Is Victoria BC Worth Visiting? Reasons & Things To Do

Are you wondering is Victoria BC worth visiting?

As someone who has travelled to Victoria many times and lives on the mainland in Vancouver, I can tell you that Victoria is worth visiting.

While Victoria is the capital of the province of British Columbia, it’s a historical coastal island city with many things to do. You can explore Fisherman’s Wharf and the Royal BC Museum or enjoy afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress.

Let’s get into all the details and information that make Victoria, BC, worth visiting.

Is Victoria BC Worth Visiting

The quick answer is yes, Victoria BC is worth visiting.

First and foremost, Victoria is known for its waterfront setting, which offers oceanfront views, gardens, and national historic landmarks throughout the city. 

Moreover, the city’s culture is evident in its diverse arts scene, music venues, and culinary scene, which showcases the abundance of fresh seafood.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Victoria offers many activities around and outside the city, from hikes to tours on land or in the ocean.

A small bridge  that opens up to boats in Downtown Victoria with cars driving on either side across and a double decker bus. There are buildings in the background and people walking on the siewalks.

15 Things To Do & See In Victoria BC

These are some suggestions on things to do and what to see in Victoria.

1. The Butchart Gardens

The Butchart Gardens is world-famous. For over 100 years, it has attracted millions of visitors yearly to this absolutely stunning, award-winning garden.

For nature enthusiasts, horticulturalists, and anyone seeking a beautiful garden experience, this is the location for you.

Is Victoria BC worth visiting? Yes and The Butchart Gardens, over 100 years in bloom is one of the reasons why you should visit.  Entrance sign with beautiful colourful flowers and bushes decorated in the front.

2. Legislative Assembly of British Columbia

The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia building is a historic and beautiful landmark in Victoria, Canada. The building houses the provincial government, where elected representatives meet to make laws.

If you want to tour inside the building, there are free daily guided tours. Tickets are distributed in front of the building and are available during holidays. French and Mandarin translation tours are available. Arrive early for your preferred timeslot.

Is Victoria is worth visiting when visiting British Columbia? Absolutely! The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia is worth checking out for free daily tours. The side of the building was made with sonte and oxidized coper accents. It's an old style  building with arched window, circular windows, and regular windows.

3. Royal BC Museum

The Royal BC Museum is a fascinating museum showcasing the natural and human history of British Columbia through interactive displays and educational programs. It has extensive exhibits on diverse ecosystems, wildlife, and Indigenous culture.

I’ve visited the Royal BC Museum with my family and on many school field trips. It’s a fantastic place to take children to interact with and learn about BC’s history.

Don’t forget to take a picture with Woolly! The replica of a Woolly Mammoth is one of the most well-known displays in the museum.

4. Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf, on the other hand, offers a unique atmosphere. It’s a 15-minute walk from Inner Harbour. It’s the only location in Victoria with colourful and eclectic houseboats.

Fisherman's Wharf in Victoria BC is a fantastic tourist spot on the harbour. Colourful floating homes all uniquely painted and decorated.

5. Beacon Park

Beacon Hill Park is an urban park near downtown Victoria. It spans over 74 hectares (182 acres), making it one of the city’s largest green spaces.

The park offers recreational activities and various attractions, such as Beacon Hill’s Children’s Farm, a farm where you can meet many different animals, pickleball courts, The World’s Tallest Free-Standing Totem Pole at 127 feet, and much more.

Also, there are free-roaming peacocks in the park too!

6. Victoria Bug Zoo

The Victoria Bug Zoo is a unique attraction in Victoria where you can learn about insects and arachnids. You can see various insects and arachnids up close and even handle some friendly bugs. The Bug Zoo promotes conservation and teaches about bugs’ vital role in nature.

I’ve been to the bug zoo a handful of times, and while I’m not a fan of bugs, I did enjoy holding the stick bugs.

7. Victoria Butterfly Gardens

Victoria Butterfly Gardens is a beautiful indoor tropical garden. Inside, you’ll find hundreds of colourful butterflies flying freely and tropical birds, reptiles, and insects. It’s an excellent place for families with children to learn about butterflies.

➡️ Check Prices & Availability for Victoria Butterfly Gardens

8. Fan Tan Alley

Fan Tan Alley is a historic narrow alley in the heart of Victoria’s Chinatown, making it one of the city’s most iconic attractions. It’s recognized as North America’s narrowest commercial street.

In the 1900s, it was a hub of activity, filled with various shops, illegal drug-related activities, illegal gambling houses, and other businesses catering to the Chinese immigrants who lived and worked there.

Today, you can find local small businesses and many tourists walking along the narrow alley.

Me (The Travelling City Girl) walking in Fan Tan Alley. Fan Tan Alley is one of North America's narrowest commercial alleys. Brick walls with Chinese lanterns hanging around the top going crisscross.

9. Victoria Guided Food & History Tour

On the Victoria Guided Food and History Tour, discover Victoria’s history and culinary scene.

Walk around and follow your knowledgeable guide to must-see attractions and historic buildings. Along the way, stop for between food tastings of craft beer, chocolate, tea, other local products, and more.

➡️ Check Prices & Availability for the Victoria Guided Food & History Tour

10. High Tea Or Afternoon Tea

Victoria is known for high tea or afternoon tea, an experience everyone should try at least once when visiting.

However, there’s a difference between high tea and afternoon tea. High tea is a meat, vegetables, and potatoes meal in the early evening. Whereas afternoon tea is served midafternoon with pastries, scones, little sandwiches, and cakes.

These are the top five locations in Victoria to experience high or afternoon tea.

  • The Fairmont Empress Hotel – Tea at The Empress
  • Butchart Gardens – The Dining Room at Butchart Gardens
  • White Heather Tea Room
  • The Tea House at Abkhazi Garden
  • Pendry Inn and Tea House

11. Whale Watching Tour

Whale watching in Victoria or Vancouver is an excellent experience, especially when Vancouver Island is an important feeding ground between the migration journey when whales migrate from Alaska to warmer waters such as Hawaii, Mexico, and California.

This is the best half-day whale watching tour in Victoria. It’s run by one of Victoria’s top whale watching companies, and some of their bigger vessels have washrooms on board.

➡️ Check Prices & Availability for the Half Day Whale Watching Tour

Two black and white orcas (killer whales) swimming in the ocean. There is a grey and yellow vessel in the background with many people on the upper and lower deck looking out onto the whales.

12. Board With Friends Cafe

Board with Friends Cafe caters to tabletop gaming enthusiasts and offers a welcoming space for people of all ages. Operated by two passionate individuals, one owner is an expert at board game rules and how to play, always ready to explain any game.

At the same time, the other focuses on the culinary side, serving up tasty grilled cheese sandwiches and milkshakes that pair perfectly with your gaming experience.

My friends introduced me to this location when I visited them on the island. Now it’s one of my new favourite locations, and I’ve yet to bring my game-loving boyfriend there.

13. Craigdarroch Castle

Once a family residence in the late 1800s, the castle now serves as a museum, offering visitors a glimpse into the region’s history and the opulent lifestyle of the Dunsmuir family.

With its architecture and scenic surroundings, Craigdarroch Castle is a must-visit attraction for those interested in Victoria’s history and cultural heritage.

A mansion looking stone castle with a front wrap around deck with colums. The windows are curved and the architecture is catered to the 1800s. The roof also has red bricks.

14. Abkhazi Garden

Abkhazi Gardens offers a botanical experience. Established by Prince and Princess Abkhazi in 1946, the gardens feature a unique variety of plants and well-designed landscapes thoughtfully designed by the Prince and Princess.

Enjoy the greenery and meandering pathways, making it an escape from the city. Don’t forget to also have a high or afternoon tea experience.

15. Miniature World

Miniature World is an attraction that showcases intricate miniatures and offers a fascinating glimpse into history, culture, and imagination, all in miniature form.

Explore the meticulously crafted displays, each telling its own miniature story, making it an engaging and educational stop in Victoria.

What Month Is Best To Visit Victoria?

There are multiple best months to visit Victoria. March to May and September to November are the best times to visit Victoria when the weather isn’t crazy hot or during the rainy months. I visited in April, and it was warm enough to wear a hoodie.

In addition, there are many things to do in Victoria in winter. While the winters are mild and there’s rarely any snow, it’s also a time when hotels tend to be cheaper and have fewer crowds because it’s a low tourist season.

Sunset view of Inner harbour. There is a beautiful flower bed with purple, red, yellow, and orange flowers. Thewater with boats docked in the harbour. You can see the Legislative Building peaking on  the left side of the photo. There are buildings in the distance.

Is Victoria BC A Walkable City?

Yes! Victoria is a walkable city. You can walk around Downtown Victoria, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s Wharf, which is approximately a 10 to 15-minute walk to each destination.

How To Get Around Victoria BC

Victoria has buses that you can use to get around. When I visited my friends, we paid $5.00 CAD on the bus (cash) for a day pass, which you can use to transfer to multiple buses. And the best option if you’re planning to ride the bus all day.

These are the options for passes and tickets:

  • Adults: Single Ride – $2.50 | 10 Tickets – $25.00 | Day Pass – $5.00 CAD
  • Concession (Youth 13-18 & Seniors 65+): Single Ride $2.50 CAD | Day Pass – $5.00 CAD
  • Children 12 & Under: Free

Where To Stay In Victoria

There are many places to stay in Victoria. Downtown Victoria is the best option, as all the hotels are there, and you’ll be within walking distance of all the local tourist locations and activities.

The Magnolia Hotel & Spa 💎

✅ Perfect Location
✅ Excellent & Helpful Staff

The Magnolia Hotel and Spa is a luxurious Downtown Victoria boutique hotel. Guests can enjoy spa treatments, and the hotel is known for its eco-friendly practices. Its central location allows easy access to downtown attractions.

Hotel Grand Pacific ⚖️

✅ Excellent Location
✅ Private Balconies

The Hotel Grand Pacific is an older hotel with an indoor pool and hot tub. It’s only three minutes from the Victoria Clipper Ferry Terminal and Coho Ferry Terminal and a block from the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia Building.

How To Get To Victoria

Getting to Victoria is easy, especially if you’re coming from Vancouver. Here are a couple of ways of getting to Victoria.

By Ferry

The easiest way to get to Victoria is by ferry. If you’re travelling from Vancouver, you can take the BC Ferries from Tsawwassen (near Vancouver) to Swartz Bay.

You don’t need a car to get onto the ferry. Walk-ons are allowed, but there might be a stand-by wait depending on when and what time of year you go.

You could always take public transportation, Uber, taxis, etc., and get dropped off at the ferry terminal.

After arriving at Swartz Bay, you can take public transportation to Downtown Victoria.

Using the BC Ferries from Vancouver to Victoria is the easiest way of getting to the island. A white vessel the Spirit of Vancouver Island Bc Ferries travelling along the ocean.

By Air

There are a couple of options by air. Once you land in Vancouver, you can take a connecting flight to Victoria International Airport.

The other option is to take a float plane from Downtown Vancouver if you’re already visiting Vancouver.

Is Victoria BC Worth Visiting – FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about whether Victoria is worth visiting.

How Long Is The Ferry Ride From Vancouver To Victoria BC?

The ferry ride from Vancouver to Victoria is an hour and 35 minutes long non-stop. The day’s first ferry departs at 6:00 AM, while the last departure is at 9:00 PM.

Do You Need A Passport To Take The Ferry To Victoria BC?

No, you don’t need a passport if you travel to Victoria from Vancouver.

However, suppose you’re coming from Washington State to Victoria, BC, using the FRS Clipper Ferry (Seattle) or the Black Ball Ferry Line (Port Angeles). In that case, you’ll need a passport because you’re crossing international waters.

Is The Ferry From Vancouver to Victoria Scenic?

Yes, the ferry ride is scenic. It offers stunning views of the coastline and the Gulf Islands. During certain times of the year, killer whale or porpoise sightings may occur along the journey.

Is Victoria Worth A Day Trip?

Yes! Victoria is worth a day trip. It’s easy to get to and from Vancouver and Victoria. While there are many things to do in Victoria, exploring the downtown area can be easily done in a day.

Many Vancouverites travel to Victoria for work during the day and vice versa, so day trips are very common.

Do You Need A Car In Victoria BC?

Yes and no. If you plan to only stay in Downtown Victoria, you don’t need a car. However, if you plan on exploring outside of downtown, for example, a Vancouver Island road trip, you’ll need a car, or you can use the public bus lines or other means of transportation.

Many people in Victoria also like to bike. There are many bike lanes in Downtown Victoria.

Conclusion

So, is Victoria BC worth visiting? Yes! Whether you’re interested in exploring stunning gardens, discovering the city’s history, or enjoying outdoor adventures, Victoria, British Columbia is worth visiting on Vancouver Island.

Have a good day 🙂