Where to Get Cozy in Vancouver This Winter


Photo: Hayden Scott/Unsplash

When the weather outside is frightful, getting cozy indoors is delightful. Here are our picks for Vancouver’s coziest winter activities.


Warm Up by the Fire

Listening to logs crackling in the fireplace is a great way to spend a winter evening. Book a table at Lupo to enjoy the ambiance while you eat. The restaurant is set in a heritage house and features a fireplace in the middle of the dining room. Or head to Bacchus at the Wedgewood Hotel to sit in a cushy leather chair by the fire. If you like your fire with seafood and an ocean view, try Sandbar on Granville Island.

The cozy fireplace at Lupo in Vancouver

Photo: Lupo Restaurant


Have a Game Night

Grab some friends and head to one of Vancouver’s board game hangouts. Pizza Ludica has locations in International Village and New Westminster. They specialize in thin-crust stone oven-baked pizza and have hundreds of board games and card games you can play. Local board game shops like Strategies, Drexoll Games, Rain City Games and Games on the Drive have tons of games to choose from and some also have designated game play evenings.

Board with game pieces and cards set up to play Concordia

Photo: Karthik Balakrishnan


Sweat it Out in a Sauna or Steam Room

One of the best ways to warm up in winter is in a sauna or steam room. The Spa at the Wedgewood Hotel has a tranquil atmosphere and access to their decadent eucalyptus steam room is included with most spa services. If you want to try several different styles of sauna, try out Art of Sauna in Burnaby. You can experience a Himalayan Salt sauna, a Turkish Hammam-style sauna, a Finnish sauna, and lots more. And if you’re on a budget, Vancouver’s Parks and Recreation department has you covered. For just a few dollars, a drop-in visit to one of Vancouver’s public pools and fitness centres gets you access to their saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs.

Himalayan salt room at The Art of Sauna

Himalayan Salt Room. Photo: Art of Sauna


Chill Out at a Cafe

Vancouver has dozens of cute coffee shops and cafes scattered across the city. Order an artfully made latte, then stay awhile. Some of our favourites include Revolver, a coffee-snob paradise in Gastown, The Garden Strathcona, which is full of gorgeous plants, and Dalina with bright locations on Main Street and West Broadway.

Three lattes next to potted plants

Photo: Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash


Curl Up with a Good Book

Head to one of Vancouver’s independent bookstores to grab your next read. Then pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate, curl up on the couch at home in the corner of a cozy cafe and settle in to read. Indigenous-owned Iron Dog Books in the Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood has an eclectic selection and strives to make books accessible to all. Families will love Kidsbooks in Kitsilano – it has something for readers of all ages. With locations on Main Street and Commercial Drive, Pulpfiction Books has a curated selection of new and used books that spans genres.

The exterior of Iron Dog Books in Vancouver

Photo: Iron Dog Books


Escape to the Tropics

It might be chilly outside, but the temperatures are tropical at two of Vancouver’s most famous landmarks. You’ll want to shed your coat when you step inside the Bloedel Conservatory. The warm, climate-controlled dome shelters a tropical rainforest with over 500 species of plants as well as over 100 free-flying parrots and other exotic birds. You can also bask in tropical temperatures (and humidity) at the Vancouver Aquarium’s Graham Amazon Gallery. It includes tropical rainforest plants, birds, and fish. You can even experience a mock thunderstorm.

Inside the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver

Inside the Bloedel Conservatory. Photo: Destination Vancouver

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