A Free Self Guided Walking Tour of Downtown

Victoria is a vibrant city full of hidden gems, historical walks, beautiful views, and photo worthy spaces that are just begging to be discovered by you on your next trip! If you’re looking for a fun and free way to spend your day getting to know downtown Victoria’s best spots, look no further than this self guided walking tour- or just pick your favourites and a coffee shop from our suggested list to rest your feet at between destinations.


1. The Victoria Public Market

This indoor marketplace is full of vibrant local shops and wonders, all within a historic building that is a fantastic example of early 1900s architecture. From specialty artisans, to coffee roasters, to a beautiful fresh grocer- the market has something for everyone to marvel at. Check out their rotation of events for something fun to do while you’re in town!

2. Chinatown

Known for its gorgeous original architecture and vibrant community, this area of Victoria is a must see. The cultural significance is beautifully showcased through The Gate of Harmonious Interest- a truly beautiful gate marking the entrance to Chinatown, and the importance of the Chinese community in Victoria’s history.

3. Fan Tan Alley

Fan Tan Alley is the most narrow street in the country, measuring at its narrowest point only 0.9 metres (35 in) wide! Leading directly from Chinatown, walk through this street and discover a plethora of beloved local shops, including oddities, records and even ice cream! A photo in Fan Tan Alley is a must have for travellers and locals alike.

4. Market Square

Market Square is a series of linked historical buildings all joined together by a beautiful open air courtyard. Public washroom access, lots of photo opportunities, and a truly remarkable display of old brickwork are just the beginning of why Market Square is treasured by all who experience it.

5. Bastion Square

The entryway to Bastion Square is hard to miss- the large decorative arch welcomes visitors into the courtyard, where you can enjoy a gorgeous view of the harbor, take in the frequenting street performers, check out the dozens of shop fronts, or even to see the Bastion Square Public Market.

6. Waterfront

Enjoy the ever changing views and calming breezes by the moor in the centre of this famous heritage city, just steps from the historic streets and distinctive architecture. During the summer months, the harbour is the focus of festivals, shows and music- but you can usually find street performers expressing the vibrant arts culture of Victoria here year round.

7. Thunderbird Park

For over 80 years, Thunderbird Park has been a cultural staple of Victoria. The park is home to many totem poles (mostly Gitxsan, Haida, and Kwakwaka’wakw) and other First Nation monuments, and is a breathtaking stop for anyone looking to appreciate the true roots of the land we are on.

8. Pioneer Square / Christ Church Cathedral

Built in the Gothic style of the thirteenth century, the Christ Church Cathedral is a truly magnificent sight. Tour the beautiful roaming halls, stained glass work, or simply walk the grounds and the adjacent Pioneer Park, formerly known as “The Old Burying Grounds”. The park space was converted into a public monument in 1908, and retains some of the original headstones.

9. Antique Row on Fort Street

Fort Street is known as “Antique Row” because of its plethora of antique shops, bookstores, and hidden gem shops back in the 1980’s, and to this day still features some of the most unique architecture and favourite curiosities in the city. There are tons of little cafes, bars, and locally owned restaurants along the street as well, so you can pop in and rest your feet between window shopping adventures.

10. Ocean Island Relaxation!

After a long day of exploration, come back to your cozy starting point and enjoy a little rest and relaxation here at the Inn! Grab yourself a cup of tea and take a break in the lounge, cook yourself something tasty, or check out the bar for a drink amongst friends! Our staff will always be here for more recommendations for your next big adventure. Thanks for staying with us, and getting to know why we love to call Victoria home.



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