Best Museums and Art Galleries of Victoria, Victoria (Self Guided)

Victoria has some of the most interesting and fascinating museums dedicated to history, nature and arts. It is also a city with the most amazing and interesting art galleries, featuring art work from different times and places. Take the walking tour below to see some of the most famous art galleries in Victoria.
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Best Museums and Art Galleries of Victoria Map

Guide Name: Best Museums and Art Galleries of Victoria
Guide Location: Canada » Victoria (See other walking tours in Victoria)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
Author: alice
Emily Carr House

1) Emily Carr House (must see)

A National Historic Site of Canada, the Emily Carr House was the childhood home of Canadian painter Emily Carr and had a lasting impression on her paintings and writings.

The house passed through the Carr family for several years, before being sold to a private owner for use as a rental property. The building was extensively modernized following a fire in 1938. In 1964, MP David Groos saved the building from demolition and turned it over to the Emily Carr Foundation three years later, for use as an art gallery and school known as the Emily Carr Arts Centre. In 1976, the provincial government purchased the property and helped return the building to its original condition.

The building was extensively restored by two different architects, undoing many of the additions and modernizations that had been added to the house since the 19th century. It is currently an interpretive centre for Carr's art, writings and life.

Why You Should Visit:
Charming and very nostalgic place that definitely gives you a glimpse into history.
There are many of Carr's writings on display, together with some reproductions of her art.
The gardens are beautifully maintained and there's a small gift shop where good books about her life and her art are available.

Along the way, you may see many fine examples of older Victorian and craftsman style homes, many of them with very nice gardens.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 11am-4pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Royal British Columbia Museum

2) Royal British Columbia Museum (must see)

Founded in 1886, the Royal British Columbia Museum consists of The Province of British Columbia's natural and human history museum as well as the British Columbia Provincial Archives. The "Royal" title was approved by Queen Elizabeth II and bestowed by HRH Prince Philip in 1987, to coincide with a Royal tour of that year.

It includes three permanent galleries: natural history, modern history, and local First Nations’ history. The museum’s collections comprise approximately 7 million objects, including natural history specimens, artifacts, and archival records.

The natural history collections have 750,000 records of specimens almost exclusively from BC and neighbouring states, provinces, or territories. The collections are divided into eight disciplines: Entomology, Botany, Palaeontology, Ichthyology, Invertebrate Zoology, Herpetology, Mammalogy, and Ornithology.

The museum also hosts touring exhibitions. Previous exhibitions have included artifacts related to the RMS Titanic, Leonardo da Vinci, Egyptian artifacts, the Vikings, the British Columbia gold rushes and Genghis Khan. The Royal BC Museum partners with and houses the IMAX Victoria theater, which shows educational films as well as commercial entertainment.

Why You Should Visit:
The main museum in Victoria, BC. Huge section of anthropology, nice section on natural history and geology of Vancouver Island, but the most amazing is the one dedicated to an incredible reconstruction of entire sections of the city of Victoria during different historical periods.

Don't skip the outdoor section on the side of the main entrance. You can visit one of the original houses of the first big settlement in Victoria, totems, and a First Nation chief house, in a very nice and quiet setting. Otherwise, plan at least 3 hours to enjoy all the exhibitions (permanent and temporary).

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Art of Man Gallery

3) Art of Man Gallery

Art of Man Gallery is devoted to tribal art and features the culture and art work of the Haida, Iroquois, Cree and Inuit peoples. The exhibition is really amazing and fascinating. These works of art have been made by artists of different age groups.
Winchester Galleries

4) Winchester Galleries

Winchester Galleries opened way back in 1974 and since then it has been one of the best galleries in Victoria to see and buy Canadian art, both historical and modern. Among the artists they have on display here are: The Group of Seven, Ann Savage, Robert Pilot, Ann Kipling, Ric Evans and many others.
Opening hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Maritime Museum of British Columbia

5) Maritime Museum of British Columbia (must see)

The Maritime Museum of BC (MMBC) engages people with the maritime culture and history of the Pacific Northwest through rotating exhibits, educational and community-based programs, research services, and more.

Its rich collection of some 35,000 artefacts includes 800 models of ships and items related to the maritime heritage of BC. There is a reference library of 6,000 volumes including a collection of 200 titles of historical significance, an archival collection of records of local ship-owning and shipbuilding firms, logbooks, naval records, ships' plans of 1800 vessels, maps and charts, an art collection, and approximately 36,000 photographs. The collection also includes three historic small vessels: ''Tilikum'' (boat), the 38-foot (11.6m) modified aboriginal cedar canoe sailed westabout from Vancouver Island starting in 1901 to London, UK; Trekka, a 20.5-foot (6.2m) sailboat sailed around the world by her Victoria builder starting in 1954 – at the time the smallest yacht to have circumnavigated the globe; and Dorothy, a locally built 1897 fantail cutter currently under restoration.

Why You Should Visit:
Small museum that doesn't feel overwhelming; instead, much of its story-telling is through videos and interactive components.

Visit the media room and if you have the time for the "Around the Horn" narrated documentary it is well worth the price of admission.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-5pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Miniature World

6) Miniature World (must see)

Miniature World is an amazing museum and one of its kind. Animation, lighting and sound effects enhance more than 85 highly detailed miniature scenes. Displays include a circus, one of the world's largest doll houses, a Swiss Family Robinson tree house, Jack and the Beanstalk and a futuristic space diorama. Scenes illustrate historic battles, fairy tales, nursery rhymes, "Gulliver's Travels" and novels by Charles Dickens. The Great Canadian Railway exhibit re-creates rail transportation in the late 19th-century Canada.

Take your time and press the display buttons. You will watch trains, plane propellers, cars, a trolley, a castle door, goldfish, double-decker buses, a waterwheel (etc.) move within the dioramas.

Opening Hours:
Summer Hours: 9am-9pm; Winter-Spring: 9am-5pm
Alcheringa Gallery

7) Alcheringa Gallery

The Alcheringa Gallery exhibits tribal art and is one of the most visited art museums in Victoria city. Here, you can see the fine art of the Pacific Northwest and the tribal art of the South Pacific. All the coastal tribes are represented in Alcheringa's collection as also some fine tribal art form Papua New Guinea.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 10 - 6pm; Sunday: 12 - 5pm
Open Space

8) Open Space

Open Space is a non-profit organization that has been supporting contemporary artists, whose work is experimental and innovative, since 1976. It is an exhibition and performance centre and a working laboratory for contemporary artists.
Opening hours: Tuesday–Saturday: Noon–5:00 p.m.

Walking Tours in Victoria, British Columbia

Create Your Own Walk in Victoria

Create Your Own Walk in Victoria

Creating your own self-guided walk in Victoria is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Victoria Kids Entertainment Tour

Victoria Kids Entertainment Tour

Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia and a major tourist destination. There is a range of fascinating attractions for your children. Just take the tour below and visit some of these attractions that will entertain your children for sure.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 km
Victoria Daily Life Walking Tour

Victoria Daily Life Walking Tour

Victoria is a major tourist destination located in British Columbia and is known to contain some of the finest British style architecture in Canada. The tour below will take you through some of the day to day routine of the locals, so enjoy!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 km
Downtown Nightlife

Downtown Nightlife

Victoria's nightlife is diverse and bursting with vitality. We propose that you take a walk through some of the most interesting nightclubs in Victoria and choose the one that suits your taste the best.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
Best Known Religious Sights of Victoria

Best Known Religious Sights of Victoria

Victoria located in British Columbia has a rich history and interesting people to tell it. It also has some outstanding religious sights. We offer, below, a tour that will take you through some of the most interesting religious places in Victoria.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Beautiful Architecture Walking Tour

Beautiful Architecture Walking Tour

Victoria is among the most British of cities in North America. It is famous for its green areas and beautiful gardens and parks. There are some outstanding architectural structures that you can visit too. In the tour that follows, take a look at some of the most visited architectural sites in Victoria.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is a popular tourist destination in large part for its marvelous Victorian architecture, such as the stately Craigdarroch Castle mansion, museums, galleries and other attractions attesting to the city's British colonial past and more. Follow this orientation walk to see some of Victoria's main tourist attractions.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Victoria for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Victoria has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Victoria, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.