Visiting Vancouver for the first time?
Great! You don’t want to miss the gorgeous scenery and fun activities that make Vancouver vibrant!
Despite being one of the most expensive cities to live in Canada, plenty of budget-friendly options allow you to explore and enjoy the city without breaking the bank.
There is plenty of fun to be had without breaking the bank. That’s not surprising for a city that values tourism!
From the Vancouver International Jazz Festival to sunset beach park, you are up for a mesmerizing experience.
Whether you’re new to the city or a local looking for cheap things to do in Vancouver, this list covers your next adventure.
We’ve rounded up several of the best (and cheapest!) things you can do around Vancouver, bc—no matter your interests. You are welcome!
Having a Funday in Vancouver on a Budget
Here’s our list of budget-friendly activities in Vancouver, BC:
Explore the Beautiful Stanley Park
Yea, explore Stanley Park, “The Jewel of Vancouver.” It should be right on top of your to-do list! Located on the city’s northern edge, Stanley Park is one of the largest urban parks in North America, covering 1,000 acres of land.
The park offers numerous attractions, such as hiking trails, bike paths, wildlife, and tide pool exploration. Plus, admission to the park is 100% free!
Once inside Stanley Park, you can wander along the 8.8 km ocean coastline, with fantastic views of downtown Vancouver.
Or, if you’re feeling a bit boisterous, why not rent a paddle board for some paddling fun? There’s even an opportunity to learn some coastal first aid from experienced Canadian Red Cross instructors with their workshops at Stanley Park.
Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery
You don’t need to break the bank to visit Vancouver Art Gallery. This gallery offers a variety of exhibitions that explore different mediums and styles, giving you plenty of options to explore and experience. You will be stunned by the collection of works by regional and international artists!
What’s more, admission is free for those with a valid student ID, making it an accessible activity for anyone.
If you want to get the most out of your visit, check out their audio tours which provide insight into each piece and explain how it contributes to the overall experience.
Check Out the Vancouver Aquarium
Head over to the Vancouver Aquarium for a fun, cheap day out! The aquarium is home to a fantastic array of sea creatures, from the cute and cuddly sea otters to the majestic belugas. And did we mention it’s pretty affordable? If we did, it’s worth mentioning again.
You can also save money by planning your visit to one of their special events. For those who want to learn more about marine life, they offer a variety of programs, such as the Beluga Encounter or the Behind the Scenes Tour.
Additionally, there are many interactive exhibits and activities for all ages and levels of knowledge.
Looking for a delightful urban getaway? Visiting this vibrant waterfront gem at the heart of Vancouver is one of the cheap things to do in Vancouver.
Here, you can hop aboard the Aquabus, a charming water taxi, and embark on a leisurely cruise along False Creek. Or rent a bike and hit the iconic Seawall that winds around False Creek.
Breathe in the fresh ocean air as you pedal past scenic parks, marinas, and stunning architecture. Don’t forget to take the perfect selfie with the backdrop of the Vancouver skyline!
Walk Around Gastown
Gastown is one of the oldest areas in Vancouver and has an exciting mix of old and new. It’s the perfect place to explore if you want to experience the city without breaking your wallet.
Newsflash: It’s Totally Free!
Take a stroll through Gastown and see all the exciting sights it has to offer. You can check out some historic buildings, including the steam clock, or browse the unique shops that line the streets.
Plus, there are plenty of places to grab a bite that won’t cost too much.
See a Show at the Orpheum Theater
Well, this is a high-end activity. But the Orpheum Theater is the home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and it’s worth visiting. This iconic venue offers a great way to experience a show without breaking your budget.
The Orpheum is known for its excellent acoustics and impressive art deco interior. Besides, there’s always something happening here — from acoustic performances, plays, musicals, and more. You can even catch a free performance in the lobby during intermission.
Tickets usually start around $105-118, depending on the show, and can go up depending on where you’d like to sit or the specific event.
Check out their website to see what’s playing — you never know what hidden gems are waiting to be discovered!
Take a Brewery Tour
For the beer-loving among us, a brewery tour is worth any penny. You can relish a tasting flight of local craft beers or soak up some of the city’s buzzing beer culture.
Here are some of the top-rated brewery tour spots in Vancouver:
- Big Rock Urban Brewery
- Tap and Barrel
- Powell Brewery
- Brassneck Brewery & Tasting Room
- Red Truck Beer Company & Kitchen
- Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers
- Luppolo Brewing Company
- Doan’s Craft Brewing Co
So why not grab a few friends and spend an afternoon exploring some of the city’s craft breweries?
Go Whale Watching
Ready to get up close and personal with some majestic creatures? You can go whale watching in Vancouver without breaking the bank.
Many companies offer tours that allow you to experience the beauty of the ocean and witness some of its most magnificent creatures.
Whale watching is a fantastic experience; it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. You can find tours ranging from budget-friendly prices to luxury packages.
So choose one based on your preferences and budget. Plus, many bonuses like snacks or drinks make your experience even more enjoyable.
Visit Granville Island Public Market
Another affordable and exciting activity to try is a visit to Granville Island Public Market. This fantastic place has appealing food, vibrant artisans, and exciting stores.
At Granville Island Public Market, you can find a wide variety of locally produced foods, including:
- Fresh local produce
- Baked goods from locally-owned bakeries
- Freshly caught seafood from local fisherman
- Gourmet cheeses and meats from family-owned farms
- A selection of handmade arts and crafts.
There’s also a wide variety of entertainment options, including live music and theater performances, outdoor movies, art exhibitions, and more.
The best part? It’s open year-round for visitors, so take advantage of it!
Check Out the Views From Vancouver Lookout
Make sure to add the Vancouver Lookout to your list of must-dos. Located at Harbor Center Tower, a trip to the top of this 553-foot-tall tourist attraction will be one of the most memorable experiences. We can guarantee that.
The observatory boasts 360-degree views of the city, and you get uninterrupted views of Stanley Park, the Coastal Mountains, and the North Shore Mountains. You can also check out Mount Seymour, Grouse Mountain, and Cypress Mountain opinions.
Visit Queen Elizabeth Park
Take a day or half-day to visit Queen Elizabeth Park, one of Vancouver’s best attractions. It delivers stunning views over downtown and Stanley Park on a platter.
Queen Elizabeth Park is suitable for picnics or a walk. Take in some of its gorgeous gardens or participate in year-round activities like bird watching and tennis.
The park is famous for its vast collection of trees and shrubs from all over the world as well as beautiful displays of flowers.
If you feel more adventurous, visit the Pitch & Putt golf course or take on the Bloedel Conservatory, housing exotic birds and colorful plants.
Stroll On Lynn Canyon
What’s a visit to British Columbia without visiting Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver? Lynn Canyon Park is an exciting place to see if you’re looking for cheap things to do in Vancouver.
It’s a North Shore park with exciting sights like excellent suspension bridges, beautiful waterfalls, and lush rainforest trails.
One of the best things about Lynn Canyon Park is it’s a free alternative to paid activities, yet it makes your trip a blast! And plenty of activities to enjoy here won’t cost you a dime.
Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is a popular dog-friendly hike. You and your pet can leisurely cross the free suspension bridge and stroll around the park while enjoying all the sights and sounds.
Or you can take a longer hike to explore some of its more remote areas. You can also take your pick from the many trails that range from easy to moderate difficulty, perfect for whatever level of adventure you’re feeling!
Over To You
You don’t have to break the bank for a memorable experience. Consider exploring nature or indulging in culture. Either way, there are plenty of cheap things for you to do in Vancouver.
With some planning, you can have a mindblowing cruise around Vancouver without spending a fortune.
Vancouver is full of cheap things to do with inexpensive activities and excellent opportunities for lasting memories.
Pick up your camera, do the right kit, and get ready for an exciting trip you will never forget.