Top 5 Things to Do Before or After Your Cruise – 24 Hours in Vancouver

With cruise season launching into full swing in just a few short weeks, the city will soon be buzzing with visitors eager to see the glaciers and wilderness of Alaska. But don’t sleep during your time in Vancouver. A vibrant and diverse city, Vancouver offers a plethora of activities and attractions that go far beyond being just a cruise stopover.

Ideally situated in the heart of downtown, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is your perfect launch pad to explore the city. With so much to see and so little time, make the most of your brief stay with our thoughtfully planned, top five things to do in Vancouver guide. Curated by our experienced concierge team, these are the must-see spots for when you only have 24 hours in the city.

9:00 am – Rise and Shine

Start your morning with a hearty breakfast to stay fueled for the busy day ahead. Located on the lobby level of the hotel, Notch8 Restaurant offers an expansive breakfast buffet as well as à la carte options. For those wishing to venture outside, Cafe Medina is a 10-minute walk from the hotel and features a European and Mediterranean-inspired menu. Plan to arrive early as there is usually a lineup, and be sure to order their famous Belgian waffles!

Brunch at Notch8 | Classic Eggs Benedict
In Room dining breakfast: image-by-Ashley-Ferreira_-108-1-scaled.jpg
waffle with fresh fruit with syrup being poured on top

10:00 am – Explore our Urban Oasis

Boasting over 1000 acres of west coast rainforest, Stanley Park features beautiful beaches and winding trails and is home to the Vancouver Aquarium. The best way to take in the sights is with a bike ride around the scenic seawall. Start your journey at nearby rental shop Cycle City, and head towards Coal Harbour to reach the entrance of Stanley Park. After circling the park, continue along English Bay beach to see the Laughing Statues and the Inukshuk monument, before heading back to Cycle City. E-bikes are also available for those who prefer easy cruising!


12:30 pm – Immerse in Art, Culture and Culinary Delights

A short stroll down Hornby St. brings you to the Aquabus dock where you can take a quick water taxi ride across False Creek. Situated just outside the downtown core, Granville Island is known for its large Public Market, cultural venues and numerous workshops housing local artists and designers. A haven for foodies, explore the many artisanal vendors in the market to create your own gourmet picnic lunch, or enjoy fresh, local seafood on the rooftop patio at The Sandbar. No visit is complete without a sweet treat from famous Lee’s Donuts.


Couple watches sea lion swimming at Vancouver Aquarium | Destination Vancouver/Kindred & Scout
Granville Island Public Market sign Image: Credit: Destination Vancouver/Nelson Mouellic


3:00 pm – Trendspotting

After browsing the myriad of shops and studios at Granville Island, hop back on the Aquabus towards trendy Yaletown. A former warehouse district, wander by the chic cafes, upscale restaurants, and boutique shops as you make your way back to the hotel.


5:00 pm – Discover Old Vancouver

After a short refresh, venture to Gastown to discover the historic area of downtown. Meander through the cobblestone streets, visit the local gift shops, and take a photo in front of the famous steam clock. Come dinnertime, L’Abattoir, offering Pacific Northwest fare with a French touch, is a neighbourhood favourite.


9:00 pm – For the Night Owls (Bonus!)

Top off the evening with the perfect nightcap. A cozy space for locals and travelers alike, stop by the bar at Notch8 for one (or two) of our expertly-crafted, pre or post prohibition cocktails before turning in for the night.


Planning a longer stay in Vancouver? Our knowledgeable concierge team is your guide to the city! From hidden gems to insider tips, be sure to check out our Concierge recommendations including This Month in Vancouver, the Dining Guide, and the Spring/Summer Activity Guide. For more information on planning your upcoming stay, be sure to reach out to our friendly team through the links below, or simply stop by the desk in the hotel for assistance.

Downtown Vancouver in autumn.
Exploring Gastown in the rain with umbrellas | Credit-Destination-Vancouver_Hubert-Kang
Gentleman holding a martini in Notch8 at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

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