Victoria, the capital of the province of British Columbia, has also been called the City of Gardens, and for good reason. During the summer, the street lamps are hung with specially crafted flower baskets, and one of the city's star attractions, Butchart Gardens, is in full bloom. With a population of just over three hundred thousand in the greater Victoria area, the city is a manageable size, and visitors will most likely spend the majority of their time in the downtown core, where most of the hostels and attractions are located within easy walking distance of each other. Visitors, especially those venturing further afield, may make use of the city's transit system, for which they can purchase bus passes and tickets as well as pay exact-change-only fares.
One of the attractions is the Royal British Columbia Museum, which houses exhibits outlining the history of British Columbia and the natural history of the area, and has a special section dedicated to the aboriginal peoples who first called this area home.
Victoria can be reached by ferry, seaplane, airplane, or car, depending on where visitors are arriving from, and has links to both the USA and Canada's mainland. Victoria hostels are located quite close to the downtown core. Visitors arriving by airplane, or by ferry from Vancouver, and hoping to take public transportation to their hostel will take an hour-long bus ride; it's a short walk from the bus stop to the hostel. Taxi cabs are expensive.
Visitors arriving by seaplane will arrive into the Inner Harbour, and their hostels are located about a fifteen-minute walk from the terminal. The downtown core is full of restaurants, pubs, and bars, and visitors will find a good selection of food. Visitors wishing to continue further up Vancouver island can do so by Pacific Coach Lines bus (the depot is located downtown) or by renting a car and driving themselves.
The city can be visited year-round, and unlike many other places in Canada, rarely has snow in the winter. Winters can be rainy, and the best times to visit are undoubtedly the late spring, summer, and early fall.