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Hop-on, Hop-off Bus in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada

Home > Vancouver > Adventure | Day Trips | Tours | Travel | Unusual Things to do
by Elaine (subscribe)
Impromptu adventuring, exploring our backyard and then putting pen to paper, hoping to entice you to try one, if not all, of our escapades, is my true reward!
Published May 15th 2019
So much to see and too little time
Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, whirlwind visit, Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing, City Route, Park Route, Robson Street Shopping District, Stanley Park, First Nations Art and Totem Poles, Prospect Point, Lions Gate Bridge, Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park, Chinatown, Gastown Steam Clock
The best way to see a city in the shortest possible time


Most travellers want to experience as much as they can of a specific city and/or region in the quickest possible time frame. I can appreciate this feeling, as usually my thought processes are in the line of 'will I ever come back here, there is so much of the world to see and not enough time to see it in.' Factor in overcast skies and intermittent rain, then there is no better way to adventure through a city than on a hop-on, hop-off bus. Stay in the warmth of the bus whilst raining and hop off every time Mother Nature shows a touch of weather-wise kindness.

Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, whirlwind visit, Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing, City Route, Park Route, Robson Street Shopping District, Stanley Park, First Nations Art and Totem Poles, Prospect Point, Lions Gate Bridge, Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park, Chinatown, Gastown Steam Clock
Please 'bear' with me, I just love these big boys!


We are presently in Vancouver, British Colombia in Canada, on a whirlwind three day visit, before moving onto the east coast of Canada, so the Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing Hop-on, Hop-off bus was definitely on our to-do radar.

A perfect day on the Hop-on, Hop Off bus includes up to thirty different stops at world-class attractions and landmarks. All buses run at ten to fifteen minute interval frequencies and with two alternative routes - City Route (Blue Line) and Park Route (Green Line) - available to bus hoppers, one can easily spend a whole day day-tripping around this fabulous city. Packages for the Hop-on, Hop-Off bus start from:

$59 per adult for a 24 hour Classic Pass;
$69 for a 24 hour Classic Pass plus Electric Harbour or Evening Tour; and a
Premium Pass for $79, which gives hoppy adventurers a 48 hour pass plus a value-added coupon book, an Electric Harbour Tour and an Evening Tour of Vancouver.

Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, whirlwind visit, Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing, City Route, Park Route, Robson Street Shopping District, Stanley Park, First Nations Art and Totem Poles, Prospect Point, Lions Gate Bridge, Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park, Chinatown, Gastown Steam Clock
The hotel was all about location!


We started our Hop-on, Hop-off bus tour in front of our hotel, the Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront.

Robson Street Shopping District

One quick stop on and we had reached Robson Street Shopping District, Vancouver's bustling downtown shopping district. Except it wasn't bustling as yet, as it was only 9.30 in the morning and most retail outlets in Robson Shopping District only open at 10.00am. Hubbies were delighted! Robson Street Shopping District is where the big department stores are, where luxury brands will be found and where internationally known stores can be found. Robson Street is packed with more than one hundred stores and restaurants and is recognised as the epicentre of Downtown Vancouver's shopping district. An absolute must-do! Make sure your visit is after 10.00am.

Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, whirlwind visit, Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing, City Route, Park Route, Robson Street Shopping District, Stanley Park, First Nations Art and Totem Poles, Prospect Point, Lions Gate Bridge, Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park, Chinatown, Gastown Steam Clock
Robson Street Shopping District is an absolute must-do!


Stanley Park

The four hundred hectare Stanley Park is a magnificent oasis in the heart of the urban landscape of Vancouver, boasting spectacular views of the water, mountains, sky and majestic age-old trees along the Stanley Park's famous Seawall. Stanley Park is Vancouver's largest park and is home to kilometres of trails, beautiful beaches, local wildlife, great eateries as well as cultural and historical landmarks.

First Nations Art and Totem Poles, Stanley Park

The fact that our chosen day for Hop-on, Hop-off bussing was a rainy day meant that we could be more discerning with our 'stops' and next on the list was the nine First Nations totem poles at Brockton Point. Did you know that these nine totem poles are British Colombia's most visited tourist attraction?

Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, whirlwind visit, Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing, City Route, Park Route, Robson Street Shopping District, Stanley Park, First Nations Art and Totem Poles, Prospect Point, Lions Gate Bridge, Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park, Chinatown, Gastown Steam Clock
First Nations colourful and beautifully carved totem poles


First Nations origin stories tell of animals and supernatural beings who helped found family lineages. These stories are celebrated in songs, dance and of course, totem pole carvings. Every beautifully carved and colourful totem pole has its own story to tell.

Prospect Point, Stanley Park

Prospect Point in Stanley Park has the dubious title of being 'Vancouver's unrivalled viewpoint'. I say 'dubious' because the day we visited we could barely see our hands in front of our faces for rain and the steam misting up our glasses from our hot breaths, did not contribute to successful viewing of the unrivalled viewpoints. I grabbed this inopportune opportunity to visit the Prospect Point Trading Post gift shop that was perfectly positioned for some indoor viewing. I am so in love with the big brown bears that can be found everywhere in Vancouver and am rather hoping to bring one home in my suitcase.

Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, whirlwind visit, Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing, City Route, Park Route, Robson Street Shopping District, Stanley Park, First Nations Art and Totem Poles, Prospect Point, Lions Gate Bridge, Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park, Chinatown, Gastown Steam Clock
Canadian souvenirs are the best!


Lions Gate Bridge

The Lions Gate Bridge, named after the pair of prominent mountain peaks on the North Shore, was built in 1938 by the Guiness family - yep, the very same ones of Irish beer fame. After the construction of the Lions Gate Bridge was complete, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth presided over the grand opening of this 1,823 metre bridge, which took a year and a half to complete. At the point that we passed the Lions Gate Bridge, our bus driver very obligingly paused for ten seconds to allow me time to take my photo and as you can see, the weather was certainly not up to scratch.

Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, whirlwind visit, Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing, City Route, Park Route, Robson Street Shopping District, Stanley Park, First Nations Art and Totem Poles, Prospect Point, Lions Gate Bridge, Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park, Chinatown, Gastown Steam Clock
Lions Gate Bridge from Stanley Park


The following day we visited the Vancouver Viewing Deck and with the fabulous weather that day, you can really see from my photo what an impressive bridge the Lions Gate Bridge is - a twin of the famous San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge?

Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, whirlwind visit, Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing, City Route, Park Route, Robson Street Shopping District, Stanley Park, First Nations Art and Totem Poles, Prospect Point, Lions Gate Bridge, Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park, Chinatown, Gastown Steam Clock
The impressive Lions Gate Bridge from a different angle in better weather


Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park, Chinatown

Right in the heart of Vancouver's Chinatown, visitors will find the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park. The free entry Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park is a magical inner-city oasis with winding paths, rocks, plants and spectacularly coloured flowers. An experience of peace and tranquillity in a lush garden with its own water lily-covered pond, pagoda and greenery awaits visitors to the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park. I'm no landscaping expert, but this fabulously tranquil Park in Chinatown reminds me of our visit to the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney, Australia - perhaps there IS a worldwide blue-print on creating masterpiece inner-city gardens.

Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, whirlwind visit, Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing, City Route, Park Route, Robson Street Shopping District, Stanley Park, First Nations Art and Totem Poles, Prospect Point, Lions Gate Bridge, Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park, Chinatown, Gastown Steam Clock
A magical spot in the heart of Vancouver's Chinatown


Gastown Steam Clock

The world's first steam powered clock has been created for the pleasure and delight of locals and visitors alike. The live steam winds the weights of the clock, which blows the whistles. Every four and a half minutes one steel weight will travel by steam power to the top of the clock. Every quarter hour the clock sounds the Westminster chimes and the large whistle on the clock goes off once every hour. If you look carefully at my photo, you will see the clock letting off steam ...

Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, whirlwind visit, Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing, City Route, Park Route, Robson Street Shopping District, Stanley Park, First Nations Art and Totem Poles, Prospect Point, Lions Gate Bridge, Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park, Chinatown, Gastown Steam Clock
Gastown Steam Clock


For an on-line Hop-on, Hop-off bus map and additional destinations, please click here.

All images courtesy of author
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Why? To experience as much of a city as one can, in the shortest possible time frame
When: Every day of the week!
Phone: 1-604-451-1600
Where: Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada
Cost: $59 to $79 per person | please see article for various packages
Your Comment
Congratulations on winning second place.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12386) 10 days ago
Wow, you just brought back a whole lot of memories of my time there. Nice article.
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Love seeing travel articles like this on WEN. Great work
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Come rain or sunshine, always something to do or see in Vancouver
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