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I'm trying to get a working holiday visa for Canada, but it's proving problematic for a variety of reasons. However whether I end up staying for a year or not, I'll likely be heading to Vancouver for at least a week in the next month or two.

I've looked up hostels and airbnb, but am not finding that many in downtown - and the suburbs mean little to me, as I don't know the city. Any suggestions, websites, hostels or otherwise in a good central location for a reasonable price?

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You could try looking for places in a suburb near a SkyTrain stop, that'd let you get into the centre pretty quickly –  Gagravarr Aug 27 '11 at 16:51
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3 Answers 3

There's a fairly new YHA/HI on Granville which is one of the main drags right downtown. I haven't stayed there but years ago I made both the previous downtown YHA/HI (less central than the new one) and the Jericho Beach hostels home for longer than you're talking about.

I was there in 1991 and 1995/1996 and a few times for shorter visits. At the time all the hostels in the vicinity of East Hastings were extremely dodgy and there was a steady stream of people moving to the YHA/HI's who had had all their stuff stolen. Hopefully this is no longer the case but be wary.

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I did also stay in the YHA/HI on Granville, but would rather suggest the YHA in Davie Village, still pretty central but very quiet and much cleaner.

Granville is one of those old 1920's hotels and get all the party noise during weekends, the furniture in the lobby is very worn out and the rooms and lobby feel very small and narrow, hallways are also very dark.

The one in Davie Village is pretty much the opposite: larger and brighter rooms, good kitchen and dining area, tv room, reading room, game room, less people, everything feels much cleaner and new - especially if you just came from Granville Hostel...

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Yes this is the one I stayed in several times when not staying at the beach. I believe it was purpose built as a hostel. –  hippietrail Aug 29 '11 at 6:01
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The final solution was two-fold:

I ended up staying a few nights in Burnaby. It's a bit further out, but it's far cheaper. The accommodation was the Vancouver Backpacker Guesthouse, and the closest Skytrain stop was Metrotown. Small rooms - I was in a room of 3, and not bunks made it feel like a house almost. Very comfortable, and I'd go back there again if I was moving to Vancouver as a short-term accommodation before finding a job.

However, as this time I only had 2 weeks there and wanted to be more central, I moved to Samesun Backpackers - and while I tried out three different rooms there over the course of my visits, I quickly established the 6-bed dorms were for the partiers (I had a horrendous night in one thanks to a couple of idiots), while the 4 bed dorms were for more chilled people. All rooms were immaculate, however (until the other backpackers get in). It's more expensive, but as a backpacker visitor, this is probably where you want to be.

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