Vancouver area, Canada
Shopping in Vancouver: Boutiques, Souvenirs & Malls
If you visit Vancouver, we recommend two basic things to purchase as souvenirs which will make great reminders of your stay. The first one is the rich Maple Syrup, the sweet extract of the tree with the leaf that is the national symbol of Canada. You can buy it canned, bottled or also in a nice souvenir jug. Our second suggestion is to buy a piece of art made by the descendants of the First Nations. It could be a desktop-size wooden totem pole, bead necklaces or earrings. You'll also find jewelry, paintings, sculptures or the amazing decorative handicrafts made with leather and feathers, such as the beautiful dreamcatchers.
The Haida Art is renowned for its distinctive black and red colors, and for the impressive representations of British Columbia's wildlife. Images of ravens, eagles, salmon, turtles, bears, otters and majestic killer whales are present in the carvings, paintings and many other artistic pieces. These animals have a great importance in the history of the First Nations, in fact some of them are even classed as gods in Native American mythology. Add to your shopping list a few bottles of the award-winning BritishColumbia wine, as exceptional as French or Chilean. You can also find fine Asian merchandise, such as handicrafts brought from India, China or Thailand, along with authentic Japanese Kimonos, pure silk clothing, and even lacquered furniture. If you prefer to remember your vacation in Vancouver by the flavors you've tasted, you can purchase the British Columbia salmon, smoked and seasoned with herbs, honey and sea salt from the Pacific Ocean. The packages are perfectly sealed, for the convenience of tourists who wish to take some home.
Shopping in Vancouver
Shopping in Vancouver includes much more than traditional souvenirs. The city has large department stores and huge malls located in the many shopping districts across the metropolis, selling designer apparel and famous brands, just like in any other top city in the world. Most of the boutiques in Vancouver, large or small, sell creations made by Vancouverites or Canadian designers, due to the fact that the locals prefer to, most of the time, purchase their fellow Canadian's products, abundant in quality and creativity.
Located right in the heart of the city, Gastown is the historic area, featuring cobblestone roads and beautiful old buildings. In this neighborhood there are many cafes and casual bars, a lot of boutiques selling unique pieces of avant-garde clothing, and also galleries that offer Native American artwork made by the descendants of the First Nations. Because Gastown is one of the main tourist attractions in Vancouver, there are also many stores that sell all kinds of souvenirs, such as mugs, posters, and t-shirts with "Vancouver, Canada" or the famous maple leaf printed on them.
Robson Street, West End
The West End is an extensive residential and business area of Vancouver, located between downtown and the famous Stanley Park. On the very busy Robson Street it is possible to find all kinds of commercial establishments, ranging from drug stores and photography shops to exclusive boutiques, chic restaurants, casual cafes and hotels. It's worth spending some time (and money, if you want) walking on Robson Street, checking out all the bargains to be had. With a bit of luck you can find unique clothes, accessories or a gorgeous pair of shoes, all at unbeatable prices.
This is a place that you just have to visit. The gorgeous Granville Island has an interesting mix of options to please all kinds of shoppers. In the Public Market you can find from colorful fruits and vegetables to the most exotic meats and cooking ingredients imported from all over the world.
Outside the Public Market there are sophisticated art galleries and workshops where visitors can see the interesting techniques used by painters, sculptors and craftsmen, and buy their artistic creations. Violin or flute music is performed in the streets throughout the Island and poetry readings take place in improvised public forums. You can walk around Granville Island and see numerous boutiques offering original pieces of clothing, sportswear, even kayaks and nautical accessories. You can buy a yacht, if you want to! Fancy restaurants and trendy coffee shops, jewelry stores, bakeries and bookstores complete the attractive shopping universe you'll surely enjoy during a visit to Granville Island.
The eleven blocks of Granville Street, located between the Granville Bridge and 16th Street, have been a popular place for shopping and hanging out since 1907. This is due to its interesting collection of stores, theaters, restaurants and, most recently, spas. In South Granville it's possible to find Persian carpets, antique bazaars or contemporary artwork in one block, and high-end garments, shoes and accessories for men or women in another. Casual cafes and informal bistros are also part of the many alternatives that make this area of the city a must for tourists and shoppers.
Pacific Centre Mall
It takes time and stamina to stroll through all the halls of this three-block shopping mall and browse around the numerous boutiques. Big department stores such as The Bay, Holt Renfrew and Sears are part of the long list of interesting establishments that sell the latest fashions, technology, music and electronics, among many other useful items and luxury products. Cosmetic shops, perfumeries, a large food court, banks and one hotel are also part of this world-class mall located in downtown Vancouver.
Metropolis at Metrotown Shopping Mall
Four hundred and seventy shops make this the largest shopping mall in the Canadian province of BritishColumbia. The most popular brands of casual wear in the world for him and her can be found here, like Guess, Aeropostale, Zara, American Eagle Outfitters, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Armani Exchange, Calvin Klein, Levi's, Tommy Hilfiger and The Gap. Metropolis at Metrotown is located in Burnaby, 20 minutes southeast of downtown Vancouver.
In the fashionable district of Yaletown, facing the waters of the picturesque False Creek, the old and the new meet. Tall, modern residential towers share the neighborhood with old brick buildings that were warehouses at the end of the 19th century and in recent years were transformed into elegant lofts, exclusive art galleries and high-end apparel stores. Yaletown is the perfect place for a shopping excursion because there are lots of stores selling from First Nations art to custom made jewelry. It's possible to see avant-garde couture retailers and boutiques, antiques shops, and also ultra-hip restaurants, street cafes and the hottest nightspots.
Kitsilano is a large, beautiful neighborhood surrounding the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver. There are scholars everywhere, along with herds of young adults with money in their pockets eager to spend it on cool fashions, useful hi-tech gadgets, art, literature and healthy food. Many commercial establishments in Kitsilano cater to this demographic, therefore it is quite easy to find hip clothing boutiques, organic food restaurants and sophisticated computer and hardware stores selling the latest electronic gadgets. Most of these businesses are located on Avenue 4.
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