I was so excited when I was offered an 8 day trip to Canada a few years ago! Flying to Vancouver with Air Canada on their daily service took 14 hours - however as it was a direct flight it was great.
Because we cross the international dateline we gain our day back so that meant I could punch on through my tiredness and head out to tour the city.
Vancouver is a very vibrant, cosmopolitan city with a very lively feel to it. We bought a hop on hop bus ticket and found that was the best way to get our baring’s.
Some areas I loved - the picturesque Stanley Park, the gorgeous cobblestone Gastown district- where we ate at the famous Spaghetti Factory. We found some great high end shopping in this area as well as funky restaurants and bars.
The next day we took a 20 minute bus ride to the Capilano Suspension Bridge - this is place is amazing - a must do to walk over the bridge and take in the view. You can also enjoy the Treetop and Cliff walks. From here we took a bus and travelled 10 minutes to Grouse Mountain. A cable car trip to the top is worth it to see spectacular views over Vancouver as well as some wildlife including a grizzly bear.
I stayed at the Sandman Hotel Vancouver - this is a good 3 star hotel in a great location. It was very central and had everything I needed on my doorstep. I also got to inspect a lot of the iconic hotels also, and if you want to spurge either of the Fairmont properties won't disappoint!
If you are going to be cruising out of Vancouver I would recommend you stay at the Pan Pacific Hotel. It has the most spectacular views from most room types and the cruise ship terminal is attached to the hotel.