Do I have to book in advance?

Yes, you’ll need to book online to reserve your spot. You can book your tour right here on our website. Please don’t turn up hoping to pay cash!

To ensure the best experience for everyone in the group, we have a strict upper limit on our tour group size, and we hate to turn people away.

Can I buy my ticket cheaper on another site?

We guarantee our website has the lowest prices for our walking tours. Beware reseller sites that display their prices in $USD to appear cheaper than they really are.

How do I get my tickets?

After purchasing your tickets online, you’ll receive your tickets via the email you provided. The tickets may take a few moments to arrive. Check your spam folder just in case!

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

It’s possible you entered a typo during the booking process when typing in your email address. Email us at [email protected] and we can check right away for you. We can also resend your confirmation email to you.

What types of payments do you accept?

We accept all major credit cards.

I'm having troubles booking, how can I contact you?

You can email us at [email protected].

How do I redeem a gift certificate or use a code?

On the booking screen, click the blue “have a code?” text and enter your gift certificate code (or the code you were given). Then press “APPLY CODE”.

Your total due will be reduced by the appropriate amount. If there’s any balance left, enter your credit card number and press the green PAY button.


Where do you get your "hidden history"?

Founder Will Woods is a major history buff, and has undertaken extensive research on Vancouver history. He’s written on local history for Daily Hive, Courier Newspaper, and Inside Vancouver and contributed to Vancouver Confidential, published in 2014 by Anvil Press.

Our in-house historian Lani Russwurm reviews all our tour content for accuracy and contributes many of the details and colour that bring our stories to life. Lani has also written many of the history blogs on our site. He’s the man behind the Past Tense Vancouver website and in 2013 wrote Vancouver Was Awesome, published by Arsenal Pulp Press.

We’ve also consulted with Hereditary Chief Ian Campbell of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) nation, who has guided us on covering indigenous stories and history with accuracy and insight.

How can I work with Forbidden Vancouver?

We normally recruit storytellers once a year. If we have job openings, we’ll list them under the About menu on this site.

If you think you’re a perfect fit for our small but mighty team, you can reach out to us with your resume at [email protected]

Where can I learn more about my storyteller?

Head to our Meet The Team page, and click on their photo. There you can learn more about them, including any side projects, and their recommended post-tour places.

What's Project Sunrise?

Project Sunrise is an initiative started by founder Will Woods in 2022 in an effort to decolonize our work. That year, we started donating 2% of our tour sales to local charities and organizations making a difference in our community, focusing on those helping disadvantaged indigenous groups. You can see which charities we’re donating to on each tour page.

We make sure we include a land acknowledgment at the start of every walking tour or special event, and we take care to cover indigenous history and culture in our stories with accuracy, compassion, and respect.

In 2023, we hosted a talk called “Beyond the Land Acknowledgement” with Chief Ian Campbell of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) nation. Our team members, along with our Experience Vancouver Group friends, were in attendance to hear him speak on indigenous history and tourism.

This is just the beginning. We will continue our efforts to decolonize our work.

Do you tell indigenous stories?

Our experiences take place on the unceded ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

The history of this land includes people from many cultures. Our storytelling covers many topics including indigenous peoples, settlers, rum runners, vaudeville stars, corrupt politicians, and more.

We’ve structured our tours for entertainment value, accuracy, and respect for all cultures, including indigenous peoples.


Which tour should I take?

For the fall/winter season, join us for the Monumental Scandals Tour or the Holiday History and Hot Chocolate Tour! Check out our Special Events for upcoming dates.

What if I need to cancel my tour?

We have a flexible cancellation policy! You can 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!

Check the FAQs on each page for specific tour lengths.

Are children allowed?

We carefully craft our walking tours to suit the interests and preferences of adults, making them an ideal choice for teenagers seeking engaging and thought-provoking content. However, due to mature themes and potential for intense or sensitive content, we don’t recommended our tours for children under the age of either 10 or 12, depending on the tour.

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 1.5 miles).

Our storytellers always walk at a relaxed, moderate pace. Our tours are mostly led on flat surfaces, with the exception of the odd hill, and some trails in Stanley Park.

See the FAQ on each specific tour page for more info.

Are the tours wheelchair accessible?

The Forbidden Vancouver Tour, The Monumental Scandals Tour, and The Really Gay History Tour are all wheelchair accessible.

The Lost Souls of Gastown Tour is accessible to electric wheelchairs, but more challenging for conventional/non-electric wheelchairs due to the small hill at the start of the walk.

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

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.

For fall and winter, we’ve crafted our tours to take place mainly inside or under cover to keep you warm and dry.

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 Monumental Scandals 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. 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.

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 qualify for a youth ticket?

Attendees qualify for a youth ticket if they’re under 19 years old, or older with valid student ID. Please be prepared to show your student ID upon registration.

Do Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours run year round?

We do! Not every walking tour runs year-round though, so check each tour page to find out when they run. Right now, the Monumental Scandals Tour and Holiday History and Hot Chocolate Tour runs through the fall and winter.

What are the Terms and Conditions?

Refer to our Terms and Conditions page.


What do I need to bring?

On a warm day you may want to bring a sun hat, sunglasses, and a bottle of water. For the cooler months we recommend a rain jacket and sturdy footwear.

We recommend wearing footwear you’ll be comfortable in for a couple hours.

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

Sometimes, yes! Please view the FAQ for your selected tour for detailed information on start/end locations.

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 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 I smoke or vape during my tour?

Smoking and vaping are not permitted on our walking tours.

Will there be a bathroom break during my walking tour?

Our 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!

Can you provide driving or transit directions? What about parking?

You can find this information on each tour page’s FAQ!


Does my guide accept gratuities?

Absolutely! Our guides accept cash or cards (via a portable Square device). If you enjoyed your guide’s performance then a tip is greatly appreciated.

How do I leave a review or provide feedback on my experience?

5 star reviews mean a lot to our small company! We’d love you to leave us a review on google.

If you had anything but a 5 star experience, we’d like to hear from you and make it right. Please email us at [email protected].

What should I do after the tour? Can you provide recommendations?

We’ve put together a Forbidden Vancouver Guidebook to share Vancouver experiences beyond the beaten path. In this virtual guide, we’ve highlighted the best local and BIPOC owned shops, restaurants, bars, and more. Plus, you’ll get our “Stories Of A Secret Past” E-book, and further reading recommendations for the curious.

It’s our gift to you for attending our walking tours! Your guide will give you a QR code after your tour which will give you access to your virtual guidebook.


How do I receive the gift certificate?

Your gift certificate will be emailed to the address you include during checkout (either the recipient’s email address or your email address). This is a virtual gift certificate and can be used to book online. There is no physical copy of the gift certificate.

Should I have the gift certificate sent directly to the recipient or to myself?

Our virtual gift certificates are powered by Xola. Xola will automatically send a gift certificate either to you or to your recipient upon checkout, based on what you choose.

We’ll ask for your recipient’s email address during checkout, but it won’t be sent directly to them unless you check the box “email gift certificate to recipient”. If you leave the box un-checked we’ll send the gift certificate to your email address. If you check the box, we’ll automatically send the gift certificate to the recipient after checkout.

If you’d like to send the gift certificate at a later date, with your own note, or print it to give physically, we recommend leaving the “email gift certificate to recipient” box unchecked.

As the gift certificate design from Xola is pretty basic, we’re happy to put together a more eye catching version for you to share with your recipient. Simply reach out to [email protected] to request it.

If I buy a gift certificate now, how long is it valid for?

Our Gift Certificates do not expire!

What tours are gift certificates valid for?

Your gift certificate recipient can choose from five walking tours: The Lost Souls of Gastown Tour, The Forbidden Vancouver Tour, The Hidden History & Sweet Treats Tour, The Really Gay History Tour, The Dark Secrets of Stanley Park Tour, or the Monumental Scandals Tour.

Gift Certificates are not valid for Special Events including the Secrets of the Penthouse, Backstage at the Commodore, and The Last Gang in Town.

If you received a gift certificate as part of a giveaway or donation, it’s not valid for the Hidden History & Sweet Treats Tour.

What if there's a value left on the gift certificate after my recipient books their tour?

Any leftover value on a gift certificate purchased in 2023 is valid towards another purchase until December 31st, 2024.

What if they don't have enough money on the gift certificate to purchase the tickets they want?

If there’s not enough value on the gift certificate for the booking, they can pay the difference upon checkout.

Can I buy for multiple recipients in one transaction?

Yes you can! After entering the recipient’s email address and your information, there’s a button to “Add Another Gift”.