Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, is a place that is full of life and culture. There are plenty of things to do and see in this city, from the historic buildings and museums to the beautiful natural surroundings.
In this article, we will explore the top 10 tourist attractions in Ottawa, each offering a unique experience that you will want to experience.
1) Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill is the heart of Canadian politics and the most iconic landmark in Ottawa. Located in the downtown core, the Parliament Buildings consist of three main structures: the Centre Block, the East Block, and the West Block. The Centre Block is home to the iconic Peace Tower, open to the public and offers a stunning view of the city from the top. Visitors can also take guided tours of the Parliament Buildings to learn about Canadian history and how the government works.
2) Rideau Canal
The Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that stretches 202 kilometres from Ottawa to Kingston, Ontario. In the summer, visitors can take a boat tour along the canal or rent a paddleboat to explore independently. In the winter, the canal transforms into the world’s largest skating rink, attracting thousands of visitors annually. The Rideau Canal is a beautiful place to walk or cycle, with stunning views of the city and the surrounding nature.
3) National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to over 40,000 works of art, including the famous Group of Seven and Tom Thomson collections. The gallery also houses an extensive collection of Canadian and Indigenous art and contemporary works worldwide. Visitors can take guided tours or explore independently, with audio guides in multiple languages.
4) Canadian Museum of History
The Canadian Museum of History is one of the most famous museums in Canada, with exhibits on the country’s history, culture, and achievements. The museum is located across the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, and features artefacts from Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, the country’s military history, and Canadian inventions and innovations. The museum also has an IMAX theatre and a Children’s Museum, making it an excellent destination for families.
5) ByWard Market
ByWard Market is a historic outdoor market in downtown Ottawa’s heart. With over 600 businesses, including restaurants, shops, and galleries, it’s the perfect place to explore. Visitors can sample local cuisine, browse artisanal products, and enjoy live music and street performances. The market is open year-round but is particularly vibrant during the summer months.
6) Canadian War Museum
The Canadian War Museum is located in the LeBreton Flats area of Ottawa. It exhibits Canada’s military history, from the early battles fought by Indigenous Peoples to modern-day conflicts. Visitors can explore exhibits on the First and Second World Wars, the Cold War, and Canada’s role in peacekeeping missions. The museum also has an extensive collection of military vehicles, artillery, and aircraft.
7) Supreme Court of Canada
The Supreme Court of Canada is located in downtown Ottawa and is the highest court in the country. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the role of the court in the Canadian legal system and the history of the building. The court also features a beautiful collection of works by Canadian artists like Lawren Harris and Emily Carr.
8) National War Memorial
The National War Memorial is a prominent landmark in downtown Ottawa, across from Parliament Hill. The monument commemorates the sacrifices of Canadian soldiers who fought and died in wars and peacekeeping missions worldwide. Visitors can pay their respects at the memorial or attend the annual Remembrance Day ceremony.
9) Canadian Museum of Nature
The Canadian Museum of Nature is located in a stunning castle-like building in Ottawa’s downtown core and features exhibits on Canada’s natural history. The museum has over 10 million specimens, including fossils, minerals, and live animals. In addition, visitors can explore exhibits on dinosaurs, Arctic wildlife, and the country’s geological history. The museum also has a butterfly exhibit, a bird gallery, and a 3D cinema.
10) Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica
The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica is a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture in the heart of Ottawa. The cathedral features beautiful stained glass windows, intricate stonework, and a soaring ceiling that reaches 90 feet high. Visitors can take guided tours of the cathedral, attend mass, or admire the beauty of this historic building.
Ottawa is a city full of cultural, historical, and natural wonders. Ottawa has something for everyone, from the iconic Parliament Hill to the stunning Rideau Canal and the impressive museums. By visiting these top 10 tourist attractions in Ottawa, you can experience the city’s best and make unforgettable memories.