A view of Victoria's Inner Harbour

9 Best Tours in Victoria BC: Sightseeing Tours by Sea, Street, and Sky

Victoria’s mild weather, stunning West Coast scenery, and quaint colonial architecture make it the perfect city to explore – so consider the best tours in Victoria more of a prescription than a suggestion.

That’s why I’m gonna walk you through the top Victoria BC tours so you can book the best whether you’re in need of history, food, views, wildlife, or some crazy combination of all four.

Let’s break these sightseeing tours down a bit deeper:

The Best Tours in Victoria BC for Sightseeing

  1. Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour: Best Victoria bus tour
  2. Butchart Gardens Tour: Best day trip tour from Victoria
  3. Victoria Panorama Tours: Best Victoria tour for views
  4. Victoria Historical Walking Tour: Best sightseeing walking tour
  5. Castles & Neighbourhoods Tour: Best sightseeing bike tour
  6. Ocean Magic Whale Watching: Best Victoria tour on the water
  7. Victoria Brewery and Distillery Tour: Best tour of Victoria for drinks
  8. Vancouver Island Rainforest Tour: Best rural Victoria BC tour
  9. Guided Food and History Tour of Victoria: Best culinary tour of Victoria
A group of travelers on a Victoria Hop on Hop off tour
Courtesy: Grayline Tours

Victoria Hop on Hop off Tour

Location: Empress Hotel | Duration: 1/2 Day | Price: From $50.00 CAD

The Victoria Hop on Hop off tour provides you with the freedom to create your own customized Victoria itinerary, slaloming in and out of all the top things to do in Victoria.

In booking your tickets you’ll get 15 carefully selected stops that cover virtually all of the city’s top attractions – aboard an open air UK-style double decker bus.

The tour is perfect for first time visitors, cruise ship passengers, families, and those with limited mobility. You can get off at every stop, or choose a select few. This is probably the most flexible and convenient Victoria tour on offer.

This Victoria sightseeing tour includes:

  • Pick up/drop off at any of the 15 stops (stop #1 is the Empress Hotel)
  • Unlimited afternoon access
  • Fully narrated tour
  • Knowledgeable driver/guide

Grab Victoria HoHo Bus Tour Tickets Now

The Sunken Garden, Butchart Gardens Victoria BC

Butchart Gardens Tours

Location: Inner Harbour Duration: 3-5 hours Price: From $84.95 CAD

Victoria’s Butchart Gardens are far and away the most popular attraction in town. In fact, this lush urban oasis attracts over one million visitors a year.

Unfortunately, due to the Gardens’ distance from Downtown Victoria it isn’t on the HoHo itinerary. This also makes it difficult to reach for travelers without wheels. The answer? Take a tour!

You’ll board your shuttle from a convenient Inner Harbour pickup spot – and in just 20 minutes (all the gas, traffic, and directions-relatedstress left to the driver) you’ll be at the spectacular garden haven, which contains a plethora of lush greens and colourful blooms year round. 

This Butchart Gardens tour from Victoria includes:

  • Inner Harbour pickup/drop off
  • Transport to and from Butchart Gardens in Brentwood Bay
  • Butchart Gardens admission
  • 2-4 hours to explore Butchart gardens (seasonally dependent)

Grab Butchart Garden Tour Tickets Now

 

A seaplane in front of the Parliament Building, Victoria BC
Courtesy: Harbour Air

Victoria Panorama Seaplane Tours

Location: Inner Harbour | Duration: 30 min | Price: From $143.00 CAD

Are you looking to gain the ultimate perspective of BC’s capital city? You should seriously consider taking a dramatic Victoria Seaplane Tour.

Just head to the end of Wharf Street and jump on the most prototypically Westcoast method of transport: the floatplane. You’ll soar high over the famous Inner Harbour gaining stunning views of the iconic Empress Hotel and the Parliament Buildings.

The Olympic Mountains, the Straight of Juan De Fuca, and the Vancouver Island coastline will serve as your backdrop for this thrilling 20 minute seaplane ride.

Included in this Victoria seaplane tour:

  • 20 minute seaplane flight
  • Stunning views of Inner Harbour, Olympic Mountains & Pacific Coastline
  • Intimate experience (limited to 5 passengers)

Grab Victoria Seaplane Tour Tickets Now

Related: Vancouver to Victoria by Sea Plane

Guides from Discover the Past Tours, Victoria BC
Courtesy: Discover the Past Tours

The Historical Victoria Walking Tour

Location: Old Town Duration: 1.5 hours | Price: From $20.94 CAD

If a seaplane freaks you out too much or you’re looking to avoid bus tour crowds, this is your Victoria BC tour!

This Victoria walking tour run by a local historian departs from a convenient Inner Harbour meetup spot. From here you’ll get a fascinating tour of the Old Town, Bastion Square and Canada’s oldest Chinatown. You’ll learn about the city’s early days as a rugged pioneer outpost during the Fraser gold rush.

You’ll also gain valuable insight on the city’s history and culture. It’s also a great place to get oriented, so I’d recommend this as the first thing to do in Victoria.

This historical tour of Victoria includes:

  • Professional local guide
  • 90 minute tour of Victoria
  • Headsets to hear the guide clearly
  • Guided tour of the Inner Harbour, Government St., Bastion Square, Market Square, Chinatown, Fan Tan Alley

Grab Victoria Walking Tour Tickets Now

Related: Planning the Perfect Vancouver to Victoria Day Trip

Two bikers marvel at the massive totem in Beacon Hill Park, Victoria BC
Courtesy: Viator

Victoria Castles & Neighbourhoods Bike Tour

Location: Inner Harbour | Duration: 2 hours | Price: From $65.00 CAD

The city of Victoria has a tantalizing combination of mild weather and a seemingly endless network of bike lanes, paths, and trails.  It’s renown as one of the most bikeable cities in North America.

That’s why I’m highly recommending taking a Victoria bike tour. Follow your expert guide as you meander throughout neighbourhoods like Chinatown, the Inner Harbour and Cook Street Village. You’ll also learn the garish history of the allegedly haunted Craigdarroch Castle.

After one spin through Beacon Hill Park to the stunning Dallas Road waterfront, you may not want to leave!

*Castle admission is separate

Includes

  • Expert local guide
  • Bike and helmet rental
  • Guided Tour of Inner Harbour, Chinatown, Craigdarroch Castle, Beacon Hill Park, Dallas Road Waterfront
  • Visit to one of the world’s tallest totem poles

Grab Your Castles & Neighboourhoods Bike Tour Tickets

A whale watching zodiac passes in front of a lighthouse
Instagram: @princeofwhaleswhalewatching

Ocean Magic Whale Watching Tours

Location: Inner Harbour | Duration: 3 hours | Price: From $152.00 CAD

The sight of a whale breaching is easily a top 10 life experience. In fact, I grew up in a commercial fishing family and I still can’t get over them.

That’s why I’m always down for a trip to the Strait of Juan de Fuca for a fascinating glimpse of majestic orca, grey, humpback and minke whales in their natural habitat.

Victoria whale watching means a 95% sighting rate which is unmatched, and if you don’t see one they’ll even let you come back the next day. These three hour tours conveniently leave from the heart of Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

You’ve got two choices here: feel the breeze and the cool ocean spray in an open-air zodiac, or go for a more protected vessel with a heated indoor cabin. 

This Victoria whale watching tour includes:

  • Inner Harbour departure point
  • Multiple sailings throughout the day
  • Friendly and professional guides (captain & 3-4 guides/naturalists)
  • Whale sighting guarantee (free tour if you don’t see any whales!)
  • Chance to see orcas, humpback, grey and minke whales as well as marine mammals, eagles and other wildlife

Grab Your Whale Watching Tickets Now

a flight of beers at an east vancouver brewery

Victoria Craft Beer and Distillery Tour

Location: Downtown Victoria Duration: 3.5 hrs Price: From $107.70 CAD

But in Victoria, the craft beer phenomenon is nothing new. The city has been home to a multitude of exciting craft breweries and brewpubs since the 1980’s. A time when most Canadians were still busy drinking Labatt’s Blue.

This Victoria craft beer tour will escort you to two local breweries and one distillery. At each stop you’ll learn more about the local beer scene and the production process.

And of course, you get to drink the beer! Tastings will be included at each stop.

You’ll receive transportation to and from your central meeting point, including a trip to the award-winning Caledonian Distillery in the picturesque Saanich Peninsula.

This Victoria brewery tour includes:

  • DT Victoria pick up/drop off point
  • Transportation between 2 breweries and 1 distillery (often Category 12, Vancouver Island Breweries and Caledonian Distillery)
  • Limited to 14 participants
  • Samples and snacks at each location
  • Expert local guide

Grab Your Victoria Craft Beer Tour Tickets Now

Old growth rainforest, Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island Rainforest Guided Hike

Location: DT Victoria (pick up) | Duration: 3 hours | Price: From $110.00 CAD

British Columbia contains a staggering 25% of the world’s temperate rainforest. Furthermore, Victoria is located near some the most accessible morsels of untouched old-growth rainforest anywhere in the province.

Not only are these vital eco-systems stunningly beautiful. They are immensely important in the fight against climate change. Moreover, they also offer immeasurable recreational opportunities for visitors and locals alike.

This private, guided hike offers convenient hotel/port pickup and drop off. From here you’ll be transported into the very best of the Island’s lush coastal rainforest.

Along the way you’ll check out waterfalls, native plants, local wildlife and towering trees up to 1000 years old.

*Though most trails are relatively simple, hiking shoes are still required.

This Victoria rainforest tour ncludes

  • Hotel/cruise port pick up/drop off
  • Professional guided hike through local temperate rainforest
  • Chance to see enormous trees and local flora and fauna
  • Choice of departure time, route and trail difficulty
  • Learn about the local environment

Book Your Guided Rainforest Hike Tour Now

a lit up brick alley near market street in victoria bc canada

Victoria Guided Food and History Tour

Having trouble choosing between a Victoria food and walking tour? This popular guided tour allows you to explore the city’s history and culinary scene all in one convenient package.

Here, you’ll join a group of likeminded travelers and a knowledgeable guide for a guided tour of Victoria’s most prominent landmarks. You’ll hit up the Parliament Buildings, Inner Harbour, Chinatown, Market Square and much more.

You’ll also stop for mouthwatering tastings of delicious local food products. Sample everything from tapas, cheese and olive oil to tea, chocolate and local craft beer. This popular Victoria tour provides a healthy dose of knowledge combined with food and new friends

This Victoria guided tour includes:

  • Guided walking tour of Victoria’s most notable sights (Including the Inner Harbour, Parliament buildings, Trounce Alley, Bastion Square, Victoria Public Market, Fan Tan Alley etc.)
  • Numerous local food tastings (craft beer, chocolate, tea, tapas, cheese, bread, olive oil, and other local products.)
  • Learn valuable insight into Victoria history

Book a Victoria Guided Food Tour Now

Still Looking for Victoria Sightseeing Tours?

I’ve looked at (and taken) dozens of tours in Victoria to try and bring you a list of the best holiday choices, but I’m aware every visitor is different.

That’s why I’m inviting you to write me in the comment section below, or on our Vancouver Planner Facebook Page, if you’re in need of any extra help. Whether it’s Vancouver or Victoria, we’re here to help!

Julian

I've used online guides on five continents to find the world's greatest travel spots and this is my chance to give back - with insider info on my home, the mighty Vancouver BC!

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