I love my city, and naturally, a few other people do too. It seems like everyone and their moms are moving to Vancouver! In the last decade alone, we've seen a huge influx of people moving into the Greater Vancouver area from all over Canada. But I don't blame them - Vancouver is awesome.
You may live in the suburbs, and you just moved into the city! Or maybe you're from another province and just moved to BC. Either way, you will want to know some of the do's and don'ts to living in the city. Why not read this article and skip the first few months of trying to figure it out on your own. I'm only here to help. 🤗
If you just moved to Vancouver, there are probably a few things that you'll learn are the do's and the don'ts of living in the city. Like where to live when it comes to renting an apartment. Downtown vs. South Vancouver? Roommates or no roommates? If you're on a tight budget and living in Vancouver, then roommates are a must! Are you planning to commute into the city? Should you take transit or drive to work. If you know you're going to be going out for drinks on the regular, then you're making sure that you're at least getting some good deals!
Okay, enough talking. Here is a quick guide to the Do's and Don'ts of living in Vancouver.
Click "Next" to find out What To Do and What Not To Do in Vancouver
Living in Vancouver
Do move to Vancouver.
Don't live in Vancouver.
Vancouver is a small city, and with that comes a ton of rich people will all of their money to spend. It's waaaaay too expensive to live in Gastown, Olympic Village or even Downtown. Don't make a huge mistake by paying a ridiculous amount just so you can tell your friends from back home that you live in Downtown Vancouver.
Spare yourself the extra couple hundred dollars and live on the outskirts of town. Depending on where you end up finding a place, I'm sure that you'll be able to easily get in and out of town. Just make sure you're close to bus routes and sky train stations!
Honestly, so many people say that they live in Vancouver, but they're really living on the border or outside of the city. You can still get in and out of the city every day so you're still living like a Vancouverite, without paying downtown Vancouver rental prices.
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Commuting to Vancouver
Do take transit.
Don't drive in traffic.
Yes, there are delays with our transit system and sometimes it sucks. But nothing sucks more than fighting two and a half hours of traffic to work every morning (if you're coming from outside of the city). No, I'm not joking.
If you're friends live out in Coquitlam or Surrey and you're crashing with them for the foreseeable future, get ready for some serious traffic if you're driving into Vancouver every day for work.
I find myself constantly struggling with the idea of transiting vs driving, which takes about the same amount of time to get into Vancouver. But it ultimately comes down to gas, sitting in traffic, and dealing with... Vancouver drivers on the road. Be wary of your decision.
Not to mention, sitting bumper to bumper in the same rush hour on your way home! It's not worth it. Invest in a compass card!
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Renting in Vancouver
Do get roommates.
Don't depend on one income.
Like I said before, living in Vancouver is expensive. You'll need a whole lot of cash if you're going to be sleeping in the city. It's hard enough to find an apartment, let alone pay all of that rent on your own. Do yourself a favour and get a roommate, or three.
It may not be the most luxurious option. And I'm sure you pictured yourself moving out on your own, living in a fancy studio apartment with an exposed brick wall, but you'll have to put that dream on hold - for now.
Trust me, if you're living in Vancouver then roommates are the way to go. Don't you remember how fun it was to live in dorms at uni? Okay, maybe not fun, but you did it then so you can definitely do it now. Hopefully, we all know how to sweep and clean out the fridge now.
Just think of it as first year, except you're semi-adults now.
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Dining Out in Vancouver
Do go out to restaurants, and pubs.
Don't go out to the fanciest most expensive restaurants in town.
If you've just moved to Vancouver then you're most likely going out every other night, meeting new people and you're without-a-doubt eating out! Maybe your fancy new job means that your coworkers like to go out for taco Tuesdays or they rally the team together for drinks after work on Fridays.
Don't make the common mistake of just searching for which restaurants are trendy, or have the best sangria. No, no, no. I know that you'll want bang for your buck. Make sure that you're frugal when it comes to going out all of the time. You'll need $1 taco shops and places to have brunch for under $10.
Even if you don't think that you'll be going out a lot because you're a grown up and you're going to be cooking at home, trust me, being a Vancouverite centers around being a foodie on the weekdays and going to bars week nights.
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Clubbing in Vancouver
Do drink at bars and clubs in Vancouver.
Don't drink at bars and clubs that charge cover.
Living in Vancouver means you'll be going out with friends, co-workers and basically everyone else you know all. the. time. Don't play yourself by paying for expensive AF drinks AND cover charge. DJ Khalid would not approve.
I know you'll probably think that you won't be going out that often, but it will definitely become apart of your routine. Don't waste your precious hard earned cash on cover charge and $12 cocktails. You will never find me paying full price for drinks in Vancouver. If you know where to look, you can easily find clubs that have free cover charge and bars that serve super cheap sangria. You can thank me later.
If your girls are planning a weekend bender, then you need to be smart about going out. Find out the best places to go to that won't break your bank. Always get in and grab stamps before they start charging for cover.
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Biking in Vancouver
Do ride your bike.
Don't get on the road until you're ready!
If there's one thing that Vancouverites feel passionately about, it's cycling. If you're new to Vancouver then get used to discussing the hotly controversial topic of cycling. It's not a joke, this conversation gets really heated in the city.
You will meet two types of people when you move to Vancouver, the person who rides their bike religiously work every single day and the person who can't friggin stand the guy who rides their bike to work every single day.
If you're the kind of person who likes to be outdoors, stay active and ride around town - then do you! If you moved to Vancouver, it's definitely because you're the outdoorsy type. Don't let some bike-hating drivers stop you from taking advantage of living in this eco-friendly hub.
If you think that you're fit enough to keep pace in Vancouver, then give it a shot! Don't hesitate to get yourself a fancy road bike and test out our bike lanes. If you're a bit nervous, try out some residential areas first. Don't worry, it's better to start off slow before throwing yourself into the dense traffic of downtown Vancouver.
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Do explore everything the city has to offer!
Don't waste your precious time in this beautiful city.
Don't waste your time in Vancouver by saying that you'll go on that hike next weekend, or by skipping drinks with your friends on Thursday night because you have to work at 7 am on Friday. Trust that the hustle and bustle of city life will keep you going.
It's difficult to manage moving to a completely new city, a new work schedule, school schedule and your social life. Have no fear, we're all in the same boat at one point in our lives. Vancouver is a city to many locals but also travellers and lots of newcomers!
Go exploring, run every single trail, hike every mountain. This is why everyone moves to Vancouver! There are so many mountains just waiting for you to climb them. The city is so gorgeous. Don't get too wrapped up in work - just go outside and enjoy this amazing view.
You moved here for a reason, right? 😉