Vancouver shopping is some of the best in the world. When my friends visit from the US or my in-laws come from Brazil, shopping is always at the top of our to-do lists, and that’s doubly true when the holidays are right around the corner!
The fabulous thing about Vancouver shopping is its incredibly diversity, with different Vancouver neighbourhoods offering different wares, ranging from the ultra-hip and fashionable to the inexpensive and eclectic.
Top 10 Vancouver Shopping Destinations
1. Robson Street & Downtown Vancouver – Vancouver’s most famous shopping district has all the international fashion brands, making it a perfect destination for clothes, accessories, shoes, and bags. There’s also a huge variety of shops just off Robson, including book stores, electronics, discount and outlet shops, Pacific Centre Mall, the designer-packed Holt Renfrew and the ultimate Canadian department store The Bay. One block south you’ll find more high-end wares on Alberni Street, Vancouver’s version of Rodeo Drive.
2. Metropolis at Metrotown – With 450 stores, this shopping behemoth is B.C.’s largest shopping centre and it’s just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver by SkyTrain.
3. South Granville - One of my personal favourites, South Granville is the up-and-coming Vancouver shopping district, with loads of independent clothing boutiques, one-of-a-kind home stores (as well as big-names, like B.C.’s only Williams-Sonoma), and Vancouver’s greatest concentration of commercial art galleries, earning it the moniker Gallery Row.
4. Gastown – Not only is Gastown the epicentre for interior design in Vancouver—exemplified by the internationally-acclaimed Inform—it’s also one of the best places to find independent Vancouver fashion, First Nations art (at the Coastal Peoples Fine Art Gallery), antiques, and gorgeous gifts (try the reasonably-priced Parliament).
5. Main Street, between 20th & 23rd Avenue – Another personal favourite, Main Street has made a name for itself by offering a variety of original Vancouver and Canadian fashion boutiques—Twigg&Hottie is a must-visit—as well as high-quality second-hand wares, collectibles (at Front & Company), and antiques.
6. Little India / Punjabi Market – The commecial centre of Vancouver’s Indo-Canadian community, this shopping mini-mecca has gorgeous Indian fashion, beautiful beaded bags, loads of jewelry—both real and costume—housewares, and fabulous fabrics.
7. Chinatown – From inexpensive Chinese imports to high-concept China-chic housewares (check out Peking Lounge), Chinatown has everything: jewelry, clothes, toys, art, Chinese-language books and DVDs, herbal medicines, tea accessories, and more.
8. Granville Island - One of the best places to shop for gifts, Granville Island has a wide variety of shops, including handmade arts and crafts via artists’ workshops and co-ops, First Nations art and collectibles, clothing and jewelry, and everything-for-kids (and the young at heart) at the Granville Island Kids Market.
9. Kitsilano’s West 4th Avenue – The original home of the now world-famous Lululemon, Kits’ West 4th is a the perfect shopping destination for sports- and yoga-wear, sports equipment, maternity fashion, baby stores, clothes, housewares, and kitsch.
10. Portobello West – An art and fashion market that’s only open on the last Sunday of every month, this Vancouver institution has become a hot-spot for unique, local wares, including clothes, crafts, jewelry, and gifts.
Think I missed a great Vancouver shopping destination? Or have a favourite shopping spot you’d like to share? Please share in the comments!