Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It is the best place to experience the best attractions in the whole of Canada. Declared as the capital of the country by Queen Victoria in 1857, Ottawa is best known for its Parliament Hill, Rideau Canal, good neighborhoods, and marvelous architecture.
The word Ottawa is derived from the Algonquin word ‘adawe’ – that means ‘to trade’, that’s the reason why Ottawa has always been an important center for business. Ottawa is located in the eastern part of Southern Ontario on the banks of the Ottawa River. Here are the 12 best things to do in Ottawa
Things to do in Ottawa
Here is the list of best things to do in Ottawa, Canada:
1. Have a tour of Parliament Hill
Exploring Parliament Hill is one of the most notable things to do in Ottawa. Parliament Hill is the home of Canada’s Federal Government. The gothic style architecture of the building looks like the Houses of Parliament in London and the Parliament Building in Budapest. There are free guided tours available to enhance your experience whilst exploring the building. Parliament Hill consists of 3 buildings: East, West, and Centre blocks. These buildings were constructed between 1857-1927.
2. Shop to your heart’s content at ByWard Market
ByWard Market is one of the largest and oldest farmers’ markets in Canada. It is one of those places that have got it all. From dining to shopping to entertainment, everything can be found at the ByWard Market. This area entertains over 50,000 people each weekend. There are a plethora of activities that are too long to mention.
3. Quench your curiosity at Bytown Museum
Bytown Museum is the best place to learn about Ottawa. The name of the museum is itself the former name of the city of Ottawa. The museum is located at the heart of Ottawa and was established in June of 1952. Talking about the activities that can be done here, well, there are plenty. There are 3 types of galleries, along with many community activities and exhibitions. Many events also take place here regularly.
4. Be art and part of National Gallery of Canada
accommodating approximately 65,000 pieces of fine art National art gallery is the largest collection of Canadian arts. Apart from various beautiful works, there are monthly exhibits too. The architecture of the gallery itself makes a statement about the quality of the work it houses. You will also get to witness a reclusive garden courtyard, a reconstructed chapel from the 19th century, and a pool with a glass bottom.
5. Visit Notre-Dame Cathedral
Notre-Dame Cathedral or Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica is the biggest and oldest church in the city of Ottawa and dates back to 1841. It is located in Sussex. A notable feature of this church is its typical French-Canadian architecture.
6. Satisfy your appetite at Beaver Tails
A trip to Ottawa is incomplete without having a snack at Beaver Tails. Founded in 1978, Beaver Tails is famously known for its fried dough pastries. These pastries are so famous that they have almost become an emblem for Canada. Even Obama came here during his presidential visit to Ottawa in 2009. BeaverTails is also mentioned in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. The name Beaver is due to its shape that resembles that of a beaver. The pastry is made out of whole wheat flour and is topped with cinnamon and sugar.
7. Stay in style at Fairmont Chateau Laurier
This was a 660,000 square foot chateau that got turned into a hotel in 1912. Situated at the intersection of Rideau Street and Sussex Drive, this luxury hotel has a total of 429 guest rooms to date. The entire architecture of the place is quite stunning and adorable to look at. The hotel boasts Belgian marble floors, Tiffany-stained windows, and other exclusivities.
8. Skate at Rideau Canal
Rideau Canal is the world’s largest skating rink. Not only this, but it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage site that transforms into a skating place. Each year, there are challenges hosted by NCC. Everyone is allowed to explore the 8-kilometer long track, 24/7. Non-skaters can walk along the sides. People also play ice hockey along with skating. Overall, it is a must-to-do thing in Ottawa.
9. Get the perfect shot at Laval Street
So you want to capture the best moments of your trip to Ottawa but simply can’t find a spot? Simply head over to Laval Street. You will get quite a good amount of photos for Instagram. The uniqueness of this place lies in the colorful umbrella decoration hanging from the buildings. Also, there are many places where you can grab a relaxing cocktail or a quick snack.
10. Spend some family time at Calypso Theme Waterpark
Calypso Park is located about 35 kilometers from Ottawa. But it is worth going to with your family or friends. It’s a 100-acre facility with lots of state-of-the-art attractions. The park has something for everyone from toddlers to extreme thrill-seekers. There are over 100 water games, 35 heated waterslides, and a lot more. It is the largest waterpark in Canada. The park has achieved many awards and honors since its inception in 2010.
11. Wander along with Westboro Village
If you are tired of exploring the city or want to go somewhere which is not that mainstream, Westboro Village is the place for you. Westboro Village houses quite a few establishments that might come in handy especially if you are a little bit travel-stained. There are art galleries, barber shops, wellness centers, souvenir shops, designer boutiques, etc.
12. Enjoy a festival
An amazing thing about Ottawa is the presence of festivals all year round. No matter what time you go to Ottawa, there will be a festival going on. There are diverse types of festivals celebrated in Ottawa. There are religious festivals, commercial festivals, fairs, food fests, art festivals, etc. One of America’s largest festivals: the Blues festival also takes place in Ottawa itself. You can participate in the fests going on at that time. The locals will be more than happy to welcome you to the fest.
Read More, Best Places to Visit in Canada
Ottawa is a worth visiting place. Being the capital of Canada adds charm to the city. The best time to visit the place is between March and May. The climate of the place is continental which means hot summers and cold winters, so make sure to check on the weather before embarking on the journey to this amazing land.