10 tourist traps to avoid when visiting Vancouver

Aug 5 2022, 11:01 pm

Whether you are travelling to Vancouver alone, with kids, for a bachelorette, or to just see what the area has to offer, we have some tips to make your trip worthwhile.

Get out of downtown

It would be a huge loss if you just stayed within Vancouver’s downtown area.

The city is known for its walkability so take advantage of it and cross a bridge. It’s your perfect chance to head out on a hot girl walk, explore the seawall, wander the trails in Pacific Spirit Park, or walk along the beach in Kitsilano.

Vancouver is also easily connected to surrounding suburbs and popular tourist attractions via its transportation network.

So, take a SeaBus to North Vancouver to explore the quay, take the Canada Line down to Richmond for some incredible eats or take the Expo Line to New Westminster to walk along its famous pier.


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No need to pay full price for some attractions

When you’re considering visiting popular tourist attractions, it’s worth knowing there are ways to save some dollars when in this expensive city.

If you can, visit the Vancouver Art Gallery on Tuesday evenings which are “donation nights,” from 5 to 8 pm.

Or check out other museums like the Burnaby Village Museum, which is free.

And check out the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge which is a by-donation alternative that’s similar to the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

It’s also worthwhile checking out¬†vancouverattractions.com for package deals to explore First Nations culture, Vancouver gardens, local heights and sights, and more.

Or check out the good old fashion Groupon to find deals on museums for the history buffs or the Sea to Sky gondola for the adventure junkie.

Venture beyond downtown beaches

Yes, the beaches (ie – English Bay) are still lovely and convenient to get to if you’re staying in Vancouver for your trip. But there are so many other breathtaking beaches and lakes if you just take the time to drive out a bit.

Explore the trails in this Port Moody park and then chill on the beach at təmtəmíxʷtən/Belcarra Regional Park.

Or head into North Vancouver’s Deep Cove for a stunning¬†guided nighttime kayak tour.

Other incredible bodies of water worth swimming in are: Cultus Lake, Okanagan Lake, Harrison Lake, Shuswap Lake, and Lost Lake. 

Seriously, go. Your Instagram feed will love it too. 

Make a plan before heading to Granville Island

Major warning for anyone visiting this stunning part of the city: do not go out without a plan. 

There are comedy shows, the Public Market, art galleries, and so many unique places to shop and eat. But the worst thing to do to yourself is to go there when these spaces are closed. Hint: it’s not exactly a nightspot destination.¬†

So find¬†activities¬†you’d like to do, book them in advance and head down.

On another note, depending on how much you want to spend, don’t go down there hungry if you’re trying to stay on a budget! Overdoing it on Lee’s Donuts AND A La Mode Pie PLUS Granville Island beers can set you back.¬†


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Granville Island is known for its iconic market that offers locals and tourists a chance to try out new food, check out in-season produce, and basically indulge. 

There are eateries for every budget

When you come to Vancouver don’t get stuck eating at the most hyped-up restaurants.

Metro Vancouver offers a wide variety of incredible cuisine for every budget. Spots offer Korean, El Salvadorian, Thai, Afghan, Indigenous, Caribbean and so much more. 

There are so many options available, that you will never run out of new places to eat and new cuisine to enjoy. 

So do yourself and your pallet a favour, and make time to indulge in one of the best things the region has to offer — so much food!

If you need some more convincing to get a little more adventurous, maybe Vancouver’s comedic pride and joy, Seth Rogan will nudge you along.

Rogan and American restauranteur David Chang highlighted some of the region’s best foodie spots that already exist in during a Netflix show, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Chang

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner/Netflix

Spots featured included Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant and Apna Bhaia Sweet & Restaurant.

You can also check out Daily Hive’s Dished channel for all the latest Vancouver food news and cheap eats.

Gastown Clock is really not that interesting

Is the famous Gastown Clock really the only reason you should head down to the Gastown? No. 

Gastown coffee shops and bars are more than a fun way to spend some time but standing on the corner of Cambie and Water Street around this steam-powered clock for it to mark each hour with a toot from each whistle is not really worth the hype.

It’s a little underwhelming, honestly.¬†¬†

Grouse Grind is not as easy as you think

Vancouverites love a good hike and of the most popular trails you’ll hear will probably hear about is the¬†Grouse Grind.

However, like many locals who embarked on the hike for the first time, they will tell you it’s not the easiest.¬†

The grind is a strenuous three-kilometre trail where you climb about 2,830 steps. It’s often called “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.”


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So really consider if you can take on the challenge.

If you are not prepared to take on this hike, no worries! Hop on the Skyride to whisk you to the top of the mountain.

But if your heart is set on hiking in our beautiful province, there are many easy hikes around. 

Watch your bike!

Despite Vancouver being a fairly bike-able city, one of the biggest deterrents for cycling is the stark amount of bike theft and parts stripping in Vancouver.

Police have previously advised cyclists to write down their bicycle’s serial number to give to police in the event their bicycle is stolen. It will also make it more difficult for a thief to re-sell a bike.

When purchasing a used bicycle, you should also check its serial number at this website to make sure it has not been stolen: http://cpic-cipc.ca/

In addition, cyclists should also use a sturdy, high-quality U-lock. Cable locks can easily be cut through with bolt cutters. Both the front wheel and bike frame should be locked to a secure bike rack ‚Äď avoid metal sign posts, parking metres and trees as these are not secure to the ground. Also, take your bicycle inside your accommodation when possible.

Avoid the nightlife on Granville Street

If you love to dance too, we suggest skipping the nightclubs on Granville Street.

Avoid the insane crowd every weekend and head towards Davie Street, Yaletown, Gastown, or East Vancouver.

Some favourites are Junction, the Red Room, MIA, and Fortune Sound Club.

Vancouver is also nowhere short of live music if you’re into that or bar hop in Mount Pleasant.

Just earlier this year, Fairview was pegged to have the best nightlife spots in the country with its local gems that have thrilled residents over the years.

Whistler and Victoria are not “Easy Day Trips”

You could easily make a day trip when heading out to Squamish, Horseshoe Bay, or Fort Langley. But Victoria or Whistler?! You’ll have to reevaluate.

It’s possible, but so much time and energy will be spent on a long drive (in the case for Whistler) or a longer ferry ride (in the case of Victoria).

When visiting Vancouver, it’s completely worth the trip out to these cities but do yourself a favour and spend a night or two.

Whistler¬†and¬†Victoria¬†also have so much to offer. Don’t rush through it.

With files from Daily Hive staff

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