Things to keep in mind while planning your vacation (solo or otherwise)!
Rain is frequent throughout the year. Check the weather, but assume it will rain or mist a few times while you’re there - the coastal climate is similar to Seattle. While the winter gets cold, the temperate coastline means it generally doesn’t snow in the city - though there’s plenty in the mountains directly north! However the rain will be more frequent in the winter, so definitely bring shoes and jackets that can handle it.
HIGH COST FOR STAYING
Vancouver has had a housing crunch for years. You’ll see it in the large number of high-rise construction projects along the waterfront (mostly being bought up by Asian investors). The cost to stay within the city, whether hotel or airbnb, will be a bit higher here than in other cities in Canada or in the Pacific northwest. Look to the suburbs to the north, east, and south if you’re looking for a more affordable place to stay - the downside being, you may need to rent a car.
CREDIT CARD DOMINANCE
For those coming from the States, you’ll find Canada much more credit-card friendly. I took out $100 CAD when I arrived for my 5 day trip, and found difficulty using it, as credit cards were preferred in most places. At restaurants, servers will often carry the card readers to swipe your card at the table. Gratuity is between 15-20%, and is often added to your bill.
WEED YES, CIGARETTES NO
Recreational marijuana was made legal as of late 2018 in Canada. If you are 19 years or older, you can purchase weed from a handful of dispensaries around the city. Just remember not to take it back on the plane with you! Smoking of either weed or cigarettes, however, is illegal both in public indoor spaces and in public parks and beaches.