Things to do in British Columbia
We love this city, and we love free stuff, so it seemed logical to combine the two and compile this list of 25 free things to do in Vancouver. Think of it as the ultimate checklist for year-round activities - all free of charge. Some are indoor, some outdoor. Some are exciting, others relaxing. Take your pick. We know you have plenty to choose from, and at $0, you can do them over and over again.
Don't forget to check out our blog for lots more things to do in Vancouver!
1. Visit Granville Island
Once home to some serious industry (hence its former name, Industrial Island), Granville Island is now anchored in the arts and crafts community, and is one of the best places for families to experience Vancouver. Read more about it here.
2. Hang Out in Stanley Park
Stroll along the sea wall, picnic on the greens, smell the roses...it doesn't get much better than Vancouver's pride and joy.
3. People-Watch in Vancouver
How do visitors really get to know the city? By hanging out in neighbourhoods and soaking in the vibes. Get the dish on all of Vancity's 'hoods.
4. Hike the Grouse Grind
The famous Grouse Grind hike is a must-do for outdoor enthusiasts. Your legs might hate you afterward, but the views at the top are incredible. Hiking up is free, though you’ll need to pay the $10 for the gondola ride down. Get more info about Grouse Mountain.
5. Go Celeb-Spotting
Where, oh where do the stars hang out? Playing celeb-spotting is totally free and surprisingly easy. Hint: get the inside scoop by reading our "Filmed in Vancouver" page.
6. Visit the Christ Church Cathedral
Designed in the Gothic Revival style, the church features ceiling beams of Douglas fir, intricately designed interior arches and a number of stained glass windows - no wonder it's declared a Class A Heritage site.
7. Mountain Biking on the North Shore
Nothing like getting air and getting dirty to experience the best of Vancouver's North Shore. Find the best mountain biking trails.
8. Walk Around Canada Place
Downtown’s Canada Place is simply a great place to relax and watch the cruise ships glide into the city, or walk the Canadian Trail. Plus, the photo-ops starring Stanley Park and the North Shore mountains are fantastic.
9. Tour Vancouver's Art
Vancouver's art galleries never cease showcasing some of the most cutting-edge art in the country, many of them are free to browse. Try the Contemporary Art Gallery, or stroll down South Granville Street, aka “gallery row.”
10. Visit The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Staying at The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver might cost a pretty penny, but it doesn't cost a cent to check out "the Grand Lady, " which has become a verifiable tourist destination for its distinctive history and architecture.
11. Window Shop in Vancouver's Best Shopping Districts
Robson Street, Yaletown, Commercial Drive...the city's shopping neighbourhoods give new meaning to "shop 'til you drop."
12. Hang Out at UBC
Is someone in the family getting ready to apply to college? Take a tour of the University of British Columbia - it's one of the most beautiful campuses in the country.