If you’re visiting Canada’s capital, Ottawa, you’ve got so much waiting for you. You can check out the city’s colorful history, with a visit to one of more than half a dozen museums. There’s also a thriving arts scene, some outdoors adventures to be had, and plenty of places to wine and dine. Ottawa is also a good base for getting out to places like Mont Tremblant in the Laurentian mountains. Here are some top tips on places to visit and things to do.
As its name suggests, Parliament Hill is the home of the Canadian government. If you’re in Ottawa during the summer, you can catch the daily Changing of the Guard tradition. Also in the summer months, there’s an evening show of sound and lights—with images beamed onto the parliament buildings and set to music.
Museums + More
If you’re a culture vulture, there’s no shortage of museums and galleries in Ottawa. You’ll get to step back in time and learn all about the history of this city and beyond, art, history and nature.
Head for the National Arts Centre, if you’re looking to enjoy some performing arts while you’re in town. There are all the usual suspects on offers here, ranging from music and dance to shows and touring acts.
Shopping + Eating
Take a stroll around Ottawa, and you’ll find a neighborhood vibe, with different shopping and dining experiences on offer.
When it comes to food, you’ll find a whole range on offer—as you would expect. You can splash out on fine dining, or you could head for a pub for a casual meal. There’s a big push in the city to get locally-produced foods on as many menus as possible.
For a taste of Europe, head to Little Italy or, if you’re in the mood for an Asian experience, head to Chinatown. There’s as much on offer during the day as at night.
Some Market Action
If you love your markets, you should hunt out the ByWard market in Ottawa. All sorts of traders turn up year-round to sell their goods. You’ll also find lots of cafes, pubs and restaurants in the downtown market area. It’s a good place for an evening drink, you may also be lucky enough to catch some live music!
Ottawa loves its festivals—with all sorts of events being laid on throughout the year. Ottawa, like the rest of Canada, celebrates Canada Day on 1 July. There’s also a great music scene, with jazz and blues coming to town, along with all sorts of other acts.
Ottawa + Beyond…
Once you’ve got yourself a taste of Ottawa and, if you have some more time left on your vacation, why not head out of the city and found out what the surrounding area has to offer? In just over 100 minutes, you can reach Mont Tremblant, set in a stunning mountain range—giving you a real taste of the rich natural scenery in this part of the country. If you’re looking for a place to stay there, condos make great rentals for any vacation. This is especially ideal for those traveling with families and large groups of friends; as well as those who enjoy catering for themselves.
For More Info
For all the latest happenings in Ottawa, Mont Tremblant and beyond, check local listings for the latest lowdown on events and festivals.
Photo by Brooke Lark
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