Beautiful, vibrant, and pretty damn cool are some of the most common words people use to describe Vancouver.
From its welcoming vibe to its scenic views to its mild climate (for Canada, at least), if you’re wondering which Canadian city to visit, Vancouver is a top choice.
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But as one of the country’s top 3 most densely populated cities, you may wonder, is Vancouver safe?
In this guide, we’ll discuss what (if any) safety concerns in Vancouver and what you can do to ensure a pleasant and stress-free vacation.
- Vancouver is a safe destination for travelers.
- It is safe to travel to Vancouver right now.
- Practice common sense and awareness when traveling in Vancouver.
Is Vancouver Safe For Tourists?
Vancouver is considered a very safe city for visitors as (serious) crimes aimed at tourists are almost non-existent. Petty crimes like pickpocketing, of course, do occur, and tourists are often an easy target.
However, the overall crime rate across the city is meager, making it a top choice for travelers looking for a safe and fun Canadian city.
Is Vancouver Safe To Travel Now?
As of mid-2023, Vancouver and the whole of Canada are totally safe to visit. Canada’s once strict Covid restrictions are now a thing of the past, and the country is fully open to international tourists again.
There are also no natural disaster risks in Vancouver, and currently, the terrorism risk is low. However, note that in the past few summers, significant forest fires in the surrounding areas have spread smoke all over the city.
So if visiting in the summer, note that the air quality may be low and pose a risk to those with existing respiratory issues and allergies.
Why Is Vancouver “Dangerous”?
Vancouver is certainly not considered a dangerous place to visit or live. Sure, petty crimes like pickpocketing occur, but crime is generally no concern for tourists visiting this bustling city.
Like all big cities, some areas are safer than others, but while the so-called “dodgy” districts may be unpleasant to stroll through, even these neighborhoods are not dangerous per se.
The Safest Areas In Vancouver
Being a very safe city, you can practically stay anywhere in Vancouver without concern.
However, crime rates differ slightly between neighborhoods, as does the vibe. So if you’re looking for the safest place to stay in Vancouver, consider the following districts.
- Downtown Vancouver – If you want to stay in the city’s heart, surrounded by entertainment and attractions, I suggest Robson Street. It has a bustling international vibe, and although busy, there are very few safety concerns.
- South Cambie – This primarily residential area in the south of the city is pretty and peaceful, with the lowest crime rates in the city. While it’s not in the center of the action, it’s still quick and easy to reach Vancouver’s top attractions from here.
- Davie Village – This is the LGBTQ+ hub of Vancouver, so if you’re seeking someone inclusive, accepting, and friendly, Davie Village is a top choice.
Other areas with meager crime rates in Vancouver are West Point Grey And Kerrisdale, which are close to the city center.
One area you may want to avoid is Downtown Eastside, which has a somewhat dodgy ambiance.
Pickpocketing and break-ins are more common here, and some blocks are frequented by drug addicts, making it seem reasonably unsafe. Thus, avoiding walking around this area alone and at night is best.
Things To Avoid In Vancouver
As a highly safe city, there is nothing specific you should avoid while in Vancouver. Because of this, feel free to get off the tourist path and explore the city beyond the most famous attractions.
While downtown Vancouver is fab, I recommend heading south to Main Street, as you’ll find many independent clothing stores here instead of the usual chain stores.
Similarly, Commercial Drive has some of Vancouver’s top restaurants, so it is a must-visit.
While wandering around Vancouver is generally safe, always stay aware of your surroundings. Moreover, opt for a taxi or public transport to go home rather than walking, especially in poorly-lit areas.
One thing you shouldn’t do in Vancouver, like with all cities, is to carry large amounts of money. You can pay for most things by card anyway, so there is no need to take wads of cash everywhere you go.
Driving In Vancouver
While you can drive in Vancouver, most tourists prefer the reputable public transport service, consisting of the metro, overground trains, and buses. The extensive network covers the entire city and is fast, safe, and easy to use.
However, transit hubs like train stations can have more prevalent pickpocketing. So maintain caution at all times and never leave your belongings unattended.
An alternative to public transport is using taxis, another safe option. Vancouver also has the usual ride-sharing apps like Uber, making it easy to get a ride from door to door 24/7.
If you decide to rent a car and drive in Vancouver, note that parking is both difficult and expensive. Traffic jams are also common as no major freeways exist in the city, and some lanes have been transformed into bicycle lanes.
So, while it is safe to drive here, I recommend sticking with public transport for a more stress-free experience.
Vancouver For Solo Travelers
Vancouver is totally safe for solo travelers and a trendy destination for people to visit alone. You’ll have no concerns walking around alone during the day, and because there is so much to do, you’ll never get bored.
Hotels can be pretty expensive in Vancouver, even more so if you have no one to split the cost with.
Luckily, many fab hostels around the city offer both a cheaper and more social stay.
For example, Samesun Vancouver on Granville Street has complimentary breakfast, an onsite pub, and organized tours daily, allowing you to find travel buddies.
Vancouver For Female Travelers
Like solo travelers, Vancouver is incredibly safe for women. You can walk around without getting pestered, and it is considered normal for women to be alone here.
Of course, if you go to bars at night, be highly cautious, like elsewhere in the world.
For example, don’t accept drinks or rides home from strangers and take the bus or metro back to your hotel instead of walking, even if it is a short distance.
Vancouver For Digital Nomads And Expats
Thanks to its vast selection of activities, beautiful scenery, and top-class food and nightlife, Vancouver is a highly desirable city for digital nomads and expats. In fact, Vancouver is one of the best places to live in Canada.
It is also welcoming, accepting, and ethnically and culturally diverse, attracting people from all corners of the world.
Being a big city, Wifi is fast and reliable. Plus, you’ll always find somewhere comfortable and cool to work from.
Along with endless hip and trendy coffee shops and cafes, you’ll find many co-working spaces, including HiVE and The Network Hub.
However, Vancouver is not a cheap city by any means. So if you’re looking to work remotely in a low-cost location to increase your savings rapidly, there are better options than Vancouver.
That being said, if you manage to snag a well-paid job here, you’ll surely enjoy an excellent quality of life!
Extra Safety Tips
Here are a few additional considerations to ensure your Vancouver trip is as safe and problem-free as possible:
- Familiarize yourself with the emergency numbers – The main number you need to know is the general emergency number, 911, which covers police, fire, and medical services. You can report a non-emergency incident on 604-717-3321. Also, ensure you have your embassy number on hand should you run into any trouble.
- Pack for the season – While Vancouver’s winters are mild compared to other parts of the country, temperatures can drop as low as 3° at night and 7° during the day. It can also rain about half the month during winter, so ensure you bring a warm and waterproof coat and other winter accessories when visiting during this time.
- If visiting busy areas or enjoying Vancouver’s awesome nightlife, I recommend using a cross-body bag or a rucksack with a safety lock to prevent pickpocketing.
- Use Revolut in Canada to pay for goods and services. Revolut is an excellent travel card for travelers.
Vancouver Travel Insurance
Comprehensive travel insurance is crucial to ensure a safe and stress-free Vancouver vacation.
Insuring your trip gives you peace of mind, knowing you’re financially covered should you fall ill, get in an accident, or experience any common travel occurrence like pickpocketing and lost baggage.
I recommend getting insurance with SafetyWing as they offer the most comprehensive coverage, have a straightforward application process, and allow you to sign up from anywhere in the world.
Final Thoughts On Safety In Vancouver
So let’s recap, is Vancouver safe? Absolutely! If you’re planning a trip to this bustling Canadian city, you are almost guaranteed a worry-free stay.
That being said, you should still be cautious when out and about by always being aware of your surroundings and keeping your belongings on you.
We recommend you purchase a Canadian SIM card to access the Internet if you need to during your travels. It’s also a safe way to call for help if needed.
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Appeared first on: abrokenbackpack.com