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Planning a Trip to Vancouver + Budget & Travel Tips

Start planning a trip to Vancouver right here. We are experts on all aspects of this charming city, so let us inspire your itinerary to make your stay unforgettable. Find the best things to do and places to see to make the most of your vacation budget, and discover plenty of entertainment options within walking distance of our boutique hotel in downtown Vancouver. From the best dining to shopping and nightlife, this roadmap will lead you to all the can’t-miss experiences in Vancouver.

When to Stay in Vancouver

The Vancouver cherry blossoms make spring the best time to visit Vancouver.

There’s no bad time to visit Vancouver, as long as your schedule allows you to spend a few extra days so you can do everything you want without feeling rushed. It is impossible to see—and appreciate—all of the great things in this popular Canadian destination in just a day or two. 

As far as seasonality, most would agree that staying in Vancouver in the spring or visiting Vancouver in the fall is the best time because the temperatures don’t skew too dramatically one way or another, but if your hobbies include winter sports, a visit in the colder months promises fewer crowds, excellent skiing, and fairly mild temperatures. If warmer weather is your preference, the beaches and downtown are bustling and alive in the summertime, and there are lots of festivals to attend.

Where to Stay in Vancouver

Sunny living room with couch and television at Carmana hotel in downtown Vancouver.

A stay in the heart of downtown at Carmana Hotel, near the Gastown neighborhood, offers the visitor to Vancouver comfortable, contemporary Vancouver hotel suites near attractions, parks, and outdoor areas.

Our hotel offers the daily amenities you rely on, including a fitness center, Wi-Fi, and ready access to food delivery, and the rooms are thoughtfully furnished and spacious so you have plenty of space to spread out, relax, and get a good night’s rest.

The windows in each room let in plenty of light, or close the blackout blinds for extra privacy. A custom robe and slippers are provided in every room. Select from our comfortable one- or two-bedroom suites—each style has much to offer:

One-Bedroom Carmana Suites

These 620-square-foot rooms accommodate 3 to 4 guests in a selection of room styles: Standard King, Executive Queen, and our premium Carmana Queen. These suites include a single primary bedroom with a full-size bathroom, living room, work desk, and fully equipped kitchen and dining area. Enjoy sweeping views of the mountains or city from floor-to-ceiling windows or private balconies. The Carmana Queen is located on the hotel’s highest floors, providing incredible views of Vancouver’s mountainscapes. 

Two-Bedroom Carmana Suites

The two-bedroom suites at Carmana Hotel are bright and spacious, and at 820 square feet, you’ll have no trouble feeling at home. Each room offers a king-sized primary bed and either double twin beds or a queen in the guest bedroom, plus two full baths, a fully equipped kitchen, a workspace, and a roomy living area with a double-sized sofa bed. Enjoy views of the mountains or Coal Harbour from your floor-to-ceiling windows or balcony.

If you're seeking an extended stay, learn more about our monthly furnished rentals.

Things to Do in Vancouver

Aerial view of Stanley Park in Vancouver.

Most of the best things to do in Vancouver are within walking distance of the Carmana Hotel and the popular downtown district. Stanley Park is only 1.3 km (.62 miles) away and this sprawling greenspace features hiking trails, beaches, playgrounds, and a train that’ll take you on a 15-minute ride through the forest. The park is also home to the Vancouver Aquarium—Canada’s largest—that features critters from the tropics to the Arctic. Shopping malls and upscale stores are woven throughout the downtown area as well—browse our Vancouver Shopping Guide to find chic boutiques and interesting shops nearby.

Those visiting Vancouver with children will be happy to find many kid-friendly museums and attractions within walking distance of downtown. Granville Island is 2.2 km (1.4 miles) from Carmana Hotel and boasts 25 shops just for kids, an indoor play area with slides, a ball pit, and an arcade. Nearby Science World features interactive exhibits for kids and displays to interest adults, too. For extra fun, hop on the Vancouver Aquabus to explore a new area or just enjoy the cruise.

Places to Eat in Vancouver

Two women eating ramen at a restaurant in Vancouver.

Thanks to the diverse culture, there are places to eat in Vancouver to satisfy any foodie. Staying at the Caramana Hotel puts you within steps of upscale and casual restaurants serving a number of worldly cuisine styles; enjoy tastes from India, Thailand, and Eastern Europe without leaving Vancouver.

This coastal city is known for its seafood restaurants, but you’ll also find restaurants serving burgers, pizza, and baked goods, plus many local food trucks serving anything from steam buns to cold-press juices. Whether you’re exploring the nearby Gastown neighborhood, looking for a place to enjoy a Vancouver date night, or you want to try new foods from an up-and-coming chef, you’ll find it all in Vancouver. 

Travel & Money-Saving Tips for Visiting Vancouver

Planning a trip to Vancouver doesn’t have to be as expensive as you might think. Making a few simple adjustments to your itinerary, from where you’ll eat, to where you’ll stay, to how you’ll get around the city, can save you money. Use these tips to save some cash when you visit Vancouver:

  • Visit during less busy times, like spring or fall, to get better travel deals, and always look for Vancouver hotel specials.
  • Select a hotel suite with a fully equipped kitchen to cook a meal or two in your room instead of eating out.
  • Look for restaurant happy hours to catch a deal on small bites, drinks, and early dinners.
  • Vancouver is known for its roasteries, and choosing a local spot for your morning cup of Joe can save you money, versus going to an expensive, big-name coffee chain.
  • Visit museums on discount days—the Vancouver Art Gallery offers Tuesday evening deals, and the Museum of Vancouver offers a pay-what-you-can rate on the first Sunday of the month.
  • Walk to attractions rather than paying expensive parking fees at city lots and meters in Vancouver.
  • The Aquabus is an inexpensive alternative to a cruise to see the Vancouver skyline from a new vantage point—and you can use it as cheap transport to new areas of the city.
  • Stay With Us

    We’d love to have you stay with us for your next visit to Vancouver. Our comfortable Vancouver hotel suites are ideal for a couples getaway or a family vacation, and the location in downtown Vancouver cannot be outdone. See our 2 bedroom Vancouver hotel suites and one bedroom Vancouver hotel suites. Let our staff help guide you on the must-see attractions, restaurants to try, and any other details to make your visit unforgettable.

    Frequently asked questions about visiting Vancouver

    What is the best month to visit Vancouver?

    While there’s no definitive answer for the best time to visit Vancouver, July and August are the warmest and least rainy months, and they’re popular among tourists who enjoy the summer-only markets, festivals, and beach days. You can escape the crowds by planning your trip to Vancouver in the fall when the landscape is picture-perfect or the spring when bird- and whale-watching are at their best (check out our spring break in Vancouver guide). The cooler months are great for winter sports enthusiasts, and Vancouver is near many great ski hills.

    How many days do you need for Vancouver? 

    Three days will give you a taste of the city, but plan to stay in Vancouver for a long weekend or a week if you want to see and do more of the things the area has to offer. Carmana Hotel & Suites on Alberni Street downtown offers comfortable accommodations for guests staying any number of days, and the convenient location makes it easy to experience many of the top attractions.