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Plan a magical trip to Vancouver this holiday season

Create new memories in the city with these ideas for the perfect getaway
The Vancouver Christmas Market is Vancouver’s most prominent and longest-running Christmas Market.

One of the biggest perks of living in Victoria is that the world-class travel destination of Vancouver is just a 90-minute ferry ride away.

Vancouver is a magical place to be during the holiday season. 

This winter, whether you’re planning a family trip, a couple's getaway, shopping weekend or just looking for a change of scenery, Vancouver is the perfect place to find holiday activities that you’ll love.

Planning your trip? Check out these suggestions for planning the perfect getaway.

Beloved signature holiday events are back on

After a hiatus, Vancouver’s signature holiday events are back on! It’s a perfect time to rejoin the holiday fun.

The Vancouver Christmas Market returns to its seaside home at Jack Poole Plaza. Vancouver’s largest and longest-running Christmas Market – and only European Christmas Market – has an expanded six-week schedule starting Nov. 13, 2021.

Have a morning mingle with the big guy himself at Breakfast with Santa. Head to FlyOver Canada for a morning of fun and food. Enjoy a breakfast buffet with all your favourites and then take a trip to the North Pole on the Soar With Santa ride. Don’t forget your souvenir photo, included with the price of admission.

The VanDusen Festival of Lights transforms 15 acres of the botanical gardens into a magical winter wonderland with more than one million lights.

Cross the glowing suspension bridge at Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge. With the canyon and Capilano River illuminated with lights below, journey into the magical rainforest and walk high above the forest floor between the eight tallest Christmas trees in the world.

Shopping in Gastown. Photo via Destination Vancouver.

Support local shops

Enjoy the fun of in-person Christmas shopping while supporting local vendors and exploring the city’s vibrant neighbourhoods.

Check out the work of local artisans at Granville Island.

Vancouver’s Chinatown brings together old and new. You'll find everything from ginseng to green tea, fine embroidered linens, silk robes, exotic fresh produce plus traditional Chinese tableware and cooking utensils. 

Gastown has emerged as one of the hippest new shopping areas in Vancouver, with some of the city’s coolest independent casualwear studios.

The beachside neighbourhood of Kitsilano is home to organic markets, and outdoor adventure outfitters, along with great fashion stores.

Must-see arts and culture events

The Anonymous Art Show showcases original artwork from emerging and established artists for North Van Art’s annual festive fundraiser. Tour the over 700 works of art at CityScape Community ArtSpace and bid on your favourite.

The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art is holding the Canadian premiere exhibition of Sho Sho Esquiro: Doctrine of Discovery. 

The treasured holiday tradition, Christmas with Chor Leoni, returns this year in the newly restored St. Andrew’s-Wesley United.

Unparalleled dining experiences

The Top of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant is an experience of a lifetime. Enjoy fine continental dining at 553 feet (167m) for an unobstructed view of Vancouver, the coastal mountains, and the ocean.

The Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar is celebrated as Vancouver’s definitive destination for seafood.

Celebrating our ocean’s harvest

Enjoy truly authentic Mexican fare that uses organic, locally sourced ingredients at La Mezcaleria. Don’t forget to sample from its vast tequila and mezcal selection.

BeSIDE Forage offers quality and comfort as Vancouver’s only gnocchi speciality restaurant. Pillowy soft gnocchi is handmade fresh in-house from local BC potatoes.

The VanDusen Festival of Lights. Photo via Destination Vancouver.

Nearby nature activities

Mountain and nature-based activities just a short drive away from downtown Vancouver.

Cypress Mountain is Vancouver's mountain playground with 52 downhill winter skiing and riding runs, plus a magic carpet surface lift in our kids camp area.

Grouse Mountain is Vancouver’s most visited year-round attraction located just 15 minutes from downtown. Enjoy panoramic views as you travel to the alpine aboard the iconic Skyride.

On the western edge of Pacific Spirit Regional Park is a hiker’s paradise.

Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures offers guided adventures all year round in Whistler and Squamish, including glacier tours and backcountry skiing.

To start planning your perfect Vancouver getaway today, visit for special seasonal offers on your hotel stay.