I got off the bus at the Granville station on Seymour street just across from the Bay. I had intentions of shopping my way up and down Robson Street, famed for it's upscale shops. But i kept getting sidetracked. Granville Street has loads of really funky shops, from goth to second hand records and cd's to interesting boutiques. Check it out.
Robson has many upscale designer shops and good restaurants but don't let that scare you off. There are also souvenir shops and chain stores like Chapters books and a huge Winners store.
What to buy: Haida Native art is stunning! tshirts, wooden carvings, fridge magnets, jewellry, even oven mitts, tea towers and canvas tote bags. There are lots of shops featuring the First Nations art all over the City. Some are very expensive and some are very affordable.
There is plenty of shopping to do downtown, it can easily be a whole day trip.
Granville Street has some nice "campy" shops which I find the most interesting.
Robson Street is Vancouver's most famous shopping district. There are a wide variety of shops and great restaurants to be seen. The stores are more on the high-end, but not completely beyond reason.
Stores to mention: Roots, Virgin, Pacific Centre Mall
Restaurants: Kobe Steakhouse, Milestones, Cactus Club
The shopping districts are accessible from the Granville, Burrard and Waterfront skytrain stations.
What to buy: Anything you want! Just don't buy anything from those cheezy tourist shops, please! =)
I have been coming to Scratch for longer than I could probably remember.
Scratch is the place to go for albums and artists you would not find at the bigger music stores, but be prepared to pay because they don't exactly run cheap.
I love buying tickets to various shows at Scratch because there exists a $1 service charge and turns out much cheaper compared to the overpriced ticketmaster.
The staff are helpful and pretty friendly and you can get an idea on what shows are coming to town by taking a look at the walls on your way in.
I just checked out this wonderful store, not too far from the cruise ship terminals. They have a wide variety of art and clothing from Mexico and parts further south.
It was particularly interesting to see because I was just down in Mexico for 2 months!
What to pay: Prices are somewhat higher than one would pay in the lands where the items came from but they're not unreasonable for similar Canadian items
One of the best places in Vancouver to indulge yourself is Death by Chocolate. There are several locations throughout the city, just check their website below.
Inside this gorgeous hotel you will find a nice little gift store, may be a little more expensive than other places, but better quality. There is also a GUCCI store.