Vancouver, British Columbia is something special. Most people agree it’s one of the top cities not just in North America, but the world.
Its appearance on dozens of best cities lists means it’s a popular destination for people all over the world. But sometimes that means vacations are more expensive. Here’s the good news, if you’re on a budget you can still plan a fun filled action packed trip to Vancouver.
In this post, we’re going to share our favorite tips to help you tackle Vancouver on a budget.
Ready to dig in?
Planning a Visit
If you’re not afraid of cooler temperatures or a little rain, you can save quite a bit of money visiting Vancouver during the off-season. January, February, and March are chillier and will see some snow in the nearby mountains, but you’ll also find far fewer tourists and some good deals. The same goes for late September to November too.
And, if you’re in the area during those winter months, check out some of the local ski resorts, some offer discounted night skiing packages.
Vancouver has some excellent public transportation, so use it!
This is a reusable and re-loadable card that can be used for public transportation all over Vancouver and the surrounding areas. Using a Compass Card will save you on each fare you use.
The Canada Line
If you arrive in Vancouver at the airport, skip the cab line and take The Canada Line instead. This public transport line runs from the airport to the Vancouver waterfront.
Things to Do
Explore the Free Parks and Gardens
Vancouver is a very green city with tons of parks and gardens sprinkled throughout the city that is free and also open to the public.
Some of these must-see parks include the Stanley Park Seawall, a 6-mile paved path along the waterfront. It offers spectacular views of the city. Canada Place is another favorite spot. This was a hot-spot during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and still attracts crowds daily today. English Bay is another popular spot for catching some of the beautiful Pacific Northwest sunsets.
Wander Granville Island
Granville Island is another must-see destination. You can reach it via water taxi, bike, or even on foot. The island has a public market, plus farmer’s markets during the week, shopping, and dining options too. A fun and inexpensive, activity is checking out Granville Island Brewery which offers tours and tastings at an affordable price.
Catch a Game or a Show
Vancouver Tourism runs a special site that features 1/2 price rates on same day events going on throughout the city. Catch a hockey game or an off-Broadway show at a great price using Tickets Tonight.
Vancouver is a true melting pot, which makes it a food lovers dream city. You can find incredible bites from cuisines all over the world.
This city has a hot food truck scene, so there’s no better option for eating on a budget. Check out this site that updates daily with food truck locations. Vancouver is also home to North America’s oldest Chinatown. This is the perfect spot to wander for incredible dim sum at affordable prices.
Vancouver is home to some of the top bars in the world, but one easy way to have a few cocktails in a way that won’t break your budget is to visit during happy hour. Most bars will offer special rates on snacks and drinks.
Regardless when you go or what your budget might be, Vancouver is an unforgettable city. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy everything there is to see without emptying your wallet.