10 Coolest Solo Travel Ideas in Vancouver to Try This Year
Traveling with solitude is a new kind of fun. Being a solo traveler allows you to look beyond the labels of things and closely observe the world around you. All you need is a safe and colourful place to explore.
Vancouver in British Columbia has everything it takes to be your favourite destination if you ever go on a solo trip. Whether you’re riding a bike around Stanley Park Seawall or indulging in retail therapy all alone, Vancouver has a wide array of activities to help you enjoy to the fullest.
If you’re striking out for a trip to Vancouver by yourself, discover our list below and unfold 10 best places to rock the city in your own way!
1. Cycle along the Stanley Park Seawall
You can never go wrong with a solo cycling time while admiring the majestic mountainous views! Speaking of cycling and long walking in Vancouver, nothing can beat Stanley Park Seawall to be the best spot in Vancouver.
The Seawall is a 9-kilometer-long pedestrian and biking stretch leading you through the most beautiful corners of Vancouver. Within only two to three hours of cycling, you will have a chance to embrace the stunning beauty of the English Bay beaches while getting some fresh ocean breeze early in the morning or at dawn. You can get a rental bike around the area of Denman Street or use the public Mobi bike sharing service just with your mobile phone.
2. Go Shopping at Robson Street and Mount Pleasant
Who says you can only go shopping with friends and not by yourself? Popping into the coolest shopping neighborhoods in Vancouver is totally worth some alone time!
The must-stroll neighborhood you need to check out is Robson Street. This area is home to over 150 brick-and-mortar stores waiting to satisfy your pleasure. You can splash out amongst the internationally recognized flagship brands, or pick out at a local quirky vintage store if you’re up for something unique and authentic.
There are some more gourmet bakeries and eclectic coffee bars down the street to kill your hunger after a shopping spree.
And guess what? We have another shopping gem that we often visit by Christmas or New Year. Mount Pleasant is a compilation of independent establishments offering original goodies.
What you get from Mount Pleasant is a one-of-a-kind shopping experience as it gives off the true neighborhood vibe amongst patrons and the employees. It makes a lot more sense when you’re a solo traveler because the intimate sense of community spirit at Mount Pleasant will make you feel comfortable in your own skin.
3. Travel Back in Time at Gastown
If what you want from a solo vacation is a chance to look back on life, then the Gastown neighborhood in Vancouver is all you need.
Gastown pops into our mind as a historic, charming and unique neighborhood. The town is home to the mesmerizing Victorian-style houses sitting by the décor boutiques and the endless chain of art galleries.
Making your way to the Steam Clock, taking a picture of the vintage lamp posts, and strolling along Water Street to visit the Gassy Jack Deighton statue make a perfect solo outing day in Gastown. At the end of the day, you can reach the Vancouver Lookout to enjoy the panoramic bird’s eye view of the area.
If you get tired from all of the walking, why not stop by Buro Espresso Bar and watch the life go by? What attracts people to this very bar are the large windows giving prime views of the streets.
Traveling is not just about checking in at famous tourist attractions. Sometimes, watching people rushing on the street, listening to your favorite jam, and munching on a crispy croissant at Buro Espresso Bar are all you need to find the inner peace, especially when you’re traveling alone.
Known as a safe, friendly neighborhood with lots of Asian food fix, Chinatown is an ideal getaway for solo visitors in Vancouver. If you’re a big foody, take this chance to savor a terrific dim sum scene at Jade Dynasty. Don’t miss out on the lemon chicken apart from the dim sum items!
Other than that, you can stop by Phnom Penh, a Vietnamese – Cambodian institution drawing fans with its succulent and tender chicken wings.
Apart from the restaurants and cafes, don’t forget to take a long walk around Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden to embrace a typical full-scale Chinese garden! This oasis compiles all the best components to represent the finest look of a classic Chinese garden. If you’re a nature and photography lover, Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden is the right place to visit! By the end of the day, remember to bring some souvenirs back home at one of the Asian specialty stores!
Address: 137 E Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1T6, Canada
With an excellent location right close by downtown Vancouver, Granville Island emerges as a must-see destination for all kinds of travelers. Wake up early in the morning and take a ferry crossing False Creek to hit the island! Ideally, you should spend one day straight on the island to fully unfold the best features of Granville.
Granville Island gives you a chance to travel alone with your five senses as the island has everything you need to wake up all your senses and have them occupied!
Hit the Granville Brewing Company to sip on your favorite ale before enjoying the seasonal live music performance.
Last but not least, you should not skip the one and only Public Market once in Granville Island! This spacious fair houses a smorgasbord of fresh food and gourmet delights that allows you to sample and satisfy your hunger before returning to downtown.
Granville Brewing Company
Address: 1441 Cartwright St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R7.
Address: Public Market, 1689 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9.
6. Stay Balance at the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is a hidden gem in Northern Vancouver. Free of charge, the suspension bridge stretches across the trees amid the gigantic canyon. The best part about the bridge is that you will be crossing with a thrill while the waterfalls and deep pools below are watching.
Not only does it bring you closer to the charm of nature but also plenty of fun as you’re making your way through the bridge bouncing up and down. This nerve-racking experience will surely light up your day during a trip alone!
Address: 3690 Park Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7J 3K2.
Hitting the beach alone is totally doable! Smack dab here in Vancouver, you can choose from an extensive range of the best beaches based on your personality!
You can hit the Second Beach or Third Beach after cycling around the Seawall to lay back and rest. Meanwhile, Kitsilano, the most popular beach in Vancouver with lots of happenings is a great choice if you’re the sporty type of traveler.
In case you’re looking for somewhere close to downtown, English Bay is where you can get some fresh air from the ocean and grab a bite at a food truck. Wreck Beach can be a little bit more extreme but if you’re comfy enough with nudity, then Wreck can be your getaway!
8. Read a Book in a Coffee Shop
You can always chill in a coffee shop whenever you go as a relaxing solo activity. But we’re sure you will love it even more as the coffee scene in Vancouver is so lively and vibrant with tons of different themes to check out.
Vancouver has a special favor for local products, which means you will have a lovely time enjoying the authentic food and drink when reading a book or watching people go by.
One of our favorite places to be is the 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters. Don’t forget to order a serving of their signature Lucky’s Doughnuts to pair with the drink!
Revolver is another cool spot to get your coffee fix with its selectively sourced beans from around the world.
Cafe La Foret is a decent place to read a book, lay back, and snap some photogenic shots for your Instagram. This spacious place has all the greenery and plants which make it even more lovely to surround yourself with.
9. Admire the Timeless Masterpieces at Vancouver Art Gallery
This double art and culture hub is not only a must-see attraction in Vancouver but also a meaningful spot to learn about arts and find your inner peace. What you will find in this remarkable landmark is a huge collection of world-class exhibitions.
The house brings you to the art collection of multiple different artists. Everything comes together as an aesthetically pleasing experience to spend some time alone. There are also some interactive exhibitions and events every now and then, so make sure you will check for the latest updates before coming over.
Spending time in a museum is one of the greatest solo activities. Vancouver seems like a hub of museums as the city offers many exhibitions and institutions of all kinds to meet the needs of any type of traveler.
If you’re an astrophile, don’t miss out on the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. The Museum of Anthropology is definitely the right place for art lovers. This award-winning museum houses an extensive collection of Northwest Coast First Nations Art. Meanwhile, science buffs will have a great time by themselves at Vancouver’s Science World!
Now you’ve got a complete list in the palm of your hand! Feel free to pick from any of the above that suits your personality. Before hitting Vancouver, don’t forget to gear yourself up with this definitive packing listto avoid any last-minute shopping!