Where to Stay in Victoria: Tips and Ideas to Help You Decide

When planning a visit to our beautiful city, one of the first considerations is where to stay in Victoria BC. This charming city on the southern tip of Vancouver Island offers no shortage of accommodation options to suit every traveler's preference. From luxurious waterfront hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts nestled in quaint neighborhoods. Choosing the right place to stay can significantly enhance your experience in this beautiful destination. In this guide, we'll delve into the various areas and considerations to keep in mind when deciding where to stay in Victoria, BC.

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Considerations When Choosing Where to Stay in Victoria

Before diving into specific neighbourhoods and accommodation types, it's essential to consider a few key factors that can influence your decision:

Parkside Hotel in Victoria BC


  • Downtown vs. Surrounding Areas: Decide whether you want to stay in the heart of downtown Victoria or in a quieter neighbourhood outside the city center.
  • Proximity to Attractions: Consider the proximity of your accommodation to major attractions, such as the Inner Harbour, Save-On Foods Memorial Centre, Royal BC Museum, Butchart Gardens and Beacon Hill Park.


  • Accommodation Types: Victoria offers a range of options, from budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses to luxury hotels. Budget is often the biggest influence when deciding where to stay in Victoria.
  • Seasonal Pricing: Prices can fluctuate depending on the time of year, with peak tourist seasons (summer and major holidays) typically being more expensive.


  • Accessibility: Check for convenient access to public transportation options, such as buses or the BC Ferries terminal, especially if you're planning to explore beyond Victoria.
  • Parking: Check where parking is relative to your accommodations; not all downtown hotels have on-site parking.

Amenities and Services

  • Facilities: Determine what amenities are important to you, such as free Wi-Fi, pet-friendly suites, parking, on-site dining, fitness centers or spa services.
  • Reviews and Ratings: Get a personal review ideally but if not, read as many guest reviews as you can find to gauge the quality of service and overall guest experience. 

Local Charm

  • Neighbourhood Vibe: Each neighbourhood in Victoria has its own unique atmosphere, from historic streets lined with heritage buildings to modern developments overlooking the waterfront.

Neighbourhoods to Consider

Victoria is divided into distinct neighbourhoods, each offering a different experience. Here are some popular areas to consider when deciding where to stay in Victoria:

Downtown Victoria

  • Highlights: Bustling streets, historic landmarks, boutique shops and a wide range of dining options.
  • Accommodation: Luxury hotels, boutique inns and budget-friendly options like hostels and guesthouses.
  • Attractions: Inner Harbour, Royal BC Museum, British Columbia Legislature, Historic Chinatown and Beacon Hill Park.

Find my top 10 hotels in downtown Victoria here

James Bay

  • Highlights: Quiet residential area close to downtown, some with scenic waterfront views.
  • Accommodation: Charming bed and breakfasts, boutique hotels and vacation rentals.
  • Attractions: Fisherman's Wharf, Dallas Road waterfront and proximity to Beacon Hill Park.

Oak Bay

  • Highlights: Upscale residential neighborhood with a village-like atmosphere, several dining options.
  • Accommodation: Luxury hotels and seaside inns.
  • Attractions: Oak Bay Marina, Victoria Golf Club, art galleries, shopping and beautiful beaches.


  • Highlights: Iconic harbour views, close to major attractions and transportation hubs.
  • Accommodation: Waterfront hotels such as The Empress, Hotel Grande Pacific and Ocean Pointe Resort offering spectacular views of the harbour.
  • Attractions: Royal BC Museum, BC Legislature, Empress Hotel and whale watching tours.


  • Highlights: Up and coming neighbourhood with a unique mixture of industry and natural scenery. 
  • Accommodation: Vintage motor inns and renovated boutique hotels 
  • Attractions: Electric boat cruises on the Gorge Waterway, Selkirk Trestle and Wheelies Motorcycles - a restaurant, retail store and old chopper shop who specialize in gourmet locally sourced food, specialty coffee, craft beer and of course old harley choppers. Motorbikes not required to visit

Sidney-by-the-Sea/Saanich Peninsula

  • Highlights: Quaint seaside village with good walkability 
  • Accommodation: Waterfront hotels and suites, economical options convenient to airport and ferries
  • Attractions: Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, Sidney Pier and waterfront trail, BC Aviation Museum, Butchart Gardens

Accommodation Recommendations

Victoria boasts a diverse selection of accommodation choices catering to different preferences and budgets. The following list highlights just a portion of the available rooms in the Greater Victoria area, and these are my personal recommendations for family and friends. They are situated across the region, so it's important to verify the location aligns with your requirements before making a booking.

Hotels and Resorts

Motels and Inns

Bed and Breakfasts

Abbeymoore B&B in Victoria BC
  • Abbeymoore Manor - Oak Bay border
  • Dashwood Manor Seaside Bed & Breakfast - James Bay
  • Abigail's Hotel - Downtown
  • Birds of a Feather Victoria Ocean Lagoon B&B - Colwood
  • Humboldt House Bed & Breakfast - Downtown border

Check details of 25+ B&Bs in Greater Victoria here

Vacation Rentals

  • VRBO and Airbnb: Choose from apartments, cottages, and waterfront homes for a more personalized experience. NOTE: In 2024, The Province of British Columbia introduced legislation regulating short-term rentals. Victoria is one of the communities that falls under this legislation which has affected numerous properties previously available on VRBO and Airbnb platforms. Valid hosts will be required to include a provincial registration number on their listing. It is recommended you ensure the property you are considering is in compliance with this legislation to avoid any last-minute cancellations. 

Hostels and Budget Accommodations

  • HI Victoria Hostel: Ideal for budget-conscious travelers seeking a social atmosphere.
  • Ocean Island Inn: Affordable and centrally located hostel offering private rooms and dormitories.
  • University of Victoria: Ideal for budget-conscious travelers who are attending events hosted at the University or who don't mind staying outside the downtown core; available for short durations only when school is not in session.

Final Tips for a Memorable Stay

  • Book in Advance: Especially during peak seasons, securing accommodation early ensures availability and potentially better rates.
  • Explore Beyond Downtown: Consider staying in neighborhoods like James Bay or Oak Bay for a more relaxed and local experience.
  • Local Recommendations: Don't hesitate to ask locals or accommodation staff for insider tips on hidden gems and lesser-known attractions.

Victoria, BC, offers a delightful blend of natural beauty, cultural richness and warm hospitality. Choosing the right place to stay can enhance your visit and allow you to immerse yourself fully in the charm of this coastal city. Whether you opt for a luxurious waterfront hotel, a cozy bed and breakfast or a unique vacation rental, Victoria promises a memorable stay that will leave you wanting to return again and again.

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