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Robson Street shopping

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There’s no question: when it comes to shopping in Vancouver, Robson Street is the spot serious shoppers flock to. Robson Street begins near Stanley Park in the West End, where it’s largely residential, before crossing Denman and traversing eastward up the hill and continuing to BC Place Stadium. The real shopping action, though, is between Jervis and Granville streets, where boutiques of every kind beckon.

There’s a jubilant vibe here, with well-dressed women getting a jumpstart shopping for the season’s top trends, couples strolling arm in arm, and visitors shopping for deals or a special gift. People armed with shopping bags stop to unwind in one of the many cafes, restaurants and nightspots that give Robson Street its lively atmosphere, day and night, all year round. On Friday and Saturday nights, don’t be surprised to see stores open until 9 p.m. or later.

Robson Street has long been a celebrated urban shopping stroll. Decades ago, trains ran down the centre of the street, which had a German name: Robsonstrasse. That European flair still lingers. There are several shops with French origins, such as L’Occitane en Provence, Hermes, Lacoste, and Louis Vuitton, which are located off Robson on nearby Burrard Street. A/X Armani Exchange, Salvatore Ferragamo, Geox and Gucci (in the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver on nearby West Georgia Street) represent the Italian contingent. Designer discount store Zara and upscale UK boutique French Connection are other international brands found here; American stores are prominent too. Clothing chains such as Club Monaco, Guess, Levi’s, Banana Republic, Gap, Tommy Hilfiger, American Apparel and New York darling, Tiffany & Co., all offer their own brand of casual, business, and on-trend apparel and accessories for men and women.

There are several made-in-Vancouver stores on Robson Street too, giving visitors a chance to buy brands they won’t typically find. Plenty and Aritzia each offer up trend-setting collections, including in-house labels. Yoga giant Lululemon Athletica is always packed with people seeking the newest style-setting gear. And Blue Ruby is a jewelry shop full of affordable baubles and accessories sure to complete any outfit. Roots, RW&CO, and Danier, a leather goods boutique, are all successful Canadian shops selling stylish gear on Robson Street.

The block of Robson Street between Hornby and Howe streets give a little respite from the crowds. Here, the Vancouver Art Gallery lures visitors inside to tour its permanent and touring exhibitions (plus there’s an excellent cafe and boutique inside). Robson Square and its multi-level gardens offer a spot to rest your weary legs and people-watch for awhile.

Pacific Centre Mall takes up more than a city block, with entrances on Robson Street at both Howe and Granville Streets. Duck inside to wander through multi-storey department stores, including Holt Renfrew, The Bay, and Sears, along with luxury stores like Coach, MaxMara and Hugo Boss.

 

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