Instagrammable Vancouver: 13 Spots to Snap the Perfect Picture

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These days, my travel itinerary is largely dictated by where I can snap a photo unique to the location I’m visiting. It’s like my approach to eating on vacation—I won’t eat somewhere that I could eat in my own city! :)

Regular blog readers will know I’m always on the look out for a good Instagrammable Wall, where I live and also where I travel. It started, as many things do these days, as a desire to find a nice photo “for the gram,” but it has since evolved into intentional neighbourhood exploration, discovering artists, and ultimately making memories. I’ve put together a bunch of ‘Guides to Instagrammable Walls‘ of different cities I’ve visited, and intend to map out more as I visit more places. 

I had considered creating a Guide to Instagrammable Walls of Vancouver but there are just so many Instagrammable Walls there, many in large part thanks to the Vancouver Mural Festival, and many, already mapped out thanks to the Vancouver Mural Festival Map, that I decided to go for a more broader ‘Instagrammable Vancouver’ guide that covers my most recent trip (October 2019), plus a couple spots I was able to visit during a #TELUS_Partner Creator Summit in Vancouver during the summer (June 2019). 

On my next visit to Vancouver I’d love to fully explore North Vancouver as well as all of the Vancouver Mural Festival’s Mount Pleasant row of walls! So really, this list literally only scratches the surface of Instagrammable spots in Vancouver but I think it’s a really solid place to start for your trip. 

Instagrammable Vancouver: 13 Spots to Snap the Perfect Picture

Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide
Share my Instagrammable Guide to 13 Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver!
1. The Digital Orca Whale
1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver, B.C.
 
Down by the Vancouver Convention Centre you’ll find a giant, pixelated orca whale, created by artist Douglas Coupland back in 2009. The “Digital Orca” sculpture is meant to “evoke everyday life of the harbour and the diversity of those workers on the working waterfronts of the Province.” 
 
Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Digital Orca Coal Harbour Waterfront
The Digital Orca is a stunning art piece by by Douglas Coupland at Vancouver's Waterfront.
The Digital Orca has a spot where you can step up and pose for a photo but it looks really cool from all angles, so be sure to make your way all around it for your pictures! 
Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Digital Orca Coal Harbour Waterfront
Snap photos of the Digital Orca from all angles!
2. The Colourful Alley Oop

GOOGLE MAPS LOCATION
688 W Hastings St., Vancouver, B.C.

Alley Oop is an amazing, surprising, colourful alley right in downtown Vancouver, the result of the “More Awesome Now” project to transform “utilitarian service corridors” into bright, playful spaces! 

The walls and ground in the alley have been painted yellow, purple, and orange and there’s also basketball hoops (hence the “alley oop!” name) and is just a really cool way for a city to reimagine spaces.

Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Alley Oop Mural Wall
Alley Oop is full of yellow, pinks and purple walls (and floors!)

Alley Oop was designed by HCMA Architecture + Design, in partnership with the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Business Improvement Association

And I love what Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association president Charles Gauthier said about the project:

“Laneways serve an important business function, but for a big part of the day they are underused and full of potential. So we asked, if we make our lanes more appealing, could they become public spaces? More Awesome Now is an experiment in turning laneways into places of discovery – friendly, accessible, and lively parts of the urban streetscape.”

More of this in all cities please! And more of this in more alleyways in Vancouver, please! 

Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Alley Oop Mural Wall
Yellow on yellow on yellow on yellow.
Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Alley Oop Mural Wall
Be sure to do an Alley Oop Photoshoot!
Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Alley Oop Mural Wall
More Awesome Now @ Alley Oop, Vancouver!
3. The Rainbow Jukebox

GOOGLE MAPS LOCATION
165 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, B.C.

While we were zipping around Vancouver, a flash of rainbow colours caught my eye. The colours were from the rainbow walls of a print shop called Jukebox Print! And this random stumble-upon rainbow Instagrammable Wall easily became one of my favourite spots we visited on this trip. 

Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in YVR Vancouver - British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Rainbow Wall
Rainbow Wall at Jukebox Print at 165 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, B.C.

I mean just LOOK AT IT! I’m obsessed. 

Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in YVR Vancouver - British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Rainbow Wall
Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in YVR Vancouver - British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Rainbow Wall
4. The Kitsilano Wings 

GOOGLE MAPS LOCATION
Burrard St. and West 4th Ave.

Perhaps one of Vancouver’s most popular Instagrammable Walls is the #KitsWings located in the awesome Kitsilano neighbourhood. These wings, by artists Steve and Sandy Pell back in 2017, are inspired by bald eagles that live near Kits Beach (they’re not actually angel wings like I first thought).

Kitsilano Vancouver Shop West 4th Ave - Hello BC - Explore British Columbia - Inside Vancouver - KitsWings Kitsilano Wings
You can't visit Kitsilano without stopping at the #KitsWings!

The 40-feet by 25-feet wings are basically located where a lot of the shops and restaurants of Kitsilano start. It’s a great area to spend your day, with the perfect Instagrammable photo op! 

Be sure to read my blog post about places to eat in Kitsilano!

Kitsilano Vancouver Shop West 4th Ave - Hello BC - Explore British Columbia - Inside Vancouver - KitsWings Kitsilano Wings
The Kitsilano Wings are soooo Instagrammable!
5. The Kitsilano Swing

GOOGLE MAPS LOCATION
Point Grey Park Site (off Cornwall Ave, near 2601 Point Grey Rd.)

While you’re in Kitsilano you’ve got to hit the beach but just west of the beach you’ll find another iconic Kitsilano photo op spot—the Kits Swing. It was once a secret but now there’s a Google Maps Location Marker for it so it’s not too hard to find. I saw a few photos of people on the swing and it looked SO MAGICAL, but unfortunately when we went, we realized the swing was way too high off the ground to easily get on, and with the tide being high, both Mike and my friend Pam didn’t want to get in to help boost me up lol. You can still get a pretty cute photo even if you’re not on the swing (see below), but it’s definitely cuter ON the swing (like my Edmonton Swing photos!) 

Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Kitsilano Swing - Kitsilano Beach
I was too short to get on the Kitsilano Swing but this still made for a cute photo! lol
Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Kitsilano Swing - Kitsilano Beach
Many attempts to get on the swing...
Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Kitsilano Swing - Kitsilano Beach
Bring a step stool or have a friend be willing to lift you!

So my main tip is to either bring a step stool (lol), make sure you go with people who are willing to lift you up onto the swing, and make sure you’re wearing appropriate beach/water footwear, lol. 

Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Kitsilano Swing - Kitsilano Beach
The area all around the Kits Swing is really nice and Instagrammable too!
6. The Gastown Steam Clock

GOOGLE MAPS LOCATION
305 Water St., Vancouver, B.C.

In Vancouver’s cobblestone Gastown neighbourhood, the city’s original downtown, you’ll find the Gastown Steam Clock. The Gastown Steam Clock was built in 1977 and is a very Vancouver landmark.

Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Gastown Steam Clock
The iconic Gastown Steam Clock looks even better at night! (There's also less people around).

Visit the partially steam-powered Gastown Steam Clock later on a weeknight when lights are lit all around the clock and there’s hardly anyone or cars on the streets. It whistles every 15 minutes. 

Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Gastown Steam Clock
The Steam Clock in Gastown is a must-see + snap.
Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Gastown Steam Clock
The Gastown Steam Clock photographs well at all angles.
7. The ‘Thirsty’ Instagrammable Wall

GOOGLE MAPS LOCATION
2015 Main St., Vancouver, B.C.

There are a serious amount of murals all around Main Street / the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood of Vancouver thanks to the Vancouver Mural Festival. This one entitled “Thirsty” is a 2019 piece by an artist who goes by “@ihatestencils” on Instagram. It’s located in the alley behind WeWork on 2015 Main St. (not their Burrard location). 

I loved the commentary of this mural and knew we didn’t have much time for mural hopping during our trip so I had to be selective about which murals we were able to visit and I knew I wanted one with this selfie, verified, hashtag, ‘thirsty’ for the digital likes piece. It turns out this artist also created the now-iconic kid crying because of 0 social media engagement piece so I thought it was really cool to be able to see another work by @ihatestencils! 

Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Thirsty Mural by ihatestencils Van Mural Fest
"Thirsty" by @ihatestencils, a Vancouver Mural Festival project.
Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Thirsty Mural by ihatestencils Van Mural Fest
VERIFY MIKE!
Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Thirsty Mural by ihatestencils Van Mural Fest
VERIFY ME!
8. The Vancouver City Skyline 

I remember when Mike and I first visited Vancouver a few years ago together and were in awe at its towering well, towers. lol. The skyline, the downtown, it feels like such a big, bustling metropolis. 

That’s why any visit to Vancouver deserves a skyline shot! Whether it’s from your hotel patio (we stayed at the Fairmont Waterfront for our most recent trip and were upgraded to Fairmont Gold, where we got access to their private lounge and terrace!) Or from your bed in your room (photo from when I stayed at The Westin Grand for the #TELUS_Partner Creator Summit earlier this summer!)

Fairmont Hotels Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver Hello BC Explore British Columbia
Strike a pose surrounded by Vancouver's gorgeous skyline!
Gotta love that YVR skyline view! from The Westin Grand.
9. The ‘I Only Have Pie For You’ Instagrammable Wall 

GOOGLE MAPS LOCATION
1864 West 4th Ave., Vancouver, B.C.

I love when an Instagrammable Wall suits the business of the wall its on, but is also relatable in general. That was the case with The Pie Hole in Kitsilano, where you’ll find an ‘I Only Have Pie For You’ wall on the shop’s exterior, and also a bunch of catchy saying murals inside too. Plus, real good sweet and savoury pies.

Be sure to read my blog post about places to eat in Kitsilano!

Kitsilano Vancouver Shop West 4th Ave - Hello BC - Explore British Columbia - Inside Vancouver - The Pie Hole
The Pie Hole's Instagrammable Wall caught my eye!
Kitsilano Vancouver Shop West 4th Ave - Hello BC - Explore British Columbia - Inside Vancouver - The Pie Hole
Real cute indoor Instagrammable Walls at The Pie Hole too.
10. Geometric Mountain & Forest Instagrammable Wall

GOOGLE MAPS LOCATION
812 East Cordova St., Vancouver, B.C.

My friend Mike Morrison (not to be confused with my husband Mike Brown lol) spent some time exploring Instagrammable Walls with me when we were both in Vancouver in June for the TELUS Creator Summit. 

We ducked out of a session because we had spotted some walls down an alleyway and ended up at this gorgeous, gorgeous 3,000-square foot mural entitled “Traverse” by artist Elyse Dodge.

Vancouver Mural Festival - Elyse Dodge - Instagrammable Walls - Explore British Columbia - Downtown Vancouver
This Instagrammable Wall by Elyse Dodge is located at 812 East Cordova St., Vancouver B.C.

According to the artist, the geometric mountain and forest depicts Squamish Valley and the Chief Mountain. It was created for the Vancouver Mural Festival.

Some other fun facts about this amazing Instagrammable Wall: it took 19 days from start (including concept) to finish and it features 128 paint colours!

Vancouver Mural Festival - Elyse Dodge - Instagrammable Walls - Explore British Columbia - Downtown Vancouver
Obsessed with this geometric mountain / forest mural by artist Elyse Dodge!
11. The English Bay Sea Wall and Inukshuk

GOOGLE MAPS LOCATION
1700 Beach Ave., Vancouver, B.C

English Bay Beach is Vancouver’s most popular downtown beach destination and features a lovely Inukshuk sculpture by artist Alvin Kanak.The Inukshuk is 6-meters high and weighs 31,500 kg and was built in 1986 as part of a North West Territories pavilion for Expo 86.

You could stroll along the shore or take Pedego e-bikes around like we did.

On my next visit, I’d like to get to the Stanley Park Sea Wall which I’m sure is also highly Instagrammable! 

Kitsilano Vancouver Shop West 4th Ave - Hello BC - Explore British Columbia - Inside Vancouver - Pedego E-Bike Rentals
Find the Inukshuk by Alvin Kanak at English Bay Beach in Vancouver.
Kitsilano Vancouver Shop West 4th Ave - Hello BC - Explore British Columbia - Inside Vancouver - Pedego E-Bike Rentals
English Bay Sea Wall is super cute.
12. Downtown Vancouver from an Outdoor Pool

The Vancouver City Skyline is great and all, but even better from an outdoor hotel pool, amirite? And like my skyline locations, I’d recommend the Fairmont Waterfront for a great outdoor pool spot (I also want to try the nearby Fairmont Pacific Rim and their outdoor pool!) or The Westin Grand’s outdoor pool.

Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - The Westin Grand Outdoor Pool Downtown
Outdoor pool + city Skyline vibes from The Westin Grand.
Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Fairmont Waterfront Outdoor Pool
Lovely outdoor pool + patio at the Fairmont Waterfront.
13. Grouse Mountain

GOOGLE MAPS LOCATION
6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, B.C.

Finally, at least, for now, the last Instagrammable spot for your Vancouver visit should be on top of Grouse Mountain! Grouse Mountain is located just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver (there’s actually free shuttles from the waterfront too), and is chock full of cool spots—on the rooftop of the Super Skyride, among some Birds in Motion, on their Mountain Ropes aerial ropes course adventure, near their rescued bears or soaring through forest and over water on the Grouse Mountain ziplines!

All things I got to do at the TELUS Creator Summit in June. SO FUN! 

Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Grouse Mountain Ziplining
Grouse Mountain has a bunch of Instagrammable locations!
Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide - Grouse Mountain Adventure Park
Grouse Mountain has a bunch of Instagrammable locations!
Grouse Mountain - Skyride - North Vancouver - Instagrammable Travel Explore British Columbia
You can stand on top of the Grouse Mountain Skyride! So cool.

I hope you found my guide useful. I can’t wait to get back and find even more great spots. 

Please let me know if you have other Instagrammable spots you’d recommend for a visit to Vancouver! 

You might also be interested in my other Vancouver blog posts: 

Instagrammable Vancouver - Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver British Columbia - Murals - Scenic - Hello BC - Travel Guide
Share my Instagrammable Guide to 13 Picture Perfect Spots in Vancouver!

Linda

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Disclaimer: Activities during my #TELUS_Partner TELUS Creator Summit in Vancouver including stay at The Westin Grand were complimentary courtesy of TELUS, as part of the summit. Mike and I got to stay at the Fairmont Waterfront Fairmont Gold at a media rate during our October trip. And our Pedego e-bike rentals were also complimentary. This does not impact opinions stated in this post. I loved all the Vancouver exploration i got to do!! 

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