Victoria’s Old Town has enough things to do and sights to see to keep the curious visitor occupied for an entire day, from horse-and-carriage rides and walking tours to chalk artists and buskers. With many side streets and small squares to duck into, the area offers plenty of big shops and restaurants as well as smaller, independently owned boutiques and eye-catching street art. Old Town’s cobblestone streets wind together through alleyways where some of British Columbia's oldest and grandest architecture can be found. Curious pedestrians can begin at the Fairmont Empress Hotel
(Insider’s tip: For a truly spectacular experience, indulge in a full English afternoon tea session at the hotel) and head down the Victoria Inner Harbour Walkway toward Government Street.
When the weather's nice, Government Street is lined with musicians and performers, in addition to the cafes, specialty stores, gift shops and numerous pubs for the thirsty traveler. Look into the Canadian town's naval and shipping history at the Maritime Museum in Bastion Square, which was once the site of a Fort Victoria gun bastion, or stop for refreshments in Market Square, a beautifully restored historic site that long ago housed supply stores and shipping offices and now features more than 40 shops and restaurants.
The historic area of Victoria's Old Town is located just north of the Fairmont Empress Hotel and includes the north-to-south-running Wharf, Government and Douglas streets, crossed by Johnson, Yates, View and Fort streets running east to west.