Things to do in
Victoria, British Columbia

Marvel at historical buildings, relax in green spaces, or even meet some whales in British Columbia’s capital.

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Our most recommended things to do in Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria: The Butchart Gardens Tour

1. Victoria: The Butchart Gardens Tour

The famous Butchart Gardens exist on the site of an exhausted limestone quarry. The first garden, the Sunken Garden, was built when the Butcharts hired a Japanese landscape architect to transform the quarry space into something beautiful. On the 35-minute bus ride from Victoria, your experienced driver will provide an overview of Victoria’s history past, present & future. Once the bus gets you to Butchart Gardens, you will have the opportunity to explore the enchanting grounds for yourself. The gardens span 55 acres and provide a total sensory experience. The flowers and scents transform with the seasons, and you will have a spectacular experience no matter what time of year! As you wander the gardens, we encourage you to enjoy the view while sipping from a cup of coffee at one of the restaurants or seasonal cafés scattered across the grounds. The gardens have become a major attraction on Vancouver Island, and have been honored as a National Historic Site of Canada because of their international popularity.

Victoria: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

2. Victoria: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

After being collected from your downtown accommodation in a comfortable shuttle bus, you will venture down to the harbor where you will meet with your boat. After meeting your guides for the day, you will then depart from Victoria, setting off on your 3-hour whale-watching tour. Between April and October, you will have a greater than 95% success rate of spotting whales, including both transient and resident orcas, humpback, minke, and gray whales. Other wildlife you may encounter include Dall’s and harbor porpoises, harbor and elephant seals, and otters and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles. The zodiac vessels used on your tour are definitely recommended for the more wild-at-heart. You can let the wind blow in your hair and be exposed to the true west-coast elements in an open style, 12-passenger vessel. At the conclusion of your exhilarating tour, you will be returned back to the harbor, at which point you will be driven back to your accommodation in downtown Victoria.

From Victoria: Whale Watching 3-Hour Trip on Covered Boat

3. From Victoria: Whale Watching 3-Hour Trip on Covered Boat

After meeting at the pier or being collected from your Victoria hotel or accommodation, you will begin your carbon-neutral tour led by certified marine naturalists whose knowledge and passion for Vancouver Island’s marine wildlife is unequaled in the industry. Come aboard to experience the wild! All tours are three hours in length and peak whale watching season is April through October. In this peak season, there is a greater than 95% success rate of spotting whales, including both transient and resident orcas, humpbacks, minke, and gray whales. Other wildlife you may encounter include Dall’s and harbor porpoises, harbor and elephant seals, otters and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles. Whilst onboard the boat you will also be offered complimentary coffee and tea, onboard bathrooms, certified marine naturalists, and indoor and outdoor viewing areas. In the event of an unlucky tour, you will be invited to join again for a complimentary second whale watching tour to bring your dreams of seeing these magnificent animals to life.

Victoria, BC: 3-Hour Ultimate Whale & Marine Wildlife Tour

4. Victoria, BC: 3-Hour Ultimate Whale & Marine Wildlife Tour

The waters off Victoria, British Columbia are known as the Salish Sea. Discover its wonders and rich marine environment with this ultimate whale and marine wildlife tour. Board a brand new high-speed coastal explorer boat and set sail to look for orcas (also known as killer whales), humpbacks, harbor seals, California sea lions, and over 127 species of marine birds!  Take a tour of the west coast aboard a luxurious coastal explorer, with two outside viewing areas and a fully heated cabin. Enjoy complimentary coffee and hot chocolate as you set off on an adventure to learn all about the local marine wildlife and important landmarks. From playful orcas to giant humpbacks, your experience is sure to be memorable. Discover the marine wildlife in the waters off Victoria with the help of marine biologists and learn about efforts to establish Victoria as a world-renowned whale watching destination. 

Victoria Panoramic Seaplane Tour

5. Victoria Panoramic Seaplane Tour

Fly high above scenic Victoria BC and explore its beautiful scenery by seaplane. This thrill-a-minute tour will reveal a spectacular landscape and unforgettable aerial views. The Panoramic Seaplane Tour of Victoria will glide over the Olympic Mountains and along the Victoria waterfront to the white sand beaches of James and Sydney Islands. From here the tour heads north to the Saanich Peninsular and over the famous Butchart Gardens before returning back to Victoria Harbor. It is an experience not to be missed, especially if time is limited in Victoria and the photo opportunities just cannot be bettered. A fantastic day out for aviation lovers.

Vancouver: Victoria, Gulf Islands Cruise, & Butchart Gardens

6. Vancouver: Victoria, Gulf Islands Cruise, & Butchart Gardens

View the spectacular British Columbia coastline by land and ship, followed by a stop at Butchart Gardens en route to the British-inspired city of Victoria. Board a BC Ferries vessel at Tsawwassen terminal for a 90-minute sail through the serene beauty of the Gulf Islands. Marine wildlife sightings from the outdoor ship decks are common, especially eagles, sea lions, and whales. Arrive at Swartz Bay terminal on Vancouver Island and continue to the enchanting botanical paradise of Butchart Gardens. Wander through a series of themed gardens, highlighted by the massive Sunken Garden complete with dancing fountain. The city of Victoria boasts many impressive architectural wonders, including the iconic Parliament Buildings and the waterfront Fairmont Empress Hotel. Visit the unique shops and cafes of Government Street and Chinatown. Stroll along the Inner Harbour for prime ocean views, and enjoy some free time to take in this culturally significant city. Return on the bus to Vancouver by ferry to conclude this diverse tour. Packed with ever-changing experiences of the Pacific Coast and Vancouver Island, this tour is a must-do for those who have not yet visited Victoria.

Victoria: Sunset Whale Watching Tour

7. Victoria: Sunset Whale Watching Tour

Depart in the evening from Victoria's beautiful inner harbor and head out into the Salish Sea in search of whales and other wonderful marine life. During the 3-hour tour, search for orcas, humpback whales, minke whales, and gray whales, that visit the Salish Sea in search of food. Encounter other marine life such as seals, sea lions, porpoises, otters and various marine birds. Listen to an inspiring and educational talk from the Marine Naturalists as they describe and interpret the spectacular environment, extensive history, and stunning scenery of the Salish Sea. If the weather cooperates, enjoy the stunning sunset views.

Victoria Day Trip by Seaplane from Vancouver

8. Victoria Day Trip by Seaplane from Vancouver

On this full-day excursion you’ll depart Vancouver Harbor by seaplane for an exciting flight over the Gulf Islands to beautiful Victoria. After you arrive in Victoria you’ll enjoy a coach tour that take you to the famous Butchart Gardens. In Victoria the shops, a museum, and several other attractions are just steps away. You’ll return to Vancouver by seaplane on a scheduled afternoon flight of your choice. With more than 50 aircraft, Harbour Air and Westcoast Air operate the largest all-seaplane fleet in the world. DeHavilland DHC-3 Turbine Single Otters and Twin Otters service regularly scheduled flights between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. DHC-2 Beavers service the Gulf Islands. Cessna 185 aircraft are available for charter.

Victoria: 2-Hour Food and History Tour with Tastings

9. Victoria: 2-Hour Food and History Tour with Tastings

Join your guide at the Victoria Public Market, an old department store from 1921. After the first tasting at this location, make your way to Canada's oldest Chinatown and discover the Chinese Public School, Gates of Harmonious Interest and Fan Tan Alley. Moving on after 3 tastings in Chinatown, you will discover Victoria's Old Town district with stops at Market Square, Johnson Street, Bastion Square, and the Government Street shopping district.  After 3 more local tastings, you will finish the tour at the Visitor Center in the beautiful Inner Harbour. Here, learn about the Empress Hotel and the British Columbia legislative buildings (Provincial Parliament).  From this location, you will be well-positioned to discover the rest of Victoria or access local transportation to the cruise ship terminal, ferry or airport.

From Vancouver: Butchart Gardens & Victoria Sightseeing Tour

10. From Vancouver: Butchart Gardens & Victoria Sightseeing Tour

Meet in central Vancouver and take a 90-minute scenic cruise aboard the ferry to Vancouver Island. Sail through the Strait of Georgia and enjoy the scenery. Be sure to visit the outside decks as it’s not uncommon to see all kinds of sea life, including porpoises and whales. Arrive on Vancouver Island and first visit the beautiful Butchart Gardens. Explore this world-renowned botanical garden which was once a quarry, featuring the Japanese Garden, the Ross Fountain, an Italian Garden, and other floral displays. Continue the trip with a ferry ride to the city of Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Discover the main sights of Victoria with your guide, starting at Mile O. See Ogden Point, Fisherman’s Wharf, Empress Hotel, and historic Chinatown, including the famous Fan Tan Alley. Later, enjoy some free time to explore on your own or book an additional optional activity. Your guide will be on hand to assist you with suggestions on the best restaurants, breweries, shops, and hidden gems. Relax as you cruise back to the mainland in the evening, arriving back in Vancouver at approximately 9:30 PM.

Other Sightseeing Options in Victoria, British Columbia

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What people are saying about Victoria, British Columbia

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 924 reviews

We had such a great time and it was worth every penny! Booking online was so easy. Our pilot Ian was very skilled and the take off and landing were smooth. We were able to get many pictures and lifelong memories.

There were 4 of us who did this tour and really enjoyed the various tastings as we tasted a variety of items. The tour guide Andy was very knowledgeable about the history of Victoria.

The excursion was well organized. Staff were excellent- very informative, friendly. Highly recommend

David and Omar were great! Omar was funny, informative and made the trip enjoyable!

The busdriver was very informing and Butchard Gardens is awesome