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5 tips on what you should do in Victoria on Vancouver Island/Canada

Updated: Feb 26

Victoria Canada Parliament

Victoria on Vancouver Island in Canada has the charm of a small English town, but with a gigantic (natural) backdrop. Here you will find 5 tips on what to do in the provincial capital of British Columbia.

Double-decker buses, afternoon tea, castle-like buildings and quaint pubs with names like “The Churchill” or “Penny Farthing”: in Victoria, British roots can be seen on every corner. But although the fish 'n chips are still top-notch and cricket is still played at Beacon Hill Park, the days of Victoria being more British than Great Britain are long gone.

With my 5 tips you will not only get to know the city of Victoria but also go paddling at night and watch whales - everything that defines Canada.

Tip No1 for Victoria/Canada: city walk

This city walk takes you to the city's most iconic sights:

Start: Chinatown Gate to Fisherman's Wharf (2km, 1.5h)

Victoria Canada Chinatown

Victoria's Chinatown may not be large, but it is the second oldest Chinese neighborhood in North America (after San Francisco). A pretty gate marks the entrance. Behind it is Fisgard Street , which at first glance appears to be the most Chinese street in the district. On the south side branches off Fan Tan Alley , an alley straight out of a Harry Potter film that leads to Pandora Ave. Once a tangle of opium dens and gambling dens, it is now lined with record shops and bars. Pandora Ave was the first street in Victoria to have a bike lane. You cross the street and then turn right, past vintage clothing stores and a few bars.

The bridge straight towards the water is the Johnson St Bridge , a bascule bridge that was completely renovated in 2018. At Market Square turn left onto Wharf St and look out for the monument at the junction with Broughton St, which overlooks the harbour. Fort Victoria, a fur trading post built in 1843, once stood here.

Fan Tan Alley Victoria Canada small alley

Around the bend is the Inner Harbor, dominated by the palatial 1908 Fairmont Empress Hotel. If you're thirsty (and rich), you can have afternoon tea here. At right angles to the Empress stands the equally magnificent BC Parliament Building. Right next door is the Royal BC Museum  , undoubtedly the best museum in British Columbia. Now follow Belleville St. westwards, past various Queen Anne-style harbor houses, in front of which stands one of the oldest listed buildings in Victoria.

The main road turns towards the mainland and heads deeper into the quiet residential area of James Bay , before leading to Fisherman's Wharf ( ) with its floating houses. You should definitely try fish and chips here.

Tip No3 for Victoria/Canada Glow Tour - Kayak through bioluminescence

On the other side of the peninsula lies Brentwood Bay . Here Pacifica Paddle Sports offers a “Glow Tour” from May to the end of September. Kayaks go out to sea at sunset. Once it's dark enough, you can see bioluminescence in the water around you.

I felt like a princess dancing in the stardust.
Kayak sea sunset

Unfortunately, I was too stupid to photograph the phenomenon. If you have any good tips on how I could do this, I would be happy. In any case, I can recommend the tour 100%.

789 Saunders Lane, Brentwood Bay, BC V8M 1C5, Tel: +12506657411

Tip No4 for Victoria/CanadaPrince of Whales - whale watching

On Canada's coasts, all boats must maintain a minimum distance of 100 meters from whales, and even 200 meters from orcas. On the Prince of Whales boat tour, I felt like they adhered to these rules. Of course, it is much more sustainable to see the animals from land or kayak, but if you are short on time, you may not be able to avoid an observation trip.

The waters surrounding Victoria are home to spectacular marine wildlife such as whales, sea lions, otters, seals, bald eagles, dolphins and other marine mammals. Orcas (killer whales) and humpback whales are most commonly seen on a whale watching tour , but minke whales and gray whales are also occasionally seen. There is a whale sighting guarantee - this means that if you don't see a whale, you can go again for free.

The best chances are between April and November. The organizer Prince of Whales is located on Vancouver Island directly at the harbor.

812 Wharf St, Victoria, BC V8W 1T3, Tel: +1 888-383-4884

Tip No5 for Victoria/Canada Bad weather? Off to the sauna

A small wellness temple has been set up on an old ship in Victoria harbor. HAVN has several saunas and pools with great views of the bay and Victoria. 3 hours €60 including bathrobe and towels.

920 Wharf St., Victoria, BC, Tel: (250) 508-0999



On the Destination Vancouver website   you can find tips on restaurants, hotels, events and activities.


There are several scheduled flights every day  from Germany to Vancouver. An electronic travel document (eTA) is required to enter Canada .

If you want to explore Canada further, it's best to book a rental car . These are available, for example, at


One of Canada's most famous hotels is the award-winning Fairmont Empress in Victoria, built in 1908. Whether film stars or royal highnesses, the castle right on the coast has seen many famous guests. From here you have the best view of the harbor.

Fairmont, Empress, 721 Government Street, Victoria, V8W 1W5, Tel +1 250 384 8111

Double room with breakfast from €300


The best way to explore a city is by bike. The Pedlar rents out bicycles and e-bikes and also offers guided bike tours. 321 Belleville St., Victoria, BC V8V 1X2, Tel: (778)265-7433,


You can rent a kayak from Ocean River Adventures to explore Victoria Harbor. Victoria Harbor Paddle Shack, Canoe Brewpub Marina, Old Town Victoria. 400 Swift St, Victoria Contact: Lee Philips Tel: 250-381-4233


You can eat like God in Canada at Stage , a bistro in the Fernwood district. The menu changes daily and depends on the regionally available ingredients.

1307 Gladstone Avem Victoria, BC V8R 1R9, Tel: 250-388-4222,

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