Things to do in Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, bordering provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Originally named Bytown, this city has endured a vast and interesting history. Visiting Ottawa will be an adventure with lot of things to do, no matter the time of year.
Places to Go and Things to do in Ottawa
There are many places to go to in the remarkable city of Ottawa. Dedicating a whole day to walking in its downtown core will prove to be an exciting journey. Begin by visiting Parliament Hill, home to our House of Commons where federal decisions and Canadian history is made. You can freely explore the sites and grounds at all hours of the day. Make sure to take a free tour of the main building, simply arrive at the main doors and a tour will commence once a large enough group have gathered. The exterior grounds are filled with statues and sculptures to commemorate historical figures and events, so make sure to explore the surroundings.
Visit the cat sanctuary run by volunteers, who give stray cats a home. The cats were originally welcomed to rid Parliament hill from a rodent infestation, and are now a permanent fixture on the grounds.
Afterwards, make your way to Chateau Laurier, a prestige hotel famous for never receiving its original furniture shipment as it sank with the Titanic. Continue by walking through Major Hill’s Park behind the castle, finally making your way to the Byward Market.
You will not want to miss out on a night out in downtown Ottawa. The Market is filled with restaurants and boutiques, booming during the daytime and evening; but it are also filled with popular bars and clubs, which thrive at night. You can relax in Ottawa’s oldest pub, Lafayette (well known as The Laff,) and enjoy a pint with friends. Or perhaps visit Mercury Lounge, which houses various local bands throughout the week. If you have your dancing shoes on, you can always visit Tila Tequila, a popular dance club. No matter your style, you will surely find something to do in the Byward Market. During the summer, you will also find the streets filled with fresh produce and flowers from local farmers from 8am to 6pm. If you’re looking to go out, but don’t like crowds, Elgin St. is another great location. You will find various restaurants and pubs, from steak houses to McDonalds. If you’re looking for a pickup game of pool, McLaren’s is a local pool hall and sports bar perfect for hanging out with the guys. Or crack up with friends at Yuk Yuk’s comedy club. Whatever you choose, Ottawa is a great place for friends and family with many stunning sights to see.
Amazing Ottawa Museums
Ottawa is known for its incredible selection of museums. There are a variety of different museums to suit all members of your family or circle of friends. The Canadian Nature Museum is best known for its exquisite architecture. Exhibits such as the Bird Gallery, the Mammal Gallery and the Talisman Energy Fossil fill this beautiful building with historical findings from prehistoric times to present. You are also bound to love the Canadian War Museum, filled with military items highlighting Canada’s participation in war and peace events. Findings will include uniforms, decorations, weapons, and lots more. One of the best places to visit is the National Art Gallery of Canada.
It’s filled with three floors of permanent and special exhibits that will captivate any art lover. Countless hours have been spent strolling through hallways filled with historically valuable paintings, sculptures, artifacts and installations. Works by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, The Group of Seven, Sandro Botticelli and much more can be found inside this magnificent art museum. One of the best museums to visit when visiting Ottawa is right across the Outaouais River to the province of Quebec. Simply a 5min drive, or 15 minute walk, over the bridge will bring you to the treasure-trove of The Canadian Museum of Civilization. This museum is filled with historical presentations of various cultural heritages, focusing on the Canadian settlements from prehistoric times to today. This is a perfect museum for kids, including interactive activities for their entertainment. Canada Science and Technology Museum and Canada Aviation Museum are sure to entertain any science lover. While history buffs will love Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum and The Bytown Museum.
The most celebrated festival in Ottawa is the Winterlude Winter Festival. Every year, the famous Rideau Canal freezes over and becomes the world’s largest skating rink. Individuals come from all over the world to skate and celebrate the best season of all. Special exhibitions are set up with ice sculptures by famous ice sculptors from various countries. Fun activities for children of all ages can be found, including ice slides, mazes and sleight rides.
Don’t forget to tie up your skates (you can also rent them), hit the canal, and enjoy some hot chocolate with a delicious Beaver Tail. If you’re visiting Ottawa during the summer, the canal will be melted and allow small boats to leisurely float through the center of Ottawa. This will be a perfect opportunity to visit a few of your favorite singers and bands at Blues Fest. Every summer, various locations throughout Ottawa are dedicated to musical lineups from local to worldwide celebrities. Throughout the year, there are various cultural and musical events happening in and around the city that you won’t want to miss out on and there are always plenty of things to do in Ottawa.