Victoria is a beautiful city with plenty of attractions to keep visitors occupied for days. It is a very popular weekend getaway in BC. Three days in Victoria is the perfect amount of time to get a bit of a feel for the vibe of the city and to really explore everything it has to offer.
Victoria is the provincial capital of British Columbia. It is known for its beautiful gardens, picturesque waterfront, and rich history. The city is home to several historic landmarks, including the iconic Empress Hotel and the stunning Parliament Buildings. Victoria is also a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for hiking, kayaking, and whale watching. With its laid-back vibe, friendly locals, and natural beauty, Victoria is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Canada’s west coast.
Here is the best way to spend your three days in Victoria.
How to Spend 3 Days in Victoria
- Start your day at the Inner Harbour, a picturesque location with stunning views of the Empress Hotel and the Parliament Buildings. There are often vendors on the waterfront and festivals at certain times of the year.
- Take a tour of the Parliament Buildings and learn about the history of the province and its government. You may also run into a protest or two, but they are typically small and not obtrusive. If you are not into the history of the city, consider a Cowichan Valley wine tour for the day instead.
- Head to the Royal BC Museum to learn about the natural and cultural history of British Columbia. You can see the list of current exhibitions as well as buy tickets online in advance.
- Take a stroll through Beacon Hill Park, a beautiful green space with gardens, ponds, and peacocks.
- Enjoy a seafood dinner at one of the many restaurants along the Inner Harbour.
- Take a bus or drive to the nearby Butchart Gardens, a stunning display of flowers and greenery that attracts visitors from around the world. Butchart Gardens also offers a high tea service that you can enjoy (you must have an entrance ticket to Butchart Gardens to have tea at their on-site tea house). For those who come to Victoria for just one day, this is the most popular thing to do.
- Return to Victoria and explore the historic neighborhoods of James Bay and Fairfield, which are filled with beautiful heritage homes. Another option is to take a food tour to explore the diverse restaurant offerings in the city
- Visit Craigdarroch Castle, a historic mansion that offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the wealthy elite in the late 19th century. If you are visiting Victoria with teenagers, a fun way to experience this is on a local castle bike tour!
- End the day with a dinner at one of Victoria’s many excellent restaurants.
- On your third day in Victoria, take a whale watching tour and see these majestic creatures up close in their natural habitat. There are two types of tours. You can go in a zodiac or on a large comfortable boat with indoor and outdoor decks. This is something you want to book online in advance.
- Visit the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, which has a collection of more than 20,000 works of art.
- End your day with a sunset dinner at one of the restaurants on Victoria’s waterfront.
Of course, this is just a suggested itinerary, and there are plenty of other things to see and do in Victoria at different times of the year. If you are coming at a certain time of year, check out these seasonal activities: Things to do in Victoria in October, Things to do in Victoria in November, and Christmas in Victoria.
Where to stay during your three days in Victoria
LUXURY: Delta by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe or Fairmont Empress or Sheraton Victoria
MIDRANGE: Accent Inn or Best Western Inner Harbour or Hotel Zed
BUDGET: Island Travel Inn or Ocean Island Backpackers
You can also check out our list of the best hotels in Victoria.
Lindsay Nieminen is the creator of UncoveringBC.com. She grew up and still lives in the suburbs of Vancouver with her family. She aims to inspire inform, and educate others about traveling in her home province of British Columbia. She is also the creator of carpediemourway.com which aims to show parents how to seek out adventure at home or abroad, with their children in tow!