13 free things to do in Victoria, British Columbia

I went to Victoria when I was working at Camp Orkila in the San Juan Islands. To get there I took a ferry from Orcas Island to Sydney, British Columbia. I took a bus down to Victoria. I was able to walk to my hotel, which I booked beforehand. After dropping my stuff at the hotel, I walked to downtown Victoria and explored.

The #1 most popular thing to do in Victoria is visit the Butchart Gardens. Unfortunately, I was unable to go because it was too far from the downtown district and I was only there for 1 night.

Free things to do:

1. Stroll through Beacon Hill Park. There is a petting zoo, a lake, and beautiful gardens. The children’s petting zoo accepts donations. I walked through the park and got to the ocean. You can see the Olympic Mountains across the water. 

Beacon Hill Park
2. Tour and shop China Town.

3. See the Parliament Building. The building lights up at night.

4. Walk through the Empress Hotel.

5. Check out the churches in town. These include the St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Cathedral and the Christ Church Cathedral.
St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church
6. See the Craigdarroch Castle.

7. Watch performers at the inner harbor. Each evening through the summer months, the inner harbor causeway comes alive with street performers and merchants.

8. Market Square. This charming mall has a courtyard that quite often is filled with free entertainment. It consists of a courtyard surrounded by three stories of shops and eating establishments. 

9. Take a garden walk. Visit the University of Victoria and the Governor’s mansion. Each has an excellent garden that you can tour for free. 

10. Take a free tour. The BC Provincial Legislature, the Victoria Estate Winery, and the Vancouver Island Brewery all have free tours. 

11. Go on an antique walk. A walk east along Fort Street from Douglas will take you past numerous antique shops. 

12. Go on a hike. Go on the Galloping Goose trail, The Dallas Road Waterfront, East Sooke Park, Juan de Fuca Trail and the West Coast Trail. 

13. Go on a beach walk. Victoria has many excellent and scenic beaches. Check out the Dallas Road Cliffs, Willows Beach, Cadboro Bay, Whitty’s Lagoon, and Island View Beach.

Make sure you have a map!
Stay at a hotel that is close to the downtown district so you can walk.
Learn the Canadian currency.