10 Best Things to Do in Victoria, Canada


Victoria is one of the incredible cities to visit while exploring Vancouver Island, British Columbia. There are plenty of things to do in Victoria and there are plenty of interesting places to visit throughout the city.

We really enjoyed our trip to Victoria and Vancouver Island. This is such a beautiful part of British Columbia  and one of our favorite places in Canada.

Best of all, Victoria can be visited as part of a day trip (if visiting a cruise) or as a stand-alone city, easily accessible by plane or ferry.

So, to help you get the most out of your visit, take a look at our top places to visit in Victoria. You’ll have a great time!

Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens, located in Brentwood Bay, is one of the most popular gardens to visit in all of Canada. Dating back to the early 1900s, visiting Butchart Gardens is one of the best things to do in Victoria any time of year.

Once here, be sure to visit the Ross Fountain, Swamp Gardens and Rose Garden. Finally, if you’re craving a bite to eat, make a reservation at The Dining Room, it’s incredible. Their afternoon tea is very good.

If you’re visiting from Vancouver, be sure to book this tour and transfer that takes you from Vancouver by ferry to a cruise to the Gulf Islands and Butchart Gardens. It makes everything so easy.

Whale watching in Victoria

The area around Vancouver Island is one of the best regions on the West Coast for spotting whales. We saw so many humpbacks on a whale watching tour from Victoria. That was incredible.

This tour takes about three hours and is a lot of fun. Now we always book Zodiac boat tours. The reason is that they are more agile and react faster when you are out on the open ocean. Larger boats take time to turn around and are much slower, which can mean you miss sightings if they aren’t nearby.

Craigdarroch Castle

We have something of a soft spot for castles, even if Craigdarroch Castle is kind of crazy.

Known for its magnificent Victorian architecture, the castle has artefacts and architecture dating back to the 19th century. Best of all, Craigdarroch Castle is easy to visit.

Once here, you can explore the four floors of the castle built by Robert Dunsmuir. The visit takes about 30-45 minutes and is worth stopping by.

Afterwards, you can visit the nearby Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. This is one of the best things to do in Victoria if you are interested in the local and regional art of this area of ​​British Columbia.

Victorian Legislative Assembly (Parliament Houses)

There are plenty of places to visit in the VictLegislative Assemblyoria, but none are as famous as the Victorian Parliament House.

It is one of the city’s most famous buildings, designed in 1897 by Frances M. Rattenbury. It’s easy to visit if you’re already walking around the inner harbour.

Once here, you can take a self-guided tour when the Legislative Assembly building is open. And the best part is that you can download this free tour guide from the Legislature itself. It is published in different languages, making it convenient and convenient for foreign visitors.

Victoria’s Chinatown

Whenever we travel to Canada or North American West Coast cities, we try to visit the Chinatown areas. They are always incredible and the food selection is great if you are looking for authentic Asian food.

Not only that, Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest in all of Canada; dating back to the 1800s.

Oh, and don’t forget to visit Fan Tan Alley for a little stroll. This is the narrowest street in all of North America and was home to illegal gambling and factories centuries ago. Today it is full of small shops and Chinese restaurants.

Stop by Dumpling Drop for delicious homemade dumplings and find the Gate of Harmonious Interest at the top of Fisgard Street. Oh, and don’t forget to stop by Wah Lai Yuen Bakery for some delicious treats. This is one of the best things to do in Victoria, especially when you’re hungry.

Hatley Park National Historic Site.

Dating back to the 1900s, visiting Hatley Park National Historic Site is one of the best things to do in Victoria while exploring the Colwood Waterfront area.

Now, not only are the gardens and the house itself so beautiful that they are worth a visit, but you can also see the filming locations of X-Men and Deadpool.

You may even see peacocks on the grounds.

Beacon Hill Park

The stunning waterfront park Beacon Hill Park is a stunning location with stunning views from the Flagpole Lookout.

Once here, stroll across the Stone Bridge and follow the Beacon Hill Loop to take in the views.

Then stroll further to the waterfront section of Beacon Hill Park and find the   world’s tallest totem pole . You’ll see the carved structure of the kwakwaka’wakw and the figurines that make it so special.

For a no-frills meal, stop at your local Beacon Drive-In. They make some of the best hot dogs in British Columbia. Oh, and don’t forget their “screaming hot burger”; This is very good.

Victoria Inner Harbor

Located next to the Fairmont Empress Harbor, stroll along the Inner Harbor, which is so beautiful and vibrant to visit.

In many ways, this is where you should start your trip, especially if you’re arriving by cruise. The Inner Harbor hosts festivals and other fun events throughout the year, meaning there’s always something going on here.

Hungry? Be sure to stop at the Ithaca Greek Restaurant. This is an amazing restaurant with the best seafood freshly caught that day.

Baines Beach, Victoria.

On Victoria’s east coast, visiting Baines Beach is one of the best things to do in Victoria while exploring the coastline.

You can take in stunning views from the easternmost point, and you might even spot whales on the shore.

One thing to know is that there are not many amenities or restaurants around this stretch of coastline. So be sure to go there after your meal.

Victoria Hiking Trails

Even if you’re not a keen hiker, you’ll want to check out some of the walking trails around Victoria. They are so special.

Known as one of British Columbia’s most scenic cities, be sure to join trails that range from easy trails like the Dallas Road Waterfront Trail, to the regional Galloping Goose Trail, which is a little more challenging. Each trail offers different scenic views of Vancouver Island and the coastline itself.

If hiking isn’t your thing, head to Fort Rodd Hill, a historic naval base. If you’re interested in military history, stroll the grounds and see the armory, which was in use from 1895 to 1956. Just be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes.

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