What is the best way to see Vancouver’s Granville Island?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Carolyn B. Heller

Particularly in summer and on sunny days, Granville Island is packed with visitors, so if you can get an early start, you’ll avoid some of the crowds. The popular Granville Island Public Market opens at 9 a.m.; go early for coffee and bagels or to pick up picnic supplies for lunch. Most of the other island shops and galleries open at 10 a.m., so you can do your browsing and shopping once you’re done in the food market.

Later, you can stroll along the waterfront path on either side of the island, or stop for a beer on the patio at Dockside, the pub at the Granville Island Hotel. When you’re ready to go back downtown, hop on one of the mini ferries that will shuttle you across False Creek.

Stéphane Mouttet
  • Stéphane Mouttet

  • Chef Concierge, Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver

  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Granville Island is a peninsula located in False Creek directly across from Downtown Vancouver, under the south end of the Granville Street Bridge. Once an industrial manufacturing area, it is now a major tourist draw and a vibrant, working neighborhood.

Getting to the Island:

Granville Island is easily accessible by vehicle via West 2nd Avenue. From downtown, taking the Burrard Street Bridge is best. Granville Island provides 3-hour free parking as well as public pay parking lots. Public transit runs bus service by the entrance to Granville Island approximately every 10 minutes during peak traffic hours on the #50 False Creek South / Waterfront Station route. Multiple hop-on, hop-off style tours like the Vancouver Trolley Company (www.vancouvertrolley.com) have a stop at the entrance to Granville Island. The Aquabus provides passenger ferry service all the way along False Creek. For a nominal fee they provide transfers to and from downtown destinations such as: Hornby Street, David Lam Park and Yaletown (www.theaquabus.com). Granville Island is located on Vancouver’s world famous ‘Seawall,’ making it an ideal place for a stop during a scenic walk or bike ride (the Aquabus allows bikes too).


Shopping on Granville Island is an adventure. There are retailers tucked away into every nook and cranny of the island. Many people will find that hidden gem tucked away, find the perfect item for themselves or a gift and feel like that particular store was placed there just for them. The Net Loft building provides multiple retailers in a mall-type setting. Four wings branch out from a central area that houses a café. Other areas of interest for shopping are the Shops of the Creekhouse, the Maritime Market, Cartwright Street and the #1 place to find those “hidden gems”: Railspur Alley.

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