When it comes to shopping in Vancouver, Pacific Centre, wrapped around the Granville and Georgia intersection, remains the central location. The Bay, Sears, and Holt-Renfrew department stores are in the complex, along with many smaller outlets.
Near Canada Place is the small, upscale Sinclair Centre (Howe and Hastings streets). For frivolous spending, window-shopping and people-watching, Robson Street is your destination.
Seekers of ultra-hip clothing and accessories will venture to Gastown, Yaletown, or the South Granville Rise. Fine art and crafts -- typically West Coast or aboriginal -- are found in studio/stores around Granville Island and in Gastown. For everyday hipster goods head to Fourth Avenue in Kitsilano, Commercial Drive, or Main Street.
Insider's Guide: The Best of Shopping in Vancouver
Assuming you're not after utilitarian goods and chattel, Granville Island (1661 Duranleau St) provides the most interesting shopping. Here, independent artists and craftspeople create gorgeous garments, shoes, handbags, jewelry, wood and glass works, pottery, and other pieces. In the Netloft, at the island's heart, you'll find stores devoted entirely to hats, paper, exotic fabrics, beads, eyewear, books, or out-of-this-world knickknacks.
South Granville Rise is a pleasant stroll; its sidewalks are lined with trendy clothing shops (for all ages) and commercial galleries.
Yaletown (Hamilton St from False Creek to Burrard Inlet on the NW and Georgia St on the NE) has turned to interior decoration but has held onto some of its hipster clothing outlets -- particularly for the younger set -- and other artsy retailing. Younger bargain hunters will appreciate the contemporary and vintage outlets along Main Street.
Gastown (Columbia and Alexander sts) has become a center for aboriginal art. For a genuine Asian experience, head to Richmond's Golden Village -- with a dozen contiguous malls hawking a huge range of imported goods -- most of it from China.
After you've finished shopping, you may want to take in the nightlife and entertainment in Vancouver. Go to the next page to find out about Vancouver's many nightlife opportunities.