The Best Areas to Stay in Victoria, Canada
The Best Areas to Stay in Victoria, Canada

Best Areas to Stay in Victoria, Canada

Where to Stay in Victoria – A Guide to This BC City

Victoria is the capital of the province of British Columbia. It is considered the most English city in North America and an unmissable destination in Canada. As far as attractions are concerned, Victoria enjoys sites that are well worth a visit, such as its magnificent theatres and the Royal British Columbia Museum. In this post, we will have a look at the best areas to stay in Victoria, BC.

Victoria is located on the rugged southern tip of Vancouver Island, not too far from the US border and 100 km south of Vancouver. This city is noted for its nature and outdoor activities. The city’s British colonial past can be seen in its Victorian architecture, which includes the Craigdarroch Castle mansion.

There is always something to do in Victoria. Apart from its natural attractions and architectural legacy, the city has a wealth of pubs, restaurants and colourful shops and cafés.

Its location on the Pacific Ocean and in the south of the country means Victoria also has one of the mildest winter climates in Canada, making it easy to tour the city and its attractions during any season. Summer is the best time to travel to Victoria, with high temperatures of around 22°C.

Getting there from other cities can be done via ferry or through Victoria International Airport. Once in town, you’ll find that Victoria is a very pedestrian and bike-friendly place. In fact, it has one of the smallest carbon footprints in all Canada.

Victoria has a very efficient public transport system; it consists of local bus services with connections to neighbouring towns and between the downtown area and key destinations including universities and colleges.

Among the best areas to stay in Victoria, Downtown offers the best transport connections while being close to the main attractions. See accommodation in Downtown Victoria.

Here’s a guide with the best areas to stay in Victoria, Canada.

Promoted Property
Fairmont Empress Hotel

Overlooking Victoria’s beautiful Inner Harbour, this historic hotel features extensive spa treatments and a selection of on-site restaurants. The Royal British Columbia Museum is 5 minutes’ walk away.

The best areas to stay in Victoria, British Columbia

1. Our favourite area: Downtown Victoria

The small and vibrant Downtown Victoria retains is home to the city’s most important historic landmarks.

Its historic architecture, as well as a large number of restaurants, pubs, markets, and street artists, make this a great location in Victoria.

This area is popular among locals and travellers thanks to its cinemas, theatres, hotels and tourist attractions such as the Bastion Square street shopping complex, located in the heart of the district.

Market Square is also part of the Downtown area. Here you can find small shops, restaurants and bars.

Downtown Victoria is also considered the business district in the city.

Centennial Square and Victoria’s Town Hall are commonly used for small electronic music festivals.

Downtown is one of the best areas to stay in Victoria, as it is the historic and financial district of the city and has the best attractions.

Where to stay in Victoria, BC - Downtown
Where to stay in Victoria, BC – Downtown
Accommodation in Downtown Victoria - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in the area
Accommodation in Downtown Victoria – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in the area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Victoria:

  • Heart of the city
  • Great restaurants
  • Best area for sightseeing
  • Best area to stay without a car
  • Great transport connections

2. James Bay

James Bay is Victoria’s oldest neighbourhood, known for its vibrant and lively waterfront and charming Victorian houses and apartment buildings.

It is located southwest of Downtown Victoria.

This lovely district filled with colourful houses is home to iconic Victoria landmarks such as the Parliament Buildings and Royal BC Museum, built in 1898.

Fisherman’s Wharf offers food kiosks, shops and eco-tour adventures amongst fishing vessels, float homes, and other businesses.

The eastern end of Fisherman’s Wharf is populated largely by float homes.

James Bay has a mixture of a maritime and colonial atmosphere. It also offers horse-drawn carriage rides.

Beacon Hill Park has manicured gardens and a petting farm, and also offers panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains in the distance.

James Bay is another of the best areas to stay in Victoria for those who want to surround themselves with the English culture of the city, enjoy sunsets on the pier and drink cocktails at night.

Where to stay in Victoria, Canada - James Bay
Where to stay in Victoria, Canada – James Bay
Accommodation in James Bay - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in the area
Accommodation in James Bay – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in the area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Victoria:

  • Historical area
  • Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Royal Museum

3. Chinatown

Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest Chinese district in Canada

This area is also one of the most popular areas among tourists visiting the city.

Occupying the northern end of Downtown, Victoria’sChinatown is located next to other places of interest in Victoria, such as the Bay Centre Mall and the Fan Tal Alley; an alley full of galleries, beauty centres, restaurants, apartments, and offices.

This neighbourhood is connected with the rest of the city through several bus stations located on Pandora Avenue and Douglas Street.

The modern Chinatown is a vibrant neighbourhood in the city; it has several hotels, bars and shopping areas.

Best areas to stay in Victoria, British Columbia - Chinatown
Best areas to stay in Victoria, British Columbia – Chinatown
Accommodation in Chinatown - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in the area
Accommodation in Chinatown – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in the area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Victoria:

  • Historical area
  • Great food

4. Inner Harbour

Inner Harbour is one of the main tourist districts of Victoria. In its port, it houses several fishing boats and colourful houseboats that give maritime and colonial atmosphere to the area.

Those who decide to stay in Inner Harbour can go to cafes and restaurants distributed in the streets with spectacular views, especially in the evenings, when you can watch the whales.

Thanks to the ferry terminals available in Inner Harbour, it is possible for travellers to arrive to Victoria from other cities, including Seattle.

Inner Harbour is quite popular with tourists and ideal for walking, however, to move to other districts of Victoria, you can take the buses available in Menzies street.

Inner Harbour is another of the best areas to stay in Victoria since its location allows easy access to other important areas of the city, such as James Bay, the Parliament, the Royal Museum and bars where it does place the nightlife.

Best neighbourhoods to stay in Victoria, Canada - Inner Harbour
Best neighbourhoods to stay in Victoria, Canada – Inner Harbour
Accommodation in Inner Harbour - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in the area
Accommodation in Inner Harbour – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in the area

Why is this a recommended area to stayin Victoria:

  • Good area to stay without a car
  • Best area for nightlife
  • Tourist attractions

5. West Shore

West Shore is a community made up of the neighbourhoods of Colwood, Langford, Metchosin and The Highlands. Given the proximity between these neighbourhoods, you can walk or bike.

Most of this area has a rich heritage and a connection with nature, which makes it one of the best areas to stay in Victoria.

This area is ideal for those travelling with family and for romantic getaways, with attractions such as Fort Rodd Hill and the Fisgard Lighthouse.

To enjoy some art, the Coast Collective Arts Centre’s public gallery features art and crafts.

To go shopping, the West Shore shopping centre offers fashion shops, cafés and restaurants.

West Shore in Victoria is an excellent place to stay in the capital of British Columbia thanks to its its wide range of hotels for all tastes.

Where to stay in Victoria, British Columbia - West Shore
Where to stay in Victoria, British Columbia – West Shore
Accommodation in West Shore - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in the area
Accommodation in West Shore – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in the area

Why is this a recommended area to stay in Victoria:

  • Great area for sightseeing
  • Cheap accommodation
  • Malls

Best Location in Victoria, BC – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best area to stay in Victoria, BC without a car?

The great news is that you don’t need a car to enjoy all that Victoria, BC has to offer! The city centre is compact enough that you can walk anywhere, and most tourist areas are easy to travel on foot and connected by buses. The best area to stay without a car is Downtown Victoria.

What is the best area to stay in Victoria, BC for sightseeing?

James Bay, located southwest of the Downtown area offers the quintessential Victoria experience: colourful houses, a lively waterfront, and iconic buildings such as the Parliament and the Royal BC Museum. It is the best area for tourists in Victoria.

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