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Explore Surrey Like a Local: Here’s Your Perfect Travel Guide! 

Ultimate Travel Guide to Surrey Vancouver
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Step into Surrey, where cultures come together like a colorful quilt. Each street holds a different story, and every festival is a joyful chapter in the city’s history. 

If you’re travelling to Surrey soon, our guide featuring comfy stays, delicious eats, exciting activities, and handy tips can make your trip unforgettable!

Is Surrey considered part of Vancouver?

Is Surrey considered part of Vancouver
Image by Elena_Alex on Adobe Stock

Surrey is one of the municipalities in Metro Vancouver. Located on the shore of the Fraser River opposite the City of Vancouver, Surrey sits with other municipalities like Richmond, White Rock, Langley, and Delta. 

Both Surrey and the City of Vancouver are in the Metro Vancouver regional district. This means they work together on important regional stuff, like transportation, the environment, and big plans for the whole region.

But the most obvious difference between Surrey and Vancouver is where they are on the map. 

Vancouver is by the ocean, and it has amazing views of the waterfront that everyone knows. On the other hand, Surrey is more inland, next to the Fraser River.

This difference in location means that people in Vancouver and Surrey have different lifestyles and things to do for fun. 

Vancouver gets to enjoy the ocean, with walks by the water, cool places to eat with ocean views, and lots of water activities. Meanwhile, Surrey has its own charm, with parks and activities along the Fraser River, giving it a unique vibe.

Is it cheaper to live in Surrey than in Vancouver?

Is it cheaper to live in Surrey than in Vancouver
Image by Julia on Adobe Stock 

Living in Surrey is generally more affordable than living in Vancouver. 

When we look at various factors, such as rent prices, Surrey comes out as the more budget-friendly option. 

According to data from Numbeo, rent prices in Surrey are about 16.9% lower than in Vancouver. This means that individuals and families looking for housing can often find more cost-effective options in Surrey.

When it comes to dining out, restaurant prices in Surrey are approximately 23.4% lower than in Vancouver. Similarly, grocery prices are 13.9% lower. 

These figures suggest that residents in Surrey can enjoy savings on both restaurant meals and groceries compared to their counterparts in Vancouver.

While these cost differences are significant, factors like local purchasing power also play a role in the overall affordability of each location.

What is the history of Surrey in Greater Vancouver?

What is the history of Surrey in Greater Vancouver
Image by Daniel Avram on Adobe Stock

Surrey has a long history. Over 6,000 years ago, the Semiahmoo and Kwantlen First Nations People lived here, relying on fishing and hunting.

The picture changed in the 1800s when European settlers came, gradually transforming the landscape into the Surrey we know today. 

Surrey officially became a city in 1879, named after Surrey, England, when one of the founders thought it resembled the city.

Surrey’s location at an important crossroads led to its growth, especially after the Pattullo Bridge was built in 1937. 

By the 1950s, it became a commuter city, drawing more people in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1993, Surrey was declared a city, organized into six town centres.

Today, it’s poised to become the biggest city in BC. With a growth rate of 9.7% from 2016 to 2021, its population is likely to surpass Vancouver’s by 2030, surpassing Vancouver’s 5%.

Surrey keeps a connection to its roots, with 35% of the city still in agriculture. This shows the city’s journey from its Indigenous beginnings to a diverse and thriving place.

Things to Know

Language: English

Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD)

Population: In the 2016 census, the population of Surrey reached 517, 887. In 2023, it’s estimated to be 596, 340.

Parking: Surrey offers various parking options, including street parking, parkades, and designated parking lots.

Best Time to Go

The best time to visit Surrey depends on what you enjoy the most. 

If you enjoy warm weather and lots of events, summer (June to August) is great. But if you prefer milder weather and fewer people, spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) are good. 

Winter (November to February) is quieter with cooler weather, and you might see charming holiday decorations. But keep in mind that some outdoor activities might be limited in winter. 

How to Get Around

Cars: Driving a car is convenient, with well-maintained roads and easy access to attractions like Crescent Beach or the Historic Stewart Farm.

Buses: Surrey’s extensive bus network, including the B-Line, offers an affordable and efficient way to navigate the city, reaching key destinations such as Guildford Town Centre and Surrey Central.

Trains: The SkyTrain Expo Line connects Surrey to Vancouver. The four stations in Surrey are on Scott Road, Gateway, Surrey Central, and King George.

Taxis and ride-hailing services: Taxis and services like Uber are readily available, offering flexibility for shorter trips or convenient transportation when you prefer not to drive.

Bikes: Surrey boasts bike-friendly trails, including the Surrey-Langley SkyTrail and the Green Timbers Urban Forest. These trails make cycling an eco-friendly and enjoyable option for exploring the city’s natural beauty.

Where to Stay in Surrey, BC

Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel

Address: 15269 104 Ave, Surrey, BC V3R 1N5, Canada 

Phone: +1 604-582-9288

Price: $$$

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Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel is one of the go-to hotels in Surrey. It’s in a great location, near many good places to eat, and the neighborhood is safe.

The rooms are spacious, making your stay super comfy. Plus, they give you free breakfast passes, and the underground parking is easy to get to, so your stay can be hassle-free.

Sandman Suites Surrey-Guildford

Address: 10608 151a St, Surrey, BC V3R 1J8, Canada 

Phone: +1 604-582-7263

Price: $$

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Just a short distance from Central Station, the Sandman Suites Surrey-Guildford is another fantastic hotel with a perfect location. It’s near a shopping mall and lots of excellent restaurants.

The rooms are made for comfort, and the standard suite comes with a washer dryer, a fully equipped kitchen, and even a balcony with panoramic views. It’s a great place to stay with all the comforts you need.

Four Points by Sheraton Surrey

Address: 10410 158 St, Surrey, BC V4N 5C2, Canada
Phone: +1 604-930-4700

Price: $

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Four Points Hotel is just a short 20-minute drive away right off the Pacific Highway border cossing. The rooms here are lovely, there’s free parking, and the food at Citrus Bar & Grill is great.

But, just so you know, some rooms might have noise from the street or nearby rooms. The good news is, there are upgrades happening now, so there’s hope that they’re fixing this issue and that things might get even better soon.

Civic Hotel, Autograph Collection

Address: 13475 Central Ave, Surrey, BC V3T 0L8, Canada 

Phone: +1 604-951-3331

Price: $$$

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Holland Park and Guildford Town Centre are two places tourists love, and they’re both close to Civic Hotel.

The rooms are cozy, and you can choose one with a view. Just a heads up, the rooms have a kind of open setup, with only a wall divider between the bath and the bed so, make sure you’re okay with that if you’re staying with someone.

Now, if you’ve got a Marriott Rewards membership, you can also get a free fantastic breakfast.

Where to Eat around Surrey, BC

Bozzini’s Restaurant – Greek, Indian, Italian

Address: 13655 104 Ave #104, Surrey, BC V3T 1W3, Canada

Phone: +1 604-588-6880

Price: $$


A long-standing favorite in town is Bozzini’s Restaurant, dishing out mainly Mediterranean food since 1982. While the inside might need a bit of sprucing up, the staff’s attentiveness especially with the regulars can make the atmosphere feel warm.

And their food is delightful! Whether it’s their rice, roasted lamb, or vegetarian burger, the dishes are a hit.

If you’re planning a big get-together, Bozzini’s also does catering. Take a look at the menu to see which dishes you can order for trays.

Royals Pizza Restaurant in Surrey, BC

Address: 12837 88 Ave, Surrey, BC V3V 3K2, Canada 

Phone: +1 604-503-1919

Price: $$


If you’re craving both pizza and Indian flavors, take a peek at Royals Pizza’s menu. They’ve got Shahi Paneer and Tandoori Paneer pizzas, and even Chana Bhatura.

They also offer pizza bundles, pasta, and chicken wings, perfect for when you’re throwing a party with friends!

Dominion Bar + Kitchen

Address: 13475 Central Ave Unit D1, Surrey, BC V3T 0A1, Canada

Phone: +1 604-733-2231

Price: $$


If you’re at Civic Hotel, Autograph Collection, you don’t even need to step out for a good meal. Just head to Dominion Bar + Kitchen right in the lobby.

They serve up a variety of dishes that are anything but ordinary. A crowd favorite is their chicken and waffles. 

And if you’re there for weekend brunch, make sure to try their mimosa flight for a delightful time. It’s a great way to enjoy your stay right in the hotel.

Trees Cheesecake and Organic Coffee University Dr

Address: 10299 University Dr #104, Surrey, BC V3T 0N3, Canada 

Phone: +1 604-496-1714

Price: $$


Trees Organic Coffee just opened this location in 2023, right in the SFU Campus Area. It’s close to Surrey library and not far from Surrey Central Station, just a short walk away.

The brand is known for its organic coffee and cheesecake, and you can get that here too. Just keep in mind that finding parking around here can be a bit tough. 

Old Surrey Restaurant

Address: 13483 72 Ave, Surrey, BC V3W 2N7, Canada

Phone: +1 604-596-2313

Price: $$


The food is clearly the star here at Old Surrey Restaurant. If this is your first time at this restaurant, try their Abbotsford duck breast, caesar salad, and nitro ice cream affogato.

They’ve been keeping up the good work for a long time, and that’s probably why they have a big customer base that just keeps growing. 

What to Do in Surrey, BC

Unwind at Bear Creek Park

Unwind at Bear Creek Park
Image by Andrew on Adobe Stock

Bear Creek Park in Surrey is a huge, green place that families and nature lovers really like. It’s not just about walking paths and pretty gardens – there’s also a fun Bear Creek Park Train that kids and even grown-ups can ride. 

The park has big open spaces, places to play sports, and even a water park for some cool splashing around. 

Whether you want to have a picnic, take a relaxed walk, or just enjoy being outside, Bear Creek Park has lots of fun things to do. It’s a perfect place for tourists to chill in Surrey.

Browse through Cloverdale Flea Market

Browse through Cloverdale Flea Market
Image by AlbertArt on Shutterstock

The Cloverdale Flea Market is a cool shopping spot in Surrey. It’s open on Sundays and has lots of old things, handmade stuff, and other unique items. 

You can find treasures from different sellers, talk to the local sellers, and get special things that show off Surrey’s charm. It’s a fun place for visitors to explore and find unique stuff to take home.

Take Part in the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade

Take Part in the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade
Image by ChiccoDodiFC on Adobe Stock

The Surrey Vaisakhi Parade is a lively celebration with colorful floats, traditional music, and happy performances.

Like the Vaisakhi Parade in Vancouver, it’s one of the biggest parades outside India.

A lot of locals and tourists love to be part of this vibrant spectacle showcasing Sikh and Punjabi culture in the city. In 2023, over 500,000 people have taken part in the event.

Participate in the Surrey Fusion Festival

Participate in the Surrey Fusion Festival
Image by Surrey Fushion Festival via Facebook

Have a great time at the Surrey Fusion Festival, a big party that happens every year at Holland Park. There’s awesome music, dances, and tasty food from all over the world. Families can enjoy different performances and try yummy food from different countries. 

Check the Surrey Fusion Festival website or local event info for all the details. It’s a super fun and exciting event for everyone in Surrey.

Stroll and Fish at Crescent Beach 

Stroll and Fish at Crescent Beach 
Image by Andrew on Adobe Stock

Crescent Beach is a scenic destination known for its public fishing pier. Tourists can take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque shoreline, relish breathtaking views of the bay, and perhaps try their hand at fishing. 

With inviting seaside cafes, it’s a perfect spot to unwind and absorb the coastal charm that Surrey has to offer.

Drink Craft Beer 

Drink Craft Beer 
Image by Sean on Adobe Stock

If you enjoy the craft beer scene in Vancouver and North Van, you should try Surrey’s. You can savor the local flavors, enjoy the lively atmosphere, and immerse yourself in Surrey’s evolving beer culture.

Check out the diverse range of craft beers from Russell Brewing Co and Central City, which is famous for its Red Racer brand. 

Swing by the Museum of Surrey

Swing by the Museum of Surrey
Image by Discover Surrey 

In the Museum of Surrey at the Heritage Campus in Cloverdale, you can explore interactive exhibits, touch artifacts, and learn about the city’s rich past. 

Some visitors skip this, but it’s one of the cheapest and coolest things to do in the city. It’s not just for adults – if you have kids with you, they’ll really enjoy the fun experience, too. 

Visit Filming Locations in Surrey

Visit Filming Locations in Surrey
Image by maxdigi on Adobe Stock

Explore Surrey’s movie spots where they filmed cool movies like “Twilight” and “The X-Files.” Even though it’s not Hollywood, Surrey has some famous places you might recognize from the big screen. 

It’s a fun way for movie fans to see Surrey’s own touch of movie magic.

Where to Shop in Surrey, BC 

Central City Shopping Centre

Address: 10153 King George Blvd, Surrey, BC V3T 2W1, Canada

Phone: +1 604-587-7773

Pricing: $$

Central City Shopping Centre is a vibrant and spacious mall located in the heart of Surrey. It houses over 140 stores, offering a mix of well-known retail brands, boutique shops, and dining options. 

The center is also known for its unique architectural design and is home to a Simon Fraser University campus and office spaces. It’s a one-stop destination for shopping, education, and business in the Surrey area.

Guildford Town Centre

Address: 10355 152 St, Surrey, BC V3R 7C1, Canada

Phone: +1 604-585-1565

Pricing: $$

Guildford Town Centre is one of the largest shopping malls in British Columbia, boasting over 200 stores and services. 

This mall is known for its diverse range of retailers, from high-end fashion brands to tech stores, alongside a food court with a variety of dining options. 

The centre’s recent renovation has added a fresh, modern look, making it a popular shopping destination in Surrey.

Real Canadian Superstore 104th Avenue

Address: 14650 104 Ave, Surrey, BC V3R 1M3, Canada

Phone: +1 604-587-8518

Pricing: $$

The Real Canadian Superstore on 104th Avenue in Surrey is a large supermarket offering a wide range of groceries, household items, and electronics. 

Known for its competitive prices and extensive product selection, this store is a go-to for locals for one-stop shopping. It also includes additional services like a pharmacy, optical department, and clothing section, adding convenience for shoppers.

McFrugal’s Discount Outlet & Outdoors Store – Surrey

Address: 14885 108 Ave, Surrey, BC V3R 1W2, Canada

Phone: +1 604-582-0745

Pricing: $$

McFrugal’s Discount Outlet & Outdoors Store in Surrey is a treasure trove for bargain hunters. This store specializes in discounted goods ranging from everyday household items to outdoor gear. 

It’s a popular spot for those looking to find great deals on a variety of products, with an ever-changing inventory that promises new finds with every visit.

Tips when Visiting Surrey

  • Bring cash, if possible. Be aware of currency exchange locations or bring cash, especially if you plan to visit local markets or smaller establishments that may not accept credit cards.
  • Respect Surrey’s cultures. Embrace Surrey’s cultural diversity. Ensure courteous behavior in places of worship and during cultural events.
  • Stay vigilant with your belongings. This is kind of a given in crowded areas and big cities to ensure a safe and secure travel experience. The same advice applies when traveling to Surrey.
  • Check local event calendars. Stay in the loop for festivals, markets, and community events happening during your visit, adding an extra layer of excitement to your stay.

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