Photo spots in Victoria
Located on the west coast of Canada on Vancouver Island, the city of Victoria is a spectacular destination to visit. Between hip eateries, trendy shops, historic neighbourhoods, and stunning natural landscapes, there’s much to explore in Victoria. Known as The City of Gardens, there is beauty around every corner. And that means plenty of opportunities for incredible photos! Here at Flytographer, having captured over four million memories worldwide, we connect people with trusted photographers for fun photo shoots. We asked our local photographers in Victoria to share the best spots for pictures in the city. Let’s walk through the best places to take photos in Victoria — home to Flytographer’s HQ! 📸
1. Beacon Hill Park
At the edge of downtown Victoria, you’ll find Beacon Hill Park, the biggest park in all of Greater Victoria. This is a fabulous spot to view local nature. 🌳 The 740,000 square-meter park is home to protected ecosystems, such as the Garry Oak ecosystem prevalent throughout the city.
Beacon Hill Park has an extensive pathway system. Take time to wander through the winding trails. You will come across several ponds, stone bridges, vibrant floral gardens, and gorgeous weeping willows. The park is also a popular leisure site, with tennis courts, lawn bowling, a cricket pitch, playgrounds, and other facilities available for use.
For a family-friendly activity, be sure to visit Beacon Hill Children’s Farm, where you can view peacocks, sheep, pigs, and more. There’s even a petting zoo where you can interact with goats. It is especially fun in the springtime when the baby goats are around! 🐐
2. Dallas Road Beach
After exploring Beacon Hill Park, you’ll find Dallas Road at the park’s southern border. This is a popular walking spot for locals — and for good reason! The Dallas Road waterfront has a four-kilometer pathway that stretches the entire coastline from Ogden Point Breakwater to Ross Bay. From walking to jogging to rollerskating to cycling, you’ll see people enjoying all types of activities along the pathway. On a windy day, you’ll even see parasailers and kiteboarders taking advantage of the waves! 🪂
And the best part? Sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean with the Olympic Mountains draped across the skyline. This is a truly awe-inspiring view. And one of the best places to take photos in Victoria! 🌊🏔️
3. Parliament Buildings
As a prominent feature on Victoria’s Inner Harbour, the Parliament Buildings are an iconic Victoria landmark. With style described as ‘free classical and renaissance’, architect Francis M. Rattenbury experimented with varying architectural techniques to create this majestic building. The building also showcases some of British Columbia’s own local resources, including granite, slate, and copper.
The Parliament Buildings are surrounded by lush green grounds, complete with an impressive water fountain at the front of the building. This is a great spot for an incredible photo! Pose in front of the fountain with sprawling grounds and the Parliament Buildings behind them for a truly fantastic shot. 📸
💡 Travel tip: From May to September, the Parliament Buildings are open to the public for free daily guided tours. Take part in a tour to learn more about the history of the buildings and the workings of the Legislative Assembly.
4. Empress Hotel
Just steps away from the Parliament Buildings is one of Victoria’s top hotels, the Fairmont Empress. The hotel was built in the early 20th century for the Canadian Pacific Railway and is recognized as a National Historic Site due to its chateau-style architecture. 🏰
Red brick and pointed towers give a castle-like appearance to this historic building. The light emphasizes its impressive facades at sunset, making this an excellent location for a sunset photoshoot in Victoria.
If you’re looking to experience Victoria’s classic afternoon tea, this is the place to do it! Enjoy views of the Inner Harbour as you savour bite-sized treats and unique teas. 🫖
Victoria’s Chinatown pays homage to the culture brought to Canada by Chinese immigrants over 150 years ago. Now a National Historic Site, Chinatown is home to a vibrant mix of traditional Chinese culture and modern businesses. Marked by the ornate Gate of Harmonious Interest on Fisgard Street, the neighbourhood is lined with lively eateries and Asian markets where you can purchase specialty ingredients and traditional gifts.
For great photos, visit the famous Fan Tan Alley, Canada’s narrowest alleyway. Red brickwork, paper lanterns, and Chinese-style architecture create a unique experience unlike anything else in the city. This makes the alley one of the most Instagrammable places in Victoria!
📸 Photo tip: The best time of day to visit Fan Tan Alley is early in the morning, as it is a trendy spot for locals and visitors alike.
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6. Fisherman’s Wharf
You’ll find Fisherman’s Wharf just a short walk from Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Vibrantly hued houseboats line the boardwalks making for one of the best places to take photos in Victoria. There are plenty of available food kiosks, and it’s a great place to enjoy fresh fish and chips. There is also a quiet park nearby if you’re looking to get away from the crowd, perfect for a picnic lunch with space for the kids to play.
Walk to the end of the boardwalks to take in panoramic views of downtown Victoria, the Inner Harbour, and Vic West — an up-and-coming neighbourhood adjacent to downtown. You’ll see kayakers, paddleboarders, water taxis, ferries, and even seaplanes within the harbour.
For those looking for an adventure, you can rent kayaks or fishing charters. You can even book whale-watching tours from this area. 🐋
7. Craigdarroch Castle
Craigdarroch Castle is a National Historic Site built in 1890 by Robert Dunsmuir, a wealthy coal investor. The building is a ‘bonanza castle’, a large house built for business owners as a symbol of their success.
Today, Craigdarroch Castle operates as a museum, offering a quintessential Victorian experience to those who visit. Situated atop a hill in the quaint Fairfield neighbourhood, the castle is a striking visual both inside and out. Stone-brick facades, red roof tiles, and towering turrets create an awe-inspiring welcome. Inside, exquisite stained glass windows, intricate woodwork, Victorian-era furniture, and gold details create a feast for the eyes. 😍 Take a self-guided tour to walk through the history of the property. For the best views in Victoria, climb to the top of the grand oak staircase to reach the main tower and marvel at the sweeping 360-degree view of the area.
8. Market Square
Market Square in Old Town, one of Victoria’s oldest landmarks, is just a short walk away from notable areas such as Chinatown and the Inner Harbour. A favourite spot for locals, this is a must-visit attraction!
Historic brick-and-beam buildings surround an open-air courtyard where you can relax and enjoy treats from hip local breweries and coffee shops. From there, explore trendy Lower Johnson Street, known locally as LoJo. Locally-owned boutiques and shops line the area, a fabulous place for those interested in fashion, jewellery, home decor, and more. This is also one of the most Instagrammable places in the city, as the heritage buildings lining the street are vibrantly hued, and the Johnson Street Bridge beams in the background. So stop by and enjoy one of the best places to take photos in Victoria! 📸
9. Mount Douglas Park
If you want to wander off the beaten path, a visit to Mount Douglas Park is ideal! Known as Mount Doug to locals, this is a popular hiking spot and is only a 25-minute drive from downtown Victoria.
There’s a lot to explore! The park includes a mountain, forested walking trails, and an expansive beach. Mount Doug Beach’s rocky coastline offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Olympic Mountains if you’re interested in beachy views. Be sure to visit at low tide to catch the sandy stretch of the beach.
Mount Doug is also a great spot to experience the Pacific Northwest’s extensive forests. You can choose to drive or hike up the mountain, where you’ll find a 360-degree view of the entire Greater Victoria area. Visit before sunset to take advantage of the golden hour and snap some beautiful photos with fabulous background views. 🌅
10. Butchart Gardens
Butchart Gardens, the crowning jewel of Greater Victoria, is a must-see if you’re looking to experience the City of Gardens in all its glory. 🌹 The gardens are maintained throughout the year, so it is gorgeous no matter what time you visit.
Located on the Saanich Peninsula and 30 minutes from downtown Victoria, Butchart Gardens is ideal for a day trip and one of the best places to take photos in Victoria! Spanning over 55 acres, this National Historic Site is home to various gardens, including the Sunken Garden, Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, Mediterranean Garden, and more. Each spot showcases a unique variety of plants and flowers, making for countless photo opportunities.
✨Butchart Gardens is extra special during the holiday season, as the gardens come to life with a glittering display of lights – a must-see if you visit Victoria in the wintertime.
Capturing memories in Victoria
There is no doubt about it! Victoria is a charming destination for a getaway. Whatever you choose to do, the capital city will leave you in awe of its stunning landmarks, fascinating historical sites, vibrant neighbourhoods, and gorgeous nature. Book a Flytographer shoot to capture your memories in this lively city full of personality. ✨
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