Free and Discounted Things to do in Vancouver
Travelling can be expensive, but with a little research and creativity, it doesn’t have to be! Here’s a roundup of our favourite free and discounted things you can do around Vancouver that will make for a memorable visit!
Bike or Walk Stanley Park
Stanley Park boasts the longest seawall in the world! There is so much to explore in this park on foot or by bike. Whether you’re into forest trails, wild life (around the park and at the Aquarium), relaxing beaches, strolling rose gardens, or photographing stunning views! This park won’t disappoint. Pack a snack and wear comfortable walking shoes and explore the park by foot. Alternatively, you can rent a bike and make a day of seeing the park and more attractions around the city!
Pre-book your bike rental online from Cycle City Tours and save 10% or join a paid Vancouver bike tour.
Explore Vancouver Art Gallery
On Tuesdays, Vancouver Art Gallery offers entrance by donation between 5-9pm. Spend a couple of hours soaking in the world-class art collection and special exhibitions. Then grab a coffee at their beautiful cafe and patio or bring your own lunch and sit on the iconic gallery steps and people watch.
Speaking of people watching, Vancouver has some great neighbourhoods for people watching. One of our favourites would have to be Gastown because it’s a hub for tech startups, fashion boutiques, and home to several charming cafes and pubs. Grab an Americano at Buro or a cocktail at Local and sit back and watch as people zoom by.
If you want to take your experience and knowledge to the next level, be sure to book the Lost Souls of Gastown walking tour with Forbidden Vancouver Tours. For just $28 you can learn about Vancouver’s dark early history and stroll through the backstreets and alleyways with a professional guide. Tours run Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat 8 p.m:
Cool off at a Splash Park
Vancouver temperatures can soar in the Summer and if you have young children you’ll be happy to know the city has several free and fun splash/spray parks and wading pools for your kids to run around and cool off from the heat. Here’s an official list with hours and park names from the City of Vancouver. Grab a blanket, sunscreen, and some treats to make a day of it!
If you’re inclined to explore more of Vancouver’s beautiful coastline, rent a kayak (beginners welcome) or go on a boat tour with Vancouver Water Adventures!
Explore Granville Island
No visit to Vancouver is complete without a visit to Granville Island. Enjoy the free street entertainment, take photos of the fresh produce, and take in the breathtaking views of False Creek. Tip: If you want to avoid the rush, visit before 11am or after 4pm.
For an in-depth experience of Granville Island, book the Granville Island Market Tour with Vancouver Foodie Tours. You’ll try 20+ signature Canadian tastings and meet the passionate people who make Granville Island a must-visit destination. Use the code EVG19 to get 10% off your booking.
See Vancouver’s Best Murals
About a 10 minute drive from downtown you’ll find Vancouver’s most colourful and interesting murals. The murals span a couple of blocks in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood and can be explored by foot in an hour or two (depending on how many photos you take and how long you linger). Use this map for your own self-guided tour. http://vancouvermurals.ca/
Visit Colourful Chinatown
Did you know Vancouver’s Chinatown is the 3rd largest in North America (after San Fransisco and Chinatown). The neighbourhood is on the border of Gastown so you can easily experience both in one day. If the weather is rainy, you can do some window-shopping at the International Village Mall (near the Chinatown Skytrain) with 60 stores featuring products from different cultural communities. There’s even a cat cafe (Catfe) where you can make new feline friends.
Whether you’re visiting Vancouver on a small or big budget, this city has something to enjoy for everyone. Do you know any free experiences you’d add to this list? Let us know in the comments on Facebook!