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Moving to Vancouver for the first time? Start by getting to know the neighbourhoods that are popular with students!
July 2, 2019
2 mins read

Your guide to Vancouver's neighbourhoods

Whether you’re coming to UBC from across an ocean or the next province over, moving away from home for the first time can be an exciting experience.

Part of the fun is discovering the area that best suits you, whether you like to be close to the beach or hang out in local cafes. Start by getting to know the neighbourhoods around Vancouver that are popular with students. Where you end up really depends on what you want.

Note: Most of the neighbourhoods we describe are on Vancouver’s West Side (not to be confused with the West End, which is downtown, or the separate municipality of West Vancouver, across the Lion’s Gate Bridge).

animated images of Vancouver neighbourhoods


With its own hospital, tons of housing, good food, and places to shop, UBC is often described as a city within a city. There is lots to do here, including exploring the many tourist attractions like the UBC Botanical Garden and the Museum of Anthropology. It’s also a great neighbourhood to live in if you enjoy being outdoors, with beaches and forest trails all within walking distance. While UBC may be on the edge of the city, it’s well connected to the rest of Vancouver by bus.

Point Grey

This affluent neighbourhood is only two 99 b-line stops away from the UBC bus loop and is a popular neighbourhood for student housing. It’s also right beside the water, and is home to some of Vancouver’s best beaches.


Commonly referred to as Kits by locals, Kitsilano is one of the most popular neighbourhoods for students. Check out 4th Avenue and Broadway for shopping, great food, and lots of inviting cafes for studying. Kits is also a very short distance from the Granville Island Public Market where you can buy some of the freshest meat, seafood, and produce in the city.


Students who live in Dunbar have an easy 10 to 15 minute bus ride to campus. The area is home to a variety of businesses, banks, grocers, and amenities, as well as the Dunbar Theatre, a quaint locally-owned cinema.


This neighbourhood is another popular area for students. Located a 20-minute bus ride from campus, Kerrisdale is anchored by Kerrisdale village, with boutique shopping, plus all the basics along 41st Avenue.


Night life! Cafes! Shopping! There’s everything here. Downtown is just across the water from Kits. Hop on an express bus and you’ll get to UBC in about 35 minutes. Downtown is also close to Stanley Park, a huge, 405-hectare urban park filled with old-growth trees, walking paths, and parks.

Take some time to explore Vancouver’s different neighbourhoods. That way, when you need to make a decision about where you’ll live during your time at UBC, you can make an informed one!