Ahhh you've finally made it to Vancouver, but it's the last stop on your travel itinerary and you've already spent all your money on drinks and clubs in Vegas, shopping in Toronto, and well, your flight here.
Let's be honest, you wanna do all the touristy fun things there are to do in the city but you're just too broke. But not to fear, because we're gonna help you make your last dollar count.
Instead of going to or doing all the top Vancouver attractions that can be a bit pricey when you're on a budget, there are plenty of things you can do instead that are practically the same...or even better! Because well, we're cheap. Lol.
So all my fellow travellers and tourists, here are 9 things to do in Vancouver that won't drain your wallet:
1. Instead of going to Vancouver Lookout, go Cloud 9 for a drink or one of these Vancouver view points.
As popular as Vancouver Lookout is as a tourist attraction, you do have to pay an admission fee to get a lift up to the top of the building. Instead, opt for free entry to Cloud 9 in the West End and just enjoy a drink or dessert at the restaurant! Or if you're really broke and you can't even afford a drink, take a drive up to one of the many breathtaking view points in Vancouver!
2. Instead of going to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, go to the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge.
So you've seen it on all your friends' Instas and you really want to go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge...but you get there and you realize entrance is like $60. You're broke ass can't afford that! So our solution, visit the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge in Lynn Valley. Admission is free and though it maybe not have a super cool treehouse like the one at Capilano, you're really just in it for that IG shot of the bridge right (refer to photo above)?
3. Instead of taking a Seaplane tour of Vancouver, try taking a simulated flight over the entire country at FlyOver Canada.
So you've arrived at Coal Harbour wanting to take a seaplane tour of Vancouver and it turns out it's almost $150. As much as it is worth it, you just can't justify it..neither can your wallet. Instead, walk just 5 minutes over to the Vancouver Convention Centre and try FlyOver Canada for $23, or even less if you're a student. Explore the most beautiful corners of the entire country in this simulated cross Canada flight.
4. Instead of going out on the "Granville Strip" (ugh, who even calls it that), explore the bars in Gastown.
If you ask any true Vancouverite, they'll tell you that Granville St. is overrated, overpriced, and overall, just not the place you wanna go. Instead, they'll probably recommend you to hit up an awesome bar or club in Gastown. The bars basically turn into clubs, and cover is either free or will run you way less than if you were to go out on Granville. Trust us here. And because we love you tttthhhhhhiiiiisssss muuuccchhh, click here for a list of the cheapest places to get drinks in the city.
5. Instead of renting a bike all-day at bike rental store to explore the city, try Mobi Bikes instead.
So if you're wanting to do a little self-guided bike tour of the city, we recommend that you don't rent a bike for an actual bike rental store. Instead, try using the city's bike share system, Mobi Bikes. Typical bike rentals can cost you up to almost $30/day, whereas a Mobi Bike day pass is only $8/day! You can ride the bike for 30 minute periods and return the bike at any Mobi location.
6. Instead of taking the gondola up to Grouse Mountain for the views, take a drive up to the Cypress Mountain views that are just as beautiful.
Unless you're looking to do the grind up to the top of Grouse Mountain, which is 100% free by the way, your only other option is to take the gondola which is about $45. Instead, take a little road trip up to Cypress Mountain and just before the top of the mountain, there's a completely free view point that's just as gorgeous as Grouse Mountain. The view is also relatively similar since they're both mountains from the North Shore looking down onto the rest of Vancouver.
7. Instead of taking the Vancouver Trolley to explore the city, just go by foot or transit.
Honestly, Vancouver is so small, and you really don't need a trolley shuttle to take you around. And I mean, don't you wanna explore like a local anyhow? The trolley shuttles will run you almost $50, but going by foot is free (obviously) and a Translink day pass is only $9.75.
Pro-tip: Ride the Expo Line from Granville St. through to Metrotown to see a local's view of Vancouver from above, passing through Science World and East Van. Low key one of my favourite transit routes.
8. Instead of going to the Vancouver Art Gallery any day you like, go on a Tuesday
Tickets to the VAG on a regular day can be up to $25, but if you're in Vancouver on a Tuesday, you definitely want to schedule your vacation here so that you can go for free/by donation to this amazing art gallery on Tuesday.
9. Instead of dining at a restaurant on Granville Island, try all the yummy food stalls in the Public Market.
It's not that the restaurants at Granville Island mark up their prices significantly, it's just the fact that food can be expensive. Add on a 15% dining in tip, and you've just added a few more dollars to your bill. Instead, why not try all the different sweet and savoury snacks at the Granville Island Public Market? From meat pies to stone oven pizza, blueberry cheesecake tarts to refreshing gelato, it's definitely more fun to snack on your friend's food than just your own plate.