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Victoria

25 expert recommended attractions

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Royal BC Museum

James Bay 96 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This eminent institution, opened in 1968, focuses on the natural and cultural heritage history of British Columbia and welcomes more than 850,000 visitors annually. The Glass House... — Michelin Guide

This excellent museum, one of Victoria's leading attractions, traces several thousand years of British Columbian history. Especially strong is its First Peoples Gallery, home to a genuine... — Fodor's

The jewel in the crown of Victoria’s museum and gallery scene is the Royal BC Museum, which covers the region’s natural and cultural history. — Condé Nast Traveler

This is, hands down, one of the world’s best regional museums, and a terrific way to learn about the peoples of coastal British Columbia. — Frommer's

Start in the natural-history gallery on your visit to the province's best museum. — Lonely Planet

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Butchart Gardens

Victoria 93 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This stunning 55-acre garden and National Historic Site has been drawing visitors since it was planted in a limestone quarry in 1904. — Fodor's

Flower-carpeted 55 acres complete with traditional Japanese, Italian, and English rose sections. — Travel + Leisure

If there is one attraction to visit above all others in Victoria, this is it. — Frommer's

Expanded to approximately 20ha/50 acres, the gardens were started by Jennie Butchart to beautify the quarry pit resulting from her husband's cement business. Don't miss the floral... — Michelin Guide

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Craigdarroch Castle

Victoria 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Built by Robert Dunsmuir, this former centre of Victoria's society (one Dunsmuir son became premier of the province and later lieutenant-governor) once stood amid 11ha/27 acres of... — Michelin Guide

This resplendent mansion complete with turrets and Gothic rooflines was built as the home of one of British Columbia's wealthiest men — Fodor's

An opulent, extravagant, must-be-seen-to-be-believed “bonanza” castle built in the 1880s — Frommer's

Don't miss this elegant turreted mansion... a handsome, 39-room landmark built by a 19th-century coal baron with money to burn — Lonely Planet

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British Columbia Parliament Buildings

James Bay 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

That’s their official name; everyone else just calls them “The Leg,” short for BC Legislative Assembly. The seat of provincial government is a striking neo-baroque building designed by a... — Frommer's

On the south side of James Bay stands a long, squat stone building, whose central dome is topped by a gilt statue of Capt. George Vancouver. Designed by Francis Rattenbury (1867-1935) and... — Michelin Guide

Officially the British Columbia Provincial Legislative Assembly Buildings, these massive stone structures are more popularly referred to as the Parliament Buildings. Designed by Francis... — Fodor's

This dramatically handsome confection of turrets, domes and stained glass is the province's working legislature and is also open to history-loving visitors. Peek behind the facade on a... — Lonely Planet

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Empress Hotel National Historic Site of Canada

Downtown 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

One of the grand château-style railroad hotels that grace many Canadian cities. — Fodor's

Envisioning a rush of tourists to the Pacific Coast, city boosters at the turn of the 20C struck a deal with the Canadian Pacific Railroad to establish fast ferry service from the... — Michelin Guide

This elegant, ivy-clad grande dame regally commands what is undoubtedly the best location overlooking the Inner Harbour. — DK Eyewitness

If you can, try to peek into the Palm Court with its ornate Tiffany-style glass ceiling — Frommer's

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Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Rockland 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Attached to an 1889 mansion, this modern building houses one of Canada's largest collections of Asian art. The Japanese garden between the buildings is home to the only authentic Shinto... — Fodor's

Housed in a Victorian mansion (1889) to which several modern additions have been made, the gallery offers an eclectic blend of East and West, ancient and modern. Included in the permanent... — Michelin Guide

One of the best places to discover the work of Victoria’s legendary artist Emily Carr, this cool little gallery combines a contemporary exhibition space with a historic 19th-century mansion — Frommer's

Head east of downtown on Fort St and follow the gallery street signs to one of Canada's best Emily Carr collections. Aside from Carr's swirling nature canvases, you'll find an immersive... — Lonely Planet

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Miniature World

Downtown 84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Sure, it sounds cheesy, but it’s actually kinda cool. The kids will love it—and it’s a guilty pleasure for many grown-ups, too. Miniature World is a collection of dozens of dioramas... — Frommer's

Tucked along the side of the Empress Hotel, this old-school hidden gem is a must-see, especially if you appreciate the craft of extremely intricate model-making. Lined with dozens of... — Lonely Planet

Located within the Empress Hotel complex, on the Humboldt Street side, is Miniature World featuring a host of small-scale recreations ranging from the Battle of Waterloo to the Canadian Pacific Railway — Michelin Guide

At this charmingly retro attraction, more than 85 miniature dioramas—including space, castle, and fairy-tale scenes, and one of the world's largest model railways—are housed in kid-height... — Fodor's

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The Maritime Museum of British Columbia

Victoria 84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

A lighthouse beacon stands in front of the old law court which now houses the Maritime Museum of British Columbia. Of special interest are the Tilikum, a converted First Nations dugout... — Michelin Guide

The Maritime Museum explores the region's salty past and present. — Lonely Planet

If you love boats and boating history, this is a must for you. — Frommer's

Chronicle the province's seafaring history, from its early explorers to whale hunters to pirates. — Fodor's

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Beacon Hill Park

Victoria 77 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This 154-acre park links downtown Victoria to the waterfront. Its rambling lawns overlook the Pacific Ocean, the Olympic Mountains, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Kite-fliers, hang... — Fodor's

The biggest, most treasured green space in the city is a lovely place for the whole family to spend a day. The park dates back to the 1880s and covers 75 hectares (190 acres) of manicured... — Frommer's

Fringed by crashing ocean, this waterfront park is ideal for feeling the breeze in your hair – check out the windswept trees along the clifftop. You'll also find a gigantic totem pole,... — Lonely Planet

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Goldstream Provincial Park

Victoria 77 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

During the gold rush of the 19th century, this quiet valley was flooded with optimistic prospectors. Sadly, you’re not likely to find any gold nuggets these days, but you will find a... — Frommer's

Eagles, bears, and three species of salmon thrive in this 477-hectare (1,180-acre) wilderness park 16 km (10 miles) north of downtown Victoria. Picnic areas, easy riverside walks, and... — Fodor's

A 20-minute drive from the city, this breathtaking forested swathe includes some delightful hiking and wildlife-viewing (especially birdlife) opportunities. Drop into the visitor center... — Lonely Planet

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Emily Carr House

James Bay 76 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The childhood home of the great artist and writer Emily Carr. — Frommer's

Emily Carr... lived in this extremely proper, wooden Victorian house before she abandoned her middle-class life to live in the wilds of British Columbia. — Fodor's

The birthplace of BC's best-known painter, this bright-yellow gingerbread-style house has plenty of period rooms, plus displays on the artist's life and work. — Lonely Planet

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Victoria Bug Zoo

Downtown 76 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Local kids clamor to visit this offbeat minizoo, home to the largest collection in North America of live tropical insects. — Fodor's

Let the knowledgeable bug guides introduce you to more than 40 fascinatingly squiggly species of insects and spiders — Frommer's

The most fun any kid can have in Victoria without realizing it's educational — Lonely Planet

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Abkhazi Garden

Gonzales 74 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

If you're a nature lover, you'll love discovering this .4-hectare (1-acre) jewel box of a garden and the romantic story behind its creation. — Frommer's

Be on the lookout not just for gorgeous trees, rock formations, and flowers, but also animals—there are usually cute turtles sunning themselves on nice days. — Condé Nast Traveler

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Victoria Butterfly Gardens

Victoria 74 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Hundreds of butterflies—of 50 different species—flutter freely in an indoor tropical garden that's also home to orchids and carnivorous plants, koi, cockatoos, flamingos, tortoises,... — Fodor's

A tropical paradise filled with butterflies—your kids will love it, sure, but so will you — Frommer's

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East Sooke Regional Park

Victoria 74 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

About a 40-minute drive east of Victoria, you’ll come to this rugged wilderness area that at 1,422 hectares (3,512 acres) is the largest in the Capital Regional District. More than 50km... — Frommer's

Hiking trails, tide pools, beaches, and views of the Olympic Mountains draw visitors to this more than 3,500-acre park 2½ km (4 miles) east of Sooke on the south side of Sooke Harbour — Fodor's

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The Bengal Lounge

Victoria 74 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Victoria's most elaborate and most expensive afternoon tea is served, as it has been since 1908, in the ornate lobby of the Fairmont Empress Hotel. The tea is the hotel's own blend, and... — Fodor's

One of Victoria’s favorite meeting places. The curry buffet is a well-loved local ritual, though it isn’t cheap, and it probably won’t be the best curry you’ve had, either. Still, you do... — Frommer's

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Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

Victoria 74 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Learn all about what’s going on under the waters off Vancouver Island’s shores at this remarkable, if small, aquarium and marine education center. It features 17 giant tanks filled with... — Frommer's

A simulated ride underwater in a deep-sea elevator is just the beginning of a visit to this fun and educational marine interpretive center. Devoted entirely to the aquatic life and... — Fodor's

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Bastion Square

Downtown 70 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

On the old Fort Victoria site between Government and Wharf Sts, Bastion Square once held a jail, gallows and a brothel. Many of the scrubbed stone buildings are now restaurants, boutiques... — Lonely Planet

James Douglas, the former colonial governor for whom Douglas Street was named, chose this spot for the original Fort Victoria and Hudson's Bay Company trading post in 1843. In summer the... — Fodor's

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Duncan Farmer's Market

Victoria 70 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

On Saturdays between mid-May and mid-October, check out the Farmer's Market outside the Miners Bay Agricultural Hall — Fodor's

Sample local products at the Duncan Farmers’ Market, held every Saturday in Duncan, the valley’s workaday hub — Travel + Leisure

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Fan Tan Alley

Victoria 70 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Mah-jongg, fan-tan, and dominoes were games of chance played on Fan Tan Alley, said to be the narrowest street in Canada — Fodor's

Small but perfectly formed, Fisgard St is the center of Victoria's compact Chinatown. One of Canada's oldest Asian districts, it's fronted by a towering red gate that looms over sprawling... — Lonely Planet

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