Victoria Travel Kit

Useful Information to Help You Start Your Trip to Victoria

    Our Victoria Travel Kit lays out the essential information you need to help planning your trip to one of the most popular destinations in Canada. No matter how frequently you travel, some questions will always need answers: What’s the weather like? How can I get from the airport to my hotel? What currency and type of plug do I need? We have all these answers plus other basic info about the best time to go, getting there, getting around, and a few useful travel tips.

    It’s all compiled in this Victoria Travel Kit. After reading this short and easy-to-read guide, you will be a little more prepared to start your trip in Victoria, British Columbia.

    1

    Best time to travel to Victoria (weather-wise)

    Victoria BC has a humid continental climate, with average temperatures ranging from 5ºC in winter to 16ºC in summer.

    • The rainiest time of the year is between November and March, with an average of 15 rainy days per month.
    • Snowfall can be expected between December and February.
    • June-August is peak tourist season, with hotel and flight prices rising accordingly.
    • April-May and September-October are great times to visit, you’ll avoid the peak season’s throngs, and flight and hotel prices are more affordable. The weather is pleasant, with average temperatures of around 12ºC.
    2

    Victoria basics

    • Primary languages: English
    • Plug types: A and B
    • Electricity: 120 V
    • Currency: Canadian Dollar (C$)
    • International dialling codes: +1 250
    • Emergency telephone number: 911
    3

    Getting into the city

    Victoria International Airport

    Victoria International Airport is the primary airport serving Victoria BC. One of the busiest airports in Canada, it sits 25 km north of the city centre. Victoria Airport features 1 passenger terminal and 3 runways. The airport hosts a great range of dining and shopping options as well as facilities including banking and currency exchange services. There are several transfer options to reach Downtown Victoria:

    • A taxicab takes around 35-45 minutes and costs roughly C$55-65. Taxi ranks can be found outside the Arrivals hall.
    • Shared airport shuttles take around 40-50 minutes and cost roughly C$20-30. Shuttle counters can be found in the Arrivals hall.
    • BC Transit bus services take around 50-60 minutes and cost C$5. Bus stops are outside the Arrivals hall. It’s the cheapest way to get to central Victoria.
    • Car rental agencies can be found in the Arrivals hall.

    photo by Sdariun (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    4

    Getting around Victoria

    Travel tips

    Victoria BC City Centre is rather compact and covers a 3-sq km area that can easily be explored on foot. Bordered by the Inner Harbour which hosts a pleasant pedestrian walkway, you’ll find many attractions and shopping options within walking distance, including Beacon Hill Park, the Royal BC Museum and Christ Church Cathedral. The city centre also hosts a great choice of dining, shopping and nightlife entertainment options. For longer journeys, a good choice of public and private transport services is at hand.

    5

    Victoria Regional Transit System

    • BC Transit is in charge of public transport in Victoria BC. It operates a bus network which covers Greater Victoria, Saanich Peninsula and Westshore.
    • The price of a single fare is C$2.50 (without transfer).
    • A Day-Pass costs C$5.
    • Tickets can be purchased on the bus (drivers do not carry change) and at over 100 authorised retailers including 7-Eleven, Mac's Store and Shoppers Drug Mart outlets throughout the city.

    photo by Richard Eriksson (CC BY 2.0) modified

    6

    Taking a taxi

    • Taxis can be hailed down on the street in Victoria.
    • You can easily find cab stands outside hotels and near the main attractions and shopping areas.
    • You can also directly call popular companies such as Bluebird Cabs Ltd. (250-382-2222), Yellow Cab of Victoria (250-381-2222) or Uptown Taxi - Victoria BC (250-888-3000), just to name a few.
    • Taxi fares are regulated by the British Columbia Transportation Board. The standard average drop charge is C$3.32, then it’s C$2.03 per kilometre.
    • Most taxis accept the payment of the fare by credit card, but it’s better to ask the driver before you get in.
    • It’s common to give a 10-20% tip to the taxi driver.
    • Uber, Lyft and local taxi apps can also be used to hail a taxi in Victoria BC.
    7

    Cruise around Victoria Harbour with H2O Taxi

    • Cruising around Victoria Harbour is a great way to discover the marine side of the city.
    • H2O Water Taxis operate a ferry service which include about 30 stops around the port including Fisherman’s Wharf, Old Town and Chinatown.
    • Prices start from C$6.
    • Tickets can be purchased at Empress Dock and Fisherman's Wharf or directly on the boat.

    photo by Joe Mabel (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    8

    Cycle around Victoria BC with U-Bicycle

    • U-Cycle is the name of Victoria’s bike sharing scheme. It’s a dockless system which offers a great and healthy way to discover Victoria BC on clear, warm days.
    • Download the Ubicycle app and register. Note that a credit card is necessary to register and that a C$50 refundable deposit is required. Top up the deposit with a balance. The rate for riding is C$1 per 30 minutes.

    photo by John Luton (CC BY 2.0) modified

    9

    Annual events to look out for

    Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival

    • What: One of the oldest festivals in North America, Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival showcases heavy event challenges, pipe band contests, and highland dancing. With a tartan parade, and lots of food and beer, you’ll enjoy this very festive 10-day event even if you’re not Scottish. 
    • When: Mid May
    • Where: Topaz Park


    Vancouver Island Blues Bash

    • What: This outdoor festival has been held since 1981. It showcases local, national and international blues and R&B artists and bands.
    • When: Late August – Early September
    • Where: Ship Point Picnic Site in Victoria’s Inner Harbor


    Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

    • What: Dragon boat races are the climax but not the only exciting event at this festival. Featuring music performances, fun family-friendly activities and world cuisine, it also celebrates the Asian community of Victoria BC.
    • When: August
    • Where: Victoria Inner Harbour

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