15 things to do by yourself in Vancouver

Jul 21 2017, 2:47 am

So you’ve got some time on your hands, and for whatever reason your friends are nowhere to be found.

Who needs em, anyway? There’s plenty to do in Vancouver on a solo day off—that doesn’t include sitting in your underwear playing video games.

So get some clothes on, get outside, and do something memorable with the day… before you’re back to abiding by someone else’s agenda.

Here are a few suggestions for things to do next time you’re flying solo in Vancouver.

Go see a movie you want to see

Image: Movie Theatre / Shutterstock

Want to see that corny looking action flick but are too shy to ask your buddies to come with? Are romcoms a guilty pleasure? No need to worry about arguing over what you’ll be seeing, as the choice is all yours for once!

Sit at a bar… any bar

Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar (Photo: Allison Kuhl)

Don’t be intimidated by all those booths and tables—most restaurants have a bar area specifically for lone diners. You get your beers a lot quicker sitting there, anyway.

Lounge quietly by the water

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There’s a few places in Vancouver that offer a beautiful view of the water and are, miraculously, a bit quieter than usual. Make the hike down to Wreck Beach for a somewhat more zen-like day on the sand, or explore Habitat Island all on your own.

Watch some doggos at the park

Forget people watching, head over to one of Vancouver’s many dog parks to watch the pups play. None of them will get that weird, itchy feeling of being watched, and you may even make a (furry) friend or two.

Try out some beers at Vancouver’s breweries

With people travelling in and out constantly, breweries are a great place to stop by for a quick beer. Spend some time trying out a flight, collect a few growlers, and walk around to the different breweries in the area—many of them are located reasonably close together.

Browse a used book store

Bookstore / Shutterstock

There’s nothing better than the smell of a used book store, and nothing worse than being rushed to pick something out. When you’re looking for nothing in particular, it’s nice having all the time in the world to gaze sideways at all those spines.

Explore a random SkyTrain station

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Think about it for a second… you pass by all these different stations every day, yet have never once stopped off at some of them! If you have the time, spend a few hours wandering around—there’s usually a few businesses surrounding these hubs, and knowing where the closest washroom is could be crucial information down the line.

Take some good photos

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Unless you happen to be friends with photographers, it’s hard to take a good photo while walking around as a group. By yourself, you can wander down alleyways, find the perfect vantage point, and spend a few minutes getting those Instagram pics juuuuust right.

See something new at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Image: Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive

Sometimes art is tricky to understand, and it often takes a few minutes of quiet contemplation to uncover some meaning behind those lines, shapes, and colours. A hard thing to do when you’re companion is complaining of sore feet and boredom.

Climb new heights 

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While you may need a buddy to belay you if you’re climbing high, bouldering can be done solo as you only go a few metres above the ground. A great exercise, and a fun way to spend the evening—even if you are by yourself.

Read a book at Lost + Found

As far as cute cafes go, this is one of the best for settling into a cup of coffee and a good book. The serene ambiance, delicious baked goods, and comfy seats make Lost + Found a great visit, rain or shine.

Take the SeaBus to Lonsdale Quay

If you’ve got a loaded up Compass Card you’re good to go for a solo trip to Lonsdale Quay. The SeaBus is like a mini ferry ride, and the market is full of potential gifts for anyone who would usually be accompanying you.

Test yourself on the Grouse Grind

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Sure, the mutual motivation from a friend while on the grind is nice, but sometimes you’ve just got to go for it on your own. Find out exactly how fast you can run up a mountain on your own terms, without being held back—or pushed forward—by anyone else.

Find hidden treasures by geocaching

A great excuse to wander around Vancouver, Geocaches are hidden all over the place just waiting to be found. You’ll get a nice walk out of it, visit some places in the city you have likely never been, and may even pick up a trinket or two along the way.

Cozy up to some cats at the Catfé

Honestly, if you came here with anyone you’d probably end up ignoring them for the purring kittens anyway. Make some friends, buy a coffee, and spend the day in great company.

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