Places to Visit/Things to Do
A thing Ottawa is filled with is historical sites. One of the most popular historic sites within the city is Parliament Hill. Just like England, the mother country of Canada, Canada is a parliamentary democracy. The three neo-Gothic structures are where government decisions for Canada are made. The governmental structures on occasion offer free guided tours, concerts, shows, and more. One of the standouts of this attraction is the Peace Tower. If you head up to its Memorial Chamber, you can pay respect to the fallen heroes of Canada. For the Peace Tower and the Memorial Chamber, there is no guided tour. Parliament Hill is open to visitors for free almost year round. For more information, stay updated with their website.
Another historic place in Canada is the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica. This basilica is the oldest church in Ottawa, and it’s also a Canadian national historic site. If you don’t want to attend a church service here, you can also take guided tours of the beautiful church. Inside the basilica, you can find stained glass windows, carved embellishments, beautiful architecture, and unique art. You can take guided tours during the months of May to October for advanced booking and a small price. Tours usually last between 30 to 45 minutes and are held on weekdays at 9 am and at 1 or 3 pm. The public hours of the basilica depend on the day and the time of the year. There is no price to enter, but donations are graciously accepted.
If you’re looking for beautiful art displays, visit the National Gallery of Canada. The National Gallery of Canada is one of the most popular art galleries in Canada, as well as the largest one in Ottawa. It features plenty of works from famous international artists like da Vinci, Picasso, Michelangelo, and more. There are also works from popular Canadian artists like Antoine Plamondon and Joseph Légaré. During the summer, the art museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 or 6 in the evening. During the winter season (October to April), the facility is open only Tuesday through Sunday. If you visit on a Thursday, the museum is open to 8 pm and offers free admission after 5 pm. Admission to the museum’s permanent collection on other days and times for adults is about $9. For an all access ticket (includes access to both permanent and special exhibits), the price is about $12.
Everyone needs a break from city life at one point or another. If you’re looking for a great place to spend some outdoor time, visit Gatineau Park. Located in the nearby city of Chelsea, the park is a 90,000-acre greenspace with a variety of activities, most of them outdoors. They include swimming, jogging, biking, skiing, and more. For a more relaxed activity, take a stroll through the park’s serene pathways. Gatineau Park is generally open for the whole year, but certain roads and sites may be closed during the winter. Hours usually depend on the season, but the park’s visitor center is open 9am to 5pm. The ticket of admission is around $8.50 or less.
Are you a history or war buff? If you are, the Canadian War Museum is a must-see attraction for you. Even if you’re not much of a history lover, the war museum probably has something that interests you. The museum displays Canada’s participation in several wars, including the French and Indian War and the World Wars. The museum houses more than 3 million artifacts, including uniforms, medals, guns, artillery, rare vehicles, and more. The Canadian museum is open daily from 9:30 am to 5 pm. On Thursday, extended hours are offered, with free admission between 4 and 8 pm. Entrance to the museum costs about $12 for adults and about $7 for kids aged 3 to 12.
Best Way to Tour Ottawa, Ont.
- The best way to tour the city of Ottawa (as well as many other cities) is by chartered buses and vans. Explore at your own pace within the safety of your private vehicle. Don’t worry about ordering an Uber or Lyft when you have your own exploration vehicle. Through busneeds.com, you can order the buses you need. Busneeds.com is an amazing, affordable chartered vehicle company that caters to your every needs. Whether you need a bus for school trips, marriages, parties, campaigns, or whatever else, Busneeds.com can help you. Busneeds.com offers buses, mini buses, school buses, party buses, and more. Most activities and destinations listed above and below are accessible by chartered buses. Please visit www.busneeds.com) to book your rental bus today!
Best Places to Eat/Shop
- Rideau Centre – Rideau Centre is large shopping mall in Ottawa. The four-level shopping center features hundreds of brand name stores according to their website. They also feature plenty of great places to eat at.
- Bayshore Shopping Centre – Bayshore Shopping Centre is another large mall in the city. It features over 180 stores, including plenty of retailers, services, and dining options. If you’re in the area, Bayshore is worth going to.
- Place d’Orleans – Place d’Orleans is another big shopping center in Ottawa, Canada. It has two large department stores, as well as over 175 other shops, services, and dining options in their food court.
- Laurent Centre – The St. Laurent Centre is a dominant shopping mall in Ottawa. Expanding over 22 acres, the mall features over 190 stores and services. You can also find a variety of places to eat at within and near the mall.
- ByWard Market – ByWard Market is one of Canada’s oldest and largest shopping markets. Within the market, you can find many local vendors selling all their goods, from souvenirs to fresh produce and food.
- Le Baccara – Everyone craves for a fancy meal at one point or another. This is basically all what Le Baccara serves. The popular sit-down restaurant takes inspiration from French and European cultures. They are rated the #1 fine dining restaurant in Ottawa by tripadvisor in 2018.
- Fraser Café – Fraser Café is a popular joint that serves amazing local food. The Canadian café features something for everyone, especially since it’s both vegetarian and vegan friendly. Fraser is rated the #1 local cuisine restaurant in Ottawa by tripadvisor in 2018.
Enjoy your Trip to Ottawa!