Ottawa Tours

Ottawa tours come in a variety of transportation formats. Discover Ottawa attractions and learn about the history of Ottawa.

If you’re only in Ottawa Canada for a short time, a guided tour can be a great way to get a quick look at Canada's capital city. Or even if you’re staying longer, a tour can give you an overview and help you decide which places pique your interest enough to go back and see in detail.

Of course a boat cruise, whether it’s just a short afternoon one or a longer one with dining included, is one of the best ways to relax. I always come off a boat feeling completely mellowed out! And that’s what you want on a vacation, don’t you? For pictures from my boat tour, see Ottawa Photo Gallery.

Here is an annotated list of companies and organizations offering Ottawa tours. For times and prices please go to their web sites, which I’ve included.

Capital Cruises – Offers sightseeing and dinner cruises on the Ottawa River. http://capitalcruisesottawa.com

Grayline – With offices in almost every major city in North America, Grayline is a well-known tour provider. They have a hop-on/hop-off format and a regular (stay-on-the-bus) tour as well. Go to www.grayline.ca and follow links from there.

Lady Dive – This company offers “amphibus” tours – vehicles that can drive on land and enter the water as well. A unique experience. They also have “Hop On – Hop Off” Double Decker or Trolley Tours. For more information: www.ladydive.com

Haunted Walking Tour – Offers a variety of themed Ottawa tours. They all take you through the streets of Ottawa, and are led by a guide in a long cloak carrying a lamp, but they focus on different locations. My sister and I took the Crime and Punishment Jail Tour the last time we were in the city. This visits among other places the former Ottawa Jail which is now a youth hostel (I stayed here years ago … creepy place!). This tour is NOT for anyone uncomfortable with cramped spaces or steep stairs. We weren’t terribly impressed with the information or the delivery of it on this tour, but to be fair, the guide was new to the job and nervous, and I think it all depends on who you get. I’m sure the experienced ones are better. For more info, see http://www.hauntedwalk.com.

Heritage Ottawa Walking Tours – Learn about the history of Ottawa. These tours are for specific dates only but if you happen to be in town on the right date, it might work out for you. Some of the themed tours given occasionally are: Rideau Canal, University of Ottawa, Ottawa Financial District, etc. They sound interesting and I hope to catch one next time. http://heritageottawa.dev.openconcept.ca

Ottawa Tours - This company offers a variety of different tours: hop-on/hop-off trolley tours, bus tours, boat tours of the world-heritage site Rideau Canal, and even hot-air balloon tours! They also offer tours that take you a little outside of Ottawa, into the Gatineau Hills where you’ll find the Mackenzie King Estate, once the home of our eccentric former Prime Minister. For details, check out their web site at www.ottawatours.net

Ottawa Walking Tours – Offers 2 hour guided tours featuring the city’s history, architecture and characters. I haven’t taken them but the reviews on www.tripadvsior.com are excellent. See http://www.ottawawalkingtours.com

Rent-a-Bike Tours – Guided tours by bike. Group booking only. http://www.rentabike.ca/tour.htm

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