Just twenty minutes from downtown Vancouver lies Richmond, Canada, the country’s most multicultural city. Offering culinary adventures, cultural diversity and breathtaking natural beauty, this is a place with something for everyone.
The city, which began attracting Chinese immigrants as early as the 19th and 20th centuries during the gold rush and railway construction era, is a welcoming place to new arrivals, its location on the Pacific Ocean further heightening its appeal as a home away from home.
Richmond’s flourishing economy, lifted up by the Asian-run businesses in areas such as the Golden Village, creates an inviting landscape for entrepreneurship. These elements contribute to Richmond’s rich cultural tapestry, offering a blend of Eastern and Western cultures visible in its markets, festivals, and daily life. What a place it is.
Renowned for its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and lush scenery, Richmond promises a captivating sojourn for every traveller. Today, we’ve teamed up with Rentola.ca, who list affordable rental options in the city to suit any budget, to take in the sites, smells, sounds and flavours of this remarkable city. Join us on this whirlwind 48-hour culinary and cultural exploration of Richmond, Canada.
Day 1: Morning – Breakfast At Kam Do Bakery & A Steveston Stroll
Let’s not mess around here. Instead, it’s straight to Richmond’s beloved Kam Do Bakery on the city’s bust No. 3 Road for an egg tart or two.
If you did, indeed, have two (of course you did), then walk them off with a leisurely stroll through the quaint, historic fishing village of Steveston (just a fifteen minute bus ride from Kam Do Bakery).
Marvel at the beautifully preserved Victorian-era cannery, where you can take a step back in time at the Steveston Museum and the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. Here, you’ll learn about the city’s maritime legacy and Pacific fishing industry whilst meandering through interactive exhibits.
Mid-Morning – Visit Richmond Nature Park
After your Steveston stroll, head to Richmond Nature Park if you’ve got the time (it is, admittedly, a 15 minute taxi ride back in the direction of No. 3 Road). This sprawling 200-acre park is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. With walking trails, it offers insights into peat bog ecology. The nature house here provides great learning for kids and adults alike about local flora and fauna.
Lunch: Dim Sum At Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant
No trip to Richmond would be complete without indulging in its exceptional culinary scene. Known as the city with the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada, the city revels in a glorious array of international cuisines that cater to every palate, with a focus on Chinese food the clear highlight.
Offering the freshest catch straight from the Pacific Ocean, Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant takes all that’s good about Richmond’s restaurant scene and runs with it. So, that’s an intricate, generous dim sum lunch with a focus on shellfish; the fresh shrimp dumplings and lobster congee are exquisite.
Afternoon: Take A Deep Dive Into The City’s History
Post-lunch, satiate your cultural cravings at the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site. This eight-acre site features preserved buildings from several eras and provides a fascinating insight into the lives of the diverse immigrant communities who worked in the maritime industry.
Cap off your afternoon with a visit to the Richmond Art Gallery, home to thought-provoking contemporary art exhibitions.
Late Afternoon – Explore The International Buddhist Temple
After your visit to the Richmond Art Gallery, make your way to the International Buddhist Temple. Modelled after Beijing’s Forbidden City, the temple is a stunning architectural marvel with serene gardens, where you can experience tranquillity in the middle of the city.
Evening: International Flavours & Night Market Novelties
As evening sets, immerse yourself in the Richmond Night Market – a colourful, bustling event that perfectly encapsulates the city’s multicultural spirit. Sample diverse street food options, peruse myriad stalls selling arts and crafts, and enjoy live entertainment amidst a crowd that ebbs and flows with positive spirit.
Night – Starlight Theatre Drive-In Movie
Post the night market visit, wrap up your day with a nostalgic drive-in movie experience at the Starlight Theatre at the Landsdowne Centre, a half hour’s walk north of the night market. This outdoor theatre showcases a variety of films under the starry sky, offering an uniquely enjoyable experience.
Day 2: Morning – Richmond’s Natural Wonders
First things first, breakfast, at Lido Restaurant. You’ll recognise Lido, Richmond’s Hong Kong style cafe, by the queues snaking round the block from the moment the doors open at 8am. They’re all here (and you should be too) for the signature pineapple buns, which get filled with a slab of ice cold butter. Heaven!
Next, head off to Terra Nova Rural Park, a paradisiacal spot offering serene walking trails, community gardens, and picturesque views of the North Shore Mountains and the Pacific. It’s a peaceful oasis within the city where you can enjoy bird-watching and leisurely cycling.
Mid-Morning – Cycle The West Dyke Trail
More cycling? Before you head to lunch, rent a bike and pedal your way along the West Dyke Trail, which is part of Terra Nova. The trail promises panoramic views of the Strait of Georgia, Gulf Islands, and even Vancouver Island on clear days. It’s an invigorating way to immerse yourself in Richmond’s natural beauty.
Lunch: A Bowl Of Noodles At Richmond Public Market
If we hadn’t already mentioned, Richmond is home to some of North America’s best Chinese food. For lunch on your second day, head to Richmond Public Market, an admittedly shabby looking building which houses some truly brilliant bowls. We’re here for the biang-biang noodles from Xi’an Cuisine, hand-pulled and boasting a restorative broth slicked with chilli oil.
Afternoon: Retail Therapy At Aberdeen Centre
Enter the world of luxe shopping at Aberdeen Centre, a unique East-meets-West shopping mall. From high-end fashion brands to cutting-edge tech gadgets, it’s retail therapy at its finest. The food court, featuring Asian delicacies, offers a delectable respite from shopping (Fisherman’s Terrace from our Day 1 lunch is just around the corner, by the way, if you’re keen to change up the itinerary somewhat).
Late Afternoon – Visit The McArthurGlen Designer Outlet
After your venture at Aberdeen Centre, make a quick stop at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet. It mirrors a European village and offers an assortment of luxury brands at discounted prices.
Evening: Raising A Glass To Canada’s Craft Beer Scene
Your 48-hour sojourn in Richmond wouldn’t be complete without visiting the city’s celebrated breweries. Venture into Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks or Britannia Brewing Co, both part of the BC Ale Trail, for a tasting tour. Enjoy a lingering evening sipping craft beers, paired with gourmet snacks.
Night – Visit The Epicentre Of Richmond’s Nightlife At River Rock Casino
End your second day on a high note by visiting the River Rock Casino. The casino is the heart of Richmond’s nightlife, offering both gaming and entertainment options. With an array of slot machines, table games, poker rooms, live shows and dining outlets, it’s a great place to unwind and enjoy the lively atmosphere.
The Bottom Line
A weekend in Richmond promises a cultural and a Canadian culinary odyssey unlike any other. Whether you’re a foodie, history buff, art enthusiast, or nature lover, the city has something to offer everyone. We’ll see you somewhere in the city for a bowl of noodles?