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Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Tours

Vancouver Sightseeing Bus

Big Bus was a company that provided sightseeing tours around Vancouver. Today it operates as Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing as part of Westcoast Sightseeing.

The name has changed, but it still does the same thing. There also used to be a Big Bus company in Victoria, BC, however, but no longer in the Lower Mainland.



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To learn more about Tiqets.com, and for a list of other attractions you can save 10% with, see our article about Tiqets.com Attractions and Savings.


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Vancouver Sightseeing Bus Tours

Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing buses travel around Vancouver, stopping at points of interest, and tourists are able to “hop on” and “hop off” when they like, visit an attraction, and then hop back on the bus when it comes around again and takes them to the next destination.

Tickets good for 24 hours start at around $60 for adults and $30 for children (ages 3-12). There used to be special rates for seniors, students and families too, but that has not been the case for a few years.


Types of Tours

As of March, 2022, Hop-On, Hop-Off bus company is only offering one type of tour for the upcoming 2022 season (which begins in April). In years past there have been three different kinds of tour passes – the Park, City and Dual Route passes.

(Note: Rates and other details listed below are subject to change.)


Classic Route Pass

The Classic Pass costs about $60 for adults and $30 for children. It begins at Canada Place and ends in Gastown, looping back around to the Waterfront area. This route hits all the biggest stops in and around downtown as well as places like Stanley Park, Granville Island and Queen Elizabeth Park.

The 2022 season is set for April 1st to October 31st. At least in the beginning, the schedule is for the busses to start running at 8:45 am and go every two hours. The entire loop takes around that amount of time.


PARK Route Pass

The Park Route Tour cost around $50 for adults and $25 for children that last time it ran. It took passengers through downtown Vancouver as well as to Stanley Park, Granville Island and Vanier Park.

The buses ran every 20 minutes or so from May until September and half that frequently between October and April. The entire loop took about 2 hours and passengers could ride all day and come and go as they like.

In addition to approximately 20 stops around town, the Park Route tour included a one-way boat ride to Granville Island with False Creek Ferries. As of early March, this route is not scheduled to run in 2022.


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CITY Route Pass

City Route Passes cost $39 for adults and $20 for children. With this tour the bus did an 80-minute loop involving over a dozen stops in downtown Vancouver, Yaletown and Gastown.

The City Route tours went by each stop about 3 times an hour during the summer season (from May to September) in years past and once every 40 minutes in the slower season. As of early March, this route is not scheduled to run in 2022.


For more details about this company and others, see our article about Vancouver Sightseeing Tours.


DUAL Route Pass

The Dual Route bus tours cost $54 for adults and half price for children (ages 3-12). They included all the stops and destinations included in both the Park and City Route passes. Like the other two routes from past years, it’s not currently set to run in 2022.


Hop On Hop Off Buses
Hop On Hop Off Buses in Gastown


How the Hop-On Bus Works

Tickets are valid for 24 hours and the timing starts as soon as you “hop on” the bus initially. Buses travel a fixed route and go by every 20 minutes or so in the busy season and about once every 40 to 45 minutes in the slow season. (At least, that was the case in years past. There are to be fewer busses on the road in April, 2022.)

Bus tickets can be purchased at various locations including online at Westcoast Sightseeing, at a kiosk outside Canada Place and at the concierge of many hotels.

Informational commentary is provided in English, French, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, German and Korean.


Where does the Tour Bus Go?

Vancouver’s Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour buses go all over town and through many of the city’s most interesting districts including Granville Island, English Bay, Stanley Park, Coal Harbour, Chinatown and Gastown.

The buses go along several of Vancouver’s most interesting streets including Water Street, RobsonGranville and Beach Avenue. Other popular stops in years past are some of the city’s top downtown tourist attractions including Canada PlaceFlyOver Canada, Vancouver LookoutSun Yat-Sen Garden, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Vancouver Aquarium.

The regular Hop-On Hop-Off  bus fare does not include admission into any of the above attractions, but it does include interesting commentary along the way.

In addition to the regular tour route, Westcoast Sightseeing also offers special add-on routes to places like Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain on the North Shore, both of which include attraction admission.

Click Bus Route to see exactly where the Hop-On Hop-Off  buses go.


Hop-on Hop-off Bus in Stanley Park
A Hop-on Hop-off Bus in Stanley Park


Why Use Vancouver’s Hop-On Bus

Using the Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing bus to get around and explore Vancouver has a few advantages. One advantage is that it’s convenient – you don’t have to worry about parking, traffic or figuring out complicated transit bus schedules.

The buses also go to all the places you want to visit within the Vancouver downtown core. Also, while you’re getting from one place to the next you can be entertained and educated about Vancouver with the tour commentary.


Vancouver’s Bus Tour Alternatives

There is more than one way to get around Vancouver. Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing is a great option, but there is also the Vancouver Trolley Company (which is also owned by Westcoast Sightseeing).

Public Transit is another option, if you don’t have your own car.


Vancouver Trolley Company

An alternative to the Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing bus is the Vancouver Trolley Company, another tour service that gives similar tours to Vancouver’s top tourist destinations for a similar price.


Getting Around with Public Transit

If you are on a budget and don’t mind missing out on the commentary, an alternative option is to just buy a transit day pass and rely on public transit to get around.

The cost for a day pass is about $10 for adults and $8 for children, and day pass tickets can be purchased from ticket vending machines.


Other Information

See the official Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing website for more information about Vancouver’s main in-town tour bus company.

Click Westcoast Sightseeing for details about bus tours to Vancouver’s North Shore, Whistler and Victoria.

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