Vancouver is a pretty city


Have you ever wondered why Vancouver is repeatedly voted the most liveable city in the world? Perhaps it is the historic center with its typical brick buildings and old trees that give the city its charm. Perhaps it is also the Victorian-influenced Gastown, the cultural and shopping district of Granville Island, the huge Stanley Park with its countless leisure opportunities or the incredible diversity of cultures and cuisines that make Vancouver so irresistible. The fact is that hardly any other city in North America in general and Canada in particular is as open, multicultural, lively and green as the metropolis between the Pacific and the Rocky Mountains. So take at least a few days to discover the different facets of the city.

One of the landmarks of Vancouver is the Steam Clock on the western border of the Gastown district. A visit here is worth twice: on the one hand to watch the steam clock emit steam and play a little melody on the hour, on the other hand to explore the pretty streets and alleys of the oldest district of Vancouver. In addition to pretty Victorian townhouses, there are also numerous restaurants, cafes and souvenirs to discover.

Vancouver © iStockphoto / Benjamin Goode

Chinatown is definitely worth seeing - after all, around 30 percent of Vancouver's residents are of Chinese descent. The Chinatown of Vancouver is not only very big and lively, Chinese buildings, shops and goods together with the life on the street and the traditional night market give the impression that you are actually in China. Don't miss the entrance gates to Chinatown adorned with mythical creatures, the bell of the West Han Dynasty and the garden of Sun Yat-Sen, an oasis of calm from the hectic everyday life. A visit to the Chinese New Year festival, which always falls on a new moon between January and February and is celebrated with a large parade, dragon dance and lots of fireworks, is particularly interesting.
But it's not just the buildings, festivals and the cosmopolitan people that make life in Vancouver so worth living. The city is ideally located for exploring the natural beauties of the surrounding area. Those who have had enough of the numerous exhibitions and markets, festivals and leisure activities can take a gondola to the 1,100 meter high Grouse Mountain, Vancouver's local mountain, and enjoy the fantastic view of the city and the coast. In summer, for example, you can visit the sanctuary for grizzly bears and gray wolves, in winter the local mountain is known and popular as a ski area. Speaking of which, Canada's best ski area, Whistler, is just a 2-hour drive from Vancouver.
A completely different kind of experience awaits visitors at the Capilano Suspension Bridge: The suspension bridge spans the Capilano River at a height of around 70 meters over about 137 meters. Those who overcome themselves and dare to climb the wobbly bridge will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the gorge and over the evergreen rainforest. Speaking of which: On seven other bridges and a treetop path you can explore the diversity and beauty of the rainforest, the totem collection, exhibitions and the Big House at Kia’palano tell of the art and culture of the natives. Do you now know what makes Vancouver so extraordinary, so lovable and worth living in?