8 Museums You Should Visit in Vancouver


The best thing to do when in Vancouver, Canada, is to stuff your face with food (especially sushis and ramen) and shop till you drop. But once you’re satiated and have a brand new wardrobe, you should really hit the city’s museums (a small portion of Vancouver’s art and culture scene). You’ll find a variety of museums with diverse collections and attractions for all ages and interests. From contemporary art galleries to interactive science exhibits, here are the best museums in Vancouver, Canada.

Best museum in Vancouver #1: The Vancouver Art Gallery

View of the Vancouver Art Gallery, one of the best museums in Vancouver

Photo: EQRoy/Shutterstock

The Vancouver Art Gallery is located in the heart of downtown and is a short walk from many of the city’s major hotels and attractions. The Gallery has a permanent collection of over 12,000 works of art from cultures from around the world and time periods, including an extensive collection of Indigenous art. But if you’ve visited once, don’t think you won’t see anything new by going again – temporary exhibitions featuring both local and international artists take place throughout the year. Visitors to the Vancouver Art Gallery can explore the galleries at their own pace or take part in guided tours led by knowledgeable staff.

Where: 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2H7

Best museum in Vancouver #2: The Museum of Anthropology

The Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, Canada

Photo: Xuanlu Wang/Shutterstock

The Museum of Anthropology, located on the campus of the University of British Columbia, is one of the finest museums in Vancouver. It houses an outstanding collection of First Nations artifacts, as well as a variety of other ethnographic objects. The museum, designed by renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erickson, is best known for its impressive Great Hall (currently undergoing seismic upgrades.) The hall is decorated with totem poles, carved masks, and other First Nations art. Visitors can explore the museum’s galleries at their own pace, or take part in one of the many guided tours that are offered.

Where: 6393 NW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2

Best museum in Vancouver #3: Science World

View of the dome of Science World, one of the best museums in Vancouver, Canada

Photo: Dan Breckwoldt/Shutterstock

Vancouver’s Science World is a must-see for any visitor to the city. Located at the end of False Creek, the geodesic dome is an iconic sight on the Vancouver skyline. Inside, visitors can experience interactive exhibits on a variety of science topics, from space exploration to DNA to how plants grow. The museum is also home to an Omnimax theater. The hands-on approach of Science World, with puzzles, games, and physical challenges, makes it a great place to learn for all ages, and the stunning setting offers breathtaking views of Vancouver.

Where: 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver, BC, V6A 3Z7

Best museum in Vancouver #4: The Vancouver Beaty Biodiversity Museum

Blue whale skeleton at The Vancouver Beaty Biodiversity Museum

Photo: Lavinia Mazdul/Shutterstock

The Vancouver Beaty Biodiversity Museum, located on the campus of the University of British Columbia, is home to an incredible collection of specimens, ranging from fossils, shells, insects, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and plants from around British Columbia and the world. The museum’s highlight is Big Blue, Canada’s largest blue whale skeleton.

Where: Vancouver Campus, 2212 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4

Best museum in Vancouver #5: The Vancouver Maritime Museum

The Vancouver Maritime Museum, one of the best museums in Vancouver

Photo: Autumn Sky Photography/Shutterstock

The Vancouver Maritime Museum tells the story of Canada’s maritime history. Located on the waterfront in the posh neighborhood of Kitsilano, the museum includes interactive exhibits, historic artifacts, and a research library. Visitors can see a full-scale replica of the The St. Roch, the first vessel to traverse the Northwest Passage from west to east, as well as view historic photographs and artifacts, and learn about the area’s First Nations cultures.

Where: 1905 Ogden Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6J 1A3

Best museum in Vancouver #6: The H.R MacMillan Space Centre

The H.R MacMillan Space Centre, one of the best museums in Vancouver

Photo: Lissandra Melo/Shutterstock

The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre is a non-profit organization that promotes the exploration and understanding of space, astronomy, and Earth science for the benefit of all. Founded in 1968, the Space Centre is named after Harold MacMillan, whose donation helped build the planetarium. The Space Centre is open to the public year-round and is located near the Vancouver Maritime Museum in Kitsilano. Visitors can experience interactive exhibits, live science demonstrations, planetarium shows, and guided tours of the facility. The Space Centre is also home to an observatory, which visitors can tour during evening visits.

Where: Vanier Park, 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, BC, V6J 3J9

Best museum in Vancouver #7: The Museum of Vancouver

The Museum of Vancouver (also known as MOV) is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of the city. Located in the same building as the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, the museum offers a wide range of exhibits with objects, stories, and personal experience accounts about the city, from early Indigenous settlements to its foundation in 1886 and throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Objects from MOV’s permanent collection include a gold medal from the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, a Salish bracelet from the 18th century, and more.

Where: Vanier Park, 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, BC, V6J 3J9

Best museum in Vancouver #8: The Bill Reid Gallery

The Bill Reid Gallery is a public art gallery located in the city’s downtown. The gallery is dedicated to the work of Bill Reid, a master Canadian First Nations artist. The gallery hosts a small permanent collection of Bill Reid’s art and objects and photographs relating to his work. Works from contemporary Northwest Coast Indigenous artists are also displayed. You can also find Bill Reid’s work throughout YVR, Vancouver’s international airport and at the aforementioned Museum of Anthropology.

Where: 639 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC, V6C 2G3


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