With Vancouver’s bounty of lush sceneries, you won’t run short of romantic ideas here. In and around Downtown Vancouver, you’re within close reach of soothing waterfronts and a collection of beautiful urban parks. Manicured gardens and pathways or panoramic seawalls and beaches serve as great backdrops for an intimate stroll.

    You can impress your significant other by experiencing Vancouver’s heights – be it over a fine, rooftop dinner or up in the sky on a seaplane tour. With accurate forecasting, you can even enjoy a magical moment under the magnificent natural phenomenon of an aurora. Get inspired with these ideas on what to do on a couples’ trip to Vancouver.


    Ride a horse-drawn carriage in Stanley Park

    A unique way to explore one of Vancouver’s beautiful parks

    There are different ways to enjoy Stanley Park, Vancouver’s largest and most feature-filled urban park. One of them is by horse-drawn carriage. The Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours is a longstanding park feature, usually taking groups in old-fashioned wagons to meander through the park. For romantic couples, they offer a variety of other private and stylish carriages, including Cinderella pumpkin-style coaches that can be truly memorable. Private services are usually available between February and November, with hourly rates starting from around $495.

    Location: 735 Stanley Park Dr, Vancouver, BC V6C 2T1, Canada

    Open: Daily from 9.40 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 604-681-5115


    photo by buzzard525 (CC BY 3.0) modified


    Take in the view from Prospect Point

    It’s one of Vancouver’s original viewpoints

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    There are plenty of scenic viewpoints in and around Vancouver, but this original lookout at the north-eastern tip of Vancouver’s Stanley Park dates back over a century. Prospect Point provides great views over Lions Gate Bridge, which connects this forested park to North Vancouver. Cruise ships frequently cross the Burrard Inlet and sail under the bridge. There’s a small bar and restaurant nearby that serves beers on tap to enjoy along with the views.

    Location: 5601 Stanley Park Dr, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2, Canada

    Phone: +1 604-669-2737


    Tour Vancouver by seaplane

    Admire the beauty of the Gulf Islands from above

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    Couples can admire breathtaking sceneries over Vancouver and the Gulf Islands from up high. The high-rise city, ocean, waterways, green forests and snow-capped mountains all included. Some seaplane tours take off from Victoria on the southern end of Vancouver Island, while Harbour Flight Center Seaplane Terminal north of Canada Place also hosts several operators, including the popular Harbour Air Seaplanes. Various flight packages are available with flight options that range from 10 minutes to over an hour and start from $95 per person.

    Location: Vancouver Harbour Flight Center, 1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 3T4, Canada

    Phone: +1 604-647-7570


    photo by ItzaFineDay (CC BY 2.0) modified


    See the Northern Lights from the Spanish Banks

    Pop the question during this rare natural spectacle

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    Depending on how far south its edges reach during a “solar maximum” event, you might stand a chance to see Aurora Borealis from Vancouver. It’s hard to predict but the geomagnetic phenomenon usually shows up over Vancouver a few times in a year and can be faintly seen by the naked eye. The Autumnal equinox, around September, offers highest chances. Vancouver’s secluded north-facing shores, such as the Spanish Banks, are great for spotting the Northern Lights, away from the city’s light pollution and the crowds.

    Location: 4801 NW Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC V6T 1E2, Canada

    Phone: +1 604-873-7000


    Visit the Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Gardens

    Walk through a spectacular winter wonderland

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    You can witness this annual highlight in Vancouver over the vacation season. The Festival of Lights is when the flower gardens and pathways at VanDusen Botanical Gardens receive a major winter wonderland makeover, strewn in a myriad of colorful Christmas lights. Enjoy a stroll through the twinkling pathways and head down to Livingstone Lake for a light show that dances in sync to symphonies and vacation tunes. It’s on every evening over the vacation season, throughout December and the first week of January, from 4.30pm to 9pm.

    Location: 5251 Oak St, Vancouver, BC V6M 4H1, Canada

    Open: VanDusen Botanical Gardens is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 604-257-8335


    photo by JamesZ_Flickr (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Watch a show at Orpheum Theatre

    An elegant theatre that’s home to Vancouver’s symphony orchestra

    You can enjoy Broadway musicals, concerts, and dance performances shown regularly at the beautiful Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Vancouver. Shows range from Viennese ballets, classical symphonies such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, to musical tributes to recent romantic dramas such as La La Land. This elegant theatre, which is one of Canada’s national historical sites, has hosted millions since it first opened its doors in 1927. It retains much of its charm through its antique and regal décor. Free guided tours are available.

    Location: 601 Smithe St, Vancouver, BC V6B 3L4, Canada

    Open: Most shows start from 6 pm or 8 pm

    Phone: +1 604-665-3050


    photo by Colin Knowles (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Stroll through Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden

    Enter a soothing Oriental oasis

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    You can consider your trip to Vancouver’s Chinatown incomplete without a brief escape into this soothing garden oasis on Carrall Street. The Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden brims with beautiful bonsais, plum blossoms and ornamental plants that adorn winding pathways bordering pretty koi and lily ponds. Be transported to the Ming Dynasty, thanks to its majestic pagodas and Chinese-style architecture. It’s a favorite pre-wedding photo spot, and many angles here make for great backdrops for your own couples' shots.

    Location: 578 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K2, Canada

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 604-662-3207


    Explore the gardens in Queen Elizabeth Park

    For scenic walks with amazing views of Vancouver

    Romantic couples can head up to this vast hilltop in Vancouver for a romantic walk through one of the city’s most beautiful urban parks. You can find a collection of interesting art installations and sculptures here, especially Love in the Rain that’s aptly love-themed. It depicts 4 sets of lovers in an embrace under umbrellas. You can clip your own “love locks” or padlocks bearing your names onto the sculptures, as a token of your memorable visit.

    Location: 4600 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2Z1, Canada

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 604-873-7000


    photo by Analise Zocher (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Sip cocktails in Gastown

    Enjoy a date in a chic cocktail lounge

    As one of Vancouver’s liveliest neighborhoods, Gastown is dotted with some of the city’s swankiest cocktail lounges and bars that are great for date nights. One of the cool spots here that offers a wonderful selection of craft cocktails and pre-dinner bubbles is The Diamond, near Maple Street Square. It has beautiful, old-school interiors, and you can head up to the upper floor and choose a table with street views. Great signature cocktails include Gastown Phase, a blend of local gin, Liquore Strega, Bianco vermouth, and grapefruit bitters.

    Location: Gastown, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B2, Canada

    Open: Opens daily at 5.30 pm. Closing time varies between 12 am and 2 am


    Have dinner at Top of Vancouver

    Dine up high and enjoy the panoramic views

    For memorable dining experience in Downtown Vancouver, you can book a candlelit dinner date at the top of the city’s Harbour Center skyscraper. Top of Vancouver serves 5-star Continental cuisine, in a main dining room that literally provides you with 360° views from your window-side table by fully revolving each hour. At around 553 feet high, you can take in the magical cityscape, northern mountains, and the ocean, all while enjoying your seafood or New York steak and paired wines.

    Location: 555 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 4N6, Canada

    Open: Monday – Saturday from 11.30 am to 10 pm (Fridays and Saturdays until 11 pm), Sundays from 11 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 604-669-2220


    photo by djromanj (CC BY 2.0) modified

    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveler

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