The Best of Vancouver Shopping: A Top 10 List


Map courtesy of Virgin Atlantic

This post is an updated version of an article originally written by Dana Lynch.  

Vancouver offers some of the best shopping in the world. For visitors, shopping is always near the top of the to-do list, and that’s doubly true at the holidays.

The great thing about Vancouver shopping is its diversity, with different Vancouver neighbourhoods offering different wares, from the hip and fashionable to the inexpensive and eclectic.

Top 10 Vancouver Shopping Destinations

1. Robson Street and Downtown Vancouver – Vancouver’s best-known shopping district is lined with international designers and famous brands, making it a great destination for clothes, accessories, shoes and bags. A huge variety of shopping can also be found in the surrounding streets, including book stores, electronics, Pacific Centre Mall, high-end Holt Renfrew and the ultimate Canadian department store The Bay. One block north of Robson Street, you’ll find Tiffany, Brooks Brothers and other luxe shops on Alberni Street, Vancouver’s version of Rodeo Drive.

2. Metropolis at Metrotown – With nearly 400 stores, this is B.C.’s largest shopping centre. It’s just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver by SkyTrain.

3. South Granville – South Granville is a frequently overlooked Vancouver shopping district just over the Granville Street Bridge from downtown. It offers independent clothing boutiques, one-off homeware stores (as well as big chains, like B.C.’s only Williams-Sonoma) and dozens of commercial art galleries, earning it the nickname Gallery Row.

4. Gastown – Historic Gastown is the centre for interior design in Vancouver—check out the internationally-acclaimed Inform— and also one of the best places to find independent Vancouver fashion, First Nations art (Coastal Peoples Fine Art Gallery), antiques and fabulous home decor gifts (Parliament).

5. Main Street – The hip, local counterpart to downtown’s glitzy Robson Street, Main Street has a variety of original Vancouver and Canadian fashion boutiques—Twigg&Hottie is a must-visit—plus high-quality second-hand wares, collectibles (at Front & Company), a famous skate shop and antiques.

6. Punjabi Market/Little India  – South Vancouver is home to one of the city’s largest Indo-Canadian communities and a shopping hub of Indian fashions, beaded bags, loads of jewelry—both real and costume— fabulous fabrics and great authentic Indian food.

7. Chinatown – Options here run the gamut from cheap Chinese imports to China-chic housewares (check out Peking Lounge), jewelry, clothes, toys, art, all kinds of authentic herbal medicines, tea accessories and more.

8. Granville Island – The heart of Vancouver’s craft and foodie community, Granville Island has a variety of shops selling handmade arts and crafts, First Nations art and collectibles and clothing and jewelry, plus great toys at the Granville Island Kids Market.

9. West 4th Avenue – The original home of Lululemon, West 4th in the Kitsilano neighbourhood is the perfect shopping destination for yoga wear, ski and snowboard equipment, maternity fashion, baby stores, clothes and housewares.

10. Yaletown – The brick warehouses of Yaletown were once part of Vancouver’s industrial heart; these days, they house trendy clothing boutiques and carefully curated interior decorating depots like The Cross.

Virgin Atlantic flies direct from London to Vancouver. To find out more about their flights and their take on some of Vancouver’s highlights, please visit the Virgin Atlantic Vancouver ‘Destination Guide’

Robson Street and Downtown Vancouver Gastown West 4th Avenue Granville Island Yaletown Chinatown South Granville Main Street Metropolis at Metrotown Punjabi Market/Little India
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