Things to Do in Victoria, British Columbia: A Comprehensive Guide

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Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, is a vibrant and picturesque destination that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re interested in exploring the great outdoors, learning about the city’s rich history and culture, or simply relaxing and enjoying the local cuisine, there are plenty of things to do in Victoria, British Columbia for people of all ages.

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One of the top attractions in Victoria is the Royal BC Museum, which showcases the natural and human history of British Columbia. Here, you can learn about everything from the province’s First Nations people to its modern-day industries, and even see life-size models of prehistoric creatures.


Another must-visit destination is Fisherman’s Wharf, a colourful and bustling area that’s home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and floating homes. You can take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk, watch the boats come and go, and even feed the resident seals.

If you’re looking for a more active experience, Victoria also has plenty of outdoor activities to choose from. You can explore the beautiful Beacon Hill Park, which features gardens, ponds, and a petting zoo, or take a whale-watching tour and see these majestic creatures up close.

Golfers will also love Victoria’s many scenic courses, while hikers and bikers can explore the city’s numerous trails and parks. Whatever your interests, Victoria is sure to provide a memorable and exciting experience.

Exploring the Inner Harbour

If you are looking for a scenic and exciting place to explore in Victoria, look no further than the Inner Harbour. This beautiful patch of waterfront is home to many tourist attractions, recreational activities, restaurants, and shopping. Here are two must-visit locations in the Inner Harbour:

Royal BC Museum

Location: 675 Belleville St., Victoria, BC V8W 9W2, Canada

The Royal BC Museum is a world-class museum that showcases the natural and human history of British Columbia. This museum is home to over 7 million objects and artifacts, including the world’s largest collection of totem poles. You can explore the history of the First Nations people, as well as the European explorers who first came to the area. The museum also has a fascinating exhibit on the gold rush that occurred in British Columbia in the late 1800s.

British Columbia Parliament Buildings

Location: 501 Belleville St., Victoria, BC V8V 2L8, Canada

The British Columbia Parliament Buildings are an iconic landmark in Victoria. These beautiful buildings were completed in 1898 and are home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. You can take a guided tour of the buildings and learn about the history and architecture of this important government institution. Be sure to check out the beautiful stained glass windows and the impressive dome that towers over the buildings.

Whether you are interested in history, architecture, or just want to take in the beautiful views of the Inner Harbour, the Royal BC Museum and the British Columbia Parliament Buildings are not to be missed.

Things To Do In Victoria, British Columbia Parliament

Discovering Beacon Hill Park

Location: 100 Cook St, Victoria, BC, Canada

If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the urban hustle and bustle, Beacon Hill Park is the perfect place to unwind and explore. Located in downtown Victoria, this 62-acre park is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

One of the most notable features of the park is the ancient First Nations burial ground on the southeast slope of Beacon Hill. This site is of profound importance and is considered to be archaeologically significant due to its rich history.

Aside from the burial ground, the park has a lot to offer. Take a stroll along the many trails and admire the famous Garry Oaks, or visit the petting animal farm and wading pool with your family. You can also enjoy a picnic in one of the many designated areas, or take in a game of soccer or cricket on the sports fields.

Be sure to check out the Stone Bridge, a rustic stone medieval bridge constructed in 1889 as part of John Blair’s landscape design for Beacon Hill Park. It’s a favorite spot for people to take pictures at various times of the year.

As you explore the park, keep an eye out for the tree planted by Winston Churchill in 1929. The park also features a band pavilion and water fountains, making it an ideal spot to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Overall, Beacon Hill Park is a must-visit destination when in Victoria. With its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and endless activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

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Visiting Victoria’s Chinatown

Location: 500 Fisgard St, Victoria, BC V8W 1R4, Canada

If you’re looking for a unique cultural experience in Victoria, you should definitely check out Chinatown. Located on Fisgard Street, between Government Street and Store Street, it’s the oldest Chinatown in Canada and the second oldest in North America, after San Francisco’s.

Chinatown is characterized by narrow, winding streets and lots of little shops and restaurants. You can spend an hour or two wandering through the area, browsing the shops, and taking in the sights. One of the most popular attractions is the Gate of Harmonious Interest, which marks the entrance to Canada’s oldest Chinatown.

While you’re in Chinatown, be sure to visit Fan Tan Alley, which is the narrowest street in Canada. It’s lined with shops and restaurants, and it’s a great place to pick up souvenirs or try some authentic Chinese cuisine.

If you’re interested in history, you can also visit the Chinese Public School, which was built in 1909 and is now a museum. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Chinese immigrants in Victoria in the early 20th century.

Overall, Chinatown is a must-visit destination in Victoria. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or just want to do some shopping and dining, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant and unique neighborhood.

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Strolling Around Fisherman’s Wharf

Location: 12 Erie St, Victoria, BC V8V 4X5, Canada

If you’re looking for a unique marine destination with a laid-back atmosphere, Fisherman’s Wharf is a must-visit spot in Victoria, British Columbia. Located just around the corner from the Inner Harbour, this hidden treasure offers a variety of food kiosks, unique shops, and eco-tour adventures in a working harbour setting.

One of the best things to do at Fisherman’s Wharf is to simply stroll around and take in the sights and sounds. You’ll see colourful float homes, fishing boats, and sea lions basking in the sun. There are also plenty of benches and picnic tables where you can sit and enjoy a snack or a meal while watching the boats go by.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and explore the harbour on your own. There are also guided eco-tours available that will take you to see local wildlife such as seals, otters, and eagles.

While you’re at Fisherman’s Wharf, be sure to check out the unique shops and boutiques. You’ll find everything from handmade jewellery to locally-made souvenirs. And if you’re feeling hungry, there are plenty of food options to choose from, including fresh seafood, fish and chips, and ice cream.

Overall, Fisherman’s Wharf is a fun and relaxing destination that’s perfect for a leisurely stroll or a day of adventure. Whether you’re travelling solo, with friends, or with family, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at this hidden gem in Victoria.

Things To Do in Victoria, British Columbia Butchart Gardens

Experiencing Butchart Gardens

Location: 800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC V8M 1J8, Canada

If you’re visiting Victoria, British Columbia, a visit to Butchart Gardens is an absolute must. The world-renowned garden attracts over a million guests annually, and for good reason. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit:

Plan Your Visit

Butchart Gardens is open every day of the year, and you can visit at any time of day. However, the garden is particularly beautiful in the evening when it is illuminated with subtle night illuminations. If you’re visiting during the summer months, be sure to catch the Saturday firework show.

Take a Tour

If you’re short on time or want to learn more about the history of Butchart Gardens, consider taking a tour. There are several Butchart Garden tours available that will take you from Vancouver to Victoria, and some even include a stop at the Butterfly Gardens.

Explore the Gardens

Butchart Gardens is home to several different gardens, each with its own unique beauty. The Sunken Garden is the oldest and most famous garden, while the Rose Garden is a riot of color and fragrance during the summer months. The Japanese Garden is a tranquil oasis of waterfalls, streams, and rock gardens.

Enjoy the Entertainment

In addition to the natural beauty of the gardens, Butchart Gardens also offers several forms of entertainment. During the summer months, you can enjoy live music and dance performances in the Concert Lawn. There are also boat tours available that will take you around the gardens from a different perspective.

Shop and Dine

Butchart Gardens has several shops and restaurants on-site, so be sure to take some time to explore them. The Seed & Gift Store offers a wide variety of souvenirs, while the Dining Room Restaurant serves up delicious meals made with locally sourced ingredients.

Overall, Butchart Gardens is a must-see attraction in Victoria, British Columbia. With its stunning natural beauty, fascinating history, and diverse entertainment options, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Touring Craigdarroch Castle

Location: 800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC V8M 1J8, Canada

If you’re looking for a unique and historical experience in Victoria, Craigdarroch Castle is a must-see. This beautiful castle was built in the late 1800s by Scottish coal baron Robert Dunsmuir, and it’s now a national historic site.

When you arrive at Craigdarroch Castle, you’ll be struck by its stunning architecture and beautiful gardens. You can take a self-guided tour of the castle, which includes four floors of exhibits and displays. Along the way, you’ll learn about the history of the castle and the Dunsmuir family.

One of the highlights of the tour is the stunning stained glass windows throughout the castle. You’ll also see original furnishings and artwork, as well as learn about the castle’s unique architecture and design.

If you’re interested in the history of Victoria and the Dunsmuir family, Craigdarroch Castle is a must-visit. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the past, and the castle’s beauty and grandeur are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Here are a few tips to make the most of your visit:

  • Plan to spend at least an hour touring the castle, though you may want to allocate more time if you’re a history buff.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, as there are several flights of stairs to climb.
  • Photography is allowed, but be respectful of other visitors and avoid using flash photography.
  • Check the castle’s website for current hours and admission prices.

Overall, touring Craigdarroch Castle is a unique and memorable experience that’s not to be missed on your visit to Victoria.

Things To Do In Victoria, British Columbia bug zoo

Enjoying the Victoria Bug Zoo

Location: 631 Courtney St, Victoria, BC V8W 1B8, Canada

If you’re looking for a unique and fascinating experience, the Victoria Bug Zoo is a must-visit destination. Located in downtown Victoria, this mini zoo showcases live tropical bugs from around the world.

Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by knowledgeable and friendly staff who will guide you through the exhibits and answer any questions you may have. The zoo is home to a variety of insects, including giant walking sticks, praying mantises, and hairy tarantulas.

One of the highlights of the Victoria Bug Zoo is the opportunity to handle some of the bugs. Under the supervision of the zookeepers, you can hold a giant millipede or a hissing cockroach. It’s a unique experience that is sure to be memorable.

The Victoria Bug Zoo is open daily from 10am to 4pm on weekends and 11am to 4pm on weekdays. Admission prices are reasonable, and children under 2 years old can enter for free.

If you’re planning a visit, keep in mind that the zoo is a popular destination, especially during peak tourist season. To avoid crowds, it’s best to arrive early in the day or later in the afternoon.

Overall, the Victoria Bug Zoo is a fascinating and educational experience that is perfect for families, couples, and anyone with an interest in the natural world. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most fascinating insects.

Visiting the Victoria Public Market

Location: 1701 Douglas St #6, Victoria, BC V8W 0C1, Canada

When visiting Victoria, one of the top destinations to check out is the Victoria Public Market. This bustling community gathering place is located in the historic Hudson Building and offers a wide variety of local food, art, and entertainment.

At the Victoria Public Market, you’ll find over 40 vendors selling everything from fresh produce and seafood to handmade crafts and artisanal cheeses. Whether you’re looking to stock up on groceries for the week or just grab a quick bite to eat, there’s something for everyone here.

One of the highlights of the Victoria Public Market is the abundance of food options. From sushi and tacos to pizza and poutine, there’s no shortage of delicious eats to choose from. Be sure to check out some of the local favorites like the fresh oysters from The Fish Store or the gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches from Salt Spring Kitchen.

In addition to the food, the Victoria Public Market also features a variety of local artisans selling handmade goods like jewelry, pottery, and clothing. It’s the perfect place to pick up a unique souvenir or gift for someone special.

Overall, the Victoria Public Market is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Victoria. With its lively atmosphere and diverse range of offerings, it’s the perfect place to experience the best of local food and culture.

Things To Do in Victoria, British Columbia Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Exploring the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Location: 1040 Moss St, Victoria, BC V8V 4P1, Canada

If you’re looking for a dose of culture during your visit to Victoria, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is a must-see attraction. Located on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen peoples, the gallery is dedicated to the celebration of art and features a diverse collection of works from around the world.

With over 20,000 pieces in its collection, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is British Columbia’s largest public art collection. The gallery’s permanent collection includes works by renowned Canadian artists such as Emily Carr, as well as an impressive collection of Asian art. In addition to its permanent collection, the gallery also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

One of the highlights of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is its collection of Emily Carr’s works. The Victoria-born painter is known for her depictions of the Pacific Northwest landscape, and the gallery’s collection includes some of her most famous works. Visitors can also explore the gallery’s collection of Asian art, which includes ceramics, textiles, and paintings from China, Japan, Korea, and other countries.

In addition to its art collections, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria also offers a variety of programs and events throughout the year. These include artist talks, workshops, and tours of the gallery’s collections. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or just looking for something interesting to do during your visit to Victoria, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is definitely worth a visit.

Experiencing Victoria’s Nightlife

Victoria’s nightlife is vibrant and diverse, with something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a quiet night out or a lively party scene, you’ll find it here. Below are two popular spots to check out:

Bard and Banker

Location: 1022 Government St, Victoria, BC V8W 1X7, Canada

Located in a historic building in the heart of downtown Victoria, Bard and Banker is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The pub features live music every night of the week, and the atmosphere is cozy and welcoming. With a wide selection of beers on tap and a menu that includes traditional pub fare as well as more upscale options, Bard and Banker is a great place to start your night out.

Darcy’s Pub

Location: 1127 Wharf St, Victoria, BC V8W 1T7, Canada

If you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, head to Darcy’s Pub. This popular spot is known for its friendly staff and relaxed vibe. The pub features a large outdoor patio, perfect for enjoying a drink on a warm summer night. With a menu that includes classic pub fare as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options, there’s something for everyone at Darcy’s Pub.

No matter where you go in Victoria, you’re sure to find a spot that suits your style. From lively pubs to cozy lounges, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to experiencing Victoria’s nightlife.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Things to Do in Victoria, British Columbia

What are some popular attractions and things to do in Victoria, British Columbia?

Victoria, BC is home to many popular attractions that are worth visiting. One of the most popular attractions is the Butchart Gardens, which is a stunning 55-acre garden that is open year-round.

Another popular attraction is the Royal BC Museum, which showcases the history of British Columbia through exhibits and artifacts. The Inner Harbour is also a must-visit spot, where you can watch boats and seaplanes come and go, and grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants.

What is the best time of year to visit Victoria, BC?

The best time to visit Victoria, BC is during the summer months of June to August, when the weather is warm and sunny. However, this is also the busiest time of year, so expect crowds and higher prices. If you prefer a quieter and more affordable time to visit, consider coming in the shoulder seasons of spring (March to May) or fall (September to November).

What are some free things to do in Victoria, British Columbia?

There are many free things to do in Victoria, BC. You can visit the Inner Harbour and watch boats and seaplanes come and go, or take a stroll through Beacon Hill Park. The Craigdarroch Castle is also free to visit on certain days of the year. If you’re interested in art, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria offers free admission on the first Tuesday of every month.

What are some family-friendly activities in Victoria, BC?

Victoria, BC is a great destination for families. The Royal BC Museum offers interactive exhibits and programs for children, and the Victoria Bug Zoo is a unique and educational experience. The Miniature World is also a popular attraction, where you can see tiny replicas of famous landmarks and scenes. The Beacon Hill Children’s Farm is a great place to see and interact with farm animals.

What is the most popular tourist attraction in British Columbia?

The most popular tourist attraction in British Columbia is undoubtedly the Capilano Suspension Bridge. This iconic bridge is located in North Vancouver and attracts millions of visitors each year. Other popular attractions in British Columbia include the Whistler Ski Resort, the Butchart Gardens, and the Stanley Park Seawall.

Is Victoria, BC a walkable city?

Yes, Victoria, BC is a very walkable city. The downtown area is compact and easy to navigate on foot, and there are many pedestrian-friendly streets and pathways. You can also rent a bike or take public transportation to explore further afield.

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