Home to many of Canada’s finest museums, cultural landmarks and historic sites, Ottawa boasts much to see and do. This diverse city, known for its rich architecture and beautiful scenery around it, is packed with many of the country’s top cultural, entertainment and recreational attractions. For visitors looking for somewhere to visit in Canada that’s rich with history and culture yet filled with cosmopolitan energy, Ottawa is the perfect place to go.
Ottawa is the capital and fourth largest city in Canada. The city is known for being bilingual in both French and English, adding to its unique charm. It boasts a multicultural population and many of the country’s top restaurants, shops and galleries. Ottawa is conveniently located halfway between Toronto and Montreal and is accessible by air, bus, train, car and even by boat. It also sports a robust public transportation infrastructure.
The city is home to a wealth of attractions and sites of interest for visitors to enjoy. One of its premier attractions is Parliament Hill, known for its striking Gothic Revival architecture and as the seat of the country’s Parliament. A great place to learn about Canadian culture and its government, it is a must-see for all visitors. The Supreme Court of Canada and Rideau Hall, the official royal residence of the British monarch in the city, are two more cultural and cultural landmarks of great interest for visitors.
Ottawa also boasts a rich variety of museums and cultural institutions to explore. The Canadian War Museum is a fascinating institution that examines the nation’s military history throughout the ages while the Canadian Museum of Civilization is regarded as one of the world’s finest museums on human history and culture. Another top museum is the Science and Technology, a fantastic place to learn more about the history of technology and its impact on society. Other distinguished museums and cultural institutions in the city include the National Gallery, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Canada Aviation Museum, the Bytown Museum, the Bank of Canada Currency Museum and many more.
In addition, the city also boasts an impressive collection of shops and restaurants to explore. Visitors will find everything from French cafes to upscale boutiques to authentic Chinese cuisine throughout the city. Ottawa is also home to a renowned theater scene and a wide array of nightlife options.
With its world-renowned museums, astounding architecture and charming riverside scenery, Ottawa is one of North America’s most fascinating destinations. Those looking for history, culture or entertainment will have no shortage of options in this vibrant Canadian city.
Ottawa Downtown Hotels
The Downtown Ottawa area is in the heart of Ontario, Canada. It is one of the busiest areas economically and socially. The Ottawa River is on the northern side of the city, and the Rideau Canal is on the eastern side. The Supreme Court is located in this area. If you stand on the banks of the canal, you can see the sprawling towers of the government buildings. The World Exchange Plaza is another famous building that has the clock ball on top of it. The streets in the area are designed in the shape of a grid to make traveling through the city easier. If you miss the street that you are looking for, it is only a short distance to the next street and you can turn around. The downtown area has almost 4,000 residents. There are several churches in the area, and people normally take public transportation to where they need to go. Downtown Hotel Service offers Hotels near Downtown Ottawa that are quality hotels at a affordable price. Use our Search box above or click here to see available hotels!
About Downtown Ottawa
When traveling to Ottawa, you will find a nice blend of people who speak both English and French. If you know French, you will find communicating with the locals a bit easier. Ottawa has a thriving tourism market especially during the winter months. Ottawa happens to be one of the most popular vacation spots in Canada.
Anyone who enjoys snowboarding and skiing will have plenty to do in the outskirts of Ottawa. For those who enjoy spending time in the mountains during the winter months, Ottawa is a fantastic place to visit. The mountains in Ottawa allow visitors to enjoy the exquisite scenery and experience the fun of riding down one or two of them in the snow.
During the winter months, plenty of visitors are entertained by skating on the Rideau Canal. This is a very large river that freezes in the winter months allowing ice skaters to have a great time entertaining themselves. It is not uncommon on any given day to see thousands of locals and tourists having an enjoyable day on the river sliding and skating around.
Many tourists make it a point to tour the Parliament Buildings in the center of downtown. This is where the Prime Minister and other political heads in the country work every day. They are guarded buildings, but certain locations in the buildings do offer tours.
After spending a day or two visiting the local attractions in Ottawa, you can enjoy some downtime shopping at the many massive malls in downtown Ottawa. For the men who are not big on shopping, there are other options such as going to see a hockey or lacrosse game. One of the best Canadian teams in the NHL is the Ottawa Senators, so it is surely a special treat to see them play.
Rideau Centre happens to be one of Ottawa’s more popular shopping centers due to its convenient location and an excellent selection of stores and food choices. After shopping, why not catch a movie with the family at the big three-screen Empire Theaters.
There is always something enjoyable to do when visiting Ottawa. Why not plan a visit today and see what Ottawa has to offer!
The weather in Ottawa falls into four distinct seasons. This gives residents and visitors a chance to enjoy everything from snowy winter nights to warm summer days in the sunshine through the 12-month period. For travelers, this means the timing of any trip determines the weather that can be expected and the activities and attractions that are available.
Winter in Ottawa means snow. The humid continental climate means the region has sufficient moisture that, when combined with cold air, yields about 230 centimeters or 90 inches of snow. The temperatures typically remain below freezing with average overnight lows during the coldest months about 15 degrees below Celsius of 5 degrees above Fahrenheit. Winter sports include skiing, sledding and snowshoeing. Travelers during the winter season may encounter weather delays due to the snowy conditions. Donâ€™t schedule a winter excursion to full of activities to allow for some delays.
Spring is the transition from winter to summer weather and very unpredictable. Days can be quite warm as early as March while winter snow can still fall as late as May. It all depends on the year. Travelers to Ottawa in the spring will have to keep an open mind and itinerary. Some springs may provide great skiing and sledding with good snow conditions and temperatures near the freezing mark. On the opposite extreme, the weather may be warm and dry enough for a round of golf.
Summer in Ottawa
As with most continental climates, the summer season is the most agreeable for most activities. The humid conditions of the region do continue with about 900 millimeters or 40 inches of rain each year. Temperatures can reach 35 degrees Celsius or about 95 degrees on the hottest summer days. The area sees sunshine about half of the daylight hours during the year with the bulk of the sunny weather occurring during the summer. Summer activities include golf, fishing, hiking and other outdoor activities.
Autumn is another transition season. Early autumn weather can be much like summer weather with sunny skies and warm temperatures. As the season progresses the weather becomes more winter like with the occasional snow event occurring as early as October. Outdoor activities become more limited as the season progresses with most golf courses shutting down in September or October, depending on the weather. Travelers to Ottawa in the autumn should be prepared for almost any type of weather experience.
The Ottawa weather follows the patterns of any continental climate. The four seasons bring two distinct weather patterns of winter and summer with transitional seasons of spring and autumn providing a mixture of almost any kind of weather imaginable through a 12-month period.
OC Transpo runs all of the public transit options in Ottawa. The bus service run by OC Transpo is very good. Passengers can ask for a transfer upon boarding, and this transfer will allow them to use any other component of the OC Transpo system for 90 minutes. Passengers should ask for the transfer even if they donâ€™t need it. Sometimes fare inspectors go around to catch fare jumpers, and the transfer ticket is a proof of purchase. The buses in Ottawa will get passengers anywhere in the city they need to go, but they will most likely have to make a transfer at some point if they are traveling very far.
The light rail system in Ottawa is known as the O-Train. It runs only in downtown, but it is a very speedy method to get anywhere travelers need to go downtown. Children under the age of 11 can ride the O-Train for free.
Taxis are fairly expensive in Ottawa. They are very expensive for trips outside of downtown. They can usually be avoided with the efficiency of the Ottawa public transit system. Cabs can be found easily downtown, but passengers will need to call for a cab if they need one in the suburbs, Also, many cab drivers do not know the areas outside downtown Ottawa very well, so passengers should be ready to supply directions for taxi rides out into the suburbs.
This is a good option for visitors to Ottawa. There are car rental offices handy both at the airport and in downtown. There are both national and local car rental companies to choose from. The parking in the city is satisfactory, though drivers will have to pay for parking in most areas downtown. Be patient when driving downtown as most of the streets are one-way.
Ottawa is a great city for visitors who like to walk. Most of its attractions are located near one another in the downtown area, which makes it easy to take a stroll to see many attractions on one trip. The sidewalks are large and all the intersections are very pedestrian-friendly. When walking in Ottawa during the winter, be sure to bundle up warmly. The temperatures can drop well below freezing, damaging skin in a matter of minutes.
Bicyclists will enjoy Ottawa, There are nearly 200 kilometers of bike paths in the city. Many of the roads have bike lanes as well. There are a few bike rental shops downtown. During the summer, the city closes off many roads on Sundays to auto traffic. This makes Sunday a great day to explore the city for bike riders.
National Gallery of Canada
If you are looking to see one of the best art galleries in Canada, then you do not have to look any further than the National Gallery of Canada. The National Gallery of Canada was established in 1880, and it is currently one of the most visited museums in Ottawa. The museum is known for its collections of Canadian, American and European art work. Some of the most famous artists with works on display in the National Gallery of Canada include Francis Bacon, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollack.
There is no better place in Ottawa to see the beauty of the city than Dow’s Lake. Dow’s Lake can be enjoyed in either the summer or winter. Dow’s Lake is a great place to go on a boat ride and enjoy the amazing sights. The entire lake freezes during the winter in Ottawa, so the entire lake is transformed into a giant ice skating rink. Dow’s Lake becomes the largest ice rink in the world, and there are several different events held on the ice each winter.
Canadian War Museum
The Canadian War Museum was established in 1880, and it currently has over 500,000 items on display in the museum. The entire museum is designed to honor the military history of Canada. The Canadian War Museum has eight different permanent galleries that each display a different time period in Canadian military history. The museum also has a huge war art collection that came from the National Gallery of Canada.
Canadian Museum of Nature
Canada is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and this beauty is celebrated at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. The Canadian Museum of Nature first opened in 1912, and it is currently located in the Victoria Memorial Museum Building. The Victoria Memorial Museum Building is one of the most amazing buildings in Ottawa, and it was named a National Historic Site of Canada. The sight of the building is worth the trip, but you also get to see an amazing museum while you are there.
Royal Canadian Navy Monument
The Royal Canadian Navy Monument was built to honor the men and women of the Canadian Navy, and it is currently located right next to the Ottawa River. The monument was constructed on May 3, 2012, which makes it one of the newest attractions in Ottawa. The Royal Canadian Navy Monument is made entirely of marble, and it is shaped to resemble a sail. There is also a small park surrounding the monument.
El Meson features Spanish and Portuguese cuisine that is made with the freshest ingredients. When you open up the menu, you can find foods like baked salmon, rack of lamb, paella and baked cod. The wine menu is also very extensive, so make sure to have one with your meal. There is also a large private room in the back that can be reserved for large parties.
If you are in the mood for high-quality cuisine in a gorgeous setting, you should visit Pepper Garden. The restaurant features brick walls and beautiful paintings and is a great place to take a date. Some of the items featured on the menu include seared scallops, filet mignon, short rib lasagna and seafood linguini. If you still have room after your meal, order the warm pecan tart or chocolate mousse.
Trattoria Cafe Italia
Trattoria CafĂ© Italia serves some of the best Italian food in Ottawa. The menu features foods like manicotti, spaghetti, gnocchi, pizza and fettuccine al pesto. The portions are quite large, so you never have to worry about leaving hungry. As you are eating your meal and sipping on your wine, you can admire the beautiful lighting, paintings and flowers on the tables.
Heart and Crown
If you want to eat in a casual bar atmosphere, you should go to Heart and Crown. This Irish pub is really roomy and serves delicious food on the menu including hamburgers, fish and chips, onion soup and nachos. There is a wide variety of beers on tap and the live music is great. When you eat at this restaurant, you feel like family and never want to leave.
The Empire Grill has been around for 15 years and is considered one of the best steak restaurants in Ottawa. Whether you want rib eye or porter house steak, you will find it at this restaurant. Other foods featured on the menu include mahi mahi, lobster linguini, calamari and wild boar lasagna. The service at the Empire Grill is phenomenal; the servers are very friendly and attentive.
If you want to eat something different, you should go to Sawa Sushi. It is the largest sushi restaurant in Ottawa and is very popular among locals. In addition to sushi, fried rice, beef short ribs, spring rolls and crispy chicken wings are featured on the menu. Sawa Sushi has a fun atmosphere and features great service.
Canada Day Festival
As the capital of Canada, Ottawa has the biggest Canada Day celebration in the country. They have a massive arts festival with artisans from all over the country setting up booths. There is a big fair with lots of carnival rides and fried foods. There is also a parade, a laser light show, pony rides, free face painting and much more. The day ends with a spectacular fireworks display. The Canada Day Festival is held for three days around July 1, which is Canada Day.
Canadians love their winter fun, and no festival in the country is bigger than Winterlude. Held annually for three consecutive weekends in February, Winterlude is the biggest winter festival in North America. The festival is centered at Rideau Canal Skateway, which is the largest skating rink in the world. The festival includes beautiful ice sculptures, a children’s snow playground, a winter triathlon, a skating clinic, an ice hockey tournament and lots of great food.
TD Ottawa International Jazz Festival
Lots of the best jazz musicians from around the world descend on Ottawa for this 10-day festival in June. The TD Ottawa International Jazz Festival is how Ottawans celebrate the beginning of summer, and it always makes for a great time. During these 10 days, there is jazz music everywhere. There are outdoor concerts as well as performances at arenas, clubs, bars and concert halls. The grandest concerts during the festival are held downtown at Confederation Park.
Fans of chamber music will be in heaven at this festival that takes place starting in late-July and running into August. This is the largest chamber music festival on the planet. More than 120 concerts take place over the course of Ottawa Chamberfest. Many of the performances are held in churches in the city. The event attracts the leading chamber music performers from around the globe.
Canadian Tulip Festival
Winter is long and harsh in Ottawa, and this three week-festival is a celebration of its end. Canadian Tulip Festival begins annually on May 1. More than one million tulip bulbs are planted throughout the city’s parks, making for quite the spectacular sight when they bloom in May. Visitors will have the chance to take some amazing photos of fields of tulips.
RBC Royal Bank Ottawa Bluesfest
This is the largest music festival in Canada, and it also ranks among the largest in the world. Five stages are set up for musicians to perform. The event lasts for 11 days and attracts some of the mot popular musicians on the planet, including names like Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, The White Stripes and The Black Eyed Peas.
Family Fun near Downtown Ottawa
Hull Wakefield Steam Train
If you want to give your kids an experience they will not forget, have them take a ride on the Hull Wakefield Steam Train. The five-hour trip includes a two-hour stop in the historic village of Wakefield and is a lot of fun for the entire family. You will feel like you have gone back in time when you ride on this steam train.
Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo
Both kids and adults will have a great time at Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo. This zoo houses more than 250 animals and allows you to get really close to the animals. There are hands-on presentations and feeding demonstrations that your kids will enjoy. When you are at this zoo, you will get to see all kinds of reptiles including alligators, snakes and lizards.
Midway Family Fun Park
Midway Family Fun Park is considered the most popular amusement park in Ottawa and features fun activities for the entire family. Some of the most popular activities featured at this park include mini golf, bumper cars, go-kart tracks, climbing walls and giant slides. Midway Family Fun Park is so fun that your kids will never want to leave.
Papanack Park Zoo
Papanack Park Zoo is a place you have to visit while you are in Ottawa. The zoo features every animal you can think of including lions, monkeys, hippos, seals, bears, cougars and tigers. There is even a children’s area located inside the zoo where your kids can pet and feed farm animals. Before you leave, make sure to stop at the gift shop and pick up a souvenir or two.
Dows Lake Pavilion
Dows Lake Pavilion is one of the best places in Ottawa to take your family. If you go in the summer, you can ride your bike along the trails, go canoeing or kayaking, throw a Frisbee in the grass and just admire the beauty of the lake. There are also two restaurants located inside the park that overlook the lake.
Mont Cascades Resort Water park
If you visit Ottawa in the summer, you have to go to the Mont Cascades Resort Water park. There are all sorts of fun water rides featured at this water park including Black Magic, Mammoth River, Kamikaze, Proracer, Turbo Twister and Vortex. There are also plenty of water areas for your kids to play in at this water park.
Shopping near Downtown Ottawa
When you are visiting Ottawa, you will find a wide range of shopping alternatives. Whether you are looking to find clothing, something for your home or entertainment choices, you are certain to find what you are looking for downtown. Make sure you check out the Rideau Centre, which holds around 180 stores that you can visit. You’ll have choices that range from boutiques to craft shops. Rest assured that all of these stores have great, quality designs along with low prices.
Let’s go over some of the stores that you can find at the Rideau Centre. One of the first stores that you can shop at is the Fossil store where you can purchase any of your favorite Fossil brand products, such as watches. The Rideau Centre is also home to the Coach and Forever 21 stores. These stores are excellent choices for those who are looking for elegant, trendy merchandise.
The Bayshore Shopping Centre
You can also shop at the Bayshore Shopping Centre, which offers a wide variety of options when it comes to shopping. This shopping mall carries a little something for everyone. The Bell store is a great example of amazing designs on all of its choices in electronics. You are able to look for your new TV, mobile phone or other essential technology. If you are interested in the health industry, you will be glad to know that there is a GNC store at the Bayshore Shopping Centre as well.
Other Stores at the Bayshore Shopping Centre
Anyone who likes the outdoors can find the Sports Experts store interesting. It extends to every one of its customers a wide selection in sports gear. Customers can find athletic apparel, snowboarding equipment, swimwear and many more choices in sports and outdoors merchandise. However, if you are shopping for something a little more casual, you may find the GAP store more to your liking.
St. Laurent Centre
The St. Laurent Centre is a shopping mall that offers great selections in stores. The first store that you can visit is Aldo. It carries great styles when it comes to footwear. Ben Moss Jewelers is another store that is in the St. Laurent Centre. This store is perfect for anyone looking to invest in luxurious jewelry at great prices. You can also shop at Warren’s store for all of your family apparel. The store’s prices are budget friendly along with high-quality designs on all of its choices in clothing collections.