Exploring the capital city of Canada is always a delightful experience. Ottawa is a charming blend of cosmopolitan amenities and natural beauty. From world-class museums to pristine outdoor spaces, there is no shortage of amazing things to do in Ottawa. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Ottawa’s attractions are sure to captivate you. This post aims to highlight some of the must-visit attractions and activities in this fascinating city, which will help you plan the ultimate trip to Ottawa.
The 6 Best Things to Do in Ottawa
- Ottawa Tiki Tour
- Hop on Hop Off Double Decker Bus in Ottawa
- Full Day Tour to Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram from Chennai
- Ottawa Self Guided Rockcliffe Neighborhood Exploration Game
- Ottawa Sightseeing River Cruise
- Ottawa Haunted Carleton County Jail Tour
The 6 Best Things to Do in Ottawa
1. Ottawa Tiki Tour
Take your experience in Ottawa to the next level with the Ottawa Tiki Tour. This unique tour offers a fun and relaxing way to experience the beautiful Ottawa River. Hop aboard the floating tiki bar and take in the panoramic views while enjoying fancy drinks and snacks. Whether you’re looking for a romantic cruise, a group excursion, or just a fun time with friends, the Ottawa Tiki Tour is the perfect choice. The floating palapa boat is captained by certified and licensed professionals, ensuring your safety and enjoyment. Life jackets are provided for every passenger, and the boat is Bluetooth-capable, so you can enjoy your favorite tropical tunes while cruising along the river. Book your Ottawa Tiki Tour today and experience one of the most unique ways to get out on the water.
2. Hop on Hop Off Double Decker Bus in Ottawa
All aboard for a fantastic hop-on hop-off double-decker bus tour of Ottawa! With the onboard bilingual guide, you’ll learn about the history of the Canadian capital as you pass by its most famous landmarks including Parliament Hill, Byward Market, and more. Stay on for the complete 1.5-hour tour, or hop on and off as many times as you like throughout the validity of your ticket. Whether you choose to sit on the lower deck for added comfort, or experience the stunning views on the top deck, this tour is the perfect way to explore Ottawa. Don’t miss the chance to visit museums, galleries, and other important sites along the route!
3. Full Day Tour to Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram from Chennai
Discover the historic and cultural wonders of Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram on this full-day self-guided audio tour from Chennai. With six days validity, you can customize your itinerary and enjoy direct access to an audio guide in one playlist, with a personally created tour itinerary map and entrance fees included. Begin and end at the Ottawa train station or at any other starting or end point that suits you. Explore 12 scenic stops, including the National War Memorial, with the voice used for the audio guide being a universally accepted standard voice with standard flow. Please note that confirmation will be received at time of booking, this tour isn’t wheelchair accessible, but it is near public transportation for your convenience. Discover the best attractions and things to do in Ottawa while exploring the beauty of Kanchipuram and Mahabalipuram.
4. Ottawa Self Guided Rockcliffe Neighborhood Exploration Game
Discover the charming neighborhood of Rockcliffe in Ottawa with an exciting self-guided game that offers a unique mix between a tour, an outdoor escape game, and a treasure hunt. Along the way, you’ll explore famous landmarks such as The Rockeries, the Dutch Ambassador’s Residence, and Rockcliffe House, as well as other hidden gems that most tourists don’t know about.
This 1.5-hour game experience, crafted by top-notch writers, is like no other. As you solve the challenges, an intriguing storyline will unfold, and you’ll learn fascinating facts about the origin of Ottawa’s famous tulips. Exact directions on your phone will guide you to the next location, but you can explore at your own pace and pause the game whenever you want.
The game starts at the Norwegian Ambassador’s Residence and ends at the American Ambassador’s Residence. After booking the game, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to download and play it on your phone. Whether you’re traveling alone or in a large group, this adventure is perfect for anyone looking for a fun and interactive way to explore Ottawa’s attractions.
5. Ottawa Sightseeing River Cruise
Discover the natural beauty and rich history of Ottawa with a 1.5-hour sightseeing cruise on the Ottawa River. Climb aboard the ‘Paula D’ and admire unforgettable views of the city while learning about the region’s past life as a watery highway for transporting resources. Marvel at some of Canada’s iconic landmarks that are only visible from the water and enjoy the entertaining and informative insights of your guide in both English and French. With two departure docks located in Gatineau and Ottawa, this must-do experience is a convenient way to explore the region and leave you with plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your stay.
6. Ottawa Haunted Carleton County Jail Tour
Come along on a frightening tour of the 19th-century Carleton County Jail, one of Ottawa’s most famous haunted sites. Your cloaked and lantern-carrying guide will take you on an eerie journey through the facilities as you hear chilling tales of faceless ghosts and levitating coins. Tour the cellblocks where all kinds of inmates were once imprisoned before their untimely deaths, and walk the final footsteps of those sentenced to Death Row. See the working gallows up close and hear the stories that still haunt the site. This spine-chilling tour is sure to get your heart racing and leave you feeling spooked.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ottawa, CanadaOttawa, the capital of Canada, is a charming city that attracts tourists from around the world. If you are planning to visit Ottawa and are curious about the city, you may have some questions in your mind. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Ottawa:
1. What is the best time to visit Ottawa?Ottawa is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on your interests. If you love winter sports, then visit Ottawa in the winter months from December to February, when the city is blanketed in snow and the Rideau Canal becomes the world’s longest skating rink. March and April are also great months to visit when the weather is milder and the tulips are in bloom. If you prefer warmer weather, then visit in the summer months from June to August, when the city hosts numerous festivals and events.
2. What are some of the must-visit attractions in Ottawa?Ottawa is home to many tourist attractions that showcase Canada’s history, culture, and natural beauty. Some of the must-visit attractions in Ottawa include:
Parliament Hill:A majestic Gothic-style building that houses Canada’s federal government and is the centerpiece of Ottawa’s skyline.
Rideau Canal:A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most picturesque waterways in North America, the Rideau Canal offers scenic boat cruises in the summer and becomes one of the world’s largest skating rinks in the winter.
Canadian Museum of History:Located in Gatineau, just across the Ottawa River, this museum is the most visited in Canada and showcases the country’s history, culture, and people.
National Gallery of Canada:This museum features Canadian and international art, including the famous Group of Seven paintings and the iconic bronze spider sculpture by Louise Bourgeois.
3. What are some of the best places to eat in Ottawa?Ottawa is a foodie’s paradise with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and breweries to suit every taste and budget. Some of the best places to eat in Ottawa include:
El Camino:A popular Mexican restaurant that offers delectable tacos, burritos, and cocktails in a vibrant atmosphere.
Play Food & Wine:A cozy restaurant that serves up small plates of eclectic and seasonally-inspired dishes paired with an extensive wine list.
Wellington Gastropub:A gastropub that offers artisanal burgers, craft beers, and cocktails in a casual yet sophisticated ambiance.
Beavertails:A Canadian favorite, Beavertails offers delicious fried dough pastries in various flavors, such as cinnamon sugar, maple, and Nutella.
4. Is Ottawa a family-friendly destination?Ottawa is a great destination for families with kids, as there are many attractions and activities that cater to all ages. Some of the family-friendly things to do in Ottawa include:
Canadian Museum of Nature:This museum has a dinosaur gallery, a blue whale skeleton, and many interactive exhibits that are sure to delight kids.
Canada Aviation and Space Museum:This museum showcases Canada’s aviation and space history and offers a chance to sit in a cockpit or climb aboard an aircraft carrier.
Farmers’ Markets:Ottawa has many farmers’ markets that sell fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, baked goods, and more. Some of the best farmers’ markets in Ottawa include the ByWard Market, the Ottawa Farmers’ Market, and the Westboro Farmers’ Market.
Campus Activity Centre:Located on the campus of Carleton University, the Campus Activity Centre offers indoor and outdoor activities for the whole family, such as rock climbing, ice skating, and swimming.
5. What are some of the best outdoor activities in Ottawa?Ottawa is a city of parks, trails, and waterways, and there are many outdoor activities to explore. Some of the best outdoor activities in Ottawa include:
Biking:Ottawa has many bike-friendly paths and trails that offer scenic views of the city, such as the Ottawa River Pathway, the Rideau Canal Pathway, and the Trans Canada Trail.
Hiking:The nearby Gatineau Park offers many hiking trails that range from easy to moderate difficulty and lead to beautiful vistas and waterfalls.
Boating:Ottawa’s waterways offer many opportunities for boating, with options such as electric boat rentals, paddleboat rentals, and guided boat tours.
Golfing:Ottawa has many golf courses that offer challenging greens and beautiful scenery, such as the Marshes Golf Club, the Eagle Creek Golf Club, and the Stonebridge Golf & Country Club.In conclusion, Ottawa is a beautiful and diverse city with many attractions, activities, and amenities to suit every type of traveler. Whether you are a history buff, a foodie, a nature lover, or a family with kids, you will find plenty of things to do and see in Ottawa. Plan your trip today and discover the excitement and charm of Canada’s capital city.
How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in OttawaOttawa, the capital city of Canada, is a vibrant and diverse city with plenty to see and do. From historic landmarks to picturesque parks, Ottawa has something for everyone. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your time in Ottawa.
1. Visit Parliament HillParliament Hill is the epicenter of Canadian politics and a must-see for any visitor to Ottawa. The iconic Gothic-style buildings are home to the House of Commons and the Senate of Canada. Take a guided tour of the buildings to learn about Canadian history and democracy.
2. Explore the Rideau CanalThe Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular destination for tourists in Ottawa. The scenic waterway offers a variety of activities, including boat tours, kayaking, and ice-skating in the winter. Stroll along its banks and enjoy the view.
3. Discover the Canadian Museum of NatureThe Canadian Museum of Nature is a fascinating place to explore and learn. The museum has a diverse range of exhibits, from dinosaur skeletons to Canadian wildlife. Don’t miss the impressive blue whale skeleton in the mammal gallery.
4. Visit the National Gallery of CanadaThe National Gallery of Canada is home to one of the largest collections of Canadian art in the world. The gallery has works from many different periods and genres, including Canadian and Indigenous art, European and American painting, and contemporary art. Take a guided tour to learn more about the artworks and their historical context.
5. Check Out the ByWard MarketThe ByWard Market is a vibrant neighborhood in downtown Ottawa that is popular with locals and visitors alike. The market has a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, boutiques, and specialty shops. Visit on a weekend and browse the farmers’ market for fresh produce and artisanal goods.
6. Relax in Gatineau ParkGatineau Park is a nature lover’s paradise just a short drive from downtown Ottawa. The park has miles of hiking and cycling trails, scenic lookouts, and picnic areas. In the winter, the park is a popular destination for skiing and snowshoeing.
7. Take a Tour of the Canadian War MuseumThe Canadian War Museum is a powerful and moving tribute to Canada’s military history. The museum has exhibits covering various conflicts and wars from Canada’s past, including World War I and II, the Korean War, and peacekeeping missions. Take a guided tour to gain a deeper understanding of the exhibits and their significance.
8. Visit the Notre-Dame Cathedral BasilicaThe Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica is a beautiful and historic church located in downtown Ottawa. The cathedral has stunning stained glass windows, intricately carved woodwork, and impressive pipe organ. Attend a service or take a guided tour to learn about the cathedral’s history and architecture.
9. Wander Around the Canadian Museum of HistoryThe Canadian Museum of History is located across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, and is a short distance from downtown Ottawa. The museum has exhibits covering Canadian history from pre-European contact to the present day, including the culture and traditions of Indigenous peoples. Take a guided tour to gain a deeper understanding of the exhibits and their historical context.
10. Enjoy the Tulip FestivalThe Tulip Festival is a beloved annual event in Ottawa that celebrates the arrival of spring. The festival features over a million tulips in bloom throughout the city, along with cultural events, entertainment, and food. Don’t miss the fireworks display over Dow’s Lake.
Final ThoughtsThere are endless opportunities to explore and experience the wonders of Ottawa. From the rich cultural heritage of the city to the beauty of the natural landscapes, there’s something for everyone. Remember to pack your camera, comfortable shoes, and a sense of adventure, and prepare to make unforgettable memories in Ottawa.
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