Located in the bustling and culturally diverse city of Ottawa, Canada’s capital, it attracts tourists with a variety of thrilling adventures. On the scenic Ottawa River shores, this resort is tucked away. With its historic buildings and thriving cultural scene, Ottawa offers a wide array of activities to suit all tastes. Ottawa attractions will please anyone who enjoys history, art, nature, or delicious food. In this article, we’ll examine the most fun things to do in Ottawa and offer a hand-picked itinerary of adventures for a weekend getaway to remember.
Ottawa: An Illustration of Culture and Beauty
Ottawa is full of jewels. Toronto and Montreal are overlooked by their more populated counterparts. The city creates a lively environment by skillfully blending its rich heritage with contemporary innovation. Ottawa emits a special fusion of Canadian tradition and international appeal, from its famous Parliament Hill to its lively By Ward Market.
Ottawa parliament hill tours 2023
Everyone visiting Ottawa’s Parliament Hill should do so as part of their exploration of the nation’s capital. Parliament Hill, the representational center of democracy, presents a compelling fusion of political significance, history, and architectural beauty. The following advice will help you get the most out of your Parliament Hill trip.
One of Ottawa Parliament Hill’s most stunning and significant buildings, the Library of Parliament, is a masterpiece of Victorian Gothic design. We do not permit access to the primary reading area. The elaborate architecture of the building may be admired through a glass door, however. Be sure to attend the Changing of the Guard event if you are traveling in the summer (late June to late August). On Parliament Hill, a festive and ceremonial celebration including the Canadian Forces and live music is held.
canadian museum of history ottawa
The Canadian museum of historical significance is a fascinating attraction that takes visitors on a tour of Canada’s remarkable accomplishments, different cultures, and extensive past. It is situated in Gatineau, Quebec, just across the Ottawa River from downtown Ottawa. The museum gives tourists of any age a thorough and educational tour with its interesting exhibits, immersive displays, and narration focus.
The museum’s ongoing displays feature a variety of subjects that highlight Canada’s past, culture, and achievements.
Explore the rich history and numerous cultures of Indigenous peoples in Canada in First Peoples Hall. This hall features artifacts, art, and interactive exhibits.
Canadian History Hall: Travel chronologically through Canada’s history, starting with the First Nations and ending in the present. With interactive displays and digital performances, the hall illustrates the history of more than 15,000 years.
Grand Hall: Take in the amazing display of totem poles, canoes, and other relics that honor Indigenous tribes’ cultural past.
national gallery of canada news
The National Gallery of Canada is a renowned art museum in Ottawa. It has a wide and varied array of works by Canadian and foreign artists from many historical periods and stylistic movements. The gallery, one of the top arts organizations in the nation, gives guests the ability to interact with artistic creations in a stimulating setting. Here is a guide to help you get about and enjoy your Ottawa time at the National Gallery of Canada to the fullest.
A range of creative movements are represented in the gallery’s collection. Explore the development of Canadian art, from works by traditional painters to contemporary masterpieces by well-known Canadian artists including the Group of Seven and Emily Carr. Explore European art, including pieces by Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh, and others, from the Renaissance to the present. Numerous recurring exhibitions that focus on certain creators, movements, concepts, and eras are held at the National Gallery. The displays offer novel viewpoints and distinctive insights into art.
rideau canal cruise
UNESCO has designated the Rideau Canal as a World Heritage Site and a real jewel of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Visitors can enjoy a distinctive fusion of breathtaking scenery, recreational opportunities, and cultural importance on this ancient canal. This Rideau canal dates back to the 19th century. At the beginning, the Rideau Canal was built as an armed forces river with the purpose of creating a safe supply path linking Montreal and Kingston in the event of a conflict with the United States. Currently, it exists as an outstanding engineering achievement and a reminder of Canada’s past.
People can engage in a variety of recreational pursuits along the Rideau Canal, including:
Canoeing and boating: The canal is a popular location for canoeing, kayaking, and boating throughout the summertime. For a cruise around quiet waters, you can hire or take your own watercraft.
Bicycling: Whether you’re a casual rider or an experienced cyclist, the canal’s picturesque walkways are ideal for bicycling. Ottawa rents bikes and you can explore the scenic surroundings at your own leisure.
Rideau Canal Skating: In wintertime, the canal becomes the biggest skating arena in the world. The frozen canal transforms into an enchanted winter wonderland, providing a one-of-a-kind and unforgettable Rideau Canal skating adventure.
The Winterlude Festival, one of Ottawa’s most eagerly awaited winter festivals, occurs along the Rideau Canal. Ice carvings, activities outdoors, live concerts, and, of course, ice skating on the icy canal are all part of the festival. Discover the lovely locks along the canal, most of which are still run by hand. These locks are a work of engineering genius and provide a window into the canal’s rich past. For further information on the canal building and its effects on the area, stop by the Bytown Museum. This is close to the Ottawa Locks.
canadian museum of nature
An interesting organization that honors the natural world and all of its delights is the Canadian Museum of Nature, which is situated in Ottawa. The museum provides people of every generation with the chance to discover, gain knowledge about, and enjoy the splendor and complexity of the environment of the planet through its enthralling displays, engaging shows, and commitment to scientific inquiry. To help you get the most out of your trip to the Canadian Museum of Nature.
The exhibits in the museum are designed to immerse tourists in the worlds of science and nature.
Among the highlights are:
Fossil Gallery: Through a variety of fossilized materials, including those of dinosaur skeletons, extinct mammals, and aquatic creatures from various periods, you can learn more about the distant past. Learn about the remarkable variety of mammals, from the Arctic to the Amazonian rainforest, in the Mammal Gallery.
Become engrossed in the world of birds by viewing the amazing collection of specimens from diverse habitats and geographical areas in the bird gallery. Discover the ever-changing forces that define the Earth in the Earth Gallery, from asteroids to rock formations. Explore the world of marine environments and discover the organisms that live in the rivers, oceans, and lakes by visiting the water gallery.
A beautiful natural playground with a wide variety of sports and breathtaking views, Gatineau Park is a quick drive from downtown Ottawa in Gatineau, Quebec. It offers activities for everyone, whether you’re a hiker, cyclist, wildlife enthusiast, or just looking for a tranquil getaway from the rush and bustle of the city.
Over 165 kilometers (102 miles) of hiking paths, ranging from leisurely strolls to strenuous hikes, can be found in Gatineau Park. Gatineau Park trail has beautiful roads and mountain bike paths. Cycling enthusiasts can enjoy breathtaking scenery while enjoying leisurely rides or strenuous climbs.
With a variety of boutiques, stores, and exhibition spaces, ByWard Market is a shopper’s delight. Discover distinctive apparel shops, art museums, artisanal craft shops, and specialty businesses that sell anything from presents and home décor to clothes and other items. Visit the public farmers’ bazaar and discover the heart of the marketplace. Explore markets brimming with local arts and crafts, blossoms, artisanal cheeses, and fresh fruit. A terrific opportunity to meet local sellers and experience the local cuisine is at the farmers’ market.
In the center of Canada’s capital city, whitewater rafting in Ottawa offers an exhilarating and unique encounter. The Ottawa River offers exhilarating waves, incredible views, and a variety of rafting adventures ideal for both newbie and expert rafters.
There are various parts of the Ottawa River with varying The Middle Channel, Main Channel, Butcher’s Knife, and Norman’s, as well as the Lower Channel (McCoy’s and Garvin’s Chute), are some of the most well-known parts.
Visit to Saint Patrick Basilica
Saint Patrick’s Basilica, a famous and historic Roman Catholic church with both religious and aesthetic value, is situated in Ottawa. Saint Patrick’s Basilica provides travelers with the opportunity to discover its spectacular design, historical significance, and spiritual ambiance that has made it a beloved icon in the city. It also serves as a site of prayer, reflection, and historical significance.
Saint Patrick’s Basilica’s Gothic Revival design is renowned and is distinguished by its elaborate detailing, pointed arches, and towering spires. Stained glass windows, intricate embellishments, and fine craftsmanship adorn the basilica’s outside and the inside, inspiring respect and awe.
Confederation Park, a delightful urban sanctuary with natural aesthetics, street art, annual activities, and a quiet ambience. It is situated right in downtown Ottawa. Ottawa Confederation Park is an essential stop for residents as well as visitors since it serves as a focal point and a representation of Canada’s heritage and identity.
Statues, landmarks, and works of art honoring Canada’s culture and past may be seen throughout the park. The Triad sculptures, the Sir John A. Macdonald statue, and the National Aboriginal War Monument are a few noteworthy elements.
The Governor General of Canada’s formal home is Rideau Hall, which is situated in Ottawa. It is a renowned historical site with great ceremonial, historical, and cultural significance for the nation. Exploring Rideau Hall’s lovely grounds, learning about Canadian history and administration, and taking in the magnificence of this prestigious estate are all possible while there.
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
In the center of Ottawa, the nation’s capital, stands the renowned and opulent Fairmont Château Laurier. The Château Laurier provides an exceptional mix of grandeur, top-notch hospitality, and an association with Canada’s past because of its extensive past, sumptuous design, and idyllic location overlooking the majestic Rideau Canal. Whether you’re a visitor to the resort or just curious about its opulence.
Ottawa art gallery
The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG), a vibrant cultural center in the heart of Ottawa, is devoted to presenting modern and historical works of art by both local and foreign artists. The Ottawa Art Gallery provides people with a wide variety of displays, educational events, and profound experiences as a center for artistic creation, historical inquiry, and creative interaction.
The OAG shows artistic techniques, genres, and subjects in rotating exhibition series. The gallery offers a varied and stimulating variety of art to examine, ranging from modern artwork and sculpture to photography, video art, and multimedia works.
Bank of Canada Museum
A fascinating and interactive trip into the worlds of economics, banking, and Canadian financial heritage is offered at the Bank of Canada Museum in Ottawa. The museum provides tourists with the chance to investigate the complexities of money, the function of the central bank, and the development of the national economy.
The Bank of Canada Museum offers plenty to offer everyone, whether they are interested in monetary policy, historical artifacts, or interactive exhibitions. The museum’s displays explore the evolution of money, from its earliest origins through contemporary money and payment methods. Discover historical relics, money, coins, and interactive exhibits that trace the development of Canada’s financial system.
Princess Louise Falls
A hidden gem, Princess Louise Falls is located in the center of Orleans, a Canadian suburb of Ottawa. Princess Louise Falls, well-known for its pristine environment and breathtaking beauty, provides tourists with a peaceful respite from the rush of town. Discovering Princess Louise Falls is a great way to get in touch with the natural world, whether you’re a nature lover, a photographer, or just looking for a tranquil outdoor adventure.
There are hiking paths that take you through the forests and to Princess Louise Falls. The routes are manageable for hikers of all experience levels and are fairly simple. During summertime, it is advised to bring bug repellant and wear comfortable shoes.
Canadian War Museum
From colonial wars to contemporary peacekeeping operations, the Canadian War Museum is known for its work in documenting and honoring Canada’s military heritage. It offers knowledge of military and civilian events as well as the effects of conflict on a nation’s growth.
Discover the museum’s unique exhibits, which address a variety of subjects such as Canada’s participation in the Korean War, World Wars I and II, as well as modern conflicts. The exhibitions include artifacts, individual accounts, and interactive elements that deepen our knowledge of the reality of battle.
Just over the Ottawa River from downtown Ottawa, in Gatineau, Quebec, is the charming urban landscape known as Jacques-Cartier Park. Visitors can take part in a variety of sports, festivities, and leisure in the park’s stunning natural surroundings. Jacques-Cartier Park possesses something for everybody, whether you’re searching for a quiet area to wander, an ideal spot for a family gathering, or a location to take in concerts and activities.
National war memorial
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which houses the remains of an unnamed Canadian soldier who died in France during World War I, is located in the memorial’s basement. The tomb stands in for all the troops who have died but whose names are yet undisclosed.
The administrative and ceremonial hub of Canada’s capital city, Parliament Hill, is where the Peace Tower is located. The tower is a component of the Centre Block, which houses the Canadian Parliament’s principal offices. It is decorated with exquisite carvings, artwork, and decorative components and has a Gothic Revival design.
The Peace Tower was first intended to honor Canadians who died in World War I. To commemorate the 60th anniversary of Confederation and to pay tribute to the Canadians who fought and lost their lives in the war, it was formally dedicated on July 1, 1927.
Calypso Theme Waterpark
Calypso is renowned for its exhilarating waterslides that appeal to both families and thrill-seekers. Take a ride on a heart-pounding attraction like the “Steam bath” or “Summit Tower,” which has rapid dips and bends. As the “Black Hole” slide offers an exciting journey in completely darkness, the “Aqua loops” slide offers a unique looping experience.
Without exiting the city, Calypso’s enormous wave pool gives visitors the impression that they are at the beach. You can unwind on the beach or surf in the incoming waves.
Cold War museum
Just west of Ottawa sits the distinctive Cold War museum known as The Diefenbaker. During the era of the Cold War, it was first constructed as a government fallout bunker to safeguard important government figures. It now functions as a museum and displays the history of the Cold War in Canada, nuclear readiness, and civil defense.
The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa has displays that cover different facets of Canada’s military heritage, including its participation in Cold War conflicts and peacekeeping operations. However, it is not only centered on the Cold War.
A tranquil and lovely botanical landscape, the Dominion Arboretum is situated on Canada’s Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa.
For botanical enthusiasts, wildlife lovers, and anybody looking for a peaceful retreat from the busy city, this calm oasis is a haven. The arboretum is a great place for peaceful strolls, outings, and academic research because it features a diverse array of trees, shrubs, and various other plants.
The well-known agricultural tourism attraction Saunders Farm is situated near Munster, Canada, not far from Ottawa. Saunders Farm offers a variety of recreational opportunities that are suitable for tourists of all ages. It is well-known for its family-friendly attractions, distinctive mazes, and yearly festivities. Saunders Farm features activities for everyone, whether they prefer outdoor excursions, engaging mazes, or joyous festivities.
Carbide Wilson Ruins
The Carbide Wilson Ruins are the remains of a calcium carbide mill that Thomas “Carbide” Wilson constructed in the early 20th century. Adventurers have the chance to combine their passion in history with a stroll along beautiful trails by visiting the Carbide Wilson Ruins. One of the well-traveled paths leading to the ruins is the Lusk villa Falls Trail.
Canadian Children’s Museum
The interactive displays at the Canadian Children’s Museum are its focal point; they’re made to encourage young minds’ inventiveness and interest. Each exhibition is a miniature world where kids can play pretend games, discover and engage in interactive learning.
The hydrotherapy system, which includes a number of hot and cold pools, saunas, steam rooms, and relaxation areas, is the focal point of Nordik Spa-Nature. Visitors move around a circuit that alternates between heat and cold therapy, followed by relaxing intervals. Numerous health advantages are thought to come from this exercise, including increased circulation, reduced tension, and relaxed muscles.
Nepean Point’s breathtaking panoramic views are its main draw. Views of Parliament Hill, the Ottawa River, the Alexandra Bridge, the Château Laurier hotel, and the neighboring countryside can all be seen from this high vantage point. The vista is particularly beautiful at dawn and dusk as well as during the day.
In the heart of Gatineau’s Old Hull neighborhood is Laval Street. Many of the historical structures on Laval Street are beautifully preserved examples from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Victorian and Art Deco influences on building designs add to the street’s aesthetic attractiveness.
Ottawa Alexandra Bridge
The Alexandra Bridge, which links Gatineau, Quebec, with Ottawa, Ontario, is a representation of the strong connection between these two province It offers breathtaking views of the Canadian Museum of History, the Parliament Buildings, and the river’s unspoiled splendor.
Mooney’s Bay Park and Beach
Ottawa, Canada’s Mooney’s Bay Park and Beach is a well-liked recreation spot. This vast park, which is located alongside the Rideau River, provides a variety of outdoor pursuits, family-friendly facilities, and a sandy beach that gives a cool retreat in the hot months. Mooney’s Bay Park includes activities for everybody, including picnicking, water-related activities, and just taking in the scenery.
Hog’s Back Park
Ottawa, Canada’s Hog’s Back Park is a charming and interesting natural place. This park, which located along the Rideau River, attracts visitors as well as locals due to its combination of beautiful waterfalls, walking trails, picnic spots, and outdoor pursuits.
Hog’s Back Falls, a collection of beautiful Rideau River waterfalls and waves, is one of the park’s attractions. The falls offer a lovely backdrop for tourism, photography, and relaxing.
Major Hill’s Park
The park provides sweeping views of the Gatineau Hills, the Alexandra Bridge, and the Ottawa River. It’s an excellent location for photography because of its elevated setting, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
Beautifully planted gardens, immaculate lawns, and paths lined with trees can be found in Major’s Hill Park. It’s a welcoming area for outdoor activities including picnics, leisurely strolls, and unwinding.
Canada Aviation and Space Museum
From vintage biplanes to cutting-edge jets, the collection of aircraft at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum is eclectic. By seeing and engaging with these magnificent aircraft, people may learn about aviation and flight technology advancements.
People of all ages are entertained by the engaging displays in the museum. These exhibitions offer a greater understanding of the concepts of flight and the difficulties of space travel through interactive activities and flying simulators.
Rink of Dreams
In Ottawa, Canada, there is a well-liked and energetic outdoor ice skating rink called The Rink of Dreams. The Rink of Dreams offers ice skating lovers of all ages a magnificent and festive environment in the center of downtown Ottawa, right outside City Hall. The Rink of Dreams offers a lovely winter adventure which reflects the spirit of the season, whether you’re an expert skater or just starting out.
The beautiful stores, cafes, and amenities in the village center add to the neighborhood’s feeling of togetherness. It’s a terrific location for strolling, shopping, and enjoying food or coffee.
Attractive parks and outdoor areas may be found in Rockcliffe Park. Huge town park Rockcliffe Park itself has walking paths, picnic spots, and beautiful vistas. Small and charming Mackay Lake is a well-liked location for relaxing and birdwatching.
Climbers of all abilities can practice on a range of climbing walls and bouldering locations at the Altitude Gym. There are routes suitable for beginners as well as harder and more complex climbs, so everyone can have fun.
Short, unroped climbs on constructed walls are part of bouldering. With a variety of routes and difficulties to test climbers’ endurance, quickness, and problem-solving skills, altitude gym gatineau offers specialized bouldering areas.
Petrie Island Park
The park is well-known for its white-sand beaches, which make perfect locations for picnics, swimming, and sunbathing. During summertime, the beaches are particularly tempting because they provide a spot to cool off and unwind by the water.
In the Memorial Chamber, Canadians who fought and gave their lives in times of war are remembered. It is a place of solemn thought and homage. The “Books of Remembrance,” which contain a list in numerous battles, are located there.
Paddle board maze
A distinctive and thrilling water-based experience could be making a paddleboard maze in Ottawa. Standing on a paddleboard, you must make your way across a maze of rivers, difficulties, and hurdles.
Like the majority of capitals across the world, Ottawa is home to a sizable number of historical markers honoring Canada. Explore the downtown area in search of sculptures honoring significant events and figures, such as the Oscar Peterson Statue, the Peacekeeping Monument, and the Valliant’s Memorial.
Frequently Asked Question
What can you do in Ottawa during winter?
Winter seasons in Ottawa are filled with a variety of fun events and attractions. Despite the cold, the town comes to life with seasonal events and both indoor and outdoor entertainment options.
Here are some wintertime activities you may enjoy in Ottawa:
- Skating on Rideau Canal
- Skiing and Snowboarding
- Winterlude festival
- Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing
What can you do in Ottawa for free?
You may discover Ottawa’s heritage, culture, and scenic splendor for nothing thanks to the city’s many free events and attractions.
Here are a few free activities in Ottawa.
- Parliament Hill
- Canadian War Museum
- National Gallery Of Canada
- ByWard Market
- Rideau Hall
- Canadian Museum Of Nature
- Confederation Park
What is there to do in Ottawa at night?
- Parliament hill sound and light show
- National Arts Centre
- Casino du Lac-Leamy
- Ottawa River Cruises
- Rooftop Bars and Patios
How many days do you need Explore Ottawa?
You may be thinking how long it is required in Ottawa to get the best use of the opportunity when making travel plans to the nation’s capital. The response is based on the sights and activities you hope to enjoy during your stay. Three days ought to be sufficient if your only goal is to see the attractions.