Parliament Buildings

#3 in Best Things To Do in Victoria & Vancouver Island
Parliament Buildings picture1 of 3
Parliament Buildings2 of 3
Courtesy of HikeVictoria.com and Tourism Victoria

Key Info

501 Belleville St.

Price & Hours

Free
Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Details

Sightseeing, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.6

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

The British Columbia Parliament Buildings are hard to miss. These neo-baroque structures with their impressive blue dome face off against Victoria's famed Fairmont Empress Hotel and make an excellent backdrop for an Inner Harbour stroll, especially at night when the facade is dressed in lights. But if you want a closer look at the building (which dates back to 1898), the parliamentary process and the history of the province, many travelers recommend a tour, raving about the well-informed guides. Although you can take a self-guided tour, you should consider tagging along on a free guided tour, according to recent visitors.

If you happen to be here when Parliament is in session, consider sitting in on one of the Legislative Assembly debates. You'll find a schedule of discussion topics on the Parliamentary Calendar. The Parliament Buildings are open every day during the summer from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On weekends, visitors must join a free public tour. During the winter, the buildings are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Complimentary guided tours run regularly throughout the day and last roughly 30 to 45 minutes. For more information, visit the British Columbia Parliament's visitor information website.

See all Hotels in Victoria & Vancouver Island »

More Best Things To Do in Victoria & Vancouver Island

Inner Harbour1 of 16
The Butchart Gardens2 of 16
Type
Time to Spend
#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

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The 50 Most Beautiful Places in the World

Let these gorgeous destinations inspire you to travel more.

Holly JohnsonJanuary 16, 2020

50 Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

From relaxing weekend getaways to epic adventures, these honeymoon trips will help couples create memories to last a lifetime.

Kyle McCarthyJanuary 8, 2020

The Cheapest Days to Fly: A Guide to the Best (and Worst) Times to Travel

Use these tips and tricks to get the best deal on your next flight.

Lyn MettlerDecember 23, 2019

30 Top Florida Weekend Getaways

Spend sun-filled days exploring Florida's beautiful beaches, cities, parks and small towns.

Gwen PratesiDecember 9, 2019

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerNovember 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

Kyle McCarthyNovember 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

Holly JohnsonNovember 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019