Fairmont Empress#7 in Best Things To Do in Victoria & Vancouver Island
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.
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#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.
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