Dating and romance in Vancouver, British Columbia, do not have to be expensive. There is no rule that says you have to splurge on white tablecloths at a swank Vancouver fine dining establishment that might render you penniless.
You can get creative, take advantage of Vancouver's natural beauty, and use this list to help you find the best inexpensive dates ideas in Vancouver.
Nightlife Bargains Out on the Town
You can still afford to take your special someone out for a night out on the town, but timing is the difference between affordable and break-the-bank. To impress your date with a high-end restaurant or candlelit romantic nook, schedule time for drinks, appetizers, or dessert only. Have your night planned out such that you have to leave the restaurant to get to a performance. Or, grab a nightcap at a restaurant after you see a show. This way, you save yourself the jumbo tab.
One of the top romantic hotspots in Vancouver is Hapa Izakaya, a Japanese tapas bar with little plates. You can grab appetizers and it can feel like a meal. Because you share the dishes, you and your date will have something to talk about, like your food choices.
Scenic Vistas, Sunsets, and Flowering Gardens
When it comes to an inexpensive date in Vancouver, use what nature provides for free—scenic vistas and beautiful parks.
- Walk, bike, or rollerblade on the Seawall in Stanley Park and check out Siwash Rock and the Lion's Gate Bridge. Or stop in and smell the roses at the Stanley Park Rose Garden.
- Steal a kiss by the waterfalls at Lynn Canyon Park and walk across the Lynn Canyon wooden-slat suspension footbridge.
- Watch the sunset at one of Vancouver's top 5 beaches like Spanish Banks or clothing-optional Wreck Beach
- Hold hands at the free quarry gardens at Queen Elizabeth Park perched atop the highest point of Vancouver with sweeping vistas.
- Get sweaty together on one of Vancouver's greatest hike trails like the 3-mile Grouse Grind for beautiful views of Vancouver and then grab a gondola down the face of the mountain.
- Ride your bikes side-by-side and do an Instagram scavenger hunt to find Vancouver's most photogenic spots.
Mutual Admiration at the Museum
Every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. the Vancouver Art Gallery is by donation only, so pay what you can, and you and your date can enjoy the 11,000 works of art together.
Let History Sweep You Away
Make a plan to visit some of Vancouver's best-loved landmarks and curate your own romantic tour of the land settled 10,000 years ago when the glaciers from the last ice age melted away.
If you and your partner love history, take a walking tour of historic Chinatown.
If finding hidden alleys and popping into unique shops gets you excited, then tour Granville Island.
Visit the Burnaby Museum and Village. Admission is free to this outdoor historic museum. Go back in time and stroll together down the streets of the museum's 1920s-style community. Take a ride on the 1912 fairground carousel and share a scoop from the ice cream parlor.
Festivals, Ice Skating, and Celebration
Every month Vancouver has festivals, celebrations, and activities like free ice skating in winter at Robson Square from December to February.
And during the summer, you can visit the carnival-like atmosphere of the night markets in Richmond and North Vancouver from May to September for a few dollars per person.
Most events are free. Take a look some of the things you can do, like the Lunar New Year's Parade, which is sometimes in January or sometimes February (depends on the lunar calendar), St. Patricks's Day Celtic Fest in March, and spooky Halloween events in October.