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The Forbidden Downtown and Chinatown Walking Tour

  • Visit two fascinating historic neighborhoods
  • Get a glimpse of the city’s Prohibition-era mayhem
  • Hear stories of corrupt politicians and cops
The Forbidden Downtown and Chinatown Walking Tour
From US$23.20
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
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The Forbidden Downtown and Chinatown Walking Tour
Discover the scandalous side of Vancouver history on a walking tour that explores the former speakeasies, back alleys, and opium dens of Victory Square and Gastown. You’ll see some of the Vancouver’s key landmarks while learning how the Prohibition era brought an underworld of crime and gambling to the frontier city.
What to Expect
Meet a guide in Cathedral Square, then set out on foot through some of Vancouver’s most shocking history. You’ll find out how Prohibition closed Vancouver saloons and created an underground world of bootleggers, mob bosses, and shady power brokers. Hear the story of Vancouver mayor L.D. Taylor, known for his wild parties, and how Vancouver rum-runners learned to keep American bars stocked with illegal booze.

In Chinatown, find out the real meaning of a back alley “blind pig” while walking through a neighborhood whose opium dens once thrived. As you walk, you’ll see key Vancouver landmarks as well, including Sun Tower, the ornate Dominion Building, and the cobblestone streets of Maple Tree Square, where you’ll finish the tour close to top attractions and restaurants.
Reviews (94)
1 - 5 of 77 reviews
Reviewed yesterday
Great insight

We had our first walking tour with Lina last week and really enjoyed the experience. Being born and raised I "thought" I knew Vancouver but wow, did I learn so much more! What a fantastic tour, Lina was awesome, made our adventure so interesting and...More

Thank scottladner
Reviewed 1 week ago
Glenn is the best

Gastown & Chinatown are some of the oldest neighborhoods in Vancouver with lots of history. Glenn was a captivating and informative storyteller who provided plenty of detail about the darker aspects of Vancouver's past. Would highly recommend this tour to folks passing through the area.

Thank Joshua L
ForbiddenVan, Manager at Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hi Joshua L, You are quite right - Glenn is the best! Thank you for your glowing review of the Forbidden Tour, I hope that we will see you again soon on another one of our informative tours! All the best, Roxanne K.

Reviewed 1 week ago
Learning the History of the City

I enjoy learning the history of the cities I visit, and Forbidden Vancouver didn't disappoint! Rowan gave an excellent tour of historic Gastown and Chinatown. The only thing I would change is the time of day of the tour. In the evening, it's difficult to...More

Thank kevdenver1
ForbiddenVan, Communications and Operations Team at Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hello kevdenver1, I'm so glad to hear that you had a great time learning some of our controversial history on the Forbidden Tour with Rowan. He is a wonderful storyteller and performer and has such a talent for bringing our city's history to life! Thank...More

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
Roxanne was AMAZING!

We had so much fun on this walking tour! I didn’t know anything about Vancouver history and I found it very interesting. The best part was by far Roxanne and her gift of story telling, knowledge of the city and wonderful disposition. Thank you for...More

Thank Rebecca H
ForbiddenVan, Communications and Operations Team at Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Hello Rebecca H, I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed your Forbidden Tour with our fabulous Storyteller Roxanne! We are so lucky to have her on our team, her knowledge, enthusiasm and her wonderful sense of humour. I hope that you'll visit us again...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile
Informative, area a little rough

We really enjoyed this informative and entertaining tour. Our guide was a great storyteller and knowledgeable in response to questions. Guests should understand this area of former opium dens is still a little rough and affected by addiction and homelessness. I come from an urban...More

1  Thank GoesWithWine
ForbiddenVan, Communications and Operations Team at Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

Hello GoesWithWine, Thank you for your feedback and review. I'm very pleased to hear that you found The Forbidden Tour informative and entertaining. Our team of guides study and train for months before they go live to ensure that they can offer an educational experience...More

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30 April 2018|
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Response from air_miser | Reviewed this property |
When we did it, it was just over 90 minutes. We didn't tour by the the Steam Clock but the tour ends literally one block away from it, so it's easy to find.