How to Spend 48 Hours in Vancouver

48 Hours in Vancouver | World of Wanderlust
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I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect for my arrival in to Vancouver but after checking the weather forecast at home before I left Australia, I knew one thing was for sure: rain would be on the cards! To my surprise I landed at YVR airport to blue, sunny skies and for the entire first day resulted in nothing more than a speckle of rain, despite the forecast. Of course I can’t say that was true for my entire time in Vancouver but what is certainly true is just how beautiful, multi-faceted and care-free this city is. Here’s a complete guide for how to spend 48 hours in Vancouver based on my recent visit!

Air New Zealand Business Class Review | World of Wanderlust

Getting There: Air New Zealand

First things first: I set off for no less than a 30 hour plane journey to reach Vancouver. Leaving my island home behind, I first set off for Melbourne where I would catch two more flights to reach Vancouver. While normally I wouldn’t choose to fly even a little bit longer than I have to, later in life and my travel career I have come to realise that 1) the cheapest flight route is not always the best and 2) the choice of airline really does make a difference.

Having flown with Air New Zealand a few times this year, I have since decided they are one of my top 3 favourite airlines in the world (probably actually the favourite but to save sounding bias, I’ll round it up!) Anyone I know has the same sentiments for the airline – their service is second to none, they fly almost everywhere, their product onboard is one of the best on offer and the food on board actually tastes good.

My flight left Melbourne in the morning, arrived in Auckland in the afternoon, and I was boarding my final long-haul flight to Vancouver in a matter of hours. All in all I spent quite a while in the air and in airports (living in Tasmania is always the trick), but arrived feeling refreshed and ready to hit the ground running at 12:00 noon.

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Check in: Fairmont Pacific Rim

As this was a “work trip” I found myself checking in to the city of Vancouver’s most highly regarded hotel; the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Like any Fairmont property the service was outstanding, personable, and it was the little touches like sleep oil on my pillow, chocolates at turn-down service and complimentary bike-hire that made this stay so memorable. You’ll be hard-pressed to find anything about this hotel not to like and believe me when I say those glorious water-front bath tubs are as relaxing and indulgent as they look!!!

Fairmont Pacific Rim | 1038 Canada Place

48 Hours in Vancouver

Jet Lag Cure: Bike Ride Stanley Park

Fresh off the 30-hour flight journey and ready to fall in a heap of jet lag mess, I made sure to follow my #1 rule for beating jet lag: getting outdoors. Despite being the 3rd largest city in Canada with a population of somewhere comfortably over half a million (600,000+ in the municipal area alone), I was surprised by how easily accessible and close everything was. From my hotel I could practically touch the waters edge and within a 10 minute bike ride could reach the lush oasis that is Stanley Park. All the best cities have an escape plan: just as New York has Central Park and San Francisco has Golden Gate Park, Vancouver has Stanley Park.

Stanley Park is located right in the centre of town, just a few minutes bike ride from downtown. The park is gigantic (over 1000-acres) so I would suggest grabbing a map if you don’t have time to get lost (though based on my experience, the latter was more fun!) While I’m not sure if it was the ice-cold air or the bike ride itself, I found that I had completely kicked my jet-lag by the end of my couple of hours riding around and inside the park, so I would highly recommend it if you too have come off a long-haul!

The Acorn Vancouver The Acorn Vancouver That night: The Acorn

That night I caught a cab up town to The Acorn, a fine-dining vegetarian restaurant that aims to please everyone, even their “first-timers” to vegetarian dining. The food was exquisite – tastefully put together and delicately plated with a great ambience in the entire dimly-lit restaurant. All in all I would highly recommend for my fellow veggies and even recommend for those who aren’t vegetarian!

The Acorn | 3995 Main St

Vancouver in 48 Hours | World of Wanderlust First morning, First thing: Capilano Suspension Bridge

As one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city (well, 15 minutes drive from downtown) I would recommend arriving first thing (9:00am) to avoid lines and crowds. The Capilano Suspension Bridge itself is beautiful (and incredibly wobbly) but there are also plenty of things to see within the complex. Be sure to walk through the treetops and the cliff’s edge – its a great way to immerse yourself in nature and still be so close to the city! For a cheaper alternative you could also check out Lynn Canyon.

Capilano Bridge | 3735 Capilano Road

Coffee at Revolver Gas Town Vancouver

Find the best coffee in Gastown

Gastown was by far my favourite neighbourhood in the entire city and it took me just ten minutes to realise this. The neighbourhood is grungy and industrial, making it the perfect setting for Vancouver’s up and coming coffee bars and their showman baristas. You’ll find the best coffee in the city here in this neighbourhood with three absolute stand outs below:

Revolver | 325 Cambie Street

Buro Coffee | 356 Water Street

Timbertrain Coffee Roasters | 311 W Cordova Street

48 Hours in Vancouver

Double Jet Lag Cure: Willow Stream Spa

Midday and mid-heavy rain I made my way to the city of Vancouver’s most raved about spa: the Willow Stream Spa inside the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel. As far as memorable spa treatments go, two of the most memorable treatments I have had around the world were at Willow Stream Spas and the Vancouver spa was no exception. I would highly recommend the hot mud back massage for jet-lag recovery, which was handpicked by my therapist as the perfect jet-lag cure!

Fairmont Pacific Rim | 1038 Canada Place

Tacofino Vancouver

Lunch: Tacofino

For a midday lunch I would recommend checking out some of Vancouver’s food trucks or if lunching a little later in the day, check out Tacofino (which started as a foodtruck and is now taking over Vancouver!)

Tacofino | Locations throughout Vancouver

In the Afternoon: Granville Island

In the afternoon if you find yourself with any room left in your stomach whatsoever, head on over to Granville Island for one of the coolest al fresco dining situations you’ll find in a city. Granville Island is full of eats, drinks and a great food market to peruse.

The Last Hoorah: Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club

And for the last hoorah: if you’ve recovered from the jet-lag and are looking for something fun and uplifting to do, Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club is a great place to start. This is one of the most talked about comedy clubs in the city so be sure to check the schedule and plan ahead if possible!

I flew to Vancouver with Air New Zealand to showcase one of their newest destinations – Vancouver! With thanks to Explore BC and Tourism Vancouver for arranging my stay – all opinions, views and oodles of photos are my own!

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    November 29, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Oh, wonderful places, and with us now winter

    Crazy Tom
    November 19, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Seems as if an incredible destination to stop by! I’ve got not any excuses intended for definitely not viewing. It is a 3 and a half time journey absent in my opinion!

    Teen's View
    November 18, 2016 at 2:30 am

    I’ve visited Vancouver once this summer. It was fun, but we didn’t get to do much besides walk around. I wish I could’ve read this before we visited. I had no idea there were so many outdoor activities.

    Teen View @

    November 18, 2016 at 1:03 am

    Wow looks amazing, particularly the spa 🙂 Vancouver is on my list!!

    Holly x

    Gina Green
    November 17, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    Hey Brooke! do you have a PO box or fanmail address?

    • Brooke Saward
      November 18, 2016 at 3:32 am

      Surely do! PO Box 521 Prospect Vale, Launceston 7250 – I have a wall of postcards from you guys 😀

    Italian Belly
    November 16, 2016 at 9:00 am

    I’m from Vancouver, so, thank you for portraying it so nicely 🙂
    I have never stayed at the Pacific Rim for obvious reasons but I might just book a night there for the experience. Will try out the Acorn next time I am back home. Lovely pics!

    November 15, 2016 at 4:40 am

    I haven’t heard many great things about visiting Vancouver, but I’m enjoying seeing how much outdoor stuff there is to do! The suspension bridge looks like tons of fun and all that food! Yum!

    Anne Rita Taylor
    November 15, 2016 at 3:58 am

    I’ve been to Vancouver twice and you really captured the vibe! Love your photos!

    the travelogue (by Anna & Vanessa)
    November 14, 2016 at 12:46 am

    We’ve heard a lot about Vancouver now (and beautiful Canada) it looks so so nice! We would love to go next year but we’re thinking about the East Coast.. but to be honest the West Coast seems pretty amazing as well.. mhm tough decision!
    Enjoy your stay and looking forward to reading more of Canada and your adventures <3
    xx Anna & Vanessa

    November 13, 2016 at 3:51 am

    Tacofino was one of my fave places to eat at when I’m was at YVR! I’d recommend DD Mau too, for your next trip 😀

    November 13, 2016 at 3:03 am

    Great, these places are looking so beautiful and you recommend so good destination to explore beauty of that place.

    November 12, 2016 at 11:30 am

    I’m Canadian but I’ve never been to Vancouver, and after reading this post I really want to visit! Beautiful photos as well.

    -Hannah (

    November 11, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    I live in Vancouver and this post showcased its beauty, so thanks for sharing! 🙂 If you’ll be back, let me know, maybe we can go for a coffee in Gastown, since it was your favorite neighborhood! 🙂 Looks like you had a fantastic trip!

    Sabina |

    November 11, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Looks like a great place to visit! I have no excuses for not visiting. Its only a 2 and a half hour flight away for me!

    Charmaine Ng
    November 11, 2016 at 7:19 am

    Oh man, what I would give to try out the food trucks in Vancouver!

    November 11, 2016 at 2:55 am

    I know you are probably no longer here, but welcome!! It sounds like you had a short stay in Vancouver, but if you ever come again, I urge you to visit Vancouver Island. It’s a 1.5 – 2.0 hour ferry ride from Vancouver (or a 20 minute flight), and has spectacular scenery, fantastic things to see and do, and an extremely laid back vibe. It’s absolutely incredible…but I may be a little biased. 😉

    • Brooke Saward
      November 11, 2016 at 3:17 am

      I went to Vancouver Island after Vancouver – will have a blog post up soon as well 🙂

        November 11, 2016 at 10:18 am

        Oh that is great! I look forward to reading about your time here.

    November 11, 2016 at 2:09 am

    That plane looks so comfy!


    November 10, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Great guide! Vancouver is such a fantastic city with so many amazing things to see and do. I lived there for 2.5 years and loved it – from exploring Cambie and Main Streets to wandering through Stanley Park, there was never a dull moment.

    Kate |

    Mari K.
    November 10, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Super nice pictures! Also love the list you made! I’m hoping to visit Vancouver soon 🙂


    November 10, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Hi Brooke, I’m kind of new commenting on your blog (but I’ve been reading your posts longer than months now), but I just wanted to say: wow incredible blog!
    Now, I want to visit Canada anywhere in the future, but I live in Belgium, so the costs are very high to get to the West of Canada. But I’ll keep hoping and thank you for the inspiration on where to stay and what to do if I find myself in Vancouver!

    November 10, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Great post, I love Vancouver! Can’t believe the population, seems so small! Love flying air nz, but I am a kiwi so maybe a tad biased haha. Enjoy the rest of your trip to Canada 🙂

    Gabriela T
    November 10, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    You are in Victoria, please have a meet up!

    November 10, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    So glad you enjoyed your stay in Vancouver! Those are all my favourite places.

    November 10, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Great article, love your blog! I’m from Victoria if you’re looking for ideas of things to do or ever want a coffee buddy while visiting, enjoy your stay! 🙂

    November 10, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    If you forget that a map can connect on the other side, you’d think that flying from New Zealand to Canada would fly you the entire length of the map! Haha! I slipped up once when I was trying to plan a similar route from Sydney to the Americas a while back haha! But besides that, thank you for sharing this guide! You’ve listed some of the things that I’m definitely interested in trying if I ever go!

    November 10, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Great guide Brooke! I would love to visit Vancouver one day 🙂 I’ve seen the Capilano Suspension Bridge plastered over Instagram – it looks so pretty! x

    November 10, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    What a great guide! That hotel and food look amazing. Also the coffee mmmm. I’ve never been to Vancouver but I hope to visit soon. Thanks for the inspo Brooke!


    • Brooke Saward
      November 10, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      If you ever do visit you will love it! The city had such a great feel to it and the people were really friendly – I only wish I had longer 🙂 x