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Read up-to-date tips and advice for expats based on my own experiences of expat life including our recent move to Australia.



An insider’s guide to Victoria Canada

An insider’s guide to Victoria Canada

This post is all about Victoria – the capital of British Colombia – on Vancouver Island in Canada. The guide to Victoria Canada was compiled by my friend Elizabeth who lives on the island and in the city itself.

Background – a little bit about the writer

Where do you live? Victoria Canada 
How long have you lived there?  I moved here in 1999
What do you do? I am an artist/art teacher.

What do you love most about where you live? I love the mild weather and the liberal politics. I love the medical system that provides for all citizens.

What activities and attractions would you recommend to visitors?

There are many fine activities to engage in in Victoria. The very best, cheapest and world famous would be things that involve getting out in nature. BC is known as Supernatural British Columbia and it has many beautiful forests and mountains and Vancouver island has an abundance. A day trip up island from Victoria will take you to an old growth forest called Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park.

On the way back down to Victoria there is a winder ski resort at Mt. Washington with lodging and restaurants.  In the summer it is a great venue for walks and bike trails ( bikes and equipment for rent). Closer to Victoria there is Goldstream National park with mountain and river hikes/ walks to chose from. In and around Victoria itself there are plenty of pleasant walks that can take anything from 30 mins to most of the day.

A guide to visiting Victoria and Vancouver in Canada

A favourite activity for tourists ( and occasionally locals) is High Tea at the Empress, our local heritage hotel on the inner harbour. After tea there are many pleasant walks around the city/harbour. There is the Royal BC Museum, parliament buildings, shops, Carriage rides, harbour ferries, pubs, Kabuki  cabs, whale watching and many fine restaurants. If you want to start your day early there are at least 5 places specializing in out of this world breakfasts, worth getting up early for. For fear of this turning into a guide book (or a wiki page) I shall mention one more ‘must visit’, Butchart Gardens, world famous botanical gardens, quite rightly and beautiful at any time of year.

What is the best way to get around?

Victoria no longer has a train although the residents are campaigning to bring it back. Public transport is the bus service and taxis. There is a bus to the ferry at Swartz Bay which is the main route off the island to Vancouver . The ferry trip is a site seeing tour in itself . There is another option, float planes, super expensive but perhaps worth at least one trip because of the spectacular birds eye view of the islands.

Renting a car and driving is probably a cost effective option because the public transport system doesn’t always link conveniently with all the best walks etc. the traffic is fairly light and slow on the island and we drive on the right hand side of the road. Bike rentals are available. Victoria is a cycle friendly city and as it is small and contained an excellent way to get around.

Stay at The Etherleigh - A fabulous bed and breakfast in Bridlington

sea plane insiders guide to victoria canada

Arrive at Victoria on Vancouver Island by seaplane! What a great entrance! Check out an insider's guide to this Canadian city! Click To Tweet

Where would you recommend to eat in Victoria?

My favourite places to eat are mostly breakfast places.

breakfast in Victoria Canada

When is the best time of year to visit? 

Victoria and Vancouver island has something to offer at every time of the year. Summer is mild with a few hot days for swimming in the many lakes and lying on the beaches. Winter has a ski resort within a few hours drive and it doesn’t get too cold for out door activities as long as you wrap up warmly.

Are there any must-see events for visitors?

There are always live concerts at venues around town, there are two large theatres, a resident symphony, a ballet company, an opera company and a musical theatre company. In summer there is a rodeo and Western Speedway (fast cars racing) Something for everyone. There are music festivals in summer and a Fall Fair for those who have always wanted to see the islands biggest pumpkin.

Are there any places near you that you recommend  to visit?

A day or a few days trip to Seattle in the Clipper or a ferry trip over to Vancouver are fab places to go to fill up holiday time and get the most out of a flight all the way over to this side of the world.  Saltspring island accessed by ferry from Swartz bay is also an excellent day trip.

Thank to Elizabeth for this great post all about Victoria Canada! Are you planning a visit to Vancouver Island? If so don’t forget to check out some of the great places recommended in this post!!

25 books about Australian animals to share with children


Visiting Vancouver

A guide to visiting Vancouver and Vancouver Island

How to get the best out of a 3 day visit to Vancouver


a-guide-to-victoria- in- Canada

 Guide to Victoria Canada


Read my other insider’s guides


Cape Town




  1. September 26, 2017 / 11:33 am

    I loved Victoria when I went. Granted, it was when I was a kid on a day trip with my family from our home in the Seattle area. Next time I get back to Brititsh Columbia, I’d like to make a trip to Victoria. #citytripping
    Allison recently posted…Cheering on the Chicago CubsMy Profile

    • September 26, 2017 / 9:47 pm

      We loved it – definitely a great place to spend some time.

  2. September 26, 2017 / 3:01 pm

    That’s cool that the locals are campaigning to bring back the trains! We used to have street cars here in Regensburg long before I got here, but the people are trying to bring it back too! I think it adds some charm! #CityTripping
    Lolo recently posted…Everything You Need to Know About German Christmas MarketsMy Profile

    • September 26, 2017 / 9:44 pm

      Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂 Vancouver Island is a beautiful place to visit.

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Hello from Australia

Traveller, teacher, train lover, and milkshake connoisseur.Now living and working in my 7th country and experiencing life in Queensland, Australia.

I write to inspire others whatever their age to explore the world - near and far!

I have travelled for over 30 years including solo in my 20's , as a single parent in my 30's and now in my 40's and beyond with my husband. House sitter and aspiring grey nomad a life of location independence is my goal.

Over 40 years ago I dreamt of a life well travelled and that is the life I live!

Dream it, plan it, do it!!


“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life”
-- Michael Palin