First Nations gallery at the Royal BC Museum Victoria attractions

Best Attractions in Victoria, BC

Victoria, the gem on the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia is one of North America’s most charming destinations! Victoria is filled with incredible dining options and incredible boutiques to shop in, and also offers an array of attractions and activities waiting to be explored! Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, travelling with kids or just looking for a unique experience, Victoria has something for everyone! We’ve created the ultimate list of Victoria attractions to help you plan an unforgettable vacation to the capital city that will make you want to return time and time again! 

Whether you’re exploring the vibrant downtown core or venturing into the surrounding areas, when it comes to accommodations, EMR has an incredible array of options! From cozy vacation rentals right in the heart of the city to scenic retreats tucked away in the countryside, there’s a perfect place to call home during your stay. With EMR, you can live like a local and discover this city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty!

Downtown Victoria Attractions

The Inner Harbour


Downtown Victoria’s Inner Harbour is a bustling hub with must-see spots like the Empress Hotel, Parliament Buildings, Royal BC Museum, and Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s where you can book whale watching tours, catch a seaplane adventure, hop on a water taxi, watch talented buskers, appreciate the stunning boats moored there, take a carriage ride and so much more! The waterfront promenade also offers some great dining options and as evening falls, you can enjoy stunning sunsets and watch the twinkle lights on the Parliament Buildings light up!

Royal BC Museum

675 Belleville St., Victoria, BC | 250-356-7226

Situated right in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, the Royal BC Museum is a captivating cultural hub and a must see attraction for anyone visiting the capital’s downtown core! Explore immersive exhibits that delve into British Columbia’s rich natural and cultural history, including the vibrant First Nations heritage. Here you can also find an incredible IMAX theatre that allows guests to experience fascinating documentaries in an immersive cinematic experience. With its thought-provoking displays and engaging presentations, whether you’re interested in learning more about British Columbia’s natural world, the history of Victoria or delving into the stories and culture of the Coast Salish peoples, you can at the RBCM!

Empress Hotel

721 Government St, Victoria, BC | 250-384-8111

Step into a world of refined elegance at the Fairmont Empress, nestled in Victoria’s Inner Harbour! At this quintessential Victorian landmark you can experience classic British afternoon tea, a sophisticated tradition reminiscent of a bygone era and served in opulent surroundings. Admire the grandeur of the hotel’s architecture, with its iconic dome and intricate details evoking a sense of old-world charm. Whether you’re sipping tea or exploring the regal architecture, the Fairmont Empress offers a glimpse into the Victorian era of luxury and sophistication, making it a must-visit destination for guests to Victoria!

Parliament Buildings

501 Belleville St., Victoria, BC | 250-387-3046

If you’re interested in the Canadian political process or want to get a closer look at Victorian architecture, a visit to Victoria’s Parliament Buildings is a must! This grand architectural marvel stands tall along the city’s skyline and you wander through this iconic structure, steeped in history and tradition. Join a guided tour to uncover the inner workings of Canadian governance, including watching legislative sessions in the hallowed halls where decisions are made and learn about the building process that began in Victoria’s early colonial history. Outside, marvel at the building’s intricate facade, walk through the picturesque grounds and enjoy the views of the Inner Harbour. Whether you’re admiring the ornate details or pondering the democratic process, a visit to the Parliament Buildings promises a glimpse into the heart of Canadian governance and is a must for architecture buffs!

Fisherman’s Wharf

1 Dallas Rd, Victoria, BC 

Nestled right on the edge of downtown’s Inner Harbour and Victoria’s James Bay area, Fisherman’s Wharf is a vibrant and beloved waterfront destination you won’t want to miss! Take a seat on one of the benches on the wharf or lay out a blanket on the grass to watch float planes take-off and land and see the boats and cruise ships come into port. Here, you can embark on incredible kayaking and whale watching adventures, indulge in fresh seafood, ice cream and other treats from the charming floating restaurants and food kiosks. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or simply soaking in the seaside ambiance, Fisherman’s Wharf is where you can find it all!

Whale Watching Tours

If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you’ll want to book a whale watching tour! On one of these guided tours, you’ll be led out onto the ocean by expert guides, who will take you to all the very best spots to find marine wildlife and tell you all about the complex ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest. During your tour, keep your eyes peeled for majestic orcas, sea lions sunning themselves on rocky shores, curious seals, sea birds and more! With the whale watching tours you can find in downtown Victoria, you’ll experience a thrilling ride over glittering waters and get up-close and personal with incredible creatures that call these shores home!


500 Fisgard St, Victoria, BC 

Tucked away on the other side of downtown from the Inner Harbour lies Victoria’s Chinatown. As the oldest Chinatown in Canada this is a vibrant area pulsating with energy and culture! Here you can explore traditional shops and eateries where you can get a taste of authentic Chinese goods and cuisine and wander through the narrow alleys like the famous Fan Tan Alley where you can check out funky shops! As one of Victoria’s top attractions, Chinatown offers visitors a chance to explore its rich history and architecture, with landmarks like the Gate of Harmonious Interest standing as testaments to its heritage. Whether you’re looking for a place to shop or enjoy an authentic Chinese dinner, Chinatown promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of Victoria!

Beacon Hill Park

100 Cook St, Victoria, BC | 250-361-0600

Discover the tranquil urban oasis of Beacon Hill Park, an idyllic and expansive park nestled in the heart of Victoria! Here, you can meander along winding pathways that lead you through lush greenery, vibrant gardens, grassy fields and rocky outcroppings where you can immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the west coast. But there is so much more to this park than gardens! Beacon Hill Park is a popular destination for families with a large playground, wading pool, and petting zoo where you can find donkeys, llamas, pigs, chickens and goats that you can brush, pet and cuddle! Keep an eye out for the park’s resident ‘wildlife’, the numerous peacocks that roam the park freely, and there are so many ducks and swans that gracefully glide over the water. Explore the Cameron Bandshell, the charming stone bridge spanning Goodacre Lake and be sure to visit the second tallest free-standing totem pole at the edge of the park! Whether you’re looking for a place for a leisurely stroll, a great picnic spot or somewhere for the whole family to enjoy, Beacon Hill Park is a must! 

Miniature World

649 Humboldt St, Victoria, BC | 250-385-9731

Prepare to be transported into a world of imagination and craftsmanship where you can explore themed exhibits that span the realms of history, fantasy, and science fiction! Peer into mediaeval castles, embark on a space adventure, discover intricate architecture and see how the tiny figures have been posed to bring it all to life! Marvel at the attention to detail in each miniature scene and let Miniature World spark your curiosity and imagination. It’s a place where big dreams come in small packages, and every corner reveals a new delight waiting to be uncovered!

Bug Zoo

631 Courtney St, Victoria, BC | 250-384-2847

Step into a fascinating world at Victoria’s Bug Zoo, where you can explore a diverse array of insects and arachnids from around the globe! From colourful butterflies fluttering among tropical blooms to intricate ant colonies bustling with activity, every exhibit offers a glimpse into the extraordinary lives of these often misunderstood creatures. Engage with knowledgeable guides who share fascinating facts and stories, fostering a deeper appreciation for the intricate ecosystems that these bugs call home. Whether you’re an avid entomologist or simply curious about the world beneath your feet, the Bug Zoo promises a memorable journey into the realm of the small but mighty.

Greater Victoria Attractions

Craigdarroch Castle

1050 Joan Crescent, Victoria, BC | 250-592-5323

If you want to step back in time and uncover the grand lifestyle of the wealthiest people in Victoria’s early history, you won’t want to miss a visit to Craigdarroch Castle! Once the lavish home of coal magnate Robert Dunsmuir, today you can join a guided tour to delve into the stories of the Dunsmuir family and their legacy, and learn more about this fascinating era of wealth and ambition. With its rich history and architectural splendour, Craigdarroch Castle stands as a timeless testament to Victoria’s past!

Butchart Gardens

800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC | 250-652-4422

This must-see attraction was once a limestone quarry until Jennie Butchart saw this land as an ideal place to create the garden of her dreams. Today, this National Historic Site offers visitors five themed gardens to wander through and endless opportunities for stunning pictures and serene moments of reflection. Stroll through the Rose Garden and admire the incredible variety of roses, their fragrant blooms painting the landscape with a kaleidoscope of colours. Explore the serene beauty of the Japanese Garden, where tranquil ponds and winding paths invite contemplation. Lose yourself in the enchanting allure of the Italian Garden, with its sculpted hedges and classical statuary and marvel at the Mediterranean Garden – a lush garden on the shores of Vancouver Island! Whether you’re visiting in the spring as the gardens burst with blooms, in the summer heat, autumn to see the changing colours or even on a snowy winter day where twinkling lights and Christmas displays cover the grounds, Butchart Gardens breathtaking beauty and ever-changing landscape promises an unforgettable destination year-round!

Hatley Castle

2005 Sooke Rd, Victoria, BC | 250-391-2600

Discover the regal charm of Hatley Castle, an architectural masterpiece and cherished heritage site nestled in the rural neighbourhood of Colwood. Standing as a testament to Victoria’s rich history and cultural heritage, here you can marvel at the grandeur of the fortress-stye castle as you stroll through manicured gardens and elegant courtyards. Inside, admire the intricate details of its architecture, that have been immaculately preserved to maintain its original opulence and splendour. With breathtaking vistas and a storied past, Hatley Castle is a must-see destination for anyone exploring the beauty of Victoria!

Victoria Butterfly Gardens

1461 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC | 1-877-722-0272

Embark on a magical day trip to Victoria Butterfly Gardens, nestled amidst the scenic beauty of the Saanich Peninsula! Step into a tropical paradise where thousands of colourful butterflies flutter freely around lush foliage and cascading waterfalls. Wander through enchanting pathways, encountering exotic birds, frogs, and tropical plants at every turn – plus you can visit the Insectarium and get up-close to some truly fascinating (and creepy) creepy crawlies! Kids of all ages will love being able to explore this indoor jungle, marvel at the exotic plants and animals and have fun learning! 

Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse

603 Fort Rodd Hill Rd, Victoria, BC | 250-478-5849

If you’re looking for a beautiful walk with a bit of history, Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse, nestled on the rugged shores of Vancouver Island near Esquimalt is where you should go! Here, you can explore the fascinating remnants of a Canadian coastal defence fortress, where historic artillery bunkers and military barracks still stand as silent sentinels. Marvel at the iconic Fisgard Lighthouse, a beacon of maritime heritage that has guided sailors since 1860. With its stunning coastal vistas and rich cultural significance, Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse offer an unforgettable glimpse into Canada’s past!

Goldstream Provincial Park


Without a doubt, Goldstream Park is one of the most popular parks in all of Greater Victoria! It is one of the sites of the yearly salmon run where thousands of fish journey upstream to spawn in a remarkable display of nature’s resilience. Goldstream has a beautiful campground and offers endless trails and paths through the forest and past waterfalls for hikers of all ages and abilities to explore! Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll through the forest, searching for waterfalls or want a challenging climb, Goldstream Park invites visitors to discover the beauty and diversity of Canada’s West Coast!