Best things to Do in Victoria, Canada (ULTIMATE 2023 Travel Guide)

Victoria, located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, is a city that has something for everyone. From stunning gardens and historic landmarks to delicious food and world-class museums, there is no shortage of things to do in Victoria.

In this blog post, we will explore 14 of the best things to do in Victoria, including visiting the Butchart Gardens, exploring the Royal BC Museum, and taking a walk along the Inner Harbour. Whether you are a nature lover, history buff, or foodie, Victoria has something for you. So pack your bags and get ready to discover all that Victoria has to offer.

What are the best 14 things to do in Victoria?

  1. Visit the Butchart Gardens
  2. Take a walk along the Inner Harbour
  3. Explore the Royal BC Museum
  4. Go whale watching
  5. Visit the Craigdarroch Castle
  6. Visit the Victoria Bug Zoo
  7. Take a stroll through Beacon Hill Park
  8. Visit the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
  9. Go on a brewery tour
  10. Visit the BC Legislature Buildings
  11. Go on a food tour
  12. Take a ferry ride to the Gulf Islands
  13. Visit the Royal London Wax Museum
  14. Visit the Victoria Butterfly Gardens

1. Visit the Butchart Gardens

The Butchart Gardens is a 55-acre garden is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, and has been recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada. The gardens were created by Jennie Butchart, who transformed a barren limestone quarry into a stunning display of floral beauty.

Today, the Butchart Gardens is home to a variety of beautiful gardens, including the Sunken Garden, the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden, and the Mediterranean Garden. Each garden is a unique and breathtaking display of flowers, plants, and trees.

In addition to the gardens, the Butchart Gardens also features a number of water features, including fountains, pools, and a pond. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, or take a guided tour to learn more about the history and flora of the gardens.

The Butchart Gardens is also home to a number of special events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and holiday displays. In the summer, the gardens host a series of evening concerts, featuring a variety of musical acts. During the holiday season, the gardens are transformed into a winter wonderland, with festive lights and decorations.

Whether you are a gardening enthusiast or simply appreciate beauty and nature, the Butchart Gardens is a must-see attraction in Victoria. With its stunning floral displays, water features, and special events, it is a place that visitors of all ages will enjoy.

2. Take a walk along the Inner Harbour

The Inner Harbour is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to relax, people-watch, and take in the sights and sounds of Victoria. Located in the heart of the city, the Inner Harbour is surrounded by a number of iconic landmarks and attractions, including the BC Parliament Buildings, the Royal BC Museum, and the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

The Inner Harbour is a great place to take a leisurely walk and enjoy the fresh sea air. The area is home to a number of charming shops, restaurants, and cafes, as well as several beautiful parks and gardens. Visitors can also take a stroll along the harbor, where they will see a variety of boats, including ferries, sailboats, and kayaks.

During the summer months, the Inner Harbour is a hub of activity, with street performers, musicians, and other entertainers. Visitors can also take a tour of the harbor on one of the many boat cruises that depart from the area.

The Inner Harbour is also a popular spot for special events and festivals, including the Victoria International Jazz Festival, the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, and the Victoria Buskers Festival.

No matter what time of year you visit Victoria, the Inner Harbour is a must-see destination. With its charming atmosphere and stunning views, it is a place where visitors can relax and soak up the beauty and culture of the city.

Bonus Tip: Self-Guided Walking Tour

The Inner Harbour is the starting point for a self-guided smartphone walking tour. It is by far the best way to explore all the sights of Victoria. If you want to know more, click on the picture below:

3. Explore the Royal BC Museum

The Royal BC Museum is a world-class museum that tells the story of British Columbia’s natural and human history, with a collection that spans over 50 million artifacts and specimens.

One of the highlights of the museum is the First Peoples Gallery, which showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Indigenous peoples of British Columbia. The gallery features a number of interactive exhibits, including traditional artifacts, artwork, and stories.

Another popular exhibit at the Royal BC Museum is the Natural History Gallery, which showcases the diverse plant and animal life of the region. The gallery features a number of interactive displays, including a replica of a coastal rainforest, a replica of a BC cave, and a marine mammal display.

The Royal BC Museum also has a number of temporary exhibits, which showcase a variety of topics, including art, science, and history. Past exhibits have featured subjects such as dinosaurs, ancient Egypt, and the history of the fur trade.

In addition to its exhibits, the Royal BC Museum also offers a number of educational programs and events, including guided tours, workshops, and lectures.

Whether you are a history buff, a science enthusiast, or simply love to learn, the Royal BC Museum is a must-see attraction in Victoria. With its rich collection and engaging exhibits, it is a place where visitors of all ages can discover and learn about the natural and cultural history of British Columbia.

4. Go whale watching

Victoria is a great place to go whale watching, with a variety of marine life to see in the wild. Located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria is a popular spot for whale watching tours, which depart from the Inner Harbour and nearby ports.

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are one of the most popular marine animals to see on a whale watching tour. These intelligent and social creatures are known for their distinctive black and white markings, and are often seen hunting in large pods.

Humpback whales are another popular species to see on a whale watching tour in Victoria. These majestic creatures are known for their acrobatic displays, including breaching, tail slapping, and blowing.

Other marine life that visitors may spot on a whale watching tour in Victoria includes dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions. Depending on the time of year, visitors may also see a variety of bird species, including bald eagles and seabirds.

Most whale watching tours in Victoria offer a variety of options, including half-day, full-day, and multi-day tours. Many tours also offer onboard amenities, such as refreshments, restrooms, and educational displays.

Whether you are a nature lover or simply want to experience the beauty and majesty of the ocean, whale watching in Victoria is a must-do activity. With its rich variety of marine life and stunning coastal scenery, it is an unforgettable experience that visitors of all ages will enjoy.

5. Visit the Craigdarroch Castle

The Craigdarroch Castle is a historic castle, built in the late 1800s, the castle was once the home of Robert Dunsmuir, a wealthy coal baron. Today, the castle is a popular tourist attraction, offering guided tours and breathtaking views of the city.

The Craigdarroch Castle is a stunning example of Victorian-era architecture, with its elaborate towers, turrets, and gables. The castle is adorned with intricate details, including stained glass windows, ornate woodwork, and marble fireplaces.

Visitors to the Craigdarroch Castle can take a guided tour of the castle, which includes a visit to the main floor and the upper floors. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who provide insights into the history and architecture of the castle.

In addition to the guided tours, the Craigdarroch Castle also offers a variety of events and programs, including concerts, lectures, and educational workshops. The castle is also a popular venue for weddings and other special events.

Whether you are a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply want to experience the grandeur of a bygone era, the Craigdarroch Castle is a must-see attraction in Victoria. With its stunning architecture, beautiful views, and rich history, it is a place that visitors of all ages will enjoy.

6. Visit the Victoria Bug Zoo

The Victoria Bug Zoo is a unique and educational attraction. The zoo is home to a variety of creepy crawlies, including tarantulas, beetles, and scorpions.

The Victoria Bug Zoo is a great place for visitors of all ages to learn about the fascinating world of insects and arachnids. The zoo features a number of interactive exhibits, including a live bee hive, a venomous snake exhibit, and a tarantula feeding station.

Visitors to the Victoria Bug Zoo can also participate in a number of educational programs and workshops, including bug-themed crafts and activities. The zoo also offers a variety of guided tours, including a “bug safari” tour that takes visitors on a journey through the world of insects and arachnids.

The Victoria Bug Zoo is not just a place to see bugs – it is also a place to learn about the important role that insects and arachnids play in our ecosystem. The zoo is committed to educating the public about the importance of these often-overlooked creatures, and the ways in which we can coexist with them in a sustainable and harmonious way.

Whether you are an insect enthusiast or simply want to learn more about these fascinating creatures, the Victoria Bug Zoo is a must-see attraction in Victoria. With its interactive exhibits and educational programs, it is a place where visitors of all ages can discover the amazing world of bugs.

7. Take a stroll through Beacon Hill Park

Beacon Hill Park is a beautiful park that covers over 200 acres, and features a variety of gardens, walking trails, and recreational areas.

One of the highlights of Beacon Hill Park is the Rose Garden, which is home to over 1,000 roses of more than 60 different varieties. The garden is a popular spot for visitors to relax, take photos, and enjoy the fragrance of the flowers.

Other gardens in Beacon Hill Park include the Japanese Garden, the Scented Garden, and the Children’s Farm. The park is also home to a number of walking trails, which offer stunning views of the park and the surrounding area.

In addition to its gardens and trails, Beacon Hill Park is home to a number of recreational amenities, including a playground, a petting zoo, and a cricket pitch. The park is also a popular spot for picnics, with a number of picnic tables and shelters scattered throughout the park.

Whether you are a nature lover, a history buff, or simply looking for a peaceful place to relax, Beacon Hill Park is a must-see destination in Victoria. With its beautiful gardens, walking trails, and recreational amenities, it is a place where visitors of all ages can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is a must-see attraction for art lovers. The gallery is home to a collection that spans over 5,000 years, with works by artists from around the world.

One of the highlights of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is its collection of Asian art, which includes a number of rare and unique pieces. The gallery also has a strong collection of British Columbia and Canadian art, including works by Emily Carr and the Group of Seven.

In addition to its permanent collection, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria also hosts a number of temporary exhibitions, which showcase a variety of art forms, including painting, sculpture, photography, and multimedia. Past exhibitions have featured a wide range of subjects, including contemporary art, historical art, and cultural art.

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria also offers a number of educational programs and events, including guided tours, workshops, and lectures. The gallery is also a popular venue for special events, such as concerts and performances.

Whether you are an art enthusiast or simply looking for a unique and enriching cultural experience, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is a must-see destination in Victoria. With its diverse collection and engaging exhibitions, it is a place where visitors of all ages can discover and appreciate the beauty and creativity of art.

9. Go on a brewery tour

Victoria is home to a thriving craft beer scene, with several breweries offering tours and tastings. Going on a brewery tour is a fun and tasty way to explore the city and learn about the art of brewing.

Most brewery tours in Victoria include a visit to at least one brewery, where visitors can learn about the brewing process, see the equipment, and taste a variety of beers. Many tours also include visits to other breweries, as well as stops at local pubs, restaurants, and other beer-related attractions.

Some brewery tours in Victoria are focused on a particular style of beer, such as ales, lagers, or stouts. Others are more general, offering a variety of beer styles and brewing techniques. Most tours offer tastings, so visitors can sample a variety of beers and find their favorites.

Brewery tours in Victoria are a great way to learn about the history and culture of beer, as well as the local brewing scene. Many tours are led by knowledgeable guides who can provide insights into the brewing process, the history of beer, and the local beer culture.

Whether you are a beer connoisseur or simply looking for a fun and unique way to explore Victoria, going on a brewery tour is a must-do activity. With its delicious beers and interesting brews, Victoria is a great place to discover the art of brewing.

10. Visit the BC Legislature Buildings

The BC Legislature Buildings are historic buildings that are home to the provincial government of British Columbia, and are a popular tourist attraction in the city.

The BC Legislature Buildings were completed in 1898, and are a stunning example of Victorian-era architecture. The buildings are adorned with intricate details, including stained glass windows, ornate woodwork, and marble fireplaces.

Visitors to the BC Legislature Buildings can take a guided tour of the buildings, which includes a visit to the legislative chamber and the legislative library. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides who provide insights into the history and architecture of the buildings.

In addition to the guided tours, the BC Legislature Buildings also offer a number of educational programs and events, including lectures, workshops, and public forums. The buildings are also a popular venue for special events, such as concerts and performances.

Whether you are a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply want to learn more about the provincial government of British Columbia, the BC Legislature Buildings are a must-see attraction in Victoria. With their stunning architecture, rich history, and educational programs, they are a place where visitors of all ages can discover and learn about the inner workings of government.

Discover the Parliament Buildings on a self-guided scavenger hunt

11. Go on a food tour

The city is known for its delicious seafood, local produce, and artisanal products. Going on a food tour is a great way to explore the city and discover the culinary delights that Victoria has to offer.

Most food tours in Victoria include visits to a variety of local restaurants, markets, and food-related attractions, as well as tastings of a variety of dishes and drinks. Many tours are focused on a particular theme, such as seafood, artisanal products, or local cuisine.

Food tours in Victoria are a great way to learn about the local food culture, as well as the history and traditions of the city. Many tours are led by knowledgeable guides who can provide insights into the local food scene, the history of food in Victoria, and the cultural influences that have shaped the city’s cuisine.

Whether you are a foodie or simply looking for a unique and tasty way to explore Victoria, going on a food tour is a must-do activity. With its delicious seafood, local produce, and artisanal products, Victoria is a great place to discover the culinary delights of the city.

12. Take a ferry ride to the Gulf Islands

The Gulf Islands are a group of picturesque islands located off the coast of Victoria. The islands are a popular destination for day trips or longer vacations, and are easily accessible by ferry from Victoria.

Ferries to the Gulf Islands depart from Victoria’s Inner Harbour, and the journey takes about one hour. The ferries offer stunning views of the coast, as well as a chance to see a variety of marine life, including whales, dolphins, and seals.

The Gulf Islands are a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. The islands are home to a number of charming villages, each with its own character and attractions. Visitors can explore the islands by bike, on foot, or by car, and can enjoy a variety of activities, including hiking, biking, and kayaking.

The Gulf Islands are also home to a number of art galleries, studios, and craft shops, which offer a unique shopping experience. The islands are known for their artisanal products, including pottery, jewelry, and other handmade items.

Whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway or an adventure in nature, a ferry ride to the Gulf Islands is a must-do activity in Victoria. With its charming villages, beautiful landscapes, and cultural attractions, the Gulf Islands are a place where visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and discover the beauty and serenity of the islands.

13. Visit the Royal London Wax Museum

The Royal London Wax Museum is a popular tourist attraction. It is home to a collection of over 100 life-size wax figures, depicting a variety of historical and cultural figures.

One of the highlights of the Royal London Wax Museum is the “British Columbia Hall of Fame,” which features wax figures of notable British Columbians, including Sir James Douglas, the first governor of the colony of British Columbia, and Emily Carr, a renowned artist and writer.

The Royal London Wax Museum also has a number of exhibits that focus on international figures, including a “Kings and Queens of England” exhibit, a “British Royal Family” exhibit, and a “World Leaders” exhibit.

In addition to its wax figures, the Royal London Wax Museum also has a number of interactive exhibits, including a “Ghostly Gallery,” a “Mad Scientist Lab,” and a “Haunted House.” These exhibits are designed to be both educational and entertaining, and are a great way for visitors to learn about history in a fun and interactive way.

Whether you are a history buff, a culture enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun and unique activity, the Royal London Wax Museum is a must-see attraction in Victoria. With its collection of wax figures and interactive exhibits, it is a place where visitors of all ages can discover and learn about history and culture in a memorable and entertaining way.

14. Visit the Victoria Butterfly Gardens

The Victoria Butterfly Gardens are home to a variety of tropical plants and butterflies, and offer a beautiful and serene setting for visitors to relax and enjoy nature.

The Victoria Butterfly Gardens are home to over 50 species of tropical butterflies, including monarchs, swallowtails, and heliconius. The gardens are designed to mimic the natural habitat of the butterflies, and are a great place for visitors to learn about these beautiful and fascinating creatures.

In addition to the butterfly exhibits, the Victoria Butterfly Gardens also have a number of tropical plants, including orchids, bromeliads, and palms. The gardens also have a number of interactive exhibits, including a bee hive and a hummingbird feeder.

The Victoria Butterfly Gardens are a great place for visitors of all ages to learn about the natural world and appreciate the beauty of nature. The gardens offer a variety of educational programs and events, including guided tours, workshops, and lectures.

Whether you are a nature lover or simply looking for a peaceful and beautiful place to relax, the Victoria Butterfly Gardens are a must-see attraction in Victoria. With its tropical plants and butterflies, the gardens are a place where visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and experience the beauty and serenity of nature.


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