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Getting Around Victoria BC

Thankfully almost everyone has GPS these days because getting around Victoria can be more complicated than you think it should be.

Many cities are built on a bit of a grid system with streets running north-south and avenues running east-west – or some variation of that. But when your city is built around the craggy shoreline of an island, things aren’t always that simple.

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Getting around Victoria is mainly a challenge due to the seemingly endless names for the same road. It seems every time you turn a corner or go around a curve, the road name changes – even if you are still on the same road!

Must readQuirky things you need to know to drive around Victoria

And we don’t do the greatest job with street signs either. When driving, it is fairly easy to see the name of the road you are passing, but signage telling you what street you are already on, is sorely lacking. So, when you’re lost and you don’t even know what road you’re on, the names of the roads you are passing does little good.

Bottom line when driving around Victoria – trust your GPS! Or better yet, hire a trusty tour guide and leave the driving to us.

Other ways of getting around Victoria

BC Transit

Public transit is a safe, reliable option for visitors in Victoria. For $5 you can purchase a day pass from any driver and you’re good to hop on and off as many times as you like for a full day. In addition to the boarding flexibility, a pass-carrying customer can bring up to four children, 12 years and under, on board for free.

Many of our regular fleet buses are double-deckers which is a thrill for most riders. One of my father-in-law’s favourite Victoria memories is riding around on a double-decker with his grandson!

The bus routes and schedules are especially good getting to and from hospitals and schools, including The University of Victoria and Camosun College.

Horse Drawn Carriage Ride

Horse drawn carriages are to Victoria what Venetian boats are to Venice – iconic transportation. When you combine old world charm with knowledgeable guides, it’s easy to see why carriage rides are so popular. Hail your ride along Menzies Street, beside the British Columbia Parliament Buildings (across the street from the Coho and Clipper ferry terminals). 

Pedicab

One of the most unique ways of getting around Victoria is in a pedicab. These human-powered bikes can hold up to four passengers. Many of the operators cater to the cruise ship passengers with pick up right at the terminal. Book tours up to 5 ½ hours in length, sit back and enjoy your attentive, professional driver who will take you on a journey you won’t forget. Wind through historic James Bay past Victoria landmarks and into the Inner Harbour. Maybe even stop for a brew and some grub. These tours fill up quickly, book yours today

Harbour Ferry

Whether you take a short cruise down the scenic Gorge Waterway or as a water taxi from Fisherman’s Wharf to Spinnakers or any of the 14 convenient locations, harbour ferries are integral part of the transportation network.

Harbour ferries/water taxis are an expedient way of getting around Victoria to visit multiple attractions, restaurants and landmarks in a short period of time. Fares are based on the length of your travel and which stop you hop off at.

On Sunday mornings at 10:45 from May through September, the Inner Harbour is the place to be for the delightful (and free) Harbour Ferry Ballet. You don’t want to miss this!

Other transportation options:

  • Walking – with a walk score of 99 in the downtown core, it’s a walker’s paradise (food tours are one of the most popular walking tours downtown).
  • Cycling – more and more dedicated bike lanes are being built every year, improving our already impressive bike score of 75 (according to walkscore.com)
  • Scooters – rent a scooter and see town on your own schedule
  • Taxi cab – Bluebird and Yellow Cab are the most popular choices 

As of January 2020, Uber and Lyft have been given the go-ahead to operate in the Lower Mainland but as of October 2021, Greater Victoria is still waiting for a company to begin operations here.  

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