Dreaming of a memorable holiday that combines history, culture, and natural beauty? Look no further than Ottawa, the charming capital city of Canada. Nestled along the picturesque Ottawa River, this vibrant city offers a plethora of attractions and activities that cater to all types of travelers. From iconic landmarks to family-friendly adventures and unique experiences, holiday in Ottawa has something for everyone. Let’s dive into the best places to visit and things to do during your getaway.
Holiday in Ottawa: What are the best places to visit in Ottawa, ON?
1, Parliament Hill
Kick off your holiday in Ottawa adventure with a visit to the iconic Parliament Hill. This historic site not only showcases the stunning Gothic Revival architecture of the Parliament Buildings but also serves as a symbol of Canada’s rich history and democratic principles. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony, a colorful spectacle that takes place during the summer months. The majestic Peace Tower, rising above the Centre Block, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city.
2. ByWard Market
Immerse yourself in the local culture by exploring the vibrant ByWard Market. This historic district is a lively hub of activity, featuring a wide array of shops, boutiques, and restaurants. The bustling atmosphere is invigorating as you navigate through stalls offering fresh produce, artisanal goods, and handmade crafts. Whether you’re searching for a delectable culinary experience or seeking unique souvenirs, ByWard Market is the perfect place to satisfy your senses.
3. National Gallery of Canada
Art enthusiasts will be captivated by the National Gallery of Canada, home to an extensive collection of Canadian and international art. From exquisite Renaissance masterpieces to thought-provoking contemporary creations, the gallery offers a diverse range of artistic expressions. The awe-inspiring architecture of the building itself is a work of art, with its grand glass façade and impressive interior spaces. Wander through the galleries and let the world of art spark your imagination.
Family-Friendly Adventures: Bonding in holiday in Ottawa
Canadian Museum of Nature
Embark on an educational journey with your family at the Canadian Museum of Nature. This captivating museum provides an immersive experience that appeals to both kids and adults. Explore interactive exhibits that delve into the wonders of the natural world, from prehistoric creatures to modern-day ecosystems. Discover dinosaur fossils, marvel at exquisite gemstones, and engage in hands-on activities that inspire learning and curiosity.
2. Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Ignite your family’s curiosity and sense of wonder at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. The museum boasts an impressive collection of historic aircraft and artifacts that showcase the evolution of aviation and space exploration. From vintage biplanes to cutting-edge jet fighters, the exhibits offer a fascinating glimpse into the world of flight. Engaging displays and interactive activities provide an enriching experience that will captivate aviation enthusiasts of all ages.
3. Rideau Canal
A holiday in Ottawa isn’t complete without experiencing the historic Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the winter months, families can enjoy the quintessential Canadian activity of ice skating on the frozen canal. As the weather warms up, the canal transforms into a picturesque waterway perfect for leisurely boat rides and scenic strolls along its tranquil shores. Whether you’re gliding on ice or cruising on water, the Rideau Canal offers a unique and enchanting experience for families to cherish.
Unusual and Fun Experiences: Holiday in Ottawa
For those seeking a thrilling and unconventional experience, embark on a haunted walk through Ottawa’s historic streets. Delve into the city’s eerie past as knowledgeable guides share spine-chilling tales of ghostly encounters, unsolved mysteries, and dark secrets. As you explore dimly lit alleyways and atmospheric neighborhoods, you’ll gain a new perspective on Ottawa’s history and uncover the paranormal side of the city.
2. Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum
Unearth a unique piece of history at the Diefenbunker, Canada’s Cold War Museum. Step into the depths of this massive underground bunker, designed to withstand a nuclear attack during the Cold War era. As you navigate through its hidden chambers and corridors, you’ll gain insight into the anxieties and preparedness of that tumultuous period. Discover artifacts, interactive displays, and the fascinating stories that shaped Canada’s response to the global tensions of the time.
3. Escape Manor
Challenge your wits and teamwork skills by trying an escape room experience at Escape Manor. Choose from a variety of themed rooms, each presenting a unique puzzle to solve and mysteries to unravel. With a mix of ingenuity, creativity, and collaboration, you and your companions must work against the clock to unlock secrets, find clues, and ultimately escape the room. This immersive and exhilarating adventure promises an unforgettable bonding experience filled with fun and excitement.
Where to Stay:
Selecting the right accommodation is crucial to make the most of your holiday in Ottawa. Expedia offers a variety of options to suit every traveler’s needs, from luxurious hotels with stunning views to cozy bed and breakfasts that offer a personalized touch. To enhance your experience, consider booking accommodations near your preferred attractions, allowing you to maximize your time exploring the city.
Holiday Inn express & suites Ottawa downtown east, an IHG Hotel
Nestled in Downtown Ottawa and conveniently close to Byward Market Square, this Ottawa hotel offers a range of amenities for a satisfying stay. Enjoy complimentary daily on-the-go breakfast, alongside coffee and tea in shared spaces, complemented by a snack bar/deli. Stay connected with free WiFi accessible in all rooms and select public areas featuring both free WiFi and wired internet. The hotel presents various activities including a pool, family-friendly features like highchairs, in-room microwaves, and refrigerators. Further enhancing your comfort are laundry facilities, a snack bar/deli, soundproofed rooms, a 24-hour front desk, and an ATM for added convenience.
2. reStays Ottawa
Located in Downtown Ottawa near the National Arts Centre, this exceptional 4-star Ottawa hotel offers an array of amenities to ensure a top-tier stay. Enjoy complimentary WiFi and take advantage of air conditioning, an on-site gym, and room service. Savor dining experiences at the restaurant, Le Moulin de Provence, or engage in private picnics on the terrace. Stay connected with free WiFi in all rooms and select public areas. With an arcade/game room, billiards, sauna, and gym, entertainment is never far away. Family-friendly features include in-room kitchen facilities, laundry amenities, and soundproofed rooms. The 24-hour front desk, concierge services, and daily housekeeping cater to your needs, making your stay truly exceptional.
3. Lord Elgin Hotel
Positioned in Downtown Ottawa near the National War Memorial, this eco-certified Ottawa hotel boasts an array of sought-after amenities. From a pool and hot tub to a restaurant and bar, every comfort is provided. Take advantage of free WiFi, air conditioning, and a well-equipped gym. Enjoy breakfast options, room service, and laundry facilities. Valet parking and business services are available, while the on-site 24/7 front desk ensures your needs are met at any hour. The hotel’s waterfront location adds to the charm, and an indoor pool, sauna, and spa tub provide relaxation options. Family-friendly features include in-room refrigerators and access to an indoor pool. Embrace the convenience of free WiFi in all rooms and select public areas, and benefit from the presence of a 24-hour health club and bicycle storage.
4. Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Kanata
Situated in Kanata, this 3-star Ottawa hotel offers a range of amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. Enjoy complimentary breakfast, and embrace the convenience of a pet-friendly environment. With an indoor pool, gym, and business services, your needs are catered to. Free WiFi, air conditioning, and parking add to the ease of your stay. Take advantage of the 24/7 front desk and laundry facilities, and appreciate the presence of an electric car charging station and free self-parking. Family-friendly features include free cribs and rollaway beds, while in-room kitchen facilities and a full-sized refrigerator/freezer offer added convenience. The option of free WiFi and wired internet is available in all rooms and select public areas, and you’ll find opportunities for relaxation in the rooftop terrace, garden, and barbecue grill areas.
Which neighborhoods in Ottawa, Canada, are recommended for living?
Ottawa offers a variety of neighborhoods and communities, each with its own unique charm and amenities. The best place to live in Ottawa depends on your preferences, lifestyle, and priorities. Here are some popular neighborhoods and areas to consider:
- Centretown: Located in the heart of Ottawa, Centretown offers a vibrant urban lifestyle with easy access to Parliament Hill, government buildings, and a mix of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.
- Sandy Hill: Adjacent to Centretown, Sandy Hill is a historic neighborhood known for its tree-lined streets, Victorian homes, and proximity to the University of Ottawa. It offers a blend of residential tranquility and city convenience.
- The Glebe: This trendy neighborhood is known for its lively atmosphere, independent boutiques, restaurants, and the Lansdowne Park entertainment complex. It’s a favorite among young professionals and families.
- Westboro: Westboro boasts a thriving arts scene, boutique shops, and a diverse range of restaurants. It’s a popular choice for those who enjoy a blend of urban amenities and a tight-knit community feel.
- Hintonburg: Another trendy area, Hintonburg offers art galleries, unique shops, and a growing culinary scene. It’s known for its creative spirit and is often chosen by artists and young professionals.
- Kanata: If you’re looking for a suburban lifestyle, Kanata is a family-friendly area with good schools, parks, and a mix of housing options. It’s also home to the Canadian Tire Centre, where NHL games and concerts are held.
- Orleans: Situated to the east of downtown, Orleans is known for its strong sense of community, shopping centers, and parks. It’s a great option for families and those looking for a quieter suburban setting.
- Barrhaven: South of downtown, Barrhaven is a rapidly growing suburb with modern amenities, schools, and parks. It’s a popular choice for families seeking a residential neighborhood.
Holiday in Ottawa: Which mode of transport works best in Ottawa?
Navigating around Ottawa can be a breeze, thanks to its efficient transportation options. The best way to travel around the city depends on your preferences and the attractions you plan to visit. Here are some of the top ways to get around Ottawa:
- Public Transit (OC Transpo): Ottawa’s public transit system, operated by OC Transpo, offers an extensive network of buses and a light rail transit (LRT) system called the O-Train. This is a convenient and budget-friendly option for getting around the city. The LRT connects major areas within the city and provides a reliable way to reach key attractions.
- Cycling: Ottawa is known for its bike-friendly infrastructure, including dedicated cycling lanes and paths. You can rent bicycles through various bike-sharing programs or use your own bike to explore the city’s scenic routes and paths, including along the Rideau Canal.
- Walking: Ottawa is a pedestrian-friendly city, especially in its downtown core and around major attractions. Walking is a great way to fully experience the city’s charm, architecture, and hidden gems. Don’t miss a stroll through ByWard Market and along the scenic Ottawa River.
- Taxis and Ride-Sharing: Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber are readily available in Ottawa. They offer a convenient option for door-to-door transportation, especially if you’re traveling in a group or need to reach a specific destination quickly.
- Driving: While having a car in Ottawa can be useful for exploring the surrounding areas, traffic and parking in the city center can be a challenge, particularly during peak hours. If you plan to drive, check parking options in advance and consider staying at accommodations that offer parking facilities.
- Tourist Buses and Trolleys: Ottawa offers hop-on-hop-off tourist buses and trolleys that take you to major attractions and provide commentary along the way. These services are a convenient way to cover a lot of ground while learning about the city’s history and culture.
- Ottawa River Cruises: During the warmer months, consider taking a leisurely Ottawa River cruise. These cruises offer unique views of the city’s landmarks from the water, including Parliament Hill and the Canadian Museum of History.
Ultimately, the best way to travel around Ottawa depends on your preferences, the weather, and the specific attractions you want to visit. A combination of public transit, walking, and biking can be an enjoyable and efficient way to explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods and attractions.
Ottawa’s charm lies in its ability to cater to diverse interests, making it an ideal destination for a memorable holiday. From exploring historic landmarks that embody the nation’s identity to indulging in culinary delights and embarking on unique adventures, a holiday in Ottawa promises an enriching experience for solo travelers, families, and couples alike. So pack your bags, plan your itinerary, and get ready to create lasting memories in Canada’s captivating capital. For more information, visit Expedia and Tripreviewhub.