Top Things to Do in Richmond, BC
Add Richmond’s most well-known and well-loved attractions to your bucket list.
Between fascinating history, beautiful nature, and multiculturalism unlike other places in the world, you’ll always have something fun to do in Richmond. If your trip is short, though, it’s understandable if you feel overwhelmed with choices. That’s why we’ve put together a list of ten can’t-miss experiences that’ll give you a good sense of what the city has to offer.
Travel the Dumpling Trail
Few things are as quintessentially Richmond as the Dumpling Trail, a collection of 20 restaurants known for their phenomenal dumplings. It’s on CNN Travel’s list of the world’s 12 most enticing food and drink trails, in addition to being blogged about by foodies and travel writers the world over. One taste and you’ll be hooked.
Visit the National Historic Sites
Richmond is home to two important National Historic Sites, both providing perspectives into how the region flourished as a hub of the Pacific fishing industry. At its heyday in the early 20th century, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery packed around 2.5 million tins of salmon every year, while Britannia Shipyards once housed the hard-working men and women from around the world who helped spark the industry’s growth.
Experience the summer Night Market
The Richmond Night Market is always abuzz on summer weekends with the sounds of commerce and cooking. It’s where you’ll try authentic East Asian street food while scoring quirky imported merchandise. There’s also often live performers and carnival games adding to the organized chaos. Get there early and bring cash!
Explore TV & Film Sets
Richmond hosts about 50 film productions per year on average, with many Hollywood blockbusters and primetime shows choosing to set their productions in our wildly unique setting. Shows filmed here include Once Upon a Time, Supernatural, The X-Files, and Bates Motel, while box office hits like Godzilla, The Interview, Deadpool, and Power Rangers also set their productions in Richmond.
Channel Your Inner Athlete
As Canada’s only official Olympic museum, The Olympic Experience at the Richmond Olympic Oval is an amazing place to learn about and experience the world of sports. In one day, you can experience bobsledding, ski jumping, and a bunch of other Winter Olympic sports on hyperrealistic simulators. It is all housed within the state-of-the-art Richmond Olympic Oval, built to host the speed skating events at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
Attend an Annual Event
While Richmond has no shortage of events to check out throughout most of the year, there are a few you absolutely should not miss. There’s the Richmond Maritime Festival in July, a free celebration of the city’s maritime history at Britannia Shipyards. The Steveston Salmon Festival & Richmond Canada Day is considered Canada’s “biggest little birthday party” and features exhibits, performances, and plenty of grilled, fresh salmon. There’s also the Richmond World Festival, a lively celebration of the city’s diversity featuring music, food, sport, and culture.
Bike or Walk the Trails
Owing to its calm terrain and 80 kilometers (50 miles) of trails, Richmond is a very bikeable and walkable city. Many of the city’s trails wind through its extensive parks system, with many connecting to beaches and attractions. Those without bikes can rent them in Steveston.
See the Wildlife
In Richmond, you can go on a whale watching expedition from Steveston, or walk through kilometres of woodlands or peat bog—all while spotting some pretty remarkable wildlife. Richmond is an important stopover for migratory birds, while sea lions and otters can be seen near the waterfront. Out in the open sea, orcas and other whale species can be spotted if you take a whale watching expedition. On land, there’s abundant plant life and green space, where you’ll find frogs, hummingbirds, turtles, and more.
Get to Know Steveston
Steveston was once the centre of the region’s fishing and fish canning industry, so much so that it was colloquially known as ‘Salmonopolis.’ A diverse population of fishermen, shipbuilders, and canners lived and worked here, making it culturally important to the city of Richmond. Today, its fishing legacy lives on through Canada’s largest fleet of active commercial fishing boats and Fisherman’s Wharf, where the public can purchase fresh-caught seafood right from the people who caught it. In addition to National Historic Sites and museums, Steveston’s quaint shops and vibrant streetscape have served as a backdrop to numerous films and television productions, notably being transformed to the fictional town of Storybrooke in ‘Once Upon a Time.’
Those in search of locally-made handicrafts should head to Steveston, where artisan merchants sell everything from sweet treats to art and décor. East Asian products can be found at both the Richmond Night Market and any of the city’s Asian malls—Aberdeen Centre, Yaohan Centre, and Parker Place. Not only will you discover delicious and inexpensive bites in their food courts, you’ll also find imported merchandise like cool fashion and technology. Fashionistas should check out McArthurGlen Designer Outlet near Vancouver International Airport, where top labels like Armani, Hugo Boss, and Coach can be found for up to 70% off retail. Familiar favourites like the Apple Store, H&M, and Sephora highlight CF Richmond Centre, and big box stores can be found at Lansdowne Centre along with some smaller local shops.