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Travel Guide

Ottawa showing cycling, a city and a river or creek

Canada’s gorgeous capital offers an array of galleries, museums, nature parks and historic sites, making it the perfect cultural and romantic escape.

Canada’s stylish capital, Ottawa, is a city rich in arts, heritage and sciences. The city blends ultra-modern and Victorian Gothic architecture, balances technology with nature and offers cuisines from across the globe.

Begin your stay with a trip to the historic Parliament Buildings on Parliament Hill. Visit the Library of Parliament and the iconic Peace Tower. These Gothic Revival buildings are adorned with gold-leaf ceilings and ornate images of Canada’s past. Explore Centre Block and listen to political debates in the House of Commons and the Senate. Continue your appreciation of Gothic Revival-style architecture at the Notre Dame Basilica, a Canadian National Historic Site. Admire the terraced galleries, stained-glass windows and altars rich in adornments.

The nation’s capital has plenty of galleries and museums to explore. Follow the history of modern warfare at the Canadian War Museum. Learn about the country’s place in the history of flight at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and marvel at how humans have developed at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. See old art masters and learn about new ones while discovering Canada’s rich cultural heritage at the National Gallery of Canada.

Ottawa is a city for all seasons with winter snow activities and summer hikes. Discover heritage estates, natural beauty and the rich biodiversity of the popular Gatineau Park. In the summer, boat on the Rideau Canal, an internationally recognized World Heritage Site. Skate on the canal in the winter when it transforms into the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink.

Ottawa is an easy city to navigate, with most of the attractions located within walking distance of each other. Check the opening hours of museums before you go since they can vary depending on the season and day of the week. Peak season is during the summer months from June through August and the low season is from November through April.

Ottawa Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Ottawa

Sandman Signature Ottawa Airport Hotel
Sandman Signature Ottawa Airport Hotel
3.5 out of 5
250 West Hunt Club Road, Ottawa, ON
The price is $93 per night from May 28 to May 28
Located in Ottawa Division, this hotel is 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from Nepean Sportsplex and within 6 mi (10 km) of Carleton University and Algonquin College. TD Place ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (991 reviews)
"Really nice rooms staff is very welcoming And the area had plenty of restaurants around"

Reviewed on May 16, 2021

Sandman Signature Ottawa Airport Hotel
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
4.5 out of 5
1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON
The price is $175 per night from May 19 to May 19
Located in Downtown Ottawa, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of National War Memorial, Shaw Centre, and National Arts Centre. Byward Market Square ...
4.3/5Excellent! (2,130 reviews)
"The property was lovely, but unfortunately the building had issues with the water, we didn’t have any water for 2 out of 3 days that we were there... we didn’t make a fuss but they offered to move us to the Westin hotel, we said no. All they did was take off the internet charges to our room. That ..."

Reviewed on Apr 29, 2021

Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - a concept by Hyatt
Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - a concept by Hyatt
4 out of 5
325 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa, ON
The price is $133 per night from May 31 to May 31
Located in Downtown Ottawa, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Byward Market Square, Shaw Centre, and National Gallery of Canada. Parliament Hill and University ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,480 reviews)
"Friendly staff trying to make the best of the current environment. Once free check in drink should be RE-instated. Lobby could use music again to make it feel less dark/desolate. Morning breakfast should be brought up to standards quickly as business travel re emerges. This is a great hotel, let’s ..."

Reviewed on May 15, 2021

Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - a concept by Hyatt
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Duvernay Studios and Suites
Duvernay Studios and Suites
2.5 out of 5
92 De L'hotel-De-Ville Street, Gatineau, QC
The price is $55 per night from May 21 to May 21
Located in Hull, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Canadian Museum of History and Jacques Cartier Park. Byward Market Square and Parliament ...
3.6/5Good! (498 reviews)
"Convenient location. Staff is friendly and helpful. The suite did not feel was thoroughly cleaned. No hand sanitizers or wipes provided In the suite."

Reviewed on Feb 23, 2021

Duvernay Studios and Suites
Residences at Kanata Lakes
Residences at Kanata Lakes
3.5 out of 5
1100 Canadian Shield Ave, Ottawa, ON
Located in Ottawa Division, this apartment building is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Kanata Centrum Shopping Centre and 2.5 mi (4.1 km) from Canadian Tire Centre. Bell ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (78 reviews)
"We had a great stay at this hotel. The 2 bedroom suite was very spacious and all of the appliances were top of the line. The bathrooms and bedrooms were nicely updated and the space was very clean. The only downside is there aren’t any TVs in the bedrooms and the main tv is not a smart tv and is ..."

Reviewed on Apr 16, 2021

Residences at Kanata Lakes
Abbott Road Suites
Abbott Road Suites
3.5 out of 5
2204 Abbott Road, North Grenville, ON
The price is $140 per night from May 20 to May 20
Situated near the airport, this aparthotel is 11.1 mi (17.9 km) from Blockhouse Museum.
4.6/5Wonderful! (48 reviews)
"This was a lovely, quiet get away and very helpful for us traveling with a dog. Cozy, super clean and well provisioned. Thank you for such good communication and professionalism during this difficult time."

Reviewed on Oct 11, 2020

Abbott Road Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Ottawa

Ottawa will give your leg muscles a workout. It’s small and, provided you visit in the warmer months, walking here is not just practical but delightful. Make longer journeys with the two local bus companies, OC Transpo and Société de transportation de l'Outaouais. Taxis and ride-sharing are popular too. For a speedier, but still healthy, alternative to walking, use the VeloGO bike share program. Visit the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario website.Browse Ottawa rental cars.

Best time to visit

Ottawa’s summer months are the most popular times to visit the city, and if you come then you will soon realize why. With daytime temperatures in the high 60s F and low to mid 70s F (20s C), a calendar packed with open-air festivals, and colorful flowers in full bloom, June through August is a beautiful time to see the city. But this does mean more competition for rooms and more crowds at attractions.

Popular places to visit in Ottawa

Top things to do in Ottawa

Reviews of Ottawa


Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent 57.83289817232376%
4 - Good
4 - Good 34.9869451697128%
3 - Okay
3 - Okay 6.135770234986945%
2 - Disappointing
2 - Disappointing 0.783289817232376%
1 - Terrible
1 - Terrible 0.26109660574412535%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 21, 2020

The local people were very nice and I enjoyed spending my time there.

3/5 - Okay


Mar 19, 2020

Ottawa is okay. There are some people, it did not make me feel anything one way or the other.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 17, 2020

It was a beautiful city with friendly people and a lot of good food, shopping and events. I've recommended it to all of my friends from the U.S.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 2, 2020

Very clean and friendly city, Will go back to see all the other places we didn't have time to see. Everyone made us feel at home. Wonderful :)

5/5 - Excellent


Feb 29, 2020

Ottawa is like the Washington DC of Canada. If you're a history buff or you love beautiful architecture you'll be surprised at how lovely and underrated this city is.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Feb 26, 2020

The City is Beautiful, Clean and Hospitable. The people are absolutely lovely and I will return, again and again.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Ottawa

The Ins and Outs for Visiting Ottawa

The Ins and Outs for Visiting Ottawa

The Ins and Outs for Visiting Ottawa

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