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Double-decker buses, afternoon tea, homes that look like castles, and pubs with names like the Sticky Wicket and the Penny Farthing... Victoria has long traded on its British affiliations. But while the fish-and-chips remain first class and summer cricket games still enliven Beacon Hill Park, the days when Victoria was more British than Britain are long gone. In Victoria 2.0, the food culture embraces fusion, the beer leans toward craft brews and the abundance of bicycles seems to have more in common with Holland than England.

Compared to the glassy skyscrapers of Vancouver, Victoria is more laid back and low rise. On balmy summer days, a distinct holiday atmosphere takes over as people pile off the ferries to escape the mayhem of the mainland and forget work. Sure, Victoria might have become trendier and more sophisticated in recent years but, in pace and essence, it remains comfortingly old fashioned.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Victoria.