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Victoria, British Columbia


Legislature Buildings, Victoria


Introduction

Victoria is the capital of the province of British Columbia in Canada and is known for its English charm. Alaskan cruises often stop here to satisfy requirements for foreign registered ships to stop at a foreign port when doing a roundtrip from a US port.

Where You're Docked

Cruise ships dock at Ogden Point approximately 1km south of the downtown area. https://gvha.ca/cruise/cruise-schedule/


View Larger Map

Money and Tipping

Canada's currency is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). Coins are used for denomination $2 and under and plastic polymer notes were introduced in 2011. The penny was eliminated in 2013 and cash transactions are rounded to the nearest 5 cents. US dollars are widely accepted though you may get a poor exchange rate and your change back in Canadian money. When dining in restaurants, tips between 15-20% are expected since restaurant workers typically make minimum wage. Taxi drivers should be tipped the same.

Mastercard and Visa credit cards are widely accepted including tap payments though Canadian systems use chip and pin versus chip and signature in the US. Few retailers, if any, accept Discover and Amex.

Purchases and services will incur a 5% federal sales tax (GST) plus an additional 7% provincial sales tax (PST). Restaurant meals are exempt from PST though alcohol will be taxed 10%. Tripling the GST charged on your restaurant bill is an easy way to figure out a 15% tip.

Local Transportation

A private bus shuttle service is usually provided to take you the scenic route downtown with commentary ($13 daypass, $8 one way, prices in USD 2022). https://pnwts.com/cruise-shuttle/ Alternatively, it is an easy 35 minute walk on any street heading north through pleasant residential neighbourhoods. Walking along Oswego St is probably the most direct route and following the harbour the most scenic. You can also take the harbour ferry at Fisherman's Wharf. Sharing a taxi should also be cheaper than taking the shuttle since it will only be around $10 CAD one way. https://www.victoriaharbourferry.com/

Uber and Lyft are currently still not allowed to operate in Victoria (June 2022).

Hotels

Search hotels in Victoria here

Sights

  • BC Legislature Buildings - Free public tours are available or you can explore on your own. https://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/visiting-the-legislature
  • Royal BC Museum - Has three main galleries featuring First Nations, modern, and natural history. Entry $5 (2022, can pre-purchase online). https://www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/
  • Inner Harbour - There is a parkway around the harbour, a tourist information office and whale watching tours depart from here.
  • Butchart Gardens - These expansive gardens are 20 km north of downtown. CVS Sightseeing operates an express shuttle from in front of the Empress Hotel. http://www.butchartgardens.com/
  • Fan Tan Alley - a narrow alley at the heart of Chinatown

Shopping & Restaurants

There are tourist shops and restaurants along Government St and Bastion Square. Bay Centre Mall is located off Government Street as well. The Market on Yates is a downtown supermarket with London Drugs pharmacy (similar to Walgreens) located in the same block. Tim Hortons, Canada's favourite donut and coffee chain, can be found on Blanshard (at Johnson St). There is a Chinatown centered around Government and Fisgard St. Boutique stores can be found in Market Square on Johnston St as well as WannaWaffel for Belgian style waffles. Have afternoon tea at the Empress hotel. Upscale casual dining chains include Cactus Club (Fort St and Douglas St), Earls (Bay Centre) and Milestones (Inner Harbour). Sit on the pier with fish and chips at Red Fish Blue Fish next to the seaplane terminal at Wharf St and Broughton. Recommended places for breakfast include Jam Cafe (542 Herald St), John's Place (723 Pandora), Blue Fox Cafe (#101-919 Fort St) or Shine Cafe (1320 Blanchard St). Be prepared for lineups during peak periods.

Post Office

The downtown post office is located at 706 Yates at Douglas. Closest post office to the pier is at the Pharmasave on 230 Menzies St (at Simcoe). There is a Thrifty's supermarket here as well.

Internet

Restaurants and cafes may provide free wifi for customers. The downtown public library has free wifi and computers (735 Broughton St).

Maps (right-click to save)

PDF map here http://www.3dmobimaps.com/images/maps/pdf/mobimaps-VICTORIA-2012.pdf

Walking into town map

Weather

Victoria Weather Forecast

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Page last modified on June 22, 2022, at 02:24 PM
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