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Fairmont Empress Hotel

Fairmont Empress Hotel: Our most recommended tours and activities

Victoria: Half-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

1. Victoria: Half-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Experience Victoria in a unique way on board an open-top double-decker bus. Depart from right outside the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel then set off on a hop-on-hop-off tour to explore this charming city. From China Town to Oak Bay there is something for everyone.  As you ride the bus, listen to the fully narrated tour and gain an in-depth understanding of Victoria's local history and best attractions. Feel free to hop-off the bus at 15 different stop destinations - giving you an array of options to explore the city further.  Stops include Empress Hotel, Chinatown (Old Town), Bastion Square, Steamship Terminal, Fisherman's Wharf, Ogdeon Point (Breakwater), Beacon Hill Park, Mile 0 / Terry Fox, Christ Church Cathedral, Craigdarroch Castle, Oak Bay Municipal Hall, Oak Bay Marina, Oak Bay Hotel, Cook Street Village, and Chateau Victoria / Marriot / Dbl Tree.

From Vancouver: Butchart Gardens & Victoria Sightseeing Tour

2. From Vancouver: Butchart Gardens & Victoria Sightseeing Tour

Discover Victoria, the capital of British Columbia on a guided tour from Vancouver. See the Empress Hotel, the Parliament buildings and beautiful Butchart Gardens. Upon leaving Vancouver, take a scenic ferry ride from the mainland through the Gulf Islands to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island. From here, you will embark on a driving tour to Victoria. Discover Victoria’s downtown area featuring the Fisherman’s Wharf, the Inner Harbour, The Fairmont Empress Hotel, Mile 0 and the historic Chinatown. Enjoy some free time to explore downtown Victoria at your own pace. Next, visit the internationally renowned Butchart Gardens. This National Historic Site began with an exhausted limestone quarry that was transformed into the now picturesque Sunken Garden. Explore 55 acres of themed garden displays, including a Japanese Garden, Italian Garden and Rose Garden. Wind down your day with the scenic return sailing trip aboard BC Ferries, and then back to where your tour began.

Victoria: Downtown Food and City Tour

3. Victoria: Downtown Food and City Tour

Get out and about in downtown Victoria for an artisan food guided walking tour. Meet up with your local guide and get the in-the-know secrets of the foodie scene. Make several stops as you sightsee around the town, tasting delicious snacks and sampling local wines. First, meet inside the Steamship Terminal Building to begin your tour with a light snack. Stroll past the most iconic building of Victoria's inner harbor, and learn the history of the Empress Hotel and Legislature building. Make stops at 7 different foodie locations, and taste anything from Artisan wine from British Columbian wineries to unique Korean corn dogs. Try the halloumi kale salad, and sample some delicious cheese samples from the infamous cheese bistro. Don't worry, at the end, delight in a local dessert of decadent chocolate paired with fresh macarons.

Victoria and Butchart Gardens Christmas Tour

4. Victoria and Butchart Gardens Christmas Tour

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in downtown Vancover, and then board the boat at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal to take a scenic 1.5-hour cruise around the Gulf Islands. Look for marine wildlife on the outdoor deck as you make your way to Schwartz Bay on Vancouver Island. Drop anchor to explore the provincial capital of British Columbia. Get a short introduction to Victoria and enjoy some free time to look inside the unique shops of Government Street and Chinatown. Stroll along the Inner Harbour and get amazing ocean views. Take souvenir photos of the festive decorations of the Victoria Parliament Building and Fairmont Empress Hotel. Continue to the botanical paradise of Butchart Gardens and wander through a series of themed gardens to see the Christmas lights and holiday wreaths. Hear carols being sung and much more to experience the Magic of Christmas. Return to Schwartz Bay for the bus and ferry journey back to Vancouver.

Victoria: Scavenger Hunt and City Highlights Walking Tour

5. Victoria: Scavenger Hunt and City Highlights Walking Tour

Solve riddles and find clues on a self-guided scavenger hunt and walking tour through Victoria. Explore the city at your own pace and see iconic highlights like Parliament Building, Fairmont Empress, and many more.  You will receive the download instructions after booking the tour. After downloading the app to the Steamship Terminal and use the code to unlock the game in the app.  Use the hints to find the best sights and hidden gems throughout the city. During the adventure, you can also expect exciting photo tasks with a lot of creativity. You will get points if you master the snapshots. Along the way, you can stop for a coffee or a break at any time. Stroll through the picturesque streets and discover the real Victoria on this fun tour while working as a team. 

Victoria Harbor: Smartphone Audio Walking Tour with Trivia

6. Victoria Harbor: Smartphone Audio Walking Tour with Trivia

Begin in the heart of Victoria's Chinatown where you can check out Fan Tan Alley before making your way through the colorful and historic downtown center. Listen to information about some of Victoria's heritage buildings in the Market Square. Check out some unique architectural features like Waddington Alley and the Johnson Street Bridge. Stop for a bite at Murchie's Tea & Coffee, Garrick's Head Saloon, or Rogers Chocolates before heading to the beautiful inner harbor. Stroll along the water while you marvel at sites like the Grand Empress Hotel, the Royal BC Museum, the Parliament Buildings, and the Steamship Terminal. Walk David Foster Pathway and listen to the facinating commentary. Explore Thunderbird Park and Songhees Point and hear about the different people and creatures that call Victoria their home. Visit as many sights and attractions as you like at your own pace. Save your data with an offline tour.

Other Sightseeing Options in Fairmont Empress Hotel

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What people are saying about Fairmont Empress Hotel

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 223 reviews

very good trip! Personally, I will have stayed at least one night in Victoria to see the architecture, visit the museum, etc. but if you are like me pressed for time, then this day will give you a very nice overview. Finally, our guide was really up to it! interesting, funny and very pleasant! Thank you very much for this beautiful memorable day!

We had a great time on this tour. Our guide Ian was very knowledgeable about everything on the tour, had a great sense of humor and truly made the trip more enjoyable. Victoria is a beautiful city, and the Butchart Gardens are truly amazing. It was the perfect way to spend our limited time in the area. It was a great day!

Was a great experiences with a perfect guide/bus driver Zac. He is very knowledgeable and had all information we asked for. Thank you

Beautiful day to take the hop on hop off bus tour. Interesting info given throughout the tour by a charming a funny tour guide

It was breathtaking to see so many varieties of plants and the array of colour