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Getting to Ottawa
Getting Around Ottawa

Ottawa Event Calendar

17NOV

Gold Medal Plates

Nov 17, 2014
Shaw Centre

 

28NOV

Nature Nocturne: One in a Billion

Nov 28, 2014
Canadian Museum of Nature

 

3DEC

Christmas Lights Across Canada

Dec 3, 2014 – Jan 7, 2015

 
More Events
 

2014-2015Ottawa Visitor Guide

View our Ottawa Visitor Guide online to plan your stay in Canada’s Capital region.

2014-2015 Ottawa Visitor Guide
 

Ottawa 2017

Top 10 things to do in Ottawa

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1. Parliament Hill

The seat of Canada's federal government and the setting for national celebrations the year round, Parliament Hill is the most visited Ottawa attraction. Each morning during summer months, the front lawn of Parliament Hill is the setting of the daily Changing of the Guard ceremony; each evening the public is invited to gather again to witness the awe-inspiring Sound and Light show - spectacular lighting effects and stunning giant images projected on the Parliament Buildings set to words and music. Both events are free. Truly a must-see!

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2. National Cultural Attractions

Ottawa cultural attractions, museums and galleries invite visitors to experience the best of Canada all in one place. Whether it's the stunning National Gallery of Canada, with world class art on display, or the dramatic Canadian War Museum, these are the experiences that bring Canadian culture to life for any visitor.

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3. ByWard Market

An historic farmers' market and shopping district by day, a favourite gathering place of restaurants and clubs by night - the ByWard Market, just east of Parliament Hill, is one Ottawa neighbourhood you won't want to miss.

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4. UNESCO Rideau Canal

A historic waterway filled with boaters spring through fall and the world's largest naturally frozen skating rink in winter – the Rideau Canal winds through the heart of Ottawa before connecting with the Ottawa River through dramatic stepped locks right next to Parliament Hill.

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5. The Outdoor – Adventure

Ottawa is a natural for sports fans and outdoor recreation enthusiasts. Try whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Ottawa River, some of the continent's finest. Then top it off with some bungee jumping. Ottawa is also a cycling enthusiast's dream destination, with over 180 kilometres of recreational pathways linking natural areas, parks, gardens and national sites.

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6. Festivals

Ottawa is a city of celebrations, offering visitors a year around calendar of parties, festivals and special events.  On July 1st, the city celebrates the biggest party in the country, Canada Day. Visitors will also experience a host of music celebrations, including the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, Ottawa Chamberfest, and Bluesfest, which welcome some of the world's biggest acts to our city.  In winter, Canada celebrates Winterlude, and takes to the ice on the world's largest skating rink, the Rideau Canal.

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7. Culinary scene

The culinary scene in Ottawa has come alive in recent years, with a thriving community of Ottawa chefs and Ottawa restaurants making names for themselves both at home and abroad. Ottawa restaurants are wonderfully diverse. In the mood for French, Italian, Chinese or seafood? Choose from scores of each. Craving something a little more unique and exotic? You'll find it. As one of Ontario's designated culinary tourism destinations, the city, its restaurants and its local food producers are all working together to bring locally-grown and prepared foods to tables across the region through an initiative called Savour Ottawa.

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8. Performing Arts

The Capital’s premier performing arts venue, the National Arts Centre, presents a full lineup of music, dance and theatre, plus popular touring acts and shows. Ottawa also has a thriving local theatre scene, including the Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa Little Theatre, and The Gladstone.

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9. City tours

Ottawa is filled with Capital sights and attractions – and just about as many ways to explore and see them.  Experience a tour on both land and water with the Lady Dive amphibious bus, or take in a walking tour across Ottawa's picturesque ByWard Market courtyards.  

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10. Neighbourhoods/Shopping

Unique Ottawa neighbourhoods offer distinctive shopping, dining and nightlife experiences across the Capital. From Little Italy's charming bars and restaurants, to the glorious new archway over Chinatown, there is plenty to experience in Ottawa's varied neighbourhoods.

Casino du Lac-LeamyOntario

TripAdvisorCheck out what other travelers say about Ottawa on TripAdvisor.