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19 Things To Do In Victoria In Winter + Visit Tips (2024)

Winter in Victoria may be cold, but it’s also filled with unique and exciting experiences. From wandering through stunning gardens to spotting majestic whales, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the top things to do in Victoria during the winter season.

From outdoor activities to indoor attractions, these seven sub-sections will showcase the best of what this charming city has to offer during the colder months.

Why Visit Victoria in Winter?

Winter is often considered the off-season for travel, but in Victoria, it may just be the perfect time to plan a weekend Victoria itinerary.

In this section, we will discuss the top reasons why you should consider taking a trip to Victoria during winter.

From the mild weather and less crowded tourist spots to the exciting Victoria winter events and festivals, there are plenty of compelling reasons to plan your winter getaway in this charming city.

Just make sure you know how to get from Vancouver to Victoria first.

Mild Weather

  • Experience Victoria’s mild winter weather, with temperatures averaging around 7°C to 10°C (45°F to 50°F).
  • Enjoy outdoor activities comfortably without extreme cold or snow, making it an ideal destination for a winter getaway.
  • Make the most of the pleasant weather to explore outdoor attractions and scenic landscapes.

Less Crowded Tourist Spots

Exploring Victoria in winter offers the advantage of less crowded tourist spots, allowing for a more intimate and peaceful experience at Victoria’s top tourist attractions.

This season provides an opportunity to appreciate popular attractions without the usual hustle and bustle, creating a serene and relaxed ambiance.

Fact: Victoria’s winter season sees a significant decrease in tourist footfall, making it an ideal time to explore the city’s attractions at a leisurely pace.

Winter Events and Festivals

In Victoria during Christmas, the winter charm is felt with vibrant cultural events and festivals.

Don’t miss out on these unique experiences to make the most of your winter visit:

Related: Victoria in January: The Perfect Winter Getaway

What are the Top Things to Do in Victoria in Winter?


Visit the Butchart Gardens

  • Explore the vibrant Sunken Garden with its seasonal floral displays.
  • Visit the charming Rose Garden, showcasing a variety of roses and other blooming flowers.
  • Discover the tranquil Japanese Garden, featuring serene ponds and lush greenery.
  • Stroll through the stunning Italian Garden, known for its sculpted landscapes and Mediterranean flair.
  • Experience the exotic and colourful plants in the Mediterranean Garden.

When visiting the Butchart Gardens, be sure to take your time and fully immerse yourself in the beauty of each garden area, capturing memorable moments along the way.

Coming from Vancity? Check out my Vancouver to Butchart Gardens tour packages page.




Explore the Inner Harbour

In Victoria in December there’s nothing better than getting out into the fresh air and experiencing the Inner Harbour.

  • Begin your exploration of the Inner Harbour by visiting the iconic Parliament Buildings.
  • Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront and admire the scenic views of the harbour and marina.
  • Discover the history and culture of British Columbia at the Royal BC Museum.
  • Treat yourself to a waterfront dining experience at one of the charming restaurants.

After exploring the Inner Harbour, why not take a harbour ferry tour to gain a unique perspective of the area from the water?

Go Whale Watching

When planning to go whale watching in Victoria, follow these steps for an unforgettable experience:

  1. Research: Look for reputable tour companies with experienced guides.
  2. Choose the right time: Opt for the best season and time of day for whale sightings.
  3. Prepare essentials: Bring binoculars, a camera, and weather-appropriate gear.
  4. Be respectful: Follow guidelines to ensure minimal disturbance to the whales.

Fact: Victoria is one of the best places in the world to see orcas in their natural habitat due to the rich feeding grounds in the area.



Try Winter Sports at Mount Washington

Before hitting the slopes, bundle up with warm clothing and stay hydrated. Embrace the thrill of winter sports at Mount Washington while creating unforgettable memories.

Try out various winter sports and activities at Mount Washington for a fun and exciting experience.

  • Prepare for skiing and snowboarding adventures at Mount Washington.
  • Rent appropriate gear such as skis, snowboards, and helmets.
  • Take lessons if you’re a beginner to ensure safety and maximize enjoyment.
  • Explore the diverse terrain, including groomed runs, terrain parks, and backcountry areas.
  • Stay updated on weather and snow conditions for an optimal experience.

Looking for another option for a quick getaway? Check out our list of the Best day trips from Victoria.

Tour the Craigdarroch Castle

Touring the Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria during the winter season can be a truly memorable experience. Follow these steps to ensure you make the most of your visit:

  1. Explore the stunning architecture and rich history of the castle.
  2. Admire the intricate woodwork and beautiful stained glass windows.
  3. Plan your visit during special events for an even more immersive experience.
  4. Take in the breathtaking panoramic views of Victoria from the castle grounds.

During my own winter visit to Victoria, I had the opportunity to tour the Craigdarroch Castle and was completely captivated by the grandeur of its architecture against the peaceful winter backdrop.

Indulge in Local Food and Drinks

  • Explore the local cuisine at popular eateries like Agrius, which is known for its farm-to-table concept.
  • Visit breweries such as Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. for craft beer tastings and to indulge in the local drinks.
  • Experience a traditional afternoon tea at The Fairmont Empress for a taste of Victorian tradition.
  • Join food tours of Victoria, including fresh seafood and artisanal chocolates.

Victoria’s food scene beautifully reflects its rich cultural heritage and strong commitment to sustainability.

Experience the Magic of Christmas at the Parliament Buildings

  • Marvel at the enchanting Christmas lights adorning the Parliament Buildings.
  • Attend the festive Christmas concerts and events hosted in the Parliament Buildings.
  • Participate in the joyful holiday activities held on the Parliament Buildings’ grounds.

Immerse yourself in the festive spirit by exploring the beautifully adorned Parliament Buildings during the holiday season.

Engage in the various Christmas-themed events and enjoy the magical ambiance of this iconic location. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the magic of Christmas at the Parliament Buildings.

⛴️ Coming from Vancouver with no car? Check out the best Vancouver to Victoria Tours

What are Some Tips for Visiting Victoria in Winter?

Winter in Victoria may not be as popular as the summer months, but it has its own charm and unique experiences to offer.

If you’re planning a trip to Victoria during the colder season, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

In this section, we’ll discuss some helpful tips for visiting Victoria in winter, including how to dress appropriately for the weather, planning for both indoor and outdoor activities, booking accommodations in advance, and taking advantage of winter deals and packages.

So, let’s get ready to embrace the winter wonderland of Victoria!

Dress Appropriately

  • Layer clothing: Wear thermal undergarments, insulating mid-layers, and waterproof outerwear.
  • Protect extremities: Don gloves, hats, and thick socks to shield hands, head, and feet from cold.
  • Choose appropriate footwear: Opt for insulated, waterproof boots with good traction to prevent slipping.
  • Accessorize: Use scarves and neck warmers to protect the neck and face from chilly winds.

Plan for Indoor and Outdoor Activities

  • Plan for a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, such as visiting museums or art galleries, and enjoying local culinary experiences.
  • For outdoor activities, consider exploring parks, going for nature walks, or trying winter sports.
  • Stay flexible and have backup plans in case of unexpected weather changes.

When planning for both indoor and outdoor activities in Victoria, make sure to have options for both scenarios to fully enjoy your winter visit.

Book Accommodation in Advance

Booking accommodations in advance is crucial for a stress-free and enjoyable winter visit to Victoria, allowing you to fully focus on creating unforgettable experiences.

  • Research and select accommodations based on their proximity to desired attractions and amenities.
  • Check for winter promotions and early booking discounts to save money.
  • Contact accommodations directly to inquire about any special packages or offers they may have.
  • Consider flexible booking options in case of any changes to your itinerary.

Looking for a warm, cozy place to lay your head? Check out our list of the best Victoria hotels and Victoria hostels.

Take Advantage of Winter Deals and Packages

  • Research the various winter deals and packages offered by hotels, resorts, and tour companies in Victoria.
  • Look for discounts on accommodations, transportation, and winter activities, such as skiing or snowshoeing.
  • Consider bundled packages that include lodging, meals, and attractions for cost-effective options.
  • Subscribe to newsletters or follow the social media pages of Victoria tourism boards or travel agencies to stay updated on exclusive winter promotions.

Visiting Victoria in Winter FAQ

What are some fun activities to do in Victoria during the winter season?

There are plenty of fun activities to do in Victoria during the winter, including spa days, visiting landmarks like the Fairmont Empress and Butchart Gardens, and watching the waves at scenic outlooks.

Are there any popular winter events or festivals in Victoria?

Yes, there are several events and festivals that take place during the winter in Victoria, including the Festival of Trees at the Inner Harbour, the Victoria Film Festival, and the Victoria Symphony’s annual Christmas Pops concert.

What are some must-visit landmarks in Victoria during the winter?

Two must-visit landmarks in Victoria during the winter are the Fairmont Empress, with its castle-like appearance and festive decorations, and the Craigdarroch Castle, which hosts holiday events and offers beautiful views of the city.

What are some unique winter activities in Victoria?

Some unique winter activities in Victoria include eagle-watching at Goldstream Provincial Park, horse-drawn trolley rides with Tally-Ho Carriage Tours, and interacting with insects and arachnids at the Victoria Bug Zoo.

What are some popular spots for nature photography in Victoria during the winter?

Dallas Road and Ogden Point are popular spots for nature photography in Victoria during the winter, with their dramatic roll of waves and stunning West Coast views. The Butchart Gardens also offer beautiful winter displays that are perfect for photography.

Are there any popular winter shopping destinations in Victoria?

Yes, Market Square and Lower Johnson Street (also known as “LoJo”) are popular destinations for vintage shopping and finding unique, locally made goods in Victoria. Russell Books, known as the largest independent bookstore in Canada, is also a popular spot for book lovers.

Got your itinerary sorted for visiting Victoria in winter?

As we wrap up our exploration of winter in Victoria, it’s clear that this city transforms into a magical destination during the colder months.

With its array of winter activities, cultural events, and stunning natural beauty, Victoria is an ideal choice for anyone looking to experience a different kind of winter wonderland.

So, pack your bags and head over to Victoria this winter for an unforgettable escape.

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