The cheapest way to get around Vancouver

February 13th, 2018  |  Travel

Vancouver may be one of the most expensive cities to live in, but it doesn’t have to be expensive to get around; there’s so much to do!

Because of Vancouver’s physical layout—water, islands, mountains, etc.—bridges and ferry services help people navigate the terrain. The city is split into sections: the Downtown Core, South of Downtown (South Granville, Kitsilano/Fourth Avenue, Queen Elizabeth Park, Van Dusen Gardens), and the North Vancouver Shore which includes three different municipalities. When combined, these sections make up the Greater Vancouver Area (GVA).

Walk it!

The downtown core is very walkable and your least expensive option.

Tour bus

Next, there are travelling tour busses or trolley services that you can hop on or off throughout the day for one price. They stop around major tourist areas and you’re able to stay there and hangout until you’re ready to leave on the next trolley.


Not recommended if you’re trying to find the cheapest way to get around somewhere, but always great in a pinch.

Public transit

Public transit is usually the cheapest way to get around a relatively developed city, apart from walking. Vancouver’s system is operated by Translink and Coast Mountain Bus Company and emcompasses three different modes of transport: Skytrain, bus, and Seabus. The same fare will allow you to transfer onto any one of these vehicles during a continous trip.

The Skytrain is a rapid transit system that operates above ground, the bus is the bus, and the Seabus is, as you may be able to discern, the bus of the sea (the public ferry service). You might want to buy a daypass and travel all day!

Tripadvisor says:

The SkyTrain system is the longest automated system in the world with 49.4 kilometers of track serving 47 stations. The Skytrain stations are all serviced by bus routes and many are located at major bus loops, providing connections to many bus routes. The Seabus connects Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver with Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. Many popular attractions can be accessed from the SkyTrain system alone.

Since you’re at an elevated vantage point, the Skytrain offers a unique experience in both getting where you need to go and letting you see the city and mountains.

The Skytrain offers you a unique experience at an elevated vantage point. On your way to your destination, you'll be able to check out the city and surrounding mountains! And who would turn down a Seabus? 

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