How to Experience Vancouver like a Local

A view of the city of Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Depending on who you ask, Vancouver can be many things—an incredible hike, mesmerizing street art, unforgettable night downtown, coffee on the go, a splendid dish of ramen, etc. One thing is for sure, Vancouver is worth visiting. But, you already know that—that is why you are here reading this article. However, what you don’t know is how to experience Vancouver like a local, right? 

It doesn’t matter whether you just moved to Vancouver or whether you are just planning a two-day trip to this Canadian town—you can experience it like a local. You just have to do what locals do! We will help you out with that, without a doubt. Thus, before you put on your walking shoes, give this article a read—it is full of tips on how to experience local like a pro. 

Getting Around Vancouver 

Vancouver has the best of both worlds—a metropolitan city vibe and a breathtaking nature. So, it just goes without saying that it is here, in Vancouver, where you can experience the true spirit of Canada! But, in order for you to do that, first, you have to find a way to get around this gigantic city. If you ask the locals, they will tell you to either come with your own car or rent one as soon as you arrive. 

However, even though a car is the best way to experience Vancouver like a local, it is also the most expensive way. So, if you don’t want to overspend, you can turn to other transportation options (which are also used by the locals). For instance, you can take the bus or the Skytrain, or, if the weather is nice, you can rent a bike or a Mobi bike. Don’t run away from bikes—you can explore the entire city on them, just follow the bike lanes!

 

A woman riding a bike.
Riding a bike may be your best way to experience Vancouver like a local

Eat Where Locals Eat 

No trip is complete without trying out the local food and drinks. So, again, if you want to experience Vancouver like a local, this is something you have to do. And, don’t worry, even if you are the pickiest eater in the world, you will find something here. It is a known fact that everyone, and their mothers and grandmothers, agrees that the city of Vancouver has some of the best scenes not only in Canada but in the entire world.

The food in Vancouver is diverse and delicious, and once you try it, you will want to stay here forever. Many people have—especially those from Toronto! Well, who can blame them? All they had to do to eat this tasty food for the rest of their lives was hire good movers who planned their long-distance move and an easy transfer from Toronto to Vancouver. 

But, let us go back to the food scene in Vancouver. Here, you can try anything from Italian to Chinese, from processed to organic, cheap to expensive. Because there are so many options, we decided to share some specific places you simply have to try out. And we did a thorough check—all of these places are loved by the locals. So, check out the following:  

  • Stevenson Pizza Company (for seafood pizza) 
  • Jinya Ramen Bar (for ramen, of course) 
  • Fable Diner (for comfort food) 
  • Chancho (for tortillas) 
  • Phnom Penh (for chicken wings) 
  • Kishimoto Japanese Kitchen 
  • La Mezcaleria (for Mexican food) 

Don’t Miss Out on the Beer

Yes, you have different beers wherever you go. So, what makes Vancouver’s beer different? Well, it is healthier and tastier than any other beer you have ever tried. This is because it was made from local ingredients and in local microbreweries. Thus, when you sit at one of those previously mentioned food places, be sure to order a pint. Trust us, even if you are not a beer lover, you will love these ones. 

However, if you are a beer lover, you should go on one of many beer tours (Vancouver Brewery Tour, Canadian Craft Tour, Vancouver Toonie Tour, etc.). These tours will take you to several local breweries where you will be able to try some of the best craft beer. And, you will even get a glass as a souvenir. All insider’s guides to Canada and Vancouver will advise you the same—beer tours are not only great for trying out different beers. They are also great for visiting the city’s outskirts, meeting the locals, and trying local finger food specialties. 

Two women drinking beer and laughing.
Don’t hesitate to join beer tours-locals go on them too!

Do Something Fun

As previously mentioned, Vancouver is a huge city. And as such, it is full of fun places and fun things you can do both as a tourist and as a local. But, as you are here, wondering how to experience Vancouver like a local, you are probably looking for something in between. No need to worry; we got you covered. 

First, we suggest visiting some of Vancouver’s neighborhoods. For instance, Gastown is great for enjoying Canadian architecture; Mount Pleasant is perfect for eating, drinking, and shopping; Chinatown is perfect for everything Asian. And, if you are into natural things, that is, if you prefer hiking, picnicking, and other outdoor adventures, consider going to Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Grind, The Chief Hike, Stanley Park Seawall, English Bay, etc. You will certainly have fun while visiting these.

Just before going, don’t forget to follow those essential tips for essential travels even though you are trying to act like a local. That is, be sure to do research on the place you are going to and pack your backpack accordingly. In most cases, that means packing your comfortable shoes, sun protection, and a big bottle of water. 

A rocky shore during sunset—a way to experience Vancouver like a local
Vancouver’s nature is something you should not miss out on.

And, Do Something Kind

Okay, you have been eating and drinking, and you have been neighborhood hopping and exploring the great outdoors of Vancouver. And, now, all that is left to finish your Vancouver journey is to do something kind. That is, to do something that will support the city and all its artists

A great way to show your support is to pay a visit to one of the many art galleries and studios where locals display their art. Or, check out the street performers—they are on every corner. Buy something from them and praise their work. Doing this will help them and will enrich you! And, it will help you experience Vancouver like a local. 

Best Places to Throw a Party in Dubai

Dubai is one of the world’s ultimate places to party. So if you’re planning to throw a party or organize an unforgettable event in Dubai, the real task is not to find a venue but to pick the perfect venue among the lot. No matter if you’re looking for an actual party hall or an elegant venue or a quirky destination, we’ve compiled and categorized the best places to throw a party in Dubai.

OPEN-AIR VENUES

Jumeirah Golf Estates

With an extensive ballroom that accommodates 200 plus guests and outdoor terraces overlooking the golf course, this is one of the best venues in Dubai for an incredible outdoor party. Moreover, it comes with all staples of a memorable event including dance floor, AV screen, sound system, buffet menu and food arrangements.

The Lebanon Island

Be it for a relaxed or a stylish party, this marvellous venue is complete with both indoor and outdoor party spaces. This is a true hidden gem which is tucked away in the Dubai’s World Islands. You can hire its facilities alone or the whole island if you wish to add more privacy to your intimate event.

Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club

This ultimate venue for horse riding in Dubai is also a sought-after party spot. Placed in proximity to Arabian Ranches, it boasts a variety of indoor and outdoor venues by way of terrace, lawns, and courtyards.

Desert Safari

Bring a unique twist to your party by throwing it amidst the timeless desert dunes. Yes, it’s possible to plan a private desert safari Dubai which is exclusively designed for you and your guests. Most service providers give you the flexibility to customize the desert party as per your distinct theme or requirements.

BEACH BASHES

Barasti

This is the go-to destination for an electrifying high-energy party in Dubai. This cool yet eclectic beach venue is a part of Le Meridian Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina.

Cove Beach

This beach club may have a new location now as it shifted from Jumeirah Beach Hotel to its current venue in Caesars Palace (Bluewaters Island). But, it’s still one of Dubai’s favourite party spots, with a private beach access plus all facilities such as cabanas, Jacuzzis, live music, superb food and drink choices and more.

Zero Gravity

No list of beach party venues in Dubai is complete without a mention of Zero Gravity. The gorgeous beach-front settings along with top-notch partying facilities make it second to none.

Riva

If you are looking for a secluded yet stunning spot for your beach party, Riva Beach Club on Palm Jumeirah won’t disappoint you. The access to white beaches, a massive pool and several dining options ensure that you’ll have a mind-blowing setting for your beach party.

PARTY CRUISES

Dhow Cruise

Dhow cruise in Dubai Creek or Dubai Marina is unmissable in Dubai. But did you know that this also makes a classic venue for Dubai parties? It’s easy to pick a dhow as per the scope and scale of your event or party. You can easily customize your cruise party with your desired dining options and entertainment activities onboard. The bonus is its awe-inspiring ambience surrounded by water and of course the imposing views over the city skyline.

Yacht Party

Want to give a more contemporary twist to your cruise party in Dubai? You can’t go wrong with a party aboard a stylish yacht. You can hire a sleek modern yacht (complete with all high-end comforts and party essentials) for a few hours or even for a whole day.

RESTAURANTS & BARS

Karma Kafé

Karma Kafé at Downtown Dubai’s Souk Al Bahar is an amazing party venue complemented by great food and ambience. With direct views of the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa) and one-of-its-kind Dubai Fountain show, it boasts of all right elements to make your event a grand success.

Shades

There is something extraordinary about this lounge within Address Dubai Marina. The sumptuous array of international cuisines and dining arrangements set by a massive infinity pool, plus striking views over the cityscape, make it an unrivalled space for corporate or family gatherings.

Burger & Lobster

This dining venue at DIFC is already a favourite of the aficionados of burgers and lobster specialties. But little is known to many that it also a great place for casual, fun-filled gatherings.

The Backyard

This spot at Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay allows you to win over your guests with its exquisite location along the Dubai Water Canal. Besides great food, it especially stands out for its terrace featuring cool street art.

DREAM & ICONIC VENUES

The Raffles

It doesn’t matter what kind of event you’re planning to throw – Raffles Dubai caters to every interest. Be it anniversaries, birthdays, wedding receptions or corporate events, Raffles Dubai is well equipped to host events of all scales, thanks to their dedicated wedding planners plus exclusive venues such as Raffles Garden and ballrooms.

Burj Al Arab

This sail-shaped hotel is considered the world’s only hotel with seven-star comforts and this is reflected in its party venues too. One of the most popular among them is Al Falak Ballroom whose setting is inspired by an 18th century Vienna style opera house. Then there is Suha Boardroom with top-notch business meeting facilities and Tameen Majlis (ideal for informal gatherings), among others. For a closer look at the Burj Al Arab, here’s my post from my visit – Dubai – New & Old.

Atlantis, The Palm

From a fairy-tale wedding to a themed birthday party event to an impeccable corporate event, the palatial-style Atlantis, The Palm resort is supremely versatile when it comes to partying options. While its venues such as the Atlantis Ball Room can accommodate up to 2000 guests at a time, its many indoor and outdoor spaces including Royal Beach, Private Beach, and Royal Terrace is suitable for small, intimate parties. Moreover, its varied segments like Aquaventure Waterpark, Dolphin Bay, Ossiano and the Lost Chambers Aquarium would take your party to the next level.

InterContinental Dubai Festival City

With a total of 19 breakout rooms complemented by most advanced facilities, the Event Centre at InterContinental Dubai Festival allows you to throw both grand and small parties. It spans over an area of about 5000 square meters and comes with the capacity to seat over 1300 people.

The Address Dubai Mall

Located right next to celebrated Dubai sights such as Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall, it’s a surefire destination to throw your dream party in Dubai. Depending on your party needs, you can choose from Diamond Ballroom (600 seater), Sapphire Meeting Room, and Ruby and Emerald Meeting Room (24 to 70 guests).

Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa

Now if you wish to celebrate your special day or occasion away from the bright lights and crowds of Dubai, this marvelous desert resort (right in the center of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve) offers some incredible venues to make your event truly astonishing.

KIDS’ FAVORITES

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater World

If you want to delight to delight your little ones on their special day, count on the diverse birthday party packages available at this renowned aquarium inside the world’s biggest mall (Dubai Mall). From Under the Sea theme to Aqua Voyager Party, it’s certain that your kids will have the most memorable birthday celebration.

Dubai Ice Rink

Let your little ones have the coolest ever birthday party at Dubai Ice Rink which is a part of The Dubai Mall. With an array of choices at your disposal, you can look forward to some treasured moments with your little ones as they enjoy a spin across the Olympic-sized Ice Rink with the help of a friendly team.

Ski Dubai

Placed within Mall of the Emirates, this is yet another snow-inspired spot in Dubai to celebrate your kids’ birthday or any other special events. There are several birthday party packages starting from just AED 185 per person. So forget about Dubai scorching heat;a party at Ski Dubai gives your little ones not only the chance to try some exciting winter activities but also allow them to meet the penguins.

Bounce

This unique park in Dubai’s Al Qouz is a hit among the little ones with its freestyle playgrounds that blends the features of airbags, trampolines and challenging activities. And not to mention about its exclusive party packages with access to kids’ freestyle fun activities, exclusive party rooms, and bespoke food options.

Dubai Dolphinarium

This gives your kids the unique opportunity to celebrate their special day with adorable dolphins. Just make the choice of right Dubai Dolphinarium birthday package which mostly includes Dolphin show, personalized invitations and exciting gifts to the celebrant.

Conclusion:

There is apparently no dearth of amazing spots to throw a party in Dubai. Whether you’re looking to host a corporate event, a family get-together or even a surprise party, the catch is to zero in on the right venue. And with the above list, we hope that you’ll have a guaranteed great party time in Dubai.

The Charm of Old Quebec City

Looking up at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City

The charm of Old Quebec City never gets old. I’ve been to Quebec City a number of times. The first time as a youngster on a driving vacation with the family. The first overnight stop from Toronto was Quebec City. I remember walking through the gates of the old city and feeling like I had stepped back in time. Thankfully the old city is still there today. And it’s a real treat.

Quebec City – History

The old city walls in Quebec City, Canada
The old cobbled streets in Old Quebec City

Old Quebec is the only walled city in Canada or the U.S. and is designated as a World Heritage treasure by UNESCO. It’s a mix of history, architecture, heritage, art, and culture and is widely viewed as the home of French civilization in North America.

Early Canadian and French history abounds with numerous historic buildings and museums including the Musée de la civilisation. There are many art galleries and boutiques with a French flair. Restaurants and pubs have a warm and intimate feel and most feature Quebec fare including rabbit, deer, and duck confit poutine.

An old hanging store sign in Old Quebec City

Quebec City – My Favourite Hotel

In room historic artifacts with written descriptions in each room at the Auberge Saint-Antoine

While there’s a variety of hotels to choose from within Old Quebec and Quebec City itself, my favorite is the Auberge Saint-Antoine. Located in the heart of Old Quebec, the Auberge sits on an historic site dating back to the 16oos. As a member of Relais and Cheataux, the hotel has a strong focus on service and luxury. There are only 60 rooms with no 2 rooms alike, and each contains artifacts that were found on site. Their Panache Restaurant is incredible with Michelin star chef and a very imaginative menu.

Hotel room at the Auberge Saint-Antoine in Quebec City
Bathroom and amenities at the Auberge Saint-Antoine, Quebec City
In room amenities at the Auberge Saint-Antoine, Quebec City

Quebec City – Winter or Summer?

Quebec City is like 2 different destinations in the winter and the summer. In the winter, it can hit -30c. So cold it’s painful but beyond beautiful especially during the Carnaval de Québec (the annual Winter Carnival runs from late January to the middle of February).

In the summer, there’s the Festival d’été de Québec in July, Canada’s biggest outdoor music event. Quebec City is warm and inviting with quaint streets to wonder down and walking trails to explore along the St.Lawrence River. Outdoor cafes abound and you’ll find yourself stepping back in time… and thinking about your next visit.