As a major tourist destination Victoria is home to numerous attractions including first-rate museums, gardens, historic sites and other places of interest.
Victoria Tourist Attractions
Below is a list of Victoria’s best and most popular attractions and places to visit.
- The Bug Zoo – an interesting museum in downtown Victoria that features bugs and spiders.
- Butchart Gardens – Victoria’s most famous attraction which features a Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Italian Garden and Mediterranean Garden and Sunken Garden.
- Butterfly Gardens – an indoor butterfly museum located near Butchart Gardens in Brentwood Bay halfway between Victoria and the BC Ferries terminal at Swartz Bay. Recommended for adults and children who like plants, birds and butterflies.
- Craigdarroch Castle – a beautiful castle-like home of a historic industrialist.
- The Empress Hotel – both a hotel and National Historic Site, the impressive Edwardian-style building was built in 1908 by the Canadian Pacific Railroad company and today still dominates the downtown Victoria skyline. The Empress Hotel is a popular although expensive place to stay and famous for its afternoon English Tea.
- Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse – a park and National Historic Site that was an active armoury and defense line until just after the Second World War. Located not far from Hatley Castle, the site features bunkers, gunner stations, parkland and a picturesque lighthouse you can go inside.
- Government House – the home of the Queen’s representative in British Columbia. The building is open to the public once a month and on special occasions, but the grounds are beautiful, open daily and free to explore.
- Hatley Castle – a historic castle that was built as a home and now part of Royal Roads University. The castle is beautiful and free to view from the outside. Some of the gardens are also free, while the main ones have an admission fee. Daily tours of the interior of the castle are also available for a fee.
- IMAX Theatre – a movie theatre at the Royal BC Museum that shows educational National Geographic-style films on a giant screen.
- Inner Harbour – the heart of downtown Victoria where many of the city’s top tourist attractions are located. With its Lower Causeway walkway, boats in the harbour, patio restaurants and beautiful buildings all around, this part of the city is a tourist attraction of its own.
- The Legislative Buildings – the beautiful parliament buildings located in the Inner Harbour not far from the Empress Hotel. Public tours are at specific times and free of charge.
- Miniature World – an attraction with dozens of miniature historical and fairy tale displays, doll houses, model railroads and battle scenes located downtown in the Empress Hotel.
- Royal BC Museum – an impressive museum showcasing the history of the province of British Columbia.
For a full list of Victoria places and attractions see the Glossary of Victoria Places.