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Victoria
Travel Guide

Inner Harbour showing a coastal town, a bay or harbor and skyline

Surrounded by water, British Columbia’s capital is famous for its marine life and harbor, but there are also excellent museums and heritage buildings to explore.

Situated on Vancouver Island in Western Canada, Victoria boasts the country’s mildest climate and has more sunny days than Vancouver on the mainland. Make the most of the climate by taking part in some of Victoria’s wide range of outdoor activities, such as a harbor walk or whale-watching excursion. On your trips around the city, notice the historic architecture, double-decker buses, teahouses and formal gardens, all testament to this region’s British roots.

Getting around is easy on foot as most major attractions are in or near the compact downtown area. With miles of bikeways, and bike racks on most city buses, Victoria is also extremely cyclist-friendly.

Walk along the city’s most popular shopping and entertainment thoroughfare, Government Street. It is full of historic buildings and you can learn about what took place behind some of their facades during a ghost walk. In Chinatown Victoria, visit the old teahouses around Canada’s narrowest street. Enjoy a classic afternoon tea at the grand Fairmont Empress hotel.

Go to the Inner Harbour to join a whale-watching tour to spot orcas and seals in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. During the warmer months you can also expect to see humpback, minke and gray whales. Around the corner from the harbor, sample fresh seafood at the colorful floating village of Victoria Fisherman’s Wharf.

Come back to the harbor at night when the thousands of lights on the 19th-century British Columbia Parliament Buildings give it a fairy tale-like appearance.

Don’t miss out on Victoria’s excellent museums. Learn about the human and natural history of the province at the Royal BC Museum and find a collection of intricately carved totem poles at the museum’s Thunderbird Park. See work by the celebrated Canadian artist Emily Carr at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and get insight into the area’s seafaring history at the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, housed in Victoria’s Old Courthouse.

Rent a car to venture farther out and hike to the isolated beaches and forests full of wildlife in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park.

Where to stay in Victoria

Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites
Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites
3.5 out of 5
740 Burdett Ave, Victoria, BC
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $162 per night from Jun 24 to Jun 24
Located in Downtown Victoria, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Maritime Museum of British Columbia and Victoria Conference Centre. Victoria Harbour and ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (1,042 reviews)
"Great hotel! Staff, room and service was fantastic. Kids really enjoyed the indoor heated pool and hot tub. Great location close to the inner harbour, shops and restaurants. As a local resident, I Would definitely recommend it to visitors!"

Reviewed on Jun 20, 2021

Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites
The Magnolia Hotel and Spa
The Magnolia Hotel and Spa
4.5 out of 5
623 Courtney St, Victoria, BC
The price is $200 per night from Jun 28 to Jun 28
Located in Downtown Victoria, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Government Street and Victoria Conference Centre. Royal BC Museum and Victoria Harbour ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (995 reviews)
"Beautiful 3 night stay at the Magnolia Hotel! Location couldn’t have been better, restaurants, shopping and the waterfront just 1 block in any direction. Our room was outstanding! Clean and well appointed. The best part was that they have bikes for guests to use. We petaled our way around downtown ..."

Reviewed on Jun 16, 2021

The Magnolia Hotel and Spa
Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites
Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites
3 out of 5
1234 Wharf St, Victoria, BC
The price is $187 per night from Jun 24 to Jun 24
This family-friendly Victoria hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of Lower Johnson Street, Victoria Harbour, and Victoria Clipper Ferry ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (1,043 reviews)
"This hotel is conveniently located and an easy walk just about anywhere! And we loved the balcony and the water view as it was beautiful weather when we visited Victoria!"

Reviewed on Jun 20, 2021

Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Bachelor Suite With Kitchenette
Bachelor Suite With Kitchenette
Victoria, BC
The price is $81 per night from Jul 4 to Jul 4
Situated in Victoria, this aparthotel is 1.4 mi (2.2 km) from All Fun Recreation Park and 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from Bear Mountain Golf and Country Club. Goldstream ...
Bachelor Suite With Kitchenette
Quiet Hideaway Near Sidney, BC With King Bed, Kitchenette and Private Bathroom
Quiet Hideaway Near Sidney, BC With King Bed, Kitchenette and Private Bathroom
Sidney, BC
The price is $137 per night from Jul 9 to Jul 9
Situated in Sidney, this golf vacation home is within 3 mi (5 km) of Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, and Resthaven Park. Shoal ...
5/5Exceptional! (3 reviews)
Peaceful wooded setting in wonderful part of Vancouver Island
"Bernadette was a very caring and responsive host. The apartment is cozy and well appointed and we enjoyed walking the nearby trails and parks. We chose not to have the breakfasts offered by Bernadette because of our restrictive diets, but if the cookies she bakes are anything to go by, we’d recommend ..."

Reviewed on Dec 21, 2020

Quiet Hideaway Near Sidney, BC With King Bed, Kitchenette and Private Bathroom
Beautifully Appointed Suite is on a Gorgeous, Secluded, Quiet Oceanfront Street
Beautifully Appointed Suite is on a Gorgeous, Secluded, Quiet Oceanfront Street
Victoria, BC
Located in Saanich East, this romantic vacation home is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Cadboro Bay and 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from University of Victoria. Oak Bay Marina and ...
4.9/5Exceptional! (77 reviews)
A small paradise
"If you love the bird’s song, spectacular seaviews at both end of the tiny street, and the secludeness of the beautiful and plosh saanach area, this place is for you ! The appartment is very clean and confortable. Joan and Dennis are very kind and gentle persons. I would really like to go back ..."

Reviewed on Apr 21, 2021

Beautifully Appointed Suite is on a Gorgeous, Secluded, Quiet Oceanfront Street
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Victoria

Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, has a well-established bus transit system, making it easy to get around the city. BC Transit, as it’s known, connects the city center to the Greater Victoria area and beyond. If you’re staying around downtown, especially near the waterfront, walking is a fantastic way to get to know the city. Alternatively, taxis are plentiful, or it’s easy to rent a car. Visit the Transport Canada website.Browse Victoria rental cars.

Best time to visit

Vancouver Island enjoys some of the mildest weather in Canada, meaning that Victoria is not rendered inaccessible by icy winters in the way that some parts of the country are. The best weather is between spring and fall, when temperatures are mild and the city’s gardens are either in bloom or alive with lovely fall colors. Visit in the summer to catch Victoria’s fantastic program of arts festivals.

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