Ottawa Travel Guide

  • "Rideau Canal"world's longest skating...
    by junikaralasingham
  • View of Ottawa from Gatineau
    View of Ottawa from Gatineau
    by Marisola
  • Centre Block Sound & Lights
    Centre Block Sound & Lights
    by GrumpyDiver

Ottawa Things to Do

  • Parliament Hill

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    A few days ago,I went on an enlightening free tour of Canada's Parliament.The guide,Mark on this free tour was extremely helpful and informative.On this tour,I saw the Parliamentary House of Commons,Parliamentary Library,Peace Tower(great of Ottawa's tall buildings,the Ottawa River,the Notre Dame Basilica,and the National Gallery),and the War...

    more
  • Parliament Hill - Changing of the Guard

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Every summer morning Parliament Hill is alive with music and colorful drills. The Changing of the Guard is a large-scale production includes a regimental band and pipers. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. each morning, but arrive about 15 minutes early to grab a spot with a great view.

    more
  • Byward Market

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    In hidden away courtyards by Byward market are several lovely works of art. My first photo is of the Tin House (2003), which I find awesome. It is the facade of a house of tinsmith Honoré Foisy. He advertised by decorating the outside of his house. This work of art is made of original and fabricated parts of the house. It is a fun idea, putting...

    more

Ottawa Hotels

See all 150 Hotels in Ottawa

Ottawa Restaurants

See all 243 Restaurants in Ottawa
  • Vittoria Trattoria

    We totally didn't have any plans for dinner when we decided to visit Ottawa. We basically strolled around Byward Market and began reading posted menus outside each restaurant. Both my wife and I were in the mood for Italian cuisine and the menu looked appealing; so we decided to try it out. When we came inside for a table they said they have...

    more
  • Rocky Mountain Candy Company

    The Rocky Mountain Candy Company is a chain of stores that specialize in candies, chocolates, caramel apples and in some locations ice cream. After my wife was disappointed with her entrée at dinner and left it behind except the initial bite; I knew she needed something to eat that would make her smile. We both love this chain or stores and when...

    more
  • Hidden Mom n Pop Cafeteria ~ a gem !

    Breakfast and lunch . see @table85 Ottawa <$10 ppGo onto their Facebook page or Yelp &/or Zomato to see the small limited menu.I know the building from days off Canadian Blood Services , was Keller Williams, nor REMAXWe were ther for the Korean Chicjen, spicy and plin, noodles and rice.So a whole chicken for 30, plus 3 more dishes...

    more

Ottawa Nightlife

See all 81 Nightlife in Ottawa
  • Byward Market

    The Heart and Crown was once one of our favourite pubs when in Ottawa but a recent experience has convinced me never to return. After attending my daughter's graduation from University in the afternoon, we all decided to meet at the pub for dinner and a few drinks. Our meals were taking a cry long time and we complained to a young man who turned...

    more
  • Elgin Street

    D'Arcy McGee's is a franchise Irish Pub, where you can eat too. BEERS: Domestic: Budweiser, Bud Light, Labatt Blue Domestic specials: Rickard's Red, Alexander Keith's, Creemore Import: Guinness, Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, Smithwick's, Kilkenny, Harp, Strongbow A second pub is located at 360 Moodie Dr, Nepean As you are

    more
  • Bank Street

    Irene's Pub is a great place to listen to live local bands. Live music every night, around $10 to get in is the norm. Relaxed atmosphere, and enjoyed by locals, both the young hipsters and the neighbourhood old timers. Casual dress

    more

Ottawa Transportation

  • Public transit - city

    Ottawa's Public Transportation started on June 29, 1891 when Thomas Ahearn and Warren Soper made the first run of the Ottawa Electric Street Railway Company. The company was privately run for 58 years and was taken over by the government on February 16, 1948. Nowadays the OC Transpo fleet has over 1000 buses and three trains serving nearly...

    more
  • Travel by Rail

    Having travelled from New York up to Montreal on the Amtrak Ariondak which was a less than spectacularly slow 10 hour service, our next stop was Ottawa. Our Montreal hotel was the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, chosen by us as the railway station is a simple elevator ride down under the hotel. The trip to Ottawa was uneventful and quite speedy but was...

    more
  • Travel by Air

    From outside the N-American continent: Fly to Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (aka YUL)- formerly known as Montreal-Dorval - and rent a car at the airport. From there it is about 2 hours to get to Ottawa (highway 40 & 417). You will avoid a change of planes at the busy Toronto or Montreal airport and save traveltime. The disadvantage...

    more

Ottawa Shopping

See all 82 Shopping in Ottawa
  • Byward Market

    Looking for Cheese?! International Cheese, Inc. has a wide variety of cheeses from around the world: Canadian cheeses, French cheeses, chocolates, coffees, crackers, olives, cooking products, and a deli department. I love all types of cheeses, so when I'm out of town, I try to find local cheeses to try that I can't get at home. I also like to try...

    more
  • Rideau Centre

    Rideau Centre is the place to shop in Ottawa - all under one roof. I had been several times to Ottawa before I noticed that this was a mall there right in the very city centre. One cannot really see it from the outside that this is a mall. There are 180 stores at the mall. It is big and one can spend hours in there. One can also cross the street...

    more
  • Decadent desserts

    Open the door, and you'll smell the coffee, look left to see a variety of Middle Eastern Pastries, pistachios, honey, and so many more, at the back, a fridge counter of very Colourful French Pastries, a large variety that demands more than a visit to savour the delicacies. Wish it was closer to home for me French Pastries, hand made and decadent...

    more

Ottawa Local Customs

  • French and English

    Canada is English speaking, apart from Quebec which has remained French speaking, with people of French origin. Ottawa and Gatineau are divided by Ottawa river, Ottawa being in Ontario on the English side and Gatineau being in Quebec on the French side. If you go into Gatineau all the signs are in French, but on the Ottawa side all the signs are...

    more
  • Drinking/Buying alcohol

    It happens for three days, once a year. The Ottawa Wine and Food Show is an excellent place to try different wines, food and other spirits prepared and presented by local businesses among others. The thing is ALWAYS packed, you may have to wait in line for an hour even if you have a ticket. Regardless, it's always a good time. There's lots of...

    more
  • Cultural Diversity

    The Ottawa Tulip Festival has it roots in 1945 when the Dutch royal family sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa in gratitude for the home Ottawa was to the Royal family during the War. Since 1953 the annual festival is held and the number of tulips on display is more than a million.

    more

Ottawa Warnings and Dangers

  • Safety in Ottawa

    Ottawa is generally a fairly safe city; the federal presence within the capital makes the city heavily policed and patroled. However, it's always best to be on the look out--just in case. The areas around the Rideau Centre along Rideau St. at night are sometimes filled with bored teens and wannabe drug dealers. Homeless people also are found along...

    more
  • Driving in Ottawa

    For all of you looking for Gatineau look for signs with the word: HULL! 2009 Update: Believe it or not, all HULL signs are replaced by signs with GATINEAU. So, just follow the new and cleary readable new signs :)

    more
  • Winters

    Snow can be used for building snowmen, snow for us suburbanites, dependent of the 4 wheeled cars to commute, driveways need to be cleared; oh yes, the snow clearers aka graders, do push heavy loads of compact snow into monstrous banks that need to be removed , by house residents, without personal snow blowers, physically trying, but a solution...

    more

Ottawa Tourist Traps

  • Parliament Buildings

    If you do make it to the Parliament buildings, keep an eye out for the various "grotesques" you'll see peeking out at you from all over the building. My favorite is pictured here. A worker explained to me that these are not gargoyles, because gargoyles always have their mouths open to direct water away from the building, but grotesques have closed...

    more
  • Byward Market

    Byward Market... I just have nothing to say about this place exept it's probably the busiest place in Ottawa (which isn't much.) Nothing special here..exept maybe Beaver tails if you have never eathen them before.

    more
  • Taxis: NO NO NO!

    When visiting Ottawa do not take the cab (taxi). Taxi rates are very high in Ottawa. Appearently the highest in the country. You save lots by walking of by taking the public transportation (OC transpo: see transportation tips). Plus taxi drivers will ask you for tip if you did not give them enough! And eve worst, all my taxi experiences where bad:...

    more

Ottawa What to Pack

  • Weather

    Waterproof shoes, don't forget weatherproof paste. Waterproof coat etc; you will have make your car ice/snow-free more than once. Anti-flu, anti-cold stuff (I prefer Fisherman's Friend). Some moisturizer for your lips. General tips for snow-pictures. In the winter the sun is always low and it is hard to take a good picture of a building at close...

    more
  • Packing List

    Waterproof shoes, don't forget weatherproof paste.Waterproof coat etc; you will have make your car ice/snow-free more than once. Anti-flu, anti-cold stuff (I prefer Fisherman's Friend).Some moisturizer for your lips. General tips for snow-pictures. In the winter the sun is always low and it is hard to take a good picture of a building at close...

    more
  • Some have Lap tops others Camera Phones...

    A light portable one for mobility especially if you want to keep up with current affairs and significant geo-political developments in BURMA. as important as clothes, is food for the mind about FreedomSIGN a PETITION - An appeal to the UN Security Council to protect the people of Burma from BBC's Accounts from inside Burma" Now the military junta...

    more

Ottawa Off The Beaten Path

  • Gatineau Park

    camping only crosses my mind as rare and special occasions in my hometown. here, canadians love to go camping during summer and it's a typical canadian must-do activity. all you need to do is reserve a camping site (online booking), buy a tent (if you go with 2 people, buy a 4 pax tent, trust me.. speaking from my experience), pack some food for...

    more
  • Ottawa Area Museums

    The National Currency Museum The National Currency Museum is located in downtown Ottawa, at 245 Sparks Street, Ottawa. Open daily from 10:30 AM until 5:00 PM and Sundays from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The museum itself is part of the Bank of Canada building. There is a bilingual tour guide available on request and at this place you can learn about the...

    more
  • Silicon Valley North

    Silicon Valley North. That's right. This is how some people know Ottawa. Why? Because Ottawa is the home for some of the World's biggest and most advanced information technology companies. You probably heard of the company Corel, or Nortel networks. Perhaps JDS Uniphase and Cognos. There are many more to list, like Siemens, HP, Canon, Microsoft...

    more

Ottawa Sports & Outdoors

  • Hockey

    Truly the most absurdly located NHL building imaginable - at the extreme west end of Ottawa beyond the suburbs. Why? When most new arenas were being constructed in city centres during the 1990s, Ottawa's new arena was not following suit. I believe the biggest reason for this was to be more than 120 miles from the Bell Centre in Montreal. I hope in...

    more
  • Skating

    The Rideau Canal Skateway is known as the world's longest skating rink. The skateway is about 8 km long and runs through the heart of the city. All along the canal there are little rest areas, and if you feel like your energy is running low, it is also possible to buy delicious beavertail pastries (fried dough - the nutella-covered one is the...

    more
  • Boating (sailing, rafting)

    Rafting on the Ottawa River is highly recommended; it's considered one of the best whitewater destinations in Canada. The best known companies are Wilderness tours (http://www.wildernesstours.com/) and Owl Rafting (http://www.owl-mkc.ca/owl/). The departure points are somewhere around 1 to 1 1/2 hours drive out of the city, but well worth it from...

    more

Ottawa General

See all 185 General in Ottawa
  • Statues

    'Territorial Prerogative' created by Bruce Garner in 1980. The sculpture stands at the entrance to the Sparks Street Mall. On the same street you will find another Bruce Garner's sculpture 'Joy' (1970) - the family group made of welded copper.

    more
  • Parliament Hill

    The Canadian Centennial was a year long celebration held in 1967 when Canada celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. This monument was created on Jan 1967 to mark the beginning of the Canadian Centennial.

    more
  • Views of Ottawa

    Downtown Ottawa is bordered by the Ottawa River to the north, the Rideau Canal to the east, Gloucester Street to the south and Bronson Avenue to the west. 'The towers of downtown Ottawa are not as tall as other those in other cities, as legislation prevented buildings being built taller than the Peace Tower until the 1970s, so as not to overshadow...

    more

Instant Answers: Ottawa

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

10 travelers online now

Comments (1)

  • Mar 1, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    lots of good stuff here, but I would like to know if any of you have recently past year, stayed at a good B and B.. quiet close to d/t Sedona :)

 
Explore Deeper into Ottawa
Views of Ottawa
Things to Do
Rideau Canal
Things to Do
Ottawa and area Museums
Things to Do
National Art Gallery of Canada
Things to Do
Rideau Hall
Things to Do
Ottawa Locks
Things to Do
General city Information
Transportation
Sightseeing tours
Transportation
Mosquitoes
Warnings and Dangers
Intercity by bus
Transportation
Travel by Road (including rentals)
Transportation
General city Information
Local Customs
General city Information
General
Ottawa Area Museums
General
Rideau Canal
General
Capital of Canada
Local Customs
Autumn scenery
General
Winters
General
Skating the Rideau Canal
General
No Smoking
Local Customs
Byward Market
Off The Beaten Path
Football, baseball, lacross
Sports & Outdoors
Canadian Tulip Festival
Off The Beaten Path
Skiing/Snowboarding
Sports & Outdoors
Check in time not guaranteed
Things to Do
Tasty Ice Cream Treats
Restaurants
Okay Dinner
Restaurants
Jollof Rice
Restaurants
A Pleasure To Be Among So Much Treasure
Things to Do
crispy deep fried Chicken
Restaurants
A Fine,Free Tour of Parliament
Things to Do
The Tulip Festival
Local Customs
Drinking and Driving
Transportation
National Gallery of Canada
Things to Do
Coffee Shop with finesse
Restaurants
Canadian Chinese Buffet from GTA in Ottawa
Restaurants
Military Parade
Things to Do
Along the Ottawa River
Things to Do
Downtown Christmas Lights
Things to Do
After the Federal Elections, a new Prime Minister
Local Customs

View all Ottawa hotels

Map of Ottawa