For travellers who don’t have a vehicle, or lack the desire to traverse Vancouver’s busy transportation system, you need not fret!
Westcoast Sightseeing’s Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour is an efficient, affordable and convenient way for you to travel between the sites on your own customized Vancouver itinerary.
In this article we will show you how to best take advantage of the hop on hop off service and how to secure the best price possible!
Let’s get started.
- What is a hop on hop off bus?
- Vancouver bus tours
- Discounted Tickets
- Dual Pass
- User Tips
Hop On Hop Off Vancouver
So first, for those not in the know – what is a hop on hop off tour?
West Coast Sights provides a Vancouver bus tour that perfectly combines the social atmosphere of a guided tour with the flexibility of independent travel.
When you ride with them you:
- Travel with fun people aboard an open-top or trolley bus through the city’s most Instagram worthy sites.
- Get off wherever you like for as long as you like!
- See the entire city in as little as two hours, or take all day.
There are two different hop on hop off routes available:
- The City Route-travels through downtown Vancouver.
- The Park Route-focuses on the cities natural wonders.
We recommend purchasing a dual pass, which offers all-inclusive access on both routes for 24 hours.
If you’re a short on time though you can be each individually.
Clear-top Convertible Buses
It’s no secret that Vancouver doesn’t have the driest weather around.
These clear-top convertible buses make it easy with clear-roofs to provide passengers with stunning views even when it is raining.
However, once the sun comes out, the roofs come down!
These hop on hop of buses channel the spirit of the Bay Area as they look more like a classic San Francisco style cable-car, only running on wheels and gasoline.
Of the two Vancouver bus tours this is the option most loved by children.
Passengers aboard the trolley buses can enjoy live commentary in English that provides a brief description about the attractions located at each stop.
The clear-top convertible buses are equipped with theatrical, GPS triggered commentary in a variety of languages, including:
Consequently, we recommend these buses for travellers who prefer commentary in a language other than English.
Simply grab one of the complementary audio guides, put on your headphones, and you have your own custom tour guide!
How to Find Your Bus
You can find out where the next bus is located by using a live interactive map that is updated with real-time GPS data from each bus.
Head over to the Westcoast Sightseeing website to check out the live interactive map, which can be viewed from any mobile device.
Hop On Hop Off Vancouver Schedule
There are slight variations based upon route.
For a complete Hop-On, Hop-Off schedule visit the Westcoast Sightseeing website.
The complete route, without stopping, takes 2 hours for the Park Route and 1.5 hours for the city route.
Note that the last bus begins service at the start of the route 1.5-2 hours before the ending time.
The Hop On Hop Off service can be a incredibly cost-effective, efficient and enjoyable way for anyone to tour the City of Vancouver.
However, there are a few classes of travellers that will particularly benefit from its services, including the following types of travellers:
- Time restricted travellers
- First time visitors
- Cruise ship passengers
- Travellers who don’t speak English (the audio guides can be invaluable)
- Senior citizens
- People with limited mobility (buses can only accommodate folding wheelchairs)
Hop On Hop Off Vancouver Prices
There are three separate fares on offer, which will be explained further down.
- The Park Route
- The City Route
- The Dual Pass (offers all-inclusive service on both routes)
*Infants under the age of 3 are free on all services.
Where to Purchase Tickets
Tickets are bought directly from Westcoast Sightseeing in a variety of locations:
1) The Welcome Centre
2) The Welcome Kiosk
Located in front of the Cruise Ship Terminal at Canada Place at 999 Canada Place. This is the most convenient location for cruise ship passengers.
3) On board
Tickets can be purchased directly from your driver when boarding the bus at any stop. Cash and credit cards are accepted.
Visit the Westcoast Sightseeing website to purchase tickets directly.
Online purchase is our recommended method to secure Hop On Hop Off tickets.
It provides the highest level of convenience, allows you to avoid lengthy queues and most importantly it allows you to secure the best rates!
To obtain discounted rates we recommend that you purchase your tickets online through our friends at Viator who offer a low priced guarantee.
This assures you that you won’t board the bus and find out your fellow passengers have gotten a better deal.
Hop On Hop Off Vancouver Tour Info
Trip Duration: 2 Hours (without stopping)
Join the tour at the first stop in Gastown or any one of the stops in the heart of Downtown Vancouver, and be whisked away on a breathtaking journey through the city’s best beaches and parks.
Meander through the temperate rainforests of Stanley Park all the while soaking in the stunning views of the North Shore Mountains and the sparkling waters of English Bay.
Afterwards, you can choose to unwind with a drink in some of Vancouver’s best bars just simply relax and take in the stunning views of False Creek.
- Canada Place (Westcoast Sightseeing welcoming kiosk)
- Pinnacle Hotel/ Vancouver Harbourfront
- Robson Street Shopping District/Blue Horizon Hotel
- Coal Harbour/Harbour Cruises
- Stanley Park Pavilion/ Mini Railroad
- Vancouver Aquarium/Stanley Park Horse-drawn tours
- Totem Poles
- Prospect Point
- Ferguson Point
- Some of Vancouver’s top beaches (Second and English Bay)
- Aquatic Centre/False Creek Ferries
- Museum of Vancouver
- Maritime Museum/Vanier Park
- Granville Island Bus loop
- Entertainment District
- Library Square
- Sports District
- Gastown Maple Tree Square
Trip Duration: 1.5 Hours (without stopping)
For travellers with a preference for urban exploration the City Route focuses on the attractions located within Vancouver’s Downtown core.
Start in Vancouver’s historic Gastown and be transported to the Vancouver Art Gallery and Vancouver’s main shopping district: Robson Street.
After doing a little shopping, head down to Canada Place and the Vancouver Waterfront and marvel at the stunning views of Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains.
After a quick jaunt down Burrard Street, head to Yaletown, a former warehouse district that is now known for housing some of Vancouver’s best restaurants, cocktail lounges, and fashionable boutiques.
If the sun is shining, be sure to checkout the famous Seawall for some stunning views of False Creek.
There is plenty of fun to be had for the kids at Science World. For the grownups, try your luck at the Parq Casino before visiting one of its numerous restaurants, bars or nightclubs.
For a little culture, or some amazing Chinese food, stop off in Chinatown before subsequently ending your journey right where you began in historic Gastown.
Trip Duration: Without stopping the entire route takes 1.5 hours.
Have a look below for a complete list of the city route stops:
- Art Gallery/Pacific Centre
- Canada Place
- Sutton Place Hotel/ Robson Street
- Century Plaza Hotel
- Parq Casino
- Science World
- Gastown Maple Tree Square
As I mentioned before, If you’re feeling indecisive Westcoast Sightseeing offers an all-inclusive dual pass with unlimited access to stops on both routes.
This option provides travellers with the highest degree of flexibility to customize their itinerary with a mix of urban and natural attractions.
Vancouver is truly a city located on the fringes of nature. For visitors to experience all that it has to offer it is absolutely imperative that they get a taste of its natural beauty in addition to its architectural wonders.
For a slight increase in cost, you’ll be provided with access to both aspects of our city for one low price. If you have the time, this is our most recommended Vancouver HoHo package.
It is important to note that in the offseason (Jan 1st-Mar 31st) Westcoast Sightseeing combines their tours into one route. Thus there is only one package available, dubbed the Classic Route. As a result, the dual pass is not available during this time.
For a look at the stops on this amalgamated route click here.
As a HoHo bus veteran who’s taken a fair amount of friends around, I’ve come up with a few key tips to help you maximize the value of your pass.
1) Purchase your tickets online
Buying your tickets in advance is convenient, allows you to avoid queues and most importantly can save you money!
2) Go for the dual pass
Springing for the dual pass grants you with increased flexibility when selecting your itinerary.
Plus, the combination of the Park and City routes allows you to get a true taste of all that Vancouver has to offer.
*Not available during the Winter Season (Jan1-Mar 31).
3) Take the bus on your first day in Vancouver
Taking the trip on the first day you arrive allows you to get oriented with the city’s layout early on in your trip.
You’ll be thankful afterwards!
4) Be prepared for any weather
Bringing a hat, sunscreen and water will protect you from the sun, particularly in the Summer.
Conversely, you should also be prepared for the worst. Bring a jacket and umbrella just in case. Vancouver isn’t called Rain City for nothing!
5) Don’t forget your headphones
If you wish to take advantage of the free audio guides bring your own headphones. They are likely to be more comfortable and of better quality than those provided.
6) Start early to avoid crowds and maximize your time
The buses can get very busy during peak season. Consequently, we’d recommend beginning earlier in the day before most people get started.
This will have the added benefit of maximizing the amount of sites you can see on your journey.
7) Board lesser known stops
If you can, avoid jumping on the bus at the main stops (Gastown, Canada Place, Granville Island etc.) during peak season.
This will also serve to minimize the crowds.
What is the Vancouver Hop On Hop Off Bus?
The Vancouver Hop On Hop Off Bus is a guided tour bus that allows you to create your own customized itinerary using 29 stops covering all of the city’s main attractions.
Who operates the Vancouver Hop On Hop Off Bus?
The Vancouver Hop On Hop Off Bus is operated by Westcoast Sightseeing, a well known local tour operator.
How many routes are there on the Vancouver Hop On Hop Off Bus?
Westcoast Sightseeing offers three routes on their Vancouver Hop On Hop Off Bus. The City Route, the Park Route and the Dual Pass, which covers both.
How much is the Vancouver Hop On Hop Off Bus?
The rates from Westcoast Sightseeing are $39.00 for adults and $20.00 for children for the City Route, $49.00 for adults and $25.00 for the Park Route or $54.00 for adults and $27.00 for the Dual Pass.
Hop On Our Expertise
Hop on hop off Vancouver is in the books! But maybe I missed something that you’re just dying to know? Or maybe you’ve got something to say to help improve the blog.
Make sure you get in touch for questions about this or anything else related to your Vancouver holiday in the comment section below!