Ottawa is the capital of Canada and the political and technological centre of the country. This dynamic city, home to more than one million people, treasures Canada’s proud heritage.
Canada’s capital is a pedestrian-friendly city; you will be able to discover most of the main attractions by foot. Start your tour from the Parliament Buildings located on a hill overlooking the Ottawa River. These neo-Gothic buildings are home to the Canada’s federal government, the House of Commons, the Senate, the Library of Parliament and the Peace Tower, a nearly 100 metres-high clock tower, from where you will be able to enjoy breath-taking views of the city. In summer, the Parliament Buildings are dazzled by a wonderful Sound and Light Show telling the story of Canada and its people.
If you would like to discover more about Canada’s rich heritage, visit one of the several world-class museums of the city, treasuring some of the country’s most priceless artistic gems. From the beautiful Canadian and Inuit art to Canada’s military past through astonishing natural and historical collections, there will be something for everyone.
Ottawa is a burgeoning city, featured by a trove of neighbourhoods, each with its own culinary scene and unique shops. Visit Little Italy and Chinatown and don’t miss the ByWard Market, an eclectic block housing the oldest and largest farmers’ market in Canada. Foodies eager to discover the capital region’s vibrant food scene can take part in one of the many gourmet food tours to taste local products and even meet chefs and food artisans, while shopping lovers shouldn’t miss the many world class shopping centres of the city.
Another landmark of Ottawa is the Rideau Canal, Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage and a National Historic Site of Canada. The canal connects the Lake Ontario with the Ottawa River. In summer you can stroll or cycle along it, while in winter the canal is transformed into the worlds’ largest skating rink, stretching 7,8 kilometres. There are many other green spaces in Ottawa, like the Arboretum, a green oasis with nearly 2,400 varieties of plants or the Gatineau Park, a network of trails offering something for real hikers, naturalist and families with kids.
Ottawa is year round a destination like no other with plenty of things to do and see. If you are in for a day-trip, head to Prescott-Russell, a rural gem just east of the city, site of historical interest and the best place to get active. On the site you will find a multitude of different trails, walking paths, campsites, and you will be able to fish, hike, play golf and meet farmers and brewers.
If you visit Ottawa in summer, you may want to visit one of the urban beaches, like Mooney’s Bay (15 minutes south of downtown), Britannia Beach, perfect for a swim, and Petrie Island.