Best Sightseeing Tours in Vancouver, British Columbia

The Vancouver skyline with the North Shore mountains beyond

Ron Watts/Getty Images

Sightseeing tours in Vancouver, British Columbia, offer travelers a chance to view many attractions and neighborhoods with ease. The best tours let you see a side of Vancouver—while learning about its history and culture—that you won't see on your own.

The sightseeing experiences of this Canadian west coast city offer something unique to travelers, whether it's a chance to check out the city from the water (on a cruise), a hop-on, hop-off bus tour, or a look inside Vancouver's most infamous strip club.

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Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tours

Vancouver Trolley at Stanley Park

Tourism Vancouver/Coast Mountain Photography

A hop-on, hop-off tour allows you to board at any stop on the route and exit at any other stop, or you can stay aboard for the full tour. It's a great way to see a lot of Vancouver in one day and visit many attractions without the need for a car. The tours are booked by reservation only. The tour has stops at Stanley Park, Granville Island, Gastown, and Chinatown.

Westcoast Sightseeing offers a journey through the city in an old-fashion streetcar while drivers provide local history and insights. Their tour of Stanley Park is extensive and an excellent way to see the park's main attractions.

Westcoast Sightseeing also has a bus with an open top, with a section covered by a transparent roof. Included is a recording of the tour in seven languages (English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin). The route consists of five stops in Stanley Park, including photo opportunities at the Brockton Point totem poles and Prospect Point.

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Boat Tours and Sightseeing Cruises

The Aquabus in Vancouver Canada

 Lan-Yen Chen/Getty Images

From April through October (and especially in the summer), Vancouver boat tours and sightseeing cruises let you experience the city from the water. They combine guided tours with incredible nature and city views. You can choose a simple tour or make a night of it with a dinner cruise.

In December, there are the holiday-themed Carol Ships Parade of Light cruises.

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Historic Walking Tours With Vancouver Heritage Foundation

Gastown intersection, Vancouver

Tourism Vancouver/Clayton Perry

The nonprofit Vancouver Heritage Foundation, which became a charitable organization in 1992, offers both free and ticketed tours. They usually cover Vancouver's historic neighborhoods and architecture. These walking and house tour experiences are perfect for people who love history and storytelling.

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Sightseeing Bike Tours

Biking tour of Stanley Park, Vancouver

Tourism Vancouver/Coast Mountain Photography

Vancouver is a very bike-friendly city with a pleasant climate all year. You can create your own cycling tour or take a guided journey by bike of downtown Vancouver or Stanley Park.

There are several tour options available from Cycle City Vancouver, or Vancouver Bike Tours. For guided bike tours, bike rentals are included in the price of the tour.

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Sinful and Ghostly Walking Tours

Forbidden Vancouver tour group

 Forbidden Vancouver

If you want to see Vancouver through a different lens, these tours offer a unique look at the city's seamier side:

  • Forbidden Vancouver offers walking tours that focus on the unpleasant side of the city. View the infamous ​Penthouse strip club with owner Danny Filippone, or check out Gastown's gothic (and bloody) history.
  • Sins of the City Tour from the Vancouver Police Museum takes you on a walking tour of Vancouver's bawdy past.
  • Ghostly Vancouver Tours offers haunted history tours of both Gastown and New Westminster neighborhoods by foot.