The trouble with travelling is that you end up adding more and more places and activities to your bucket list. This was no different for me while I was living on Canada’s west coast. I was a temporary expat in British Columbia for 2 years, and while I managed to see and do a lot, my bucket list was endless.
Making the top 10 of my Canadian bucket list was to visit Vancouver Island and more specifically, BC’s capital, Victoria. Now, Vancouver Island is not what you’d typically think of as an island given that it’s bigger than the whole of the UK, despite that, it is easily one of the most beautiful islands I’ve ever been to. It’s rough and ready for anything.
Victoria is on the south end of Vancouver Island, and easily reached by a 2-hour ferry ride from either Vancouver’s Tsawassen Bay or North Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay. At $100 each way with a vehicle, it’s not the cheapest ferry journey, but it’s one hundred percent worth it.
Whether it’s for a weekend or longer, I’ve put together a guide on what to where to Eat, Play and Stay in Victoria, BC.
SEE: The Victorian Government Parliament Building sits on the edge of the city’s harbour. Built in 1893, the Neo-Baroque Renaissance building is an impressive sight and is definitely easy on the eye. Public tours are available daily and give you a chance to revel in the building’s historic glory. But, be sure to go back at night to see it lit up in all its historical glory.
DO: Walk around Fisherman’s Wharf for a day out at the seaside…but without the beach. The wharf is home to a collection of food retailers (the fish and chips are amaziiiiiing) and boutique shops on floating pontoons. It’s also a full of ‘tiny homes’ which can be fun to look around. Or, grab some fish and feed the seals that are waiting — look out for the one with one eye!
EAT: Victoria is home to one of Canada’s oldest Chinatowns so there’s plenty of amazing Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and fusion restaurants to try. I recommend Fan Tan Cafe on Fisgard Street for delicious Chinese without breaking the bank.
DRINK: Staying true to its Pacific North West culture, Victoria has plenty of craft breweries waiting to be drained. The best thing is, most are within walking distance of each other so you can spend the day or evening on a brewery crawl – my kind of night! My favourites were Driftwood Brewery and Hoyne Brewing Co.
STAY: If you want to splurge, stay at Fairmont Empress Hotel near the Parliament Building and overlooking the water. It’s pricey but you can never go wrong with at stay with the Fairmont chain. If you’re on a budget however, the Hostelling International (HI) Victoria Hostel offers a clean, comfortable space at a good price ($25), yet still in a great waterfront location.
Do you have any other tips for a weekend in Victoria, BC? Comment and share below.