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Sep 16, 2022
Richmond Night Market: Welcome to the heart of Vancouver!

Vancouver neighbourhood guides

When you want to really get to know the city and find things to do that will make you smile, there’s probably no better way to do it than with a regular trip to the one and only Richmond Night Market.

To make sure you don’t miss out on the jewel in the crown of the Vancouver events calendar, we’re going to talk you through anything and everything you need to know. Perfect when you want to ensure you have the time of your life and never miss the event that all your new friends, neighbors and colleagues will be talking about. 

What is the Richmond Night Market?

From April to October every year (10th October for 2022) the largest night market in the whole of North America comes to life. Every Friday – Sunday, plus all the long weekends you get at this time of year, will see Lower Mainland come to life from 7PM onwards in a way that’s hard to put into words. 

There’s over 600 stalls where you can taste just about every type of food and drink you can imagine. There’s endless live music sessions and performances around every corner. And there’s also things to keep the kids happy like giant inflatables and rides. Put it all together and you have the recipe for a great night of wholesome family entertainment unlike anything else Vancouver has to offer. 

How much does the Night Market cost?

Entry is quick and easy and you can get an Express Pass for just $35. The great thing about getting one of these is that it enables you to make half a dozen separate visits to the Richmond Night Market, allowing you to come back right throughout the open season to see how everything is changing and evolving. New rides, stalls and entertainment are sure to pop up along the way; plus you’ll have the classics and family favorites you’ve all been talking about since your last visit. Ideal when you want to make it one of your go-to destinations with the minimum of effort. 

Just remember, if you’ve not been to the Richmond Market before, you’re going to want to set a budget for how much you spend while you’re there. There’s so many cashless options and delicious foods to try that you can spend far more than you initially planned before your tummy tells you it’s had enough for the night! 

Where is the main entertainment based?

The Main Stage at the Night Market is where everyone congregates to enjoy their food and drink while taking in a wide variety of acts and performers throughout the evening. Sometimes you’ll have local musicians taking to the stage to warm up the crowd before larger acts do their thing; other times things will be a little more varied with dancers, martial arts displays and even the occasional bit of live comedy. 

What else is there to do at the Night Market?

Already getting excited about walking through the gates and running around aren’t you! If that’s the case, you need to head on over to the iconic Rainbow Maze where you can work up a sweat, build your appetite and clear some room for the culinary creations that await at the 600+ stalls that make up the Market. You’ll also see large models and people in costumes, including dinosaurs who are always ready and waiting to pose for a couple of prehistoric black and white photos with the little ones! 

Which food stalls do you have to go?

Honestly, there’s something for everyone so the best bet is to let your tastebuds lead the way and you’ll never go wrong. You’ll find classic North American snacks everyone knows, local traditions unique to Vancouver, plus great little dishes from further afield. Flying noodles are just one such example if you want to get your mouth watering in anticipation of what you might find. And with more than 600 stalls ready and waiting to introduce you to something different, you’re going to have to use your 6-visit pass to get a chance to take everything in! 

How can you get there nice and quick?

Richmond Night Market is nestled on the corner of Number 3 and River Road, which is just a solitary block away from the Bridgeport Canada Line Station. Know the River Rock Casino? It’s just a quick hop on foot away from there. 

For those looking to drive, the key is to get there early because while the parking is free, it’s limited availability and sure to fill up at record speed. If in doubt, we find the train is always the best bet because you don’t have to wait in traffic or try to weave in and out of thronging crowds as the streets fill up. You’ll also never have to try and get out of a tight spot because you’ve taken a wrong turn and ended up faced with a sea of revelers. 

What are the best times of year to visit?

Richmond Night Market evolves throughout the 6 months or so that it’s open, so there really is something for everyone. The key things to know are that it will be at its busiest in April when it first opens and in the last few nights in October. This is when the locals want to get in there and enjoy the action after waiting all year, or make the most of the last few nights they can enjoy all of the incredible sights and sounds. 

Other than that, a large influx of tourists will occur during July and August, particularly when the Night Market coincides with cool and relaxed summer evenings that stretch long into the night. If in doubt, go whenever the mood takes you, get a Zoom Pass on your phone so you can beat the lines and queues, and arrive early so you can have a good look around before the crowd starts to build. 

How can you find a bargain?

Getting a good look at your favorite food stalls in the last hour before closing time is the best way to do it. This is when they might be inclined to cut you a deal or give you a little extra, just so their delicious food doesn’t go to waste. Bartering isn’t really the way things are done at the Night Market, so instead it’s best to keep an eye out for signs offering last-hour discounts and sales.  

Final thoughts

Now that you know everything there is to know about Vancouver’s hottest event of the year, it’s over to you to take a look at the pictures from previous evenings and see what it has to offer. Once you do, you’ll find endless sparks of inspiration that allow you to get excited, plan your trip and put the whole family in the mood for a great evening of entertainment. Ideal when you want something to look forward to that you can enjoy several times throughout spring and summer. 

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