The Best List of Free Things to Do in Vancouver

Vancouver is filled with many wonderful things to see and experience for travellers and families. Check our ultimate list of free things to do in Vancouver.

Ah, lovely Vancouver! It’s not a surprise that this sparkling west coast city is filled with wonderful things to see, do and experience for travellers and families. The best news is that many of these activities don’t have to cost you a cent.

Vancouver can be a very expensive city to live in and visit, so we need all the free stuff we can get, right? Take note of our FAB list of freebies, and head out to enjoy any and all of these 101 free things to do in Vancouver!

Vancouver is filled with many wonderful things to see and experience for travellers and families. Check our ultimate list of free things to do in Vancouver.

  1. Walk or bike the six kilometres of the new Arbutus Greenway from Kitsilano to Marpole in Vancouver
  2. Discover Camosun Bog near the UBC Endowment Lands
  3. Walk, run or bike the extensive trail network of the UBC Endowment Lands
  4. Pick a trail to walk along in Pacific Spirit Park
  5. Head down to catch some rays at Wreak Beach at UBC, and remember that clothing is optional
  6. Pack a picnic and people-watch at Kits Beach
  7. Play beach volleyball, throw a frisbee or take a walk along Spanish Banks and Jericho Beach
  8. Relive your student days hanging out in the Nest, UBC’s beautiful student centre
  9. Visit Stanley Park to see the First Nation totems
  10. Enjoy the views and take a selfie at Prospect Point in Stanley Park
  11. Walk, bike or roll all 10 kilometers of the Stanley Park seawall
  12. Watch a free outdoor movie in Stanley Park – every Tuesday from July 4th to August 22nd
  13. Pack a picnic and sit by Trout Lake in East Vancouver
  14. Catch the fireworks at the Honda Celebration of Light – watch in English Bay or Kits Beach for great views
  15. Stroll through the old quarry gardens at Queen Elizabeth Park
  16. Walk the dog in Everett Crowley Park
  17. Point the teens towards the skateboard park in Quilchena
  18. Shoot some hoops at the Kits Point Basketball court
  19. Take a free walking tour of one of four Vancouver neighbourhoods – Downtown, Gastown, Chinatown, Granville Island
  20. Visit a local water spray park for free summer cool down
  21. Play disc golf at Queen Elizabeth Park
  22. Visit a 2010 Olympic Winter Games site, like the Olympic Cauldron at Jack Poole Plaza
  23. Groove to the free tunes at the Khatsahlano Music Festival along 4th Avenue in Kitsilano
  24. Play tennis at one Vancouver’s 18 free courts city-wide
  25. Wander around the shops and attractions at the Granville Island Kids Market
  26. Splash around at the large water park and slide on Granville IslandVancouver is filled with many wonderful things to see and experience for travellers and families. Check our ultimate list of free things to do in Vancouver.
  27. Keep on the lookout for movie stars! Vancouver has the largest film industry in Canada
  28. Explore Sun Yat-Sen Park and its gardens full of Chinese architecture, bridges and pavilions
  29. Appreciate some art at the free Contemporary Art Gallery in downtown Vancouver
  30. Take in a free show at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival
  31. Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery for free on Tuesdays from 5-9 PM
  32. Watch the sunset from English Bay beach
  33. Take some epic selfies at Canada Place and wave at the cruise ships departing on weekends
  34. Discover Vancouver via Pokemon Go!
  35. Hike Dog Mountain at Mount Seymour Provincial Park
  36. Drive up to Cypress Mountain Lookout
  37. Hike through wooded trails at Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver
  38. Picnic in Whytecliffe Park, West Vancouver
  39. Watch the ferries come and go in Horseshoe Bay
  40. Hike up to Quarry Rock in Deep Cover
  41. Walk or bike the Rice Lake Loop Trail in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve
  42. Hike Baden Powell Trail on Vancouver’s North Shore mountains
  43. Cross the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge and walk the trails
  44. Visit the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre, packed with historic and hands-on displays
  45. Walk or cycle the 50 km of the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve on the North Shore
  46. Hike in Lynn Headwaters Park and visit the waterfall
  47. Walk up the 2.9 km Grouse Grind – ‘Nature’s Stairmaster’
  48. Drive the spectacular Sea to Sky Highway to Squamish
  49. Walk around Alice Lake, north of Squamish
  50. Hike up Black Tusk in the Garibaldi Mountain range north of Squamish
  51. Take at pit stop at Shannon Falls Park
  52. Hike the Sea to Summit trail at the base of the Sea to Sky Gondola
  53. Learn about spawning salmon at Capilano River Hatchery
  54. Hike up Mt Gardiner on Bowen Island
  55. Walk around Killarney Lake on Bowen Island
  56. Search for tumbled beach glass on Hummingbird Beach, Bowen Island
  57. Play in the Bowen Island School Playground
  58. Visit Barnet Marine Park, Burnaby’s only saltwater beach
  59. Walk to the Jug Island lookout from Belcarra Regional Park in Belcarra
  60. Talk a walk in Burnaby’s Central Park
  61. See the sunrise from the Tower of the Gods on Burnaby Mountain
  62. Go back in time at Burnaby Village Museum
  63. Enjoy a day trip to Harrison Lake and take a dip
  64. Take a self-guided Circle Farm Tour in Harrison Mills
  65. Walk along the oceanside trail on the Cape Roger Curtis on Bowen Island
  66. Tackle the entire False Creek seawall route from Vanier Park to English Bay
  67. Take a free guided tour of the Rennie Art Collection at Wing Sang
  68. Check out SFU’s Starry Nights at the Trottier Observatory and Science Plaza, and observe the night sky through powerful telescopes
  69. Walk the West Vancouver seawall from Ambleside to Dundarave
  70. Take the Circle Farm Tour in Langley
  71. Spend the day in Golden Ears Provincial Park – walk the trails or enjoy the waters of Alouette Lake
  72. Enjoy the waterfall in Bridal Veils Park
  73. Drive to Hope and explore the Othello Tunnels, now part of the Trans Canada Trail system
  74. Watch the planes take off and land at the public observation area at Vancouver International Airport
  75. Bird-watch at Boundary Bay Regional Park near Tsawwassen
  76. Check out the cool Terra Nova Adventure Play Environment in Richmond
  77. Fly Kites in Steveston’s Garry Point Park
  78. Bike or walk around the Richmond Dikes
  79. Walk along Iona Beach in Richmond
  80. Discover the peat bog habitat of Richmond Nature Park (entrance is free or by donation)
  81. Pick blackberries in season at MacDonald Beach
  82. Attend Free Drive-In Movies at Landsdowne Centre in Richmond
  83. Enjoy a stroll along the Fraser River Walk in Steveston, Richmond
  84. Spot the original beach cottages along Crescent Beach
  85. Let the dog off-leash in Fraser River Park in south Vancouver
  86. Walk along the Pier in White Rock
  87. Visit the Kids Gallery at the Surrey Museum (entrance is free)
  88. Explore Burns Bog in Surrey
  89. Enjoy the spring cherry blossoms on a walk in the Marpole neighborhood
  90. Hike to Kanaka Creek in Maple Ridge
  91. Explore the wetlands and bird life of Colony Farm Regional Park in Coquitlam
  92. View the Amazing Laughter sculptures in English Bay
  93. Walk from Jack Poole Plaza to Stanley Park in Coal Harbour in downtown Vancouver
  94. Meet a new friend and enjoy some local craft brew on their backyard patio
  95. Watch the sunset from Crab Park on Burrard Inlet in East Vancouver
  96. Visit the B.C. Golf Museum
  97. Check out the free summer Movie Night at Connaught Park in Kitsilano
  98. Stargaze at Gordon MacMillan South Observatory in Vanier Park
  99. Channel your inner Judge Judy and take in a legal hearing at the Vancouver Law Courts in downtown
  100. Browse through the vinyl stacks at Zulu Records on West Fourth Avenue
  101. Check out a Car Free Day on a summer Sunday

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Vancouver is filled with wonderful things to see and experience for travellers and families. Check our ultimate list of free things to do in Vancouver.

Photo Credit: Tourism Vancouver

What are your favorite free things to do in Vancouver? Share your tips in the comments below.

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27 Comments

  • I’m heading to Vancouver in November and this list is perfect! So many great ideas.

  • Cassie says:

    This is such a good list! I wanna see an outdoor movie in Vancouver!! Such good free inspo!

  • 18 tennis courts Claudia? That is impressive. Not a big tennis guy here but hey; I’d give it a shot with those cool Vancouver surroundings. Walking around this beautiful city would suit me and my wife fine. Fave thing for us to do. Anywhere. Landed another NYC house sit this week so more hours spent on the Upper West Side exploring the hood, celebrity watching and enjoying beautiful Central Park.

    • Claudia says:

      I hope you get to visit soon Ryan. Enjoy your house sit in NYC – another amazing, favorite city of ours!

  • Fiona says:

    wow there is loads to do! Which one is your fav?

    • Claudia says:

      We especially love Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge area for hiking and picnicking. It’s very family friendly and an easy walk for most folks. We love anywhere for hiking in our Metro Vancouver area. 🙂

  • Mike Cotton says:

    What an incredibly comprehensive list. Vancouver is such a cool city, the west coast vibe is strong there.

  • Jean says:

    Oh Vancouver! So much to see and do. I had no idea there was so many fun things to see and do.

  • Megan Jerrard says:

    Extensive and impressive list! I usually challenge myself to spend my first few days in a city exploring for free, because you really get a sense of the local community when you walk, bike, people watch and hang out in the parks as the locals do. Vancouver is one of my favorite cities, and this is great proof that it doesn’t have to be an expensive trip 🙂

  • What a wonderfully comprehensive list of free things to do in Vancouver. It’s been a dream for me to visit one day! I almost moved there about 6 years ago but life had other plans. I would love to check out the night sky from those telescopes, as well as see the salmon farm and maybe a good cycle tour of the city! Looks like a great city to visit – I’m determined to get there one day!

    • Claudia says:

      I hope you’ll be able to visit Vancouver one day in the near future. So much to see and do!

  • JodyR says:

    This is such a great list! I had no idea there was a golf museum!

  • Tamara says:

    What a list!! I need to come back…in sunny season 🙂

  • Dana Freeman says:

    Amazing list! I have never been to Vancouver. Keeping this post for when I finally get there.

  • Cat says:

    I used to study at UBC and I gotta say it is such a beautiful campus! I haven’t been to Pacific Spirit Park yet. I will need to check that out next time I visit Vancouver!

  • What a comprehensive list of freebies in Vancouver. You really wouldn’t be stuck for something to do and you wallet would thank you. Have booked marked this great reference for when I head there in the hopefully not too distant future.

  • Chrysoula says:

    Wow, that is a huge list, I have no idea you could do so many free things in Vancouver. I think I probably need 3 months to do all. I would love to go to the free drive-in movies. Never been to one.

  • I love lists like this. I think its the feeling of accomplishment I get once I check them all off 😉 I haven’t purchased flights yet but I know Vancouver is in our near future and I can’t wait to try and check off as many of these as I can, except maybe the clothing optional beach 😉

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