When people think of British Columbia, most people think of the vibrant coastal city of Vancouver right away. Though it’s the most popular city in the province, it’s not the capital city. Around two hours away from Vancouver is BC’s capital city, Victoria.
When it comes to natural beauty, these two offer incredible views. Both sit on a peninsula, surrounded by waters from the mighty Pacific. And with a plethora of stunning green oases, these two showcase the best that nature has to offer.
Their similarities end here though. Despite being close to one another, these two feel and look completely different. And this reflects in the endless attractions that they offer.
If you can’t decide which city is best for you, don’t worry. You’ll figure out which tickles your fancy as you get to know these two more below.
Magnificent scenery, iconic nightlife, and a world-renowned food scene are some of the things Vancouver spoils you with. With its dazzling natural setting, the city doesn’t fail to grab your attention. But it’s the city’s eclectic and thrilling allures that’ll make you want to stay in this west coast paradise.
What Makes Vancouver Unique?
An Urban Center Cradled by Breathtaking Natural Wonders
Vancouver is a city known for many things, but it’s particularly famous for its striking natural beauty. Think of skyscrapers rising from a green-filled land, with dense forests to one side. Imagine its high-rises framed by the mountains to the north, with glistening waters around the city.
Vancouver’s breathtaking scenery is hard to beat. But the city is not only for beautiful views, it’s also an outdoor lover’s exciting playground.
To the north of the city, you’ll find three world-class mountains to explore. These North Shore Mountains are all under an hour’s drive away too. An exciting wilderness adventure starts with picking between these mountains:
- Cypress Mountain
- Mount Seymour
- Grouse Mountain
These three are your year-round playgrounds in Vancouver.
They transform into winter wonderlands that are perfect for snowboarding, skiing, and more. Cypress Mountain is especially famous for offering the best snow-tubing park!
If you’re visiting during warmer months, you’ll have no shortage of hiking trails to explore in these mountains. Avid hikers often take their outdoor excursions to Grouse Mountain though. There’s where you can conquer the Grouse Grind, a challenging trail that rewards you with sweeping views of the city as you reach the top!
You don’t have to venture off to the outskirts to enjoy Vancouver’s great outdoors though. The city has hundreds of parks, gardens, and other open spaces for you to explore! With this, it’s easy to connect with nature in the comfort of the city’s limits.
Cycle, run, skate, or stroll along the world’s longest uninterrupted seawall right at Stanley Park. This park has a 5.6-mile-long (9 km) seawall that sits on the water’s edge that stretches along the entire park.
But there’s still more to discover in Stanley Park. It features dense, woodsy trails, First Nations totem poles, stunning mountain views, and more! This park also connects you to Vancouver’s beaches, which you’ll get to know more about in the next section.
Soft Sand, Sea, and Serenity at Your Fingertips
It’s a breeze to hop from snow-capped peaks and verdant forests to sandy shores in Vancouver. Glistening waterfronts are a part of the city’s charm. Picture soft-sand beaches spilling into the blue waters of the mighty Pacific.
In a city almost surrounded by the ocean, hanging out at the beach is a part of the experience. Whether you’re looking for a place to unwind or have fun, there’s a beautiful beach to head to in Vancouver.
Being a coastal city, Vancouver is one of the best cities in the country for beach bums. And it’s no surprise that it’s home to one of Canada’s finest beaches, Kitsilano Beach.
With views of the North Shore Mountains looming over the ocean, Kitsilano Beach offers views like no other. But it’s one of Vancouver’s most popular beaches as it has something for everyone to enjoy. Sunbathe on the soft sand, splash around, play a game of volleyball, enjoy a picnic on the grass, and more!
But one of the best things about this beach is the Kits Pool. This heated, outdoor saltwater pool is the longest in North America. So if the ocean water is too cold for you, you can still swim around by the beach!
Another local favorite is the famous English Bay Beach. This spacious, sandy shore is one of the most accessible of its kind in the city. And because of this, it’s a top spot for enjoying a sunny day or escaping the hustle and bustle of the city.
English Bay Beach is also called First Beach. It’s located on a small patch of Stanley Park, connected to Second and Third Beach by the park’s seawall! With this, you can enjoy a scenic stroll and visit all three beaches in one go.
If you’re looking for something more out of the ordinary, head to Wreck Beach. This is the city’s only clothing-optional beach, a sandy shore for those who want to bask in the sun with more freedom. It takes some work to get here though as you’ll have to hike through forests and go down steep stairs to reach the beach!
Go on a Tour Around the World With Your Tastebuds
When it comes to nature’s bounty, Vancouver has a wealth of them. Fresh seafood and locally sourced ingredients are the focal points of the city’s dishes. And Vancouver’s creativity shines through with each plate, thanks to the culinary masterminds that it homes.
In a city surrounded by water, you can expect an extensive menu of top-quality seafood. From oysters to wild salmon prepared in various ways and infused with flavors of all kinds, there are tons of ways to taste the city’s amazing seafood!
These ingredients are what fuel Vancouver’s exciting food scene. And being one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, you’ll find them across a plethora of cuisines.
Get your fill of French escargots, have a hearty plate of fresh Italian pasta, or grab a plate of Spanish seafood paella! Vancouver also offers flavors from places like the Caribbean, Mexico, Morocco, and Ethiopia. But the city is especially renowned for its incredible Asian food scene, and it’s a must-try!
Explore Vancouver’s wealth of Chinese restaurants running along Chinatown. Help yourself to the wide-ranging menus of its wealth of Indian restaurants. Or tickle your tastebuds with the freshest sushi and a warm bowl of ramen noodles!
Beyond traditional dishes, Vancouver explores flavors around the world through fusion food too. Blending two cultures in one delectable dish, there’s plenty to taste for the adventurous foodies here. This includes Belgian cuisine with Middle Eastern flavors and Indian-style Chinese food!
The diversity of Vancouver’s food scene goes beyond the foreign flavors it offers too. Around the city, you’ll find restaurants of all kinds that’ll fit every budget and occasion.
Dine at an upscale restaurant, where you’ll get served by world-class chefs. Enjoy a meal at a rustic farm-to-table for a sustainable dining experience. Or grab a quick meal from the city’s hundreds of food trucks that serve creative dishes too!
A Vibrant City That Thrives on Creativity
Vancouver’s natural beauty is delightfully reflected in its vibrant art scene. The city has honed world-class talents such as the likes of Jeff Wall, Stan Douglas, and Ken Lum. But this creative cultural hub still has a lot to offer.
From art galleries to music venues and theaters to exciting events, the city celebrates art in various ways!
Uncover the city’s artistic side at the exciting South Granville Gallery Row. This area is dense with independent art galleries where you can get a glimpse of local artists at work.
Explore a world of creativity here through contemporary, Asian, and First Nations art. More than paintings, you’ll also find sculptures, photography, and antique masterpieces here!
With a plethora of art spaces in Vancouver, it can be tricky to figure out which ones to put on your itinerary. No matter what you include on your list, don’t forget to head to Vancouver Art Gallery.
Vancouver Art Gallery is one of the largest of its kind in the country. It’s home to artworks by Andy Warhol, stunning dresses worn by famous names such as Rihanna, and thousands of permanent works! This gallery also hosts exhibits that showcase masterpieces from around the world.
Vancouver’s creativity shines through even outside of galleries.
Bring home some of the local artists’ works at local art and craft markets. At Portobello West, you’ll have sculptures, paintings, ceramics, and glassworks to choose from. This art market only happens a few times a year though, but you can always go art shopping at Granville Island!
Granville Island is even more of an exciting visit during summer though. This is when no week goes by in the area without a fun event to join! The Fringe Festival and Vancouver Jazz Festival are among the most anticipated events in the city, and they’re both held here!
Vancouver Comes Alive at Night
If you’re looking for one of Canada’s greatest party scenes, you’ll find it in the bustling city of Vancouver. Explore the city’s natural wonders, go shopping, have a seafood feast, and more. But when the sun sets, you have tons of ways to cap off your day with a blast!
You can find all the thrilling nightlife venues you’d expect from a big city here. Vancouver is home to sports bars, buzzing nightclubs, trendy lounges, and more! And they’re spread across several electrifying nightlight hubs, each with its own charm.
Head to Gastown for quaint bars, Irish pubs, beer halls, or refined resto-bars. Be one with the younger crowd at Yaletown, which is full of exclusive, stylish lounges. Or go late-night clubbing at the city’s version of the Vegas Strip at the neon-lit Granville Street!
If you love beer, spend a night at Vancouver’s Craft Beer Market Restaurant. It’s the best spot to immerse yourself in one of Canada’s best craft beer scenes. With 100 beers ready on tap, you’ll surely quench your thirst here!
There are still tons of thrilling things to do in the city outside of bars and clubs.
Get entertained with burlesque shows and plays, or see a movie at the historic Rio Theatre. Get active with late-night bowling, and night skiing, or be one with the crowd at a hockey game.
If you’re looking for a different kind of thrill, challenge your wit at an escape room. Or go on a spooky tour at Gastown, New Westminster, or Downtown!
The beautiful city of Victoria strikes a balance between old-town appeal and modern allures. It’s blooming with flowers year-round, teeming with history, and loaded with endless adventures. All that Victoria offers come in a package laced with its rich heritage, making it an unforgettable and charming city.
What Makes Victoria Unique?
An Island City Adorned With Lush Greenery
Located between the blue waters of the Salish Sea and the dense rainforests of Vancouver Island, Victoria is a sight to behold. With its diverse greenery, hidden waterfalls, mountains, and natural gems, this city is full of adventure. When in Victoria, you’re never too far from lush wilderness wonderlands.
The city’s mild climate allows a vast array of horticulture to flourish in gardens of all sizes. Visit the city from January to May, and you’ll see the city filled with tunnels of pink and white!
A trademark of Victoria, though, is the hanging flower baskets that adorn the city’s downtown area. You’ll find them hung from lampposts, transforming the city into a whimsical wonderland yearly! This view doesn’t last year-long though. But there’s still plenty more natural beauty to marvel at in the city no matter the season.
Victoria is home to over 100 parks and open spaces, which is a lot for a city its size. Nicknamed the Garden City, it’s where you’ll find Canada’s most beautiful gardens.
The city is home to the world-renowned Butchart Gardens, a beautiful spectacle in every season. During summer, the garden blooms with roses. In autumn, it’s filled with all shades of red and orange at the Japanese Garden. And in winter, it’s filled with festive lights and decorations!
The Abkhazi Garen is another reason why Victoria is Canada’s Garden City. Compared to others in the city, this is a small garden. But its dramatic land of glaciated rocky slopes, diverse greenery, and stunning vistas make up for it!
Enjoy the stunning view of the garden as you sip on some afternoon tea or enjoy a meal at Teahouse at Abkhazi Gardens. This was once the home of Prince and Princess Abkhazi, who created the garden in 1946.
Outdoor Adventures Are a Part of the Experience
Cradled in the middle of nature, Victoria serves as a fantastic base for outdoor enthusiasts. From forests to the ocean, the outdoor experiences here reflect the city’s diverse landscape. Here, you can get out and enjoy the views, and have fun while you’re at it!
Victoria is a paradise for avid hikers. Wander through mountaintops, historic sites, coastal paths, and more, on the city’s countless trails! In only an hour from the heart of the city, you’ll already feel like your deep into the wilderness.
Get stunning coastal views on your hike at Coastal Trail in Sooke, with views of the mountains in the backdrop. Hike to the top of Mount Work for panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains. Or you can go on a challenging hike through forested trails at Mount Douglas Park!
The best hikes from Victoria are in Goldstream Provincial Park though. Here, you can enjoy a little history at Trestle Bridge Hiking Trail. The Kinsol Trestle Bridge Trail is easy for everyone, but if you want more challenge, hop on the Mount Finlayson trail!
Victoria is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. Rent a bike and zip your way downtown, or take your adventure beyond the heart of the city! Biking is one of the best ways to explore Victoria’s most famous landmarks.
Hop on Dallas Road, starting at James Bay. It’s home to many of Vancouver’s most charming heritage homes. Stop by Fisherman’s Wharf and follow the waterfront road to Beacon Hill Park for a scenic coastal ride!
If you’d rather bike through lush forests, go on the Galloping Goose Trail. This biking trail stretches from Victoria to Sooke, offering views of Matheson Lake along the way.
With the waters surrounding Victoria, having fun on the sea is one of the best things to do in the city. Get views of the city from the sea on a kayak and get a chance to spot some marine wildlife while you’re at it. Paddle through a calm lake, or enjoy the waters from the inner harbor!
If a kayak isn’t fun enough for you, why not go stand-up paddleboarding instead? You can also go on a historic tour through shipyards and historic homes on a pickle boat. Or you can take command and learn how to sail around the harbor!
Marvel at Gorgeous Victorian-Era Buildings
Back in the 1800s, Victoria was already a bustling town and Vancouver was a mere quaint town. Remnants of this are still evident today in the city’s wealth of magnificent historic buildings! With a killer combination of natural beauty and pretty buildings, Victoria is a picturesque city at every turn!
Strap on your best walking shoes and head to the city’s downtown area. Here, you’ll feel like you’re in a gorgeous English village. With floral hanging baskets and pastel-clad facades, the heart of the city is a feast for your eyes!
Downtown you’ll find three of the city’s most famous historical buildings.
There’s Fairmont Empress Hotel, which first opened in 1908. This was among the original Canadian Pacific Railway Hotels, along with Quebec City’s Chateau Frontenac. Step inside the building and it’ll make you feel like you’re back in the time of the British Empire’s days.
If you have a big budget for your trip, you can stay at the hotel and have everything you need here. It features a pool, spa, restaurants, and more! If not, you can always go for some afternoon tea at this elegant, luxurious hotel!
Near the hotel is another well-loved landmark, the British Columbia Parliament Buildings. These beautiful buildings sport a blend of Romanesque and Neobaroque architectural styles. On the grounds, you’ll find several famous sights like the Speak Chair and the Queen Victoria statue.
While you can admire this historic site from the outside, you can explore the inside! You can either go on a self-guided tour or a regularly scheduled one for free that lasts around 30 minutes. The Parliament Buildings are open from Monday to Friday, so you can pick the best schedule for your trip.
If you want to feel like you’re in a fairy tale, head to Craigdarroch Castle. This is one of the city’s National Historic Sites, a Victorian architectural gem.
Head inside and wander through 39 luxurious rooms! Marvel at their stained-glass windows, granite columns, intricate woodwork, and more.
Uncover Its Fascinating Culture
Victoria has a deep, fascinating history that’s exciting to uncover. It was once a settlement of the First Nations People and then became a crown colony. Victoria has tons of stories to tell, and they’re best discovered in person.
The city retains deep ties to its indigenous roots through the preservation of its culture. One of the best places for this is the First Peoples Gallery of the Royal BC Museum! It features an extensive exhibit of artifacts, a traditional big house, and aboriginal ceremonial poles and masks.
Immersing yourself in Victoria’s indigenous culture goes beyond museums though. Check out the works of indigenous artists at the Indigenous Summer Arts Studio Program. Or take part in the celebration of the Indigenous Cultural Festival!
Continue your cultural journey to Miniature World, a part museum part art gallery that makes you feel like a giant. This cool place features a plethora of mini replicas of important events throughout history. Dubbed The Greatest Little Show On Earth, you’ll have over 85 displays to explore here.
Discover the history of Canada’s railroads. Experience what the early days of the circus were like in the city at the Wonderful World of the Circus. Marvel at the world’s tiniest operational sawmill, and more!
There are still plenty more masterpieces to discover at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. This gallery is home to 20000 artworks spread across several world-class galleries.
One of the focal points of this gallery is the permanent exhibit of Emily Carr, one of British Columbia’s most celebrated artists. Some of her famous works here include paintings of the province’s landscapes. But she’s particularly famous for her works depicting the lives of the First Nations people.
Mark Loria Gallery is another one of the city’s most visited art museums. See the best of the Pacific Northwest’s fine and tribal art here. Some of the displays here even come from Papua New Guinea!
Is Victoria Better Than Vancouver?
To say that one of these cities is better than the other outright is difficult. Both Victoria and Vancouver have their own charm and strengths. Thus, the better city between the two will depend on what you want out of your trip.
Vancouver is a bustling city that feels modern and sleek and has the energetic charm of a big city. Thus, Vancouver is better for you if you love being a city dweller.
Meanwhile, Victoria is significantly smaller. It has the charm of a small town, with a relaxed pace of life. If you’re more comfortable with a laid-back setting or if you want a more tranquil retreat, this is the better city for you.
Vancouver has all the urban amenities you need. A vibrant nightlife with casinos and bars, shopping malls, and more.
Victoria doesn’t have those. But what it lacks, it makes up for the fascinating heritage it has. Victoria feels like a British village, making you feel like you’re outside the country. It’s better for those who want a more exotic-feeling trip.
If you’re a nature lover, you can’t go wrong with both cities. Surrounded by water, both offer a plethora of water sports. The only question now is if you want to be closer to the wilderness or the mountains.
Vancouver is closer to the mountains, and they’re only an hour away. Victoria is closer to true wilderness. Strathcona Provincial Park and other scenic remote areas are at your fingertips in Victoria.
Is Victoria Cheaper or More Expensive Than Vancouver?
Victoria is now a pricier city than Vancouver. When visiting British Columbia’s capital, you’ll spend around 150 USD per day. But in Vancouver, you’ll spend around 116 USD daily on average.
A big chunk of your expenses goes to accommodation. If you’re traveling alone, this will cost you around 93 USD in Victoria and 72 in Vancouver. If you need a room for two, it’ll set you back 186 USD in Victoria and 144 USD in Vancouver.
Local transportation costs are pricey in Victoria, costing around 30 USD daily. In Vancouver, you’ll only spend around 10 USD daily. Keep in mind that Victoria is smaller, so you can get around the city easily on foot to save some money.
Food for a day is cheaper in Victoria, costing around 22 USD a day. In Vancouver, you’ll be spending around 26 USD a day.
Entertainment costs, including sightseeing, show and museum tickets, and more, cost around 38 USD in Victoria. The same expenses will only cost around 30 USD in Vancouver.
Alcoholic drinks for a day cost about the same in both cities, 13 USD. But this will still depend on your consumption and which bars you choose to go to.
Victoria vs. Vancouver Weather
Both cities enjoy some of the mildest climates in Canada. Although they’re close together, their weather has slight differences. Victoria is widely considered to have the best weather in Canada.
Victoria enjoys comfortable weather year-round. The city has dry, comfortable, warm summers with a constant breeze from the sea. Winters here are cold, wet, and cloudy, yet still comfortable.
Summer in Vancouver is dry and comfortable too. It can be cold and cloudy here and it regularly rains during winter.
Victoria has better weather though, as it gets more sun and less rain than Vancouver. Victoria has around 317 sunny days a year, while Vancouver has only 290 sunny days annually.
Victoria has around 72 rainy days yearly, while Vancouver has 192. Vancouver gets more than twice the amount of rain.
Annual temperatures in Victoria vary between 37 to 66 F (2.8 to 18.9 C). It rarely goes below 28 F (-2.2 C) or over 72 F (22.2 C) in the city.
The year-round temperature in Vancouver is between 35 to 73 F (1.7 to 22.8 C). Temperatures here rarely go below 24 F (-4.4 C) or over 80 F (26.7 C).
Is Victoria Close to Vancouver?
Victoria is pretty close to Vancouver. The straight-line distance between these two cities is only around 58 miles (93 km).
This only takes around 35 minutes to an hour of travel time on a plane. On a ferry, Victoria is around 4 hours away from Vancouver.
Victoria to Vancouver Distance
The distance from Victoria to Vancouver is not as simple as it seems. For one, you can choose two options based on the ferry terminal you choose to land in. Another consideration is your travel time to the ferry terminals.
The usual ferry taken on this trip starts at Swartz Bay in Victoria and to Tsawwassen in Vancouver. The distance between these two ferry terminals is around 28 miles (45 km).
But you still have to travel from Victoria to Swartz Bay and from Tsawwassen to Vancouver. The distance from Victoria to Swartz Bay is 20 miles (32 km). Once you arrive in Tsawwassen, you’ll have to travel 22 miles (36 km) to reach Vancouver.
All in all, the distance from Victoria to Vancouver is around 70 miles (113 km).
The other ferry option travels from Duke Point in Nanaimo to Tsawwassen. Between the two ferry terminals, you’ll travel around 44 miles (71 km).
But before you can travel to Vancouver via ferry, you need to get to Duke Point from Victoria. From Duke Point to Victoria, you need to travel around 70 miles (113 km). With this option, the distance between the two cities is 136 miles (219 km).
How to Get to Victoria From Vancouver
You have a few options when traveling from Victoria to Vancouver. You can take a ferry, seaplane, helicopter, or motorcoach.
Traveling via ferry is the usual way to travel between the two cities.
The first option starts at Swartz Bay and ends at Tsawwassen. This option takes around an hour and 35 minutes of travel time.
The second ferry option starts at Duke Point and ends at Tsawwassen. This trip takes around two hours to complete.
You can even travel from Victoria to Vancouver on a seaplane. This option starts at Victoria’s Inner Harbour and ends in Coal Harbour in Vancouver’s downtown. A seaplane is speedy, taking you to Vancouver in only 40 minutes.
Another fast way to get to Vancouver from Victoria is to take a helicopter to get stunning views of British Columbia’s beauty from above. Several helicopters travel between the two cities each day. And they only take around 35 minutes to take you to your destination.
The last option is to take a luxury motorcoach with BC Ferries Connector. This option takes you from downtown Victoria to downtown Vancouver. You can’t travel between the two cities, but these services take you on and off the ferry.
Do I Need to Reserve a Ferry From Vancouver to Victoria?
It’s best to make a reservation for your ferry tickets from Vancouver to Victoria. This is the most popular way to travel between these two cities, and seats run out fast. This is especially true on popular sailing days such as holiday weekends, Sunday afternoons, and Thursdays and Fridays.
If you don’t book in advance, you can always buy tickets on the day. But tickets are on a first-come-first-served basis. And you could wait for hours in line, affecting your travel plans.
Vancouver to Victoria Distance by Boat
The distance between these two cities by boat will depend on the ferry terminals you choose. In Vancouver, there is only one ferry terminal called Tsawwassen. But in Victoria, you can choose between Swartz Bay and Duke Point, the former being the most popular choice.
From Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, you’ll cover a distance of around 28 miles (45 km). And the distance between Tsawwassen and Duke Point is around 44 miles (71 km).
Keep in mind though that these ferry terminals are not within the cities themselves. You have to travel from Vancouver to Tsawwassen terminal first. And once you’re in Swartz Bay or Duke point, you need to travel by land again to reach Victoria.
The distance between Vancouver and Tsawwassen is around 22 miles (36 km).
If you arrive at Swartz Bay, you’ll cover a distance of 20 miles (32 km) to reach Victoria. So with this option, the total distance you’ll cover on land and sea is around 70 miles (113 km).
But if you arrive at Duke Point, you still need to travel 70 miles (113 km) to reach Victoria. And with this option, the total travel distance you’ll cover is 136 miles (219 km).
Vancouver to Victoria by Bus
You cannot travel from Vancouver to Victoria on land, but you can still travel between the two cities by bus. BC Ferries Connector offers motor coach services between the two cities, traveling from one downtown to the other. This luxury shuttle takes you on a journey with views of the Georgia Strait along the way!
BC Ferries Connector runs between Vancouver and Victoria daily. Its tickets cost around 71 USD, although the prices change from time to time. Thus, it’s best to check out the prices before your travel date to get more accurate pricing.
Keep in mind that seats for this service sell out fast. So make sure to make reservations in advance.
How to Get to Victoria From Vancouver by Car
You cannot travel from Victoria to Vancouver without crossing waters. But the ferry services between these two cities, BC Ferries, take both foot passengers and vehicles!
From Vancouver, you have to travel to Tsawwassen terminal, which is around 22 miles (36 km) north of Vancouver. This takes around 45 minutes of travel time.
From the Tsawwassen terminal, you’ll arrive at the Swartz Bay terminal. The ferry distance between these two terminals is around 28 miles (45 km). And this takes 1 hour and 35 minutes of travel time.
Once in Swartz Bay, you need to drive again to reach Victoria. From the terminal, you’ll have to drive around 20 miles (32 km) to complete your journey. This takes around 40 minutes of driving time.
Keep in mind that you can also choose between two other terminals in Vancouver and Victoria. From Vancouver, you can start your journey in Horseshoe Bay instead of Tsawwassen. And you can choose to arrive at the Duke Point terminal instead of Schwartz Bay.
On average, ferries leave from Vancouver for Victoria every two hours daily. But during the peak summer season, there will be more. The first ferries begin their trip at around 7 AM.
Driving Distance From Vancouver to Victoria
Unfortunately, you cannot travel from Vancouver to Victoria solely on land. You’ll have to cross waters along your trip, but you can take your vehicle on a ferry too.
You’ll still have to drive on your journey though, as the ferry terminals of each city aren’t in the downtown area.
From Vancouver, you’ll have to drive around 22 miles (36 km) to reach Tsawwassen terminal. From there, you can take a ferry to either Schwartz Bay or Duke Point.
Once you’re in Schwartz Bay, you’ll have to drive 20 miles (32 km) to reach Victoria. But if you arrive in Duke Point, you’ll have to travel 70 miles (113 km) to arrive in Victoria.
Thus, your total driving distance from Vancouver to Victoria via Schwartz Bay is around 42 miles (68 km). And your total driving distance on this journey via Duke Point is around 92 miles (148 km).
Can You Do a Day Trip to Victoria From Vancouver?
Being so close and easily accessible, the charming city of Victoria is the perfect day trip destination from Vancouver!
Ferries take you from Vancouver to Victoria in around 4 hours, depending on the terminal. This already includes the estimated driving time to and from the ferry terminals in either city.
Ferries often leave Vancouver from Victoria at around 7 AM daily. And with the travel time, you can arrive in Victoria at around 11 AM! This gives you enough time to explore Victoria and all its famous attractions.
But if you’re not keen on a ferry ride, you can always go on a bus tour to Victoria. With this option, you don’t have to think about the logistics of traveling on a ferry anymore. You can leave all the work to someone else and just enjoy your trip!
If you want to spend more time exploring Victoria, then travel by seaplane instead. This takes you to Victoria in only under an hour. And you’ll get stunning views of British Columbia from above along the way, giving you a glimpse of what awaits you in Victoria!
Cheapest Way to Get to Victoria From Vancouver
The cheapest way to travel from Victoria to Vancouver is to travel by bus. With BC Ferries connector, you’ll only have to pay around 16 to 45 USD for your trip. This is significantly cheaper than the other transportation options between the two cities.
Taking your car on a ferry would cost around 81 to 168 USD. And riding a seaplane from Victoria to Vancouver, although it’s the fastest option, costs around 110 to 370 USD.