Ottawa, Canada

The Canadian Capital City, Ottawa is situated on the South Bank of the Ottawa River. This is a bilingual city with most locals speaking both English and French.

Ottawa is also a very multicultural city and with its melting pot of cultures, it has an amazing cuisine. You can find food from all over the world here, as well as a few of the Canadian classics. BeaverTails are a must and come with different toppings, including cinnamon sugar, chocolate hazelnut spread, peanut butter and maple syrup. Poutine is another must, which is a French Canadian dish of chips, cheese curds and gravy.

The magnificent recovery of the Gothic Parliament Hill sits in the middle of the city centre overlooking the Ottawa River. The building is home to the Parliament of Canada. There are three buildings that make up Parliament Hill, as well as a sprawling formal garden. There are tours that run multiple times a day in both English and French, which last between 30-60 minutes.

Rideau Canal is a 202 kilometre long canal that links the Ottawa River with the Great Cataraqui River and then at Lake Ontario at Kingston. Opened in 1832 for commercial shipping, freight was eventually moved to railways and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Today it remains in use mainly for pleasure boating. In the winter months a section of the Rideau Canal is turned into a massive skating rink stretching nearly eight kilometres. The skating rink is open 24 hours a day and is a great place to spend a romantic evening.

Major’s Hill Park is situated just above the Rideau Canal, which sits just across the canal from Parliament Hill. It is one of the city’s oldest green spaces and is open all year round. Numerous events are held at the park, including Canada Day celebrations and the annual ‘B In The Park’, an event that highlights pipe bands. Major’s Hill Park also boasts fantastic views of Parliament Hill, the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica and the Fairmont Château Laurier.

Rideau Hall is the official residence of the Canadian Monarch. This is a stunning 175 room mansion that sits on 88 acres of land. Rideau Hall is a National Historic Site of Canada, that dates back to 1867. It is a magnificent building that is furnished in both historic and contemporary items. The mansion is open to the public for tours that last around 45 minutes and are free.

ByWard Market is one of the oldest markets in Canada. Located is in the heart of Ottawa’s City Centre, it comprises of a main buildings that is surrounded by open-air stalls. The main buildings are open all year round, with the surrounding stalls being open when the weather is nice. It is a vibrant place, where fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers can be purchased, as well as other grocery items. You will also find restaurants, fast food kiosks and several boutiques at the ByWard Market.

Westboro Village has become a shopping mecca with several outdoor shops having flagship stores located here. It is also home to one-of-a-kind boutiques, local design houses and unique gift shops. There are lovely cafés and at night why not relax here and try a pint of the specialty craft beer. Westboro Village has a lot more to offer as it is home to art galleries as well as wellness centres, yoga schools and massage shops.

Ottawa has plenty of Museum’s to put on your next visit list including the Canadian Museum of History, the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Canada Agriculture Museum and the Canadian War Museum, just a few of the Museums that are located in Ottawa.

The Fairmont Château Laurier is a 660,000 square foot Castle, which now trades as a luxury hotel. This French Gothic Castle overlooks the Rideau Canal and dates back to 1912, when it had just 350 rooms. Today, there are a total of 429 guest rooms in the Château. The whole building is exquisite, featuring Tiffany stained glass windows, Roman columns and a copper roof. The lobby boasts Belgian marble floors, while the lounge is a stunning atrium with glowing chandeliers and is a great place to come for afternoon tea.

If you want to go to the beach while in Ottawa then head to Petrie Island. There are two beaches on the Island and they are open to the public from mid-May to beginning of September. The beaches are run by the city with lifeguards on duty seven days a week. Petrie Island is also a great place to enjoy a picnic or to just come and relax away from the bustling city centre.

Check out some of our popular City Breaks!