10 Things to Do in Vancouver When You’re Low on Budget
We all know that Vancouver is not the cheapest destination to visit on our bucket list. Accommodations, rentals, food, and many other facets line up to share a big slice of your budget pie.
However, it doesn’t mean visiting Vancouver costs an arm and leg because there are so many free to almost free things to do that maximize your experience. Ready to find out how? Here are 10 budget-friendly things to do in Vancouver!
1. Hit the Beaches
It’s a no-brainer to admit Vancouver has some of the best beaches in the world. Ranging from family-friendly to athlete-centric, these beaches offer the most gorgeous looks over different parts of Vancouver, enabling you to enjoy the best trait of the city without breaking the bank.
Some of the most sought-after beaches in Vancouver to slide into your bucket list are English Bay and Spanish Banks with easy access and free parking. It’s time to soak in the sun, brace the waves and enjoy Vancouver’s nature to the fullest!
2. Embark on the Best Hiking Trails
The best beaches in Vancouver become a strong magnetic field for outdoor enthusiasts but you shouldn’t forget what the backcountry of Vancouver has to offer! This is where hiking comes into play as a leading outdoor pursuit. Embarking on the most scenic hikes eliminates the gap between you and Vancouver’s nature. That is when you truly put yourself out there, take in the splendid nature of the woods, mountains, and waters without hurting your budget at all.
Some of the most sought-after hikes in Vancouver can be boiled down to Quarry Rock offering jaw-dropping views over Deep Cove and Indian Arm. Then we have the Grouse Grind Trail nestled in the core of Grouse Mountain with 853 meters of elevation gain to game up your skill. If you’re a passionate hiker, check out our favourite hikes to work out with scenic views right here!
3. Explore Stanley Park and Bike the Seawall
If you take a look at our favourite parks and gardens in Vancouver right here, you’ll see why Stanley Park receives so much love from the public. Getting in touch with nature is the best way possible to balance the inner soul, stay creative and contemplate the beauty of Vancouver without breaking the bank.
Offering a handful of things to see and do for all types of travelers, Stanley Park is the crown’s jewel having its torch on the 9-kilometer mulch-packed seawall. Skating, cycling, and jogging along the seawall becomes locals’ favorite pastime to admire the city skylight and mountains so there’s no reason why you should give it a pass. Stanley Park is open 24 hours a day and there’s no admission fee required.
Head northbound and indulge in the incredible wilderness of Vancouver’s North Shore. This forested area is a haven for outdoor activities, and amongst which free mountain biking becomes such a big deal even for the locals.
If you’re after this type of adrenaline-fueled off-road ride, then the North Shore will be your Holy Land. Pick your favourite path ranging from Mt. Fromme, Cypress Mountain, or Mt. Seymour and get ready to game up your skills. There are multiple intro trails where beginners can get the ball rolling while advanced riders will find it fascinating to conquer fallen logs, ravines, or boulders blocking the fast-riding trails.
5. Check out the Hottest Insta-worthy Spots in Town
Instagram has been such a big deal in our daily life and it would be a big mistake if you miss out on these incredible photo-perfect sites when visiting Vancouver. No matter if it’s a sandy beach reflected with sun glitters, a thriving forest enclosing a serene fjord from your vantage point, or the colorful streets around Davie’s Village, you can make your holiday a book of memoir within a matter of days.
It goes without saying that Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is the most visited highlight at Lynn Canyon Park. Surrounded by the dreamy nature of North Vancouver’s scenery, Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is totally free to visit. It’s fun and rejuvenating to help you unplug from the chaotic city life of Vancouver. While the Capilano Suspension Bridge costs money, you have Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge as a free alternative that brings an equal level of fun.
Address: 3690 Park Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7J 3K2.
7. Discover Salmon’s Cycle of Life at Capilano Salmon Hatchery
Capilano Salmon Hatchery should come next in your bucket list of the top free things to do in Vancouver. The hatchery brings in so many values and insight into the colorful and fascinating upbringing process of the Pacific salmons.
The outdoor section allows you to spot hungry baby salmon leaping out of the water to catch tiny flying bugs. Then make your way indoors where you will find adult salmon fervently swimming against the current before bounding up to the ladders. For the best experience, you want to come over the hatchery from late August to November when the salmons are returned to the river for spawning.
Address: 4500 Capilano Park Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4L3.
8. Throw a Picnic Day at Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve
Lying under tourists’ radar, Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve is Vancouver’s best-kept secret. Hiking, cycling, and inline skating become locals’ favourite outdoor activities as they embark on the 50-kilometer paved way shaded by the lush greenery all around.
While you’re in this part of Vancouver’s North Shore, remember to grab some food along for an epic outing picnic day. The gorgeous wilderness turns Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve into a hidden gem for forest bathing, nature photography, and outdoor possibilities.
Address: 2369 Lillooet Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7J 2H9.
9. Take in the Awe-Inspiring View at Lighthouse Park
This coastal and rugged park has so much to keep you occupied. Encompassed by a dense pristine temperate forest, Lighthouse Park houses plenty of easy wooded trails attached with a beautiful vista at the end.
You won’t ever believe there’s such a serene outdoor space located just a stone’s throw away from this busy street of West Vancouver. This 75-hectare park is a photo-op galore scattering around the easy hikes. So make sure you pack a hearty lunch along and spend a solid day just lazing around and soaking in the summer sun!
Address: 4902 Beacon Ln, West Vancouver, BC V7W 1K5.
The most exciting and colorful festivals take over all facets of Vancouver through all four seasons. And the good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice your vacation budget just to take a sneak peek into these cultural events.
Spring brings in CelticFest where you can hit the street after putting on some green and celebrate the St. Patrick’s Day week with other Irish fellas. Then we have the Vancouver International Jazz Festival coming along in Summer. It dominates the music venues and public stages around Vancouver without entry tickets needed. Celebration of Light Fireworks Competition and Carol Ships Shoreline Celebration hosted in fall and winter respectively are other highlights you should look forward to.
Now that you know how to rock Vancouver in your own way without hurting your vacation budget, but how ready are you to experience Vancouver like a real local?
To gear you up with all the tips and suggestions only Vancouverites know, we’ve shared everything we want you to know in this handy guide!