34 Incredible Things to Do In Victoria, BC (Our 2024 Guide)

34 Incredible Things to Do In Victoria, BC (Our 2024 Guide)

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Set at the end of the mostly wild Vancouver Island, Victoria is a wonderful city on Canada’s west coast. Known for the abundance of outdoor activities and stunning Victorian architecture, it’s a place where colonial history is intertwined with indigenous culture. I lived in Victoria, BC, for a year and got to explore all the great things that it has to offer. These are all my personal recommendations.

Attend high tea for brunch and then head to Chinatown for dinner while stopping by the harbor to watch seals and gigantic cruisers. Victoria is a city that can offer something to everyone because it has it all, from excellent art galleries to thrilling ziplines and hiking trails. 

Top Thing to do in Victoria BCTop Thing to do in Victoria BC

Whether you’re in town for a day or a week, you won’t struggle to fill your itinerary with fun activities. With my insider knowledge, I compiled this guide of the top things to do in Victoria BC that will help you put together the best itinerary! 

Best Things To Do In Victoria BC

Best Thing To Do In Victoria BCBest Thing To Do In Victoria BC

Victoria BC is known for its expansive botanical gardens, whale-watching tours, and vast parks. The majority of the city’s best attractions are outdoors, making it a top destination for travelers who love exploring off the beaten path. 

But don’t let that fool you; Victoria also offers an endless amount of things to do indoors, including a haunted manor with a pinball machine and some of the best museums in British Columbia. 

Best of Victoria BC Quick Guide

Must See: Chinatown, Royal BC Museum, Craigdarroch Castle, Beacon Hill Park, Parliament Buildings,  Afternoon Tea
Where To Stay: Ocean Island Inn, Fairmont Empress, The Oak Bay Beach Hotel
Fun To Do: Whale Watching, Zipline Tours, Mount Douglas, Boat Tours, Kayaking
Day Trips: Fort Rodd Hill, Thetis Lake Park, Malahat SkyWalk 
Must-Try Foods: Wild Salmon, Dungeness Crab, Bannock Bread, Chinese food 

1. Guided Walking Tour of Victoria

Things to do in Victoria BC Walking TourThings to do in Victoria BC Walking Tour

Victoria is a gorgeous city with many stunning buildings. Of course, if it’s your first visit, you won’t be familiar with the purpose of many of those buildings, and you might miss out on some gems that are open for visitors. 

Arrange a guided tour with a local, and you’ll not only be taken to all the best spots in the city but also learn the history behind some of its best architectural gems. Most walking tours of Victoria cover the city’s best neighborhoods and streets, including the famous Government Street and Fan Tan Alley. 

My favorite walking tours of Victoria also allow you to discover the city’s culinary scene. Strolling around the city will burn quite a few calories, and what better way to make up for them than to indulge in Victoria’s specialties in its best restaurants? 

Practical Information 

Walking tours of Victoria usually take 2-3 hours and cost $60-100 per participant. 

2. Royal BC Museum 

Things to do in Victoria BC Royal BC MuseumThings to do in Victoria BC Royal BC Museum

The Royal BC Museum is Victoria’s best and most popular museum. If you have time to visit only one museum or gallery while you’re in the city, make it this one. It has three main galleries: Natural History, the First Peoples Gallery, and Becoming BC. 

Come here to learn about the indigenous people of British Columbia, as well as about the state’s general history and how it evolved over the years. Younger visitors are more likely to enjoy the Natural History gallery, which features dinosaur skeletons and models of various animals. 

Plan to spend at least a couple of hours at this museum, and that’s if you’re going to rush through the place. If you take your time with each exhibit, the visit can easily last 3-4 hours. Also, I must mention that the museum has a nice IMAX theater, where you can attend screenings of nature documentaries as well as blockbuster films. 

Practical Information

The Royal BC Museum is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. Admission is $18 for adults, and attending IMAX screenings is an extra $12. 

3. Tour The Fantastic Craigdarroch Castle

Things to do in Victoria BC Craigdarroch CastleThings to do in Victoria BC Craigdarroch Castle

Craigdarroch Castle is one of the prettiest Victorian buildings in Victoria and a very popular historical landmark. It was originally built by Robert Dunsmuir, a coal magnate, during the late 19th century. 

Visit the castle and go on a guided tour of the premises to see opulent period furniture, beautiful decorations, and lovely stained-glass windows. The building is magnificent both inside and out, and it’s one of the best locations for architecture tours in Victoria. 

The castle is situated in Rockland, roughly a 30-minute walk (or 10-minute bike ride) from Downtown Victoria. 

Practical Information

Craigdarroch Castle is open for tours Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 AM to 4 PM. Guided tours are $20.60 for adults, and tickets can be bought online or at the entrance. 

4. Rent A Bicycle

Things to do in Victoria BC Rent a BicycleThings to do in Victoria BC Rent a Bicycle

Victoria BC is known as Canada’s cycling capital, and it’s one of the most bike-friendly cities in the Pacific Northwest. Bike rentals are available throughout the town, and many accommodations offer them to their guests. 

Cycling around Victoria is not just great for getting around the town quickly for very little money, but also a super way of immersing yourself in the local culture. Not to mention that it’s usually faster than traveling by bus, plus you won’t have to worry about rush hour traffic. 

If you’re in great physical condition, you might even be able to bike to attractions far outside the city center, and you’d get to see some wonderful scenery along the way. And if spending several hours on a bicycle isn’t all that appealing, consider it for a quick tour of Downtown Victoria at least. 

Practical Information 

Bikes are available for hire in multiple spots throughout the town. The average price is $40 per day, although you can get a better rate when you rent a bike for a longer period. 

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is a wonderful mid-size gallery housed in two distinct spaces. One part of the gallery is in a new, modern building, while the other sits inside the historic Spencer Mansion. 

Come to this gallery to admire a sizeable collection of gorgeous art, including pieces from Canada and Asia. In fact, the gallery’s garden even has a Shinto shrine that all visitors are encouraged to see. It’s one of Victoria’s best attractions for lovers of art, history, and architecture. 

Practical Information

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is open from 10 AM to 5 PM and charges a $15 entrance fee. However, admission is free on the first Sunday of the month and on Thursday evenings from 5 PM to 9 PM. 

6. Tour The Parliament Buildings 

Things to do in Victoria BC Parliament BuildingsThings to do in Victoria BC Parliament Buildings

The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia is hands down one of the most stunning government buildings I’ve seen in my entire life. For me, the buildings look like they were plucked from a European city and transported to Victoria. 

But they weren’t; the Parliament Buildings were constructed in neo-Baroque style at the end of the 19th century right here. The entire park between Government Street and Menzies Street is a fabulous place where you can enjoy some of the best architecture in the city. 

See the fountains, the impeccable landscaping, and all the different memorial statues. You can even join a guided tour to see the impressive interior of these magnificent buildings. It will cost you nothing, and it will undoubtedly enrich your experience in Victoria, BC. 

Practical Information

Free guided tours of the Parliament Buildings in Victoria take place several times throughout the day, between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM. 

7. Picnic at Beacon Hill Park

Things to do in Victoria BC Beacon Hill ParkThings to do in Victoria BC Beacon Hill Park

Beacon Hill is a sprawling public park separating James Bay from Fairfield. It is easily accessible from central Victoria and one of the best destinations in the city if you want to spend a couple of hours in nature but aren’t quite in the mood for an excursion that includes traveling far outside the city center. 

Featuring ponds, walking trails, and landscaped gardens, Beacon Hill is an oasis amid this concrete jungle. It has everything from totems to peacocks, and coming here is a must for understanding why Victoria and British Columbia, in general, are known for fantastic natural landmarks and outdoor activities. 

Practical Information

Beacon Hill Park is open daily from 8 AM to 8 PM. Entrance to the park is free of charge. 

8. Walk Through Historic Fan Tan Alley

Things to do in Victoria BC Fan Tan AlleyThings to do in Victoria BC Fan Tan Alley

Fan Tan Alley is a historic alleyway in Victoria’s Chinatown district. It is lined with restaurants and boutique shops on either side, which offer some excellent shopping and dining in the city. Here, you’ll find shops that sell everything from Matcha tea to crystals and incense, so it’s definitely a place you should check out if you’re looking for unique souvenirs to buy in Victoria. 

However, I will say that this experience is entirely skippable if you’re even a little bit claustrophobic. The alley is so narrow that passing next to someone isn’t always possible, and the buildings are tall enough to cause discomfort to people who don’t like confined spaces.

But if you can navigate the tight alley without a sense of dread, it will be a top experience. The red and green storefronts are charming and go wonderfully with the exposed red brick of the buildings. The entrance to the Chinese Canadian Museum is here, and although it is small, the exhibit is interesting and worth supporting.  

Practical Information

Fan Tan Alley is free to access at any time, but most shops are closed until 5 p.m. 

9. Visit Fort Rodd Hill

Things to do in Victoria BC Fort Rodd HillThings to do in Victoria BC Fort Rodd Hill

Fort Rodd Hill is a National Historic Site best known for the Fisgard Lighthouse. The oceanfront park offers walking trails with views of old military structures, but it’s the Fisgaard lighthouse that attracts the bulk of visitors to the site. 

Climb the stairs to the top of the lighthouse to experience fantastic panoramic vistas. On clear sunny days, the view stretches all the way to the Olympic Mountains in Washington on one side and the San Juan Islands on the other. 

Practical Information

Fort Rodd Hill is accessible from 10 AM to 4 PM, with an admission fee of $9.

10. Hike To The Top of Mount Douglas 

Things to do in Victoria BC Top of Mount DouglasThings to do in Victoria BC Top of Mount Douglas

Mount Douglas is a hill north of Victoria City and a great place to come for 360° panoramic views. You can cycle to the foot of the hill in about 50 minutes from central Victoria, and from there, it’s just a 30-minute hike to the lookout point at the top. There’s even a parking lot at the summit, so you can just drive up to the scenic point if you’re not in the mood for an uphill walk.  

The vista from the lookout point is one of the best in Victoria BC and it stretches into the United States. Also, multiple hiking trails are available at Mount Douglas, and you could spend a couple of hours roaming exploring the area, and marveling at the nice views. But if you’re in a rush, it’s good to know that this activity is doable in about an hour from downtown Victoria. 

Practical Information

Mount Douglas Park is open for visitors from 12 PM to 8 PM. Entrance to the area is free of charge, and parking at the top is also free but very limited. 

11. Historic Tours at Hatley Castle

Things to do in Victoria BC Hatley CastleThings to do in Victoria BC Hatley Castle

Hatley Castle is situated in Greater Victoria, roughly a 20-minute drive (or 50-minute bike ride) from the city center. It is absolutely worth the hassle it takes to get there because the place is phenomenal. The early 20th-century castle was previously used as a residence and a naval training site and nowadays is a historic park. 

Can you imagine that people actually lived in this fantastic mansion? Even today, parts of it are used as office space and to hold classes, so you can’t just walk inside whenever you like. Visitors must sign up for guided tours to explore the interior of the mansion, but the formal gardens are accessible for free throughout the day. 

Practical Information

Guided tours of Hatley Castle are available upon reservation and are $22 per participant. The gardens are open from 10 AM to dusk, and access is free of charge. 

12. Swimming At Thetis Lake Regional Park

Things to do in Victoria BC Thetis Lake Regional ParkThings to do in Victoria BC Thetis Lake Regional Park

Thetis Lake Regional Park is the first nature sanctuary in Canada known for hiking trails and beaches on the lakeshore. Come here in the summer to relax in the unspoiled nature of British Columbia and enjoy some fantastic panoramic views. 

It’s a 15-minute drive from Victoria and an excellent place to come if you want to escape the crowds of the urban jungle. Pack a food basket and bring a blanket so you can set up a picnic with panoramic views of the lake after a day full of hiking and swimming. Thetis Lake Regional Park is a great destination for nature lovers in Victoria who want to explore beyond the city streets.  

Practical Information

Thetis Lake Regional Park is accessible at any time. There is no admission fee, but there is a parking fee of $2.25 per day. 

13. Bike Along The Galloping Goose Trail

Things to do in Victoria BC Galloping Goose TrailThings to do in Victoria BC Galloping Goose Trail

This fun activity is only for the most avid hikers and mountain bikers, so skip it if you have zero interest in riding a mountain bike for 50+ miles. But if that sounds fun, the Galloping Goose Trail might just be the top Victoria activity for you! 

The trail follows an old railway line for roughly 55 miles from Victoria to Sooke. It’s 55 miles for the out-and-back journey, so you can cover this trail and be back in town for dinner if you’re fast enough on a mountain bike. 

This historic trail passes through urban and rural areas, as well as wilderness. You can follow the entire trail on a bike, or hike just a part of it. You can even choose to ride horses along the more rural sections of the trail, which is as much fun as it sounds. 

Practical Information 

The Galloping Goose Trail is 55 miles for the return journey. This MTB route is recommended only for experienced mountain bikers in excellent physical conditions, as it takes roughly 5 hours to complete. 

14. Walk To The Breakwater Lighthouse 

Things to do in Victoria BC Breakwater LighthouseThings to do in Victoria BC Breakwater Lighthouse

The Breakwater Lighthouse sits at the end of a long pedestrian pathway that extends into the sea. As you stroll from James Bay to the lighthouse, you’ll get a good view of all the cruise ships and ferries that depart Victoria’s inner harbor. The walking path offers a good view of the city’s marine traffic, and it’s particularly enjoyable on warm, sunny days. 

The lighthouse at the end of the pathway dates back to 1916, and it’s surprisingly big. It doesn’t look that big from the distance, but the closer you get to it the more you’re impressed by its size. 

One thing to note is that it’s possible to walk down the Breakwater and the Lower Breakwater. I recommend you stick to the regular walking path that is fenced off. The lower path features no fence, and the concrete blocks are often very slippery. 

Practical Information

The Breakwater walking path is accessible at any time of day or night, free of charge. 

15. Wander Around Victoria Butterfly Gardens

Things to do in Victoria BC Victoria Butterfly GardensThings to do in Victoria BC Victoria Butterfly Gardens

Situated roughly a 20-minute drive from the city center, the Victoria Butterfly Gardens is a great place to come and forget you’re in Canada for an hour. It’s an indoor tropical forest with free-flying butterflies and birdlife, not to mention all the different trees and flowers. 

You could tour the place quickly in under an hour, but I’m positive you’ll want to spend more time at the gardens once you pass through the front door. Also, I really like that all the animals here are rescues or donations, and are thriving in the lush rainforest environment. 

One thing to note is that it gets really hot in the tropical jungle, so you might need to take breaks if you stay there for a while. Make sure to bring a bottle of water to hydrate, and step outside every now and then to cool down a bit.

Practical Information

Victoria Butterfly Gardens has an entrance fee of $19.50 for adults. It’s open daily from 10 AM to 4 PM. 

16. Play Mini Golf in a Haunted Manor

Haunted Manor mini golf is not an activity for everyone, so feel free to leave it off your itinerary if it’s not something you’re likely to enjoy. But if you like mini golf or ping pong and you’re into haunted houses and ghost tours, it’s a very fun way of spending an evening in Victoria. 

The mansion offers an 18-hole minigolf course, pinball machines, and ping-pong tables. The on-site bar and restaurant serve a selection of (non) alcoholic drinks and classic pub food. 

Practical Information 

Haunted Manor is open from 3 PM to 12 AM. General admission to the place is $24.95. 

17. Feel Classy At Afternoon Tea

Things to do in Victoria BC Afternoon TeaThings to do in Victoria BC Afternoon Tea

Victoria was once a British Colony, and today it’s recognized as the most British city in Canada. So, it’s not too surprising that many popular British traditions have survived in the city. One of those is high tea, and it’s the perfect afternoon activity for travelers who want to spend an afternoon feeling fancy. 

There are quite a few different tea houses in Victoria, but I think the one at Pendray Inn is a top choice for tourists in the city. It’s in a charming Victorian mansion in James Bay, so just a short walk from the downtown. The elegant interior of the tea house is perfectly appropriate for high tea, while the food and drinks served there get only the highest markings. 

Once you’re done with the afternoon tea, take this opportunity to walk around the neighborhood a bit. The harbor is just a couple of minutes from Pendray Inn with views of the sea and huge ships. 

Practical Information 

The Pendray tea house is open daily from 11 AM to 3/4 PM. Reservations are recommended, and the average cost per person is $60-70. A vegan option is available.  

18. Flower Fields at The Butchart Gardens

Things to do in Victoria BC Butchart GardensThings to do in Victoria BC Butchart Gardens

Spanning more than 22 hectares, this vast botanical garden is one of the best-known in British Columbia. With 26 greenhouses, ponds, statues, and multiple eateries, you could spend the better part of the day roaming around the Butchart Gardens. 

One thing I will say is that this is one of the priciest attractions in Victoria, BC, so you might want to leave it off your itinerary if you’re on a tighter budget. With daily tickets going as high as $40, it’s not a place everyone can comfortably enjoy. 

But you can get a much better deal on tickets if you come in the off-season, and honestly, the place is so wonderful I’d say it’s worth the money. Come here to see the endless field of colorful flowers and enjoy possibly the best-scented part of Victoria, BC. 

Practical Information 

The Butchart Gardens are open from 9 AM to 4 PM. The adult entrance fee is $25-40, depending on the season.  

19. Landscape Views at Malahat SkyWalk

Situated northwest of Victoria, just off the Trans-Canada highway, the Malahat SkyWalk offers possibly the best landscape views in British Columbia. It’s only a 30-minute drive from Victoria BC, and well worth the trip if you’ve got access to a car. 

Malahat SkyWalk is a spiral tower on hilly ground in the middle of the forest. From the top, you can see the scenery of both the US and Canada, and it’s such a nice view that you’ll hardly want to leave. 

Practical Information 

Malahat SkyWalk is open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Entrance to the spiral tower is charged $36.95. 

20. Be Amazed At Miniature World

Miniature World is a unique museum in Victoria, BC. It features miniature dioramas of real-life and fantasy locations and is nicknamed The Greatest Little Show on Earth. The detail in the dioramas is staggering, whether you’re looking at the replica of Toronto in 1915 or the depiction of Camelot. 

A quick tour of the place is possible in 45 minutes, but only if you rush through the place. Take your time to appreciate all the little details and really understand everything about the dioramas, and you could easily spend 2+ hours at the museum. 

Practical Information 

Miniature World is open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM. The entrance fee is $19 for adults. 

21. Smell The Flowers at Abkhazi Garden

Victoria is well known for its many gardens and the Abkhazi Garden is one of the best close to the city center. Situated just a 15-minute bike ride from the heart of Victoria, it’s an excellent alternative for travelers who don’t want to go out of their way to see the Butchart Gardens. 

This is a much smaller garden, covering an area of “only” 1.4 hectares. It first started back in 1946, and it took a while for all the plants and trees to grow to their current size. The rhododendrons are the undisputed star of the lovely garden, followed by the tea house and ponds. Afternoon tea at the Abkhazi Garden is a great idea, but I will say that it’s in the same price range as the teahouse at Pendray Inn, but the interior decorations are not quite as nice. 

Practical Information 

The Abkhazi Garden is open daily from 10 AM to 4 PM. The admission fee for adults is $10. 

22. Go For A Ride In A Pickle Boat 

Things to do in Victoria BC Pickle BoatThings to do in Victoria BC Pickle Boat

Pickle boat tours are operated by Victoria Harbour Ferry, and they’re awesome. Discover Victoria from the sea while riding in a pickle boat, which sounds a lot cooler than it actually is. 

It’s just a small boat that can fit up to 12 passengers. While I love that it’s much more private than a classic tour boat, I was thoroughly disappointed to learn that it is not indeed shaped and painted like a pickle. 

The small boats will take you on tours of Victoria Harbor, and they often go all the way up to Burnside. It’s a great way of exploring even more of this wonderful city and seeing the areas that are not quite as convenient to reach on classic walking tours. 

Practical Information 

Several options are available for tours of Victoria Inner Harbour, and they last from 45 to 75 minutes. The price is around $40-50. 

23. Check Out Fisherman’s Wharf

Things to do in Victoria BC Fishermans WharfThings to do in Victoria BC Fishermans Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf is the most picturesque area of Victoria Inner Harbour. The piers are lined with floating houseboats painted in bright colors, several of which serve as restaurants or shops. Just keep in mind that people live in many of those houseboats, so respect their privacy while exploring the area.  

As you stroll down the piers, you can often spot seals swimming in the water. They love the attention they get from visitors and often engage in playful antics to entertain the onlookers. 

Fisherman’s Wharf extends beyond the piers lined with colorful boats to encompass an expansive park with picnic areas and a playground for kids. 

Practical Information 

Fisherman’s Wharf is free and accessible at any time. Most shops and restaurants are open until 7 PM. 

24. Morning Jog Down Songhees Walkway

Things to do in Victoria BC Songhees WalkwayThings to do in Victoria BC Songhees Walkway

Songhees Walkway is a waterfront walking path that extends from Johnson Street Bridge to Sailor’s Cove Marina. It takes around 40 minutes to do the entire walk in one direction, and there are plenty of benches along the way so you can sit down for breaks. 

The walkway offers nice views of Victoria Inner Harbor with plenty of scenic viewpoints along the way. It’s also a great path for joggers in the morning, but only if you’re not easily distracted by the view. 

Practical Information 

Songhees Walkway is accessible at any time for free. The walking path extends for about 3 kilometers in one direction. 

25. Join a Food Tour 

Things to do in Victoria BC Food TourThings to do in Victoria BC Food Tour

Locals always know where the best food in their city is, and you’ll become privy to that knowledge if you join a local food tour. These usually include trips to the city’s best landmarks and plenty of stops in popular local eateries along the way. 

The cuisine of Victoria, BC, is diverse. The classical local cuisine is heavy on seafood, but a proper Victoria food tour will include much more than what is considered traditional Canadian food. After all, it’s the city with the oldest Chinese neighborhood in Canada, and no culinary tour of Victoria is complete without a stop there.  

Practical Information 

Food tours of Victoria, BC, usually last 2-3 hours. The starting price is $60. 

26. Admire the Aircraft at The BC Aviation Museum

The BC Aviation Museum is at Victoria Airport, so you should have at least two opportunities to visit it. It’s also a great incentive to arrive at the airport early and ensure you don’t miss your flight. 

The museum exhibit spans three hangars full of historic and modern aircraft. Helicopters, warplanes, and aircraft engines are all on display at this museum. If you’re offered a guided tour of the museum, take it. You’ll get to learn so much about the aircraft on display, and it’s a lot better than just walking around the hangar on your own. 

Practical Information 

The BC Aviation Museum is open daily from 10 AM to 4 PM. The entrance fee is $17 for adults. 

27. Go Kayaking or Canoeing 

Things to do in Victoria BC KayakingThings to do in Victoria BC Kayaking

Kayaking and canoeing are both very popular activities in Victoria, BC, and the perfect way to explore the city beyond its busy streets. Join a guided kayaking tour or rent a canoe and take to the seas on your own—whatever your preference is, it shouldn’t be a problem. 

One thing I will say is that guided tours are the best option for people with little experience in kayaks and canoes. The currents here can be unpredictable, and if you’re not familiar with the weather conditions it could become an unpleasant or even dangerous experience. 

The beauty of these water adventures is that they’ll take you to places that would otherwise remain undiscovered. Wave between the small rocky islands and enjoy a different perspective on Victoria’s Inner Harbor. 

Practical Information 

Several operates offer kayak and canoe tours in Victoria BC, but Kelp Reef Adventures is one of the most popular. 

28. See the Sakura Trees in Chinatown 

Things to do in Victoria BC Sakura Trees in ChinatownThings to do in Victoria BC Sakura Trees in Chinatown

I’ve mentioned Fan Tan Alley as the central point of Victoria’s Chinatown, but the historic district extends way beyond it. It’s the oldest Chinese neighborhood in Canada and one of the prettiest parts of Victoria. 

A gate marks the entrance to this historic area, so it’s super easy to find. Sakura trees line the streets of Chinatown, and they’re reason enough to consider traveling to Victoria in the spring. The entire neighborhood is also decorated with traditional Chinese lanterns. 

Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, Chinatown is also known for the best Chinese food in Victoria. You’ll also find loads of shops that sell traditional Chinese souvenirs, and you might want to peruse them if you’re in the market for unique souvenirs. 

Practical Information 

The historic Chinatown neighborhood is in the northern part of the Downtown district in Victoria BC. 

29. Whale Watching Adventures

Things to do in Victoria BC Whale Watching AdventuresThings to do in Victoria BC Whale Watching Adventures

Victoria and British Columbia, in general, are some of Canada’s best spots for whale watching. There must be a dozen tour operators in the city, but my favorite one is Prince of Whales, situated in the Destination Greater Victoria tourism center building in the harbor. 

The experienced operators will take you to the best spots to see whales, orcas, and even seal colonies. But they also know to keep their distance from the animals so they don’t disturb them in their daily routines. 

This operator offers year-round whale-watching experiences in 12-passenger Zodiac boats. With a 95% success rate of the tours, you’re practically guaranteed to spot the majestic mammals. 

Practical Information 

Prince of Whales whale-watching tours are available year-round. They start at $150 and last 3-6 hours. 

30. Venture Out To Swan Lake

Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary is within cycling distance of downtown Victoria. It’s a great place to visit if you don’t want to go to parks that are farther outside the city center but still want to enjoy a short hiking adventure. 

The nature sanctuary features a loop walking path that even crosses the lake at one point. It takes roughly 30 minutes to complete, and it’s a well-maintained and easy walking path suitable for everyone. You don’t have to be an experienced hiker to enjoy the Swan Lake Loop, which will reward you with some beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding forest. 

Practical Information 

Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary is open from 10?AM to 4?PM. Admission to the park is free of charge, but the entrance fee to the Nature House museum is a suggested $6 donation. 

31. Totems at Thunderbird Park 

Things to do in Victoria BC Totems at Thunderbird ParkThings to do in Victoria BC Totems at Thunderbird Park

Thunderbird Park is a small public park in central Victoria. Situated right next to the Royal BC Museum, the park is best known for its totem pole replicas and historic houses. 

The totems aren’t quite as spectacular as the ones in Vancouver, but they are still quite a lovely sight. Mungo Martin House is known for its painted exterior, while the Helmcken House Pioneer Doctor’s Residence offers short tours of a surgeon’s house with period furniture. 

Practical Information 

Thunderbird Park is free and accessible at any time. 

32. Ziplining in The Forest 

Thrill seekers won’t be let down by the selection of activities in Victoria. Just a 30-minute drive from the Downtown you’ll find Adrenaline Zip – a local company that operates ziplining tours in the rainforest. 

One thing to note is that this is along the way if you embark on the Galloping Goose Trail. The zipline rides are exciting and very fun. The entire adventure takes about two hours, and it includes 8 zipline rides, a suspension bridge, and an ATV ride. 

Practical Information 

The ziplining tour starts at $120. For an extra $30, they’ll throw in a shuttle service to Victoria.

33. Ride The Hop On Hop Off Bus

Things to do in Victoria BC Hop On Hop Off BusThings to do in Victoria BC Hop On Hop Off Bus

I’m not the biggest fan of Hop-On Hop-Off buses, but I have to admit they’re a great option for travelers who are in town for a very short time. If you’re in Victoria for only a day or two, riding the double-decker bus is great for seeing all the city’s top landmarks in that time. 

The beauty of these buses is that you can get out at any stop, explore the area, and then just get on the bus again. You can even stay seated on the bus the entire time and just sightsee from the comfort of your seat, while the tour guide tells you the story behind the different attractions. 

Practical Information 

Buy Hop-On Hop-Off bus tickets for $55 (valid for 24 hours) or $88 (valid for 48 hours).

34. Craft Beer Crawl

With more than 20 craft breweries throughout Victoria, the city is truly a great spot for beer lovers. Loads of pubs in the city serve local craft beer, and you can even tour breweries to try the drink right at the source. 

The Craft Beer Market in Victoria Harbor is one of the best pubs in the city. It offers a wide selection of local and international craft beer. They even offer tasting menus, so you can try half a dozen glasses. 

The Whistle Buoy Brewing Company in the Downtown is my top choice for a local brewery tour. 

Practical Information 

Pubs in Victoria, BC, are usually open until 9-11 PM and a bit longer on the weekends. 

FAQ For Best Things To Do In Victoria BC

Is Victoria, BC, worth visiting?

Yes, Victoria BC is worth visiting. It’s a gorgeous city with stunning Victorian architecture, a picturesque harbor, and a walkable downtown area. 

What is Victoria BC well known for?

Victoria BC is known for many botanical gardens and gorgeous Victorian mansions. The city is also nicknamed the cycling capital of Canada, thanks to countless kilometers of cycling and mountain biking trails. 

What is the #1 tourist attraction in British Columbia?

The Stanley Park Totem Pole is by far the most popular tourist attraction in British Columbia. The Butchart Gardens is the most famous tourist attraction in Greater Victoria. 

Is Victoria BC a walkable city?

Much of Victoria BC is walkable and pedestrian-friendly. However, there are many interesting places outside the downtown that are worth visiting but not accessible on foot. 

Tips And Information For Visiting Victoria BC

Things to do in Victoria BC Tips and InformationThings to do in Victoria BC Tips and Information

Best Time To Visit 

The best time to visit Victoria depends on what your priorities are. If you want to be in the city when it’s warm and sunny, then you should plan a trip in the summer. But expect higher prices of hotels and large crowds of tourists. 

If, on the other hand, you don’t mind walking around in a jacket if it means fewer tourists and better hotel deals, travel to Victoria in April-May or September-October. Just keep in mind that the city gets quite a bit of rainfall in the spring and autumn, so it’s not the ideal period for outdoor activities. 

What about the winter season? Victoria is spectacular in the winter and the temperatures rarely drop below 0 Celsius. It is especially nice there during the Christmas festivities.

Getting There

Victoria International Airport is the closest airport to the city, but it has a direct connection to very few international destinations. The airport in Vancouver, on the other hand, is the second-busiest in the country and chances are it will be your first stop in Canada. 

From there you’ve got loads of options. Local flights, seaplanes, and ferries all make it possible to travel from Vancouver to Victoria. You can even take a bus from the airport to the city, which takes about four hours to reach the destination, with a ferry crossing. 

Getting Around 

Downtown Victoria is a very walkable area and you can visit most attractions in the historic part of the city on foot. Cycling is a great way of getting around the city because you can get to the more remote parts of Greater Victoria in about an hour, plus you won’t have to deal with rush hour traffic as much. 

Bike rentals are available throughout the city and are great for travelers visiting Victoria. Because the city doesn’t have a metro system, buses are the only viable mode of public transport. They’re convenient for traveling around the city but are generally quite slow. 

Uber and taxis are another option for reaching the more remote areas, but they’re also the most expensive way of getting around Victoria. As for car rental, I think it makes sense only if you’re in town for a longer time. Otherwise, it’s really not worth it because most of the best attractions in the city are within walking distance of one another. 

How Much Time Do You Need

Victoria is a pretty big city and I reckon you need at least three days to explore all of the best attractions downtown and a few famous sights in Greater Victoria. I think it’s possible to cover the best landmarks in Victoria in about two days, but you will be in a bit of a rush the entire time. 

Travelers who love being outdoors and exploring nature will have a great time in Victoria. If you can swing five days here, you can have enough time to explore a good chunk of Vancouver Island, much of which is untouched nature. 

Where To Stay In Victoria BC

Stay in Downtown Victoria or the historic James Bay neighborhood for easy walking access to all the best landmarks and attractions in the city. Both areas offer a wide variety of hotels in every price range, as well as loads of interesting tourist attractions. Some of the best hotels in Victoria for all budgets are: 

Ocean Island Inn offers budget accommodation with a fantastic location in Downtown Victoria. 
Fairmont Empress is one of the best hotels in central Victoria, with lovely views of Victoria Inner Harbor. 
The Oak Bay Beach Hotel is a five-star hotel with an oceanfront location. It has a fantastic spa center and large rooms, but it is quite far from the city center. Consider staying at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel if you’re planning a relaxing vacation in Victoria, BC. 

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