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.
- Abkhazi Garden – a beautiful garden near South Oak Bay. Admission is by donation.
- Bastion Square Market – an artisan market in the summer.
- 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.
- Chinatown – a historic neighbourhood. Today it’s the second oldest Chinatown in North America.
- 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 but 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 defence 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.
- Galey Farms – a farm that’s also a tourist attraction with family-friendly events and a miniature railway.
- 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. However, the beautiful grounds are open daily and free to explore.
- Government Street – a touristy street that’s full of older buildings, restaurants, boutiques and souvenir shops.
- Hatley Castle – a historic castle that was built as a home and is 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. The theatre 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. This part of the city is a tourist attraction of its own. The Harbour has a Lower Causeway walkway, boats in the harbour, patio restaurants and beautiful buildings all around.
- 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.
- Malahat SkyWalk – a scenic walkway suspended among the trees. The top of Malahat (near Mill Bay) has an observation tower with 360-degree views.
- Miniature World – an attraction with dozens of miniature historical, fairy tale displays, and dollhouses. Miniature World also includes model railroads and battle scenes and is located downtown in the Empress Hotel.
- Moss Street Market – a large farmers and artisan market on Saturdays.
- Royal BC Museum – an impressive museum showcasing the history of the province of British Columbia.
- WildPlay Element Park – an outdoor adventure-style attraction with ropes courses and ziplines. The company also has venues in Maple Ridge (in the Lower Mainland) and Nanaimo.
- Willows Beach – a popular park and beach in Oak Bay.
For a full list of Victoria places and attractions see the Glossary of Victoria Places.
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