12 Best Things to Do in Vancouver When it Rains: Cozy Indoors and Rainy Day Adventures

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Vancouver When it Rains
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Ready to uncover the best attractions and things to do in Vancouver when it’s raining? From cozy coffee shops to intriguing museums, we’re about to dive into the city’s top rainy day escapes.

Ahh Vancouver, a gem in British Columbia! When the rain starts to pour, and trust me, it does, the city doesn’t hit the pause button. Instead, it opens up a whole new world of cool, cozy, and downright fun things to do.

I’ve wandered through its rain-soaked streets more times than I can count, finding hidden gems and well-loved spots that turn a gray day into a vibrant adventure. From ducking into the warm embrace of coffee shops to uncovering the city’s cultural treasures, there’s no shortage of fun places to visit in Vancouver on a rainy day, making it one of the top places to live and visit in Canada.

Wondering what to do in Vancouver when it rains? You’re in the right place. I’m about to share some of my top picks that promise to keep you entertained, inspired, and maybe a little bit drier. Grab your favorite raincoat, and let’s dive into what makes Vancouver shine, even when the sun decides to take a break. Whether you’re a local or flying to Vancouver, these activities have got you covered.

The top places to visit in Vancouver when it rains

Best places to visit in Vancouver on a rainy day

In Vancouver, where rain is a regular part of life, there’s no shortage of ways to make the most of those drizzly days, showcasing the beauty of Canada. In this guide, I’m excited to show you all the incredible things to do in Vancouver on a rainy day.

From cozying up in some of Vancouver’s best coffee shops to exploring world-class museums, Vancouver offers endless opportunities for fun, regardless of the weather. Let’s dive into what makes Vancouver a fantastic place to explore, come rain or shine!

1. Visit the Vancouver Aquarium

Heading to the Vancouver Aquarium on a rainy day is like stepping into another world. Trust me, there’s something magical about watching the marine life while the rain taps on the windows outside. Situated in the heart of Stanley Park, the aquarium offers a chance to get up close with some of the ocean’s most fascinating creatures.

First off, the jellyfish exhibit is mesmerizing. Floating like otherworldly dancers, they’re a must-see. And the otters? Adorable doesn’t even start to cover it. Watching them play and swim around is a heartwarming experience that’ll make you forget all about the weather outside.

I always recommend catching a feeding time or a talk. It’s a fantastic way to learn something new and see the animals at their most active. Plus, the staff here are super knowledgeable and passionate—it’s contagious!

And here’s a little tip: don’t rush through. Take your time at each exhibit, really soak it in. There’s a café inside where you can grab a hot drink. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and reflect on the wonders you’ve just seen.

Exploring the Vancouver Aquarium is one of the coolest things to do in Vancouver when it rains. It’s an unforgettable way to spend a rainy day in the city, proving that a little water from the sky only adds to the aquatic allure.

Vancouver Aquarium is one of the best things to do in Vancouver when it rains.
Visiting the Vancouver Aquarium on a rainy day in Stanley Park feels like entering a magical underwater world,.

2. Explore Granville Island

Rainy days in Vancouver have a secret silver lining, and it’s called Granville Island. This place is a vibrant, bustling hub of creativity and delicious food, no matter the weather. Imagine wandering through the Public Market, where the colors of fresh produce and the aromas of baked goods and gourmet foods blend into a sensory feast. It’s the perfect antidote to a grey day.

One of my favorite things to do here is to dive into the art scene. The island is dotted with galleries and artisan studios. From glassblowing to metalwork, the artistry on display is inspiring. It’s like a live Pinterest board—you can’t help but feel motivated to create something yourself.

Don’t skip the food. Whether it’s grabbing a piping hot coffee from one of the local cafes or sitting down for a hearty meal at one of the island’s esteemed eateries, the food scene here is a foodie’s dream come true. And if you’re up for a little adventure, why not catch a live performance at one of the theaters?

Granville Island shines on a rainy day, offering a cozy refuge filled with wonders. It’s one of the best places to visit in Vancouver on a rainy day, proving that a little water from the sky only adds to the charm. Grab your umbrella and let your curiosity lead the way!

Head to Granville Island's Public Market for a vibrant, delicious escape from the grey.
Head to Granville Island’s Public Market for a vibrant, delicious escape from the grey.

3. Enjoy High Tea at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Picture this: outside, the rain patters against the windows in a steady, soothing rhythm. Inside, you’re wrapped in the elegance and warmth of The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, about to indulge in a High Tea experience that feels like a cozy embrace from the city itself. High Tea here is not just about the food and tea. It’s an experience, a ritual that transports you to a world of quiet luxury and charm.

The setting is as grand as you’d expect. You’re surrounded by elegance, but the vibe is welcoming, not stuffy. In terms of teas, they’ve got everything from your trusty Earl Grey to some wild flavors you’ve probably never heard of. And the food is a whole other level of delicious. Their scones with cream and jam are heavenly.

What I love most about this experience is the sense of pause it gives you. There’s no rush here. It’s a chance to slow down, savor each sip and bite, and really soak in the moment. Whether you’re catching up with friends or treating yourself to a solo adventure, High Tea at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver offers a perfect blend of comfort and indulgence.

And here’s a tip: try to get a window seat. There’s nothing quite like watching the rain while you’re all cozied up with a cup of tea in hand. High Tea here is one of the coolest things to do in Vancouver on a rainy day, making it a memorable, luxurious escape at one of the unique restaurants in the city that elevates a simple day out.

Imagine rain tapping on the windows as you find refuge in The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
Imagine rain tapping on the windows as you find refuge in The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

4. Discover the Museum of Anthropology

On a typical rainy Vancouver day, the Museum of Anthropology becomes my go-to hideout. It’s a vibrant place where you get to see, feel, and even interact with history and cultures from around the globe. Think massive totem poles, intricate carvings, and stunning indigenous artworks that tell stories of times and places far beyond our own.

Inside, it’s like stepping into a different world where each artifact has a tale to whisper in your ear. You can’t miss the Great Hall. It’s got these huge windows that somehow make the rain part of the exhibit – it’s pretty cool.

Now, don’t just stick to the inside. Even in the rain, the outdoor exhibits have a certain magic. Picture yourself exploring traditional Indigenous structures with the sound of raindrops accompanying you. It’s definitely an experience.

Here’s a tip from me: don’t rush. Wander from one display to the next and really let it all sink in. Every time I visit, I find something new that I missed before. It’s one of those places where you can visit a hundred times and still feel like you’ve barely scratched the surface.

So, if you’re wondering where to go in Vancouver on a rainy day, the Museum of Anthropology should be at the top of your list. It’s a chance to dive deep into a world of stories and wonders.

Escape the rain at the Museum of Anthropology—an immersive hideout showcasing global history and cultures.
Escape the rain in Vancouver at the Museum of Anthropology—an immersive hideout showcasing global history and cultures.

5. Cozy Up in Revolver for a Coffee Tasting Experience

Looking for a cozy spot on a rainy Vancouver day? Head to Revolver for a coffee experience that’ll make you forget about the weather. This place is all about discovering the world of coffee in a relaxed, welcoming environment.

The coffee selection here is top-notch, catering to all tastes. You get to try coffees from different places side by side, which is pretty cool if you ask me. It’s not expensive, so you can explore without worrying about your wallet.

I suggest popping by on a weekday if you. It’s quieter, giving you the space to really dive into the tasting experience. Plus, there’s a charm to finding your cozy corner while the city hustles by outside.

For anyone new to the coffee game, Revolver is a great place to start. The tasting experience is fun and eye-opening, and the atmosphere is just right for a rainy day. Plus, their hot drinks are a perfect pick-me-up when you’re feeling damp and chilly.

Without a doubt, Revolver is one of Vancouver’s best coffee shops. it’s a place to relax, enjoy, and maybe learn something new about coffee. It’s one of my favorite things to do in Vancouver when it rains, and I think you’ll love it too.

Visit Revolver for a coffee experience that transcends the weather.
Visit Revolver for a coffee experience that transcends the weather.

6. Catch an Indie Film at The Rio Theatre

For a unique twist to your rainy Vancouver days, why not catch an indie film at The Rio Theatre? This spot is a local favorite, offering a cozy refuge from the drizzle with its eclectic mix of movies, from cult classics to the latest indie gems.

My first trip to The Rio was on a whim, and it turned out to be a highlight of my rainy day adventures. The vibe is retro cool, making you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Despite this, the selection of films is as current as it gets. Whether you’re into thought-provoking documentaries or off-the-wall comedies, The Rio has you covered. And the ticket prices are pretty reasonable, which is always a win in my book.

Heading there during a weekday evening is my pro tip. It’s less crowded, giving you the best pick of seats and a more intimate viewing experience. Plus, there’s something about watching a film while it’s pouring outside that just feels right.

Don’t have someone to go with? No problem. The atmosphere at The Rio is welcoming. It’s easy to enjoy the experience on your own. And who knows? You might just meet some fellow movie buffs.

When you’re compiling your Vancouver things to do in the rain list, remember to include The Rio Theatre. Believe me, you won’t regret a visit here!

Add a unique touch to your rainy Vancouver days—catch an indie film at The Rio Theatre.
Add a unique touch to your rainy Vancouver days—catch an indie film at The Rio Theatre.

Rainy day got you down? The Vancouver Art Gallery is the perfect pick-me-up. It’s like a cozy blanket of culture and color.

I stumbled upon this place one wet afternoon and wow, what a find! It’s not just looking at paintings; it’s an adventure through history and back. You’ve got everything from quiet corners with classic pieces to rooms that practically buzz with contemporary energy.

I recommend visiting on a weekday morning. It’s quieter, and you get to take your time without a crowd. Honestly, it feels like you have the place to yourself. And don’t worry if you’re not an art expert. There’s something here for everyone, and it’s all about seeing what catches your eye.

Don’t skip the gallery café. Trust me, it’s the cherry on top. It’s a great spot to chill and chat about your favorite finds. Plus, sipping coffee while watching the rain? Priceless.

If you’re looking for young adult activities in Vancouver on a rainy day, the Art Gallery is a solid choice. It’s not just shelter from the rain – it’s a whole world to explore.

Boost your spirits at the Vancouver Art Gallery—a cozy cultural haven.
Boost your spirits at the Vancouver Art Gallery—a cozy cultural haven.

8. Explore the Bloedel Conservatory

Ditch the umbrella and step into the Bloedel Conservatory, where it’s summer all year round. This glass dome is a slice of tropical bliss right in Vancouver, filled with lush plants and exotic birds that make you forget the drizzle outside.

It’s the perfect chill spot with friends or even solo. Wandering through this green haven, you’ll bump into colorful parrots and maybe even a lazy turtle or two. It’s fun, it’s laid-back, and best of all, it won’t empty your wallet.

Here’s a little insider advice: aim for an early visit. There’s something special about having this tropical oasis all to yourself, with just the soundtrack of birds to keep you company. It’s the calmest way to start a day, trust me.

For those rainy days when you’re out of ideas, the Bloedel Conservatory is a winner. It’s easily one of the best places to go in Vancouver when it rains.

Trade the umbrella for year-round summer at the Bloedel Conservatory—a tropical haven with lush plants and exotic birds.
Trade the umbrella for year-round summer at the Bloedel Conservatory—a tropical haven with lush plants and exotic birds.

9. Attend a Cooking Class at The Dirty Apron Cooking School

Let’s dive into something deliciously different for your next rainy Vancouver day: a cooking class at The Dirty Apron Cooking School. Ever thought you could whip up gourmet dishes? This place makes it possible, and fun too!

Here’s the deal: The Dirty Apron isn’t just about learning to cook. It’s about having a blast while you’re at it. The classes are hands-on, which means you’re not just watching – you’re doing. And the vibe? Super welcoming. You’ll feel like a chef in no time, even if your cooking skills are more microwave dinners than MasterChef.

Bringing a buddy along makes it an adventure, but flying solo is just as cool. You’ll meet folks who are just as excited (and maybe nervous) about cooking as you are. It’s all about laughing at your mistakes and high-fiving your culinary wins.

Make sure to check out their themed classes. From Italian nights to sushi making, it’s your ticket to becoming a global chef without leaving the city. Plus, you get to eat what you make, which is the best part, right?

Hunting for cool things to do on a rainy day in Vancouver? The Dirty Apron Cooking School offers a tasty escape. Beyond cooking, it’s about crafting memories with every dish. Ready to transform a dreary day into a delicious adventure?

Spice up your rainy day in Vancouver with a cooking class at The Dirty Apron Cooking School.
Spice up your rainy day in Vancouver with a cooking class at The Dirty Apron Cooking School.

10. Enjoy a Spa Day at Miraj Hammam Spa

A rainy day in Vancouver is the perfect excuse to indulge in a spa day at Miraj Hammam Spa. Imagine stepping out of the chill and into a world where warmth and relaxation are the orders of the day. It’s one of the best rainy day attractions in Vancouver that transports you far from the drizzly streets outside.

Walking into Miraj Hammam Spa, you’re greeted by an atmosphere that whispers relaxation. From steam rooms that cleanse your worries away to massages that feel like they’re kneading away the cold, it’s a haven for anyone looking to unwind. And let’s not forget the treatments – they’re like a passport to bliss.

If you’re planning to make this your rainy day retreat, consider booking on a weekday. It’s a more intimate experience, where the peace and quiet deepen the sense of relaxation. Plus, exploring the spa’s variety of treatments, from traditional Hammam and Gommage to massages that seem to transport you to another world, becomes even more personal.

To make the most of your visit, why not pair a steam session with one of their signature massages or facials? It’s the perfect recipe for rejuvenation.

Remember, Miraj Hammam Spa isn’t just about the treatments. It’s about taking a moment for yourself, to breathe and relax deeply. On a rainy day in Vancouver, it offers a warm embrace, promising not just a break from the weather but a pause for your soul.

Escape to Miraj Hammam Spa for warmth, relaxation, and a perfect retreat from the drizzle.
Escape to Miraj Hammam Spa for warmth, relaxation, and a perfect retreat from the drizzle.

11. Take a Brewery Tour at Granville Island Brewing

Taking a brewery tour at Granville Island Brewing on a rainy Vancouver day is like discovering a hidden gem where the vibe is as inviting as the brews. It’s a place where the passion for beer is matched only by the friendliness of the folks who work there.

Right off the bat, you’ll notice it’s not your average brewery. The atmosphere is laid-back, and the staff make you feel like you’re an old friend, even if it’s your first visit. Tasting their lineup of beers is fantastic. Each one is unique, from crisp lagers to hoppy IPAs.

If you can, aim for their special event nights or tasting sessions. They often host unique brewery events that give you a deeper dive into the craft beer world. These events are gems, offering experiences you can’t get any other day.

Before you head out, make sure to grab a growler of your favorite brew to take home. It’s a tasty souvenir that keeps the Granville Island Brewing experience going. For anyone looking to add a splash of fun to their rainy day in Vancouver, this brewery tour is a must-do.

Explore a hidden gem on a rainy day in Vancouver with a brewery tour at Granville Island Brewing.
Explore a hidden gem on a rainy day in Vancouver with a brewery tour at Granville Island Brewing.

12. Shop at Pacific Centre

On those typical rainy days in Vancouver, Pacific Centre becomes a go-to spot not just for shopping but for enjoying a day out without spending a penny. It’s a perfect place for anyone searching for free things to do in Vancouver when it rains. The mall’s vast expanse is for casual strolls, window shopping, and soaking in the lively atmosphere of the city indoors.

Diving into Pacific Centre, you’ll find it’s a maze of wonders. You can wander from shop to shop, admiring the latest trends and gadgets, all while staying snug and dry. And here’s something you might not expect: tucked away are little indoor gardens, serene spots where you can pause and enjoy a moment of tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle.

If you’re up for a bit of people-watching or simply want to rest your feet, the food court offers the perfect vantage point. It’s spacious, with plenty of seating, allowing you to take in the mall’s vibrant energy.

Don’t forget to swing by the smaller, local shops scattered throughout the mall. They often have unique items you won’t find anywhere else.

Pacific Centre is one of the best things to do in Vancouver when it rains.
Pacific Centre is ideal for casual strolls, window shopping, and enjoying the city’s lively atmosphere.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the best things to do in Vancouver on a rainy day:

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Vancouver on a rainy day? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you decide what to do in Vancouver when it rains.

Does it rain a lot in Vancouver?

Yes, it does rain quite a bit in Vancouver. The city is known for its wet weather, especially during the fall and winter months. It’s a good idea to have a raincoat or umbrella handy most of the year.

What month is the rainiest in Vancouver?

The rainiest month in Vancouver is usually November. This is when you’ll see the most rainfall, making it a great time for traveling to Canada and enjoying indoor activities or exploring the city’s cozy cafes.

People walking on a bridge in Vancouver under the rain.
People walking on a bridge in Vancouver under the rain.

Is Vancouver as rainy as Seattle?

Vancouver and Seattle share a similar reputation for rain, but they’re pretty close in terms of how much they get. Sometimes one might be a bit rainier than the other, but overall, they both see a lot of rainy days.

Is Vancouver the rainiest city in Canada?

Vancouver isn’t the rainiest city in Canada; that title often goes to cities on the East Coast, like Halifax or St. John’s. Vancouver does get its fair share of rain, but there are definitely places in Canada that see more.

The top things to do in Vancouver when it rains for all types of travelers
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