Beautiful and historic, Victoria is a fantastic place to visit. Known as the Garden City, it's in full bloom in spring and summer, and has such a mild winter, you can golf year-round! Easily accessible from Vancouver, Victoria is the perfect day trip.
Wander the quaint downtown core with its British colonial architecture to shop, sightsee, admire heritage buildings, visit stunning gardens, then relax over afternoon tea. If you’re looking for a more active and adventurous day, rent bicycles to explore the city’s many paths and trails, or hit the water for an afternoon whale watching.
Don't miss Butchart Gardens - world-renowned for its 55 acres of year-round, spectacular floral displays and theme gardens!
Check out www.tourismvictoria.com for additional information on events and activities.
Victoria is on Vancouver Island, 107 kilometres (76 miles) southwest of Vancouver. The trip by car and ferry, or bus and ferry, takes approximately 4 hours each way from downtown Vancouver. Alternatively, the trip is a 35 minute flight. Below are options for getting to Victoria.
BC Ferries offers 90 minute sailings to Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal from the Tsawwassen terminal, approximately 45 minutes south of downtown Vancouver. Ferries run at least every two hours (at the top of the hour), increasing to hourly during peak season. These ferries take both vehicles and walk-on passengers. For up-to-date fare and schedule information, reservations, as well as driving directions, visit BCFerries.com or call BC Ferries at 250.386.3431, within BC 1.888.223.3779.
A number of tour companies offer full-day, escorted tours to Victoria with complimentary pick-up and drop off at your downtown Vancouver hotel. Itineraries vary, but most include sightseeing in Victoria, and some tours include a visit to Butchart Gardens or a whale-watching trip. Some companies to try are Westcoast Sightseeing, Landsea Tours & Adventures, Discover Canada Tours and the budget-friendly West Trek. For languages other than English, try Van Top Tours or Dominion Tours. A unique way to get over to Victoria is via a Prince of Whales whale-watching cruiser, spotting marine life on the way over.
Allow for the car journey between Vancouver and Victoria to take approximately four hours, including the 90 minute sailing on BC Ferries (see above for more planning information). To reach the BC Ferries terminal in Tsawwassen from downtown Vancouver, drive south on Howe Street across the Granville Bridge (Hwy 99) until you reach the corner of Granville and West 49th Avenue, then turn left. Continue to the corner of West 49th and Oak Street, then turn right and cross the Oak Street Bridge. Continue south and then follow the signs for “Highway 17-Victoria Ferries Next Right” to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. Upon arriving at Vancouver Island, drive 30 minutes south from Swartz Bay to downtown Victoria.
If taking public transit between downtown Vancouver and Victoria, allow about 4.5 hours each way, including the 90 minute BC Ferries crossing (see above for details) between the mainland and Vancouver Island. From downtown Vancouver, take the SkyTrain’s Canada Line south to Bridgeport Station, then transfer to bus #620 to get to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, then board the ferry as a walk-on passenger. From the Swartz Bay terminal on Vancouver Island, take bus #70 to downtown Victoria. To plan the Vancouver part of the transit journey, visit the Translink website at Translink.ca or call 604.953.3333. To plan the Victoria bus segment, visit the BC Transit website at BCTransit.com or call 250.382.6161.
Frequent, daily year-round scheduled bus service is offered between downtown Vancouver and downtown Victoria. When you purchase tickets for this service, it will include your ferry ticket as well as the motor coach transfer on each end. The bus departs from Pacific Central Station located at Main Street and Terminal Avenue in Vancouver, and terminates at the Victoria Bus Station right in downtown Victoria. Travelling time, including the BC Ferries crossing, is approximately 4 hours. Tickets can be purchased at the Vancouver Visitor Centre, in person at Pacific Central Station, or by contacting the BC Ferries Connector at 604.428.9474.
There are a number of companies offering air travel to the island, both on regular commercial planes flying from Vancouver International Airport and Vancouver South Terminal, as well as floatplanes and helicopters departing from downtown Vancouver or Richmond, over to Victoria. Please contact one of the following for schedules and reservations:
- Harbour Air: 604.274.1277- seaplane services from Vancouver Harbour and Richmond to Victoria
- Helijet International: 604.273.4688 - scheduled helicopter services from Vancouver and Richmond to Victoria
- Air Canada: 1.888.247.2262- scheduled flights from Vancouver International Airport to Victoria International Airport
- Westjet: 1.888.937.8538 - scheduled flights from Vancouver International Airport to Victoria International Airport
- Pacific Coastal Airlines: 604.273.8666 – scheduled flights from Vancouver South Terminal to Victoria International Airport
❐ See our Maps section for directions and additional details on traveling to Victoria.