Vancouver by Foot

I love the authenticity of exploring a city by foot. You discover places beyond tourists, joining natives in their daily lives.

We recently went to Vancouver, BC by train, for just a couple days around the U2 360 concert. More Vancouver photos from Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden.

This set begins on the train from Seattle, yes that was the view! and shows where we stayed in and around Gastown, downtown, and a bit of Yaletown. In the little time we were there, we also walked to Granville Island market, enjoyed Chinatown and a traditional park there, and of course U2, so I will share more soon. Hover over the shots to see their titles.
on the way to vancouver, bc

The early weekday train from Seattle to Vancouver is quiet, clean, and just a fun ride!

enjoy the ride

skytrain bridge vancouver bc

It was exciting to see local papers about the band being in town.

U2 stroll into town - 24H

We were pleasantly surprised by the beauty and charm of this 1898 restored victorian
guest house, which we found thanks to this NY Times article.

the victorian hotel

It is called the Victorian Hotel & it stole my heart with the little details, great restoration and magnificent high ceilings. Plus, it’s featured in some of the X-files!

Don’t let anyone tell you that beauty, comfort and friendly service come only with the big bucks. This was the most beautiful, yet affordable hotel I’ve stayed in and with wonderful service! That bay window in the right shot below was ours 🙂

victorian hotel

the victorian hotel

We weren’t in our room much, but when we were, we felt transported to a different place and time!

victorian hotel

A few blocks from the Victorian, Brian found the perfect place, Brioche, to get breakfast at any hour. They make beautiful pastries, eggs, pastas, sandwiches, you name it. We had first noticed a rush during the lunch hour. You know it’s good when the locals line up!

brioche bakery

They display good art in there, too I wish I had time to shoot, but I was too busy eating.

At one point, Brian joked that he would get chocolate mousse in a flute for breakfast, then the person after us in line just did that. The life!

brioche bakery

Brioche is the perfect way to start your stroll around Gastown. Slow it down and see details of the old city everywhere. My favorite was the brick and iron work.


models of the sidewalk

abbott street iron


This is Gassy Jack, the founding father of Gastown.

gassy jack

We had a small, sweet dinner at the Water St. Cafe, whose windows invite people watching while you eat in Gastown, right across from the steam clock.

steam clock & water st. cafe

This cat was a character and it greeted us a few times we passed by its building. I loved the fact it hung out with all this good reading 🙂

cool cat


I’m waiting to see his result of that shoot-off.

his shoot off :)

vancouver - old

As you can see we wandered into a few alleys. Get out there and find the details you won’t see from a car or bus.

Yaletown was not on our agenda, but when you walk as much as we do, you stumble upon things. We actually had walked into a generic-feeling, large coffee chain nearby, when we realized what it was and walked back out in search of something more independent. We were rewarded with this French and Lebanese bakery and cafe ~ charming with delicious pastries and for coffee and espresso, they served Intelligentsia and Umbria.

treats ... not mine
boulangerie la parisienne
coffee & BBF

Yale Hotel is one of those things that is on our do this next time list. We found out it has so much history as reflected on its outsides. This was the last thing we saw before continuing on our walk to Granville Island.

the historic yale hotel

I hope to come back for more!