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the famed Sunken Garden at butchart Gardens, Victoria.

Butchart Gardens: Victoria BC’s Enchanting Floral Wonderland

Are you looking for a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Then look no further than Butchart Gardens in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia.

With its lush landscapes, stunning floral displays and unique attractions, Butchart Gardens is an experience that you won’t forget. From the moment you enter the gates, you’ll be immersed in a dreamlike world of colour and tranquillity.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or simply want to take in the beauty of nature, Butchart Gardens has something for everyone. So, let’s discover why it’s been captivating visitors for over a century!

  1. Things to See
  2. Seasonal Highlights
  3. Butchart Gardens Tickets
  4. The Victoria Butchart Gardens Express Shuttle
  5. Packaged Tours from Vancouver
  6. How to Get There
  7. Visitors Tips
  8. FAQs

Butchart Gardens

Located in Brentwood Bay, approximately 22 km (13.5 miles) North of Downtown Victoria, Butchart Gardens is a breathtaking 55-acre garden that offers a peaceful respite for visitors of all ages.

This magical world of beauty and serenity contains a stunning oasis that is home to a collection of lush gardens and breathtaking floral displays.

Originally home to a limestone quarry owned by Robert Pim Butchart and his wife Jennie. The area began its historic transformation into a world-class botanical garden way back in 1904.

By 1908, the first part of the garden was open to the public, and it quickly became a popular local attraction. Over the years, the garden expanded with the addition of the Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Italian Garden, and Mediterranean Garden.

Today, the Butchart Gardens is a National Historical Site that attracts more than one million visitors annually – making it the area’s most popular tourist attraction and the leader on our list of the top things to do in Victoria.

⛴️ Coming in from Vancouver? Don’t forget to check out our guide on how to get to Victoria from Vancouver.


The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC.

Things to See at Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens is actually made up of 5 distinct gardens, which are reflective of the different regions from which they take inspiration. In total, you’ll encounter millions of bedding plants made up of over 900 different varieties.

Due to Victoria’s relatively mild climate, you can expect to see a wide variety of blooms in full effect on a year-round basis – though naturally, it’s best in Victoria in summer.

The attraction also contains a number of other cultural attractions, statues, fountains, dining options and even a gelateria. Let’s take a quick look at a few of the highlights.

Related: Victoria’s Best Parks & Gardens

Sunken Garden

The Sunken Garden is the original and most iconic part of the Butchart Gardens. Once a limestone quarry, it now features vibrant flower beds, lush green lawns, and the striking Ross Fountain. The garden’s unique design showcases a variety of plants and flowers that change throughout the seasons.

This is unquestionably the Gardens’ largest and most popular attraction. With over 5 acres of greenspace composed of 151 flower beds that house over 65,000 individual bulbs – you’ll immediately see why.

Rose Garden

Added in 1929, the Rose Garden is home to more than 2,500 roses representing 280 different varieties. The garden’s diverse collection includes hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras, climbers, and miniature roses.

Walking through the Rose Garden is a sensory delight, with the aroma of the flowers and the sound of the bubbling central fountain.

The iconic Rose Arch is one of Butchart Garden’s most popular photo opportunities and one of the most romantic spots in all of Victoria.

Japanese Garden

Designed in 1906 by landscape architect Isaburo Kishida, the Japanese Garden is a serene and tranquil space featuring traditional Japanese elements such as stone lanterns, water features, and carefully pruned trees and shrubs.

The garden is particularly beautiful during spring and autumn when the colours are most vibrant.

Once you walk through the stunning grand korii (Japanese gate) that marks the garden’s entrance, you’ll immediately be overcome with a sense of zen and tranquillity. With over 200 metres of flowing streams, as well as a number of beautiful koi ponds, you can confidently leave your worries in the rearview mirror.

Italian Garden

Once the Butchart family’s private tennis court, the Italian Garden is now a beautiful formal garden featuring geometric flower beds, neatly trimmed hedges, and ornate fountains. The garden’s symmetrical design is reminiscent of classic Italian Renaissance gardens.

Here, you can now find 21,780 sq. ft. of gardens composed of over 22,000 spring bulbs and biennials. It’s safe to say that the area is not lacking in colour.

However, its top attraction may well be the Gelateria Benvenuto with its tempting variety of housemade sorbetti and gelati !

Mediterranean Garden

The Mediterranean Garden showcases plants native to the Mediterranean region, such as olive trees, lavender, and rosemary.

This garden is a testament to the diverse and adaptable nature of the plant world, thriving in Victoria’s mild climate. After all, the area contains Canada’s only Mediterranean sub-climate (really)!

Modelled after a traditional Italian villa garden, the attraction contains a 21,780 sq. ft garden that is packed full of colour and life. You’ll find a variety of exotic drought-resistant blooms from across the Mediterranean and North Africa.

Planning two days in Victoria? Check out my Victoria weekend itinerary.

Butchart Gardens Seasonal Highlights

We can thank Victoria’s relatively warm climate for making this facility a year-round attraction. So, no matter what time of the year you’re in town, Butchart Gardens is well worth a visit.

Let’s take a quick look at a few of the notable highlights that you can expect to find on your visit.


Spring Blooms

During spring, Butchart Gardens comes to life with a burst of colour. The garden’s 300,000 bulbs include brightly coloured tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths to create a stunning display that’s truly a sight to behold.

You’ll also find a variety of cherry and plum blossoms in the Japanese Garden that add to the beautiful scenery. It’s no wonder that visitors flock to the gardens during this time to enjoy the breathtaking spring blooms.

Related: Victoria in Spring: Cherry blossoms to City Charms


Summer Concerts

When summer arrives, Butchart Gardens turns into a lively hub for entertainment. From June to September, visitors can enjoy a spectacular fireworks display on Saturday nights. There is also a series of live concerts held on the garden’s outdoor stage.

The concerts feature a diverse lineup of talented local and international artists, offering something for everyone. So, if you’re a music lover, make sure to plan a visit during the summer months.

All of this serves as a backdrop to the stunning, vibrant, and colourful blooms that are on full display in the summer heat.

Related: The Top Things to Do in Victoria in Summer


Autumn Colors

As the leaves begin to change, Butchart Gardens offers a stunning display of autumn colours. The Japanese Garden, in particular, showcases a vibrant palette of reds, oranges, and yellows, making it a favourite spot for photographers and nature lovers alike.

Don’t miss the chance to explore the gardens during this magical time of year.

Related: How to Spend One Day in Victoria


Christmas Lights

During the holiday season, Butchart Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with thousands of twinkling lights and festive decorations. Visitors can wander through the illuminated gardens, sip on warm beverages, and even enjoy ice skating on the outdoor rink.

The Christmas lights at Butchart Gardens are a must-see attraction during the holiday season and one of Victoria’s top Christmas attractions.

Related: 19 Things to Do in Victoria in Winter

Butchart Gardens Tickets

Tickets to Butchart Gardens can be purchased online or at the entrance. Prices vary by season and age, with discounts available for seniors, children, and groups. Keep in mind that during peak times, it’s a good idea to purchase tickets in advance to avoid long lines.

Remember, many tourists choose to opt for all-inclusive tour packages that depart from downtown Victoria or even Vancouver. Read below for more information.

Butchart Gardens Prices

SeasonAdult (18+)Youth (13-17)Child (5-12)
Spring (Apr 1– Jun 14)$36.50$18.25$2.00
Summer (Jun 15 – Sep 30)$39.50$19.75$3.00
Christmas (Dec 1 – Jan 6)$35.00$17.50$3.00
January (Jan 7 – Jan 15)$21.80$10.90$2.00
Winter (Feb 6 – Mar 31)$29.20$14.60$2.00
*The gardens typically close for maintenance in late January/early February.

**Admission for children under 5 is free.

An article on how to get to Butchart Gardens from Victoria.

Butchart Gardens Packaged Tours

Are you visiting Victoria without a vehicle? Or are you in town on a quick cruise ship layover? Maybe you’re just coming in on a quick day trip from Vancouver?

Either way, you don’t have to let the garden’s disparate location sway you from a trip to smell the roses. There is a variety of packaged tours catered to the needs of visiting travellers.

The Butchart Gardens Express Shuttle

Departure: Inner Harbour | Length: 3-5 hours (depending on the season) | Cost: From $50.00

This no-nonsense package is the easiest way for out-of-towners to visit the magnificent Butchart Gardens: no expensive rental cars or lengthy journeys to the suburbs on Uber or public transit.

You’ll simply be placed on an air-conditioned shuttle that provides convenient Inner Harbour pick-up and drop-off right walking distance from most downtown Victoria hotels.

And the best part is that the tour is highly flexible. With shuttles running almost every hour during high season, you can stop in for a quick visit or explore until your heart is content – it’s entirely up to you.

Once aboard, you can sit back and relax as your expert tour guide hits you with some valuable tips on your way to your destination.

Just be aware that this is a transportation only package, so admission is not included. Nevertheless, at 1/2 the price of a rideshare, and the inclusion of a knowledgable guide, I’d say it’s well worth it.

This Butchart Gardens express shuttle includes:

  • Affordable round-trip transportation to Butchart Gardens (1/2 the price of a rideshare)
  • Flexible Inner Harbour pick up/drop off
  • Knowledgable local guide/driver




To learn more, check out our guide on how to get to Butchart Gardens from Victoria.

Victoria and Butchart Gardens Tour from Vancouver

Departure: Downtown Vancouver | Length: 13 hours (approx.) | Cost: From $238.25 CAD

Looking to fit in a quick visit to Butchart Gardens while in Vancouver but can’t quite find the time? Well, if you’re already in town, we might just be able to make it work after all.

This incredible tour package from downtown Vancouver allows you to explore not only Butchart Gardens, but you can spend a few hours exploring Victoria’s Inner Harbour in one convenient day trip as well. There’s no need to pack up your stuff and book another hotel.

Better yet, it also features hotel pick-up/drop-off from your downtown Vancouver hotel.

You’ll jump on an air-conditioned shuttle to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal to board the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria. This exciting 90-minute trip offers numerous opportunities to spot local wildlife, including whales, seals and eagles.

Once you’re on the island, you’ll have a few hours to visit Butchart Gardens before heading into town to explore Victoria’s famous Inner Harbour. Here, you can explore the colonial architecture, grab a meal, or check out one of Victoria’s best museums at your own leisure before heading back on the ferry to Vancouver.

This Butchart Gardens tour from Vancouver includes:

  • Hotel pick up/drop off
  • Shuttle transport to and from Victoria
  • BC Ferries tickets (2 ways)
  • Admission to Butchart Gardens (1.5-hour visit)
  • Free time to explore Victoria’s Inner Harbour (2 hours)




Looking for more tour options? Check out our article on the top Butchart Gardens tours from Vancouver.


How to Get to Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens is located in Brentwood Bay, which is a 30-40 minute drive from Victoria’s city centre – and that’s if traffic is cooperating.

So, if you choose to make the visit on your own, getting to Butchart Gardens can be a little tricky, particularly without a vehicle. Here are a few quick tips on how to get there in one piece.

By Car

  • Head north on Blanshard and make sure to get into the middle lane. Blanshard will eventually turn into Patricia Bay Hwy #17. Continue on in the northbound lane.
  • Once you pass the lights at Elk Lake, which is also known as Sayward Rd. Get in the left lane and take Exit 18 for Keating Crossing Rd.
  • Continue on Keating until you reach a rural area where you’ll reach your destination, which is at the very end of the road. There should be signs along the way.

The drive typically takes about 35 to 45 minutes, depending on traffic, so plan accordingly. If you opt to use a rideshare, be aware that you’ll be looking at around $50 each way. So I’d recommend looking into the Butchart Gardens Express Shuttle to reduce costs.

By Transit

  • Purchase a $5 day pass from the driver or pay $2.50 per ride. They accept both CAD and US bills and coins but keep in mind that no change will be given.
  • Catch the #30 or #31 bus along Douglas St. from Belleville St. behind the Fairmont Empress Hotel. (keep in mind that there may be a transfer involved & the bus number may change to #75 at Royal Oak Exchange).
  • Alternatively, you can catch the #75 bus, depending on the day, time, and season. Pickup is along the east side of Douglas St. from Belleville to Hillside.

The trip itself usually takes anywhere from 50 minutes to an hour, so be sure to factor that into your plans. Visit Google for precise directions from your place of lodging.

Related: How to Get to Butchart Gardens from Vancouver: A Botanical Escape

Butchart Gardens Visitor Tips

  1. Wear comfortable shoes, as there’s a lot of walking involved.
  2. Bring a camera to capture the beauty of the gardens.
  3. Plan to spend at least 3-4 hours exploring the different areas.
  4. Visit as part of a tour that includes pick up and drop off in the heart of Victoria’s city centre.
  5. Check out the gardens during different seasons to experience their ever-changing beauty.
  6. If you’re visiting during the peak summer tourist season, try and head there as early as possible to avoid the crowds.
  7. Be prepared for weather changes – bring a hat, sunscreen, and a light jacket or umbrella.
  8. Pair your trip with a visit to nearby Butterfly Gardens to check out even more tropical flora and fauna.


Related: Top Victoria Sightseeing Tours

Butchart Gardens Victoria FAQs

What is the best time of year to visit The Butchart Gardens?

While the gardens are considered a year-round attraction, certain seasons are clearly preferable if you’re looking to see the most colourful and lushest blooms. As such, the best time to visit Butchart Gardens is typically the spring and summer when most of the flowers are in full bloom. Furthermore, the weather will be more pleasant, and all of the site’s attractions will be open.

Where is Butchart Gardens located?

Butchart Gardens is located in the town of Brentwood Bay, BC, just outside of Victoria. The attraction is 22 km or a 30-40 minute drive from the city’s downtown core and most Victoria hotels. For this reason, many visitors choose to visit the garden as part of a packaged tour that includes Inner Harbour pickup and drop-off.

Is Butchart Gardens wheelchair accessible?

Butchart Gardens is committed to being accessible to all visitors. The majority of the garden paths are wheelchair accessible, and a limited number of wheelchairs are available for rent at the visitor center. Additionally, there are accessible restrooms and parking spaces on site.

Looking to explore in a flash? Consider the Victoria Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour


All ready to smell the roses at Butchart Gardens?

Butchart Gardens is a world-renowned attraction that provides visitors to Victoria with a chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. With its rich history, diverse garden areas, and stunning seasonal displays, a visit to Butchart Gardens is sure to leave a lasting impression.

So, don’t miss the opportunity to explore this blossoming paradise on your next trip to Victoria. And if you have any additional questions about Butchart Gardens or anything else Victoria-related don’t be afraid to write us in the comments below.

Enjoy the blooms,

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