With towering glass buildings along the waterfront and a breath-taking mountain backdrop, Vancouver is an incredibly photogenic city. An urban playground on the edge of the wilderness, Vancouver is a photographer’s paradise. From bustling markets and hip neighbourhoods to suspension bridges in ancient rainforests, there are so many beautiful places to take pictures. Here are 18 of the most instagrammable spots in Vancouver that you won’t want to miss.
The most instagrammable spots in North Vancouver
Take a short ferry ride from Downtown’s Waterfront station and you’ll find yourself in the North Shore, home to Vancouver’s most beautifully wild scenery.
1. Cypress Mountain Vancouver Outlook
This is a beautiful spot to photograph sunrise in Vancouver. Located just off the road on the way to Cypress Mountain Resort, the lookout offers an unrivalled view of Vancouver. Watching the sun light up the city and the surrounding mountain ranges is a magical experience.
Address: Cypress Bowl Road, West Vancouver, BC V0N 1G0
2. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Situated in a West Coast rainforest, there are so many beautiful photography spots in the park. The suspension bridge is the main attraction but I actually preferred taking photos on the Cliffwalk and up in the trees on the Treetops Adventure. We visited Capilano in January during the Canyon Lights Festival which made the park even more enchanting. As night crept in, the rainforest lit up with thousands of tiny lights and became a winter wonderland. The festival runs from late November until the end of January and I would highly recommend going if you are ever in the area at that time. They run a free shuttle bus from Downtown Vancouver all year round.
Address: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4J1
3. Lynn Canyon Park
Capilano can get very busy, especially in the summer and during the Christmas period. Lynn Canyon Park is a lovely alternative and is actually free to explore. It has a smaller suspension bridge and is far less crowded than Capilano. There are lots of hiking trails through the dense forest which offer plenty of opportunities to take some more original Instagram photos. The park is easily accessible from Downtown. You can take the Seabus from Waterfront Station to Lonsdale Quay and then get bus #228 or #229 to Lynn Valley Center. From there it is a 15 minute walk to the main entrance.
Address: 3663 Park Road, North Vancouver, BC V7J 3G3
4. Lonsdale Quay Market
Step off the Seabus from Downtown and you’ll find yourself in the bustling Lonsdale Quay Market. Located on the waterfront next to the Shipyards, the market offers one of the best views of Vancouver’s skyline. In the summer, the Shipyards host a Friday night market each week where you can sample delicious food whilst watching the sun set over Vancouver – it definitely is one of Vancouver’s top Instagram spots!
Address: 123 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver, BC V7M 3K7
The most instagrammable spots in Stanley Park
Stanley Park is one of North America’s largest urban green spaces. Just walking through the park amongst the majestic trees offers so many photo opportunities. On a sunny day you can capture the light bursting through the canopies as you wander the trails which crisscross through the park.
5. Stanley Park Seawall
The Seawall offers spectacular views of the waterfront and Vancouver’s skyline. Enter from Coal Harbour and you’ll get a lovely view of Vancouver’s skyscrapers juxtaposed against the dense trees of Stanley Park.
Address: Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2
6. Brockton Point Lighthouse
Built in 1914 to prevent further shipwrecks on Stanley Park’s dangerous shores, the red and white lighthouse has become a popular spot for photographers. It is situated on the park’s easternmost peninsula and offers beautiful views over the skyscrapers in Downtown, Lions Gate Bridge and North Vancouver. You can see the lighthouse from various points along the Seawall but my favourite spot is half way between the lighthouse and Lions Gate Bridge where you can see the lighthouse against the stunning mountain backdrop.
Address: Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2
7. Prospect Point Lookout
Situated at the northern tip of Stanley Park, Prospect Point has the best view of Lions Gate Bridge and is the spot where most of the shots you see on Instagram are taken from. With a beautiful mountain backdrop, you can get amazing shots at any time of the day; however, the best time to go is when the light is fading so you can get long exposure shots with light trails from the cars.
Address: 5601 Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2
8. Lions Gate Bridge
Lions Gate Bridge itself is very photogenic but it’s also one of the best places in Vancouver to watch the sunrise. If you walk half way along the bridge you’ll have a wonderful view of Vancouver’s skyscrapers peeking out over the treetops of Stanley Park. If the conditions are right, you can get some stunning shots of the sea fog rolling in.
Address: Lions Gate Bridge Road, Vancouver, BC
9. Siwash Rock
If you wander further around the Seawall you’ll find Siwash Rock, a famous rock structure with a small Douglas fir on top. It is located between 3rd Beach, Prospect Point and Lions Gate Bridge and is one of the most photographed spots in Stanley Park.
The most instagrammable spots in Downtown
The heart of Vancouver is made up of several colourful neighbourhoods which have their own characteristics. Downtown is easily walkable thanks to the grid street system so you can cover a lot in one day. Here are a few of the best photo spots in Downtown.
10. Canada Place
Located at the heart of Vancouver’s waterfront, Canada Place is both a cruise ship terminal and a convention centre, hosting world-class events all year round. It is one of Vancouver’s iconic landmarks and is quite a photogenic venue with a roof shaped like sails. It also offers a stunning view of the North Shore mountains and is home to the famous Digital Orca sculpture.
Address: 999 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC V6C 3T4
11. Coal Harbour
Coal Harbour stretches from Stanley Park to Canada Place. The Seawall along Coal Harbour is a beautiful place for photography, with the marina and mountains on one side and the modern towering glass buildings on the other. In the mornings, the sea mist makes the walk even more spectacular.
12. Davie Village
Head to Davie Village to get a shot of the much-photographed Rainbow Crosswalk. Located at the intersection of Davie Street and Bute Street, it’s one of Vancouver’s most colourful Instagram spots and plays a big part in Vancouver’s annual Pride celebrations.
Address: 1238-1216 Bute Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 1Z6
13. Sunset Beach Park
It’s called Sunset Beach for a good reason. We watched two incredible sunsets on this beach during our trip to Vancouver. There are lots of large tree logs along the beach where you can sit and watch the sun go down.
Address: 1204 Beach Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6E 1V3
14. Water Street
Located in Gastown, Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood, Water Street has retained its historic charm. The Steam Clock is a popular tourist attraction but if you wander down the street you’ll also find beautiful vintage lampposts and well-preserved picturesque buildings which have been converted into shops, restaurants and galleries. It is even more magical at night when the lampposts give the street a warm orange glow.
Address: 305 Water Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B9
15. Granville Island Public Market
Stands piled high with fresh fruit and vegetables, cute boutiques filled with colourful flowers and the large neon lights under the bridge, Granville Island’s Public Market is an Instagrammer’s heaven. Wander around the stands inside and take some photos of the local produce before heading outdoors to get some shots of the warehouse and the bridge. It does get very busy at weekends so try and go during the week if you can.
Address: 1669 Johnston Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9
The most instagrammable spots in South Vancouver
If you want to get a glimpse into local life in Vancouver, then head across the bridge and explore South Granville. Home to some of Vancouver’s best attractions, South Granville is not a touristy district so you can really get a feel for daily life in the city. There are lots of beautiful boutiques, heritage houses, peaceful gardens to explore.
16. Hadden Park
Once you have taken some photos of the Granville Island neon sign, walk left onto the Seawall trail. Follow this trail and you’ll get some lovely photos of the harbour looking back at Granville Island and Downtown’s glass skyscrapers. Keep walking along the trail and you’ll eventually come to Hadden Park where you will get a wonderful view of the dense forest of Stanley Park and the mountains.
Address: 1905 Ogden Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6J 1A3
17. Queen Elizabeth Park
For a panoramic view of Vancouver, head to Queen Elizabeth Park. As the city’s highest point, the park has a clear view of the dramatic mountain-framed cityscape and has become a popular Instagram spot. If you take a walk around the park you’ll find lots of other cool places to take pictures.
Address: 4600 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2Z1
18. Bloedel Conservatory
Located in Queen Elizabeth Park, Bloedel Conservatory is a great place to go to escape the rain and warm up. However it’s also a very cool photography spot and you can get some impressive shots inside the glass roofed garden. Filled with tropical plants and home to some very brightly coloured birds, there are plenty of places inside the conservatory where you can take some great photos, including a flower wall and a cute little bridge.
Address: 4600 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC V5Y 2M4
With its breath-taking mountain backdrop and colourful neighbourhoods, Vancouver is quite possibly one of the most photogenic cities I’ve ever been to. From rainforests and beaches to historic buildings and skyscrapers, there is no shortage of instagrammable spots in Vancouver. I hope this post inspires you to go and explore this beautifully wild city.
Love from Steph
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