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My angels, I promised you to write a blogpost with all my Vancouver tips on where to go, what to see, where to find the best independent coffee shops, vintage stores and much more.
Like with all of my posts, I am always so thrilled and excited to share them with you all, but particularly with my Vancouver blogpost, I have been super to write it and click “publish”. Fergus and I LOVED Vancouver and all it had to offer. We had 4 days to explore and discover all the hidden gems.
Vancouver central er is smaller than you think, and it is easy to walk from a-b.
If you only have one day to explore Vancouver, I would highly recommend you to pick Gastown.
Gastown is a neighbourhood that combines old with new, history and new trendy shops and restaurants. Gastown is an essential part of Vancouver’s history, and a stroll along Water Street, you start to understand why it’s such a unique place. Here you will find a collection of old buildings, cobblestones, the Steam Clock, and vintage lampposts. Continue to the end of Water Street to visit a statue of the man who started it all, Gassy Jack Deighton.
What to do and where to go in Gastown
Gastown: is a vibrant and inspiring part of the city full of independent shops. Here you can find retro and modern interior shops (the one I loved the most is called: Old Faithful Shop) industrial coffee shops, delicious brunch spots etc.
Gastown reminds me a lot of Shoreditch in London, except that in Gastown I was a bit overwhelmed and chocked with the amount of homeless people living and sleeping on the streets surrounded my the hip and trendy shops. The first day Fergus and I walked round Gastown we walked down a street and was blown away with the poverty and I couldn’t help getting a bit upset with what I saw. At that time there must have been at least round 200 homeless people. We have never seen anything like that, so we couldn’t help getting a big upset.
Despite the sad high number of homeless people, it’s definitely still is my favourite part of Vancouver.
Despite Gastown being partially situated in the Downtown Eastside, and despite the sad high number of homeless people, it’s definitely still is my favourite part of Vancouver. It is one of the poorest postal codes in Canada, but still is Gastown home to some of the city’s most high-end boutique shopping, galleries and restaurants. Complex Magazine in 2012 even named Gastown the 4th most stylish neighbourhood in the world. – So don’t let that stop you from going there, I am sure you will find it just as inspirational as me, and it makes you think a bit deeper..
What to see:
Steam Clock: The charming Steam Clock is one if not the most iconic landmark in Gastown (and also one of the best known in Vancouver).
You couldn’t possibly visit Gastown without taking a look at the steam clock and hanging around for it to burst into action. I read on a website that it now runs on electric and not on steam power, but you will see the steam come out, and it does look super adorable with the rustic buildings around it. Apparently on the hour it marks it with a toot from each whistle. To get the best display, you should go there for 12 pm, Fergus and I didn’t get to see that unfortunately, but we loved the look of it anyway.
Flat Iron Building: You may have seen the Flat Iron building in New York. The Vancouver flatiron building is a lot smaller and not as well known haha, but still super cool and one of the most iconic buildings to see in Vancouver.
Vintage shopping in Gastown: Ohhh Vintage.. One of my biggest passions! Ever since I was a little girl I loved collecting vintage clothing, and when I was 18 I even opened my own Webshop and showroom with vintage clothing I had collected all over Europe. Unfortunately when I moved to London and had to study Fashion Styling full time, I had to close it down – which I still regret to this date. BUT, the passion have never left – so I therefor whenever I travel always look up where to find the best vintage shops. I found a pair of dreamy Levi’s jeans in the cutest vintage shop in Gastown, which you can see in my latest outfit post HERE.
Here’s is a few cool vintage shops in and around Gastown worth visiting:
Community thrift and vintage: Right next to our go-to coffee shop: Nelson The Seagull you will find my favourite vintage shop in Gastown called Community thrift and vintage. It’s adorable and have lots of good finds for a very affordable price. I bought a 100% silk shirt and the Levi’s jeans I keep telling you about for around 55 pounds, which is a really good price if you compare to London etc. You must go here if you come to Gastown!
Visit the best book shops: If you’ve been reading my blog for a while then you’ll know I love a good bookshop. I seem to end up going into one whenever I travel. If you too love a good bookshop then make sure to visit the bookshops in Gastown – Especially MacLeod’s Books was like walking into a Harry Potter movie set, where you had books laying all over the floor from the ground and up. No photography was allowed and you even had to place your bag by the counter while you had a look around. Great experience and such a wonderful “universe” or should I say treasure shop, to get lost in.
Vinyl shopping: I have been collecting vinyls for years and I used to always buy 1-2 new as a souvenir whoever I traveled to. Since my vinyl player is packed away in boxes, I haven’t bought any new once in a year or so – but hopefully when we find a beautiful home, I will start that tradition again.
Beat Street Record Shop: A cool urban vinyl shop since 1996 with new & used vinyl records, graffiti art supplies & DJ equipment.
Address: 439 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1L4, Canada
Interior shopping in Gastown: I have always had a BIG passion for homeware and interior design. Especially now when Fergus and I are talking a lot about our next steps together and constantly looking at properties, I can not help to daily pin lots of inspirational decor photos to my interior Pinterest board. Which is why I loved checking out all the adorable and very Scandinavian contemporary home decor, furniture, and design shops we stumbled across walking round Gastown.
My favourite coffee shops in Gastown
Coffee shops: Vancouver as a whole is pretty great for coffee, but Gastown has some of the best cafes! Not only do they do great coffee, but they are super cute inside too! Make sure to check out Vancouver fave Revolver, drink from those pretty blue cups at Prado and pop into Birds and Beets for a cute interior!
Nelson The Seagull: My all time favourite coffee shop in Vancouver. When I find a favourite coffee shop I am always very loyal, and love to come back to a place I adore and feel comfortable. From the moment I stepped through the door at Nelson The Seagull I felt at home. I had found my place!
The staff is super friendly and you can easily spend a whole day there with your laptop without feeling rushed out. When Fergus and I was in Vancouver we had quite a lot of work before heading to Hawaii, so we had to spend almost two whole days in front of our laptops, and that’s something you can easily do here.
This place has my name written all over it. The interior is incredible. Very spacious, high ceiling, beautiful ceramic flooring made cosy with a few big rugs, wooden vintage tables, industrial lamps and have this warm and homy feel.
One of the many things I love about this place is that it’s a bakery as well as a cafe. Here you can buy the most tasty and homemade sourdough bread, and the fact that the kitchen is open definitely adds to the whole experience, so you can see the bakers in action while they bake their famous bread.
When you go here you must try their chocolate sourdough bread with butter – it’s heavenly. Fergus enjoyed their sourdough bread with avocado and poached eggs, and I went for their muslii one day and their grainy salad the next. It was both so yummy, and makes me hungry after their food just thinking about it.
If you are an oat milk fan like us, then this place is for you. Both their iced Americano with oat milk and their flat white with oat milk was a must try!
I can not talk more highly about this place – you have to go and try for yourself. I know you will love it..
The Birds and The Beets: Another cute little coffee shop in Gastown. I love the décor, the friendly staff, and most especially their chicken sandwich. The iced coffee was delicious. I love the fact that they bake their own bread, and you can both see and taste that is it fresh & homemade. Yummy!
Revolver coffee shop: Fergus and I have heard a lot of good things about Revolver coffee but every time we passed by it was packed, so we decided just to have a look and come back another time. The café is adorable and have a cute outdoor bench too where you can sit, enjoy your coffee and the sunshine. It is a great coffee dripping place and should make some tasty matcha doughnuts and banana bread.
Nemesis coffee: Clean Scandinavian interior, servers some of best coffee in Vancouver and the food and pastries are excellent as well. They also win a lot on their super friendly staff!
Café di Beppe: Just round the corner from our favourite café Nelson The Seagull you will find café di Beppe which is also definitely worth a visit. Gorgeous interior with ceramic flooring, cute round tables and a bit or a Parisian vibe.
Finch’s Teahouse: Fergus and I were in a desperate need for an iced coffee to keep us going, so we decided to go visit the quirky and unique Finch’s Teahouse. It was such an adorable place with vintage gems everywhere. Sweet staff and a great place to relax while you watch the busy streets.
I hope you liked my tips on what to see and where to go in Gastown, Vancouver. I will share another blogpost within the next couple of days with tips on where to stay and where to eat.