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours
This captivating tour offers a deep dive into the fascinating and scandalous history of the city’s most iconic buildings. From uncovering hidden stories of corruption and vice to exploring notorious figures and events, the tour provides a unique perspective on Vancouver’s past and architecture. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply looking for an alternative way to discover the city, the Monumental Scandals Tour promises an engaging and eye-opening experience.
There are many tour companies out there that offer specialized tours for every type of traveller. Whether you’re a foodie looking to explore the culinary delights of a new city, an adventure seeker seeking a thrilling experience, or a history buff wanting to delve into the history of a particular place, these tour companies have got you covered.
Indigenous Culture & History- Talaysay Tours
Founded in 2002, Talaysay Tours is owned and operated by Candace and Larry Campo, Shíshálh (Sechelt) and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Nation members. They share their culture with visitors with fun, educational, and inspirational tours. Learn about First Nations history, lore, legends, and ways of living.
A bike tour with the knowledgeable guides of Cycle City is an enlightening peek into Vancouver! Guides cover a wide range of topics including history, architecture, city planning, nature, ecosystem, culture, and more. Each guide also has their own specialties like local music or where to eat in Vancouver. Plus, every tour guest gets insider info post-tour to make the most out of your visit to Vancouver.
Waterways and Sea Life- Vancouver Water Adventures
Vancouver Water Adventures has their fingers on the pulse of Vancouver’s waterways. Their guides are armed with knowledge of local sea life, landscape, and natural history. Hot tip: Take one of their early tours for the highest chance of seeing the most sea life!
To really understand a city, you should learn about its history. Skip the textbooks and take an entertaining and enlightening history tour with Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours. They’ve honed their tours over 13 years to keep you engaged and entertained. Their passionate storytellers lead the way through distinct neighbourhoods as they cover topics such as prohibition, queer history, corruption, colonialism, scandals, and more.
Vancouver Foodie Tours offers unique walking food tours in Gastown, Richmond, and Granville Island. You’ll get to try some of the best dishes and beverage pairings in Vancouver created by top chefs with local ingredients. Beyond the food, their knowledgeable guides give you key insights into Vancouver’s culture, history, and communities. You’ll walk away full, and armed with many suggestions for exploring Vancouver’s vibrant food scene beyond the tour.
All in all, Vancouver offers a myriad of experiences for travelers and locals alike. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing stroll by the waterfront or an adventurous bike tour around town, our city has something to offer everyone! We hope our list of the best tours in Vancouver helps you narrow down your choices and get the most out of your time here.
With great respect for the original and enduring inhabitants of these lands, we acknowledge that we work, live, and ride on the Ancestral & Unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Peoples.