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My Top Activities and Destinations in British Columbia, by SSU's International Intern

SSU’s intern Julia Maier, a visitor to Canada from Germany, blogs about her top experiences in beautiful BC so far.


White river rafting

After getting scared half to death by the safety instructions, white water rafting turned out to be a lot of fun. When I got home I was exhausted, tired and covered with bruises. I had a twisted knee and a cold – but it was so worth it!

Stanley Park

Without a doubt my favorite park here in Vancouver. I love walking from Canada Place to the totem poles while enjoying the amazing view and the smell of salt water. Plus, there is so much to do: the park is very popular for rollerblading and cycling, then there’s the aquarium (nice for rainy days), outdoor movies in the summer and a number of wonderful beaches.

Lynn Canyon

For every European who has never seen a rainforest, this is the place to go (and it’s free!). There is a tiny suspension bridge (not that exciting), waterfalls (more exciting) and a beautiful lake called Rice Lake (very exciting). When I went there with a few girls from Germany and Switzerland, we unanimously agreed that this place is exactly how we had pictured Canada.

Watching wild animals  

When I lived in North Vancouver I discovered that locals are just as obsessed with watching bears as I am. When someone sees a bear, it takes only minutes until everyone is in their cars scanning the front yards for bear-related activities. In this city, there are a lot of other fascinating animals Germans don’t usually find in their backyards: skunks, seals, racoons, salmon, bald eagles…the list goes on.

Forbidden Vancouver Tours

You’ve been living in Vancouver forever and you think you know everything about its history… I bet you don’t! Forbidden Vancouver tours, such as ‘Prohibition City’, ‘The Lost Souls of Gastown’ and ‘Secrets of the Penthouse’, show you the ‘darker side’ of Vancouver. I took the Gastown tour and learnt so much about this wonderful part of Vancouver. I really enjoyed that evening.

Public library

This is by far the coolest library in the world. The first time I saw it, I couldn’t believe that this huge colloseum-like building was actually a library. There are little shops and cafes inside and, my favorite: the library shop. They sell used books, lovely jewellery (very affordable) and nonessential stuff I never knew I needed.

Commercial Drive

Commercial Drive has an original vibe. The shops on the Drive are unique and I’ve found some very cheap clothes there. I can definitely also recommend having lunch or dinner there – the Drive offers everything from Italian cafes to vegetarian restaurants.


When I bought my ticket to a symphony concert at the Orpheum, I wasn’t really sure what to expect because the ticket only cost $15. Anyway, I went to the concert and I was impressed. The performance of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra was incredible and during the breaks I had lots of time to admire the beautiful architecture of this theatre.

Going to the beach

Last but not least, I love spending a lazy day at one of the many beaches in Vancouver. My favorite at the moment is English Bay Beach.

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