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Butchart Gardens: Day Trips and Tours from Victoria, British Columbia

Put Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, at the top of your must-visit list, as it's home to the world-famous Butchart Gardens. Day trips to the Butchart Gardens from Victoria are one of the most popular tour options on offer.

The Butchart Gardens is a spectacular floral wonderland home to themed gardens, exotic plants, sculptures, streams and fountains.  It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2004, now this breath-stealing display of flowers and color attracts over a million visitors annually.

You will find below everything you need to know about Butchart Gardens, one of the best destinations for day trips from Victoria.

How to get to the Butchart Gardens from Victoria

The Butchart Gardens is located in Brentwood Bay and can be easily accessed from anywhere in the city.  

From Victoria to the Butchart Gardens by car

Butchart Gardens is around 20 kilometers or a 30-minute drive from downtown Victoria using the Patricia Bay Hwy/BC-17.

From Victoria to the Butchart Gardens by bus/public transport

Hop on a bus and take in the sights using Route 75 (Saanichton Exchange) on the BC Transit System. The journey is just a 45-minute bus ride from downtown Victoria.

You can skip the traffic and take a ferry from the Port Angeles Coho Ferry Terminal or Seattle Clipper Ferry Terminal in downtown Victoria.

Guided tour to the Butchart Gardens from Victoria

If you’re looking for a convenient, hassle-free day trip to the Butchart Gardens, you are spoiled for choice for a wonderful visit to suit your needs. Most tours include transportation, entrance tickets and a tour guide. Specific hotel pickups and drop-offs are often an extra charge.

How much does the entrance ticket to the Butchart Gardens cost?

The entrance fee to the Butchart Gardens varies depending on the season. Tickets can be purchased online and at the gate. Credit cards and cash are accepted.

Butchart Gardens tickets for June 15 - Sept. 30

  • Adults: CA$38 (US$29)
  • Youth (3-17): CA$19 (US$14)
  • Child (5-12): CA$3 (US$2)

Butchart Gardens tickets for October

  • Adults: CA$31.80 (US$25)
  • Youth (3-17): CA$15.90 (US$12)
  • Child (5-12): CA$2 (US$1.50)

Butchart Gardens tickets for November

  • Adults; CA$24.75 (US$19)
  • Youth (3-17): CA$12.40 (US$10)
  • Child (5-12): CA$2 (US$1.50)

Butchart Gardens tickets for Dec. 1 - Jan. 6

  • Adults:  CA$34 (US$26)
  • Youth (3-17):  CA$17 (US$13)
  • Child (5-12): CA$3US$2)

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to the Butchart Gardens from Victoria?

Hop on a shuttle bus for a relaxing journey to the Butchart Gardens. Once you arrive, you can take in this floral paradise at your leisure, as you stroll down the sweet-smelling paths.

Explore the five different gardens, starting with the incredible Sunken Garden, as this signature garden is where the Butchart Gardens started.

Stop and smell the roses as you wander through the fragrant Rose Garden Arches, a perfect spot for an unforgettable selfie.

The serene Japanese Garden is another great relaxing spot, with 200 meters of flowing streams and over 70 Japanese maple trees. In the middle of this garden, you will find the magnificent Dragon Fountain.

If you've worked up a thirst, pay a visit to The Dining Room for afternoon tea or enjoy its fresh, seasonal menu. But don’t forget to book first as seating is limited.

After taking in all the sights, catch a shuttle back to downtown Victoria.

What kinds of tours are available to go to the Butchart Gardens?

Self-guided tour to the Butchart Gardens from Victoria

The self-guided day trip allows you to explore the Butchart Gardens at your leisure. The tour includes entrance fees to the Butchart Gardens and a shuttle service with a choice of departure and return times throughout the day.

The tour starts and ends at the Sightseeing Victoria Kiosk in front of the Fairmont Empress hotel. It does not include gratuities or hotel pickups and drop-offs.  

Private half-day tour to Butchart Gardens from Victoria plus a city tour

This informative four-hour tour shows you the wonders of downtown Victoria with visits to top attractions like Fisherman's Wharf, Parliament Buildings, the Empress Hotel, Beacon Hill Park, and Craigdarroch Castle, and ends at the Butchart Gardens.

Private tour to the Butchart Gardens with seaplane flight and afternoon tea from Victoria

This luxurious option is a great way to experience the marvels of the Butchart Gardens without the crowds. This five-hour private tour starts with a seaplane flight from Victoria to the gardens and includes a delicious 3-course dinner at the onsite restaurant.

Walk off your meal with a romantic stroll through the lush illuminated landscapes. The tour ends with a chauffeured limousine drive back to Victoria Harbor.

Day trip to the Butchart Gardens plus HCP gardens from Victoria

Maximize your flower sightseeing with this customized 3 to 5-hour tour with visits to four different attractions. The Butchart Gardens is the first stop, followed by a trip to The Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP).

Next up is the tropical paradise, Victoria Butterfly Gardens, home to thousands of butterflies, as well as poison dart frogs, large iguanas and free-flying tropical birds. The final stop, De Vine Vineyards, a craft distillery that makes spirits from local ingredients, is the perfect way to end your day.

How much does a tour to the Butchart Gardens from Victoria cost?

A self-guided tour through the Butchart Gardens costs US$60 per person. It includes a shuttle service with multiple pickups and departure times from downtown Victoria. This tour allow a maximum of 15 travelers who want to enjoy the activity together.

A private half-day Victoria City and the Butchart Gardens tour costs US$430 per group for up to seven people, and includes hotel pickup. This tour offers a flat rate group pricing only.

A day tour to the Butchart Gardens with a seaplane flight and afternoon tea starts from US$250. This incredible experience lets you avoid the crowds and offers spectacular aerial views of Vancouver Island.

A Butchart Gardens tour plus HCP gardens starts from US$315 per person and is done in a Tesla that seat up to four guests or six guests. The tour includes admission to four venues, a professional driver, a local guide and hotel or port pickups and drop-offs.

What will you see and do on a Butchart Gardens day trip from Victoria?

An explosion of colors, smells and sights, the Butchart Gardens is a creation of Jennie Butchart in 1912. She transformed the limestone quarry in her backyard, into a blooming wonderland that continues to amaze visitors.  

The beautifully designed flower beds, lily ponds, footbridges, fountains, sculptures and thematic landscapes are a sight to behold. This flower lover’s paradise boasts 55 acres of gardens with 900 bedding plant varieties and 26 greenhouses.

Stroll through the signature Sunken Garden and fragrant Rose Garden, and delight in the Japanese, Mediterranean and Italian gardens.

All that walking can build up a big appetite, but that’s easily satiated at the two onsite restaurants. The Dining Room is part of the original Butchart family residence, and it’s open daily for afternoon tea. It has limited seating from 11 AM to 3 PM, so make sure to book before you go.

The more relaxed Coffee Shop serves light fare, gourmet coffees and takeaways during Garden hours.

Take a stroll to the charming Rose Carousel that features a menagerie of 30 hand-carved wooden animals. This beautiful carousel will delight children and adults. A single ride costs CA$2 (US$1.55), while an 11-ride card is CA$20 (US$15.55)

If the magic of the Butchart Gardens inspires your green thumb, visit the Seed and Gift Store to pick up hand-packaged seeds or beautiful one-of-a-kind gifts made by local artisans.

When is the Butchart Gardens open over the year?

The gardens are open all year, but admission times vary depending on the season. It is best to visit the gardens during spring and summer when more flowers are in bloom.

What are the opening times?

The Butchart Gardens opens daily from 9 AM but has varying closing times depending on the season.

June 1 to Sept. 11

  • Monday – Wednesday: 9 AM - 5 PM
  • Thursday: 9 AM - 8 PM
  • Friday – Saturday: 9 AM - 9:30 PM
  • Sunday: 9 AM - 6:30 PM

September 12 to September 30

  • Monday - Sunday: 9 AM - 5 PM

October

  • Monday – Sunday: 9 AM - 4 PM

The Rose Carousel opens at 10 AM and closes at 5 PM on Monday to Thursday and at 10:45 PM on Friday and Saturday.

The Seed & Gift Store opens at 10 AM and closes at 6 PM on Monday to Saturday and 7:30 PM on Sundays.

When is the best time to visit the Butchart Gardens?

The best time to visit the Butchart Gardens is during summer, from July to August, for the live musical performances on the Concert Lawn, which is included in your admission ticket.

On Friday and Saturday nights from June to September, the garden is transformed with its Night Illuminations, which boasts thousands of twinkling lights.

Alternatively, a visit over Christmas is certain to spread festive cheer, as the park has a magnificent “Twelve Days of Christmas” display with lights and garlands.

Are there any tours to Butchart Gardens from other cities in Canada?

Yes, tours are departing from other cities in Canada:

Travel tips

  • Wear comfortable shoes, take a sunhat and water, and don’t forget the sunblock, as it can get very hot.
  • Plan properly to ensure you have enough time to explore the gardens, as there are many attractions to take in.
  • You can take photos in the garden, but drones and selfie sticks are not allowed.
  • Popular tours sell out quickly, so make sure you book in advance.