If you don’t have a lot of time to see the city of Victoria, British Columbia on Vancouver Island in Canada, follow me!
Here is what I did to see the main attractions in Victoria, B.C. in only one day:
1. Stay downtown on Pandora or Blanchard Streets.
You can easily walk, Uber/Lyft or bus anywhere on the island from downtown Victoria.
I recommend staying at Ocean Island hostel in downtown Victoria, B.C. which costs about $30-40 a night and also offers free breakfast and dinners and a 10% discount on Budget rental cars and other area attractions.
***To get downtown from the airport or from Sydney Harbor, take the $2.50 bus that runs from 5 am to past midnight.
2. Walk down Blanchard Street all the way to the ocean (about a half mile to a mile).
Along the way, stop at Discovery coffee for fresh and unique Yonni’s donuts (my earl gray filled donut was amazing) and an artistic cappuccino or two for a strong buzz and some people watching.
3. Cross the street to the Pink Bicycle restaurant for some hearty classic fare like 100% Canadian beef burgers and showy and Instagram worthy Rosemary poutine.
4. Continue walking down Blanchard Street toward the ocean and you’ll see St. Andrew’s Cathedral on your right. Definitely pop into the quiet sanctuary from the bustling street and step back in time to watch and hear the mass for a few moments. The historic architecture of this cathedral is truly stunning.
5. As you continue your walk along Blanchard Street toward the ocean, you’ll see the photogenic Anglican Church of Our Lord, built in 1866 in the Carpenter Gothic style
6. Take a right on Belleville Street and stop for a meditative moment as you pass through the beautiful rose gardens of Cridge Park.
7. Once you get to Government Street, you will have some choices:
A) Go to Royal BC Museum. Make a left on Government Street, parallel to Victoria Harbor and spend the day at the Royal BC museum. You’ll need at least a full day to really get a taste of this massive museum. Also, try the food trucks outside for lunch or a lite snack — there is even one called Love Perogy that serves this delicacy popular in Victoria.
B) Go to Empress Hotel and Rose Garden
Make a right on Government Street and walk through the gorgeous Fairmont Empress Hotel and rose gardens.
C) Go to Fisherman’s Wharf.
Keep walking on Belleville Street (keep following the main road as it turns into Pendray and Quebec then take a left on Kingston Street (which turns into St. Lawrence Street) and take a right at Fisherman’s Wharf Park.
Eat the best, melt-in-your-mouth fish and chips of your life at the famous (30+ years in operation) Barb’s Fish and Chips and then grab some local ice cream at Jackson’s Ice Cream float.
8. From the wharf, take a $6 per person ferry boat ride to Chinatown in order to avoid a long walk!
9. Walk through historic Chinatown, the largest in Canada, including the highly Instagrammable and famous Fan Tan alley.
10. From Chinatown, head back to down Government Street– stop in some indie bookstores, eat some pub grub, or shop at a boutique along the way.
Optional Side/Half Day Trips from Downtown Victoria, B.C.:
- If you’re feeling really ambitious, take an Uber/Lyft to Craigdarroch Castle and take a tour!
- Stop in Syndney Harbor on the way into or out of Victoria Island. This charming seaside town by the airport is affectionately know as Booktown for its used bookstores and boutiques. It’s also where the ferries leave for Washington State, USA. A walk down Beacon Street will take anywhere from an hour to half a day, depending how long you stop to munch and mingle at the shops.