61 Best Places And Things To Do in Victoria, Canada

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, is a picturesque city located on Vancouver Island and is known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. Here’s a guide to the best places to visit and things to do in Victoria:

1. Inner Harbour

Image Source: https://www.victoria.ca/EN/main/residents/streets-transportation/getting-to-victoria/harbour.html

The heart of Victoria, the Inner Harbour, is a bustling area surrounded by historic buildings, scenic walkways, and beautiful gardens. Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, watch street performers, visit the Royal BC Museum, and grab some fish and chips from the local vendors.

2. Butchart Gardens

Image Source: https://www.tourismvictoria.com/see-do/activities-attractions/garden-parks/butchart-gardens

One of Canada’s most famous attractions, the Butchart Gardens, is a horticultural masterpiece. It features 55 acres of meticulously landscaped gardens, including the Sunken Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Japanese Garden. The gardens are captivating year-round, with seasonal displays and events.

3. Royal BC Museum

Image Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/royal-b-c-museum-to-be-rebuilt-at-the-cost-of-789m-1.6452552

Delve into the province’s history and culture at the Royal BC Museum. The museum offers fascinating exhibits that explore British Columbia’s natural history, indigenous culture, and colonial past. It’s an educational and enriching experience for visitors of all ages.

4. Whale Watching Tour

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Victoria is an excellent place to embark on a whale watching adventure. Several tour operators offer excursions to spot orcas, humpback whales, gray whales, and other marine life in the Salish Sea. The waters around Vancouver Island are teeming with wildlife, making it a memorable experience.

5. Craigdarroch Castle

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craigdarroch_Castle

This stunning Victorian-era mansion, built in the late 1800s, is a must-visit for history and architecture enthusiasts. The castle offers guided tours, showcasing its luxurious interior, including exquisite woodwork, stained glass, and original furnishings.

6. Beacon Hill Park

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A tranquil oasis in the heart of the city, Beacon Hill Park is perfect for a leisurely walk, a picnic, or simply relaxing amidst nature. The park features beautiful gardens, playgrounds, and ponds, and you might even spot peacocks roaming freely.

7. Goldstream Provincial Park

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Goldstream Provincial Park, located near Victoria, BC, is a natural gem renowned for its lush forests and stunning waterfalls. The park offers a network of hiking trails that lead to the mesmerizing Niagara Falls and the powerful Goldstream Falls. During the salmon spawning season, visitors can witness the incredible sight of migrating salmon in the Goldstream River, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts.

8. Abkhazi Garden

Image Source: https://www.viator.com/Victoria-attractions/Abkhazi-Garden/overview/d617-a1998

Abkhazi Garden is a serene and enchanting oasis in Victoria, BC. This historic garden showcases a delightful collection of rare and exotic plants, meticulously landscaped to create a harmonious and tranquil atmosphere. Visitors can take leisurely strolls through the garden’s winding paths, enjoy afternoon tea in the teahouse, and appreciate the captivating beauty of this hidden gem on Vancouver Island.

9. Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisgard_Lighthouse_National_Historic_Site

Located a short drive from Victoria, this historic lighthouse is the oldest on the west coast of Canada. Learn about its maritime heritage and enjoy the stunning ocean views.

10. Bastion Square Public Market

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Bastion Square Public Market is a vibrant and lively market located in the heart of Victoria, BC. Open during the summer months, it offers a diverse array of local arts, crafts, and artisanal products. Visitors can explore the charming stalls, enjoy live performances, and savor delicious treats while soaking in the lively atmosphere of this bustling outdoor market.

11. Victoria Public Market

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Victoria Public Market is a bustling culinary hub in the heart of downtown Victoria, BC. This vibrant indoor market features a wide selection of fresh produce, artisanal foods, and local goods. Visitors can indulge in a diverse range of cuisines, shop for unique products, and experience the city’s culinary culture all under one roof.

12. High Tea at the Fairmont Empress

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A quintessential Victoria experience, indulge in a traditional afternoon tea at the iconic Fairmont Empress hotel. Savor delicious finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and an assortment of pastries, all while enjoying the elegant ambiance and picturesque views of the Inner Harbour.

13. Explore Fan Tan Alley

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Fan Tan Alley, located in Chinatown, is a charming narrow alleyway that dates back to the late 1800s. It’s filled with unique shops, boutiques, and restaurants, making it an ideal place to discover quirky souvenirs, antiques, and artisanal goods.

14. Hatley Castle

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Visit Hatley Castle, a magnificent Edwardian mansion surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens. The castle and its grounds have been featured in several films and TV shows. You can take guided tours to learn about its history and admire the stunning architecture.

15. Government Street

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Take a stroll along Government Street, a vibrant thoroughfare lined with shops, galleries, and eateries. It’s a great place to shop for local art, crafts, clothing, and souvenirs while immersing yourself in Victoria’s unique charm.

16. BC Parliament Buildings

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Admire the grandeur of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings, an architectural marvel situated on the Inner Harbour. Join a free guided tour to learn about the history of the building, its striking features, and the provincial government’s operations.

17. Maritime Museum of BC

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Explore the maritime heritage of British Columbia at this intriguing museum. Discover artifacts, models of historic ships, and exhibits that showcase the province’s relationship with the sea.

18. Fisherman’s Wharf

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Head to Fisherman’s Wharf, a colorful floating village, to experience a laid-back and vibrant atmosphere. Enjoy fresh seafood from various food stalls, spot playful seals in the water, and consider renting a kayak or paddleboard to explore the area further.

19. Galloping Goose Regional Trail

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galloping_Goose_Regional_Trail

If you enjoy biking, walking, or jogging, the Galloping Goose Trail is perfect for you. This multi-use trail spans over 55 kilometers and offers scenic routes that take you through picturesque landscapes, forests, and urban areas.

20. Evening Ghost Tour

Image Source: https://www.tourismvictoria.com/see-do/guided-tours/ghostly-walks

For those who love a good scare and a dose of history, consider taking an evening ghost tour in Victoria. Learn about the city’s eerie past, haunted locations, and ghostly legends from knowledgeable guides who will regale you with spooky tales.

21. Victoria Public Library

Image Source: https://www.victoria.ca/EN/main/residents/about/public-library/Name-That-Library.html

If you’re a book lover, don’t miss a visit to the Victoria Public Library. This elegant heritage building houses an extensive collection of books, magazines, and other media. It’s a great place to relax, read, or do some research while enjoying the serene atmosphere.

22. Victoria Bug Zoo

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A unique and family-friendly attraction, the Victoria Bug Zoo allows you to get up close and personal with fascinating insects and arachnids from around the world. Knowledgeable guides provide insights into the lives of these creepy crawlies, making it both educational and entertaining.

23. Miniature World

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Step into a world of miniatures at Miniature World, where you can explore intricate and detailed displays of historical events, fairy tales, and famous landmarks. This attraction is sure to captivate visitors of all ages.

24. Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

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Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, which features an impressive collection of Canadian and international art, including works by Emily Carr, one of Canada’s most renowned artists.

25. Oak Bay Village

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Venture to Oak Bay Village, a charming neighborhood known for its beautiful waterfront, boutique shopping, and cozy cafes. It’s an excellent spot to unwind, take a leisurely stroll, or enjoy a cup of coffee with a view.

26. Victoria Classic Boat Festival

Image Source: https://www.victoriabuzz.com/2022/08/victorias-inner-harbour-will-host-a-free-classic-boat-festival-this-labour-day-weekend/

The Victoria Classic Boat Festival is an annual celebration of maritime heritage in Victoria, BC. Held on the city’s picturesque Inner Harbour, the festival showcases a captivating display of vintage and classic boats from different eras. Visitors can admire the beautifully restored vessels, enjoy maritime-themed activities, and immerse themselves in the rich nautical history of the region during this exciting and family-friendly event.

27. Victoria International JazzFest

Image Source: https://www.tourismvictoria.com/see-do/festivals-events/td-victoria-international-jazzfest

If you’re a music enthusiast, consider visiting Victoria during the annual JazzFest. The festival brings together talented musicians from around the world, and you can enjoy a diverse range of jazz performances in various venues across the city.

28. Explore the Saanich Peninsula

Image Source: https://www.tourismvictoria.com/plan/local-info/greater-victoria/saanich

Just north of Victoria, the Saanich Peninsula offers a delightful escape with charming villages, wineries, and beautiful gardens like the Victoria Butterfly Gardens and the Peninsula Olive Farm.

29. Explore Fort Rodd Hill

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Fort Rodd Hill is a coastal artillery fort that offers insight into the region’s military history. Explore underground bunkers, gun batteries, and military exhibits.

30. Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour

Image Source: https://www.vicnews.com/news/victoria-city-councillor-proposes-to-phase-out-horse-drawn-carriages-55362

For a charming and leisurely way to explore the city, consider a horse-drawn carriage tour. Let the rhythmic clip-clop of the horses’ hooves guide you through Victoria’s historic streets as a knowledgeable guide shares fascinating stories and anecdotes.

31. Crafternoon Tea at Silk Road Tea

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Indulge in a unique tea experience at Silk Road Tea, a local tea company known for its organic and hand-blended teas. Enjoy “crafternoon tea,” where you can create your own custom blend of loose-leaf tea to take home as a special memento.

32. Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Victoria’s Inner Harbour

Image Source: https://www.mustbevictoria.com/paddle-boarding.html

Try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) in the calm waters of the Inner Harbour. It’s a fun way to see the city from a different perspective while getting some exercise.

33. Visit the Emily Carr House

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Explore the childhood home of renowned Canadian artist Emily Carr. The Emily Carr House is now a museum that offers a glimpse into her life, art, and the times she lived in.

34. Explore Market Square

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Market Square is a vibrant area in downtown Victoria filled with boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a great place to find unique gifts, fashion items, and local products.

35. Enjoy Live Performances at The Royal Theatre

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Theatre_(Victoria,_British_Columbia)

If you’re a fan of the performing arts, catch a live show at The Royal Theatre. This historic venue hosts a wide range of performances, including concerts, plays, ballets, and operas.

36. Zip Line Adventure

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For an adrenaline rush, head to a nearby zip line park for a thrilling treetop adventure. Soar through the forest canopy and enjoy panoramic views of the island.

37. Visit the Robert Bateman Centre

Image Source: https://macleans.ca/culture/robert-bateman-on-fame-measuring-success-and-the-new-gallery-built-in-his-honour/

Art and nature enthusiasts will appreciate the Robert Bateman Centre, dedicated to showcasing the works of renowned wildlife artist Robert Bateman. The center also focuses on environmental education and conservation.

38. Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

Image Source: http://victoriadragonboatfestival.com/

If you’re visiting in August, don’t miss the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, a lively event featuring dragon boat races, cultural performances, and delicious food stalls.

39. Chase Waterfalls in Sooke

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Take a day trip to Sooke, a charming coastal town near Victoria. Explore the beautiful Sooke Potholes, and hike to picturesque waterfalls like Sooke Falls and Sandcut Beach Falls.

40. Ride the Victoria Harbour Ferries

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Hop aboard a colorful Victoria Harbour Ferry for a delightful cruise around the Inner Harbour. These small, charming boats offer a unique perspective of the city’s waterfront and provide an enjoyable way to travel between various attractions.

41. Discover the Craigflower Manor

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Step back in time and visit the Craigflower Manor, a historic house built in the 1850s by the Hudson’s Bay Company. Learn about the early days of settlement and the significance of this well-preserved heritage site.

42. Island Farms Victoria Day Parade

Image Source: https://www.victoriabuzz.com/2019/05/live-watch-the-120th-island-farms-victoria-day-parade-2/

If you happen to visit Victoria in May, don’t miss the Island Farms Victoria Day Parade, an annual event that celebrates Canadian heritage with colorful floats, marching bands, and lively performances.

43. Victoria’s Street Art

Image Source: https://martlet.ca/public-art-in-victoria/

Take a self-guided tour of Victoria’s street art scene and discover vibrant murals, graffiti, and public art scattered throughout the city. Local artists have adorned alleyways and buildings with creative expressions, adding to Victoria’s artistic charm.

44. Enjoy Live Music at Hermann’s Jazz Club

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Jazz enthusiasts should head to Hermann’s Jazz Club, a long-standing institution in Victoria’s music scene. Catch live performances ranging from classic jazz to contemporary acts in an intimate and welcoming setting.

45. Victoria Symphony Orchestra

Image Source: https://www.vancouverislandfreedaily.com/entertainment/victoria-symphony-presents-the-mastery-of-schumann-at-uvic/

Check the schedule and attend a performance by the Victoria Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Theatre or another venue. Enjoy classical music concerts, pops performances, and special events featuring talented musicians and guest artists.

46. Explore the Gorge Waterway

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Rent a kayak or take a leisurely stroll along the Gorge Waterway. This picturesque waterway offers serene views, wildlife sightings, and a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

47. Pacific Undersea Gardens

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Undersea_Gardens

Step below sea level and visit the Pacific Undersea Gardens, an interactive marine exhibit showcasing the fascinating underwater world of the Salish Sea. Observe a diverse array of marine life, including fish, sea stars, and anemones, without getting wet.

48. Birdwatching at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary

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Nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers will find a haven at the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary. Explore the trails around the lake and spot various bird species, including waterfowl and songbirds, in their natural habitat.

49. Ogden Point

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Ogden Point is a bustling cruise ship terminal and popular destination in Victoria, BC. It offers spectacular views of the surrounding coastline and the Olympic Mountains. Visitors can take leisurely walks along the breakwater, spot marine life, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere with various shops and eateries nearby.

50. Beacon Hill Children’s Farm

Image Source: https://www.cheknews.ca/baby-goats-are-coming-to-beacon-hill-childrens-farm-heres-how-you-can-see-them-770230/

Beacon Hill Children’s Farm is a delightful family-friendly attraction in Victoria, BC. This working farm provides an interactive experience for children and adults alike, allowing visitors to pet and feed a variety of friendly farm animals. Located in Beacon Hill Park, the farm offers a charming and educational setting for a fun-filled day, making it a must-visit destination for families exploring the city.

51. Thetis Lake Regional Park

Image Source: https://britishcolumbia.com/things-to-do-and-see/parks-and-trails/vancouver-island-bc-islands/thetis-lake-regional-park/

Thetis Lake Regional Park, situated near Victoria, BC, is a beloved recreational spot for locals and visitors alike. The park features two crystal-clear freshwater lakes, ideal for swimming, canoeing, and picnicking on the sandy shores. With well-maintained trails that wind through forests and around the lakes, it offers a refreshing escape and a chance to appreciate the beauty of Vancouver Island’s natural landscape.

52. Mount Douglas Park

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Mount Douglas Park, located in Victoria, BC, is a popular natural oasis offering sweeping views of the city, mountains, and ocean. With various hiking trails, it’s perfect for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a scenic escape. The park’s summit can be reached by foot or vehicle, providing a rewarding experience and a chance to connect with nature at its finest.

53. East Sooke Regional Park

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East Sooke Regional Park is a nature lover’s paradise near Victoria, BC. This vast coastal park offers diverse hiking trails that lead through lush forests, rugged cliffs, and stunning beaches. Visitors can explore tidal pools, spot wildlife, and revel in the unspoiled beauty of the West Coast landscape.

54. Discover Moss Street Market

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On Saturdays from April to October, head to Moss Street Market to browse through stalls selling fresh produce, artisanal foods, handmade crafts, and more. This vibrant community market captures the essence of Victoria’s local spirit.

55. Learn about Marine Life at Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

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Immerse yourself in the marine environment at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea. This interactive museum features marine exhibits, touch pools, and educational programs, making it a hit with both kids and adults.

56. Victoria Golf Club

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Golf_Club

The Victoria Golf Club is a premier golfing destination in Victoria, BC. Established in 1893, it boasts a rich history and picturesque coastal views. With its challenging yet rewarding course, this club offers a memorable golfing experience for players of all skill levels in a stunning and historic setting.

57. Pacific Rim Whale Festival

Image Source: https://www.vancouverislandfreedaily.com/community/islands-west-coast-celebrates-return-of-the-pacific-rim-whale-festival/

If you visit in March, consider extending your trip to Tofino to attend the annual Pacific Rim Whale Festival. This celebration of marine life features educational events, guided tours, and the chance to spot migrating gray whales.

58. Visit the BC Aviation Museum

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Explore the fascinating world of aviation at the BC Aviation Museum. The museum showcases vintage aircraft, aviation artifacts, and interactive exhibits, providing a glimpse into the history of flight in British Columbia.

59. Tea at Point Ellice House

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Treat yourself to a traditional afternoon tea experience at Point Ellice House, a heritage site that offers picturesque gardens and insights into Victorian-era life.

60. Victoria International Film Festival

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Film enthusiasts should check the schedule for the Victoria International Film Festival, an annual event showcasing independent and international films.

61. Victoria Harbour Kayaking Adventure

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Experience the breathtaking beauty of Victoria’s Inner Harbour with a kayaking adventure. Paddle along the scenic coastline, passing historic landmarks and watching seaplanes take off. Encounter marine wildlife, enjoy stunning views, and immerse yourself in the city’s natural splendor on this unforgettable water excursion.

Places and Things To Do