Vancouver, located on Canada’s west coast, is known as one of the most expensive cities in North America. However, don’t let this deter you from visiting because there is an abundance of things to do and see in this city on a budget.
5 things to do in Vancouver on a budget
1. Stay in the city centre
To make the most of your Vancouver visit, book accommodation in the city. Rosewood Hotel Georgia, for example, is located just off Granville Street, which is the city’s main thoroughfare. Here visitors will find entertainment venues, restaurants, bars, and the Pacific Centre for shopping.
Staying in the city also saves cost on transportation because you can walk to Granville Island Public Market, hip Yaletown, Robson Street and West End, Chinatown, and along the Coal Harbour waterfront.
2. Pick up a Compass card
If you want to explore outside the city centre, purchase a Compass card from selected retailers that can be used on all public transit. It will save you money and allow you to easily visit Main Street’s thrift stores and breweries, Commercial Drive’s entertainment venues, and Western Canada’s biggest mall, Metrotown.
3. Take a Tour Guys tour
Tour Guys is a free walking tour company where you simply pay the guide at the end what you thought the tour was worth. They do three different tours: downtown and the waterfront, Granville Street and Gastown, and Chinatown and Strathcona. Free tours are convenient and budget-friendly, but the guides are full of information, both historical and otherwise. Ask them about their favourite places to get the most out of your visit to Vancouver.
4. Spend time in Stanley Park
Stanley Park is an urban oasis that is larger than New York City’s Central Park and Visitors can walk or bike in the park and around its perimeter on the seawall. Vancouver’s seawall stretches for 22 kilometres around Stanley Park and the city centre. Bike hire is available at different outlets on Denman Street in West End. For those wanting to see the park from an alternative angle, there are daily horse-drawn carriage tours available in Stanley Park too.
5. Take advantage of free festivals
Vancouver hosts many free festivals in the summer, including the Food Cart Festival and Latincouver. The TC Vancouver International Jazz Festival goes for days and includes free performances downtown. The Honda Celebration of Light is a fireworks spectacular over three different nights. During January, Dine Out Festival is a great initiative involving many popular Vancouver restaurants that offer discounts and special meals.
6. Visit Lynn Canyon Park
Although many visitors head to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Lynn Canyon Park in North Vancouver also has a suspension bridge and it’s free. The park is highly accessible via public transit from the city by taking the Seabus to North Vancouver and a bus from the terminal.
It is entirely possible to visit Vancouver on a budget. The most important tip is to book accommodations in the downtown core to get the most out of your Vancouver stay. From there you can explore the city on foot and on the cheap.
This blog post is part of the #HipmunkCityLove series and contains affiliate links.