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Flyin’ Solo? Here’s Your Ultimate Guide to Solo Traveling in Vancouver

Ultimate Guide to Solo Traveling in Vancouver
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Solo travelers are true icons—fearless, always on the move, and of course, unbeatable packing pros. The kind everyone, traveler or not, aspires to be.

If solo traveling is on your bucket list and Vancouver is your dream destination,

then here’s the guide you’ll ever need. Who knows, this could be your ticket to your ultimate solo flight in Vancouver!

Is Vancouver a good place to solo travel?

Is Vancouver a good place to solo travel
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Vancouver is generally safe for solo travelers. The city is walkable, friendly, and appealing to a high number of solo travelers all over the world.

In 2022, Vancouver’s Crime Severity Index (CSI) was 92.0, lower than BC’s overall CSI at 100.37. 

The city’s violent crime CSI has gone down by 3.6% since 2013, and non-violent crime is down by 3.7% since 2021. 

This is a way better trend than the national scene, where violent crime shot up by 32% since 2013, and non-violent crime increased by 4.08% since 2021. 

But hey, CSI shouldn’t be our sole metre stick for saying Vancouver is safe.

If you take a stroll down the streets, you’ll feel most of the neighborhoods are safe even during the night, while other streets around downtown Eastside have their challenges. The stats tell a similar story.

Vancouverites are also known for being friendly. The city has a great mix of folks from everywhere, it’s used to welcoming tourists, and in 2019, it even topped Big 7 Travel’s list of the friendliest cities in the world.

Whether Vancouver truly deserves that friendliness crown might be up for debate, but the fact that it’s even in the running says something, right?

It’s probably why solo travelers are flocking to Vancouver—Explore Worldwide‘s recent survey showed it staying top of mind based on online searches for destinations to do solo traveling.

Things to Know about Vancouver for the Solo Traveler

Language/s: mainly English; Mandarin, Punjabi, and Cantonese are some of the languages spoken at home next to English.

Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD)

Nearest Airport: Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

How to Get Around in Vancouver

How to Get Around in Vancouver
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Cars: Navigating Vancouver by car allows solo travelers to explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods. Despite potential traffic considerations, the well-maintained roads and efficient traffic management ensure a relatively smooth driving experience.

Buses: Throughout the day, solo travelers can hop on a bus as long as they check the stops and the schedules on Translink’s website. You can take trolleys, community shuttles, the RapidBus (line name starts with R), or the NightBus (starts with N).

SkyTrains: With SkyTrain’s three distinct lines, you can swiftly move between downtown attractions, East Vancouver, and the Vancouver International Airport in Richmond. Check out the schedules on their website.

Taxis: Taxis are readily available in Vancouver and provide a convenient option for solo travelers who prefer door-to-door service. 

While public transportation is much more preferable and is less pricey, taxis can offer a more comfortable way to navigate the city, especially for those spending a limited time in the city, like solo travelers.

Ferries: If you’re journeying towards the North Shore, you can ride the SeaBus from the Waterfront Station to Lonsdale Quay. You can take the SeaBus instead if your destination is within False Creek.

Bikes:  Walk Score gives Vancouver a grade of 99. For starters, Vancouver’s bike-friendly infrastructure and picturesque landscapes make cycling an appealing option for solo travelers.

With dedicated bike lanes and rental services available throughout the city, exploring Vancouver on two wheels offers a healthy and environmentally conscious way to discover its parks, neighborhoods, and scenic waterfront.

Walking: Vancouver is highly walkable (WalkScore grades the city 81, which means you can do errands on foot). Of course, it will depend on how far your destination is, but you can expect most streets to be pedestrian-friendly and great for solo travelers.

Cost of Travelling Solo in Vancouver

Cost of Travelling Solo in Vancouver
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As a solo traveler, the amount of money you should prepare for a trip to Vancouver depends on a variety of factors, including the length of your stay, your travel style, and the activities you plan to do. 

For a ballpark figure, Budget Your Trip suggests a daily budget of CAD 71 to 194—a range based on what other visitors in the low to mid-range bracket typically prepare.

If you’re aiming for a more comfortable trip and you’re ready to spend on the higher end, think about setting aside CAD 580 or more for a day’s expenses.

Keep in mind that Vancouver doesn’t fall on the cheap side. Of all your daily expenses, it’s the accommodation that usually takes the biggest slice. 

Of course, if you’re flying from a different country, you need to consider the cost of flying to Vancouver also. Champion Traveler places a worldwide economy ticket from $489 and $772 per person.

What You Need for a Solo Trip to Vancouver 

What You Need for a Solo Trip to Vancouver 
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  • Travel insurance. Essential for any solo adventure, travel insurance safeguards you against unexpected mishaps, like medical emergencies and trip cancellations.
  • Cash and/or credit cards. While cards offer convenience, having some cash on hand can be handy in places that may not accept cards like New Town Bakery, one of our recommended stops for Chinese and Filipino baked goods.
  • Sunscreen. Given Vancouver’s mix of outdoor attractions and varying weather, packing sunscreen is a must to protect your skin from the sun’s rays, especially if you plan on spending time exploring parks, beaches, or other open spaces.
  • Camera. Capture the stunning landscapes and vibrant city life by packing a reliable camera. Whether it’s a smartphone with a quality camera or a dedicated device, having a means to document your solo trip ensures lasting memories.
  • Backpack. A comfortable and spacious backpack is a practical companion for a solo trip, providing a hands-free way to carry essentials, maps, snacks, and any treasures you might pick up during your explorations.
  • Weather-appropriate clothing and footwear. For the rainy fall and winter months, bring waterproof jackets, layers, and sturdy, water-resistant boots.

    In the warmer spring and summer, opt for lightweight fabrics, along with comfortable walking shoes for exploring the city and its outdoor attractions.
  • First aid kit. A compact first aid kit can be a lifesaver in minor emergencies. Include essentials like band-aids, pain relievers, and any personal medications to handle unexpected health concerns during your trip.
  • Phone charger. Keep your devices charged and ready for navigation, communication, and capturing memories. If you drain your battery, Vancouver has a number of spots where you can charge your phone.
  • Universal travel adapter. Ensure your electronic devices stay charged by bringing a universal travel adapter. This versatile accessory accommodates different plug types, ensuring compatibility in various regions.

Where to Stay in Vancouver for Solo Travelers

OPUS Hotel Vancouver

Address: 322 Davie St. Vancouver, BC V6B 5Z6 Canada

Phone: (866) 642-6787

Pricing: $$$

Book Now

Opus Hotel is a fantastic match for solo travelers with its lively colors and cool pop art that resonates with independent and fun-loving spirits. 

Not just about looks, the rooms here are squeaky clean, and they score extra points with modern perks like in-room iPads and a complimentary dog walking service.

The Burrard

Address: 1100 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y7, Canada 

Phone: +1 604-681-2331

Pricing: $$

Book Now

While it may not flaunt the lavishness of larger hotels, The Burrard compensates by offering just what you need for a comfortable stay, all at rates that won’t break the bank.

The hotel seamlessly weaves retro and modern elements into its design, which creates a distinctive charm. If you value personality in your choice of accommodation, look no further.

L’Hermitage Hotel

Address: 788 Richards St, Vancouver, BC V6B 0C7

Phone: (604) 682-5555

Pricing: $$

Book Now

L’Hermitage Hotel’s rooms fit three floors and there’s no full restaurant on-site, but with its classic vibe and modern amenities, this boutique hotel provides a refreshing option compared to the usual big chain hotels. 

With an underground parking option available at the hotel, you also have the choice of using the nearby open lot during daylight hours for an extra layer of security.

The Listel Hotel Vancouver

Address: 1300 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1C5, Canada 

Phone: +1 604-684-8461

Pricing: $$

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If your plan is to chill by English Bay Beach for a day or two, The Listel Hotel is just a three minute drive away. 

Or you can also squeeze in some walking or biking time on the way – it only takes 20 minutes to walk from the hotel to the beach, and 10 minutes by bike via Cardero Bikeway.

Oh and the hotel is adorned with some seriously impressive artworks. So, if you’re into a stay with a sophisticated vibe, this place has got you covered.

Coast Coal Harbour Hotel by APA

Address: 1180 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 4R5 Canada
Phone: (604) 697-0202

Pricing: $$

Book Now

Coast Coal Harbour Hotel is a nice hotel downtown. Its location is just perfect if part of your plan is to explore the attractions in the city centre – which of course, is just the way to go for a solo traveler.

If you happen to be setting sail on a cruise, this hotel is just a few meters away from the cruise port.

Loden Vancouver

Address: 1177 Melville St, Vancouver, BC V6E 0A3, Canada 

Phone: (604) 669-5060

Pricing: $$

Book Now

Situated within a quick 10-minute jaunt from the bustling shopping scene on Robson Street (What is Robson Street known for?), The Loden Hotel offers a prime location. 

You can have a day of retail therapy followed by a leisurely stroll to the seawall for some well-deserved relaxation.

And what’s drawing us in? The hotel’s chic fittings and the lush dark wood decor, creating a seriously cool ambiance.

Pan Pacific Vancouver

Address: 999 Canada Pl #300, Vancouver, BC V6C 3B5

Phone: (604) 662-8111

Pricing: $$$

Book Now

Located right at the waterfront, Pan Pacific Vancouver treats you to breathtaking panoramic views of ships and float planes. If easy access to public transportation is high on your list—be it for the airport or catching a train—this is the perfect spot.

Dive into relaxation at Spa Utopia, British Columbia’s largest spa conveniently located within the hotel. Because, really, you’re solo traveling – you totally deserve pampering!

Fairmont Waterfront

Address: 900 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 3L5, Canada 

Phone: +1 604-691-1991

Pricing: $$

Book Now

If your destinations are near the waterfront or you’re planning to try out the unmissable FlyOver Canada, you can stay at Fairmont Waterfront.

It’s the younger sibling of the rumored haunted Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel within YVR airport. This one’s connected to a mall and a train station instead.

What to Do in Vancouver for Solo Travelers

Stroll Through Time in Historic Gastown

Stroll Through Time in Historic Gastown
Image by i viewfinder on Shutterstock

One of the most interesting things to do as a solo traveler is to journey through Vancouver’s historic Gastown, where cobblestone streets and unique shops can transport you to another era. 

The Forbidden Downtown Tour (Walking Tour in Gastown, Vancouver), in particular, adds a layer of intrigue by delving into the city’s occasionally scandalous history. This guided tour takes you through concealed alleyways, providing a fresh perspective on Vancouver’s past. 

Escape to Nature in Stanley Park

Escape to Nature in Stanley Park
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Indulge in the serenity of a solo stroll through Stanley Park, where the tranquil Seawall and iconic Totem Poles create a peaceful retreat into nature. 

The leisurely pace allows for immersion in the lush surroundings, providing a perfect solo escape within the heart of the city.

Discover Vancouver via Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Discover Vancouver via Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Image by Lissandra Melo on Shutterstock

Simplify your solo exploration with the convenience of a Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour. 

This allows you to navigate Vancouver at your own pace, providing glimpses of the city’s diverse attractions from the comfort of a bus seat. The narrated journey offers solo travelers flexibility and insights into Vancouver’s rich history and culture.

Fly Over Vancouver in FlyOver Canada

Fly Over Vancouver in FlyOver Canada
Image by Pascal Huot on Shutterstock

Embark on a virtual journey over Vancouver’s breathtaking landscapes with FlyOver Canada, an immersive experience tailor-made for solo adventurers. 

This simulated flight offers a unique perspective on the country’s diverse beauty, combining technology and sensory engagement for an unforgettable solo-friendly adventure.

Join Fellow Foodies on a Food Crawl

Join Fellow Foodies on a Food Crawl
Image by Zarubina Viktoriia on Shutterstock

Embark on a culinary adventure with a solo-friendly food tour, such as a Croissant Crawl. Explore diverse neighborhoods, savoring delectable croissants from local bakeries. 

This experience not only satisfies your taste buds but also provides an authentic immersion into Vancouver’s culinary scene for solo travelers.

If you’re into bagels, you can sample a good variety of styles here in the city. The same goes for craft beer care of the many breweries in Gastown and all the way up to the North Shore.

Explore More Green Spaces through Forest Bathing

Explore More Green Spaces through Forest Bathing
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Escape the urban hustle and join a group forest bathing session, where solo travelers can connect with nature in Vancouver’s serene green spaces. 

Guided by experienced leaders, this immersive experience promotes relaxation and mindfulness, creating an ideal setting for solo exploration amidst lush surroundings.

Drop by the Vancouver Art Gallery

Drop by the Vancouver Art Gallery
Image by Lissandra Melo on Shutterstock

Immerse yourself in solo cultural exploration at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Marvel at diverse collections of Canadian and Indigenous art, contemporary works, and international exhibits. 

The rotating exhibitions promise a dynamic and enriching experience for solo art enthusiasts, providing ample opportunities for reflection and appreciation.

Visit the Bloedel Conservatory

Visit the Bloedel Conservatory
Image by Shoots429 on Shutterstock

Discover tranquility in the heart of Queen Elizabeth Park with a visit to the Bloedel Conservatory

This solo-friendly haven boasts lush tropical flora, exotic birds, and panoramic city views. Wander through this peaceful oasis, allowing solo travelers to unwind and reconnect with nature amid the conservatory’s vibrant and serene environment.

Check out Vancouver Public Library’s Cool Architecture

Check out Vancouver Public Library’s Cool Architecture
Image by Jeff Whyte on Shutterstock

Explore the architectural marvel of the Vancouver Public Library, a solo-friendly destination with unique design elements. 

Beyond its literary treasures, the library offers Instagram-worthy spaces (Most Instagrammable Spots in Vancouver), including a rooftop garden, providing solo travelers with a visually pleasing and contemplative atmosphere.

Explore Street Art through Vancouver Mural Fest

Explore Street Art through Vancouver Mural Fest
Image by Miss Nephew  on Shutterstock

Immerse yourself in Vancouver’s vibrant street art scene by participating in the Vancouver Mural Fest. 

This solo-friendly experience invites you to explore ever-evolving public art installations and graffiti scene, connecting solo travelers with the city’s cultural expressions and diverse artistic narratives.

Watch the Vancouver Pride Parade

 Watch the Vancouver Pride Parade
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Celebrate inclusivity and diversity by attending the lively Vancouver Pride Parade as a solo traveler. 

Join the festivities along the parade route, where vibrant floats, performances, and a jubilant atmosphere create a sense of unity and empowerment for solo participants.

In a sea of people (around 400,000 attendees before the pandemic) all celebrating love and life, you’ll feel less alone and more lucky to be interacting with all kinds of faces.

Bike Around the City – Solo or with a Group

Bike Around the City – Solo or with a Group
Image by Marc Bruxelle on Shutterstock

Embrace Vancouver’s bike-friendly culture on a solo adventure, pedaling through scenic routes like the Seawall and Stanley Park. 

Rent a bike and explore diverse neighborhoods at your own pace, enjoying the freedom and flexibility of solo biking while taking in the city’s picturesque landscapes. You can also join tours on a bike, so you can follow a local guide while making friends.

Attend an Event at the Museum of Vancouver

Attend an Event at the Museum of Vancouver
Image by Lissandra Melo on Shutterstock

Embark on a solo-friendly exploration of Vancouver’s past and present with a tour of the Museum of Vancouver. 

Delve into exhibits showcasing indigenous heritage, urban development, and contemporary art, offering solo travelers a comprehensive understanding of the city’s rich history.

Ride the Seabus to Lonsdale Quay

Eat Your Way through Granville Island
Image by Alena Charykova on Shutterstock

Add a touch of adventure to your solo exploration by hopping aboard the Seabus. 

This scenic water transport provides a unique perspective of Vancouver’s harbors and False Creek, offering solo travelers a leisurely and picturesque journey between downtown Vancouver and Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. 

With stunning views of the city skyline and mountains, the Seabus provides a comfortable and convenient mode of transportation for solo adventurers, connecting two vibrant areas with diverse attractions.

Eat Your Way through Granville Island

Eat Your Way through Granville Island
Image by Jeff Whyte on Shutterstock

Indulge in a solo culinary experience on Granville Island, exploring the bustling Public Market. 

Solo travelers can immerse themselves in a diverse array of fresh produce, artisanal foods, and gourmet delights. With waterfront views and a vibrant atmosphere, Granville Island offers the perfect setting for solo food adventures in Vancouver.

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