Ottawa

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

The Business Inn
The Business Inn
2.5 out of 5
180 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON
The price is $82 per night from Dec 14 to Dec 14
Located in Centretown, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Elgin Street, University of Ottawa, and Rideau Centre. Parliament Hill and Byward Market Square ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (2,373 reviews)
"This was the second time I stayed at this location. It is quiet and very clean. The staff was very efficient during check in and departure, special thanks go out to Ms. Luella. Will definitely return."

Reviewed on Dec 7, 2021

The Business Inn
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 $136 per night from Jan 2 to Jan 2
Located in Downtown Ottawa, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Byward Market Square, University of Ottawa, and Shaw Centre. National Gallery of Canada ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (1,473 reviews)
"Wonderful stay! When I go back to Ottawa I will definitely stay there. Courteous staff, great food, the room was super clean, beds were super comfy. Loved it!"

Reviewed on Dec 6, 2021

Andaz Ottawa Byward Market - a concept by Hyatt
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
4.5 out of 5
1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON
The price is $181 per night from Jan 8 to Jan 8
Located in Downtown Ottawa, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Elgin Street, Byward Market Square, and Parliament Hill. University of Ottawa and ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (2,035 reviews)
"I treated my 6 year-old to a stay in a "castle" and it was a dream come true. Afternoon tea was gorgeous and delightful, the holiday decorations were glorious and the service was positively perfect. Everyone made a special effort to come talk to her, offering to take pictures and even making sure ..."

Reviewed on Dec 5, 2021

Fairmont Chateau Laurier
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.
Les Suites Hotel Ottawa
Les Suites Hotel Ottawa
3.5 out of 5
130 Besserer St, Ottawa, ON
The price is $96 per night from Jan 2 to Jan 2
Located in Downtown Ottawa, this eco-friendly aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of University of Ottawa, Shaw Centre, and Byward Market Square. Parliament ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (2,615 reviews)
"Loved our one bedroom suite. It made our brief getaway feel more like a holiday than just a stay ina hotel. The kitchenette gave us a chance to prepare our own meals and not be forced to seek restaurants during some of the miserable weather that occurred during our stay."

Reviewed on Dec 7, 2021

Les Suites Hotel Ottawa
Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Kanata
Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Kanata
3 out of 5
900 Great Lakes Avenue, H, Ottawa, ON
The price is $114 per night from Dec 16 to Dec 16
Situated in the business district, this aparthotel is 0.7 mi (1.2 km) from Kanata Centrum Shopping Centre and within 3 mi (5 km) of Canadian Tire Centre and ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (692 reviews)
"Clean, friendly staff, nice and big suite, comfortable stay and would definitely book again."

Reviewed on Dec 7, 2021

Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Kanata
Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Downtown
Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Downtown
3.5 out of 5
361 Queen Street, Ottawa, ON
The price is $107 per night from Dec 24 to Dec 24
Located in Downtown Ottawa, this eco-friendly aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Library and Archives Canada, Parliament Hill, and Parliament Building. ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (670 reviews)
"Excellent location and beautiful place. Breakfast was excellent!"

Reviewed on Dec 5, 2021

Homewood Suites by Hilton Ottawa Downtown
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.

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