Victoria is undoubtedly among the most stunning Canadian cities, and there are many more amazing things to do in Victoria city. The capital of British Columbia and one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest is Victoria, situated on the southernmost point of Vancouver Island.
The city, founded in 1843 and bears Queen Victoria’s name, is home to several ancient structures, including the stunning parliament buildings and the well-known Empress Hotel. In addition, the oldest Chinatown in Canada is located in the city, along with thriving First Nations communities that have called it home since before the arrival of the Europeans. The town is also well known as “The Garden City” due to its temperate climate and virtually year-round gardens.
There are various things to do in Victoria. Victoria is considered among the top 20 cities in the world for its quality of life and has very little snowfall during the winter, which is remarkable for a Canadian city.
The Pacific coast, lush rainforest, and stunning mountains are just a few worthwhile things to do in Victoria. In addition, the proximity to Downtown Seattle, Butchart Gardens, Johnson Street Bridge, Inner Harbour, Fan Tan Alley, Victoria Butterfly Gardens, Vancouver Island, the National Historic Site, Olympic Mountains, Victoria Harbour Ferry, Fort Rodd Hill, West Coast of Canada, the Southern Tip, Willows Beach, Mount Douglas Park, Hatley Castle, Art Gallery, Victoria’s Chinatown, Market Square, Italian Garden, Parliament Buildings, City Centre, Thunderbird Park Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia, is another plus.
Victoria should undoubtedly be on your travel wish list if you want to see a beautiful, relaxed city surrounded by nature and outdoor activities. In this travel guide of things to do in Victoria, British Columbia, we’ll share with you some of the most important things to do in Victoria and advice on saving money, getting about, staying in Victoria, and much more.
Things to do in Victoria
1. Butchart Gardens
The Butchart Gardens have now been recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada and its status as a Victoria landmark that more than one million visitors frequent annually. Butchart gardens are spread over 55 acres and have 900 different bedding plants, in addition to 26 greenhouses and 50 full-time workers.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re in Victoria on your alone, with your whole family, or out on a hot date with your significant other: you absolutely must spend some time in the Butchard Gardens. So said, this is a beautiful location to go for a stroll.
However, in addition to that, they provide nighttime entertainment, boat trips, a nice gift store, and Saturday night fireworks shows. At this renowned garden, you may come across some of the most beautiful plants in the world, including roses, cooked street village food, afternoon tea, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and Japanese maples, to name just a few.
2. Royal Bc Museum
The Royal British Columbia Museum was established in 1886 and is a fantastic location to visit if you are interested in the natural and human history of British Columbia. The Royal BC Museum has three permanent galleries: the Natural History Gallery, the Becoming BC Gallery, and the First Peoples Gallery.
The natural history of the Royal British Columbia museum collection on its own has more than 750,000 specimen records, practically all of which are solely sourced from within the province. The Royal BC Museum is also the location of travelling exhibits, such as those about the Vikings, the Titanic, and Egyptian artefacts.
At the IMAX Victoria theatre, you may also see films intended for educational purposes and commercial films. The Royal British Columbia Museum, the Empress Hotel and the inner harbour are also easily accessible on foot from this place, another perk of its location.
3. Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf
Fisherman’s Wharf is a delightful neighbourhood that floats on the water and is close to Victoria’s Inner Harbour. This undiscovered gem is a beautiful destination for eco-tours, shopping at one-of-a-kind boutiques, and dining at some of the most delicious restaurants in the area.
People were eating fresh seafood when we were there, but our favourite part was viewing the floating houses and simply wondering what it would be like to live in a place that moved with the ocean. This spot was packed with people eating fresh fish when we were there. If you want to have an unforgettable time in Victoria, I’m sure we even spotted several guesthouses there.
4. Beacon Hill Park
Suppose you are searching for a lovely park to take a walk for the more significant part of the day. In that case, it will not be easy to find a better garden than Beacon Hill Park, situated in a handy location in the middle of downtown Victoria as Beacon hill park.
Go up Belleville Street in downtown Victoria beacon hill park past the Museum of Natural History and the Imax Theatre until you reach Douglas Street, turn right, and then climb a little slope until you reach the summit.
You are about to go on a journey of beacon hill park in downtown Victoria into the stunning nature found inside the city. First, however, remember that beacon hill park spans 200 acres, and make appropriate preparations for your visit in light of this information.
5. Inner Harbour and Victoria Pier
Simply walking around Victoria’s inner harbour, which is widely considered one of the most beautiful harbours in the world, is one of the most incredible things to do in Victoria.
This is the location of numerous streets and buildings historically significant to victoria’s inner harbour, as well as a wide range of events and performances that take place throughout the summer. In addition, it is home to a port for international ferries, float aircraft, and many ecotourism firms.
6. Food Tourist Attractions
One of the many benefits of going on a walking tour is getting new knowledge about the location you are currently exploring. For example, you will learn about the street you are walking on or the neighbourhood you are visiting victoria through, which will assist in bringing the city to life for you more meaningfully.
Nevertheless, suppose you sign up for a food tour with A Taste of queen Victoria Cuisine Tours that lasts three hours. In that case, you will have the opportunity to sample a wide selection of delectable food from local restaurants and bakeries.
This was one of our favourite ways and many things to do in Victoria since we could learn about history while tasting unique foods such as Italian baked goods, afternoon tea, perogies, handmade ice cream, balsamic vinegar and olive oils, and some mouthwatering meatballs.
7. Victoria Parliament Building
The British Columbia parliament buildings are almost hard to miss since they are located directly next to the Inner Harbour. These gorgeous historical structures are as lovely on the inside as they are on the exterior, with a breathtaking view of Victoria Harbour, which they overlook.
Visitors can do their self-directed tours of the buildings or go on one of the regularly planned guided tours with royal roads university within walking distance which take place seven days a week during the summer. In addition, the Parliamentary Dining Room and the Gift Shop are always accessible to the general public.
8. Craigdarroch Castle
You should go to the Craigdarroch Castle to get a feel for the Victorian era and see a real-life example of a “bonanza castle.” These enormous mansions were constructed for affluent businesspeople during the industrial period.
It was constructed between 1887 and 1890 on a hill that offers fantastic views of the surrounding region. Inside, you’ll discover four levels of gorgeous stained-glass windows, delicate woodwork, and fantastic furniture from the Victorian period.
9. Whale- Watching Tours
During the warmer months of visiting victoria, whale watching is one of the most popular activities and things to do in Victoria within walking distance. The locations around Victoria and Vancouver Island are some of the most incredible spots in the world to see these magnificent marine mammals and whale watching tours since there are many orcas (also known as killer whales) in these regions.
Although we haven’t gone on a whale-watching tour directly from Victoria, we have done it for a few hours pacific northwest in Port Renfrew, and it was the most OK whale-watching trip we’ve ever done there. While we haven’t gone on victoria whale watching tours directly from Victoria, we have done it a few hours north in Port Renfrew. In addition, we went whale watching on the mainland of Vancouver, which was also a delightful experience for us. Very strongly suggested!
Orca Spirit Adventures is the organization that hosted us only a few miles off the coast of Port Renfrew. Even though it was the final day of the year that excursions were offered in Port Renfrew, we could see scores of humpback whales and orcas, making it the most exciting whale-watching cruise we have ever been on in our whole lives.
10. Miniature World
Oh my my, you guys, I shrunk the kids! Do you remember the film? You will be able to get a feel for what life was like in those days if you go to Miniature World, which is one of the most popular tourist locations in Victoria and offers a wide variety of things to do in the Victoria.
This little world contains more than 85 miniature dioramas and displays, some of which include the world’s most miniature operational sawmill, the Great Canadian Railway, which is one of the world’s largest model railways, and even two of the world’s largest doll houses from the 1880s, each of which is fully furnished and has over 50 rooms. What a perfect example of attention to detail!
11. Akbkhazia Garden
Another reason why Victoria is known as “The Garden City” is because of this particular feature. The magnificent Abkhazi garden was designed in 1946 by Prince and Princess Abkhazi, who built the stunning national historical site inside the park.
Even though it is just one acre, it has spectacular glaciated rocky slopes, beautiful native Garry trees and breathtaking views, Japanese garden maples and rhododendrons, carpets of naturalized bulbs, and a great deal more. It may not be huge, but the way it is designed as a whole is what tourists remember most about their experience there.
12. Victoria Bug Zoo
After that, a short version of the planet, and now what’s this, a miniature zoo? What is it with Victoria bc and making a big deal out of the little things to do in Victoria in life? Those who are fascinated by spiders and insects will find this to be the ideal location.
This is an excellent chance to learn about and interact with multi-legged animals from around the globe in a secure, entertaining, and welcoming environment. You’ll come across roughly fifty species, including Canada’s biggest ant colony, giant walking stick bugs, praying mantids with alien eyes, and even scorpions that glow in the dark. So bring your camera to the Victoria Bug Zoo for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, regardless of whether or not you will be there with children.
13. The Fairmont Empress Hotel
The Fairmont Empress hotel has once again exceeded expectations. This hotel is not only one of the most popular places for tourists to visit and various things to do in Victoria, but it is also one of the oldest structures in the area. When you enter, it’s as if you’ve travelled back to the days when the British Empire ruled the world.
Fairmont, empress hotel is breathtaking to stand outdoors and look at the vegetation clinging to the structure’s side. Fairmont empress hotel, constructed between 1904 and 1908 by the Canadian Pacific Railway and has since become one of the most renowned hotels in the world, is an icon.
However, even if you do not choose to invest the money necessary to stay the night at the Empress Hotel, you are still welcome to visit the hotel and even indulge in the afternoon tea, delicious food, and vast green space that is served in the lobby to more than 800 people every day.
14. Explore Chinatown
It’s incredible how many different cities all across the globe have their unique Canada’s oldest Chinatown. However, Victoria’s is distinguished from other Chinatowns in North America because it is the second oldest Chinatown in the continent, behind only the Chinatown in San Francisco.
Chinatown was founded by people of Chinese ancestry more than 150 years ago. Since then, it has been a living example of the tenacity of the culture and customs brought to our country from China many years ago. Chinatown is just one of those places that should be on your itinerary if you are going to Victoria, bc.
Chinatown is a fantastic site, from the Gate of Harmonious Interest to the vibrant colours of fortunate red and gold that can be seen all over the neighbourhood. When you’re in the area of top tourist attractions, don’t forget to take a stroll along Fan Tan Alley; it’s one of the most congested alleys in Canada.
It doesn’t matter whether this is your first time kayaking or if you consider yourself an expert; Victoria is a fantastic spot to paddle and there are many things to do in Victoria, and it serves as a gateway to other world-class paddling destinations throughout Vancouver Island. It is a tremendous chance to exercise while taking spectacular views of the harbour and the city. There is also the possibility of seeing many species of marine life native to the area.
Because Victoria, bc, is entirely encircled by water, it can provide its visitors with a vast array of paddling opportunities, ranging from the tranquillity of paddling on a calm lake to the exhilaration of swimming through a swift current. Paddling in Victoria can be as relaxing as floating on the inner harbour or as exciting as gliding through a swift current. It’s not only about paddling a kayak, however.
Canoeing and other forms of water transportation, such as paddleboarding, are also very well-liked. Although April through October is considered the prime period for kayaking in Victoria, the city’s generally temperate environment makes it feasible to paddle anytime. In addition, there is a large number of businesses that provide rental and tour services.
16. Sailing In Victoria
Sailing is another sport quite among popular things to do in Victoria, bc, British Columbia, which is not surprising given the abundance of water surrounding the street village. This is an excellent location to visit if you are interested in either learning how to sail or just taking a tour of the harbour and its surrounding areas.
17. HIking In Victoria
Because there is so much natural beauty in the area around Victoria and many things to do in Victoria, it makes for an excellent starting point for some breathtaking hikes. Whether you go hiking in the city or beyond the city, you won’t have any trouble finding trails and natural attractions to explore, such as waterfalls, mountaintops, historic sites, and seaside excursions. There is no lack of these things to do in Victoria.
Most routes are about thirty minutes from the centre of town, yet they will give you the impression that you have travelled far into the wilderness with more people. Trailheads are well-marked and often include maps, and the trails themselves are kept in excellent condition. Most hiking paths are available all year round and welcome leashed dogs as long as they are kept under control.
The Coast Trail in Sooke, the Mount Work Hiking Trail, the Thetis Lake Hiking Trail, and the Trestle Bridge Hiking Trail in Goldstream Provincial Park, to mention just a few of the popular alternatives, are all great places to go hiking.
18. Butterfly Garden
Who doesn’t like beautiful winged creatures in butterfly gardens? You can enter an indoor tropical rainforest for the first time, with thousands of butterflies flying about space. In addition to the nearly 70 different kinds of these enchanted animals, visitors may also see various things to do in Victoria, like koi fish, sea lions, rose gardens, turtles, poison dart frogs, parrots, flamingos, and a wide variety of tropical flora.
19. Fort Rodd Hill
This coastal artillery fort from the 19th century is guaranteed to fulfil your requirements for a Parks Canada National Historic Site. You will get the chance to camp overnight in group-friendly utensils after seeing hidden bunkers, military command posts, and authentic structures from the 19th century.
In addition, there is the Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site, which lies next door. This is the location of the first lighthouse built on Canada’s west coast.
20. Victoria Islands
There are hundreds of smaller Gulf Islands and inlets in the Georgia Strait near Victoria, British Columbia; Vancouver Island is the largest of these features. These are great destinations for a day vacation.
To go to well-known islands like Gabriola, Saltspring, or Thetis, you might charter a boat, take a tour, or even ride the ferry. When you get to the smaller islands, you may do nothing more than relax in the natural surroundings, go mountain biking or hiking, visit local shops and restaurants, or look for a lovely beach while away the day. The ferry ride cost is around CAD 10 (or USD 7).
21. Vancouver Island
Although some probably visit Victoria for the city, we strongly encourage spending an additional week or more to see more of the rest of Vancouver Island. It is undoubtedly an excellent location and ranks among the most stunning parts of the nation.
Near Tofino, you’ll discover some of the most incredible jungle hikes in Canada, mysterious coastline beaches, jaw-dropping waterfalls, charming tiny island settlements, and some of the country’s most OK surfing.
In addition, there are many things to do in Victoria, like wildlife excursions, opportunities to go whale watching, the chance to go snorkelling with salmon at Campbell River, and some of the best multi-day treks in North America. All of these activities can be found all across the island. So, where do you plan on going?
22. Best View Of Lookout
If you are searching for one of the city’s most incredible views, make your way to the observation deck of the downtown Harbour Centre. You will get sweeping views of Victoria and the mountains and ocean in the surrounding area. The cost of entry is CAD 18.
The city’s inner harbour serves as its primary business district and provides a breathtaking backdrop for the city centre. The port is lined by several impressive structures, including the Fairmont Empress and the Parliament building. The port is also surrounded by a lively waterfront full of boats and seaplanes.
Not only is Victoria an excellent destination for weekend getaways (although it is one of our favourite weekend getaways from Vancouver), but it can also be included in itineraries for longer journeys, such as our itinerary for a road trip across Vancouver Island. In this fantastic city, there are various things to do in Victoria, like exciting activities, regardless of whether you have only two days or a week to explore.