The Victoria Hop on Hop Off bus is a fantastic way to explore the capital city of British Columbia.
These double decker buses cover a lot of ground in little time, allowing you to discover the most popular attractions in Victoria – with no failed transit experiments or Google maps mishaps.
If you’re interested in covering a lot of Greater Victoria at your own pace it’s something to consider.
Let’s take a deeper look at this famous Victoria sightseeing bus.
Victoria Hop on Hop Off Tours
The Victoria Hop on Hop Off bus is a thought-provoking guided tour tinged with the spirit of independent travel.
With the ability to get on and off as much as you like, you’ll get to see virtually all of Victoria’s most popular attractions at your own pace – and in as little as 90 minutes.
Again, whether you get off at each stop or just see the major attractions is up to you. This travel flexibility makes the hop on hop off Victoria bus tour a fantastic option for:
- Visitors with limited time
- Victoria first timers
- Cruise ship passengers
- Families with children
- Seniors & people with limited mobility
Let’s learn a bit more about what’s included with the hop on hop off tour of Victoria BC.
Victoria Hop On Hop Off Bus Route
The Victoria hop on hop off bus departs and ends just outside the iconic Fairmont Hotel, also known as The Empress.
Yes, that’s the one with the famous Empress afternoon tea – it’s a highly recommended way to end the tour.
This Inner Harbour location puts it walking distance from most of the best hotels in Victoria.
Aside from Butchart Gardens (which is actually in Brentwood Bay) this covers virtually anything a sightseeing Victoria tourist could ask for:
- Hotel Fairmont Empress
- Old Town
- Fisherman’s Wharf
- the Inner Harbour Panoramic
- the British Columbia Parliament Buildings
- Cook Street Village
Along the 14 stops you’ll also get expert live guide commentary over Victoria’s highlights to learn the past, present, and future of our gorgeous little city.
Again, these coach tours of Victoria can be done in as little as 90 minutes.
Related: Best Victoria Sightseeing Tours
Victoria Bus Tour Prices
As part of a soft launch of sorts post-COVID, the 2022 spring/summer Victoria bus tours will run only in the afternoon: starting at 1:30 pm and rolling every 40 minutes after.
As such, these half day Victoria hop on hop off tickets are slightly cheaper than other bus tours.
- Adults (18+): $50.00
- Youth (13-17): $27.00
- Children (6-12): $13.00
- Infants (5 and under): Free
*Kids under 18 must be accompanied by an adult
Where to Buy Victoria Hop on Hop Off Tickets
It is strongly suggested to buy hop on hop off Victoria tickets in advance online.
You’ll get instant ticket delivery and a smartphone voucher that’ll save you the hassle of waiting in line when you’re on site.
You’ll also get cancellation protection allowing you to cancel up to 24 hours before your intended dates.
You can buy these Victoria bus tour tickets using the orange button below:
Hop on Hop Off Victoria Schedule
Duration: 90 minutes (without stops) | Departure Point: Fairmont Hotel (stop 1)
The Victoria Hop on Hop off tour schedule is subject to change depending on season.
That said, here are the preliminary 2022 departure times:
- Winter (October 22 – April 23): 12:00pm, 2:00 pm & 3:30 pm
- Spring (April 24 – June 17): every hour from 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm
- Summer (June 18 – September 13): every 40 min from 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm
- Fall (September 14 – October 21): every hour from 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm
The bus tour departs from stop one, which is outside the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel at 721 Government Street.
However, those who’ve booked online can board at their leisure at any stop of their choosing.
Nevertheless, stop one is our recommended boarding point due to its convenience for most travelers.
Victoria Sightseeing Bus Stops
- Empress Hotel (721 Government Street)
- Delta Hotel (Songhees Lookout)
- Old Town/Chinatown
- Bastion Square (Wharf at Yates)
- Coho Ferry/Steamship Terminal Pier
- Coast Hotel/David Foster Walkway
- Fisherman’s Wharf (Finest at Sea)
- Ogden Point Breakwater (Cruise Terminal)
- Beacon Hill Park (Children’s Farm)
- Christ Church Cathedral
- Craigdarroch Castle/Victoria Art Gallery
- Oak Bay Village
- Oak Bay Marina
- Oak Bay Beach Hotel
- Cook Street Village
- Empress Hotel (Drop off)
What You Get with Victoria Hop on Hop off Buses
Victoria is most famous for its innate British sensibility and spectacular colonial architecture.
It doesn’t matter if you’re enjoying fish and chips along the Inner Harbour, grabbing afternoon tea at the Empress, or cooling down with a crisp pint: Victoria’s Britishness is hard to escape.
So what better way to explore the city than from British-style double decker buses?
Furthermore, Victoria is located in Canada’s only Mediterranean climate zone. This means you can expect temperate, dry summers.
Unlike London, here we can safely drop the top down – and the kids really love this.
What you get with your Victoria double decker bus tour:
- Double Decker Bus
- Open top, enclosed lower-level
- Fully narrated tour (English only)
- Wheelchair/stroller accessible (lower-level only)
- Smartphone vouchers accepted
- Fully interactive customizable brochure
Tips For Taking the Victoria Tourist Bus
1) Purchase your tickets online
Buying your tickets in advance is convenient, allows you to avoid queues, and most importantly saves you $3.00 per ticket.
2) Plan to use your Victoria bus tour ticket on day one
I always make sure to place tours of any variety towards the front end of my travel itinerary. This rule holds true for every city I visit – and Victoria is no exception.
If you can take the trip on your first day of arrival you’ll quickly become oriented to the city’s layout. You’ll also get tips from the tour guides and other travelers to improve the rest of your trip.
4) Expect good weather but plan for the worst
The Victoria Hop on Hop Off tour operates year round, rain or shine. So be sure to be prepared for whatever mother nature has to offer.
Bring a hat, sunscreen, and water to protect you from the sun, particularly in the dead of summer. Those particularly sensitive to the sun can also opt to sit in the bus’s enclosed lower level.
Conversely, you should also prepare for the worst. Read the Victoria weather forecast and bring a light jacket and umbrella just in case.
Victoria may be drier than other British Columbia cities but the west coast is still quite rainy.
5) Listen to your driver/other passengers
The Victoria hoho bus is brought to life by a fully narrated tour from a knowledgeable guide – so don’t go plugging in your headphones to listen to music.
Here, you’ll learn interesting tidbits about the city’s history and culture. And you’ll also gain valuable information for the remainder of your trip.
Moreover, you’ll also receive a customized interactive brochure to provide further guidance on Victoria’s main attractions. You’ll be an expert in no time.
In addition, other passengers can also be a valuable source of information.
You’d be surprised how many people have taken the Victoria bus tour multiple times – or how many locals are riding. They might just give you that dynamite dinner recommendation that helps you experience Victoria on a whole new level.
6) Board at lesser known stops
If you’re planning on getting on at The Empress, Chinatown, or Beacon Hill Park during peak season you might have a bit of a wait, or maybe even a fight for the better seats upstairs.
Victoria’s City Centre is quite small and easily walkable. Thus many lesser known stops can be located a relatively short distance from their more popular counterparts. Try and get on there.
Related: Victoria Whale Watching Tours
Victoria Hop on Hop Off FAQ
What is the Victoria Hop On Hop Off Bus?
The Victoria hop on hop off sightseeing bus is a popular guided tour of the Garden City. It allows you to create your own customized itinerary using 15 stops situated amongst many of the city’s main attractions.
What is the best hop on hop off Victoria bus tour?
This is a trick question as there’s only one – the sightseeing bus tour by Grey Line is the one you’re looking for, as it covers 15 sites and the major of Victoria’s top attractions.
Where should I start my Victoria hop on hop off tour?
Most travelers board the sightseeing tour at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Other popular starting spots include Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf and Beacon Hill Park.
Does my Victoria coach tour ticket include admission to attractions?
No, tickets to any attractions along the route must be purchased separately.
How often does the Victoria tour bus run?
At peak times in the summer expect the tourist bus to run every 40 minutes. In shoulder season frequency declines slightly to every hour. Lastly, the winter season sees the schedule halved to roughly every 2 hours.
Who operates the Victoria Hop On Hop Off Bus?
The hop on hop Victoria bus tour is operated by Gray Line, a well known international tour operator.
How many routes are there on the Victoria Hop On Hop Off Bus?
Gray Line only offers one hop on hop off route in Victoria due to the city’s relatively small size.
However, they do offer additional tours to attractions located further from town, such as the Victoria Butterfly Gardens and Butchart Gardens
Can I take luggage onboard the Victoria sightseeing bus?
Passengers are allowed to take standard sized handbags and backpacks but luggage typically taken on flights or long bus rides are not permitted.
However, should the need arise there’s a handy all day baggage storage spot right in the Inner Harbour (a typical bus tour starting point). Check out Luggage Hero for more information.
Are Victoria BC hop on hop off buses wheelchair accessible?
Unfortunately, only the lower level of the buses are wheelchair accessible. So you’ll not be able to access the roof of the open-top double decker bus.
How much is the Victoria British Columbia Hop On Hop Off Bus?
Tickets cost $50.00 for adults, $27.00 for youth and $13.00 for children. While children under 5 are free, you must still select a ticket when purchasing your own online.
Looking for a Hop on Hop off Victoria Bus Tour?
I’m gonna hop off now (sorry, I couldn’t resist) but this is where my invitation starts.
If you have any questions about the Victoria hop on hop off bus tour or anything else related to traveling here get at me in the comments below – we respond to everybody!