Nov 01, 2022
The Best Museums in Vancouver, a Local’s Guide
If you’re looking for a cultural experience that is both enlightening and engaging, then you’ve come to the right place. This is our local’s guide to the top museums in Vancouver.
These museums are home to some of the most interesting and unique collections in the city, and offer visitors a chance to explore everything from history and art to science and technology. So whether you’re a local or just visiting, be sure to put these museums at the top of your list.
Vancouver Museum of Anthropology (MOA)
The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) is located at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. It is the largest anthropological museum in the country, with a collection of more than half a million objects from around the world. The MOA was founded in 1947 when the University of British Columbia acquired the extensive private collection of First Nations art and artifacts from Charles F. Newcombe. The building, designed by Arthur Erickson, opened in 1976.
Today, the MOA’s permanent collection consists of more than 500,000 objects representing cultures from around the world, though its focus is on the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest Coast. It also organizes rotating exhibitions throughout the year and operates an active research program that aims to create new knowledge about human cultures and their interaction with the environment.
The Museum of Anthropology is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm, and admission is free for Indigenous people, MOA members, and UBC students, staff, and faculty members. General admission rates are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors (age 65+), $16 for students (with ID). Children under 6 are admitted free. Book your ticket on the MOA official website.
Vancouver Maritime Museum
The Vancouver Maritime Museum was founded in 1948, and is housed in a building that was originally constructed as the Immigration Building for the Port of Vancouver. The collection consists of more than 35,000 objects, including models of ships, maritime artifacts, photographs, paintings, and documents. The museum offers educational programs for children and youth, and hosts different exhibits throughout the year.
The Vancouver Maritime Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm. Admission rates are $13.50 for adults, $11 for seniors and students (with ID), and $10 for youth (age 6-18) and free for children under 5. Indigenous people enter free of charge.
The Rennie Museum is a contemporary art museum located in Chinatown. It was founded in 2005 by Bob Rennie, a real estate developer and art collector, and is home to a collection of more than 3,000 pieces of art, including works by Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, and Jeff Koons.
The Rennie Museum is free to enter and includes a guided tour. You simply need to book a reservation in advance which can be done on the Rennie Museum official website.
Vancouver Police Museum
The Vancouver Police Museum is located in a beautiful and historic part of Vancouver between the popular areas of Gastown and Chinatown. The museum is dedicated to the history of law enforcement in Vancouver. The collection consists of more than 30,000 rare objects such as photographs, archival documents, artifacts, police records, forensics evidence and more. The museum offers fascinating insights into policing and crime from Vancouver’s founding days all the way up to more recent events.
The Vancouver Police Museum is open from Thursday to Saturday from 11am to 5pm and Sunday from 12pm to 5pm. It’s closed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and statutory holidays. Admission rates are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students (with ID), and $8 for youth (ages 5-18). Children under 5 are admitted free. You can find more information on the Vancouver Police Museum website.
The Doctor Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
The Doctor Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a traditional Chinese garden located in Chinatown. The garden was designed by the architect Dr. Liu Fang and built in 1985 with the help of over 100 artisans from China. The garden consists of a series of pavilions, courtyards, and gardens, and is home to a collection of plants and trees from across China.
Today, the garden is open to the public and is a popular tourist destination in Vancouver. Visitors can walk through the gardens and explore the various pavilions, or they can participate in one of the garden’s educational programs. The garden also hosts numerous exhibits during the year.
The Doctor Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 3pm. There are closures depending on the time of year so it’s a good idea to check the website for current information. Admission rates are $16 for adults, $13 for seniors (age 65+), and $12 for students (with ID).
If you are looking for a closer look at Vancouver’s culture and history, any of these museums would be an excellent choice. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, one (or several) of these museums should be on your list of destinations. They offer a variety of exhibits and educational programs, and provide visitors with a unique glimpse into the history and culture of Vancouver.