During the Olympics, large portions of downtown Vancouver were closed off to traffic and became for pedestrians only, leading to some really fantastic street life. But now that the Olympics are over, is there anything left to the area aside from fantastic shopping, delicious restaurants, and really good venues? Definitely! There's still loads to do even on a tight budget.
As a broke university student with a penchant for spending too much on cameras, I can’t usually afford to do too much shopping or eating or go to too many concerts. So here’s my take of what to do if you’re avoiding Robson St, downtown Vancouver’s main shopping thoroughfare.
Visits to downtown Vancouver often start at Waterfront Station, one of the downtown transit hubs. While Waterfront station is kind of cool in its own right, I think the roof of the building is even better. There’s a dandelion fountain and a lovely view of, well…the waterfront.
Gastown is east of Waterfront Station, and is chock full of old-looking buildings, little boutique shops, and tiny eateries.
Southwest(ish) of Waterfront Station, there’s the Central branch of the Vancouver Public Library. Central Library is 9-stories tall, has an entire floor dedicated to children’s books, and looks a little like the Colosseum.
Central Library is also a brilliant place for people (and pigeon) watching, thanks to the piazza-type area outside the library. Speaking from personal experience, it’s quite an excellent place to sit and eat lunch, especially on sunny summer days.