Fairmont Empress

#7 in Best Things To Do in Victoria & Vancouver Island
Fairmont Empress picture
Fairmont Empress
1 of 3
Courtesy Tourism Victoria

Key Info

721 Government Street

Price & Hours

CA$78 (about $60)
11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily

Details

Cafes, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 3.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Challenging the Parliament Buildings from across the Inner Harbour is the elegant Fairmont Empress hotel. Built in the early 20th century, the Empress is one of the region's oldest hotels. But while the interior decoration is worth a photo or two, the main reason to visit this colossal hotel (if you aren’t staying there) is for the tea. The Empress has been participating in this time-honored Victorian tradition since opening its doors, and according to travel experts and recent visitors, teatime continues to be a decadent affair here. (Fun fact: The tea served at the Empress is the hotel's own specially crafted brand.)

Although most Victoria visitors pass on high tea at the Empress due to its high price tag (around CA$78 or $61 per person), some visitors say that the experience is worth the money. If you're interested in experiencing more than just its famous tea service, consider staying at the Fairmont Empress while in Victoria, which lodgers love for its Old World feel. For more information, visit the hotel's website.

See all Hotels in Victoria & Vancouver Island »

More Best Things To Do in Victoria & Vancouver Island

Inner Harbour
The Butchart Gardens
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 16
#1 Inner Harbour

The Inner Harbour is Victoria's primary tourist neighborhood. The harbor itself – home to various fishing boats and colorful floating homes – is framed by wide pedestrian streets, often frequented by street vendors and buskers. Numerous cafes and restaurants line the sidewalks and provide the perfect locale to savor an afternoon cup of tea while keeping your eyes peeled for whales playing in the open water. The Inner Harbour also hosts some of Victoria's most popular attractions, including the Royal British Columbia Museum and the Parliament Buildings. If you're embarking on a boat or ferry tour, this is where you'll likely start your journey.

Although the majority of recent visitors recommended spending a few hours at the Inner Harbour for the view, some suggested devoting at least half a day as there is always something interesting to see and do. For an even more charming scene, return in the evening, when the Parliament Buildings are lit up. 

Read more
S. Greg Panosian/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Victoria & Vancouver Island »

Explore More of Victoria & Vancouver Island

Recommended

The 6 Best New York City Bus Tours

Let a trained driver worry about the traffic while you enjoy the Big Apple's best sights.

Holly JohnsonMay 24, 2019

12 Top Texas Wineries to Visit

From the Texas Hill Country to the Texas High Plains, the Lone Star State offers top-notch wineries for oenophiles.

Kyle McCarthyMay 23, 2019

The 7 Best San Francisco Bus Tours

Visit the top attractions in this hilly city without breaking a sweat.

Lyn MettlerMay 22, 2019

The 15 Best Washington, D.C., Tours

The nation's capital has more to offer than free museums and tons of history.

Kim Foley MacKinnonMay 22, 2019

10 Amazing Montana Vacations

Breathtaking landscapes and year-round outdoor adventures will inspire you to visit Big Sky Country.

Gwen PratesiMay 20, 2019

The 13 Best Savannah Tours

Experience real southern hospitality when visiting Savannah with these top tours.

John RodwanMay 16, 2019

The 15 Best Boston Tours

Get to know one of America's most historic cities with these tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonMay 14, 2019

The 18 Best New Orleans Tours

With so much to see and do in New Orleans, these tours will help you maximize your time in the Big Easy.

Claire LawtonMay 10, 2019

The 7 Best Chicago Boat Tours

These low-key tours offer unique views of a city famed for its skyline.

Holly JohnsonMay 9, 2019

30 Cheap Weekend Getaways in the USA

From beach destinations to amusement parks, these vacations are perfect for an affordable and quick trip.

Holly JohnsonMay 9, 2019