Fun Things to Do in Ottawa. From Parliament Hill to Hot Air Balloon Rides, There's Something for Every Taste.
Ottawa is one of my favourite cities to visit.
Above: The setting sun paints Ottawa's historic Rideau Canal in a golden glow.
As Canada's capital, this busy city boasts some of the country's largest and most spectacular museums and
art galleries and of course some amazing architecture, including the
Canadian Parliament Buildings, which are open for guided tours.
Ottawa is also a busy urban centre with all the entertainment and nightlife you'd expect from a city this size plus green adventure for the active, sporty types.
Here are some of my picks to please every taste.
For Culture Vultures
Visit Parliament Hill, take in a guided tour and watch the Changing of the Guard.
Watch the Mosaika Sound and Light Show.
Visit a blockbuster exhibit at the National Art Gallery.
Enjoy an evening of live music or theatre at the National Arts Centre.
Visit the Museum of Nature. For a slide show of what you'll see, visit my page on Ottawa museums.
Take in live bands at the clubs and bars.
Laugh it up at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club.
Try out the FREE music concerts on the lawn of Rideau Hall.
Cruise along Sussex Drive, home to mansions, embassies, museums and monuments.
Above: Rideau Falls seen from a boat tour.
For Nature Lovers
Stroll miles of walking and biking
trails, many winding along a scenic river or canal. Go skating on the
world's longest skating rink (the Rideau Canal)
Go cross country skiing on the Rideau Trail connecting Ottawa and Kingston.
Take a romantic boat cruise and get up close and personal with the Rideau Falls.
Take a hot-air balloon ride.
For Party People
Party-lovers will find lots of things to do in Ottawa. Plan your trip around one of Ottawa’s great festivals, such as:
Ottawa Tulip Festival
Ottawa International Jazz Festival
The Ottawa Fringe Festival (theatre)
Carnival of Cultures
Ottawa Busker Festival
Above: the famous Byward Market
For Shopaholics & Foodies
Explore the Byward Market, a popular, historic food market, dining and shopping district.
Visit Sparks Street Mall, a pedestrian-only street lined with heritage buildings, stores and restaurants.
Shop til you drop at the Rideau Centre.
Chateau Laurier Ottawa