Free Things To Do In Victoria BC
Victoria, British Columbia is amazing – there always seems to be something going on.
In addition to the general things to do around town, there are lots of one-of-a-kind festivals, free things to do in Victoria BC, and special events happening all year long!
Victoria Festivals and Events
With over 100 annual festivals, countless exciting events, and diverse artistic, cultural and ethnic communities and free things to do in Victoria BC, not to mention superb scenery and ideal weather—Victoria is a centre of celebration year-round. Stately, traditional, and somewhat funky, Victoria blends new and old in its own way. Enjoy a classic English afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel and bask in this bit of history after strolling along the docks and visiting waterside museums.
Victoria has moderate temperatures year-round. The average monthly rainfall in winter is 13.5 centimetres (5.3 inches) and in the summer is less than 2.5 centimetres (1 inch). Compare that to Seattle’s average monthly winter rainfall of 34.3 centimetres (13.5 inches) and 8.6 centimetres (3.39 inches) in summer.
Victoria has low humidity and almost constant offshore breezes, which keep summer days from becoming too hot. Summer evenings cool off, and a sweater or light jacket is recommended. Victoria boasts an average of 2,193 hours of sunshine yearly and an eight-month frost-free season. Although winters are mild, warmer clothing is recommended November through March.
A shoppers Paradise! Walk down any street in downtown Victoria and be wowed by shops both large and small. These are just some of many possible shopping and visitor destinations in Victoria, BC, Canada. We hope that you will enjoy your stay, and find yourself at home with us here.
Victoria vibrates with special events and festivals year-round. Read below for some excellent ideas for Free things to do in Victoria BC, Canada.
Free Things To Do In Victoria BC
Traipse Around Downtown Victoria.
Start your tour of free things and stuff to do by exploring Victoria’s downtown. Begin by visiting Thunderbird Park with its amazing display of totem poles. Nearby the park you’ll find the Parliament Buildings. Built at the end of the nineteenth century, they are home to BC’s Provincial Legislature. Free guided tours of the buildings are available. Take some time to wander the grounds as well. Since the government allows local groups to book the grounds, you may also find some free events in action.
Explore the Inner Harbour.
Once you’ve sorted out the government, another free thing to do is to stroll along the Inner Harbour, where you can absorb the sights and sounds of a working harbour resplendent with sailing vessels ranging from sailboats to small cruise ships to sometimes even tall ships. If you’re visiting during the Labour Day weekend in September be sure to catch the annual Classic Boat Festival. Walk the dock and strike up a conversation with the fishermen as they unload their catch.
Empress Hotel in Victoria.
Built during the Edwardian era to serve as a terminus hotel for Canadian Pacific’s steamship line, this luxury hotel boasts an amazing chateau-style architecture that’s a visual treat and a lovely rose garden that’s worth a visit. Passersbys are welcome to enter the lobby for a quick gawk at the hotel’s luxurious interior. Visit the Empress Hotel.
Victoria Beer Tours.
If you’d like to inhale some beer fumes for free, then Victoria’s the place to be. In fact, Victoria could be described as the brewing capital of BC because it’s home to about a dozen breweries or brewpubs! The first licensed brewer started operations in the city in 1858. Today, it’s possible to take free tours – and enjoy some free samples!
Window Shopping in Victoria.
Window shopping is another free thing you can do in Victoria in abundance. Check out Chinatown, one of the oldest in North America. Chinatown forms a portion of the larger Victoria district known as Old Town, which includes several other popular shopping districts: Johnson Street, Bastion Square and Market Square. Antique lovers among you will enjoy a stroll along Victoria’s Antique Row – you’ll locate it east along Fort Street from Douglas. A second antique hot spot can be found a short distance away on Oak Bay Avenue.
Downtown Shopping in Victoria.
Walk down any street in downtown Victoria, BC, and be awed by shops both big and small, offering everything from traditional Chinese medicine, to high fashion clothing and shoes, to gourmet coffee and pastries!
Located in the ‘Lo-Jo’ area at 560 Johnson St, Market Square offers a wonderful shopping experience! Browse your way through unique, local boutiques in heritage brick-and-beam buildings surrounding an open air courtyard – a great place to take a break and enjoy a take-out lunch..
Lots of little shops selling all sorts of intriguing asian food, trinkets & clothing as well as a number of Chinese restaurants are all crammed together in a one block shopping delight! Located on Fisgard St. between Government & Wharf streets – you’ll find the entrance on Government St. easily as there’s a beautifully decorated ‘archway’ over the street entrance. And don’t miss Fan Tan Alley … a little walkway with some funky shops to explore!
All along this street are shops, shops and more shops! Most are unique and selling everything from native art/jewelry, toys, clothing, hats and more! Be sure to stop in at my favorites: Murchies for tea/coffee/munchies/lunch, & Munro’s books for a book browsers heaven!
Victoria Public Market at The Hudson.
Going back to the old-world style of shopping where you know your butcher, your baker, the person who grows your vegetables and the chickens that lay your eggs is what the Victoria Public Market at the Hudson is all about. The 18,000 square-foot Market is brimming with ingredients to match your kitchen and dining wish lists, meals made to order, picnics to go, a community kitchen featuring demonstrations by local chefs, a changing line-up of farmers and producers, plus a year-round farmers’ market every Wednesday.
Four blocks along Government Street, on the right hand side, is Trounce Alley, one of Victoria’s best-kept secrets. European fashions and gift shops await as well as a tasty restaurant called the Tapa Bar. Named after Victoria Pioneer Thomas Trounce, Trounce Alley contains authentic gaslights that are over 125 years old. Trounce Alley is also home to one-of-a-kind shops and authentic Spanish style tapa bars.
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