Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up for a tour?

You can book your tour right here on our website. Please don’t turn up hoping to pay cash! We have a strict upper limit on tour group size and we hate to turn people away.

What if I need to cancel my tour?

We have recently changed our cancellation policy. You can now request a date exchange or full refund on your ticket purchase for any of our walking tours, provided you give at least 24 hours notice prior to your scheduled tour departure time.

If your scheduled tour start time is less than 24 hours away, you can request a date exchange or a credit that can be applied to any of our experiences.

To request a date exchange or refund email us at [email protected]

Note that sales for special events are final.

How long are the tours?

Our walking tours vary in length from 90 minutes to 2.5 hours, depending on the walking tour. Please allow up to an extra 15 mins in time to allow for unforeseen delays, questions, or conversations on the tour!

I've just booked a walking tour, why have I not received my tickets/confirmation yet?

You have not received a confirmation because your tour has not yet met the minimum guest number. The minute that we hit our minimum number, your booking will go live and your confirmation will be sent to you via email. If the tour has not met its minimum by 4 hours before the tour start time then the tour won’t go ahead. You’ll have the choice to reschedule or receive a refund. Over 95% of the time our tours reach the minimum number so it’s very likely your tour will go ahead – hang tight!

What do I need to bring?

In the summer we recommend you bring a sweater or jacket, since it can get chilly in the evenings. In the spring or fall please bring a waterproof jacket and sturdy footwear. Hat and gloves will help on colder nights!

Are children allowed?

Our tours are designed for adult audiences and do contain some references to adult themes. Our age recommendation is 14+ but certainly children aged 10+ can attend and enjoy our walking tours if parents are comfortable with their children hearing mature subject matter.

How much walking is involved?

Each walking tour is a bit different in terms of distance walked, but all our walking tours fall between 1km and 2km (or 2/3 mile to 1 1/2 miles).

Our storytellers always walk at a relaxed, moderate pace. Downtown Vancouver is fairly flat so there aren’t really any hills.

Are the tours wheelchair accessible?

The Forbidden Vancouver Tour, The Lost Souls of Gastown Tour, The Art Deco & Chocolate Tasting Tour, and The Really Gay History Tour are all wheelchair accessible.

The Dark Secrets of Stanley Park Tour and our Special Event: Secrets of the Penthouse are not wheelchair accessible.

Can I arrange a private tour?

You certainly can! Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours private tours are available for all our tours and special events. To set up your private tour or to learn more, please visit our Private Tours Page and submit your request. A member of Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours staff will respond within 24 hours.

What if it rains?

Our tours happen rain or shine! Vancouver can be a little wet at times. In our experience a rain proof jacket with a hood is the most effective clothing to bring. Umbrellas can get a bit awkward if everyone in the audience has one. But if you don’t have a waterproof jacket then do bring your umbrella if the forecast is for rain – it won’t be a problem.

Also, we have crafted tour routes that have scenes under cover wherever possible – using roofs, archways, awnings or even indoors. So there will always be opportunities to stay dry on the tour.

Is there a minimum number of guests for a tour to run?

For The Forbidden Vancouver Tour, The Dark Secrets of Stanley Park Tour, The Art Deco & Chocolate Tasting Tour, and The Really Gay History Tour we need a minimum of just two guests. For The Lost Souls of Gastown Tour we need a minimum of five guests. It’s rare that we need to cancel a tour.

Is there a maximum number of guests per tour?

Yes. Every guest deserves a fully engaging and compelling experience, in non-Covid times we limit each tour group to a maximum of 20 guests, apart from the Lost Souls of Gastown Tour which can accommodate up to 25 people.

Does my guide accept gratuities?

Gratuities are greatly appreciated, although not mandatory. The standard gratuity in the service industry is 15%-20%.

Can I buy a gift certificate?

Absolutely! Visit our gift certificates page to buy your gift certificate to our walking tours!

My gift certificate expired in 2020, can I still redeem it?

In light of the Covid pandemic, we will honour any gift certificate that expired in 2020. We have updated the expiry dates on 2020 gift certificates in our system, so your gift certificate code should work fine on our site. If not, please contact us at [email protected]

Do I qualify for a seniors ticket?

If you are aged 65 or older than you automatically qualify for a seniors ticket. Please be prepared to present your driving licence to your guide at the tour start point as proof of age.

Do I need a student ID to qualify for a student ticket?

If you’re 19 or over and a student, then your guide may ask to see your student ID at check-in. If you are under 19 you qualify automatically for a student ticket and you don’t need to show a student ID at check-in.

Will there be a bathroom break during my walking tour?

Our Art Deco and Chocolate Tasting Tour is our longest walking tour at 2.5 hours and does have a bathroom break halfway round. Our other walking tours don’t have an official bathroom break, but your guide can easily create an unofficial break if you need — there are bars, restaurants, and public bathrooms along each of our walking tour routes. Just let your guide know!

Will my walking tour finish in the same place it starts?

The Dark Secrets of Stanley Park Tour does finish back at the start point.

The Forbidden Vancouver Tour and The Lost Souls of Gastown Tour finish in the heart of Gastown, Vancouver’s most loved venue for dinner and drinks. The finish point is a 10 -15 min walk back to the start point or a 10 min walk to Waterfront Station. Taxis are also usually easy to find in Gastown.

The Art Deco & Chocolate Tasting Tour finishes at Mink Chocolate on West Hastings Street, a 15 min walk from the start point or a 2 min walk to Burrard Skytrain Station.

The Really Gay History Tour finishes in the heart of the Davie Street Village, surrounded by bars and restaurants. It’s about a 15 minute walk back to the start point.

Your guide will always be available after your walking tour to help with directions to where you need to go!

How do I redeem an Entertainment Book Coupon?

It’s easy! If there are two of you coming, then simply buy one adult ticket on our website. The second person uses their coupon like a ticket – handing it to the guide at the start point. When you book please do make a note when asked “how did you find out about our tours?” to say you are using an Entertainment Book coupon. That helps us manage our numbers – we appreciate it! There’s no need to enter a serial number from the coupon during the booking process.

Do Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours run year round?

Our public walking tours go on hold Dec-Feb, with the exception of The Art Deco & Chocolate Tasting Tour which runs every Saturday throughout the winter. However you can certainly arrange a private walking tour during the winter months. We also stage special event Secrets of the Penthouse several times over the winter.

Can I bring my dog on the tour?

While we love dogs here at Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours, we’re afraid we can’t admit them for the comfort of everyone on the tour. Of course, service and support animals are always welcome.

Can you store my luggage?

We don’t offer luggage storage services ourselves, but we can recommend Porter Genie (portergenie.com) who can collect, store, deliver your luggage in the Metro Vancouver area.

Can I smoke or vape during my tour?

Smoking and vaping are not permitted on our walking tours.