Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria

33 Reviews

675 Belleville Street 888 447 7977

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  • Royal British Columbia Museum
    by shavy
  • Royal British Columbia Museum
    by shavy
  • Royal British Columbia Museum
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  • shavy's Profile Photo

    Very Interesting Museum

    by shavy Updated Jul 2, 2014
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    Just a short walk from the center, the museum lies on a beautiful urban park has many acres of gardens, ponds, trails. Victoria is compact easy to navigate on foot and if you intend to visit from one place to another the only way of doing it is on foot, there are tours offer if you like to join the bus they stop in front of the museum as well

    The museum has very interesting collection, in this place natural human and contemporary history brought to life in immersive, some of the most detailed displays that make this museum famous, there is an interactive area for family with young children where they can touch and explore using microscope like devices and other visual aided apparatus

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  • charlenemixa's Profile Photo

    Excellent Museum

    by charlenemixa Written May 30, 2014

    Our tour included the opportunity to visit a local attraction and we selected the Royal British Columbia Museum. One could easily spend a full day seeing the sections and exhibits of the museum. The First People’s Gallery provides dramatic glimpses of the First People (Canadians refer to American Indians as the First People) before and after the arrival of the Europeans. Our visit was short be we thoroughly enjoyed this excellent museum

    TIP: If you are on a tour, grab a quick lunch to allow more time for the Museum or even better plan to stay in Victoria overnight. You will definitely be glad you did!

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  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

    From Dinosaurs to IMAX

    by pieter_jan_v Updated Oct 5, 2012
    The Royal BC Museum - Victoria BC
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    The Royal BC Museum has a collection of 14.000.000+ objects and documents. The best are on display spread over theme rooms on the third floors of the building.
    Besides of the museum, there is an IMAX theater, the archives, a shop and a cafe.

    Admittance
    -CAD 16.00 (Museum adult)
    -CAD 11.80 (IMAX thater adult)
    -CAD 25.50 (Museum + IMAX adult)

    Opening times:
    Museum, shop and Cafe: 10AM – 5PM
    Archives: Weekdays 10AM - 4PM
    IMAX: 10AM – 8PM

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  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Entire History of the Province in Two Floors

    by glabah Updated Jan 28, 2011

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    Main Entrance to Royal BC Museum from Empress
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    This museum is well known, and on all the tourists "to do" lists you will find everywhere. We hear about it even in Portland, Oregon as an example of how a museum should be done and an inspiration for all. The museum covers just about everything that has to do with British Columbia history.

    The ground floor is devoted to the gift shops, the café, ticket selling, and the IMAX theatre entrance.

    The second floor has one section that is a rotating displays of various types, but the majority of the floor is devoted to the natural history of the province, including climate, animals past (including their reasonably well known woolly mammoth reproduction) and present, and ecosystems (land and water).

    The third floor is the human history of the province, with two sections: First Nations and after the settlement from the outside world.

    The First Nations collection is impressive in its own right. It follows the history and artwork of the people from their earliest known traces to the establishment of regional trade networks, and the start of interaction with colonial powers, up to and including the year a smallpox epidemic caused massive dying off of many of the First Nations, and abandonment of a number of their towns. Several sections include a brief mention of newly established treaties and the hope that some of the First Nations people have in their future.

    The post colonial section features everything from a reproduced small town to mining machinery and even a full size reproduction of half of one of the early explorer's ships, a working water wheel of the type used in a number of early industrial efforts, and dozens of other items from the more modern BC History.

    Scattered into various other parts of the museum (for example, the hallways leading to the rest rooms, or the passages between the entryway and the museum café) you will find various other photographs, specimens, and artwork relevant to the history of British Columbia. Even a small corridor hidden beneath the entrance to the First Nations section of the museum, which is a short dead-end staircase leading to an emergency exit, is decorated with small plaques of significance to the history of the province. So, even if you think you have explored everything this museum has to offer, take a closer look and you will probably find some interesting bits and pieces that you had never seen before.

    Photography is allowed in the museum, but flash photography is strictly prohibited.

    Many of the sections of the displays are somewhat maze like: there are multiple different choices to pass through them, and so to see everything you will need to go back through the display a second time and explore a second staircase or side passageway that leads to a different section. The various staircases in the First Nations and modern BC sections are particularly this way.

    Unfortunately, some sections of the museum would be difficult to get to in a wheelchair or otherwise not using the stairs. There are elevators, and much of the museum is set up for wheelchair access, and those needing wheelchair or other handicapped access should ask for more details from the museum.

    When you visit, be sure to also explore the surrounding grounds of the museum. This includes Thunderbird Park, which features a number of historical British Columbia artifacts and the oldest surviving building in British Columbia to be open to the public and sitting on its original foundation. There are also small artworks, a native plant garden, and other items scattered about the grounds.

    Museum tickets are $14.29, but are subject to the 12% harmonized sales tax bringing the total to $16. I purchased my ticket on the Victoria Clipper for USA$16. You can purchase a ticket to the IMAX theatre with a museum ticket to get a discount.

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  • mtncorg's Profile Photo

    ROYAL BRITISH COLUMBIA MUSEUM

    by mtncorg Written Mar 23, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Museum and Provincial Archive complex
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    Dating back to 1886, the museum gained its “Royal” title when Queen Elizabeth II visited in 1986. Here, you can learn, in three floors, all about the history, geography, economy, anthropology, and culture of British Columbia. There is also an IMAX theater and the B.C Provincial Archives located here. Outside you can find several historic buildings and a group of totem poles making up Thunderbird Park.

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  • cinthya_in_victoria's Profile Photo

    Royal BC Museum

    by cinthya_in_victoria Updated Jul 8, 2008

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    This museum hosts three permanent galleries and an IMAX theatre.
    The modern history gallery displays collections of artifacts of the 20th century such as typewriters, clothing, a Bryan Adams' concert announcement, etc. The next gallery is a replica of Victoria's streets of early 20th century including a hotel, a mude movie theatre (where you actually can sit down and enjoy a mude movie), a Chinatown, a house, etc. Everything well decorated as in those years.

    The First People's gallery is a First Nations exhibit which has totem poles, masks, etc. and the natural gallery offers a climate change exhibition as well as real-size wildlife, the popular mammoth and displays the conditions and diverse geography of BC.
    It also offers temporary exhibitions; by the time I was living there, it had an exhibition of Dinosaurs' bones.

    Even though you can take picutres in the temporary and the natural exhititions, you can't in the modern history gallery (but if you're skilled enough, you can have some pictures taken!)

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  • olgaehr's Profile Photo

    Interesting displays

    by olgaehr Written Jan 7, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Entering the museum
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    Big museum not a whole lot to see. We probably would not go there if it was not so cold outside and we had nothing else to do.

    This museum has a few traveling exhibits and some interesting native Indian and history of British Columbia.

    So I would wait till the American $ goes back to normal, becasue paying $14 can per person was a bit overpriced.

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  • Carmanah's Profile Photo

    The Royal British Columbia Museum

    by Carmanah Updated Jul 3, 2007

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    A modern history display of pioneer life
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    I consider this the best museum in the entire province of British Columbia, and certainly my number one must-see in Victoria. The Royal BC Museum is most famous for its 3 permanent exhibits focusing on the history of British Columbia.

    1. The Natural History Gallery allows you to see BC's geographical diversity. It takes you through millions of years of geological and biological history of BC. You can walk through natural environments where there are life-size replicas of woolly mammoths in the tundra, grizzlies in the rain forest, and the estuary ecosystem of the Fraser River.

    2. The First Nations Gallery is anthropological, showing the diversity of indigenous peoples of British Columbia that have lived here for over 8000 years. Yet, they also shed light on the many injustices the First Nations have experienced at the hands of the government since contact - very important to know. If you are spending more time travelling around BC, this would make an excellent eye-opener to BC's indigenous cultures.

    3. The Modern History Gallery takes you through the European exploration and settlement of British Columbia from the 1700's through to present day. There's a replica of George Vancouver's ship, the gold rush in Barkerville, the canneries in Steveston, and a Victorian city - complete with a Chinatown and silent movie theatre!

    What makes this museum unique is that all the exhibits are set up like giant movie sets with life-size replicas of different towns, buildings, ships, and environments throughout the history of British Columbia.

    In addition, it has an IMAX theatre which often shows great documentaries. It has a temporary exhibit which features some of the most intriguing collections in the world, from Egyptian artifacts lent from the British Museum, to the works of Leonardo da Vinci's, and from the touring exhibit on the Titanic, to the photo archives of Linda McCartney.

    You need a minimum 3 hours here (in my opinion) to give this museum justice. You'll need longer if the IMAX interests you.

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  • RBCM: Cultural History

    by Jetgirly Updated Jun 2, 2007

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    Cinema in Old Town
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    The Royal British Columbia Museum is so extensive that I felt it was necessary to create two additional tips highlighting the actual exhibits inside the museum.

    On the third floor of the museum you will find exhibits relating to BC's cultural history. Walk through Century Hall to explore one hundred years of BC history and pop culture. Make your way into the Old Town (my favorite!) and explore a life-sized model of a turn-of-the-century Victorian street. Pop into the cinema for a Charlie Chaplin movie, smell the apple pie baking in the hotel and peek into the windows in old Chinatown. From there, make your way through BC's early industries including mining and logging. Before you leave, imagine life aboard George Vancouver's HMS Discovery.

    Then, make your way to the First People's collection. No photography is allowed in these galleries, where BC's First Nations have generously loaned many of their priceless artifacts for display to the public. Hear ceremonial masks tell their stories. Explore a Big House's amazing totems and works of art.

    Many parts of the museum use low or spot lighting to preserve important historical artifacts; please excuse my dark and gloomy photos!

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  • RBCM: Natural History

    by Jetgirly Written Jun 1, 2007

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    A Mammoth Good Time!
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    The Royal British Columbia Museum is so extensive that I felt it was necessary to create two additional tips highlighting the actual exhibits inside the museum.

    The Natural History Galleries are on the second floor of the museum, beside whatever temporary exhibit is currently showing. The first part of the Natural History section includes exhibits about climate change and the evolution of natural landscapes. The second part of the exhibit features beautiful dioramas with realistic-looking animals representing life in the coast rainforests and along BC's shores (real tide pool included... no touching!). End your visit to the Natural History Galleries with the Ocean Station, where you can see sealife in a 360-litre aquarium and check out what "under the sea" really looks like!

    Oh... and we can't forget The Wooly Mammoth!

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  • ChadSteve1975's Profile Photo

    A Museum for the archeology buffs

    by ChadSteve1975 Updated May 16, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I think I saw a dinosaur
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    Straight off the bat I must admit my lack of knowledge of all things old. So visiting this museum was a change for me. I did learn a lot more about the dinosaur age especially relating to the British Columbia region.

    The museum has several levels all with different themes. From Dinosaurs to native species to the original inhabitants.

    Outside of the museum there are things to see for free including the Totem Poles, and a historical building (whose name evades me)

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  • British Columbia's Natural and Cultural History

    by Jetgirly Updated Apr 24, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The RBC Museum + Carillion Tower

    The Royal British Columbia Museum is consistently rated one of the best museums in the world. It features a multitude of displays that educate and entertain, all on the topic of BC's history. If your visit time is limited, I suggest focusing on the permanent galleries and saving the temporary exhibits for last.

    On the second floor, the Natural History Gallery features exhibits like the life-sized woolly mammoth, life-sized walk-through dioramas of BC's coast and rainforests, and exhibits about local flora and fauna.

    The third floor explores BC's Cultural History. The highlight is the walk-through model of Old Town Victoria, where you can walk through a hotel and look into the rooms, watch a silent movie, see the train go by and look into the windows of the stores in Chinatown. Sounds and smells included! There is also a replica of one of the ships that explored BC hundreds of years ago and exhibits about BC's fishing, farming and mining history. A large portion of the third floor is devoted to the First People's Gallery, showcasing the arts and history of BC's natives.

    In April 2007, a special exhibit featuring artifacts from the Titanic opened to the public. Upon entering the gallery visitors will receive a boarding pass with the name of a real passenger; the fate of that passenger is revealed upon exit of the gallery. Admission to the Titanic exhibit is included with regular museum entrance during the summer; a related IMAX film can be seen for an additional charge. Summer 2007 will also mark the opening of a second special exhibit featuring a new collection of First Nations art.

    Admission depends on age and whether or not you would like to see an IMAX movie as well. Open seven days a week (9:00 to 5.00 nightly, plus later Friday and Saturday nights during the summer), the museum on it's own takes about two hours to view, plus another ninety minutes for the special exhibit. The lower floor has a gift shop and a great new cafeteria.

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  • Albernfrau's Profile Photo

    Excellent Museum

    by Albernfrau Written Jan 8, 2007

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    Head to the Royal BC Museum for tons of great exhibits and information on BC's plants, animals (my favourite is the stuffed Woolly Mammoth), forests, etc. There is so much to take in that you will want to spend 1/2-1 day to even take in a majority of the information. A large portion of the museum covers the history of the First Nations (aboriginals, Natives) of British Columbia including many totem poles, masks, etc. There are lots of interactive items for children. It is a museum truly for all ages. The cost is $14+ for an adult but it is cheaper if you combine it with an IMAX movie admission which is also a must. Check out my separate tip on the IMAX which plays the most incredible, educational movies in the most phenomenal theatre you will ever watch a movie in.

    This museum is a must-do if you are a museum person and especially if you would like to learn about British Columbia.

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  • worldkiwi's Profile Photo

    A worldclass museum.

    by worldkiwi Written Aug 6, 2006

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    The Royal British Columbia Museum.

    I spent the majority of a chilly day, my last in Victoria, inside this fantastic museum. This is one place that you must visit if you are interested in the natural history of British Columbia. Outstanding displays inform you about the impressive geography of British Columbia and the gallery of British Columbian forest types is stunning. It may sound old fashioned to have stuffed animals in a museum, but wait till you see how these are displayed in the forest gallery in this great museum. The sea shore display is also excellent in this regard. There is also an IMAX cinema here, though I didn't go in it.
    I really thoroughly enjoyed my time in this brilliantly thought out and interesting museum and recommend it whole heartedly.

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  • jasperdo's Profile Photo

    Excellent Museum

    by jasperdo Written Jun 5, 2006
    Natural History Gallery
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    The Royal British Columbia Museum is one of the finest museums I've been to anywhere. It has 3 permanent galleries that practically come to life as you walk through them. There is a First Peoples Gallery, a Natural History Gallery, and my personal favorite, a Modern History Gallery. This gallery is a walk through the history of the Province, including George Vancouver' ship, a mine, a cannery and an entire Turn of the 20th Century street, complete with 2 story hotel, Chinatown, train station and silent movie theatre.

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