Actually, I just wanted to make ONE post about Vancouver and then I started writing and could not stop. So I decided to make a “Vancouver-series”. A post about my love Vancouver, a city that is addictive, which you sometimes swear at and certainly on some days you just dislike (the rain plays a major role ….).
I came in 2012 with a work and travel visa and was planning to stay for one year. I fell in love with the city and stayed for three years. I was overwhelmed by the enormous possibilities of this huge city that does not feel like a big city.
You just have to love Vancouver!;)
There are quite a few reasons:
The many free events and attractions, pure nature, diversity, kindness, community, food and an active lifestyle. Over the next three post, I will make sure you will want to book your next flight to Canada! 😉
Free things to do – My favorites
In summer, there are lots of free events in Vancouver! Every weekend there is in another part of the city an event going on and it’s just about celebrating! Whether it’s the Greek Day in Kitsilano or the Italian Day on Commercial Drive – the city doesn’t give you a break from June to September and it’s just about celebrating and partying!
Of course you can’t go to each event, especially when you’re there as a (work and) traveler, you want to save money.
Therefore, here are two of my favorite music events:
The Jazz Festival in Yaletownand the Busker Festival on Granville Street! Well known jazz musicians take part in the jazz festival on a big stage in David Lam Park while the Busker Festival is slightly smaller and more varied too. There are singers, bands and comedians who show their talents and play for tip.
You like movies? Cinema is too expensive? Then you should go to Stanley Park or Canada Place in July / August watch a movie at the open air cinema! Admission is free, just bring a thick blanket (it can be cold near the water), some food (or buy food at one of the food trucks) and leave alcohol at home (or fill in water bottle/coffee cup). Alcohol in public costs you $250 if you get caught!
If you like fireworks, the Celebration of Lights are exactly the right event for you! Three fireworks on three days in the last week of July and the first week of August. Three countries take part in a firework competition and deliver a gigantic show!
Every guide will recommend the Capilano suspension bridge. Yeah, you can go there, but do you know about the free alternative? Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge! When you cross the bridge you can walk for about 15 minutes to 30 Foot Pool, through a fairytale-like forests where the trees are covered by green, thick moss!
Free stuff on Craigslist! If you plan to stay for a longer time in Vancouver, then you should 1. share an apartment and 2. is worth it to get furniture on craigslist. Of course you should always look exactly in what area the furniture you wnat to buy offered or if the apartment is full of garbage. And don’t buy mattresses! You never know if they come with bed bugs! But in general craigslist is a good alternative to find free or at least cheap furniture instead of purchasing new!
For the hard-nosed amongst you, the Polar Bear Swim on January 1st is an absolutely MUST DO! While it’s 0°C, hop in the sea at English Bay and freeze. For whom this is too cold, you may bring a costume 😉
Of course everything is not everything can be great in Vancouver…
So let’s face it:
„One day it started raining, and it didn’t quit for four months. We been through every kind of rain there is. Little bitty stingin’ rain, and big ol’ fat rain, rain that flew in sideways, and sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath. Shoot, it even rained at night.“
I don’t need to say more.
However, when I remember what this city has to offer you try to suppress that it rains from November till April…
Every city, every country has their advantages and disadvantages. The advantages definitely outweigh clearly in Vancouver!
Btw, I just left –vancouver bacause I had to go. My application for Permanent Residency was rejected because I had forgotten one (!) document in my application.
Now I’m sitting here, indulging in sweet memories and the bad sides fade.
There is no other city in the world like Vancouver!
Did I convince you of that?No? Then read my next posts (#2 and #3) about Vancouver, city of my dreams!