Ottawa boasts world-class museums, outstanding art galleries and a flourishing food scene. You can tour Ottawa’s stately parliament buildings, ice skate along the Rideau Canal and explore a handful of vibrant neighbourhoods.
Things to do in Ottawa
Ottawa boasts some of Canada's best museums, covering everything from contemporary art to natural history. Housed in a sleek glass and granite building, the National Gallery showcases the world's largest collection of Canadian Inuit art. The Canadian War Museum is another not-to-be-missed attraction, detailing the country's military history.
For the city's most iconic view, head up to Parliament Hill. The imposing Gothic building wows visitors with its golden sandstone, copper-topped turrets and carved gargoyles. Sign up for guided tours of the Centre Block, home to both the Canadian Senate and House of Commons.
Winters in Ottawa can be bitterly cold, though the city makes up for the chill by transforming into an icy wonderland. You can skate on the frozen Rideau Canal, stroll around bustling Christmas markets and admire sparkling ice sculptures at the Winterlude festival.
Discover Ottawa's trendy side in The Glebe, a lively neighbourhood filled with coffee shops, chic cocktail bars and hip restaurants. For brunch, snag a table at Wilf & Ada's, a local favourite serving house-cured bacon and fluffy buttermilk French toast drenched in Canadian maple syrup.
Getting around Ottawa
Downtown Ottawa is best explored on foot. The city is also serviced by local buses and the O-train light rail network. You can also cycle along the scenic Rideau Canal bike path. Flights arrive at Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport, 15 kilometres away.