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What are the most popular activities in Ottawa?

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What are the most popular activities in Ottawa?

Ottawa is the capital of Canada and offers a lot of opportunities for entertainment, exploration and cultural experiences. Throughout its many inspiring seasons, Ottawa offers amazing sights that can only be discovered in the city. Visitors come from all over the world for its beautiful summer festivals, outdoor activities and rich cultural life. There are plenty of activities to enjoy in the city, so here we’ll take a look at the most popular activities in Ottawa.

Outdoor Activities

Ottawa is blessed with a great climate and plenty of outdoor pursuits that visitors and residents alike can enjoy. During winter months, many flock to the city’s ski hills, such as Mont Cascades in Gatineau, to enjoy alpine skiing. Other winter activities include snowshoeing, cross country skiing and skating in many of the city’s popular skating spots. Summer brings with it plenty of other activities, such as hiking trails through Gatineau Hills and paddling through to the spectacular Ottawa River. From Canal Locks to taking moonlight cruises on the Ottawa River, there are plenty of outdoor activities to discover year-round in Ottawa.

Events and Attractions

Ottawa has long been known as one of Canada’s top event destinations. Every summer, the city opens its lawns to some of the biggest outdoor festivals in North America. International acts visit regularly throughout the year to entertain passionate crowds. Alongside these top acts is a thriving cultural scene in Ottawa. This includes a range of museums, art galleries and historic walks, such as the Rideau Canal Pathway and Canadian Currency Museum.

Culinary Experiences

If great food is what you’re looking for, Ottawa won’t disappoint. The city is home to some of the top culinary experiences in Canada and around the world. From traditional pubs to modern fine-dining restaurants, Ottawa has something for all palates. In addition to this are craft beer and cider breweries covering a range of styles, alongside dozens of wine bars and tapas restaurants across the downtown core.


From its distinctly Canadian architecture, to its impressive array of activities, attractions and culinary experiences, there’s no denying that Ottawa is one of Canada’s top destinations for visitors. With plenty of excellent things to see and do, visitors can make the most of a holiday to Ottawa all year round. Our suggestion is to include a full range of all these activities into whatever you plan during your stay in this fabulous city. For more information on things to do, check out ottawatourismt.ca, which offers up-to-date information on activities available in Ottawa.

Title: Insider’s Guide to Ottawa: Discover the Best Things to Do, See, and Taste

Introduction: Discover the Best of Ottawa

Welcome to Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, where history meets modernity and nature blends in with urbanity. With numerous attractions, museums, festivals, parks, and restaurants, Ottawa has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history-buff, foodie, art-lover, or adventurer, Ottawa will not disappoint you. In this insider’s guide, we will provide you with the most popular activities to help you make the most of your visit.

Top Attractions in Ottawa

1. Parliament Hill: Visit the Parliament Building, the heart of Canadian democracy, that offers free guided tours and stunning views of the city.
2. ByWard Market: Explore the vibrant neighborhood of ByWard Market with its unique boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.
3. National Gallery of Canada: Admire the spectacular art collection of Canadian and international artists, including iconic works such as the Maman spider by Louise Bourgeois.
4. Canadian Museum of History: Discover Canadian history and culture through interactive exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia presentations.
5. Rideau Canal: Take a relaxing stroll or boat ride along the picturesque Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that transforms into a skating rink in winter.

Cultural Experiences in Ottawa

1. Canadian War Museum: Learn about the role of Canada and its military in the world’s conflicts through exhibits, art, and personal stories.
2. National Arts Centre: Savor the world-class performances of music, theatre, dance, and comedy in the iconic glass tower of the National Arts Centre.
3. Ottawa Art Gallery: Explore contemporary art of diverse artists and join a guided tour, workshop, or artist talk.
4. Indigenous Experiences: Learn about the rich history, traditions, and culture of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples through guided tours, workshops, and storytelling.
5. Canadian Tulip Festival: Celebrate the spring season with millions of colorful tulips blooming throughout the city and participate in cultural events, music, and food.

Outdoor Adventures in Ottawa

1. Gatineau Park: Hike, bike, ski, or swim in the breathtaking natural park that offers over 165 km of trails, lakes, and waterfalls.
2. Nordik Spa-Nature: Relax and rejuvenate in the Nordic-inspired spa that features saltwater pools, saunas, and massages in a peaceful forest setting.
3. Ottawa River: Raft, kayak, or paddle along the Ottawa River, a popular destination for outdoor activities and scenery.
4. Dow’s Lake: Rent a canoe, kayak, or paddleboat and explore the serene Dow’s Lake that offers a stunning view of the city skyline.
5. Major’s Hill Park: Attend outdoor concerts, festivals, or events in the idyllic Major’s Hill Park that overlooks the National Gallery of Canada and Parliament Hill.

Local Dining in Ottawa

1. El Camino: Savor the delicious tacos, cocktails, and atmosphere of this Mexican-inspired restaurant located in the heart of Elgin Street.
2. Fraser Café: Indulge in the French and Canadian-inspired dishes made with locally sourced ingredients at this cozy café in New Edinburgh.
3. Beckta Dining & Wine: Treat yourself to the gourmet dishes and extensive wine list in the elegant and intimate ambiance of Beckta Dining & Wine.
4. Play Food & Wine: Share Canadian small plates and wine in the lively atmosphere of this contemporary bistro in ByWard Market.
5. The Moonroom: Enjoy the craft cocktails, tapas, and hipster vibe of The Moonroom, a cozy bar hidden in a laneway off Elgin Street.

Off-the-Beaten-Path in Ottawa

1. Canadian Agricultural and Food Museum: Learn about Canada’s agriculture industry and sample local food at this interesting museum located in the Central Experimental Farm.
2. Lost Ottawa Walking Tour: Join a guided walking tour that explores Ottawa’s hidden gems, forgotten buildings, and historic details.
3. Watson’s Mill: Visit the picturesque Watson’s Mill, a restored 1860s flour and gristmill, that offers guided tours, events, and activities.
4. Bytown Museum: Discover the fascinating history of Ottawa, from its early days as a military outpost to its development as a capital city, at the Bytown Museum.
5. Peace Tower: Climb the 300 steps to the top of Peace Tower, located in the Parliament Building, for a panoramic view of Ottawa’s skyline.

Conclusion: Enjoy the Best of Ottawa

We hope that this insider’s guide has given you a taste of the many amazing things to do, see, and taste in Ottawa. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in this vibrant city. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Ottawa!

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What are the most popular activities in Ottawa?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!