Welcome to Ottawa, Ontario, where you’ll find charming old-world buildings surrounded by picturesque natural beauty.
The first stop on an Ottawa tour should be the Rideau Canal. This waterway cuts the city in half, and it provides places for boating and paddleboarding during the summer. Visiting in winter? Not a problem—you can go ice skating along the Rideau when it ices over. On the south side of the river, you can see the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at Parliament Hill. A few blocks to the north is the National Gallery of Canada, a stunning glass-and-granite building full of art from Canadian, European, and other North American artists.
You’ll be hungry after all this walking around, so head to ByWard Market. If you see beavertails, don’t worry; they’re a pastry, not part of an actual beaver—and they’re delicious. ByWard Market also has some of the best fresh produce you’ll ever taste, so stock up on fruits and vegetables while you’re there.
After sampling the fare at ByWard Market, cross the river to visit the Canadian Museum of History in Quebec. This is where you can tour recreations of Old Canada: explore 1800s storefronts, wander into log cabins, and learn about the First Nations people who inhabited Canada for thousands of years prior to European settlement.
Round out your trip with a venture to Gatineau Park, where you can relax by the lake or take tea in the MacKenzie King estate.
What’s your favorite part of Ottawa?
Visit our Ottawa travel guide page for more information or to plan your next vacation!