Vancouver Shopping: A Visitor’s Guide

Vancouver Shopping: A Visitor's Guide
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The shopping possibilities are endless in the Downtown Vancouver area and beyond into Metro Vancouver. With massive malls and department stores, unique shopping districts, lively markets, and countless boutique shops, Vancouver has something for everyone. There are knick knacks and souvenirs to browse, gorgeous pieces of jewellery to admire, and plenty of high end clothing shops to give you your daily dose of fashion. Check out the artisanal foods and wares from the local vendors or shop for fresh fish at the public markets. Whatever kind of shopping experience you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Vancouver.

Shopping Centres

Vancouver and its surrounding areas have plenty of excellent malls to choose from. You can find pretty much any store you could think of, chow down on quick yet mouthwatering selections at the food court, and relax in one of many comfy lounge areas when you need a break from all your bargain hunting. Check out some of the biggest and best malls in the Lower Mainland for the largest selection of shops. 

CF Pacific Centre Vancouver

CF Pacific Centre is located on West Georgia Street near the Vancouver Art Gallery. Home to over 100 stores and shops, most of which are underground, this is the largest mall in downtown Vancouver and one of the busiest malls in Bristish Columbia. Here you’ll find Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew, Harry Rosen, H&M, Apple, and Microsoft. This mall is situated near plenty of SkyTrain stations and bus stops, making it easily accessible from anywhere in the Lower Mainland.

Metropolis at Metrotown Vancouver

Metropolis at Metrotown, one of the largest shopping malls in Canada, is a 3 floored shopping centre filled with hundreds of different stores and services. You’ll find Hudson’s Bay, Indigo, Old Navy, Real Canadian Superstore, Sport Chek, Winners, and T&T Supermarket. You can also catch a movie at Cineplex SilverCity located within the mall or play arcade games at CHQ. This mall is located in Burnaby, a central point in the Lower Mainland, and it has a Translink Bus Loop and a SkyTrain station located right outside.

Oakridge Centre Vancouver

Head to Oakridge Centre for some upscale shopping and luxury stores. Located in the central area of Vancouver, this mall contains everything from LEGO and EB Games to Tiffany & Co., Michael Kors, and Hugo Boss. It features 574,000 square feet of retail space and welcomes over 8 million visitors per year. It can be accessed from the Oakridge 41st Avenue SkyTrain station or by hopping on a city bus.

Public Markets

Checking out the public markets around Vancouver can be a delightful experience for tourists and locals alike. In the summer you’ll find Farmer’s Markets in every neighbourhood selling organic produce, artisanal foods, and handcrafted decor. The open air markets near the waterfront will always have the best fresh fish and seafood. Even if you just want to windowshop, the energy and excitement within these markets always gives good vibes and provides a feeling of connectedness within the local community.

Lonsdale Quay North Vancouver

The Lonsdale Quay Market was opened as a carnival-style marketplace for the 1986 Vancouver World Expo. It is now home to around 80 fresh food vendors, retail shops, artisans, and restaurants. Lonsdale Quay can be found across the Vancouver Harbour on the North Shore, overlooking the harbour and the Downtown Vancouver skyline. You can book a room and stay for the night at the Lonsdale Quay Hotel, an adorable boutique hotel located within the market’s vibrant atmosphere.

Granville Island Public Market

Granville Island Public Market is located on Granville Island, a peninsula and shopping district situated along False Creek. The market itself is Granville Island’s main attraction, offering an incredible array of fresh produce, seafood, and baked goods. You’ll find all kinds of handcrafted wares, unique gifts, and locally inspired pieces of art. Outside of the market you’ll find even more incredible shopping opportunities such as the Kid’s Market, art studios, boutique clothing shops, and charming craft stores.

Richmond Night Market

Richmond Night Market is open during the summer months, from May to October. This outdoor, open air market is only one block away from the Bridgeport SkyTrain station. The market is filled with all kinds of vendors selling trinkets, clothing, beauty products, collectibles, and a whole slew of other unique and wonderful items. The food stalls are loaded with delicious tidbits from around the world, including dishes from Brazil, China, Korea, the Philippines, Germany, and Japan. There is plenty of entertainment to be enjoyed as well, such as musicians, dance teams, martial arts displays, and roaring dinosaurs contained within the Magical Dino Park.

Popular Shopping Districts

Vancouver has all kinds of interesting little neighborhoods that offer their own unique shopping experiences. For popular North American brand names and fashion outlets, head over to Robson Street. You’ll find stores like lululemon, Sephora, Aritzia, and Roots. Travel one block over to Alberni Street to find the upscale shops of Vancouver’s Luxury Zone. Burberry, Prada, Rolex, and Tiffany & Co. can all be found here in the company of other high-end jewelry and clothing stores.

Yaletown Vancouver

In Yaletown, a former industrial district, you’ll find designer clothing stores, hip galleries, chic restaurants, and cozy cafes. The old warehouses have been converted into modern amenities but the atmosphere is still full of brick, steel, and turn of the century charm.

Gastown Vancouver

Gastown is another historic neighborhood in Vancouver and here you’ll find cobblestone streets, antique street lamps, and the famous Gastown Steam Clock. There are plenty of gift shops, clothing stores, and art galleries to peruse as you make your way through the old Victorian buildings.

Chinatown Vancouver

In Chinatown, you’ll find a perfect balance of traditional Asian apocatheries, herbalists, bakeries, and exotic produce stands intermingled with hip clothing stores and modern retailers. You can shop for Chinese delicacies and imports, grab a drink at one of the chic cocktail bars, or visit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

Shopping for Every Occasion

Whether you just want to browse or you have a specific shopping agenda in mind, Vancouver has shops, stores, malls, and markets for every occasion. You can easily find the most common staples and convenience items in the larger retailers and department stores. You can also hunt for incredibly unique gifts, antiques, curiosities, and collectibles among the many smaller specialty shops.

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Nikki Bertrand

Nikki Bertrand

Nikki is a British Columbia native who was born in the Vancouver area. When she’s not busy being a tourist in her own city, you can find her exploring her passion for SFX makeup at Mixx SFX or reviewing subscription boxes at Unboxing Rocks.