As Victoria becomes a more popular visitor destination, it may be difficult to explore some of the most well known attractions in the city. In peak times, tickets sell out and lines form for these places. Fortunately, Victoria is home to many other hidden gem attractions that are much lesser known, but still hold the same experiences. If you haven’t heard of the attractions below, make sure to make some stops on your next visit to Victoria BC.
Due to its age, Victoria is known to be one of the most haunted areas in British Columbia. If you want to learn the spooky secrets of the city, then taking a ghost tour is the right choice for you. You and your guide will visit some of Victoria’s most haunted sites, so watch out for ghosts! Since this tour was developed by historian John Adams, you can rest assured that these stories are not just made up to scare you – they actually reveal Victoria’s scary past.
Christ Church Cathedral
As one of Canada’s largest churches, this impressive gothic cathedral is a must see for lovers of great architecture. The Christ Church Cathedral is open to the public and contains a self guided tour to help you get the full experience and history of this sacred place.
In the famous Chinatown in Victoria lies Dragon Alley, a unique street that connects Fisgard and Herald streets. While all the other visitors look for Fan Tan Alley, stop by Dragon Alley for shops, restaurants, studios, and a true Chinatown feel.
Beside the Royal BC Museum you will find Thunderbird Park, an incredible tribute to First Nations peoples right in the heart of Victoria. The park boasts many totem poles and First Nations monuments along with its two historic buildings, Helmcken House and St. Anne’s Schoolhouse. Stop by for a glimpse into First Nations history.
As you stroll through downtown Victoria, keep your eyes peeled for the glass sidewalks… or you might just miss them. Back in the late 19th century, these translucent purple prisms were installed in a few spots to help sunlight reach the basements below them. Since many of the prisms have been removed or broken, these are a fading part of Victoria’s past and are a must see if you are in the area.
Ross Bay Cemetery
Although it may seem odd to visit a cemetery, the Ross Bay Cemetery is a truly special place to visit. As one of the most historical places in Victoria, it offers a look into the past as it is home to the graves of many famous Canadians and Americans. Visit the final resting place of Emily Carr, Sir James Douglas, or Billy Barker.
Who doesn’t love a street market with fresh produce and artisan goods? Throughout the summer Victoria has many bustling markets that will be sure to have something for everyone. To find out dates and times, check before your trip as they are subject to change yearly. For year round visitors, check out the permanent public market located in the Hudson building!
You can find this historic gem in the Rockland neighbourhood away from the main tourist path. Government House is known as the ceremonial house of every British Columbian, and is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. If you stop for a visit, you can take in the impressive 36 acre grounds that house many gardens and a rare Garry Oak. One of the best things about this attraction is it is free to the public all day long.