Top Attractions at University of British Columbia

The best museums, gardens & other attractions at UBC in Vancouver

UBC Museum of Anthropology

Jon/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Vancouver's University of British Columbia (UBC) is the most prestigious university in western Canada. It’s one of the top three universities in the country and one of the top 30 universities in the world.

Located 20 minutes southeast of downtown Vancouver, UBC is home to several museums, including the UBC Museum of Anthropology, as well as top attractions like the UBC Botanical Garden and the Chan Centre for Performing Arts.

  • 01 of 05
    Bill Reid's Raven and the First Men

    James Abbot/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    One of Vancouver's top museums as well as one of Vancouver's most unique and unusual attractions, UBC's Museum of Anthropology (MOA) is world-renowned for its collections of First Nations and Coast Salish peoples' arts, sculptures, and historic works, including magnificent large-scale totems. It's most famous artwork is the iconic sculpture ​Raven and The First Men by the B.C. First Nations artist Bill Reid; an image of the Raven and The First Men sculpture appears on the back of every Canadian $20 bill!

  • 02 of 05
    Nitobe Memorial Garden
    Image Courtesy of Vancouver Public Library (VPL)

    The UBC Botanical Garden comprises multiple gardens, including the Asian Garden, BC Rainforest Garden and the Greenheart Canopy Walkway eco-adventure.

    The top attraction is the beautiful Nitobe Memorial Garden, which is considered one of the "top five" most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan and is one of Vancouver's top gardens.

  • 03 of 05
    Chan Shun Concert Hall at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts
    Image Courtesy of the Chan Centre for Performing Arts

    Well-known for its stellar acoustics and cylindrical design, the Chan Centre for Performing Arts is both one of UBC’s top attractions and one of Vancouver’s premier performance spaces. The Chan Centre has hosted everyone from Yo-Yo Ma, Renee Fleming, and the Kronos Quartet to Shirin Ebadi and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.​

  • 04 of 05
    Beaty Biodiversity Museum in Vancouver, BC
    Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Image Courtesy of Beaty Biodiversity Museum via Facebook

    The natural history of British Columbia is on display at this hands-on museum. Home to the largest blue whale skeleton in Canada as well as two million biological specimens (including plants, marine life, insects, fungi, and fossils), the Beatty Biodiversity Museum is fun and educational for the whole family.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05
    Wreck Beach in Vancouver, BC

    Elena Doyle / Getty Images

    Wreck Beach, one of Vancouver’s top beaches, isn’t on UBC's campus, but its two main entrances (pathways down to the beach from SW Marine Drive) are. Practically next door to the UBC Museum of Anthropology, Wreck Beach is a must-visit: a pristine Pacific Northwest beach with its own unique vibe: clothing-optional, hippie, isolated, magical, and a wee bit strange.