Every world-class city has one: the bustling downtown shopping district. The place that lights up at holiday time, the place where the streets are packed with people, no matter what the weather is like. The place where the big department stores live, where the luxury brands are, where the internationally known stores can be found.
In Vancouver, that place is Robson Street.
Robson Street is packed with stores and restaurants, from Granville Street to Jervis Street. Home to over 100 shops, it's also the epicenter of Downtown Vancouver's shopping district.
Within short walking distance of Robson are the department stores The Bay (Hudson Bay Company), Nordstrom and Holt Renfrew, as well as the only mall in Downtown Vancouver, the indoor Pacific Centre Mall (at Robson and Granville). One block north of Robson Street--and running parallel to it--is Alberni Street, home to high-end luxury brands like Gucci and Christian Dior (sometimes referred to as Vancouver's "Luxury Zone"). Altogether, Robson Street, Alberni Street, and the Downtown department stores make up the Downtown Vancouver shopping district.
Boasting a truly diverse array of shops, Robson Street and the stores around it offer fashion for everyone and every budget. Looking for inexpensive shoes? There's an Aldo on Robson Street. Looking for shoes to make you drool? There's a Ferragamo on Hornby and Robson.
Look out for special events such as Winter's Dance in December, when digital and real dancers combine to create a visual feast in the stores and on building projections on Robson.
What's in Store: Shops on Robson Street
Most stores on Robson are mid-range in terms of price and include both international brands--like Guess, Bebe, Armani Exchange, Zara, Banana Republic, and Club Monaco--and Vancouver (and Canada) favorites such as Le Chateau, Aritzia, and Boy's CO.
Relatively new to Robson Street are big name brands such as make-up store Sephora and Canadian book seller and lifestyle brand Indigo, which opened in 2018 in the center of Robson's main shopping drag. On the corner of Burrard and Robson you'll find the flagship Victoria's Secret and Lululemon stores, as well as Roots - a classic Canadian clothing store that specializes in Canuck-inspired fashion from plaid shirts to comfy-knit 'cabin style' socks.
In addition to the clothes, Robson has fabulous shoe shopping, plenty of accessories and jewelry stores, cosmetic shops--including Lush and M.A.C.--sporting goods, luggage, and souvenirs. You'll also find beauty stores and massage spots, especially in the western patr of the street as you start heading towards English Bay and Denman Street. Check out this complete list of Robson Street shops.
Getting to Robson Street Shopping
Shops on Robson Street stretch east-west, from Granville Street to Jervis Street; the department stores and Pacific Centre Mall run north-south along Granville, from Dunsmuir to Robson.
For drivers, there are several parkades, both along Robson and within easy walking distance, including the Pacific Centre Mall parkade and the Robson Square Complex parkade. Street parking is also available via the meter or an app but is often limited to one or two hours and spaces fill up fast - make sure you're not parked in a permit-only space by mistake as you'll get towed and it could be a very expensive shopping trip.
By transit, you can take almost any downtown bus, or use the Canada Line / SkyTrain rapid transit. The Canada Line's Vancouver City Centre Station is within walking distance of all Downtown Vancouver shopping; it's just two blocks to Robson Street. The number #5 bus travels between Denman and Burrard Street.
Robson Street Dining
If you work up an appetite while shopping, you're in luck--Robson Street and the area around it are home to many of Vancouver's best restaurants.
On Robson Street, you can splurge on high-end Italian at CinCin, one of Vancouver Top 5 Italian Restaurants, go for casual, family-friendly fare at Cactus Club, or casual Canadian fare at Timber, or its more upmarket neighbor Forage. These restaurant are also home to bars where you can enjoy some liquid refreshments during your shopping spree.
Not on Robson Street but within walking distance are Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House and the highly-acclaimed Coast Restaurant, both among the Best Vancouver Seafood Restaurants. Further down Robson you'll find a concentration of ramen and Korean restaurants.
For even more options, see Top 10 Downtown Vancouver Restaurants.